A “Line”over Troubled Water

– Something you don’t know about poverty in hk

By Catherine Xu, Pamela Lin & Fred LAI

Poor population reaches the lowest in six years while the city is still confronted with the problem of ageing population and more alleviation measures are in need.

Since the introduction of Poverty Line (half of the median monthly household income) in 2013, the poor population in Hong Kong has seen a downward trend in recent six years. Poverty rate has reduced from 14.5 to 14.3 per cent in 2014, with total 1.32 million people living in poverty, says the newly-released poverty report.

povertyHK (4)

Compared to 2013, the number of people aged over 65 accounts for 30 per cent of the poor population, increasing by 8,300, while the other two age groups both see a decrease in the rate. Notedly there are 180,000 teenagers below 18 years old living in poverty.


Link: Google Fushion Tables

In terms of the districts, Sham Shui Po has the highest poverty rate, 18.2 per cent, followed by Kwai Tsing (16.9), Kwun Tong (16.7) and the North District (16.5).

More specific details are as follows.

Housing and social characteristics

Drawn from the changes between 2014 and 2013, several characteristics of housing and security beneficiary can be spotted.

Tenants have increased more than 9% after policy intervention which indirectly shows that more poor people are benefiting from Public Renting Housing (PRH).

Dashboard 1

Link:Tableau Public

Among tenants, those who live in rooms/bedspaces/cocklofts showed an obvious change.

Before policy intervention, the poor population who are tenants living in rooms or bedspaces or cocklofts have raised 9% comparing with 2013. After policy intervention, the population only decreased 2%.

According Hong Kong government, non-recurrent cash benefits are provided in recents years including rent payments for the public housing tenants.

Except for poor population of elderly households which was rising after policy intervention, others all presented declining trend. Few changes can be witnessed in new arrival households.

Dashboard 1

Link: Tableau Public

Average poverty gap of temporary housing changed by 17.7% before policy intervention compared with 2013, the highest among other housing types, which shows a downward trend of the permanent houses.

Recently “Mcsleepers” became an alarming trend due to government inaction, according to some social workers.

The lack of affordable accommodations and unliveable housing conditions are the main causes of the trend, said Wong Hung, the Associate Professor of department of social work, Hong Kong Chinese University.

The government and social welfare organisations should provide more affordable rental housing with good management and convenient transportation, he said.

Embattled situation due to ageing population

Poor population are living in the shadow of aging problem. According to the report, approximately one in three of elderly in Hong Kong live below the poverty line.

Age groups percentage of poor population by District Council district,2014

The government lists the poverty rate among elderly at a shocking 72% before welfare benefits and 47% after.

Regarding of the poor population by selected household groups, the elderly households increased by 24.5% from 2009 to 2014, while others are in downward trends.

Though the biggest poor population group has been families with children through the five years, it saw the most significant drop among other groups.

The Problem is extremely startled in Wan Chai District and Central and Western District.

Central and Western.jpg

According to the report, the dependency ratio in Central and Western District has reached nearly 6:1, which means that every labour force aged between 15 to 64 has to take care of nearly six people aged above 65. Wan Chai has a dependency ratio of 5:1.

As for median age of the poor, the two districts both stand out for a relatively higher age, 65, while Yuen Long has the lowest 45 years old median age.

The ageing problem reflects on the low labour force participation rate and high unemployment rate. Wan Chai and Central and Western are the only two districts among all having more unemployed people than the employed. The former has a pair of 23.5 per cent and 16.1 per cent, while the latter shows a larger gap, 21.9 versus 13 per cent.

Notably, the two districts has a relatively high percentage in population with Post-secondary degree, Wan Chai having 26.2 per cent while Central and Western 21.4. The rest 16 districts only reaches an average of 7 per cent.

Receiving allowance

Major alleviation methods needed

According to Opinion Survey on Poverty Issues in Policy Address 2015 conducted by The University of Hong Kong, Public Opinion Programme, the rating towards poverty issues was dropped to 51.5 per cent, compared with last year of 56.7.

The rating has fallen backward to the level during Chief Executive CY Leung’s first Policy Address. The chief executive of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service Mr. Choi said that the reason of the ratings decline is that no major poverty alleviation method has been provided in Policy Address 2015, according to the survey.

Data Source:

Poverty rate and population of Hong Kong districts in 2014

Poor population social characteristics

Poor population and average poverty gap by selected household group (2014 compared with 2013 %change), before and after the policy intervention——Housing Characteristics & Social Characteristics

Age groups rate of poor population by District Council district, 2014



Hong Kong Retail Sales dropped 5.4% in August from the same month last year

Summer vacation used to be one of the Hong Kong’s peak tourist seasons to boom the retail industry, while according to latest figures, the retail sales value dropped 5.4% in August compared to the same month last year.

Date from The Census and Statistics department shows the volume of the total retail sales in August 2015 decreased by 0.2% from the year earlier.

From the March to August 2015, year-on-year percentage changes are all negative with August hitting a record high of -5.4%.

Luxury goods sales were also in a downward trend, according to the department figures, the value of sales of jewelry, watches and clocks and valuable gifts dropped significantly by 8.8%.

One of the examples was a luxury store , Coach flagship store in Central closed on 31th August and the company has indicated it was because of the falling sales to Mainland Chinese.

The trend of decease in retails sales started in 2014 for the first time in ten years, according to the department data.

“Our sales are getting worse these months, customers are clearly less than last year .”said Cherry Chueng, an Aji Ichiban sales clerk in Causeway Bay.

The year on year decline in August’s retail sales was partly due to the slowdown in inbound tourism and partly due to the effect of the recent stock market gyrations on consumer sentiment, said The Census and Statistics department.

google fusion table https://www.google.com/fusiontables/data?docid=11agBjaxTRROKMLVYBrxD6Q4z0fwuP5skLXwTtX7u#chartnew:id=3

Inline image 1

RMB exchange rate is still in instability, though Xi Jinping vows not to further devalue yuan

Facing recent international and domestic unstable economic situation, Renminbi(RMB)’s further depreciation is still uncertain, affecting by factors like capital flow and domestic economy.

People’s Bank of China devalued the RMB by 1.9% against the U.S. Dollar in August, which was the largest one-day RMB devaluation since 1994, according to the bank’s figures.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said during his visit to the United State that there is no basis for sustained depreciation of the RMB.Reform of the RMB exchange rate formation regime will continue in the direction of market operation.

“In reality the transition from the industrial to consumer economy is taking place slowly there is still a statement enterprise sector which needs reform.” said Geoff Cutmore, an English financial journalist for CNBC Europe.

“The manufacture sector is still very important to China as a whole. There is weak global demand and increasingly Chinese labor categorizing making Chinese goods slow, you know, not quite competitive as they used to be”he said.

Xie Yaxuan,a macro-economy analyst of China Merchants Securities said,“As global integration deepens, the connection between different economic entities are getting closer. China as a big trading nation, it’s exchange rate fluctuation of Renminbi has great impact on other economic entities.”

Relatively, international capitol flow can partly determine the RMB exchange rate trend. The Federal Reserve announced their decision on pause in US interest rate increase on 17th September. “The pause eased the pressure of RMB devaluation in a short term.” Xie said. While it’s too early to say that the US interest rate won’t be raised this year.

The recent slowdown of China economy is also an important factor of  fluctuation of RMB exchange rate. According to Chinese government figures, the Purchase Management Index is 49.7 last month which hit a record low in the past three years.So stability of RMB exchange rate is still fragile. Whether President Xi can keep his words remain unpredictable.

The Democratic Party Leader encourages youngsters to fight for elections

District Council Elections see a trend of younger candidates in the wake of “umbrella movement”and political reform 

Chairperson of Democratic Party Emily Lau Wai-hing said on a university-held conference that her party would like to see more young standouts to run in the coming district council elections.

The Democratic Party fielded 95 candidates, averagely aged of 41.8 years old among which the youngest is 21, to the elections in November.

On the youngest candidate, Emily Lau said it was not for her to decide whether he’s qualified or not but the central committee, so he must be worthy of branch members’ support by hard-working.

“Never say never. young or old people, if you want to stand for election,there is no shortcut.Go down there and work.” said Emily Lau.

Meanwhile,she said she personally prefer more mature candidates with more experience in society. “Of course, we don’t want to have the age discrimination.”she added.

Seven of the members announced their resignation on 20th September and most of them are young. “People join because they want to, people leave also because they want to.We respect their decisions and hope things will go well.”she said.

A member of New People’s Party, Ho Hau-cheung agreed that young people are advocated to get involved in politics. “Many Hong Kong people are politically apathetic nowadays. They concerned more about economics issues.”he said.

The political reform proposal and “umbrella movement” last year leaded to the formation of some new groups like Youngspiration founded by young generations. Youngspiration fielded nine members to District Council Elections, with at least two constituencies clashed with the Democratic Party .“The coming elections would be more competitive with them participating.”he said.

While one of the Sha Tin district councilors, Wong Man Sing said it’s too early to comment on how the young candidates would perform in the elections, but he said “It’s a good that they can provide voters with more choices in each constituency.”

2015-10-07 21.35.45

Sha Tin District Councilor Mak Yun-pui, one of the seven quit members he said the reason of withdrawing from the party is his conflict with party members may affect Democratic Party’s development.

A member of New People’s Party,also the Chairperson of Sha Tin District Council Ho Hau-cheung will run for re-election in the coming District Council Elections.

edited recording of two parts of interviews, Ma Yun-Pei and Ho Hau Cheung

sources: 1.https://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E9%9D%92%E5%B9%B4%E6%96%B0%E6%94%BF-9%E4%BA%BA%E5%87%BA%E6%88%B0%E5%8D%80%E9%81%B8-054500718.html


Bridge the gap between life and death

 Bridge the Gap Between Life and Death

Early in a cloudy morning, Ms. Adele Ng added some ingredients to a box of steaming fish and peanut congee, which was for a terminally-illed old man in Ruttonjee Hospital Adele has been a regular palliative care volunteer for more than ten years. She was about to go out when the telephone rang unexpectedly. Tears rolled down her face after hearing the words.“He just passed away, you don’t have to come this morning.” said a nurse.

Just before the day, the old man asked some volunteers to pray together with him as he was a devout Catholic and they fulfilled his desire. Adele had been taking care of the old man since he entered the hospital. Feeding him meal each time reminded her of a deceased relative. “It was like losing your own loved one.”she said.

“Life is impermanent. The strongest feeling over this years is to cherish the people around.” said Adele.

The Comfort Care Concern Group(CCCG), the charity which Adele is in, was established in 1987 as a member of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, aiming to promote comfort care to the terminally ill and their family as well as the bereaved.

Fifteen public hospitals in Hong Kong provides palliative care, which is a specialised care focusing on relieving the suffering of patients with serious illness that life-prolonging therapy may become meaningless. Palliative care provides various supports helping them to go through the final stage of life meaningfully.

Alone lying in bed, weak and dull, terminally-ill patients can do nothing but stare at the white ceiling. Who expect their life to end like that?

“Some patients thought palliative care is a place waiting for death. But it’s not like that.” said Ms. Elsa Wong, a counselor of CCCG. Doctors still provide medicine without curative effects to manage their pain, most importantly, volunteers can release their spiritual depression. she said.

Else and her volunteers group visit palliative care centre in Caritas Medical Centre four times a week. Besides helping with formalities, they sit by the patients, chatting or simply holding their hands, gently touching them when they cough violently.

Something patients avoided from their family can be freely expressed to volunteers. They need someone to share their whole-life memories with, meanwhile never want to upset their families. They may mention “death” sometimes. Then volunteers try to find out what they fear of. “Volunteer is the bridge between patient and family.” said a CCCG volunteer ,Mr.Wan Wah Sam.

“We try best to satisfy their last moment of happiness.”he said. A patient missed the taste of chocolate, rejected by his family, after asking the permission of doctors, volunteers bought him. A patient miss the scenery of a place where fulled of her memory, volunteers shot for her.

In order to color patients’ life, volunteers also hold various activities in ward, gathering patients to play mahjong, writing wish cards and so on. Once they taught patients’ to make osmanthus cake themselves. “Though it’s simple work, we try to let them know, they still have ability to accomplish something without help.” said Else.

Though the support system is quite comprehensive, few Hong Kong people know about or accept palliative care. Death taboo is deeply rooted in Chinese’s mind. Because of respected attitude toward ancestors and superstitious belief that the dead may turn into ghosts, Chinese always avoid mentioning death and regard things related to death as unlucky.

“Death is our absolute certainty.” said Mr. Rex Wong, the CCCG centre director. People’s thought toward death actually changed a bit these years, life and death education promoted by organizations like CCCG is one of the key contributions, like they sometimes hold “death cafe” in centre, people discuss death over a cup of tea and cakes. “Death cafe actually fulls of life.” he said.

“What we’re doing is to bridge the gap between life and death” said Rex.


Source list

Mr. Rex Wong, Centre Director of CCCG,Registered Social Worker, rexwong@cccg.org.hk

Ms. Adele Ng, Volunteer of CCCG, 63883190

Ms. Else Wong, Counselor of CCCG, elsawong@cccg.org.hk

Mr. Wan Wah Sam, Volunteer of CCCG, (can be reached through Else Wong)

Non-human source


shows the number of hospitals that have palliative care

Photo Essay


  1. The Comfort Care Concern Group is a non-profit organisation, aiming to promote comfort care to the terminally ill and their families, the bereaved as well


2.Office of CCCG, the bereaved try to reach CCCG by phone, seeking for help

33.CCCG centre has three counseling rooms, decorated comfortable and warm. Always a counselor face a individual or a couple.


  1. Centre Director of CCCG, Mr. Rex Wong, always sat on the sofa to have a discussion with grieved people, trying to relive their sorrow.


  1. A counselor was talking to a mother. They make sure privacy of the discussion


  1. Rex Wong was reading a book called Die In Hong Kong, talking about the bereaved stories.


  1. All books on the bookshelf are about life and death, members of CCCG and borrowed the books.


  1. There is one playing room in CCCG, especially for bereaved children, counselor found ways through games to discuss “death”with them


Palliative Care Centre in Ruttonjee Hospital


  1. A volunteer is chatting with a seriously-ill patient


Volunteers make sweet soup for patients and their family every Tuesday


Volunteers change the sweet soup menu every week


  1. “Sweet Soup for this week is Bean curd stick, pearl barley and boiled eggs”


  1. The sweet soup is quite welcomed by patients and their families


  1. Volunteers prepared some snacks for patients in ward


16.Thanks card wrote by families for CCCG

Final Project

Xu Zhun

LINK:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fel5qkS7DTs&feature=youtu.be


Cat Wong, Yuen Ting, with the age of 17, is not an ordinary teenager. She is young at her age but she has already experienced many stages, just as a mature women does. Finishing school, finding a life-partner, starting her career and pursuing for her life goal.

Cat is now a hairdresser, majoring in the field of being a technician, who mainly makes use of different chemicals and does dyeing, perming and ion straightening.

Before she embarked on this field and set it as her life goal, she was a very naughty girl in other eyes. She did bad academically, and eventually went into a band three secondary school. She made some bad friends, and learnt how to speak foul language, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. By the time, she was only 14.

At the age of 15, when she was only in her F.2, she committed criminal offence. She stole dozens of phones from her fellows. She was caught by the school and the matter was reported to her mum, who worked so hard for the living of the family and always went on trips for work, as she was the only economic source of the family. Cat comes from a single-parent family.

Her mum was so furious that she brought Cat to Shanghai, the place where she was working by that time. In that period of time, she was all alone by herself in the hotel room, both in the daytime and nighttime, as her mum went to work. She got ‘released’ and went back to Hong Kong when she was acknowledged that she would not be charged by the victims.

This incident changed her life. It made her realize that she should not be staying at school anymore. She should find her own interest and make it her own career. She entered vocational training school and chose the subject hairstyling. There she found her interest to be a technician. In two year time, she exercised for many times and got her skill sharpened. She is now hired by a renowned salon in Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong.

She also has a romantic love story. By the time when she was at school, she met her second boyfriend, Yau. Yau stayed all along her from her hardest time in Shanghai till now, witnessing her time of harvest of her career. She now lives with Yau in a public housing apartment for one person in the name of Yau in Ma On Shan.

She said that she might be naive and immature, but she cherishes every past moments in her life, as all those transform ‘her’ in the past to the ‘her’ today.



VOXPOP Assignment Can this man be trusted?

Catherine 13253603

Ann           13252046


     “What do you think of Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying? ”We interviewed 7 people in Admiralty who played different roles in the society, they were student, musician, designer, retiree, civilian, barista, photographer.

They were devoted in their own impressive ways to support umbrella revolution when we met them, like the girl,she said she had no idea what to do but draw a “democracy” cartoon, the musician, just come back from England playing beautiful songs on flute,the bariata has been there for 28 days helping out at supply station,the photographer,voluntarily photograph protesters with yellow umbrella,etc.

They may hold some extreme words,but all are powerful voices that wants to be heard. The world is watching Hong Kong , so what people think of their Chief Executive remains a big question. This video contains their anger, expectations, confusions, about this man, maybe they only can be persuaded by true universal suffrage.But one thing without doubt is they are fighting for a better Hong Kong.

Can Hong Kong trusted this man?


Photo essay assignment

Xu Zhun Catherine 13253603

Youtube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZBtCncE0_E&feature=youtu.be


Old man Su has been the holder of an old newsstand in Kowloon City for about 14 years who used to work in a restaurant in Causeway Bay. He is totally a painstaking night worker who works through night from 21:00 to around 9:00. Even though he lives day and night life upside down , I can still see his enjoyment of life through his smile.Especially talking about his wife,he said he has a young and hard-working wife who works a part-time job at 6:00 at a restaurant nearby and takes over his work at 9:00.He has two sons,one is 19 the other one is 29.He and wife rent a small room next to their newsstand and they only have one day off-Monday but they also have to deliver newspaper to customers .I came round to him at late night seeing him having “dinner”,he smiled and said he had no interesting story to be reported.But he’s exactly the story that I want.It was  amazing enough to see his life style. He served customers with big smile and efficiency. When there were rare customers,he watched TV,kept accounts,put magazines and papers in order also chatted to regulars.At about 2:00, the first round of newspapers – oriental daily was coming,he became busy. Unexpectedly, he got a lot customers once the papers came including taxi drivers,various night workers.After that, Apple Daily, The Sun came round by round . He said he hardly had time to read newspapers,just glancing the titles sometimes.World passes him by every day but he still lived a simple but happy life.This is also a kind of life style.


1.About 23:00,he was watching TV series which seemed so interesting while having his dishes and I chatted with him comfortablely even though my Cantonese so bad.

2.He handed changes to him customer and even introduced me to her happily “it’s a student who want to make a interview of me”

3.When I asked”Can I get inside your stand?”he agreed with no hesitate.He standed outside with his eyes still staring at TV.

4.He carefully put every magazines in order.

5.He put out all the coins he and his wife earned a day and counted carefully.

6.There were few customers then.He entered the room and found some pills to take also found the account book.

7.He brought out a magazine to confirm the price.

8.He said he kept accounts every night concentratively .

9.When it was almost 2:00,he said Oriental Daily was coming so he set some boards to hold new papers.

10.Dog was also curious of what happened in the world.

11.When he served a customer,he noticed that the truck that conveyed papers was coming.

12.The strong man put Oriental Daily down.

13.He collected the papers and put them on the board.

14.He rearranged every single copy of newspapers.

15.Many taxi drivers are his “2:00” regulars who mostly buy Oriental Daily.He passed his papers to the driver directly.

16.Second round of newspapers was coming.

17.He put the Sun in plastic bags in order to conveniently pass to customers.

18.After a couple of busy hours,he finally got some hours to have a rest.