UCA News

Hong Kong

Bishop Michael Yeung: Hong Kong's youth face tough times

Hong Kong's new bishop says for the sake of society, young people need opportunities

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Bishop Michael Yeung: Hong Kong's youth face tough times

Bishop Michael Yeung of Hong Kong says that young people in the city are finding it difficult to get ahead. (ucanews.com photo)

Share this article :
High levels of disparity and low social mobility is the living reality for most of Hong Kong's young generation which Bishop Michael Yeung says does not bode well for the city's future.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong ranked as the world's least affordable city to buy a home for the seventh year running, according to the U.S. Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

"The younger folks have to stay with their parents even at the age of 30 something, because they have no place to set up their own family. And the original flat [with their parents] is already very small," Bishop Michael Yeung of Hong Kong told ucanews.com.

The 71-year-old bishop further pointed out that young people in the city don't have the space to raise a child and have a proper family life which is affecting society.

"We have high-rise buildings in Hong Kong but they're mainly bought by mainlanders with cash. But lots of people in Hong Kong are just in a ‘coffin flat' and it creates a lot of problems," Bishop Yeung said.

The bishop believes that a sole focus on economic growth will not solve the problem.

The resulting pressure also plays a role in how families relate to each other, he said.

Young people always have a problem with their parents and even when they live together "they don't really talk to each other," said Bishop Yeung.

"Meanwhile the older folks face a kind of loneliness. Nobody cares about them, even if they are still able nobody is willing to provide a space for them to survive," he said.

In recent times, there has been less social mobilization in Hong Kong and young people find difficult to get ahead in society. Bishop Yeung believes it may cause a lot of frustration which could become anger.

"I understand why they are not happy with the government who should be fixing these issues from the very being," he said.

 

Preparing younger generations 

Bishop Yeung said one day those under the age of 30 will be the main force in society but they must be better prepared.

"I must ask do you [older generations] think you have prepared younger generations well enough for them to take over [the society]?" he said.

Bishop Yeung takes the Hong Kong Church as an example to explain how preparations need to be put in place in relation to the young generation.

The bishop said he may be only in the office for 3 years but he is concerned it may be difficult for him to find a successor since because of a lack of young priest who are suitable.

"You have to start the training or formation now! Otherwise you will not have one in the future," Bishop Yeung said.

However, the bishop believes these challenges may be opportunities and warnings for society to look at how they can better prepare its young people for challenges ahead.

Bishop Yeung was coadjutor bishop of Hong Kong and succeeded Cardinal John Tong Hon as bishop of Hong Kong Aug. 1. Previously, he was the chairman of Caritas Hong Kong.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."