I was watching this new police TV serial, EU or Emergency Unit, from Hongkong showing in Channel U. It ended last night. It was about the police against crime and triads. The triads are still there even after 1997. The serial was about the good, the honourable versus the crooked and dishonourable. The young police officers who found taking down drug traffickers and triad bosses a heroic thing to do, despite the low salary and status as police officers. Even the senior officers were devoted to their duties in service to the people, the citizens. There were risks, the young officers went undercover and giving up their lives in the course of duty.
Such admirable traits and values can only be seen in celluloid, not in real life. Hongkong used to be a very corrupt place during the colonial rule. Corruption in the civil service was rampant all the way, particularly the police force, from the little Ah Sirs walking the beat to the angmoh superintendents and higher. Money was spread all round by the triad bosses. Hongkong today is the other extreme. Corruption and triad activities have been brought down to a level unknown in its history.
I think the message of the Hongkong serial, and the MediaCorp, is that there are still idealistic young and old civil servants, and uniformed personnel, who would find duty and honour more important than just money, or to quote David Marshall, the joy and excitement of serving the people and country. The message is timely, as such virtues are now taken very lightly, seen more as desirable and idealistic but not practical in the real world. And those who want to live their lives through such values, good, though privately seen as rather daft. There is a better and real world where money and self interests are everything. Sacrifices and heroics are good to have for other people, but can live without for the practical and smart people. Only fools believe in such ideals and virtues today. The Hongkong serial is pure fiction. Agree?
PS. I think I am continuing my lecture in National Education and conducting the course here.