As New Year’s Day approaches, it’s time to look back on a troubled 2017 for the city. In a year filled with headline grabbers, such as the suspected Russian collusion in the US presidential election and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, we can’t ignore some of the big news that happened in Hong Kong. Here are seven newsmakers who made a splash in the local press this year.
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor
Having won her bid to become the city’s chief executive, the enactment of several controversial pieces of legislation once she was in office, and the announcement that Chinese history would be mandatory in secondary schools, Lam has made headlines week after week.
Despite this, Lam recently said she would not be a rubber stamp for mainland policies, and that she would “push back” if it was in the Hong Kong people’s interests.
This year, Beijing played host to the most important political conference on the mainland: the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
The congress, which marks the end of Xi Jinping’s first of two five-year terms, enshrined his name into the party’s constitution. Only time will tell whether this will mean an unprecedented third term for Xi.
John Tsang Chun-wah
In an online poll on yp.scmp.com before the chief executive election, 44 per cent thought Tsang should be the next boss, as opposed to 11 per cent who supported Lam.
Although he never had a chance against Lam’s much bigger pool of electoral voters, Tsang seemed to be more for the people than the government, and he appeared to be a likeable person as well.
Howard Lam Tsz-kin
The alleged abduction and torture of a pro-democracy lawmaker by mainland agents looked to have all the drama and excitement of the 2015 kidnapping of Hong Kong booksellers, but when examined closely, Lam’s story seemed to have more than a few holes in it.
Lam was eventually arrested for making a false report of a crime to the police. The jury’s still out on what actually happened that night.
The music maestro broke the hearts of thousands of Hong Kong-based Sheerios when he cancelled some concets (including shows in Hong Kong) on the Asian leg of his world tour after injuring his arm in a biking accident.
The domestic helper won a historic court case against her former employer, who was jailed for six years for various assault charges. Erwiana said she had been subjected to seven months of torture between May 2013 and January 2014. Erwiana’s ordeal made international headlines, and helped to put the awful working conditions of some domestic helpers in Hong Kong under the spotlight.
Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung
Whether it’s because student protesters were jailed for their part in the Occupy movement, or because of the joint checkpoint with the mainland at the West Kowloon terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail link, all eyes have been on the Department of Justice this year. Yuen, the current Secretary of Justice is stepping down in the new year, and will be replaced by Teresa Cheng Yuek-wah, the former chairwoman of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.