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My reflection on Hong Kong’s situation

Many years ago Lee Kuan Yew said that the bond that binds society is very fragile—what unites us as people and prevents us from killing each other out of jealousy or envy can easily be broken. An equal playing field is important—everyone has a chance to succeed through education and equal opportunities. Society can easily be torn by issues of race, language, and religion. 
 
In the case of Singapore, it was racial in the 1950s, which was related to language and to some extent religion. In Hong Kong, it is the unequal distribution of wealth due to the greed of financial oligarchs and property developers colluding with government officials. The influx of rich Chinese mainlanders, who come to buy anything and everything including properties, means that the average Hong Kong resident will never be able to afford an apartment in which to raise a family.
 
Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher, believed that the “state of war was the natural state of human beings and that harmony among human beings is artificial because it is based on an agreement.”
 
Hobbes advocated an absolute monarchy because human beings at their core are selfish, brutal and irrational. We are very fortunate in Singapore to have a strong government led by a very enlightened man, to say the least.
 
On a lighter note, I saw young courting couples wearing all black, including masks and helmets, taking part in the protests, holding hands, throwing stones at police and police stations, and shielding each other from the fury of law officers—romance and love can truly flourish in such tense situation. 
 
On weekends, instead of going to fancy restaurants, pubs or watching movies, young couples can decide to go for the rally: it is cheaper, more exciting and easier to show one’s true love and courage in the crossfire between the police and the protesters.
 
 
 
 
Ambrose Mong OFM