Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 38 No. 22. September 11, 1975
Obviously, there is no democracy in Hong Kong. The Governor and senior officials are responsible to London, not to the local people. The largely powerless Urban Council is the only official body for which there are any elections and 90% of the population is excluded from the franchise anyway. Political parties are in effect banned. Trade Unions are not allowed to establish funds for political purposes, police powers are almost unlimited. Since there are no real avenues for criticism, then, it is little wonder that the existing government can point to the apparent apathy of the people as proof of its acceptance by them.
Crime flourishes all the same. There are an estimated 80,000 triad (secret society) gang members in the colony, many of whom are members of the police force. Prostitution absorbs 25,000 women a year — the business is good for tourism. Hong Kong has perhaps the worst hard drug problem in the world too, with well over 15% of the adult population addicted to opium or heroin. Not all that surprising, really, when several hundred thousand people do not even have the privilege of living in high-rise slums, but continue to live in the squatter conditions in the shanty towns.