Category Archives: Hong Kong politics

Occupy Central

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Hong Kong and American War of Independence: A Brief Comparison

In an evening, a group of men, disguised themselves as Native American warriors, stealthily boarded the British East India Company tea ship. They were ordered to search for all the tea on the ship, with the due care not to damage anything else. Speedily, they gathered one chest of tea after another, and a total of 342 chests was found. Not being interested to appropriate them, they threw them all overboard. The British armed ships promptly surrounded them. The deeds of these men, known as ‘Boston  Tea Party’, draw the curtain for the American War of Independence.

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Police Officer’s Force is Illegal, Unnecessary and Disproportionate

The Police Officer who forcibly removed and detained the Reporter

The news reported*:

Increasing intervention from Central Chinese Government and heavy – handedness of the police against peaceful protesters – evidenced by more frequent and intense use of pepper spray and assignment of restricted areas for media – only serve to show the ‘mainlandisation’ (i.e. a complete disregard of human rights) of the Hong Kong police.

The above news report is one of the other many examples showing police force against dissidents and protesters are dubiously illegal, unnecessary and disproportionate.

Admittedly, freedom of speech and freedom of movement (as stipulated in Article 27 and 31 of Basic Law respectively) are not absolute rights but restrictions are only justified provided they pass the legality, necessity and proportionality test.

From the facts in the news, the police officer did not even bother to give reply to a question from one journalist on what guidelines he relied on that delegated him the power to forcibly remove and detain the reporter.

Neither it seems necessary in a democratic interest in the interests of national security or public safety and public order for him to not only remove but to detain him for another 15 minutes. Surely asking a question, though a political sensitive one, to President Hu Jintao will not disrupt the public safety or order, on the face of a large amorphous army of black – suited guards, along with numerous police officers and other unknown covert policemen, and let alone damaging any national security.

The force is only proportionate when it rationally connects with a legitimate purpose and is no more than necessary for accomplishing it. Granted, protecting President Hu is a legitimate purpose  but it is his personal safety that matters, not his face. The purpose of the police officer is to save President Hu from a politically sensitive question, at the great expense of infringing human rights.

The means employed are neither rational nor no more than necessary. From the TV news, President Hu has already gone after he heard the Reporter’s question. In other words, the police officer’s removal and subsequent detainment were wholly irrational and unnecessary, as further questions from the Reporter would have gone unheard or unheeded when President Hu was already out of sight.

Hence the police officer’s force toward the Reporter is illegal, unnecessary and disproportionate. It is not a scarecrow or a fallacious slippery slope logic to argue one compromise following another for the Hong Kong police will eventually mean a complete ‘mainlandisation’ of the whole police force. Accumulated reports and this incident are only too obvious to show this sad and unfortunate trend.

* The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported, below is an excerpt:

‘Police forcibly removed a journalist from a press area after he shouted a question about the June 4 Tiananmen Square crackdown to President Hu Jintao while the president was visitng the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on Saturday.

As Hu walked by the press area accompanied by government officials, the Apply Daily reporter shouted “President Hu, the people of Hong Kong want the truth behind June 4 to be revealed, do you know this?”

Hu heard the question and turned to the journalist before continuing on his way without responding.  The reporter was immediately taken by a policeman to a stairwell where he was questioned for 15 minutes and eventually reprimanded

He told me that my yelling was breaking the rules,” said the reporter…’

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Watching Putin’s Kiss, Thinking Hong Kong

Roughly means: Those who beat Oleg Kashin must be brought to justice.
Marsha withdrew from NASHI after Oleg, her friend, has been beaten by two unknown attackers.

This documentary is about the rise, the struggle, the fall, and eventually the reawakening of Marsha Drokova – an intelligent and enthusiastic, yet young and naive, lady.

What Winston Churchill said in 1939 still prophetically holds true: Russia is a ‘riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. Now Pedersen, the Denmark director, offers Marsha to slightly unwrap that riddle and to help us understand the difference in Russia, if any, after the demise of the noble experiment by Gorbachev.

Like Hitler Youth in Hitler Germany, Komsomol (Communist Union of Youth) in USSR and 共青團 (Communist Youth League) in China, Putin’s Russia institutes NASHI,  a youth movement that seeks to absorb the youth enthusiasm and unleash it to fill up the civil society.

It keeps pondering in my mind of the terrifying consequence after the state has gained power to use the media as the state apparatus. The spontaneous harassments from youths (ranging from excreting on the opposition leader’s car in public to flying dildos in meeting during an activist’s talk), large buses travelling youths from subburg to Moscow for a mass denunciation of enemies and finally the near fatal attack of Oleg Kashin, a critical journalist against Putin, only serve to show a simple logic: ‘You are either with Putin or the enemy.’

Notwithstanding using his name as the title, Putin rarely appeared on screen, saved for a few seconds here or there. Yet, his absence only amplifies his presence throughout the whole film,  more like the Big Brother is watching you. 

I can’t help but to relate back to Hong Kong. The police’s frequent use of pepper spray, setting up barricades against a dozen kids and recently laying a discriminatory media zone at the Central Liaison Office seems to me resonating the use of state power against different yet legitimate voices.

Fortunately the media in Hong Kong is still free but similar signs show up. As one opposition leader has put it in the film, ‘you are not treated as opposition, but rather as an enemy’. 文匯報 (Wen Wei Pao), with article like this, is denouncing the opposition from barristers in the Civic Party almost as 反中亂港 (‘anti – China, meddling HK’), instead of seeing them as contributing a different opinion to social problems.

The film closes with a casual chat between Marsha who has already withdrawn from NASHI and Oleg who has managed to survive the fatal attack.  Still an ardent believer in Putin, Marsha described him as a saviour ‘sent to Russia by God’, in which Oleg wryly said only as ‘an angel of the Apocalypse.’

This is the only moment where different opinions are voiced out in such casual chat and with such mutual respect.

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325: ‘Heil, mein Führer! Mr. Leung Chun – ying’

‘Heil, mein Führer! Mr Leung Chun – ying’

325.  The play has come to the final moment.  ‘Heil, mein Führer! Let’s give a round of warm applause to our new CE, Mr. Leung Chun – ying’

‘There would be one day [when] Hong Kong would eventually need to dispatch the anti-riot police and utilise tear gas to handle protests’ said CY – an accusation made by Henry Tang in his final rebound against his arch – rival.

Can we trust Henry? My answer is Why not? He has come to his own political suicide anyway. There’s no reason not to trust a dying person.

This blatant tramping on freedom of speech by CY is not so surprising, after we have read Mdm. Ip’s article, saying CY has always been a underground communist.

Indeed PRC has long known how to play the filtration game. CY as underground communist can’t be something too far – fetched to believe in when other scholars already explored how PRC set up parallel organisations to plant their own support ( in Associations in a Bind by Jonathan Unger and Anita Chan).

Undoubtedly, PRC also masters the Shakespearian play within a play in writing the drama script for Hong Kong. Right of abode cases, Article 23, double – non issues and now CE election are all mini – plays within the grand play – the ultimate death of One Country Two Systems.

Shortly gaining his chancellorship on January 30 1933, Hitler unleashed his Night of Long Knives – purging the internal dissidents and killing off other political opponents.

CY promised to pursue the matter about accusation made by Henry Tang further after the election is over.

The only vain hope I am holding now is a deus ex machina – a totally unexpected event – that will produce enough blank votes  to make an abortive election. ABC. Anything But CY.

This hope is, however, hopeless. The red curtain will be drawn, with blood seeping beneath it. HK is dead.

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The Ides of March

The Ides of March

Two days ago, Henry Tang slacked off all the blame on the illegal basement to Mrs. Tang. “It’s all my fault, not my husband” is what seems to be saying in Mrs.Tang’s quiet weeping.

This total fisco just doubly proves how dirty the political world is, and that’s what The Ides of March told us about.

Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is the press secretary of Mike Morris (George Clooney), the governor of Pennsylvania and the Democrat presidential candidate. The story starts when Stephen, lacking political sensitivity, went out to meet the competitor’s campaign manager.

He belatedly told his boss, Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) about the meeting but this honesty was not very much appreciated; Paul distrusted and fired him. That starts Stephen’s revenge which eventually turned him into a soulless amoral person.

This plot bespeaks a tragic moral fable. The most chilling scene is when Ida, the journalist who threatened Stephen to publish his meeting, came after Stephen has emerged unscratched by the scandal and asked him  ‘Hey, Steve. I’m still your friend, right?’

Without irony nor any emotion, he replied ‘You are my best friend’ – the ultimate descent to hypocrisy.

George Clooney easily executed a relaxing judicious authority as what a governor should do. He listened to advices, asked the advisers and made his own mind. When asked about his view on capital punishment and what if the victim is his wife, he answered, without a moment of thinking, that he would kill the murderer.

Despite that, he is still against capital punishment, since ‘The society must be better than the individual’. (Professor Choy has written a fantastic article on this here)

But this idealism is all too superficial when on the face of Stephen’s threat, Morris simply gave up all his baselines. After all, a politician has no baseline in a political game, especially in an election running for the most powerful seat in the world.

In the political world, everything can be bought and sold for power; just like Henry Tang selling out his wife to continue running the CE election.

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A Reply to Minna Ho

The Locust Ads

First, I do not agree using ‘locust’ to pinpoint Mainlanders. According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘locust’ refers to ‘ a large, mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight. It is usually solitary, but from time to time there is a population explosion and it migrates in vast swarms which cause extensive damage to vegetation.’

From this definition, I do not find it inappropriate to use ‘locust’ in a metaphorical sense to describe any person or any group of people that ‘enter’ into a territory for the purpose of scraping off the domestic welfare, causing extensive damage to the local population. It seems obvious ‘double non’ pregnant women and children fall within this definition.

Second, I didn’t pick on Minna Ho’s article because of any personal hostility to her. On the contrary, it is precisely because her article is so well – written and so convincing that compels me to write this reply, in spite of my very amateurish understanding of politics and laws. (her article is available here)

In essence, her argument may be summed up in the following ways:

  1. The historical background behind the Basic Law and Article 24 has given the lawful right of abode to all children born in Hong Kong
  2. Before and after 1997, Hong Kongers have also migrated to foreign places for better welfare, not just Mainlanders.
  3. The Hong Kong SAR government bears the responsibility for attracting Mainlanders.

For the first point, we, the Hong Konger, never have the chance to vote in a referendum or through any other democratic processes on any part of the Basic Law during the Sino – British negotiation. The legality of their right of abodes does not imply their legitimacy.

True, many Hong Kong families have migrated to other places but comparing Hong Kong’s population size to Mainland, there must be more Chinese migrating than Hong Kongers.

Further those who can afford to migrate are usually wealthy upper class, not the low – income families or the new couples in these 10 years. Why do the low – income families or new couples staying in Hong Kong have to suffer for what the rich minority has done (according to the logic in the article)?

Even if, we, Hong Kongers, did migrate for the sake of better welfare, so? What we have done is wrong does not mean the acts committed by ‘double – nons’ pregnant women are not wrong. They still bear the moral responsibility for consuming Hong Kong’s welfare.

The Hong Kong SAR government did permit Mainland pregnant women to come (for the moment) but it must be born in mind this government and our LegCo are never elected by universal suffrage. Strictly speaking, the government ‘s policies does not necessarily reflect our view.

It remains to be seen whether Donald Tsang’ s administrative measures will be working. Hopefully, the future government can have the gut to start the amendment process enshrined in article 159 of the Basic Law to eradicate the problem, once and for all.

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Hong Konger – British Dog with Dragon Tattoo

Those who refuse to speak Mandarin, what kind of people are they? Bastard!’ ‘

Yesterday the SCMP reports ‘An ultra-leftist mainland academic branded Hong Kong people “running dogs of the British government” when commenting on a quarrel between Hong Kong and mainland passengers on an MTR train.’ (news here)

This ‘ultra – leftist mainland academic’, 孔慶東 (Professor of Beijing University and alleged 73rd generation descendant of Confucius) added a number of points, saying ‘All Chineses have the responsibility to speak Mandarin… Those who refuse to speak Mandarin, what kind of people are they? Bastard!’ (video here)
On the attitude of the HK passenger in the MTR, he said ‘I have never seen Hong Konger treating Hong Konger, American and Japanese like that.’
The answer is simple. American, Japanese or British, born in the advanced democratic rule – bound society and taught with civilized western etiquette, respect the rules of the area and simply do not eat in the MTR, along with a number of other basic things: not jumping the line and not excreting or urinating on the street.
Ming Pao adds ‘Commentators point out conflicts between Mainland and Hong Kong have deepened, showing integration measures have not been effective’. (news here)The worry is we can’t integrate with the Mainland. If we can’t get along well, then don’t. Why so anxious about it?

What Anson Chan, the former Chief Secretary for Administration, has said 11 years ago still stands ‘ Some are so concerned about integration that they seem to forget that our strength lies in the separation which is fundamental to the success of One Country Two System – not just Hong Kong but for China as well’ (In Retrospect and Anticipation, the luncheon address to the Asia Society Hong Kong Center)

The whole point of OCTS is the distinctiveness that Hong Kong should enjoy, from capitalism and rule of law to Cantonese and Traditional Chinese, instead of integrating with the Mainland.

The Europeans have long realized the unfeasibility of unification and have abandoned the idea of the Holy Roman Empire 500 years ago (officially dead in 1806).

In the 21st century, Sinologists in China, finding the notions of class conflicts and Chinese nation inadequate to justify the imperial rule in Tibet and One China doctrine, are anxious to develop the  Tian Xia  (天下, literally ‘under heaven’) concept – a return to the good and old Chinese imperialism under the Qing Dynasty. ( a fantastic analysis is available here)

Florence in Italy has her harmoniously symmetrical Renaissance art while Venice developed her own colourful painting. Similarly Quebec in Canada had her own rich French culture while the rest of Canada speak English.

I do not see any conflict for a tourist to see the grandeur of the Forbidden Palace in Beijing while he can submerge into the classic Greco – Victorian architectural design of the Peninsula Hotel.

Perhaps 孔慶東 and China still stand where the Europeans have already moved along – that is 500 hundred years ago. They first want Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong to kowtow, and then the rest of the world.

Well, perhaps, 孔慶東 is right. Having been separate since 1842, we are dogs, the ones who learn rule of law from British but inherit the beautiful Traditional Chinese writing – British dogs with dragon tattoo.

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Lost Language Found in China, ‘a highly more advanced language than the existing Chinese’, Expert said.

Oracle Bone Script

The news reports:

” Yesterday, a team of archeologists from the Oxford University has found a large stone slab in an island situated at the south coast of China, showing ‘a highly more advanced language than the existing Chinese’, said Dr. Liang, the head archeologist.

The discovery, described in the Journal of Archeology, shows the first times that a lost civilization has once co – existed with the Chinese culture in the Mainland.

‘The characters are similar to Simplified Chinese but present greater complexity and far more beautiful pattern’, said Tong Man – wu, the director of the Beijing – based National Calligraphy Institute

That leads to the question – what caused the demise of this civilization? It was believed that colonization from the Mainland China has slowly replaced it with the present Simplified Chinese system. ‘It’s a pity’, said Dr. Liang, ‘It seems Chinese culture has gone backward’. ”

The above report is a wholly invented news but it won’t take long before you might really see it in the newspaper when we do not uphold the cores of Chinese culture – Traditional Chinese and Cantonese.

All signs point to one direction: simplified (handicapped) Chinese is slowly encroaching into Hong Kong.   The media already reported the use of simplified chinese in government street signs at Sheung Shui. (news here)

It can’t be excused as blunder when another government poster used handicapped Chinese as well. (Picture on the right)

Another weapon that the Communist China employed to substitute Traditional Chinese and Cantonese is the huge exodus of Mainland Chinese. It is an horror to see from a government source that children whose parents are not Hong Konger have increased from 1.3% in 2001 to 36. 9% in 2010 (data below) – the beginning of the colonization.

Nothing less is clearer when Stephen Lam, the Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong, told us ‘to look positively at the new influx of Chinese immigrants’ who will prove to be ‘new blood’ of the population. (news here)

While Outer Mongolians use the Russian Cyrus character; Thailand adopts the Indian Sanskrit; English, French, German, Spanish and Italian share the Latin script, China develops her own beautiful Chinese characters – in which the illiterate peasant – classed Communist Chineses are quick to abandon.

In the movie The Flying Sword of Dragon Gate (龍門飛甲 ), the ancient Xi Xia characters (西夏文) in the stone slab have been so little known and so badly eroded by sand that they can hardly be recognized.

Not long, Traditional Chinese and Cantonese will become like Xi Xia language – destroyed and forgotten.

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"Life will go on as it has always gone on – that is, badly." – Animal Farm

Animal Farm

In Animal Farm, Benjamin, the donkey,  said enigmatically ‘Life will go on as it has always gone on – that is, badly.’ At the end, the animals overthrew Mr. Jones; pigs rule; Napoleon became the supreme leader; then things went on as usual as before the overthrow of Mr. Jones – that is badly and yet along with another equally enigmatic principle: ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than the others.’

This principle applies with the same force, unfortunately, to Hong Kong. We are promised with universal suffrage in the Basic Law. We are promised that ‘river water won’t mix well with well water’. We are promised with One Country Two Systems. We hold great hope for our future.Now Beijing delayed universal suffrage till 2017. The media exposed two ‘independent’ district councillors to have belonged to the Communist nomenclature. Votes come from a flat of 13 voters with 7 surnames. Most of us are equal; some are more equal when they can vote for the next CE in the 1200 members Election Committee.

The article Two Systems Becoming One: The 2047 Timetable by Suzanne Pepper ominously predicts that the development is still at an early stage. Eventually the Hong Kong district councillors system will nicely fit into the People’s Congress System that also has grassroots foundations.

As I said previously, the Communist Chinese genes have their way to filter through. They then begin to reproduce in mass number, until every sperm and egg become red.

Last Thursday, Professor Choy has written an insightful article saying when this city dies, a diagnosis will find silence and indifference as the causes. He cited a quote from Dante; ‘The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality’. In short, we are all accomplices. (article here)Hong Kong is not Banana Republic, springing from nowhere. It is an international city with rule of law that we all cherish. If we all stay silent as Professor Choy said, this city is not dying. It is dead.

After all, Benjamin is only half – right. Life will not go on as it has always gone – that is badly. Life will only go on worse but for our neutrality.

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