The myth of apathy : Hong Kong society and politics, 1966-1985 : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts at Massey University

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Massey University
The Author
It has been widely accepted for many years that the people of Hong Kong were politically apathetic. This myth of apathy was a construct manufactured by supporters of the colonial status quo; that was a benevolent autocracy which was opposed to any constitutional political reform in the colony. The time frame this thesis examines is from the Kowloon riots of 1966 to the first elections to the Legislative Council in 1985. During this period there were many indications that the people of Hong Kong were not apathetic. However the objective of the colonial authorities was to maintain political control and the myth of apathy was used to achieve this objective. The colonial government of Hong Kong reinforced its legitimacy by reiterating that they were governing by consensus through consultation channels with the public. This though wras not the reality. The colonial government consciously and effectively deprived the people of Hong Kong of a voice in the administration of the colony. Any political reforms that were conceded were instituted to placate the public and in no way altered the constitutional frame work of the colony. Social and political reforms made by the colonial authorities were designed to diminish discontent and therefore potential political agitation. The people of Hong Kong were never politically apathetic.
Hong Kong, Politics and government, Social conditions