Political System in Hong Kong Vs. Ancient Political System in China

When British took over Hong Kong 150 years ago, there was a royal decree specifying how the government of Hong Kong should be set up.

At the top, is the governor. He is the chairman of the Executive Council, and then there is a Legislative Council. The governor is required to consult members of the Executive Council on every bill he proposes. The bill has to be passed by the Legislative council. At that time, legislative members were prominent people in the society invited to sit in the Legislative council. There was also a civil service to help him administer Hong Kong. At that time, they were called "Departments", e.g. "Resettlement Department", "Inland Revenue Department", ... with department heads who were civil servants.

Very little have changed, except that many legislative members are now elected. The name "Department" is now "Authority", e.g. "Housing Authority", "Medical Authority", ...

Such an arrangement was good at that time, because population was few. Now many short-comings show up.

When MTR (Mass Transit Railway Corporation) in Hong Kong wanted to develop new route, and as Wah Kei Industrial Building was along the route, people in Wah Kei were told to move out, with compensation calculated according to the Laws (which was passed years ago).

Imagine yourself being a manufacturer with plenty of machinery and workers and orders to fill. Such a move cannot be regarded as slight. You have to find new site, and plan the move. Moreover, in these days of fierce competitions, customers can easily be lost.

Many owners refused to move out, thinking compensation unjust, and they petitioned to the Governor (now called Chief Executive of SAR - Special Administrative Region of China).

But under the present day system, the Governor is powerless to intervene, and everything has to be left to the Department Head, who has to act according to the Laws and by-laws. Hence he is powerless too.

There is another incident that happened near Tung Tau Estate. There was a piece of land leased by the Government to people many many years ago, (I am not sure of the exact date, but must be more than 35 years ago). People built many houses and even factories there, and live there for many many years.

Now the Government is recovering the land for development, and Government gives very little compensation to the factory owners and house owners, because the land was leased at that time, with provision for the Government to reclaim back the land. TV reporters reported the incident, together with interview of a factory owner, who was a cloth manufacturer with lot of machinery. Many people felt unjust. Again, nothing can the Governor nor Department Heads may do. They are bound to act according to Laws and by-laws.

There is also another incident near Choi Hung Estate. "Tai Hum Village" have been there for hundreds of years, and the place was very crowded, with many many houses built of tinned iron sheet and wood. But that was private land. And there was an old man there who owned a piece of land where he built a garden. He grew orchids there, and when he was young, he sold "orchid", selling even to Singapore. He retired when old, but he continued to grow orchids. He loved his orchids and requested the Government to give him another piece of land so that he may continue his habit. (He won many prizes in orchid competitions). Reporters reported his plea, and everyone felt it right to recompense him with a piece of land. Land for land should be the rule. Again, Governor nor Department Head can do nothing. And the old man was given money compensation instead.

(Hong Kong is 410 square miles (= 20.3 miles x 20.3 miles), and has a population of 6.5 million. Therefore news about land catches the attention of many.)

The present day political system is patterned after the Romans, and many of us know what it is like, as many of us live under such a system.

I wish to describe the political system in ancient China.

Ancient China was ruled by kings, but government officials were mostly selected from open examination.

Every morning, the king would sit in court, and standing on his left and on his right are prominent men responsible for civil and military matters. Since the officials worked at the "front line", and could see and hear things not heard by the king, they would bring up the matters. Discussion was then held, and final decision rested with the king.

Such a system is extremely flexible, and can respond fast and effective. Imagine the British Prime Minister, has discussion with all his ministers and prominent military personnel and civil servants every morning. With collective counseling, and not ministers themselves taking decisions alone, and has immediate executive power ... (I think CEOs of many companies work that way because they are less bound by Laws and by-laws).

Incidentally, Almighty LORD works that way too. Please see [1 King 22].

But such system can easily go wrong. A bad king or dishonest officials can bring down such a system.

The Roman system cannot go much wrong, because everything is laid down in Laws and by-laws.

For LORD's system to work : everyone must know Law and Justice. Every government official, and every citizen knows what is just and right, by then true justice can be dispensed, with check to them by the population, and not by the Roman type of Laws and by-laws.

Hence either the population be taught Law of LORD, or the present day "rule by lawyers" will continue, or gross injustices will happen day after day under our very eyes.


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