Yesterday, presenters on ATV World News called out Law Society president Ambrose Lam San-keung 林新強 for refusing to answer a question at a press conference in English. Despite his poor attitude shown in the video below, Lam is fluent in English.
Even before the Handover, journalists have long-fought to have officials provide quotes and statements in English.
According to the 2011 census, the majority of Hong Kongers (60.6%) perceive themselves to have an ‘average’ to ‘very good’ understanding of spoken English, though standards are in decline. Meanwhile, over 10% cannot speak Cantonese.
English remains an official language. In matters of law, it presides over Chinese and is the lingua franca that gives the territory it’s ‘world city’ and business-friendly status. As 7.4% of residents are non-Chinese, it is essential, democratically, that tax-paying ethnic minorities are not excluded from knowing what their government are up to.