May 2022

Life in Hong Kong in March and April was dominated by two subjects: emergence of a dark horse chief executive candidate; and the gradual relaxation of pandemic control measures.

The sudden rise of John Lee Ka-chiu from relative obscurity to sole approved candidate for chief executive came almost from nowhere. It caught most commentators by surprise, including myself. Right up until the last minute it seemed we should be preparing for a return visit to Government House of C Y Leung, but then up popped the chief secretary (who had only been in that office for a few months). As the only candidate to fulfill the nomination requirements, Lee’s confirmation in the election on 8 May was assured.

The most common sentiment was that he could not be worse than the incumbent, and our city definitely needed a fresh face. Hand on heart we must all hope this is true.

At its customary glacial pace, the local government began gradually unwinding the draconian social distancing measures and quarantine arrangements that have been in place for months. The indecisiveness and lack of courage were palpable, and the economic damage almost incalculable. There are several columns in the Op Ed section of this website which explore these subjects at length. Worth reading if I do say so myself.