Category Archives: Hong Kong politics

Why I feel disappointed to Alan Leong

Alan Leong doing a radio programme in his Chambers office
The curtain for DC election has been drawn with the Civic Party (CP) losing 4 seats, leaving 7 seats. Party leader Alan Leong explained the ‘smear tactics’  and the overwhelming power of the Central Liaison Office in planting votes and unleashing the mechanism’s mobilisation have caused this election failure.Further, if district works remains to be snake banquet, it would prove wholly impossible for a CP  district councillor (DC) in another profession (lawyers, engineers) to stay in the district for up to 10 hours a day.

Alan Leong has been my mentor and inspirator. In 2011 March 1, it has been an awakening when he told me ‘ Rule of law is the hallmark of Hong Kong. Without it, Hong Kong is no different than one of the many Chinese cities’. His charisma as guardian of the rule of law has caught me but his explanation to the failure  of election caused me unease.
The CP and news media widely attributed the low – voting rate to the party’s support to the two controversial legal issues in the right of abode for foreign helpers and environmental permits for the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao bridge (HKZM bridge). But really?
Professor Choy Chi – keung (蔡子強) has rightly pointed out these merely act as excuses for the fact that the CP has never been keen in working at the constituent district. It is also at odds when Alan Leong confessed the impossibility for a CP DC to stay a long time in the district when this is what DC exactly does – to serve the people in the district as a full profession, not a part – time job. (Professor Choy has written a number of articles on this, the most recent is here)It is the sad political reality that people do not realize rules in laws. First a barrister has no choice but to represent a client for a field he is competent at. This is the cab – rank – rule to ensure fairness, so even a powerless person can get a lawyer. So CP did not tell Philip Dykes SC to represent Chu Yee – wah in the HKZM bridge. Legal duty obliges Dykes to represent her for the sake of the rule of law, so even the powerless minority can get a lawyer.

Also the Court decides whether to accept a judicial review, not the CP, as Ronny Tong explained in our lecture. The Court accepts the review only when the matters concern the public. Denouncing judicial review is equivalent to denouncing fairness of the Court.

Secondly even CP member Gladys Li represents Vallejos, so? Barrister acts independently. No one can force a barrister to do something unwilling.

Sadly people don’t take time to understand all that. Or rather, they don’t need to. Dislike is dislike. They’ll show it in the votes. (Shih Wing Ching 施永青 here has said exactly what people erroneously think). Perhaps Chip Tsao (陶傑) is right; rule of law? Nothing. People just dislike Filipinos. (article here)

CP must either explains the laws to the people or to bend to the reality. For the former, the CP has not done much, except one or two appearance in news. For the latter, Alan Leong has partially done so when he made a partial retreat in clarifying the CP’s position of not supporting the coming of Filipinos into Hong Kong.

I fully support Alan Leong to fight for the rule of law in Hong Kong. But I am deeply disappointed how he has led the party.

It is time when Alan Leong and CP must drop down the overt elitism and work more in the district. It is time for CP to help people unlearning the unenlightened (DAB’s) welfarism and to help them learning what rule of law is.

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‘Voting not required’

‘Voting not required’
The Hong Kong media keeps reporting on a CE election that 99.9826% of the Hong Kong population can not vote (alternatively, an election that only 0.0174% of the population can vote),  while the election by universal suffrage in District Council receives scant attention.When you receive a post saying ‘voting not required’, you’ll understand why the media has done so. While the CE election is choosing the best of the worst, still, some gossip here or there (funny claim that CY 梁振英 beat his wife or 感情缺失 by Henry Tong – what do you mean?)  provide topics during tea – time.

For DC election, what do you have? Well, talking how many candidates get elected automatically. 76, most of them either DAB/LP or other covert pro – China independents/parties. The end of topic.

Ma Ngok said politics in districts become mere ‘interest dispensation’ (here). By this, he means the ‘snake banquet’ or the ‘seafood trip’ offered by the DAB.

From my experiences working at DAB last summer, it works like this: Having finished the seafood banquet lunch for 50 dollars (HK), the people, old or middled aged, were taken by travel bus straight to the Victoria Park – to support the Constitutional Reform Package in 2010.

Most ‘iron votes’ for DAB come from places where immigrants newly arrive. DAB works hard to attract their votes by organizing activities and improving the districts (well, as minor as removing two dogs on the streets – hugely celebrated in banners on the road) through the generous unknown fund of 4 million dollar. But do not forget they are also the most vocal against new immigrants from China in 1999,  against Chinese pregnant women and now against Filipino.

Treasure the vote in your hand. NPCSC’s decision in 2007 held Hong Kong ‘s CE election in 2017 may be implemented by universal suffrage. I hope no one will ever receive a ‘voting not required’ post at that time.

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"I was really afraid" – Donald Tsang

“When the egg was thrown at me, I was really afraid”
“I was really afraid” (Donald Tsang 2011) should become a golden quote, commemorating how afraid he really was when Long Hair threw the egg on him.
It is almost a cliché to recount how George Bush has reacted to the (two) shoes thrown at him. He avoided 2 times and afterwards joked: “If you want the facts, it’s a size 10 shoe at that he threw.” No matter how much I dislike this cowboy, what he said has certainly cracked a smile from me.
Another cliché to recount is our dear Terminator – Arnold Schwarzenegger who also get thrown by egg and said “This guy owes me bacon now. You can’t have egg without bacon”. This sense of humour has defied his robotic image from the Terminator.
Now in Hong Kong, we did not fall behind. We have Donald Tsang saying “I was really afraid” when he visibly (and should also expectedly, as happened many times before) see Long Hair throwing the egg at him, from such a distance in the new Legislative Council, and was really afraid. This strikes a sense of humour as much as the cowboy and the Terminator, well in another way.
What kind of people produces what kind of things. A timid Donald Tsang produces a timid proposal; one that lacks a planning, a vision. The only effect I can see in giving every senior a 2$ ride for MTR and bus is giving them a chance to make more living by crossing several more districts, then collecting some more old cans and free newspapers for sale.
What I want is not some cheap acts of mercy but a complete review and implementation of a pension scheme for all retired old people. What I and everybody in Hong Kong want is a vision.
Donald Tsang does not need visions anyway. He proudly said he has worked in the government for 44 years. Yes, a 44 years of working in close door and taking instruction from the seniors (and in these recent 7 years, from China).
Now he is leaving. His legacy is certainly impressing; his golden quote “I was really afraid”, along with a whole bundle of problems.
Let’s hope the next CE will bring Hong Kong a vision.
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