英文

下一篇

Editorial : Better policies towards young people needed

【明報專訊】REPERCUSSIONS of the storming of the Legco building are still being felt, with the vice‑chancellors of several universities condemning the violence and at the same time pleading all sides to engage in rational dialogue to sort out the differences.

The storming of the Legco building has severely weakened Hong Kong. The pro‑establishment camp has launched a vigorous attack on the action, while the pan‑democrats have not distanced themselves from the violence but have instead defended the protesters citing "institutional violence". Over the past few days, several professional bodies, religious groups and university vice‑chancellors have all said that violent acts of sabotage cannot be condoned and have pleaded all sides to discuss the matters peacefully and rationally.

The political deadlock continues and can only be broken with dialogue. We believe that the government, opponents of the amendment and leaders of society with credibility should hold a round‑table meeting and engage in dialogue that precludes any preconditions. The vice‑chancellors of the universities have said something that is similar in nature, all for the benefit of Hong Kong.

The fact that a handful of protesters have resorted to violence does not mean that the majority of protesters and young people believe that the use of violence is right. While saying no to the violence by a handful of people, the government and all sectors of society also have to understand the point of view of the majority of young people. Chief executive Carrie Lam has promised to interact more with young people to listen to their views in the future so as to repair the relationship with young people. A lawmaker suggests that Carrie Lam hold a large‑scale closed‑door "listening session" during the summer holiday, listening to the views of a random sample of young people coming from different social strata and encouraging young people who have taken to the streets over the past few weeks to participate in the session actively. This can be the first step. However, the government must also further reform its policies towards young people to make them feel that their views are treasured and that they have a role to play.

Since the handover, the SAR government has not attached much importance to policies towards young people. It realised its inadequacies only after the outbreak of the Occupy Movement in 2014, and began to take remedial action. Two aspects of the government's policies towards young people are much‑maligned. The first is that they are dominated by high‑ranking officials and the elite who are not young and who are completely out of sync with young people. The second is that they tend to treat young people as a "problem" that has to be dealt with rather than discuss matters together with them. According to a survey conducted by the CUHK in recent years, 70% of young people think that they have little influence over the government's policies. They also feel that the government has misinterpreted their needs, giving them a very strong sense of helplessness.

The SAR government is not returned in an election by universal suffrage. It is inherently lacking in a mandate. At the same time it has failed to devolve power to young people, making them feel alienated from and resistant to the establishment. There is a reason why some radical political discourses and proposals have caught on with young people. If the government wants to "reconnect" with young people, it has to take itself down a peg or two and start with the establishment to empower young people. For many years it has been proposed that the government create a youth council with "real powers" and let elected young people take part in the discussion and formulation of policies towards young people. Such a proposal can help address the problem of paternalism and is deserving of further study and consideration.

明報社評2019.07.04:政府青年政策失敗 聆聽之餘更要共議

立法會暴力衝擊事件餘波不絕,多位大學校長一邊譴責暴力,一邊呼籲各方理性對話解決紛爭。

衝擊立法會一役令香港元氣大傷,建制派大力聲討,泛民則未有與暴力切割,並以「制度暴力」一類論述為衝擊者辯護。連日來多個專業團體、宗教組織以至大學校長均表示,暴力破壞行為不能接受,呼籲各方以和平理性態度處理問題。

政治僵峙狀態持續,唯有對話才能打破困局。我們主張政府、反對者與有公信力的社會領袖舉行圓桌會議,展開不設前提的對話,幾位大學校長的說法異曲同工,目的都是為了香港好。

小撮示威者的暴力行為,不代表大多數示威者和年輕人都認同訴諸暴力是對的。政府和社會各界在否定小撮人暴力之餘,亦需多去了解大多數年輕人的想法。行政長官林鄭月娥承諾未來多與年輕人接觸聽取意見,致力修補與年輕人的關係,有議員建議林鄭趁暑假舉行大型閉門「聆聽會」,抽樣聆聽不同階層年輕人的意見,鼓勵過往數周曾經上街的年輕人踴躍參與,這可以是第一步,然而當局還須進一步改革青年政策,令年輕人覺得意見真的受到重視、能夠發揮實際作用。

回歸以來,特區政府長期忽略青年政策,直至2014年佔領運動爆發後,始驚覺不足,開始亡羊補牢。港府青年政策最為人詬病的地方有二,一是青年政策實際由年長高官和精英主導,完全未能掌握年輕人的脈搏,二是傾向將年輕人視為需要處理的「問題」,並非與年輕人共議共商。根據近年中大所作的調查,七成青年人認為他們對政府政策的影響力小,政府亦曲解年輕人的需要,令他們有很大的無力感。

特區政府並非普選產生,認受性本已不足,政府又未有放下權力給年輕人,自然令到年輕人對整個體制感到疏離抗拒,一些激進政治論述和主張在年輕人之中甚有市場,與此不無關係。政府要與年輕人「reconnect」,不僅需要放下身段,更要從制度入手,給年輕人充權。多年來,民間一直有聲音呼籲政府設立有實權的青年議會,由年輕人選出其代表,參與青年政策討論和制定。有關倡議可以改善政府家長式管理的弊病,值得研究考慮。

■Glossary

round‑table : (of discussions, meetings, etc.) at which everyone is equal and has the same rights

precondition : sth that must happen or exist before sth else can happen

much‑maligned : often criticised by people

上 / 下一篇新聞