13 November, 2013

Time to find peaceful closure, not a punitive one


(Image courtesy : commons.wikimedia.org via Google)

Apparently, many of HK’s legislators feel that there is absolutely no need to extend the deadline for imposing sanctions on the Philippines because of the Philippine President’s unequivocal stand of not issuing a personal apology and matters of compensation over the bus disaster.   Frederick Fung, Tam-Yiu Chung, Fernando Cheung are all reported to have said that there is no need to defer sanctions because there is absolutely no connection between the recent typhoon that devastated the Philippines and the need to impose sanctions.  In fact, C.Y.Leung has done one better – like he usually does.  According to him, the Philippines Govt have not requested for an extension of the deadline over imposing sanctions on the Philippines. 

Quite evidently, it has not occurred to any of these mighty minds that the Philippines government might, just might be busy, desperately trying to bring their country back on track ?  On the one hand, we have a country that has seen massive destruction over the past few days, the country has been ravaged, thousands of people killed, people struggling to find shelter because in some places there is none left, entire towns have been wiped out without as much as a single survivor and in the midst of all this, our legislators (if one can call them that) want to impose sanctions ??

How did this whole thing start ?  This issue of imposing sanctions on the Philippines, I mean.  It all started with the bus tragedy three years back when many HK tourists were killed in a shootout in the Philippines.  I, among many others for sure, do understand the anger among the relatives of the tourists killed.  The whole world knows that the way the hostage crisis was handled was completely botched.  The whole incident was awful and tragic and it did expose the fact that the authorities there were ill-trained and ill-equipped to handle the crisis or the situation that arose from a lone, deranged man acting on his own.  He did not have a political agenda nor was he affiliated to any terrorist faction.  Whatever happened was truly tragic.  Innocents lost their lives and yes, that is very very difficult for their loved ones to come to terms with, let alone forgive and forget.

But to adamantly expect the President of a nation to personally apologize is, in reality, stretching things a bit too far.  HK saw the Lamma ferry disaster on National Day in 2012.  Undoubtedly one of the worst maritime incidents in HK waters, under the watch of the HK Marine Department, with rescue efforts undertaken by the Firemen and Police Divers from HK’s Police Force.  There were still casualties.  Did C.Y.Leung apologize to the public or to the bereaved families ?  Going by the same principle that some lawmakers and families expect a personal apology from President Aquino, why was C.Y.Leung not expected to do the same ? 

The Philippines government has declared a state of calamity, which, after the havoc wrecked by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the country truly faces.  Navy ships are being diverted towards the Philippines from countries far and wide, supplies are being sent via aircrafts from countries like India.  Relief efforts are pouring in from all around the world.   Most countries in the international community have pledged millions of dollars towards aid while the government in China has pledged a 100000 dollars.  The HK Government has done one better, yet again.  The very same HK Government which reported a surplus budget of HKD 64 something billion dollars is yet to announce financial aid.   Let alone financial aid, while the other countries are pouring in towards relief efforts, C.Y.Leung and his band of legislators are thinking of imposing sanctions.  Well done, HK !!  Beam with pride !!

It is particularly at times like these that the little bubble becomes so very obvious.  The little bubble that HongKong lives in, with its bunch  of politicians who have absolutely no idea and worse still, who simply don’t seem to care about HK’s standing around the world.  Standing in terms of a society which cares, empathises, in terms of a welfare society that wishes to be a part of this giant planet that we all inhabit. 

Helping those in need is never a sign of weakness.  It takes a very strong mindset to step out of one’s comfort zone, take a good look around and arrive at a decision.  These are precisely the things the legislators and the CE of HK seem unable to do.  That shroud of apathy which has always been one of the hallmarks of HongKong, is making itself rather appallingly obvious.

What HongKong and its legislators need to actively seek and work towards the whole bus tragedy fiasco, is closure - diplomatic closure, not a punitive one.  I do sincerely hope that the people who walk into the Chambers in LEGCO have the common sense, the willingness, the guts and the gumption to work towards a peaceful closure rather than thump their chests like gorillas in the jungle and bay for blood by way of retaliatory and castigatory measures.



1 voice(s) said so:

Jam said...

Loved the post as it highlighted the high handed attitude that the HK Govt is taking towards Philippines, that too at a time when the country has been ravaged by probably the worst ever natural disaster it has seen in a long time.

Wonder when politicians will stop playing politics with people's lives.