The Burden of Hong Kong: 760,000 Immigrants Holding One-way Permit

Apple Daily

22 March, 2013

<The Burden of Hong Kong: 760,000 Immigrants Holding One-way Permit>


It is never easy for anyone to leave one’s home and adapt to a new environment. New-comers not only have to adapt a new language, culture and tradition, they also have to face the issues with the acknowledgment of academic qualification as well as work experience, and so the majority of the new immigrants from China have to take up low-skill jobs.

Hong Kong no longer has a developing economy, as that in the 60’s and 70’s, there is no industry to absorb the large number of low-skill labours. The standard of living in Hong Kong is as high as that in the developed countries in Europe and America. New immigrants who earn a low income still have to handle the large amount of expenses. Under this kind of circumstance, Hong Kong can only attract those new immigrants with low opportunity cost, or those who are known as “nothing to lose” (NOTE: a newly created term in the past year or so). This will in turn increase the burden of the society, and bring no positive effect to the economic development.

Ever since the first Chief Executive of the HKSAR Tung Chee Hwa took office, all of the Chief Executives have been claiming that Hong Kong has to develop “high value-added” and “knowledge-based” economy. New immigrants find it hard to compete for this kind of positions, they can only settle for low-skill jobs. We all know the outcome – the salary for low-skill jobs would drop further, enlarging the gap between the rich and the poor. Although the public has been condemning the property developers’ hegemony and the new law on minimum wage, no one has looked into the core of the problem which is the lack of well thought-out population policies. Controlling the influx of new immigrants is the only way to resolve the problem.

The current daily quota of One-way Permit is 150 (editor’s note: One-way Permit is a document issued by Peking government allowing Chinese to settle in Hong Kong or Macau permanently); the quota before 1995 was 105 and 75 before 1993. Surprisingly the doubling growth took place 4 years before the hangover of sovereignty of Hong Kong, and after 1992 when Deng Xiaoping finished the southern tour (editor’s note: Deng was the late Chairman of CCP. After the southern tour he announced reforms of economic openness and development of coastal areas of China), since then Hong Kong industries moved to China. So what was CCP’s intention for increasing the One-way Permit quota? It is a logical deduction that China intends to “dilute” the population of Hong Konger with Chinese so as to colonise Hong Kong with more “patriots” (who love China); or to expand the pro-government camp in Hong Kong, something only CCP is capable of doing (mobolising a massive number voters). These are the real reasons why Communist China keeps delaying the universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

Peking government has its own system of compulsory registration for her population that every town and city has its own authority to approve for immigrants. Other countries has their own immigration policy to select the desired immigrants. But Hong Kong has literally nothing of this sort: neither the Peking government’s system of compulsory registration, nor the approval authority in other countries. Strangely the Peking government retains the right to approve all One-way Permit, creating a perfect environment for corruption: for instance Lai Changxing of Yuanhua Group, charged with illegal smuggling activities in China, was able to obtain HKSAR passport through the application of One-way Permit. Several years later CCP wanted to arrest him and then his One-way Permit was announced fake out of the blue. This clearly shows that the Peking government’s One-way Permit approval system is as slack as China’s Customs Department’s ability to tackle smuggling activities. As long as Hong Kong does not enforce the law at the Customs, the door at the border is left wide open to encourage corruption and illegal activities.

HKSAR government often suggests to first focus on economy and then politics, in fact, politics is the only priority to the HKSAR government. 760,000 holders of One-way Permit plus almost 200,000 of “anchor” babies, an unhealthy influx of immigrates from one country, is a problem created by an irresponsible population policy. This will severely increase the burden of this society to more than we can afford.

Kay Lam (a public affair commentator)

Contact the author:

the HKSAR government


One response to “The Burden of Hong Kong: 760,000 Immigrants Holding One-way Permit

  1. Pingback: Should One Way Permit Quota Be Increased? | Hong Kong Law Blog·

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