英文

Editorial:Social Atmosphere Needs to Return to Normalcy

【明報專訊】THE SAFEGUARDING NATIONAL SECURITY ORDINANCE officially came into effect last Saturday (23 March). On the subject of work to be done in the future, Chief Executive (CE) John Lee mentioned ''three areas to safeguard national security'' and ''four areas to boost the economy''. Of course, the work of safeguarding national security will not come to an abrupt end simply because Hong Kong has entered ''the era after Article 23 legislation''. But the immediate priority is certainly to strive for development with full force—maintaining Hong Kong's international advantages is exactly the key to supporting Hong Kong's ''eight centres'' positioning.

In this new era, Hong Kong has to renew its understanding of the nation and the world. Patriotism and national security education do not necessarily have to be a hard sell. Subtle and silent approaches may sometimes yield better results. Over the past few years, Hong Kong has remained in a highly tense condition, with a prevailing atmosphere of preferring left rather than right in society. For Hong Kong to reclaim its characteristics as an economic city, the social atmosphere also has to return to normal. The government can play a pivotal role in building a tolerant and harmonious atmosphere.

With the completion of the Article 23 legislation, CE John Lee said yesterday (26 March) that Hong Kong has to vigorously pursue economic growth and development. There are four key areas in the government's work plan: fully implementing measures proposed in the Policy Address and Budget to boost the economy and development; seizing global and China-oriented opportunities; enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness by ''attracting talent and enterprises'' proactively; fostering internal economic development by taking the initiative to host all sorts of grand events; promoting tourism, consumption and investments.

Lee said the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance serves the purpose of effectively preventing, suppressing and punishing acts or activities that endanger national security. The government will combine national security education, patriotic education and Chinese cultural education, which will be promoted in schools and at community levels.

In this new era, Hong Kong has to break away from its Western-centric positioning and understand that the Western world does not equate to the global community. Naturally, not being Western-centric does not mean having to reject the West entirely. As a highly Westernised society, it makes no sense for Hong Kong to veer to the other extreme either—it would just be self-denial. What Hong Kong truly needs is to view the world from a broader perspective, and rebuild a world view based on a multipolar and multicultural world.

The discussion on national security education, patriotic education and Chinese cultural education should also be considered within this framework. Although the anti-amendment storm is already in the past, and Hong Kong has also become ''Hong Kong, China'', there is obviously still a long way to go before the reunification of people's hearts with the mainland could be achieved. The underlying cause involves exactly the clash of different world views and how a path to reconciliation has yet to be found. In such circumstances, adopting a soft-sell approach to instil patriotism and national security education in the people may be more effective than a hard-sell approach via political slogans.

The atmosphere of Hong Kong society has been very tense these few years. It is true that ''soft resistance'' prevails, but the situation of preferring left rather than right is equally concerning. When even a politically incorrect comment due to a slip of the tongue can be described as ''endangering national security'', such a social atmosphere is definitely detrimental to Hong Kong's development.

明報社評 2024.03.27:維護國安謀發展 社會氛圍要復常

《維護國家安全條例》上周六正式生效,行政長官李家超談及之後的工作,提到「三方面維護國安」,以及「四方面拼經濟」。香港進入「後23條立法時期」,當然不代表維護國安工作戛然而止,惟當務之急肯定是全力謀發展,而保持國際化優勢,正是支持香港「八大中心」定位的鑰匙。

新時期的香港,需要重新認識國家和世界,愛國主義與國家安全教育,不一定要硬銷,潤物細無聲,效果有時更好。過去數年,香港持續處於高度繃緊狀態,社會存在寧左勿右之風,若要重回經濟城市屬性,社會氛圍亦要復常,營造包容和諧氣氛,政府可以發揮關鍵作用。

23條立法已完成,行政長官李家超昨天表示,香港全力拼經濟拼發展,政府重點工作有四方面,包括全面落實《施政報告》及《財政預算案》有關推動經濟和發展的措施、好好把握世界機遇和中國機遇、積極「搶人才搶企業」提升香港競爭力,以及發展內部經濟,積極主辦各類盛事,促進旅遊業、消費和投資。

李家超表示,《維護國家安全條例》目的是要有效防範、制止和懲治危害國家安全的行為和活動。政府會結合國家安全教育、愛國主義教育和中華文化教育,在學校和社區層面推廣。

新時期的香港,需要跳出西方本位,明白西方世界並不等於國際社會。當然,不以西方為中心,不等於要排斥西方;香港作為一個高度西化的社會,也沒理由走向另一極端,變相自我否定。香港真正需要的是以更高的視角看全世界,重塑一套以多極世界、文明多元為本的世界觀。

有關國家安全教育、愛國主義教育和中華文化教育的問題,同樣需要放在這一框架思考。雖然反修例風暴已成過去,香港亦成為了「中國的香港」,然而跟人心回歸明顯仍有距離,背後牽涉到的,就是不同世界觀的碰撞,尚未找到調和之路,在這樣的情况下,多以耳濡目染方式,軟銷愛國主義和國家安全教育,效果可能比政治口號式硬銷更好。

這幾年香港社會氣氛相當繃緊,軟對抗確實存在,但寧左勿右情况同樣令人關注,當一時口誤說了政治不正確的話,也會被人說成是「危害國家安全」,這樣的氣氛,一定不利香港發展。

/ Glossary生字 /

veer:to change direction suddenly

instil:to gradually put an idea or attitude into somebody's mind; to make somebody feel, think or behave in a particular way over a period of time

a slip of the pen/tongue:a small mistake in something that you write or say

■休刊小啟:英文版將於3月29日起休刊,4月15日復刊。編輯部

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