Don't Rely On Government, Help Yourselves - Hong Kong Anti-Poverty Campaign Chief Tells Poor
In what would likely get her a daily (armed) drone surveillance package with blanket NSA supervision, if not outright burned at the stake in the US, Leonie Ki - who is the new head of Hong Kong's government campaign to alleviate poverty - dared to suggest what is the absolute anathema to any nanny state such as the US: instead of relying on the government for everything, people should achieve prosperity by their own hard work. Surely in the US words such as these would result in her being tar and feathered by at least half the population for daring to suggest something so loathsome to a nation which is increasingly convinced personal prosperity comes courtesy of government handouts of everything: from Obamaphones to Obamacare and, coming soon, Obamafood.
An advertising-industry veteran who rose to become an executive director of property giant New World Development, Ki has always believed the people of Hong Kong - a city she describes as a "blessed land" - must achieve prosperity by their own hard work, rather than by the government's help.
"The reason I'm willing to [take up Bless Hong Kong] is because I'm worried about Hong Kong," Ki says. "I believe Hong Kong has reached a critical point."
Alas, most "developed" nations have reached a critical point, but very few are willing to diagnose the ills correctly and to fix them appropriately.
A curious tangent here emerges in her relationship with communism - a topic getting increased attention, and traction, in some of the world's most formerly capitalist nations:
Her attitude to the Communist Party - she encourages friends and young people she mentors to visit revolutionary sites - comes despite a youthful antipathy for the party.
One of her proudest achievements is helping create an exchange programme, set up with New World's sponsorship in 1998, under which mainland officials attend Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Vice-President Li Yuanchao was among the beneficiaries of the programme.
"Before 1992, I was another typical Hongkonger with a phobia of communism," she once wrote. "From fear of having to adapt to acceptance ... I have been dedicated to understanding and communicating with [mainlanders] patiently."
Said view has changed, but her clarity of vision in what is needed to fix social ills remains.
Now, aged in her sixties, she believes that the mainland's miraculous economic development deserves wider recognition among Hong Kong's young people.
She also believes the next generation needs to strengthen their resolve.
"When we were young, we never waited for the government to do anything. We did it ourselves. What's gone wrong nowadays is that there are people who only wait for the government to rescue them."
Well, times have changed. However, what really earns Ki brownie points is the following anecdote:
She recounted in one of her books how Richard Boucher, the United States consul general in Hong Kong and now the deputy secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, repeatedly asked for a meeting at her office.
"I strongly resisted, as it [the request] was against protocol," said Ki. But in the end she gave in and hosted a 90-minute visit from the US representatives.
"Soon after they left, I was on the alert and asked my colleagues to check if there were any bugs under the tables or attached to the carpet."
Smart woman. Perhaps after the inevitable collapse of the US insolvent crony capitofascist, wannabe socialist, totalitarian state in which only the 0.01% are "rewarded" while the middle class is butchered and everyone else is forced to habituate to Big Brother's ubiquotous presence in exchange for daily scraps, she can be one of the people tasked with remodeling the next iteration of US society into something that actually works.
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