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Streets of the "Town of Sadness"; Turmoil in Pakistan; Not Safe for Superheroes - Hong Kong's Polluted Harbour (09 Nov 2007)


Tin Shui Wai, built in the late 1980s, is now home to about 271,000 people. More than 60% are recent immigrants whose main language is Putonghua. More than 45% aren't permanent Hong Kong residents. Many are not only culturally and linguistically isolated, but also cut off from work. There are just about 20,000 jobs in the area. Following a spate of family tragedies and suicides, this week Legislative Councillors discussed what the government should do to improve conditions in Hong Kong's "town of sadness". We went out to talk to some of the residents. Since President General Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule and a crackdown on the opposition in Pakistan, the country has been in turmoil. President Musharraf says emergency powers are needed so the government can better fight Islamic extremists, but his crackdown seems to have been just as much aimed at lawyers and liberal political opponents. So what's going on? In the studio with us are Colum Murphy of the Far Eastern Economic Review, who has recently returned from the country, and Saeed Uddin, former President of the Hong Kong Pakistan Association. Filming of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight", continues in Hong Kong for the next few days, but – as many around the world now know – he won't be jumping into Victorian Harbour. Director Christopher Nolan said on the morning of our broadcast that, contrary to earlier reports, the state of the water had not deterred him. Braving our harbour's waters is left to the very occasional hardy or foolish citizen, or politicians and activists willing to brave the pollution for a cause. Others are willing to even risk fishing in the murky waters and eating their catch. But all this is a far cry from the days when people commonly swam here. We look at the state of Hong Kong's harbour.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, November 9, 2007
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