Man in a Hurry

Murray MacLehose and Colonial Autonomy in Hong Kong


Ray Yep

ISBN : 978-988-8842-92-6

Hong Kong History / Political Science / Cold War Studies Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series (皇家亞洲學會香港研究叢書)

December 2024

224 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$295.00

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In Man in a Hurry: Murray MacLehose and Colonial Autonomy in Hong Kong, Ray Yep explores the latest available archival materials and re-examines MacLehose's widely appraised governorship in Hong Kong (1971–1982). In the challenging 1970s, the governor successfully carried out various social reforms such as the ten-year housing programme, the launch of nine years of free universal education, the provision of welfare services in partnership with the voluntary sector, and the expansion of public health facilities. He also handled three other major issues, namely, the anti-corruption campaign, the Vietnamese refugee crisis, and the granting of land lease of the New Territories beyond 1997. Yep unveils the tension between the British government and the Hong Kong colonial government and argues that MacLehose was able to bargain with the London government in order to implement his social policies in Hong Kong. This book is an important study of Hong Kong’s ‘golden years’ when the city’s economy took off. It also broadens our understanding of how Hong Kong was able to negotiate with the sovereign government for local autonomy.

Ray Yep is research director of the Hong Kong History Centre, University of Bristol. He is the co-editor of Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Hong Kong (2018) and May Day in Hong Kong: Riot and Emergency in 1967 (HKU Press, 2008).