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8 June 2022

While speaking to someone in Hong Kong last night as to why the city has become so void of creativity and overflowing with news blasts about the latest quarantine restrictions, she happened to mention Winnie Yu-tang, the one-time strong woman of Commercial Radio and someone always overflowing with ideas.

Many of her ideas didn’t really work, but it never stopped her from bouncing off the canvas and coming up with more “Let’s try it” thinking. Her enthusiasm was infectious.

I always had time for Winnie. She was a neighbour, a friend who had a very caring side. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, and to be herself nor afraid to make mistakes.

After all, one usually learns from mistakes and stops being a repeat offender.

That was back then whereas today’s Hong Kong is something completely different and far removed from those days when many had ideas, and the better ones became reality, whereas, it goes without saying, that we lost and were blind to some nuggets along the way.

Nowadays, apart from small pockets of creativity from people like multi media artist and friend Dickie Fowler and creative chef Margaret Xu who runs the private kitchen and beach house that’s Yin Yang Coastal in Ting Kau, there’s not a helluva lot going in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has somehow lost its nuts. It has no balls. It’s floundering and with many just happy to be p***ing in the wind.

That famous “Can Do” spirit has got so fed up of the nonstop negativity that it’s upped and gone taking with it hundreds of thousands of people- Hong Kong Belongers and those who brought a different and international view and vibe of the world to the city.

Most of the people I now speak to in Hong Kong sound like an airport announcement about the latest incoming news regarding more restrictions, more quarantine laws and another cluster f*** found in Lan Kwai Fong.

It’s always Lan Kwai Fong these days which seems to have returned to being the dumping ground it once was.

This is the new abnormal in Hong Kong. It’s very much why this once vibrant city has become something of a retirement home for those who have seemingly given up on living life to the full.

Maybe some like it this way and are happy in “Home Kong” as it’s still better than being in Kosovo or Sri Lanka or stoking the fires in Hades.

The problem is this: it’s hard to forget that not that long ago no other city in the world was better than Hong Kong. It had it all.

People make or break any city and Hong Kong was a global gumbo of people from around the world with very different personalities and which led to plenty of different thinking and ideas.

There wasn’t a herd instinct led by fear- a fear and suspicion of everything.

This is the Hong Kong that incoming Chief Executive John Lee is inheriting from the hapless housewife who brought her own brand of terror and fear and sense of hopelessness to Hong Kong with her daily press updates. This will be her lasting and repugnant legacy.

For John Lee, having been the head of security, there’s an uneasy feeling that instead of things getting better, Hong Kong is in line for even more restrictions and a further tightening of the screws.

It might be a mistake and too early to say this, but I disagree.

He might not exactly exude charisma and comes across as a stoic individual, but I personally believe that a John Lee is who and what Hong Kong needs right now.

His main objective will be to keep Hong Kong being one of the safest cities in the world and not sub-divided into groups of blue or yellow. I am brown, by the way.

This is something that the hapless housewife could not control- that runaway train of sub-division- and allowed the evil genie a free pass to run amuck with no idea where it was going. And no, Ted Cruz wasn’t gonna “stand with Hong Kong”.

From everything I know about John Lee, he’s not going to tolerate any of this posturing from outside and internal sources.

With this put to bed or how it’s all made to disappear, I don’t care.

I never had time for Hong Kong’s “freedom fighters” as they were naive dweebs with no plan other than becoming a human wrecking ball against their own home.

Now comes the rebuilding process.

Let’s not kid ourselves that this is gonna be easy, or something that can be accomplished in the next few years.

As no one- and not just in Hong Kong- can see what might be in store when singing Auld Lange Syne at the end of this year, the plan should be to take big and important baby steps.

We won’t be able to change the world, but we can change mindsets.

Somehow, back in Hong Kong, the city has to learn to let go of the fear. Fear causes shrinkage. Just ask George Castanza.

There must be the motivation and Festivus needed to help rebuild the city.

There should be another new law announced on July 1 that makes it mandatory for everyone to smile even if wearing a mask.

If the Hong Kong government and its army of health officials are going to continue to be goofy and confusing, hey, go all the way.

There could be Andrew Bull aka DJ El Toro spreading his brand of good vibes through the streets of Hong Kong in some mobile Canton disco.

There could be ‘live’ music played from atop trams and buses and literally taking it to the streets.

Hell, anything really that’s not something else from the past for Hong Kong to wallow in.

There must be a new brand of creativity instead of recycling everything that’s come before.

There must be a new generation of Winnie Yus.

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