[Alumni story] Kwong Kin-Ming – Passion for Public Policy and Governance

[Alumni story] Kwong Kin-Ming – Passion for Public Policy and Governance


Hello I am Kwong Kin-Ming. I’m from Hong Kong. I graduated from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in 2011. Now I am the chief editor
of a Taiwan publisher called Monsoon Zone. The reason for me to apply to study in Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is pretty much related to the frequent comparisons of Hong Kong and Singapore. I do think Lee Kuan Yew School of Public
Policy is a very great place providing both empirical and theoretical
perspectives. I think policy education is very important,
particular to policy makers. The importance can be referred to a quote by German philosopher (Immanuel) Kant which says, “Experience without theory or knowledge is just blind”, and I do believe in the saying that knowledge is power. That knowledge is a
good way to cultivate changes in governance. That knowledge can facilitate
paradigm shifts in the society regarding the governance problems and solutions.
That’s why I have always appreciated the case study teaching approach of LKYSPP.
And in fact this kind of teaching approach has been influential in
shaping my career development path. My career goal has always been being a change agent in the realm of governance. So that’s why I wrote about the two books.
One, of me writing Hong Kong’s governance history, and another on comparing
Hong Kong and Singapore’s governance. The Hong Kong governance model is
featured by a lack of clear vision and the sense of direction. The Chinese
government in Hong Kong has always been put emphasis on the need to stand
against the foreign influences. So the norm in general in the public sector is
that one should stick with existing rules, avoiding making value judgments or
upholding independent thinking. So in other words, the Chinese government has
been undermining Hong Kong’s global ties and therefore weakening Hong Kong’s competitiveness. The post-1997 Hong Kong government under Chinese rule have been very vulnerable from day zero because it’s based on a very fragile promise
that the Chinese government will retain Hong Kong’s status quo developed
throughout the British colonial governance. The idea of one country two systems. Once this promise is broken, then the Chinese rule in Hong Kong will
face enormous challenge, and this is what has been happening right now I think in short, work hard play hard. Work hard means you need to do the reading in an industrious way. You need to attend to the courses, and you need to engage in the discussions in class actively and
you need to spend more time observing how the Singapore model runs so as to
maximize your gains in this school and in Singapore. And for play hard, I mean you cannot just stay in your room doing the reading or doing the studying for
the examinations. You also need to actively engage in different sorts of
activities because I think one strength of LKYSPP is that the students
studying here are all from very different backgrounds in terms of
occupation, in terms of place of origins. So, when you get along with your
classmates more often, I think you will learn a lot of things that you can never imagine.

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