Generation 40s – 四十世代

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核心科繁重 導致中史邊緣化

Hong Kong Economic Journal
C03 | 優質教育 | 教育講論 | By 何滿添 |
2013-08-10

一「梁」激起幾重浪。說的是立法會議員梁美芬,她早前曾在報章發表關於通識和中史科的文章,當中認為學生可在中史、通識之間二選其一來修讀等,結果惹來廣泛討論。

無可否認,近年學生有「輕中史」現象,令其邊緣化,但為保中史科下,是否便要「中史、通識之間二選其一」?

其實問題所在之一,是新高中核心課程的課時不足及冗長繁雜,導致學生不敢貿然修讀其他學科!對此本文提出一系列分析和建議,希望一眾立法會議員和教育局局長,可以認真地思量一下。

筆者拜讀梁美芬議員7月22日在報章撰寫的文章,談到近年中史科修讀人數大幅減少,將來更有機會倉皇下馬,對此筆者也想提出幾點以供考慮。

近月立法會教育事務委員會就新高中課程考評檢討和班級教師比例,均曾召開公聽會,不少熱心教師、校長均出席踴躍發言,提出改善辦法。筆者亦曾旁聽及出席會議,奈何當日發言時間只得三分鐘,未能盡抒己見,故特借此專欄提出較可行的分析及建議,冀局方及梁議員認真考慮。

新高中課程的課時不足及課程冗長繁雜,乃學界不爭事實,因而導致修讀4+3X(四個核心科目及三個選修科目)的文憑試考生日益減少。剛放榜的2013 年只有約20% 考生報考三個選修科,可以預言在局方沒有其他措施改變現狀及支援前線教師的極惡劣環境下,修讀4+3X的考生勢將繼續插水式下降,最終數年後,可能只有約15%的考生願意冒險報考4+3X,屆時中國歷史、世界歷史和中國文學科只能慨歎時不我與,悲觀一點預言,距離殺科之日亦不遠矣!

考生拒4+3X

為什麼考生不願修讀4+3X?這絕不是如梁議員所述是通識科引致的問題,究其原因,是四大核心科目和選修科課程繁重冗長,校本評核要求既多且雜,加上課時不足導致的補課無日無之,而最致命的是大學收生標準也只考慮4+1X 或最佳五科為主。既然多讀一至兩科選修科也無明顯優勢,自然間接地導致很多科目被邊緣化,考生退修之風大盛!

例如中國歷史、中國文學、世界歷史等,這些科目在人文精神、文學涵養和世界公民素質等範疇對學生的陶鑄功勞極大,這些科目可以隨便被取代嗎?長遠而言香港總不能只單一栽培學生修讀經濟、理科或商業會計吧?香港是多元社會,按理學校應該百花齊放,提供多元選修科目讓學生修讀。教育工作者更希望學生能拓闊眼界,多修讀不同選修科目,而不是只在四大核心科目以外修讀一科選修科,令眼界變得狹隘。

從新高中寬而廣的課程理念出發,按理較有能力的學生應當修讀4+3X以拓闊視野和識見,以便進入大學修讀四年制學士課程時,也能應用不同學習領域的知識概念。無奈局方和考評局最初訂定新高中課程時欠缺協調,諮詢工作未到位,以致各核心科和選修科均貪多務得,只求將所有知識、概念、技能均全數向學生教授,未有考慮在取消中學會考後班內持續擴大學習差異問題。

學界暫且不談小班,只提出中班約三十人的要求,局方也多番推搪,直至二百七十位中學校長去年11月在立法會開會前齊集宣示不滿,局方才有條件實行那211方案;上月學界要求局長從速兌現承諾,馬上檢討中學的班級教師比例是否足以應付新高中學制,局長在6月22日的回應又說,要回去和教統會商量云云。又是一貫的拖字訣,實在令前線教師氣餒失望!

眼看中國歷史科和其他重要科目日趨式微,有識之士均進言勸諫,但愚見覺得梁議員提議的以中史和通識任選一項,實在有違新高中課程設計精神,恕筆者未能苟同,因為通識教育科正是讓文中有理、理中有文的新高中課程理念得以落實。姑且不談中史科的課程是否過於冗長和教學法是否有吸引力,如果維持現行各核心科目和選修科目的課程份量而不作任何刪減,根本是強教師、學生所難。

走進死胡同

前線教師學生疲於奔命之餘,一定亦只有很少學生願意嘗試報考4+3X,更遑論顧念昔日為香港學界爭取不少光榮的數學延展單元一及單元二,恐怕修讀數學延展單元的學生早晚亦會江河日下,步其他科目後塵而大勢已去!加上這兩屆中國語文科又被戲稱為「死亡之卷」,能夠符合第三級的考生只有約51%,學生連核心的中國語文科也未有時間應付,何況是能夠讓學生多懂中國數千年博大精深的文學領域的中國文學科,該科也同樣下跌至只有二千九百人應考。

此情此景,令一眾前線教師校長均搖頭嘆息,是我們的教學有問題,令文憑試考生不願修讀這些有意義的科目嗎?還是教育局課程發展署和考評局在課程及考評規劃失當,導致大家走進死胡同,繼而出現大量退修潮?面對中國歷史、世界歷史、中國文學等重要科目的式微,愚見是有解決方法的。(下周續談)

撰文︰何滿添

佛教善德英文中學校長

荃灣、葵涌及青衣區中學校長會主席


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Turnout for Occupy Central vote a stirring show of Hong Kong defiance

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2014-06-27

Anson Chan

Anson Chan says Hong Kong’s determination to preserve its freedoms, as reflected in the massive turnout for the Occupy Central vote, demonstrates how far the community has matured – despite what Beijing might think

As Occupy Central’s civil referendum draws to a close, we can afford to pause and reflect on the old maxim that a week is a long time in politics. When the poll opened, on June 20, the organisers were bracing themselves for a “damp squib” – a turnout possibly so low as to call into question the whole purpose of the exercise.

The reasons for gloom were clear. Successive opinion polls showed the majority of those canvassed do not support Occupy Central. A further body of opinion felt cheated because all three proposals put forward in the referendum include the right for ordinary registered voters to nominate candidates for election to the post of chief executive, something that has been firmly ruled out by the Hong Kong and central governments because it potentially bypasses the role of the nominating committee mandated by Article 45 of the Basic Law.

In the event, the response of the Hong Kong public to the referendum has exceeded the organisers’ wildest expectations. At the time of writing, more than 740,000 people have cast votes and there are still two days to run; more than 20 polling stations throughout the territory will open on Sunday.

Why have so many decided to vote in the referendum? Quite simply, people are angry.

They are fed up with the constant stream of threatening and insulting rhetoric emanating from Beijing officials and state-controlled media. They are fed up with blatant distortions of facts, such as the assertion that the referendum is illegal, which it patently isn’t.

And they are fed up with the double standards practised by pro-Beijing elements and, sadly, by our own government officials, who readily denounce the illegality of Occupy Central – which hasn’t happened and may never happen – but somehow turn a blind eye to the self-confessed abuse of the voting system by some pro-China groups, not to mention the shocking scale of the cyberattacks on the referendum’s online voting platform and on Apple Daily and Next Media servers. These attacks – which IT experts have characterised as “world class” both in scale and sophistication – temporarily took down not just the targeted websites, but also those of other businesses that have no connection with the Occupy Central campaign.

Most of all, people are angry that the State Council chose this moment to issue a white paper that redefines “one country, two systems”, and makes clear that whatever autonomy Hong Kong enjoys is for the central government to give and take away at its pleasure. This move was clearly intended to dissuade Hong Kong people from voting, but has spectacularly backfired. A crucial question is whether the SAR government was consulted prior to the paper’s issue and if not, why not?

To add fuel to the flames, during his recent visit to the city, Chen Zuoer, a former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, observed that Hong Kong people have failed to shake off their mentality as colonial subjects, adding that reunification with the motherland “involves adaptation in people’s value system and outlook on life”.

Chen could not be more wrong. Hong Kong people’s determination to preserve cherished freedoms, core values and their way of life are a clear demonstration of just how far our community has moved on and matured since the end of colonial rule.

As chief secretary in the years immediately before and after the return of sovereignty to China, I canvassed long and hard for international support for the Joint Declaration. I strongly resent the implication that I am “confused or lopsided” in my understanding of “one country, two systems” and the Basic Law.

Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, other than in matters of foreign and defence affairs, together with executive, legislative and independent judicial power, are explicitly safeguarded by the declaration – an internationally binding treaty that is lodged with the United Nations. It is a complete distortion for the white paper to assert that this autonomy “is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the authorisation by the central leadership”.

British Prime Minister David Cameron should have firmly reminded Premier Li Keqiang of this fact during the latter’s recent visit to London. Worryingly, however, the UK government seems far more concerned with promoting its trade relations with China than with fulfilling its responsibilities to Hong Kong people as a co-signatory of the Joint Declaration.

Meanwhile, our chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has finally spoken up to distance himself from some of the more extreme comments in China’s state- controlled media. Unfortunately, the goodwill his comments might have generated has been undermined by his assertion that there are no grounds for people to call for universal suffrage to be compatible with international standards.

He seems to have forgotten that Article 26 of the Basic Law provides for Hong Kong permanent residents to have the right to vote and to stand for election, and that Article 39 applies to the Hong Kong SAR the rights contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for citizens to vote and be elected on the basis of universal and equal suffrage.

The bottom line is that unless the government comes up with a package of proposals that is fair, offers people real choice, and does not place unreasonable restrictions on a citizen’s right to stand for election – in other words, a proposal that does meet international standards – the defiance shown by the public this week will look like very small beer!

Anson Chan, a former chief secretary, is convenor of Hong Kong 2020


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全民投票撼白皮書勢兩敗俱傷

Hong Kong Economic Journal
A02 | 要聞社評 | 社評 |
2014-06-21

由佔中運動及泛民主派共同推動的全民投票昨天在是非不絕聲中開始,首日有超過四十萬人投票,反應比預期理想。這樣的反應其實不意外,除了泛民主派團體與部分傳媒事前敲鑼打鼓催谷,中央偏在此際出台那份態度強硬的「一國壓兩制」白皮書,成了超級催票機,令即使對公民提名有保留或不熱衷政事的人,也為了想捍衞香港的制度及選擇權而參與投票,助長氣氛升溫,加上因系統受黑客襲擊而把投票期延至下星期日才結束,最後總票數應甚為可觀。

北京原意用來「正本清源」的一國兩制在港實踐白皮書,掀起了連串「追本溯源」的查字典式爭辯,港官京官忙不迭解畫撲火釋疑,同時否定六.二二投票的意義及法律效力。港澳辦及中聯辦昨天先後發表聲明,強調香港憲法沒有「全民投票」機制,佔中發起人搞的只是一場挑戰︽基本法︾的政治鬧劇,不管最終有多少人參加或投票結果如何,都沒有參考價值,都不可能改變中央政府的方針及原則。剛好來港出席研討會的港澳研究會會長陳佐洱接力向全民投票及佔中運動發炮,指發動者明知違法仍一意孤行,是在破壞香港的法治,又認為一旦佔中成事,將對香港經濟民生有重大損害。

關心香港政情及整體發展的人看到中央與香港民主派這種各走極端硬撐、互相出言糾正對方的態勢,着實堪憂,相信沉默的大多數都與基本法委員會副主任梁愛詩有同感,「如果香港搞顏色革命,香港就會完了」。然而梁愛詩近日因應內地官媒就白皮書的闡述而頻頻呼籲大家勿過慮,也開始詞窮,只不斷強調毋須執着白皮書內某一個名詞或形容詞,甚至說:「佢地鍾意點講,就由得佢地。」難道真的當初大家客客氣氣,如今不再客氣,離攤牌對決不遠矣?

對於推動佔中運動的發起人及泛民主派而言,即使今次投票踴躍,也應該冷靜解讀,不應該把結果或參與情況視為人們等同對和平佔中的無條件支持。事實上,數月來不少民調都顯示,支持佔中運動的市民並非多數,反對佔中的市民比率依然略高。最近更有民調發現愈來愈多市民擔心佔中運動會走向暴力衝擊,違反和平抗爭的原意。這些疑問都必須小心應對,佔中發起人不宜因投票人數比預期高而沾沾自喜或沖昏頭腦。

此外,投票期因黑客攻擊臨時拖長多一個星期才結束,由於今次投票在各方要求下增加了棄權票的選項及其他問題,究竟有多少參與投票的人選擇投棄權票,對如何詮釋投票結果有重大影響,港大及佔中發起人在交代結果時應當明確解釋,以免單憑一個總票數造成誤判。

當然,最重要的還是中央政府毋須對今趟「無憲制性法律依據」的所謂公投反應過敏過大,更沒必要因此進一步收緊政策或關上談判大門。應該看到,今次的坊間全民投票實質上是一種政治動員及表態形式,爭取的依然是政改及特首普選。而任何頭腦清醒的政治團體或市民都明白,推動政改、落實特首普選不可能完全不管中央政府的想法,不可能不跟中央政府交手。換言之,叫喊再激烈,投票人數再多,泛民主派及爭「真普選」的人仍得回到談判桌上討價還價,仍得爭取中央政府同意。既然中央有牌在手,實在不必太在意坊眾為幾個含公民提名的「界外球」方案投票。

倒過來,中央政府不妨放下處處設防設限的心態,展示願意聽取不同意見的量度,鼓勵各方透過溝通解決分歧,並相信香港市民會作出務實的選擇,容讓特首普選成為有競爭的選舉〈反正中央手握最後否決權〉。能敞開胸襟,談判便變得有意義,泛民主派及爭取普選的人也容易找到下台階,市民自不會胡亂支持癱瘓社會的大規模抗爭運動。

北京來了一份白皮書後,各鷹派領導若想再出招,真要先好好評估形勢。


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學問界風水佬

Hong Kong Economic Journal
C01 | 今日焦點 | 忽然文化 | By 占飛 |
2013-08-10

媒介之所以存在,都是為了給人們製造人工的觀感和隨意的價值。取代了洞察力和理解力的觀點,是危險的奢侈品。政治終會被影像取代。政治對今天的問題,提出昨天的答案。我們用倒後鏡看現實,我們倒後行去將來。廣告是二十世紀最偉大的藝術形式。生活節奏這麼快,人們每十年就要建立新的事業、新的工作和全新的人格。

看官,你對上述的「睿見」有沒有共鳴?

它們全是麥魯恆(Marshall McLuhan,又譯麥洛漢或麥克魯漢)在上世紀六七十年代說的。很有遠見,對嗎?麥魯恆曾被稱為「電子時代」(electronic age)的先知。在1960年代,麥魯恆開闢了一門「媒介學」,紅極一時。當時,他已預測了互聯網的出現,並預告互聯網將會徹底改變人們的生活,例如淘汰圖書館乃至印刷媒體,模糊「公眾」及「私隱」的分界,令人們日夕生活在一個「資訊超載」(information overload)的世界。 

冷落鼻祖

麥魯恆創出「全球村」(global village)、熱媒介、冷媒介等潮流詞彙,連活地阿倫也曾邀請他真人露相在電影《安妮荷爾》(Annie Hall)中飾演自己,風頭一時無兩。然而,熱潮一過,他即被學界及媒體放入雪櫃。加拿大沒出過什麼大學問家或思想家,難得有個麥魯恆,竟剎那芳華便聲寂音沉。許多加拿大人都不明所以,亦大感不值。其實,麥魯恆早已說過:「加拿大是唯一的一個國家,沒有身份認同(identity),仍知道怎樣過活」。加拿大人其實不必太介意不為世人器重。

一門學問的鼻祖遭受冷落,麥魯恆不是第一人,也不會是最後一人。1842 年,孔德(Auguste Comte)創立社會學,並提出「實證主義」(positivism)的主張。他還是第一個把社會(歷史)發展分成不同階段的學者。他認為社會是由初級向高級階段進化的,經歷過「神學的」和「形而上學的」階段後,便到達「實證的」階段。現代社會便是「實證的」社會。史賓沙、馬克思及其他講「社會進化」的思想家,均受孔德影響至深。

今天所有社會學教科書提到孔德,都只是浮光掠影,把他放上神枱,對他的理論卻不屑一顧。說起來,孔德並不是西方社會學教科書說的「社會學之父」。十四世紀的伊斯蘭學者伊本.赫勒敦(Ibn Khaldun)才是。可是,今天的社會學教授和學生,沒有多少人知道赫勒敦,更不要說讀過他的著作和認識他的學說了。岔開一筆,凡西方有什麼新學說、新學問,中國人總喜歡說「我們古已有之」。然而,西方學術界對學問大抵都誠實認真。真是「古已有之」,他們會大方承認。譬如「拉法曲線」(Laffer curve),因拉法承認赫勒敦在六百多年前已有此說,今天亦名為「赫勒敦-拉法曲線」。

麥魯恆雖然說他只是描述「電子時代」的現實、預告未來,他沒有任何價值判斷。可是,看過他的書的讀者,應知道他全心全意擁抱這個「電子時代」,而不大喜歡過去幾百年的「古騰堡人」時代。古騰堡發明活字鉛印,帶來了線性邏輯思維、個人主義、專業化、基督教新教、民族主義、機械化、工業化等。所謂「現代性」(modernity),在麥魯恆心目中,全是印刷的產物。

相士批命

古時中國,書是要「讀」的,所謂「風聲雨聲讀書聲,聲聲入耳」。歐洲中世紀時亦如是,《聖經》不能只看,要朗讀,《可蘭經》更加非讀不可。「古騰堡人」當道,文章不必讀,只須用眼睛看。中文的「衰落」,即由此起。白話文,真沒多少篇「堪讀」!

今天雖然是「電子時代」,但學術界依然由「古騰堡人」話事,以線性邏輯為範。麥魯恆的思維卻是跳躍的、「相士批命」式。他夫子自道:「我不解釋,我探索。」(I don’t explain; I explore.)麥魯恆的預測亦有大錯特錯的(例如他說:電視與漫畫同是冷媒介,電視抬頭,漫畫便衰落)。就算許多預測是準確的,So what?以「古騰堡人」的角度觀之,沒有「理性」的解釋和理論支持的預測和論斷,怎算是學問、學術?老麥,「學問界風水佬」而已!

撰文︰占飛

C01 | 今日焦點 | 2013-08-10

理性與感性分裂

麥魯恆在生時還沒有智能手機。他非常重視電視,深信徹底改變世界的媒介就是電視。沒有什麼比足球更能說明這個道理。自從電視直播足球比賽到全球後,足球便不一樣了。

在1970年代以前,香港還是亞洲足球王國。香港足球的衰落,內因是本身不爭氣,足總領導香港足球職業化無方。外因就是在1970 年代開始,電視轉播足球,令香港球迷眼界大開。先是BBC每周一次的Match of the Day 節目,令港人看到不少精采的入球及比賽精華片段,本地足球相形見絀。貨比貨之下,香港球迷逐漸遠離本地足球,轉而成為英國足球的擁躉、英國球會及球星的粉絲。

同樣的情況亦發生在其他國家。電視直播令足球全球化,足球也要服膺資本主義經濟的規律:損不足以奉有餘,導致強者愈強,弱者愈弱,最終形成今天歐洲的足球強國,國內聯賽被幾間大球會寡頭壟斷。國際間則是歐洲寡頭壟斷。

少小離家老大回

由二戰結束至1980年中期,南美還可和歐洲分庭抗禮,皆因比利等優秀的南美球員還會終生在巴西踢波。到後來,愈來愈多南美球員被歐洲球會高薪挖角,南美球會成為歐洲大球會的「球員供應所」(feeder club)之後,歐洲便獨大了。二十世紀末,整支巴西國家隊球員都在歐洲踢波搵食。最好的南美球員,羽翼未豐已經去了歐洲——當年阿根廷的馬勒當拿、巴西的朗拿度如是;今天的美斯、尼馬亦如是—— 少小離家、老大才回。

歐洲強隊全世界都有球迷,本地球隊只有本地球迷。今天的球迷多有雙重標準,理性與感性分裂。感性上,他們捧本地球會,本地球會是他們的「效忠」對象。可是,他們的「死忠」不是為了足球的原因(footballing reasons),而是其他感性的原因:例如地區認同、身份認同、親人、朋輩的影響等。理性上,要欣賞令人嘆為觀止的足球,應要捧歐洲列強—— 例如曼聯、巴塞、皇馬、拜仁等等。

在工作、生活和感情上,現代人早已理性與感性分裂,現在連觀賞足球也如此,豈不無奈?然而,大多數現代人已習慣了如此「異化」,早已不以為忤,早已視為理所當然(taken for granted),豈不哀哉?


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How Hong Kong can accommodate growing number of mainland visitors

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2014-04-03

Cheah Cheng Hye

Cheah Cheng Hye says it’s possible for Hong Kong to successfully accommodate the growing number of mainland visitors, with some imaginative thinking and a return of its ‘can-do’ spirit

The Hong Kong economy relies heavily on spending by visitors from the Chinese mainland – yet a growing minority of Hong Kong residents don’t want them around, at least not in such large numbers.

We need to find a way out of this, for not only is there a lot of money at stake but an even larger issue of whether Hong Kong can survive the transition from British colony to being part of the People’s Republic.

At first, it is tempting to ignore those in Hong Kong protesting against the visitor invasion. After all, what is Hong Kong’s role if not to feed China’s craving for all sorts of goods and services of foreign origin? We didn’t get rich by accident. Hong Kong, which has long nurtured a “can do” spirit, should simply keep smiling and let them come, according to what used to be a clear majority view in Hong Kong.

The trouble is that we now have a new type of Hong Kong, a mature and divided society with an evolving culture of blaming everyone for everything and a growing portion of the population demoralised by rising costs for housing and almost everything else.

“Can do” is becoming “No can do”, and it is going to get worse unless we make fundamental social and political changes, a subject beyond the scope of this column. The fact is, a clear consensus no longer exists to support such a large visitor invasion. Here, we are talking about really big numbers: during the first two months of this year alone, Hong Kong (population: 7.2 million) received 7.8 million visitors from the mainland, 17 per cent higher than in the same period last year. For all of last year, we received 41 million mainland visitors, 17 per cent higher than the previous year, according to official Hong Kong figures.

Politics aside, the place is physically too small for this many people. Local residents are upset by falling service standards while everyone is crowding each other out on streets and subways and in shops and restaurants, resulting in frustration all round, not least among the visitors themselves. More and more, there are people who don’t, or think they don’t, benefit from the invasion.

The extremist fringe of Hong Kong politics has resorted to applying the term “locusts” to placards hoisted against mainland tourists in a 21st century version of Hong Kong racism.

Overcrowding has emerged as part of the fuel for the new Hong Kong of disruptive politics, blame and fear, weakening our foundations. The stress is building to the point where we have to start asking whether Hong Kong may eventually become ungovernable, and whether this might result in a breakdown in the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong, which would bring disaster to us.

So sadly, we have to recognise that we face more risks than benefits from accepting so many cross-border visits. We need a plan – we hope they keep coming, but not on such a scale, until we’re really ready. And we can be ready – with some imagination, it is within our capability to make changes to accommodate visitors in numbers even higher than today.

Step one, to be implemented as soon as possible, is to come out with administrative methods to limit the inflow of arrivals – nothing too drastic, but enough to appease somewhat the dissident part of the Hong Kong populace.

The second step is to raise the awareness of the Hong Kong public on the vital importance of the city achieving a smooth transition to Chinese rule. This can be accompanied by efforts to improve Hong Kong’s image on the mainland. We have to reverse a growing negative feeling towards Hong Kong among the mainland public, with incidents such as the “locusts” placards coming one after another.

The third step, which offers a practical solution, is to create the land we need to build more shopping malls, logistics centres, milk sales outlets, amusement parks, health care facilities and schools to cater to the immense needs of people from the mainland. Land can be created through imaginative solutions, including the following:

Joining Macau to lease land on Hengqian Island, an island of 106 square kilometres that forms part of Zhuhai, where the University of Macau has built a huge campus. Here is our chance to make better use of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, opening in 2015, built partly with Hongkongers’ money.

Turning the Lok Ma Chau area into a centre for development.

Doing a deal with Shenzhen to jointly develop facilities that would conform to Hong Kong standards and, where appropriate, placed under Hong Kong management. It is notable that Shenzhen’s new Qianhai special development zone may offer various incentives, including a 15 per cent corporate tax rate. The zone is just 15 minutes by rail to the Hong Kong airport.

Encouraging activities that can be relocated from Hong Kong to mainland China to do so, thus freeing up land for high-value development within Hong Kong. In particular, Shenzhen and Hong Kong can consider how to co-operate more closely on win-win projects.

These ideas will have to be accompanied by measures to allow selective imports of labour into Hong Kong – always with careful regard for the sensibilities of the local labour force.

If we successfully take up the challenge of accommodating the mainland tourists, we would have made meaningful progress in reversing the ill winds that have blown against Hong Kong in recent years. We would have restored part of the “can do” spirit back to our community.

Cheah Cheng Hye, a fund manager and former journalist, is chairman of Value Partners Group, an asset-management firm listed in Hong Kong