香港新浪網 MySinaBlog
劉廼強 | 22nd Mar 2008 | SCMP | (22 Reads)

With KMT candidate Ma Ying Jiu winning the Taiwan presidential election last Saturday, with the prospect of rapid rapprochement across the Taiwan Strait , Beijing can relax a little bit, focusing on the Tibet issue. The violent protests of Tibetan separatists seemed to have subsided, but with Democratic Leader Pelosi making a high-profiled visit to Dhermsala in support of Dalai, who indicated that he is willing to go to Beijing to negotiate with President Hu Jintao, the international pressure on China is still mounting.

Most Chinese people feel hurt, because international coverage of the incident and the comments has been so utterly biased. Tibet has been part of China for a thousand years, and all the facts are there. Why do the Western media still oblivious to these hard facts? We are the good guys who give preferential treatments to our minorities, including the Tibetans. The Hans can have only one child, but all minorities can have more babies. The minorities occupy majority in the government of the autonomous regions, and billions of Yuans have been poured into them to promote development. Meticulous care has been given to conserve minority cultures. The Hans never complain.

Go to the web, despite the Western media’s call for citizen journalism, in this age where camera and video recorder functions are incorporated into mobile phones, and therefore are everywhere, can you find any evidence of Chinese over-violence in handling orchestrated violent protests in Tibet and neighbouring regions? Because there was none, some western media, for example CNN, BBC and Beliner Mogenpost of Germany, resorted to blatant distortion. Come on, we are the victims. Can you guys be a little fairer?

It now seems that it is no use trying to appease the die-hard China bashers so many in the West. For a while, the Chinese government held the somewhat simplistic idea that if we try to be nice and clean up the sky, the world will let us hold the Beijing Olympic as the country’s grand coming out party. Now there are some who will bend on making use of our concern to make this event a success to extract various concessions from China. It seems the more we are obsessed with success in hosting the Beijing Olympics, the more vulnerable the country is subjected to international political extortion. They want China to pay a hefty price in exchange for its dignity and pride.

What these people do not realize is that once we let Tibet become independent, China will fragment into pieces. Such development will be very bad for China, and it will be extremely dangerous for the world. 1.3 billion hungry and angry Chinese will roam the earth like locust. On top of that, there will be too many Kosovo’s with wars, deaths and hunger for the world to handle. Don’t ever try to maliciously sink China, for the world will inevitably go down with it. We have to tell the world this plain truth lest they do not know exactly what they are doing.

China has amply proved itself in many areas, and is now a country to be reckoned with. It no longer needs to employ this year’s Olympic Games to make a grand entry. China can at most try its best to be a good host, its success is the common responsibility of everybody, especially member countries of the International Olympic Committee. It is also the responsibility of these countries as well as China to defend the spirit and the dignity of the Olympic Games, which is not the sole property of China, and it simply does not have the power to defend the Olympics. With this more rational attitude, China will be free from necessary worries, and it can go about doing what really needs to be done, for the benefit of the country and of the world.


劉廼強 | 18th Mar 2008 | 信報 | (62 Reads)

為什麼曾德成一談「國民教育」這四個字,馬上便會給張文光之流大罵?國民教育重點之一是學校教育,是要通過教師來落實的,這種逢共必反的冷戰思維,如此強烈地存在於教師團體中間,是一件十分不幸的事情。這問題一定要講清楚。

說白了,從我與反對派的交鋒,很強烈的感覺到,他們認為在香港推行國民教育,就是進行洗腦,要香港市民人人「愛國愛黨」。這是徹底的誤解。而誤解的來源,是今天香港國民教育的目標,是前朝在國歸之前定下來的。它要求港人認同中國,對做中國人有自豪感。英國人如此好意,在撤退前還特別成立專責組織,令人費解之餘,也要清楚警惕,這是糖衣毒藥。

香港人就是中國人,這是客觀的事實,我們大概需要認識這現實,並不存在認同不認同這回事。因為畫蛇添足的加上了「認同」的要求,便給一些人帶來有選擇的假象與遐思,出現了不知所謂的「中國人」、「香港人」、「香港中國人」、「中國香港人」的假命題,大家還煞有介事的議論一番。而因為無緣無故的加上「自豪感」的要求,便出現了張文光「讀喜不讀憂」的指責。

很簡單,香港人就是中國人,我們與十三億同胞是一個利益共同體,和命運共同體,是唇齒相依、榮辱與共的。因此,也並不存在自豪不自豪的問題。「子不嫌母醜,狗不厭家貧」,國家好,我們固然愛它,不好,那就更加要愛它。要國家好才愛,那是勢利、投機。我同意一種說法,國民教育就是灌輸「維護國家的自主、完整、獨立和尊嚴」的價值觀,愛國就像愛惜自己身體,不受傷害那麼簡單直接。

今天的國民教育,出錯在於捨本逐末。有些人中了英國人的計,想大搞什麼「認同」、「自豪」等;另外一些人,又以自由、民主、人權等等價值凌駕於愛國的核心價值之上,加以矮化,弱化。

據香港公民教育委員會委調查顯示:五成七受訪者並不認為「在外國政府面前批評自己的國家是不愛國」。六成二的受訪者認為「要求外國施壓來促進內地的民主和人權」不算是不愛國(1)。香港中文大學亞太研究所調查顯示,在一九九七年,認為個人自由人權重要的香港人佔百份之七十二點四,認為國家利益重要的佔百份之十三點五。到了二零零一年,認為個人自由人權重要的人降為百份之六十五點六,認為國家利益重要的升到百份之二十一點一。(2)從上述最基礎核心的愛國要求,向外國政府「唱衰」自己國家,甚至要求外國向自己國家施壓,都屬於傷害國家的尊嚴、干預國家獨立自主的不愛國行為,每個國民都應引以為恥,但在回歸十年,號稱進行了國民教育超過十年的的香港,卻大有市場。連自己也不能否認客觀上從事間諜行為的人,香港傳媒也以「英雄」視之。

這一大堆鐵一般的事實,在在說明過去的國民教育路線是錯誤的,效果是差勁的。因為如此,才勞駕堂堂國家主席錦濤在來港主持香港回歸十週年盛典時強調「加強青少年國民教育」。為人師表的,在這難看的成績表面前,虧得他們的代表還有此其厚無比的臉皮去說什麼「讀喜不讀憂」。有朋友將國民教育比喻是政府新聞署,它發的新聞稿,當然不會批判特首和高官。這是理所當然的事情。在香港這個自由開放的多元社會中,自然有另外一批人和組織去罵政府。當今香港的整體教育系統和傳媒都一面倒的長期報憂不報喜,荼毒市民學子如斯,加點力去平衡一下有錯嗎?如果強調某種有利社會的價值觀有錯的話,如消費者委員會之類的一面倒宣傳消費者權益機構,大概都要在打倒之列了。荒謬!

我想請問美國的國民教育,是否天天討論應否攻打依拉克?或者應否酷刑逼供涉嫌恐怖份子?不。於此可見,反對派們刻意把國民教育聚焦於幾個負面的歷史和社會事件之上,是小題大造,有意混淆視線。我們不要被什麼「喜」、「憂」等擾亂了國民教育的聚焦。評論代歷史的功過,甚至時事評論,都不是國民教育的責任,更不是它的重點。我們大可理直氣壯地跨越這些不着邊際的假問題,集中資源去幫助香港廣大市民轉變殖民地和冷戰思維,認識到國家好,香港好,我好;我好,香港好,國家更好這唇齒相依、榮辱與共的道理和培育這種感覺。這裡是一個五味架,酸、甜、苦、辣都齊。但是說到底,作為中國國民,我們一定要堅持維護國家的自主、完整、獨立和尊嚴。這是不能踰越的底線。

民主、自由等,這既是普世價值,但同時也按每個國家的國情和文化習俗等,而有不同的體現和發展的路徑。這是全世界都是如此的客觀現實。作為國民教育,我們要宣傳在堅持維護國家的自主、完整、獨立和尊嚴的大前提下,從整體利益出發,發揮國家主人翁的精神,根據國情去設定議題和優先次序,積極地致力去逐步把民主和自由加以落實。通過國民教育,我們要提醒市民不要忘記,外國的利益、命運是跟你和我不一樣的。議題的設定權在外國,我們被外國的價值觀、外國的傳媒、外國的贊助等牽着鼻子走,這是自由嗎?這算是當家作主嗎?

至於「愛國愛黨」,我從未聽過中央對香港市民以及國民教育有此要求,這純粹是一些別有用心的人長期造謠破壞。說實在的,別說香港實行「一國兩制」,即便在內地,共產黨也不斷明言它的執政地位,需要依靠政績來爭取。世上那個國家的人民不罵政府?我在這裡也不時大罵政府(3),以我的經驗,共產黨員罵政府才夠狠、才到位。這不單是沒有問題,而且還是應該的,底線還是那一條:堅持維護國家的自主、完整、獨立和尊嚴。反對派那種冷嘲熱諷,以據西方的立場觀點尋找中國的黑暗面為榮的心態,還要裝扮成「愛之深,責之切」的模樣,堅持他們才是愛國,那才真的偽善得使人作噁。

無論如何,國民教育也不是要與反對派們唱對台,這不是國民教育的目標。反對派們要怎樣從雞蛋裡挑骨頭,把國家唱到如何不堪,我們尊重他們的思想和言論自由,以及提供廣闊的空間。只希望我們搞國民教育時,提倡升旗、唱國歌,宣傳一下一些振奮人心的事實時,反對派們也有此雅量,給特區政府同樣的自由和空間。所以,張文光,你儘管罵,嘴巴長在你的頭上,這是你的自由。但對不起,曾德成,你說你的,這也是你的自由;你幹你的,這是你的責任。


(1) 2004年香港公民教育委員會委託港大公民社會研究中心與政策二十一研究公司就香港公民教育做的問卷調查。

(2) 王家英、尹寶珊(2004)〈對中國的「重新想像」:回歸後身分認同的延續與變化〉,刊於劉兆佳、王家英、尹寶珊編,《香港社會政治的延續與變遷》。香港:香港中文大學亞太研究所,頁237。

(3) 最近一次是二月五日「大國雪災的考驗」,這裡挑戰香港有誰比我罵得更重的。上用我還道姓的繼續罵。


劉廼強 | 15th Mar 2008 | SCMP | (26 Reads)

A party secretary of a province in China is a very powerful man. He is responsible for designing policies that will affect some 100 million people, a power so immense that it dwarfs many heads of states in the world. But in the Chinese bureaucracy, they are just middle-rank officials, and if they would like to climb any further, or to avoid trouble, provincial party secretaries are usually rather low-profile. Not Wang Yang, the new Party Secretary of Guangdong who can only be described as flamboyant. When he took over the post in December 2007, he wasted no time to openly blast Guangdong officials of being conservative, and exalted them to liberate their thoughts. To mean what he says, he immediately commissioned a series of ten researches on how to implement another stage of thought liberation. One of these reports which he directly supervised was on the cooperation between Guandong, Hong Kong and Macau.

Whilst our Chief Executive, Donald Tsang Yum-kuen has been trying very hard to keep up with a series of high-balls hauled from the north such as the Pan Pearl River Delta Cooperation, the 11th National Development Programme, and the Hong Kong Shenzhen Metropolis, he was obviously at a lost when he was confronted by reporters on this new initiative from this new colleague who just took office three months ago. His yet to be liberated thoughts seemed to remain inside the old box.

In Hong Kong, few have ever heard of Wang Yang, fewer have followed the mainland media to be aware of his high-profile moves. Nobody has the slightest idea of what he is up to.

Little do we know that the GDP of Guangdong has not only surpassed Hong Kong a few years back, it also exceeded that of Taiwan last year. It is now the largest exporter and tax payer of the country, all achieved without much investment and subsidies from the central government. Officials in Guangdong have all the reasons to be proud of their achievements and be smug about them. But Wang Yang led a high level delegation to visit East China, Guangdong’s arch-competitor and flogged them to learn from the Yangtze River Delta experience. When he recently visited Shenzhen, he wanted the city to challenge Singapore.

Come to think about it, why Singapore, but not its next door neighbour Hong Kong? If Shenzhen should become Singapore, then where would Hong Kong stand? Only ten years ago, when after the handover, Guangdong and Shenzhen reached out for Hong Kong, but got a cold shoulder, thanks to Anson Chan-Fang An-sang, the Chief Secretary of Administration at that time. In recent years, Guangdong and Shenzhen are becoming more proactive and assertive. A take-it-or-leave-it kind of attitude is now quite apparent. If we are not careful, Hong Kong will get marginalized, and before we know it, we are only qualified to play the role of a junior partner.

It is a tough world out there, and it is getting tougher by the day. Either we grow fast, or we will be shunted, and then pushed aside. Alas, few in Hong Kong are aware of this predicament and are determined to positively confront it. Our media is ever so parochial. I was told that they pay more attention to the NPC and CPPCC meetings in Beijing this year, and have sent a large contingent of reporters to cover the event. But from what gets reported, and the share-of-voice of the subject here, I don’t see much improvement. As a result, even our leaders are ignorant about what is happening around us.

Overnight it is impossible to really grasp what is happening in the mainland, what is important and what is not. Before it is too late, we will have to start refocusing. In the meantime, let us wake up and face up to the Guangdong challenge which is now right at our doorstep.


劉廼強 | 11th Mar 2008 | 信報 | (22 Reads)

據報政府將於五月宣佈第一批政府任命的副局長和助理局長,而從幾次外洩的「揀蟀會」對象看來,這些副局長和助理局長大多來自新進的筆竿子。我對於特區政府通過更多的政治任命來強化管治和開闢新「升官圖」,是十分支持的。對我這個專欄作者來說,文章有價,「寫而優則仕」,雖然自己超齡不能直接得益,也應該是予有榮焉,值得欣慰的事。不過正正因為我是舞文弄墨之人,同時我也很長時期生活在政治圈子之內,我很清楚二者之間的鴻溝。

這裡我不妨先說一個近例。春節前後的雪災,湖南是重災區,郴州斷電二十多天,至元宵才恢復,中間好一段時期通道封閉,與外界隔絕,甚至連食水供應都出現問題。公路冰封的一個重要原因,是政府下令停止使用。要是像北方通常的應付方法那樣,不封路,讓汽車繼續通過,汽車噴出來的熱汽,加上輪胎的輾壓,雪便不會結成冰,在車速減慢的情況之下,道路還是可以使用的。據說這就是北方年年下雪,卻沒有長期冰封,需要解放軍部隊花了好幾天才能開路的原因。這實務上的常識,偏偏湖南省委書記就不知道。而這位省委書記張春賢還是前交通部部長!很可惜,找遍他的履歷,都找不到地方經驗。省長周強長期抓黨務,也難怪實務不通。而湖廣之塞、郴州之困,不管怎樣說,都是有錯失的。

我舉了這個例子,並非想深責這兩個官員。國家就是明白到中央官員的局限,才把他們放到現在的崗位去增加歷練。誰知屁股還未坐暖,就碰上特大危機,經此役之後,我可以肯定他們將會更加成熟。但是如果在他們的官還未做得那麼大時,便讓他們到地方去歷練,抓實務,像曾慶紅、習近平那樣,效果一定更好,學費一定更低。

同樣道理,特首政府吸收筆竿子參與一些實務工作,將大大有助他們提升。而且以助理局長和副局長為晉身點,不是實權決策者,也是比較安全的。只不過,要這些年青筆竿子們寫寫演講,做做公關,搞些調研之類則他們應能勝任,可千萬不能過分要求他們能獨當一面,更萬萬不能讓他們直接應對危機。廣東話有「識彈唔識唱」的諺語,普通話是「只說不練」;而自古以來,我們見過不少以知兵法出名的文人,真正帶兵打仗,則一塌糊塗。

政制設計,尤其是在開創時,應該從大從遠考慮,而千萬不要短期行為,以一時一事為焦點。台灣的立委選舉,民進黨從自身短期處境出發,機關算盡,以為萬無一失,結果形勢一變,作法自弊,這回反而成了一面倒失去議席的主要原因。因為歷史原因,香港年青政治人才不多,這是事實,但是政府取才如果偏重能文善道之人,「上有好者,下必甚焉」,風氣所及,結果很可能促成大量浮誇善巧的青年冒現,紛紛組織個什麼會,鑽營刊登幾篇文章,上上電台電視,出本書,作高薪厚祿的台階。以我視野所及,這股不良風氣,已經開始了。

事實上,同樣是三四十歲較年青的一代,我不明白特區政府為何偏偏看重能寫的人。近年來,最頂尖的理想青年,都跑到大型的非政府組織去,實踐自己的理想,直接為人民服務。當中我最熟識的是綠色團體,那裡真是藏龍臥虎,碰到的都是有理念、有知識、有能力、有幹勁的人。他們平時默默耕耘,到要曝光時,能掌握恰當;與政府折衡,能進退有據,有理、有利、有節。老一輩的政府不用,三四十歲的,也大有人在。他們這些有實踐、有生活、有承擔的,隨便挑一個,或許都更有資格和能力當助理局長和副局長。

各政黨當中,四百名區議員,以及數以百計雖然戰敗,但質素不錯的基層參政者,政府也更值得通過政治任命的機制去培育他們。一些票王票后,和能高票連任的,他們在區內工作多年,對於基層的種種問題,種種民間疾苦,比誰都清楚,而且善於與市民溝通,善與解決他們的問題,才能高票當選。他們最欠缺的,正正就是大機構的工作經驗,和對政府內部運作模式的了解。這些人一般年紀不大,只要德才兼備,我不介意他們的政治理念如何,都值得給他們鍛煉的機會。作為香港市民,我們需要全面提升參政者的質素;作為愛國愛港人士,我希望有光明正大、智勇雙全的對手,這總比單靠嘩眾取寵、三刀兩面的對手好。

區議會是前朝一手設立的政治新秀培訓場所,只是往上爬的途徑日窄,不少四五十歲的英雄/英雌在過程中憋死了。如果特區政府還不從這裡開出一條廣闊的活路,這裡再吸引不到年輕的精英參與,淪為純粹政黨的樁腳事小,像二零零四年選舉般,惹來一批政治投機分子,什麼都不做,政治氣氛一變,二零零八年消聲匿跡,白拿公帑四年。或者被社棍和黑社會外圍所盤踞,那就更噬臍莫及了。

要活化區議會,政府已着手擴大它的功能,但是在現行政制架構,區議會不可能朝區政府方向發展,這方面改革的局限性甚大,空間很少。但是政府只須通過手上已有的權力和資源,多從這裡「揀蟀」,則不愁天下英才,不從此入局中。中國人認為任何制度說到底都是人,沒有人才,普選沒有意思,良好管治也是空話;源頭搞活了,社會精英從政有門,人才輩出,普選才有幹頭,行政主導才能落實。從這角度看,政府「揀蟀」,應以區議會為重點,這才是正路。

不說大家或許不知道,今天區議員的工作量十分大,區議會內大會小會,幾乎無日無之,加上開會之前,各政黨又要開預備會,統一立場,綑綁投票,即使什麼都不做,只看文件和開會,都已經是一份全職工作。但眾所周知,區議員一當選,便馬上進入下一屆連任的競選工作,又要搞活動,又要接見市民,又要排難解紛,做好其「摩登地保」的地區工作。尤其是這工作與連任息息相關,不能下下假手助理。兩者相加,區議員是一份低薪高辛工作,非超全職投入不可。要是把區議會的政治功能做好了定位,那就要盡量減輕區議會的無謂工作,讓大量區議員能兼職參與,讓他們在政治圈之外仍有生活,對社會民生有更全面的感受。這方面,政府也是絕對有能力控制的,少開些無關痛癢的會議便是。而說實在的,區議會的會議,十九都是無謂,自己給自己制造工作,以肯定存在價值而已。

區議員有自己的事業,做好社區工作,政府再「揀蟀」培訓,香港便不愁源源不斷的高質素政治人才。如政府再認定尤其是助理局長的職位是培訓,不妨把任命時間縮短到兩到三年,雨水均沾,讓更多有潛質的年青有志參政者獲益。


劉廼強 | 10th Mar 2008 | SCMP | (18 Reads)

Barristers are professionals for coming up with the most novel arguments to win the case for their clients, and our barristers-turn-politicians in the Civic Party have made good use of their training and their talent in politics. Ever since the District Council election last September, they have kept voicing their concerns over what they call “non-academic” bodies doing opinion polls, and exit polls in particular. In its recent submission to the government, they requested the banning of exit polling by all non-academic institutions.

Was there any academic institutions doing exit polls in the last District Council election? I did not see any. Don’t cite me the one with a name of a certain university as a bona fide academic institution. It is not. Apart from its name, it has no relations whatsoever with that university, and is a down-right commercial enterprise. Ruling this one out, there have been no academic bodies doing exit polls in that election. Does the Civic Party ask us to do away all exit polls? Why are they so up-tight about anybody doing exit polls except one particular firm?

What so special about academic institutions anyway that they and only they can enjoy the privilege of fathoming the mood of our community. In an information society, everybody is entitled to access of information. This is the basic ground rule. Opinion polling is therefore a free-for-all within the legal limits of privacy, etc. If you do not like it, you can refuse to answer the polls, which I always do. If you doubt the validity of the polling results, which I also do, you can turn a blind eye to them. Or if you think polling might affect the results of elections, measures can be taken to ban the public announcement of polling results, say, a week prior to an election, and the release of information to the contesting candidates. But banning polling entirely is like throwing the baby with bath water; and limiting polling to just one commercial firm under the guise of an academic institution is ludicrous to say the very least. I hate to resort to conspiracy theory, but I do smell a rat.

As we all know, this so-called academic institution that regularly do high-profile political polling has the dissidents as its major clientele, to the point that one can almost say that the dissident has monopolized its service. If this firm can in turn monopolize all political polling, and exit polls in particular, the dissidents will instantly have a monopoly over a super-weapon in their hands against their opponents, and at no extra costs. This plot is so ingenious and so sinister that I do not want to think even further. But if this is untrue, if it is purely a conspiracy theory, then what is the Civic Party up to? Sorry I am so dumb that I simply cannot come up with any alternative answers.

If this is the freedom and democracy these people champion, and the means their will resort to in order to gain power, I hate to imagine what it would be like if one day, they have become the ruling party as they set out to. To barristers, winning and winning only is the name of the game, but in politics, we do have higher ideals and more stringent moral requirements, and even noble ends do not justify the ugly means to get there.

We have to put our feet down and defend our freedom of gathering and sharing information. There is no way we can allow anybody or any academic institution to monopolize this our very basic right.


Next