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With millions still in public housing, Hong Kong is failing its people

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The Lion Rock spirit used to be everywhere in Hong Kong. The streets were humming, alive with the energy of industrious people pushing ahead to improve their lives. But things seem to have stagnated and there is a sense of resignation in the air. Where once it was “can do”, now there is “I would like to, but don’t seem able”.

Evidence of this is everywhere. There are a fistful of surveys about well-being, happiness and quality of life, which show the Lion Rock spirit flagging. The government clampdown on citizens expressing their political beliefs, the ejection and barring of Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet without explanation or justification, and the uncertainty over what Beijing will do and say next to tighten its grip on Hong Kong all cause, for many, a sense of gloom. Factor in unaffordable housing prices and rents, wages that don’t keep up with living costs, and long working hours – and there’s bound to be a feeling of flatness.

The United Nations’ World Happiness Report is a useful indicator. Hong Kong is 76th out of 156 countries and territories surveyed, down five spots from last year’s report. The rankings are based on variables found to........

© South China Morning Post