Affected by the Asian Currency Turmoil, Hong Kong's prosperity has plummeted in recent months. Some citizens, mainly businessmen, feel frustrated. Nevertheless, this crisis is a great challenge to their abilities and provides a good chance to correct their weaknesses.

The Territory's economic recession started several months ago after her sovereignty was changed on the first of July in 1997. The prices of stocks as well as real estates have fallen to their lowest for many years. Some enterprises such as Yaohan and the investment bank Peregrine filed for liquidation owing to their inability to pay high debts. Unemployment has meanwhile become a serious problem. As a consequence, some unemployed people committed suicide because they were discriminated against by others. Fresh graduates from the universities find that it is almost impossible to find jobs...... Such sorts of bad news are frequently reported in the media.

In order to bring back the citizens' confidence in the future, the Chief Executive Mr. Tung Chee-hwa reiterated many times that Hong


Kong would be the first Asian Economy to rebound from the crisis. When Mr. Tung makes a speech at every place, the contents of his speeches are almost the same. Also, the recently announced budget for the next financial year makes citizens pay less tax. To many this is a satisfactory budget, but some local politicians are still fighting for more cutbacks in taxation. Some of them even said, "Hong Kong is at risk. All her people can do is to wait patiently."

'Please don't forget: "Unity is power".'

Citizens do not seem to pay attention to what the Chief Executive has said. On the contrary, they are buffeted by the troubles of companies and become pessimistic of our future. Some of them even claim that they regretted for not having emigrated to other countries. This means they are dissatisfied with the present circumstances and cannot help being wary about the future. Most of the public, including me, consider the current Special Administrative Region's leadership feeble. This

impression has been reinforced by the inefficiency with which they handled the H5N1 Disease crisis.

I consider just reminiscing our brilliant past without solving our present problems is futile. If the problems are not overcome, the situation may worsen beyond predictions. Therefore, the public should strive to re-affirm Hong Kong's position as a leading financial market in the World. Please don't forget: 'Unity is power'. While the poor should make an effort to conquer the difficulties, the rich should give up their luxury to help the poor. The Government should set up policies to ease the unemployment rate. If we do not manage to help our economy recover from the recession, we will be sorry to our ancestors for not maintaining the prosperity of the 'Pearl of the Orient'. As their descendants , we must understand that it's our responsibility to continue their work. Besides, we shall be laughed at by the Britons for not being able to rule Hong Kong as successfully as the colonial government did.

Please strive for a splendid future. Don't wait!

Kenneth Chan

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