Op-Eds

In-depth features and interviews, and photo essays   
South China Morning Post
  1. Eddie Lo* is preparing for an imminent move to Britain with his wife, a primary-school teacher, and their two young children. They want their son settled in a British state primary school in time to sit the competitive 11-plus entrance examination next year.Several of Lo’s friends with children, including other teachers in his wife’s school, are preparing for a similar move, adding to the 27,000 British National (Overseas) passport holders who have already taken advantage of the scheme offered…
  2. When George Smith asked his secondary-school English students to record a book review for their online class, one video shocked him. Shot against a tube-lit backdrop filled with rows of salty snacks, a Form Three student had connected to the free Wi-fi at a 7-Eleven convenience store to film his presentation, away from his crowded flat in a Kowloon City public housing estate in Hong Kong, where the internet connection is notoriously unreliable.Such struggles have beset pupils since Covid-19…
  3. Hong Kong is home to nearly 20 degree-awarding institutions, of which eight are publicly funded universities. In this well-heeled international hub, however, not everyone is suited to traditional modes of education.Thankfully, there are ways for residents to train in the essential skilled work that the city needs. One path is through the Vocational Training Council, a local organisation that takes in more than 200,000 students per year and covers a wide range of courses, from hairdressing,…
  4. Marybelle is a Filipino domestic helper who lives with Lincoln Chow, a Chinese-American professor, and Jing, a Hong Kong-born homemaker who yearns for a child she is not able to have. Marybelle earns money not only from the Chows, but also from weekends spent cleaning the rooms of local students. Her hard-earned dollars transform into large remittances home to her mother and daughter in Manila.In turn, her mother mails Marybelle photos of the sprawling family’s newborn babies and of relatives…
  5. Before he lost it all – all US$20 billion – Bill Hwang was the greatest trader you had never heard of.Starting in 2013, the Korean-American investor parlayed more than US$200 million left over from his closed hedge fund into a mind-boggling fortune by betting on stocks. Had he folded his hand in early March and cashed in, Hwang, 57, would have stood out among the world’s billionaires. There are richer men and women, of course, but their money is mostly tied up in businesses, property, complex…
  6. Spirited away: I was born in Warabi city, in Saitama prefecture, Japan, in 1964. My parents divorced when I was six and my little brother was three. In those days, getting divorced was quite shocking and we moved with my mum to her parents’ place. One day, my dad tried to kidnap my brother. He didn’t manage to get him because my grandmother was protecting him, so he took me. Later, my mother decided it was better that at least us siblings weren’t separated, so she brought my brother to him…
  7. A naked woman stands on a sturdy lace-covered table, hands behind her back, head turned to the side, one knee raised, while a group of students flit their eyes between the Chinese model and the adjustable wooden mannequins surrounding her.This scene was photographed in 1920, but not in any European salon. The picture was taken in a shikumen-style building in Shanghai, and it captured the first known life-drawing class using a nude model in China.The Shanghai Academy of Art was a private school…
  8. Like all exiles, Michael Fleming remembers when his separation from home soil began: October 20, 2015. A Tuesday. That year, Fleming was captain of Wentworth, an old, prestigious golf club in Surrey, England. The club had recently been bought by a Chinese firm, Reignwood, and an annual general meeting was scheduled for the 20th. That morning, having drafted his speech, Fleming was in his dentistry clinic when he received the email.Brace for change, Wentworth wrote to Fleming and his colleagues,…
  9. I have evidence, videos and photographs,” says the 34-year-old American, gripping a set of prison bars with white knuckles. “Serious stuff.”In this remote corner of Bali, Christian Beasley will not elaborate until his “people on the outside check me out”, but, “maybe”, he says, “we can help each other”.Beasley is one of 573 inmates of Bangli 2 Narcotics Prison, a high-security facility with a maximum capa­city of 468, reserved for drug convicts and prison breakers, of which he is both. “With…
  10. In 1947, a young woman named Marjorie Doggett and her would-be husband exchanged their native Hastings, on the south coast of England, for the far-flung imperial city of Singapore, where that same year, journeyman Lee Fook Chee traded that British island for another when he set off north across the straits to Hong Kong.The two had nothing in common, had never met, and yet more than 70 years later, it is their parallel accounts of two former island colonies that collide and contrast in…