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AsiaGlobal Voices

Trending Opinions From Across the Region

AsiaGlobal Voices is a curated feed of summaries of opinion articles, columns and editorials published in local languages in media from across Asia.

The publication of AsiaGlobal Voices summaries does not indicate any endorsement by the Asia Global Institute or AsiaGlobal Online of the opinions expressed in them.

Divided by a Virus: Why the Pandemic Makes it Look Like Nobody is in Control
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Divided by a Virus: Why the Pandemic Makes it Look Like Nobody is in Control

Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief and Chairman, in ThePrint (June 13, 2020)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Sumit Saraswat / Shutterstock.com)

Divided by a Virus: Why the Pandemic Makes it Look Like Nobody is in Control

The fight against the pandemic has been so chaotic the world over, and now, in India. What began as a firm, total lockdown that everybody participated in is now degenerating into political name-calling between the ruling party and opposition, the center and the states run by non-BJP parties.

More disappointingly, this also bedevils most public discourse on an issue so life-and-death that our focus should have been on dealing with it rather than employing it to pour out partisan emotions, whether of blind loyalty, deepest dislike, fear or fantasy.

The debate on the pandemic, from lockdowns to clinical treatments to prognoses to infection and death counts, is all divided by ideology. If you love Narendra Modi, Donald Trump or Boris Johnson, they’ve done nothing wrong. If you detest them, they are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths.

For sure, the pandemic cares two hoots for ideology as long as it’s armed with this still-indestructible virus. But it has done something we couldn’t imagine: Divide epidemiologists on ideological lines. Epidemiology, we understand, is a very well-established science with a centuries-old tradition. It is now another casualty of 2020.

Politics never goes into a freeze, but you can put partisanship in suspended animation for a bit and leave it to the specialists and soldiers.

When BJP leaders, including Modi’s number two, Amit Shah, use the pandemic to launch an assault on state governments run by opposition parties, or to topple them, they are exploiting a grave crisis in cynical political self-interest. The result of this conflict, working at cross-purposes and name-calling, is now showing. The Covid situation, at this moment, looks as though nobody is really in control.


Fostering a Community Feeling Can Prevent Child Abuse
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Fostering a Community Feeling Can Prevent Child Abuse

Kim Hye-ryoung, author and psychologist, in Hankook Ilbo (June 13, 2020)

Summary by Soomi Hong (Photo credit: B Negin)

Fostering a Community Feeling Can Prevent Child Abuse

Recent news of a boy who died after his stepmother locked him in a suitcase and of another whose finger was rubbed against a hot frying pan has put a spotlight on inherent social problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Child abuse cases have risen by 13.8 percent. The young do not know how to protect themselves; some do not have the ability to report an abuse, let alone ask for help. Sadly, too many are cases could have been prevented, had only some people cared to notice and act.

Psychologist Alfred Adler included community feeling as an important factor that contributes to happiness. According to his theory, people are happier when they care not only for themselves but for others. Although Korea is well known for its group mentality, too often this “group” only extends to one’s immediate family. This is shown by Korea’s low adoption rate compared to other developed countries. The Korean mentality often means that parents are obsessed by their offspring, regarding them as possessions and are unable to love and care for other children who are just as vulnerable as their own.

More people should break free from this narrow-mindedness and adopt a feeling of community. Even just noticing whether a child on the street has a scar, is underweight or seems excessively intimidated may help prevent another death from child abuse. Watching out for all children as one’s own may be the best way to save our children and should be a basic duty that adults have to the vulnerable in society.


A “Thais-Only” Policy is Racism, Pure and Simple
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
A “Thais-Only” Policy is Racism, Pure and Simple

Ploenpote Atthakor, Editorial Page Editor, in Bangkok Post (June 13, 2020)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Krishnagopi06)

A “Thais-Only” Policy is Racism, Pure and Simple

“This cannot be serious" was my initial reaction to reports saying The Transport Company (Thailand’s long-distance bus operator) is imposing a ban on foreign travelers to curb the spread of Covid-19. Absurd, isn't it? Don't they know the country has been locked down for months? No foreign visitors or tourists are allowed in, so where would a travel-related virus come from?

If that were not absurd enough, there are reports that at least one temple in Bangkok – Wat Pho – has also adopted a "Thais-only" policy, which is blatant discrimination and has been met with widespread criticism.

But we cannot blame the temple and The Transport Company – not entirely. For nearly three months, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has put forward the idea that foreigners or Thais abroad are a health threat.

The notion that "if they are allowed in, the country would be at risk of more infections" led to a ban on foreign visitors and stringent measures against Thais wishing to return home. The state came up with ways to make it tough to return, which means stranded Thais are unfairly exposed to Covid-19.

Air travel and borders are expected to remain closed until at least July. In fact, the "Thais only" gate was there at the temple long before Covid-19 hit the country. When Thais visit a temple, they don't have to pay or buy tickets. This is because it is presumed Thais are there to make merit. I don't agree with this policy, but I recognize the idea behind it: Thais pay taxes, so they don't need to get a ticket.

Discrimination will persist as long as the state does not learn about the problem. Several state-run recreational sites, national parks, museums and others condone discrimination by adopting two-tier tickets or prices.


How Singapore Can Go From Strength to Strength After the Epidemic
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
How Singapore Can Go From Strength to Strength After the Epidemic

Pei Sai Fan, Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore, Co-Founder of the Lee & Pei Finance Institute, and senior official at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 1999 to 2014, in Lianhe Zaobao (June 15, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Kitty Mao)

How Singapore Can Go From Strength to Strength After the Epidemic

Singapore needs innovative thinking to solve the problems caused by the Covid-19-induced economic downturn. There are several key issues:

First, Covid-19 will permanently change some economic activities – for example, accelerating the rise of contactless businesses and services, online education, remote offices, videoconferencing and other online business activities. Second, Covid-19 has accelerated digital globalization. With more people working from home, the separation of labor and the location of the company has become possible. Third, due to the greater autonomy of jobs, human resources will tend to be a managed more horizontally bringing about new social issues that will differ from the traditional company benefits systems relating to welfare and pensions.

Due to restrictions on international travel, Singapore should focus on creating opportunities at home while using this period to build a more solid foundation for Singapore's long-term survival and development.

First, Covid-19 highlights the importance of digital and information migration in human society. Digitalization and informatization can effectively improve the level of social governance and public safety. Second, it also underscores the importance of investing in digital solutions, from high-definition video and reliable information transmission systems to supercomputers and artificial intelligence. These have proven to be critical in addressing the pandemic and furthering research into treatment and a vaccine. Third, Covid-19 highlights the importance of national strategic materials reserves. Singapore must improve this capacity to prepare for further outbreaks. 

In view of this, Singapore should simulate various disaster scenarios and carefully review which strategic industrial supply chains it should develop domestically. This will create job opportunities. Singapore should also focus its attention on strengthening its “new infrastructure" such as 5G infrastructure and new energy vehicles. Ultimately, Singapore should make use of the opportunities brought about by Covid-19 to strengthen the foundations for long-term sustainable development.


Anti-Terror Law – Or Anti-Filipino Law?
Monday, June 15, 2020
Anti-Terror Law – Or Anti-Filipino Law?

Leila De Lima, lawyer, human-rights activist and Senator, in Rappler (June 13, 2020)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Philippine News Agency)

Anti-Terror Law – Or Anti-Filipino Law?

Is the anti-terror bill protecting us from terror and fear? Or normalizing them? If this bill passes, no part of any person’s life is secure anymore, as it gives the government the power to track down or follow anyone, and to tap, listen, intercept or record any message, conversation, discussion, spoken or written words, including computer and network surveillance, and other communications of persons.

The government says that there are safeguards in place, including judicial authorization. Yet the law allows so much discretion on the executive, including in the determination of what constitutes terrorist attacks and who are terrorists and terrorist organizations, that it is easy to imagine a scenario where even the courts might not be willing, able, or prepared to stand as safeguards against abuse.

So, what is the danger? First, this is a criminal statute. It puts people in danger of losing their liberty, possibly for the rest of their life. People have the constitutional right to know what acts are being punished before they are penalized from doing them. Second, given the vague definitions, it could be weaponized as a tool of harassment against those that government wants to silence.

History has taught us that repressive regimes can and will abuse any power they can get, even to the point of using it against persons who are merely exercising their legitimate rights and freedoms.

Of course, we need to improve our response to terrorism. I applaud those who wish to amend the bill to protect the people. But the government cannot protect the people by perpetually and absolutely placing their lives under threat. Otherwise, the government will be doing a better job than the terrorists.


Taiwan will not be a Suitable Refuge for Hong Kong Youth
Monday, June 15, 2020
Taiwan will not be a Suitable Refuge for Hong Kong Youth

Zhang Yazhong, principal of the Sun Wen School in Taiwan, in Global Times (June 12, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: airbus777)

Taiwan will not be a Suitable Refuge for Hong Kong Youth

Taiwan’s Executive Yuan has drafted a humanitarian rescue plan which offers a route for Hong Kong people to seek political asylum in Taiwan. There are emotional, political, and legal factors behind why Taiwan is open to immigrants from Hong Kong. Emotionally, they are all part of the Chinese nation. Politically, there was a shared anti-Communist stance. Legally, Hong Kong is considered part of China.

Hong Kong pro-independence elements began to learn from Taiwan independence forces after the Sunflower Movement in 2014. Taiwan independence forces sent personnel to Hong Kong to train them in protesting and demonstrating. Both sides became teammates in promoting the anti-China narrative.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's support in the polls before 2019 was very low. Yet the more chaotic the situation was Hong Kong, the easier it was for Tsai to peddle her ideology of "terrorism, resistance and hatred” and ultimately win re-election. As Washington and Beijing have moved towards full-scale confrontation, Hong Kong's chaos has added firewood to Tsai’s pro-American, anti-China policies.

Beijing reckons that the violent separatists who want to "liberate” Hong Kong are the ones who will leave. What they seek is not freedom and democracy, but "independence", so the Hong Kong SAR government should be relieved to see these troublemakers gone.

The views of those that leave will complement those of the Taiwan pro-independence forces and strengthen the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s anti-Beijing stance. While most Taiwan people may be initially sympathetic, an influx of Hong Kong youths could lead to increased interference in Taiwan’s domestic affairs. The radical political activists will eventually realize that Taiwan is not their ideal home and will wish to move on. After all, the United States and other Western countries are where they really want to go.


Revise Lee Kuan Yew's Old "Big Fish" Analogy
Friday, June 12, 2020
Revise Lee Kuan Yew's Old "Big Fish" Analogy

Han Shengbao, journalist from China now living in Singapore, in Lianhe Zaobao (June 11, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

Revise Lee Kuan Yew's Old "Big Fish" Analogy

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has stated that the United States and China will embark on a road of confrontation that could last for decades, making the long-anticipated “Asian century” more and more precarious. Southeast Asian countries including Singapore are right to be wary of being caught at the intersection of the interests of the major powers.

“In a world where the big fish eat small fish and the small fish eat shrimps, Singapore must become a poisonous shrimp,” Lee Kuan Yew used to say. In Singapore's early days, to survive alongside neighboring countries (small fish) and major world powers (big fish), it strived to build up its capabilities as a “poisonous shrimp”.

After more than 50 years, the "big fish" analogy has been quietly involving. First, this analogy is a product of Cold-War thinking based upon a complex political and security environment. Today, Singapore has abandoned this thinking and holds a cooperative rather than confrontational approach to its relations with neighboring countries.

Second, a new "big fish" – China – has emerged. Singapore has had frequent military dialogues and exchanges with China. Meanwhile, the United State has become increasingly unfriendly, with President Trump turning the United States into a "shark". Prime Minister Lee concluded that the strategic foundation of “American peace” has fundamentally shifted. We are therefore at a critical and historic moment when Singapore must re-examine the "big fish" analogy.

Prime Minister Lee has stated that Asian countries do not want to be forced to choose between the United States and China. His position could not be clearer: Singapore cannot afford to alienate China. Prime Minister Lee also wishes that the US understands that if other countries deepen relations with China, it does not necessarily mean that they are fighting against the United States.


The Epidemic is Creating New Waste
Friday, June 12, 2020
The Epidemic is Creating New Waste

Dato’ Ray Tan, environmentalist, in Oriental Daily News (June 11, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Roksana Helscher/Pixabay)

The Epidemic is Creating New Waste

Malaysians have needed to learn a lot under this “new normal”. In addition to wearing masks and maintaining social distance, increased hand washing, and disinfection have also become part of daily routines. Little consideration, however, has been given to how we should deal with used masks and efficiently reduce disposable plastic waste.

According to the Director of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp), consumers have changed their consumption patterns through greater online shopping for daily necessities and ordering food delivery. As a result, the amount of plastic waste has increased.

During the early days of the lockdown period, only packed take-outs were provided by food operators. The use of disposable plastic lunch boxes and plastic bags, therefore, increased significantly. This was largely unavoidable. Only one out of 10 workers prepares their own lunch. After nearly three months of different stages of lockdown, many people have become accustomed to minimizing dining out. Malaysians should make an effort to make their own lunches to reduce the use of disposable tableware and plastic.

It is undeniable that masks have now become one our daily necessities. The safe disposal of used masks has become a serious issue. While there are no reliable data to show the current global mask usage, Chinese media have reported that the daily output of masks in China on February 29 alone was 116 million. More concerning is that not only are the masks made from plastic but used masks may have also been contaminated with viruses and bacteria.

We must all work harder to think seriously about what can be done to deal with this new type of waste. 


Islamophobia in Europe – Muslims Should Mobilize
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Islamophobia in Europe – Muslims Should Mobilize

Yuri Octavian Thamrin, Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, in Republika (June 10, 2020)

Summary by Keith Loveard (Photo credit: Pete Souza/The White House, 2015)

Islamophobia in Europe – Muslims Should Mobilize

Despite Europe’s high level of development and culture, Muslims there have suffered many horrific experiences. Georgetown University Islamic Studies professor John Esposito sees Islamophobia in the West as a phenomenon related to terrorism such as the 9/11 attacks in the US and the ones in Paris in 2015 and Brussels in 2016. But Islamophobia cannot be accepted with any excuse, not least because it endangers Europe’s own interests.

As a “social cancer”, Islamophobia is destructive to the democratic values, pluralism and tolerance of the people of Europe. It needs to be uniformly opposed. But it looks to be strengthening in the EU, especially since right-wing populist political parties continue to advance. Their electoral support has grown from 10.6 percent in 1980 to 18.4 percent in 2017. They continue to play the politics of identity and stir up fear.

The number of Muslims in Europe is sufficient to play a role in the mainstream, and they should no longer remain on the periphery. They must become professionals and entrepreneurs who deserve to be respected by the public. They need to organize to defend their rights and create a good relationship with the media, parliaments, governments and other institutions. 


Dissenting Against the Anti-Terrorism Bill
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Dissenting Against the Anti-Terrorism Bill

Jovito V Cariño, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, University of Santo Tomas, in Rappler (June 11, 2020)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: NDFP-ST)

Dissenting Against the Anti-Terrorism Bill

There are different kinds of critiques of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill. The ones I call “popular” emerge organically, riding the wave of public uproar against the bill with a little push from influencers and social media. The rejection of the bill at this level is almost knee-jerk but thanks to its popular base, it spreads like wildfire and generates public interest.

The next kind of critique, which I call “legal”, calls for amendment of the infirm provisions of the bill but does not reject it outright. For those who espouse this critique, the problems found in the bill are purely legal and are best left to legal minds to resolve.

The third kind of critique, the one I label “academic”, opposes the bill but does not call into question the political culture that gave shaped it. Proponents of this critique are ambivalent about whether or not to reject the political and ideological foundations from which the bill has derived its notorious chilling effect.

The fourth kind of critique I call “political”. Advocates read the texts as mere flexing of power by those who hold the reins of government, which both local and global observers have described as authoritarian.

Some would say that fear of the bill is hypothetical or imaginary. There is nothing hypothetical or imaginary with what we have seen the last four years: the culture of impunity, selective justice, summary killings, perversion of sovereignty, incompetence, and vindictive politics. They are all on record, documented by reports of media organizations and various watchdogs. These are the tales of the change that was promised but not delivered. They make the Anti-Terrorism Bill such a scary specter. I do hope I am wrong but until proven otherwise, I prefer to dissent.


What Should Black Lives Matter Mean to Non-Americans?
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
What Should Black Lives Matter Mean to Non-Americans?

Surekha A Yadav, columnist, in Malay Mail (June 7, 2020)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Anthony Quintano)

What Should Black Lives Matter Mean to Non-Americans?

The world watched as protests erupted following the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white policeman. As Americans took to the streets, people everywhere took to social media to show solidarity. Many Singaporean friends did too, some going so far as to donate funds to help protesters in the US pay legal costs.

The extent that the #blacklivesmatter cause found resonance in Singapore was heartening. It is good when people recognize injustice in other parts of the world, and I applaud their generosity.

I hope it is part of a larger commitment to fighting injustice everywhere because it is notable that so many of us seem far less concerned about injustice at home or in our local region. This is not a competition; this is about solidarity.

For example, the obvious matter of foreign workers. They are in this country legally performing vital services, but their living conditions, wages and general treatment are markedly inferior to what the local population enjoys.

As non-citizens, it can be argued they should not expect equal pay. But even then, these workers have a Covid-19 infection rate that seems to be over 100 times higher than that for the general population.

Yet support for foreign workers in Singapore has been less visible than support for #blacklivesmatter. Part of this is just the cultural power of the USA. What happens in America seems to be happening to us and so hopefully the lessons learned there will resonate and come to be applied here.

This would be the best outcome. The worst case would be that many of us are simply “virtue signaling” with little thought given to the underlying lessons and situations at home. I hope the outpouring of activism we are seeing will bring positive change at home too.


"Air Bridges" will Lead to Fragmented International Travel
Monday, June 8, 2020
"Air Bridges" will Lead to Fragmented International Travel

Chen Gang, Senior Research Fellow and Assistant Director of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, in Lianhe Zaobao (June 6, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Vasyatka1)

"Air Bridges" will Lead to Fragmented International Travel

International travel has suffered a significant blow as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. With some countries successfully controlling the virus, we are witnessing the resumption of the domestic economy and international travel. Some governments have started to propose “travel bubbles” or “air bridges” with a limited number of neighboring countries in the hope of resuming the movement of people and revitalizing tourism. While this may appear to be a good solution for restarting international travel, it may also lead to fragmentation and mark a new stage of globalization.

When a travel bubble is established between two countries, healthy residents in these two countries can cross each other’s borders without quarantine measures. For example, New Zealand and Australia recently issued a joint statement on such a plan, while Hong Kong and Macau are exploring similar arrangements. Three Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) are considering the establishment of a similar travel-bubble plan.

Travel bubbles are exclusively group together countries with a similar national condition and strong epidemic control. They are regional, rather than global, travel arrangements. The relationship between travel bubbles and global free travel is a bit like the relationships between bilateral, regional and global free trade agreements under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Not all geographically adjacent countries and regions will establish travel-bubbles arrangements. In addition to meeting the above conditions, there must also be sufficient trust among the countries involved. While there will be many incentives for East Asian countries such as Singapore to introduce travel bubbles if the pandemic persists, overcoming political barriers and strategic differences and conflicts will become a key challenge.


Populism and Racism Co-Exist, but will Elites Give up Vested Interests?
Monday, June 8, 2020
Populism and Racism Co-Exist, but will Elites Give up Vested Interests?

Wong Tai Chee, retired professor at Southern University College, in Oriental Daily (June 6, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: MyLifeStory)

Populism and Racism Co-Exist, but will Elites Give up Vested Interests?

The Trump administration of the United States and the Conservative government of the UK are prime examples of right-wing populism. Right-wing populists often use inflammatory remarks to win the support of the middle and lower classes while creating international and domestic enemies as a means of consolidating power.

In Malaysia, right-wing populism has emerged in another form, blending Malay racism with Islamic elements. It has become a tool to promote cohesion of the country, even if it is rife with internal conflicts of interest. Theoretically, this not only protects the vested interests of Malay elites, but also protects the political and economic interests of the middle and lower classes of Malay people. This form of racism with elements of populism has actually succeeded in giving Malay middle and lower classes confidence in the government. Populism and racism are very different, yet in Malaysia they exist together. We call this phenomenon populist racism.

In Malaysia, the Malay racist upper class has wielded power through the ruling class to control and manipulate the civilian population as a whole. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has successfully used poverty alleviation alongside democracy as tools to build legitimacy and a certain degree of justice, thereby giving the majority of the Malay middle and lower classes a sense of security. Malay racism advocates the love of one’s own ethnic and religious attributes as the basis for safeguarding the interests of the ethnic group. To this end, it must exclude political leaders of other races, no matter their contributions to the country.

For the common interests of the people of all ethnic groups, the only hope lies with the intellectuals with a conscience among the Malay elite. But can we expect those with a conscience to be willing to give up their vested interests?


Why has Trump Threatened a Flight Ban?
Monday, June 8, 2020
Why has Trump Threatened a Flight Ban?

Zhang Zhonglin, commentator on the civil aviation industry, in Guancha (June 4, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

Why has Trump Threatened a Flight Ban?

Since May, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has rejected applications from three major US airlines to resume flight routes to China. In response, the US government announced that it would ban Chinese flights. If this ban is introduced, it would not only threaten China-US routes but make relations between Beijing and Washington even more tense.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in China at the end of January, major US airlines decided to ground flights between China and the United States in light of falling demand and to protect the health of employees. Shortly after, the US government made a politically motivated decision to ban the entry of all Chinese nationals.

As the pandemic spread, the situations in China and the United States reversed and the US aviation industry was seriously affected. By April, the three major US airlines expressed their desire to resume their routes to China. The uncontrolled epidemic in the US, however, meant this was impossible.

China has sufficient grounds not to approve the US airlines’ requests. The growth rate of Covid-19 cases in the US is at an alarming rate of more than 20,000 (currently over 40,000) a day. 

This proposed ban should be seen in the context of the political struggle with the US. If implemented, it will undoubtedly have a very serious impact on the return of Chinese citizens in the United States and charter flights organized by the embassy will also likely be affected. It is clear, however, that the US government really wants to allow US airlines to resume China-US routes. If so, the correct approach, rather than banning Chinese airlines, is to make a concession. US airlines should cooperate with the CAAC’s quarantine requirements on China-US flights and approve China's plans for charter flights.


The Purpose of the "Stir-Fry" Strategy?
Monday, June 8, 2020
The Purpose of the "Stir-Fry" Strategy?

Nelson Chow Wing-sun, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of The University of Hong Kong, in Ming Pao (June 5, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: renfeng tang)

The Purpose of the "Stir-Fry" Strategy?

As the Covid-19 epidemic has been gradually brought under control, protests have reappeared under the “stir-fry” strategy. The public were not aware what this strategy really entailed until the National People's Congress passed Hong Kong’s National Security Law. In layman's terms, the stir-fry strategy simply means "If we burn, you burn with us". Those who promote this strategy seek to create chaos in society as a means to achieve their overall aim or simply to force those in power to make concessions.

No matter how much its opponents attack the government, the government will simply continue to fight violence with violence. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has made it clear that the government will not set up an independent investigation committee into alleged police brutality. While Hong Kong people are tired of chaos, they recognize that this strategy will not adequately aid their cause.

If the strategy aims to support the attempt by the pan-democrats to win the majority of seats in Legislative Council elections and then force the government into implementing universal suffrage, this would essentially involve forcing your opposition into a corner. Undoubtedly, universal suffrage is what Hong Kong citizens desire, but would they be happy with the pan-democrats being able to veto any legislation? This would certainly put the Hong Kong government and the Chinese central government in a precarious and unsettling position.

Pursuing this strategy would involve directly opposing the national security law and would clearly carry anti-central government undertones. While the strategy may be supported by many Hong Kong people – “Let's jump off the cliff together" is a powerful statement – is this really in line with the wellbeing of Hong Kong people?