HONG KONG (SE): Leo Francis Goodstadt, economist and long-time associate of the Holy Spirit Study Centre, died on April 24 in Dublin, Ireland, after a prolonged illness.
During his illustrious career as academician and policy advisor to the Hong Kong government, he also found time to serve the Church as a board member of the Holy Spirit Study Centre of the diocese.
John Cardinal Tong, apostolic administrator of Hong Kong, who knew Goodstadt for years, sent a message of condolence to his family and recalled him as “a pious Catholic and a generous person helping many people particularly, the Catholics in China.”
Cardinal Tong wrote, “I am very saddened by this news and yet consoled that he had a peaceful passing over. I am sure that he is now receiving his eternal reward. On behalf of our diocese and our Holy Spirit Study Centre, I send our sincere condolences and sympathy to … the whole family. Be assured of our prayers… May he rest in peace!”
Goodstadt came to Hong Kong in 1962 as a Commonwealth Scholar. In 1964, he was a lecturer in economics at the University of Hong Kong. He was also an honorary lecturer-in-law at the same institution from 1979 to 1985 and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies.
As head of the Central Policy Unit, he was chief policy adviser to the government from 1989 to 1997 and involved in a wide range of major reforms including elections, welfare, administrative efficiency and budgetary policies.
From 2011, was an Honorary Institute Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and was also an adjunct professor of Business and Administrative Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
He closely followed the affairs of the Hong Kong society and had authored numerous books and research papers.
In his book published in 2018, titled, A City Mismanaged: Hong Kong’s Struggle For Survival, Goodstadt argued that “Gross mismanagement in government is not caused by Hong Kong’s political system but by the incompetent performance of the individual power holders. The mismanagement, had led to current woes in the city, such as the housing shortage, overcrowding in public hospitals and ineffective handling of relations with the central government.”