October 18, 2005
Donald Tsang's bedroom eyes (Updated)
Hong Kong is beloved by libertarian groups around the world for its apparent flat tax structure and its apparent laissez-faire economy. While that's mostly fallacy, it helps Asia's World City score highly on various surveys, so it keeps the mutual appreciation society going. But there are some things Chief Executive Donald Tsang can't contemplate privatising. From the SCMP:
Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has waded into the controversy over the age of consent for homosexuals, warning against what he called the "privatisation" of moral standards. Mr Tsang said that while he was a devout Catholic, his work had not clashed with his conscience during his 30 years in the civil service.Now that's a question. Is a moral a value shared by the entire society? I would contend the very opposite - morals are personal values. Societies often have morals in common (e.g. incest) but others they disagree about (e.g. abortion). Donald Tsang hit the nail on the head with his question - why should what happens behind closed doors between consenting people be anyone else's business? Clearly it shouldn't so long as it does not affect others. It's a basic principle of a free society. Legislating morality, which is effectively the opposite of its "privatisation", is a throwback to the bad old days when the government knew best. Morals are privatised because they are private.
Mr Tsang stressed that while he respected the court's ruling, it was also important to protect young people. "I think it is a bit too much if we allow people as young as 14 or 16 to have this; from a state of no choice to overturning the law."The principle is simple. There should be no distinction in the age of consent between homo- and hetro-sexual sex. If you're old enough for one, you're old enough for the other. Instead of paying lip service to ideas of equality and anti-discrimination, Donald Tsang needs to stop preaching and start acting like a man of principles. Here's hoping Hong Kong's High Court agrees.
At least Mr Tsang finished on a funny note:
Mr Tsang also weighed into the controversy over claims Disneyland Hong Kong is exploiting workers. "I believe the [Disney] management are smart people and it will be improved if we give them time and room," he said.From what I'm told, Disney people have had plenty of room at their park, even during the national day holiday week at the start of October.
Jake van der Kamp from the SCMP on the same issue:
Donald should stick to his day job and stop trying to play God
posted by Simon on 10.18.05 at 07:22 AM in the Hong Kong category.
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Welcome back Simon.
One cannot privatise something which is always private.
The Honourable Donald Tsang can be anything but a man of principles. A believer of small government insists on occupying the Tamar site?
(You have picked up the Taishi debate, would you make a Weekly Linklet Special Edition?)posted by: LfC on 10.17.05 at 01:32 PM [permalink]
Andrew J. Volstead (1860-1947), was the author of the American National Prohibition Enforcement Act (1919) which banned not just the sale but use of alcohol by human beings including blacks.
He died still firmly believing that "the law regulates morality" - the basis of Prohibition.
To moralise for a tick, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the Human Economy is essentially based on sex, drugs and slavery; so we get DTs from time to time.posted by: gunlaw on 10.18.05 at 02:08 PM [permalink]