The value of whistleblowers are evident in two recent incidences: PCCW’s privatization saga which came to an abrupt end all because of one informer had told David Webb of the vote-rigging arrangement; Mr Greg So’s “business card” affair highlighted the danger of abuse by senior officials, which would not have been exposed had there not been an informer from within the Immigration Department. The earlier episode of Paul Morris at the HK Institute of Education, which alerted the public of the need to safeguard academic freedom, all pointed to the urgency for whistleblower protection. By international standards, HK is seriously lagging behind. The US enacted a “Whistleblowers Protection Act” in 1989 and the UK a “Public Interest Disclosure Act” in 1998. We must act now so that professionals are protected when they speak up in defense of public interest.
While the upward trend of the Hang Seng Index last week offers a small comfort, HK is still in recession. More stimuli and bolder vision are needed. The Civic Party compiled a comprehensive Action Agenda for HK’s Green New Deal which recommends the creation of 87,000 jobs through a total investment of $35.8 billion. When I presented the proposal last month at an event organized by the Climate Change Business Forum, there was huge enthusiasm from the business audience. If the government can be persuaded to adopt these recommendations, the benefit will be huge for professionals in terms of business opportunities and new job prospects.
Your views are most welcome on these two important subjects. Please join the facebook group on Whistleblower Protection (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70042618545) or send me your suggestions on how to make a Green New Deal work for HK. You are also most welcome to join me on May 22 at the CPD seminar, which will focus on how professionals can benefit from a Green New Deal. [Register at http://www.procommons.org.hk/eng/events/20090522_greennewdeal_CPD_eng.htm]
CPD Seminar: A Green New Deal for HK: how professionals can benefit?
There are many facets to a Green New Deal: to tackle pollution, reduce waste, better plan the city, upgrade building stocks, build sustainable infrastructure, shift to green transport, revolutionise energy policy and decarbonise the economy. In Hong Kong, it has been suggested that an investment of $35.8 billion in green economy can generate over 87,000 new green jobs. How can professionals – engineers, architects, planner, surveyors, accountants and lawyers benefit from all these? What can we do to make it work for the best of Hong Kong?
[Event Details: http://www.procommons.org.hk/eng/events/20090522_greennewdeal_CPD_eng.htm ]
Date: 22 May, 2009 (Fri)
Venue: Room UR3, 8/F United Centre, Admiralty
Registration: Download registration form http://www.procommons.org.hk/documents/20090522_CPD_Green_New_Deal_Application_form.pdf
Download here for a full version of Civic Party's “An Action Agenda for Hong Kong’s Green New Deal” English version [http://www.civicparty.hk/cp/media/pdf/090319_an_action_agenda_for_hk_gnd-E.pdf]
Ir Albert Lai presented Civic Party's "Action Agenda on HK's Green New Deal" to the business community at Hong Kong Club on 22/4/2009 at a luncheon hosted by the Climate Change Business Forum.
Albert Lai at a reception on 9/5/2009 for Sir Robert Swan, the first person in history who walked to both the North Pole and South Pole on foot. On the right is Fr Harold Naylor, a Jesuit Priest at Wah Yan College, Kowloon and founding member of the Conservancy Association.
Visit to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Guangdong Branch by Professional Commons Delegation, April 2009
Visit to Zhongshan University for research exchanges by Professional Commons Delegation, April 2009