(Wen Wei Po) January 18, 2018.

When a university students fails to make the grade in a test, how can he/she do? He/she can study harder and take the exam again. But it turns out that they can also "occupy" the teacher's office and coerce the university to cancel the exam altogether!

At Hong Kong Baptist University, all students have been required to attain putonghua proficiency as part of the graduation requirements. Last year, the HKBU Student Union said that the putonghua classes were "too difficult as well as interfering with graduation." As a result, the university allowed putonghua testing such that those who pass are waived from taking the putonghua class. This year, about 30% obtained the waiver. But the HKBU Student Union was not satisfied. Saying that the university is intentionally forcing people to take the putonghua class, they went to the university language center and "occupied" the offices. They demanded the complete cancellation of the putonghua proficiency requirement.

After the announcement of the putonghua test results, some failing students were dissatisfied. They formed an online Victims' Grand Alliance and issued a joint petition to the HKBU Language Center, with the demands:

(1) Set up a timetable for the complete elimination of putonghua proficiency among the graduation requirements;
(2) Arrange for all failing students to re-take the putonghua proficiency test and publish all marks;
(3) Publication of the grading standards for the putonghua proficiency test.

Yesterday, the HKBU Student Union escalated action by mobilizing more than a dozen students to "occupy" the offices of the HKBU Language Center. They demanded direct dialogue with senior university administrators.

The HKBU spokesperson said that more than 30% of the test-takers received waivers. Combined with other means (e.g. results from other recognized standardized tests), more than 40% received waivers. This is a big increase over the 10% or so in previous years. Furthermore, over the past ten years when the putonghua proficiency requirement has been in place, fewer than five students missed their graduation because they could not achieve putonghua proficiency.

The HKBU spokesperson said that the university values the importance of the ability to speak three dialects (Cantonese, putonghua and English) and write two languages (Chinese and English). They want students to master these dialects/languages because it will be beneficial for learning, cultural exchange and social mixing.

Last June, the HKBU introduced the putonghua proficiency test in order to offer the students an easier path to satisfy the putonghua proficiency requirement. Those students who choose not the take the test or fail the test can either take the putonghua course or find other ways.

Internet comments:

- (Speakout HK video https://www.speakout.hk/%E6%B8%AF%E4%BA%BA%E9%BB%9E%E6%92%AD/30453/-%E7%9F%AD%E7%89%87-%E5%AD%B8%E6%99%AE%E9%80%9A%E8%A9%B1%E9%83%BD%E8%A6%81%E5%8F%8D-%E8%B6%85%E7%8B%B9%E9%9A%98-%E6%B5%B8%E5%A4%A7%E9%83%A8%E5%88%86%E5%AD%B8%E7%94%9F%E7%99%BC%E7%88%9B%E6%B8%A3%E5%94%94%E6%83%B3%E5%AD%B8%E6%99%AE%E9%80%9A%E8%A9%B1-%E8%AB%8B%E4%BD%A0%E5%93%8B%E7%9D%87%E7%9D%87-%E5%85%A8%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C%E9%83%BD%E5%AD%B8%E7%B7%8A%E6%99%AE%E9%80%9A%E8%A9%B1- ) January 19, 2018.

Student: We basically feel that we don't need to learn putonghua. We believe that which languages should be learned should be based upon what we believe are our needs.

[Arabella Trump reciting Chinese poem in putonghua]

[French president Emmanuel Macron speaking putonghua]

[Pakistani men singing in putonghua]

[Vietnamese woman watching Chinese soap operas in putonghua]

- Do students even know whether they will need to know putonghua once they leave school and enter the real world? Which jobs need putonghua proficiency? Let me make a list: financial advisors; mergers/acquisitions specialists; hotel receptionists; salespersons; taxi drivers; waiters/waitresses; airline stewards/stewardesses; public service workers; police officers; etc. Basically any job that has contact with the public requires putonghua.

I guess if your goal in life is to wash pots, pans and dishes, then you won't need putonghua proficiency.

- Students should have the freedom to decide what they want to learn. I myself want to be a STEM major, because the job opportunities are great. However, I don't really like mathematics. So why make me take Advanced Calculus when I don't like it? I would rather be playing Call To Duty for all four years.

- (Silent Majority HK Facebook video) Commercial Radio talk show.

Student: Of course, we must know Cantonese. English is an international language. We need to know English ...

Host: This is very simple. The handover has taken place.

Student: We don't understand. Why are we at Baptist University the only local students who have to learn putonghua?

Host: So if the other universities also have the requirement, you will accept it?

Student: We think that it is unreasonable.

Host: Why don't you answer that question first. Because the handover has taken place, so Hong Kong university students should have a basic level of proficiency in putonghua.

- Hong Kong university students are so keen on Hong Kong independence nowadays. But let us look at the reality of this movement in the context of the world.

The movement needs international allies. The most natural allies are the respective independence movements in Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia. If there are simultaneous uprisings everywhere, the Central Government can't put down all of them. Can they? So let us liaise with each other and form an alliance.

With respect to Taiwan, you don't speak Minnan/Hakka and they don't speak Cantonese. Neither of you are fluent in English. Therefore you communicate in putonghua.

With respect to Xinjiang, you don't speak Uighur and they don't speak Cantonese. Neither of you are fluent in English. Therefore you communicate in putonghua.

With respect to Tibet, you don't speak Tibetan and they don't speak Cantonese. Neither of you are fluent in English. Therefore you communicate in putonghua.

With respect to Inner Mongolia, you don't speak Mongolian and they don't speak Cantonese. Neither of you are fluent in English. Therefore you communicate in putonghua.

Your biggest financier is going to the the United States. You can try to speak English. Their diplomats don't speak Cantonese (which is just an exotic dialect), but they are trained to speak putonghua at the Foreign Services Institute. So you find it easier to communicate in putonghua (see #466).

Don't you think that it is important for you to learn putonghua in order to advance the cause of Hong Kong independence?

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. January 20, 2018.

Recently there was an "uprising" at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Very few people noticed it, and even fewer people discussed it. Yet this incident has a deep impact.

This was an Occupy Movement with the name "The students rose up to oppose the tyranny of putonghua." There was an 8-hour live broadcast of how 20 Baptist University students occupied the HKBU Language Center to demand a course cancellation.

The "tyranny" that the students want to overthrow is the compulsory putonghua course.

In the past, HKBU students must take the putonghua course because the university has set putonghua proficiency as a graduation requirement. Things were fine until Hong Kong independence/localism reared its head.

Last year, the HKBU student held a referendum to demand the cancellation of the putonghua course. HKBU president Roland Chin Tai-hong conceded and said that there will be a "relatively simple" test such that those who pass will be waived from taking the putonghua course. Chin also promised that the test will be exceedingly easy: "You don't even have to know the pinyin system -- you can pass just by conversing in putonghua."

But 70% of the test-takers failed this time. The students were angry and they charged into the HKBU Language Center to throw a hissy fit. They surrounded the teachers, occupied the office, demanded a detailed explanation of the grading, they wanted to see all the grading standards and they demanded that the test (or even the requirement) be scrapped altogether.

In Hong Kong, triad gangsters surrounded people when they wanted to get their way. Nowadays, university students do that. The students were so proud that they conducted a live video broadcast of their heroic actions. If you come across the video without knowing the background, you would think that this was some triad gangsters extorting protection money.

If people who fail exams can get passing grades by "surrounding and intimidate teachers", then we would all be Doctors of Philosophy. If a course that too many people fail should be scrapped, then the university students must be pretty useless when they graduate.

We are in Hong Kong, which is a part of China. If being proficiency in the national dialect of putonghua is tyranny, then what is English? Wouldn't that be a foreign invasion?

Putonghua is spoken by 1.5 billion people in the world. Knowing putonghua is a valuable asset. The university wanted the make sure that the students have wings to fly with, but the students want to chop off those wings. What can we say?

- (HKG Pao) This video of HKBU Student Union president yelling at the HKBU Language Center staff. Facebook banned this HKG Pao video with a warning.

- (Facebook Video) 23:34 minutes of students yelling at HKBU Language Center staff.

- These students have good futures as debt collectors for loan shark operations.

- How to obtain the perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average: Every time you get less than an A, you bring your Student Union pals to surround and shout at the professor until he/she surrenders.

If there is a professor who is too stubborn, you surround and shout at the department head until the professor is fired.

- (Facebook Video) 2:03. What are they yelling about? Here is the transcript:

Student: You won't answer?

Worker: What is the situation now?

Student; Right now, we are questioning how you made the assessment as to which students pass or fail. You are saying that you won't fucking respond to our demands.

Worker: Do you know how you should be speaking to teachers?

Student: The students want to graduate.

Worker: Of course. But we have our work too.

Student: You cause us not to be able to graduate. So why can't we stop your from operating?

Student: You ask all the putonghua teachers to come out and stand here to answer all our demands. We are students who have suffered by your graduation requirements over many years. How long has the Student Union followed this case!?

Worker: Yes, I also find this annoying.

Student: I also find this annoying.  Why don't you get rid of it?

Student: Right now, you are the ones who have a problem. You are asking us not to raise questions.

Student: Systemic violence.

Student: You say that we cannot raise questions. You screw the students. We are asking you what your grading standards are and you are unable to answer us. You run the test. You cannot explain the grading standards to us. What do you want? You are telling us to see someone else? Who else should I ask other than the Language Center?  You tell us to calm down? How long have you bullied us?

Student: Guard ... Guard the door.

Worker (in English): Please move out of the office.

Student (in English): We are not going to move unless we have the answer.

Worker (in English): Oh?

Student (in English): You have the answer. You know.

Worker (in English): Oh, you expect us to give you the answer now? Under this situation? But you are threatening us. You are threatening us, I believe.

Student (in English): We are not threatening us.

Worker (in English): Well, we feel threatened.

Student (in English): We feel threatened too. By you. You do ... n't allow us to graduate. Do you know? It is a threaten.

Worker (in English): Please. Over the last ten years, only 5 students ...

Student (in English) walking up: Five students ...

Worker (in English): Please move back.

Student (in English): So poor. Why?

Worker (in English): Please move back.

Student (in English): I am talking with you.

Worker (in English) Because you are shouting.

Student (in English): Why don't you move bed? You are ...

Worker (in English): Because I am a teacher.

Student (in English): And we are the students.

Worker (in English): Yes, so you came to  Baptist University ...

Student (in English): This language center is for students. Not students for this language center.

[break]

Student: If you are not in that post, if you are not the department head, then you should not come over and obstruct us. The department head must answer me. The grading standards. Grading standards. Grading standards. Grading standards. I don't care. You can ignore me, or you can call the police. There is no problem. We students came in to ask a question. Students came in to ask a question and you feel threatened. This is so hilarious. Can we Baptist University students come in to ask a question at the Language Center?

Student: Do you know what the Baptist University president said at the Opening Ceremony? He said that we should be more critical. You should go back and listen to his speech again. You go back and listen to his speech. I attended the Opening Ceremony.

- This video revealed that the Hong Kong Baptist University not only lacked proficiency in putonghua, but they are also appallingly lousy in English.

When the teacher said (in English) "You are threatening us," the student said (in English) "We are not threatening us." Oy vay! And to think that an applicant needs to have a minimum Level 3 in English language in the DSE to be admitted by Baptist University.

- When the teacher said that only five students were held back for lack of putonghua proficiency over the past ten years, the student said (in English): "So poor." What does "so poor" mean? Is he saying that those five students had no money? Or that they were pathetic in not being able to pass the simplest of requirements? Or that their lives have been tragically ruined?

- Not only this, but the students were using Cantonese poorly. They did not know how to explain their viewpoints with mainstream Cantonese. Instead, their Cantonese were aggressive, provocative and belligerent. When they speak that way, it means that they did not come for the sake of communication.

- (Ming Pao) With respect to the use of "fucking", Hong Kong Baptist University Student Union president Lau Tsz-kei said that it was an unintentional "口誤" (slip of the tongue). Lau is willing to apologize to anyone who thought that Lau was using obscene language to curse out the teacher.

Lau said that he and other students went to seek an explanation from the university. But  the attitude of the university was "We don't know and we don't care." Therefore they were upset.

- The students were complete off the mark here. They charged into the Language Center to ask about the putonghua test standards. For this, they surrounded the English-language teachers, who said that they didn't know. Of course.

- Why kind of non-apology is this? "I didn't say anything. But if you insisted that you heard it, I will say Sorry to make you happy." This is just designed to make people even angrier.

- This HKBU SU president was elected by the student body. Therefore he represents the HKBU student body when he exercises freedoms of speech, assembly and academic research here.

- (Silent Majority HK) Students yelled at office workers to demand to see documents and/or persons in authority.

- Be careful what you wish for! These students demand the publication of all grading. Let us post the recordings of the putonghua speeches of each of the 345 student test-takers with names and marks. We will let the public vote to decide who should pass or fail.

- (YouTube) Here is an example of lousy putonghua from a movie.

- (YouTube) Actor Louis Koo is legendary for his lousy putonghua.

(Hong Kong Free Press) January 15, 2018.

Ousted lawmaker Edward Yiu and ex-legislator Gary Fan have won the pro-democracy camp primary election held on Sunday in the Kowloon West and New Territories East constituencies. More than 26,000 Hongkongers voted in the primary to choose one candidate to run in each area ahead of the March 11 Legislative Council by-election. The nomination period will officially begin on Tuesday. The pro-democracy camp has agreed to run just one candidate for each vacant seat in order to avoid vote splitting and maximize their chances against the pro-Beijing camp. The Sunday vote accounted for 45 per cent of the primary results. The results also incorporated phone surveys conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme – which accounted for another 45 per cent of the result. Votes from participating pro-democracy organisations accounted for the remaining 10 per cent.

(Bastille Post) January 15, 2018.

New Territories East
Table 1: Detailed results
Rows are candidates in order of Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, Gary Fan Kwok-wai and Steven Kwok Wing-kin, followed by abstention/null and grand total.
Columns are by mode in order of telephone poll results, physical balloting and organization balloting.
Table 2: Scoring
Rows are candidates in order of Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, Gary Fank Kwok-wai and Steven Kwok Wing-kin, followed by the relative weight
Columns are by mode in order of telephone poll results, physical balloting and organization balloting. Right-hand column has the final score by candidate.

Kowloon West
Table 1: Detailed results
Rows are candidates in order of Frederick Fung Kin-kee, Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, followed by abstention/null and grand total.
Columns are by mode in order of telephone poll results, physical balloting and organization balloting.
Table 2: Scoring
Rows are candidates in order of Frederick Fung Kin-kee, Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, followed by the relative weight
Columns are by mode in order of telephone poll results, physical balloting and organization balloting. Right-hand column has the final score by candidate.
The cell entries in brackets are the column rankings.

Internet comments:

- In New Territories East, Gary Fan Kwok-wai got 60.9% in the telephone poll and 59.5% in the physical balloting. So the results are quite consistent. But in Kowloon West, Edward Yiu Chung-yim got 48.4% in the telephone poll but 78.8% in the physical balloting. Is this the proverbial "stuffing the ballot boxes"?

- If you look at the counts, then Frederick Fung received 2,036 physical votes compared to Edward Yiu's 9,780. Everybody knows that Frederick Fung's party ADPL is has its home base in the Sham Shui Po district. There were 5,387 ballots cast in the Shek Kip Mei station in Sham Shui Po district. This means that Fung could not even win on his home court.

Is that reasonable? You can have your doubts, but there is no recourse for any complaints.

- Frederick Fung is exactly where he wants to be. During the debates, the other two candidates attacked Fung because of his higher name recognition. Fung counter-attacked Ramon Yuen Hoi-man while ignoring Edward Yiu Chung-yim altogether. So Fung was running for second-place and that is what he got.

Why is finishing second a "winning" strategy"? Because Fung is counting on Yiu to be disqualified by the Returning Officer! If and when that happens, the second-place finisher in the primary election will become the pro-democracy camp's candidate.

-  (Bastille Post) January 16, 2018.

One legal professional believed that when Edward Yiu Chung-yim was disqualified as a legislative councilor for failing to take his oath of office, that disqualification refers to his eligibility for the Legislative Council session of 2016-2020 in any capacity. That is to say, he cannot re-enter the Legislative Council by winning the by-election of another constituency. However, Yiu may be able to run in the 2020 Legco elections in the constituency of his choice.

- Don't count on Agnes Chow Ting being able to get past the Returning Officer. Her situation is even worse than Edward Yiu Chung-yim. Agnes is on the Standing Committee of the political party Demosisto, whose platform features "self-determination 自決." Specifically, this involves one or more public referenda by the people of Hong Kong to determine the future of Hong Kong. As such, this is contrary to the Hong Kong Basic Law. Today Agnes Chow is trying to muddle her way through by changing the keyword to "autonomy 自主."

Here are a couple of exit strategies for her. On one hand, she can resign from Demosisto and thus dissociate herself from "self-determination." On the other hand, Demosisto can renounce "self-determination" and she can retain her membership.

- Demosisto: About Us: Demosistō aims to achieve democratic self-determination in Hong Kong. Through direct action, popular referenda, and non-violent means, we push for the city’s political and economic autonomy from the oppression of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and capitalist hegemony.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) January 16, 2018.

Former lawmaker Edward Yiu says he believes the government would not bar him from running in the Legislative Council by-election in March, given the strong mandate he obtained in Sunday’s pro-democracy camp primary election.

Yiu, who was disqualified from the legislature by a court in 2016 over the additional lines he added to his oath of office, has often been asked about the risk of being barred from running again. “The government would not dare to cancel my candidacy because of the high turnout and the high percentage of support I received,” Yiu said.

- In the 2016 New Territories East Legco elections, there were 975,071 registered voters. On January 14, 2018, 13,699 came out to cast physical ballots in the pro-democracy primary election. The massive voter turnout of 1.4% gave a clear mandate to the winner Gary Fan Kwok-wai.

In the 2016 Kowloon West Legco elections, there were 488,129 registered voters. On January 14, 2018, 12,438 came out to cast physical ballots in the pro-democracy primary election. The massive voter turnout of 2.5% gave a clear mandate to the winner Edward Yiu Chung-yim.

The people of Hong Kong have spoke out in one unified voice on January 14, 2018. Therefore the Hong Kong Communist Government must satisfy their demand. Or else there will be another Occupy Central!

- (Ming Pao) January 16, 2018.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that it is up to the Returning Officers at the Electoral Affairs Commission to determine whether a nomination is accepted or denied. She said: "The Chief Executive does not stand there and decide who gets to run or not based upon her view."

Lam said that certain political parties want her to promise that she won't deprive the right of a certain person to run in the election. She said: "This is asking me to break the law. Election issues are not decided at the say-so of the Chief Executive. The Returning Officers make those decisions in accordance with the law."

- What was the purpose of occupying Central for 79 days? It was to fight for "genuine universal suffrage", which means one-person-one-vote with civil nomination. One-person-one-vote was there for the taking, but it was rejected for being fake. Instead, we must have civil nomination (that is to say, anyone who wants to run will be allowed to run).

After all this time, we now have the inaugural pro-democracy primary election. Indeed, anyone who wanted to run could run. Now that the winner have emerged, we go into the full elections with the candidates who will represent the pro-democracy camp:

In Hong Kong Island, the pro-democracy candidate is Agnes Chow Ting. Power for Democracy did not hold a primary election, because the party bosses had reached the consensus among themselves. P.S. It is still unclear whether she has successfully renounced her British citizenship.

In New Territories East, the pro-democracy candidate is Gary Fan Kwok-wai. He won based upon the results of 1,757 completed telephone calls; 13,699 physical ballots from people who showed their Hong Kong ID's and proof of address out of 975,071 registered voters; and 115 "pro-democracy" political parties/organizations.

In Kowloon West, the pro-democracy candidate is Edward Yiu Chung-yim. He won based upon the results of 2,115 completed telephone calls; 12,438 physical ballots from people who showed their Hong Kong ID's and proof of address out of 488,129 registered voters; and 117 "pro-democracy" political parties/organizations.

In the functional constituency for Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape, the pro-democracy candidate is Paul Zimmerman, who is not even a member of that constituency.

All pro-democracy voters are asked to vote for these and only these designated pro-democracy candidates. If any other pro-democracy person is interested in running, then he/she will be attacked for hating freedom/democracy/human rights/universal values and being saboteurs on the payroll of the China Liaison Office.

What ever happened to the dream of "genuine universal suffrage"? Why are our choices being circumscribed by a small number of faceless citizens and party bosses?

- "Genuine universal suffrage" was the attractive slogan of a distant dream. After all, who can admit to preferring a "fake universal suffrage"? But reality is in the form of the four Legco by-elections on March 11, 2018. The point in any election is to win. In case you gloss over that, let me repeat: The point in any election is to win. "Genuine universal suffrage" allowing all pro-democracy candidates to run will surely lead to losses the candidates will cannibalize each other. Therefore the choices must be reduced to one and only one pro-democracy candidate per election, with the choices being guided by the benevolent party bosses who know best.

(SCMP) January 9, 2018.

A citywide police search was under way on Tuesday for two men who assaulted former student activist Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, who planned to run in a Hong Kong by-election in March.

The 23-year-old former Chinese University student union president was attacked on Chik Fu Street, Sha Tin soon after 11.15pm on Monday after a late-night meal. A passer-by called police. Cheung was taken conscious to Prince of Wales Hospital, where he was treated for minor head and arm injuries.

Speaking in hospital, Cheung said he noticed the two men looking at him when he left the restaurant and was on the way to pick up his car. “I thought I would be fine in the main street, but I was pushed to the floor then kicked and hit with an umbrella,” he recalled. He was discharged from hospital after treatment. Police mounted a search in the area, but no arrests were made.

A police source said crime squad officers were investigating the motive behind the attack, as Cheung, who had been eating alone, said he did not have any prior run-ins with the two attackers. The source also revealed that a letter with a razor blade and a newspaper cutting of the Chinese character for “kill” had been addressed to Cheung and sent to the office of the CUHK student union in Sha Tin. The items, he said, were related to Cheung’s recent allegations of bid-rigging in the provision of estate management, cleaning and security services to local housing estates, amid an ongoing wage dispute between cleaners from a West Kowloon public housing estate and their employer.

The letter was opened on Monday afternoon, but no police report was made before the attack, he said. “We are investigating whether the two cases are linked,” the source said.

Police are treating the cases as assault and criminal intimidation. Detectives from the Sha Tin district crime squad are handling the investigation.

(FactWire) January 11, 2018.

FactWire has obtained closed-circuit television videos from a three-storey building in Tai Wai Village. The cameras were installed on the front and back gates of this building, and were pointed in the direction of Chik Fuk Street, Tai Wai district.

The first video started with the time stamped at 22:33:06. However, FactWire checked and determined the camera clock was slower than actual time by 39:24. Therefore, the actual start time should be 23:12:30. In this video, Tommy Cheung was walking with a red/white/green umbrella in hand. He looked behind his shoulder as he hurried down.

About 10 seconds later, two men came into few. The men are tall with dark skin. One of them wore a blue jacket, blue jeans and a light-colored long scarf. The other wore a zip-up jacket with a hood that covered his head. The two entered slowly and suddenly dashed ahead. They disappeared from view at 23:12:50.

In the second video, Tommy Cheung appeared at 11:13:08 and hurried towards the direction of Chik Fuk Street away from Tai Wai Village.

Several seconds later, the two men reappeared in the first video. They had turned back from Tai Wai Village to go back to Chik Fuk Street. They were about six or seven seconds behind Tommy Cheung to reach Chik Fuk Street.

FactWire went and asked Tommy Cheung about the details of the incident, including the process, positions and routes. Cheung was not aware that FactWire was in possession of the surveillance videos.

According to Tommy Cheung, he parked his car outside the Tai Wai Village office and then he eat dinner at the noodle restaurant at the corner of Chik Fuk Street. At around 11pm, a private car stopped at the road by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Sin Chu Wan Primary School and two men of Asian descent got out. The two men were dark-skinned, one of them wearing a light-colored scarf and the other wearing a hooded jacket. They crossed the street and headed in his direction. Because they started at him, he felt that they were hostile. The two went past the noodle restaurant and walked down Chik Luk Lane.

About 10 to 15 minutes later, Cheung left the noodle restaurant to head to his car. Realizing that he had left his umbrella behind, Cheung returned to the noodle restaurant. When he came out, he saw the two men on the other side of the street in front of the dental clinic/hair salon. Cheung hurried off. The two men followed him. To make sure that they don't know where his car was parked, Cheung dashed into a back lane that led into Tai Wai Village to shake off the two men.

But once he got into the back lane, he realized that he is more likely to be attacked inside the village. So he chose to make a U-turn to leave on the other side of the block back to Chik Fuk Street. Cheung said: "They did not follow me all the way down the lane. They intercepted me on the main street (Chik Fuk Street).

One of the men pushed Cheung on the ground, and both attacked him. A foreigner came by and told them to stop. The two men fled in the direction of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Sin Chu Wan Primary School. Passersby helped him to get up, called the police and waited for the ambulance with him.

FactWire then showed him the closed circuit television videos. He confirmed that those were the two men who attacked him. "Why did I remember? Because one of them wore a hood and the other wore a scarf. In that lighting, I could not remember the color of his clothes. But I remember that his scarf was beige in color, because it stood out in contrast against his clothes."

Annotated map with the events:

1. At around 11pm, Cheung was dining at the noodle shop (location 2) when he saw two men of Asian descent got out of a car in front of the primary school and started at him before leaving.

2. 10 minutes later, Cheung left the noodle shop and saw the two men across the street in front of the dental clinic/hair salon.

3. At 23:12, the closed circuit television camera recorded Cheung hurrying down a narrow lane leading into Tai Wai Village. 10 seconds later, the two men followed him.

4. The closed circuit television camera recorded Cheung coming out of Tai Wai Village and running towards Chik Fuk Street.

5. Several seconds later, the two men made a U-turn and came back out on Chik Fuk Street.

6. The two men encountered Cheung on Chik Fuk Street and assaulted him. A passerby called out and called the police. The two men fled in the direction of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Sin Chu Wan Primary School.

Google Map


Right: Lam Garden Desserts/Snacks/Noodles
Left: Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Sin Chu Wan Primary School


Entrance into back lane from Chik Fuk Street

(Wen Wei Po) Internet comments. January 12, 2018.

- In the video, Tommy Cheung kept looking behind him. So he must know that he was being followed. Why did he choose to take the back lane?

- Any normal person who is being chased and threatened would be running to the crowded main street and going to a business for help. It is incredible that he should rush into a back lane by himself.

- Tommy Cheung said that he was realized that he was being tailed. Why did he still go into the back lane? Was he begging for a beating?

- Only in TVB soap operas do actors chose the back lane instead of the main road to flee from danger. The housewives may laugh at the absurdity, but they come back every evening to watch the same trash because they have no alternatives.

- Tommy Cheung even adopted the actor's routine of looking back over his should in fear at the menace following him.

- Tommy Cheung was courageous and fearless. Instead of sprinting off as quickly as possible, he took the time to look back at his pursuers.

- Tommy Cheung said that as soon as he realized that he was being followed, he immediately dashed into the back lane. Once he got in, he realized that it was a mistake. So he had to make a U-turn to get back on the main street. So do you trust someone who makes such a bad judgment as your representative?

- It was 1030pm. There are still plenty of people in the street. If you run into danger in the street, you should be heading towards a crowded place and calling out for people to help you. Why would you race into a back lane to be beaten up? This is unreasonable. It also happens that Tommy Cheung is running for an election. Did the director screw up, or was the scriptwriter stupid?

- This is clearly different from the case of Lam Tsz-kin. Whereas Lam said that he was kidnapped by (invisible) members of a powerful department, Tommy Cheung has hired real actors. This is a huge breakthrough in scriptwriting. However, choosing to run into the back lane is not what an ordinary person would do in order to flee from danger. The production team has come up with a supernatural story this time.

- Here is a proposed script called The Umbrella Movement based upon the facts as provided by Tommy Cheung.

(FactWire) Tommy Cheung finished dinner and left the restaurant. Realizing that he had left his umbrella at the restaurant, he turned back to retrieve the umbrella. When he came out, he saw the two men on the other side of the street in front of the dental clinic/hair salon. Cheung hurried off. The two men followed him. To make sure that they don't know where his car was parked, Cheung dashed into a back lane that led into Tai Wai Village to shake off the two men. The

But once he got into the back lane, he realized that he is more likely to be attacked inside the village. So he chose to go back on Chik Fuk Street. Meanwhile, he did not realize the two men had turned back and would show up on Chik Fuk Street within seconds.

[(HK01 https://www.hk01.com/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/147827/-%E5%BC%B5%E7%A7%80%E8%B3%A2%E9%81%87%E8%A5%B2-%E7%AB%B6%E9%81%B8%E8%BE%A6%E5%A4%96%E9%81%AD%E5%85%A9%E7%94%B7%E4%BB%A5%E5%82%98%E6%AF%86%E5%82%B7-%E9%87%8D%E6%A1%88%E6%8E%A5%E6%89%8B%E8%AA%BF%E6%9F%A5 ) According to Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, "they kept looking at me. I decided to get on the main street to avoid them. They pushed me down on the ground. They punched and kicked me. They even broke the umbrella that they used to beat me."]

Once Tommy Cheung met up with the two unarmed South Asians on Chik Fuk Street again, they took away his umbrella and beat him with it so hard that the umbrella broke.

- This case resolves the eternal question: Is the Umbrella An Offensive Weapon?

- Tommy Cheung even provided the weapon of assault to his attackers?

- (Wen Wei Po) January 15, 2018.

On January 9, Tommy Cheung said that he cannot bend his right hand. On January 10, he said that he cannot straighten his right hand. On January 11, his right hand has completely recovered. Let us pray for his recovery.

(SCMP) Outgoing HKU head calls visit to Occupy protesters the ‘defining moment’ of his term. By Danny Mok. December 21, 2017.

Outgoing University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson called his visit to protesters during the 2014 Occupy movement the “defining moment” of his presidency, as he highlighted the school’s improved performance in global rankings under his leadership in his final year-end message.

In an eight-page letter to the campus community on Wednesday, Mathieson, who will depart next month to take the helm at Scotland’s Edinburgh University, said his challenge during the 79-day Occupy protests was to adhere to his principles and those of the university to respect freedom of speech while also respecting the law and, most importantly, to ensure the safety of all HKU members and the public.

The Briton said he had no regrets about visiting the occupied site in Admiralty with Chinese University vice-chancellor Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu on that “famous night” on October 2, 2014.

The protesters had erupted in cheers and applause at the university heads’ arrival. Mathieson urged them to keep their cool, avoid conflict and take care of themselves, winning public acclaim for helping ease tensions.

In his fourth year-end message, Mathieson said: “[The visit] was a defining moment of my presidency, and if we helped to prevent escalation, as many have said we did, I am delighted.”

On the influence of politics on university life, he said: “Too often, events at HKU have been politicised, sometimes cynically so by those with vested interests.”

Mathieson said he hoped that the focus in the future could be on the excellence of the oldest university in the city, and of other local universities.

The former dean of the University of Bristol’s medicine and dentistry faculty took the helm at HKU in April 2014, five months before the outbreak of the Occupy protests. He shocked the city in February this year with his abrupt resignation, two years before his contract expired in 2019.

Mathieson’s premature departure followed years of tension and clashes between the university’s governing body and students amid allegations of political interference in academic freedom at Hong Kong’s premier higher learning institution.

The outgoing vice-chancellor, who earns an estimated HK$5.8 million a year, will take a huge pay cut after moving to the Scottish university, but he will be joining a globally more prestigious institution – Times Higher Education’s latest ranking of universities put HKU at No 43, while Edinburgh sits at No 27.

Mathieson raised the issue of HKU’s global ranking at the beginning of his message, which came with three charts showing its placing over the past years by ranking compilers Times Higher Education, QS and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Referring to those charts, he said that when he arrived in 2014, the university was falling in all three of the world’s major international league tables, but now as he was leaving, it was rising.

“Let me reiterate my often-stated attitude to rankings and league tables: we must never set policy or strategy to satisfy any particular ranking’s criteria, but if we do the right things and focus on excellence in all that we do, improved rankings will surely follow,” Mathieson said.

In the final paragraphs of his message, the president returned to the topic of school rankings.

He said that on all three of these lists, “we are the highest ranked of Hong Kong’s universities, and in all three our position has improved in the last two years”.

Mathieson also boasted of his and his colleagues’ “strong leadership” of the institution, citing the dental school as an example.

When he arrived at HKU, he said, the faculty of dentistry was “a very unhappy place with a culture of allegation and counter-allegation being made between staff members”.

“With some strong leadership from me and from [the faculty’s dean] Professor [Thomas] Flemmig, we addressed this poisonous culture and took steps to end it. I am pleased to say that things rapidly improved.”

In final remarks, Mathieson gave thanks to students, staff, alumni and friends of the university for their help and support.

“I have worked hard for the university throughout my time here. I have always done my very best to adhere to the principles of a modern, internationally credible university and to stand up for what I believe in,” he said.

“Be optimistic, positive, bold, innovative, but above all be proud of HKU. This is a superb university, and it has been my honour to be part of it.”

Dr William Cheung Sing-wai, chairman of the university’s academic staff association, questioned whether Mathieson was trying to play up his accomplishments ahead of his Edinburgh move. Cheung criticised the president for seemingly claiming credit for preventing the escalation of the Occupy protests. “He was only speaking to a group of protesters, and there were also people who were not students there at the Occupy protests,” Cheung said.

The chairman also said Mathieson was being “ignorant” for stressing rankings so much. Cheung said there was a consensus among academics that there should not be so much emphasis on rankings as they could easily change according to the weighting of different criteria used by different ranking companies. “I think he was making use of HKU’s high rankings to highlight his contributions in these four years, as he has not many achievements to speak of,” Cheung said.

(Wen Wei Po) December 22, 2017.

Peter Mathieson said that he found the faculty of dentrist to be a "very unhappy place with a culture of allegation and counter-allegation being made between staff members." So he worked with dean Fleming to put an end to this "poisonous culture."

With respect to the finances at the HKU hospital in Shenzhen, he said that the project finances and agreements lacked transparency. But he used his medical background and relevant experience in Britain to get to the crux of the matter and then used his leadership to change the reporting structure.

HKU alumnus and Education Convergence chairman Hon Hon-kuen said that it is disappointing to see a departing vice-chancellor divulge past problems: "The subtext is that Matheison wanted to show off his contributions to Hong Kong University." But it is improper for a vice-chancellor to use an exposé method to reveal internal problems, which may pose problems for the current administration and the incoming vice-chancellor Zhang Xiang.

Former Hong Kong University Students Union president Althea Suen said that "Mathieson went overboard to make himself feel good by making up a reporting card so that he can be praised by the HKU staff and students." She said that she was very "resentful." She thought that Mathieson was deliberately denigrating his predecessor Tsui Lai-chi while lifting himself up. She said Mathieson was "very disgusting, leaving me to feel angry and sad."

(Wen Wei Po) January 4, 2018.

The Academic Staff Association of the Hong Kong University conducted a survey of its members on December 18-January 2.

Did Mathieson establish leadership in Hong Kong academia? 88% "disagreed strongly" or "disagreed."

Did Mathieson meet his own standards of accountability? 86% "disagreed strongly" or "disagreed."

Did Mathieson protect whistleblowers inside the university and defend academic integrity? 89% "disagreed strong" or "disagreed."

The Academic Staff Association chairman Cheung Sing-wai characterized Peter Mathieson as the worst ever vice-chancellor at Peter Mathieson. By resigning prematurely to get another job, Matheison set a bad example of irresponsibility for the students. Cheung said: "I have been working at Hong Kong University for more than 20 years. He is the worst vice-chancellor I have ever seen." Very few HKU vice-chancellor fail to finish their first term. Slightly after three years on the job, Mathieson submitted his resignation to take a job elsewhere.

(Wen Wei Po) January 5, 2018.

The Academic Staff Association of the Hong Kong University sent questionnaires to more than 200 academic staff members and obtained about 600 completion. The respondents gave their opinions on Peter Mathieson with respect to leadership ability, defending core values, effective communication with academic staff members, etc.

Did Mathieson deliver "an excellent overall performance" during this term? 81% "disagreed strongly."

Did Mathieson "understand the needs of students and workers and communicate with them effectively"? 80% "disagreed strongly."

Did Mathieson "defend institutional autonomy, freedom of academic research and freedom of speech"? 78% "disagreed strongly."

In the open-ended section, one staff member described Mathieson as "incompetent" with no accomplishments whatsoever to speak of. Another staff member said that "Mathieson is the worst ever vice-chancellor at Hong Kong University" and his premature departure is the "best possible gift" to Hong Kong University.

(Bastille Post) January 4, 2018.

When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Hong Kong University, then vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chi had to resign. At the time, the University Council decided on the strategy of hiring a foreigner to be the next vice-chancellor. After all, if your English is not so good, you would be less bold to curse him to his face. That was how Mathieson won over some better qualified candidates of Chinese descent.

In retrospect, foreigners such as Peter Mathieson knew nothing about Hong Kong (especially politics), feel no commitment to the place and made no contributions to university operations. As a result, Hong Kong University has paid the price. So they will not be looking for more foreigners in future.

(SCMP) A turbulent tenure: HKU vice chancellor reflects on his time at the helm of Hong Kong’s oldest university. By Stuart Lau. January 8, 2018.

In his simple, uninviting office overlooking Sai Ying Pun’s old buildings and Victoria Harbour, Peter Mathieson turned his back on the sweeping panoramic view, insisting on a particular sofa seat that faced inward.

“I always sit here. I feel comfortable only by sitting here,” the outgoing University of Hong Kong’s vice chancellor said, unmoved by a photographer’s seating advice.

More discomfiting for Mathieson, due to step down this month, were the challenges he faced when dealing with student leaders, colleagues on HKU’s governing council, government officials and even fellow university vice chancellors.

His legs resting casually on a coffee table, eyes away from the bright afternoon sun, the 58-year-old cast his mind back to the “dark moments” so remarkable and arguably inevitable in his stint of three years and 10 months in a post never meant to be free from the politics coursing through Hong Kong.

“Anyone who pretends that their job is always easy, or there are no disappointing moments, I think, would be kidding themselves,” he told the South China Morning Post.

“Yes, there have been some difficult times, and there have been some dark moments.”

At the heart of some of his most wearying headaches: the governing council, whose members are predominantly named by the government. If the members selected had had a less strong political stance, as was the case in the early years after Hong Kong’s handover in 1997, things could have been easier.

But not long after Mathieson took office, the council came under the leadership of Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a pro-establishment politician whose words are often divisive. (As Mathieson revealed, Li’s failure to engage him on whether to renew his contract prompted him to take up the offer to become University of Edinburgh’s vice chancellor, while he also considered the recent birth of his grandchild in London and his mother’s ailing health before she died.)

Mathieson’s diminished power was fully exposed in 2015, when the council repeatedly delayed and finally blocked the appointment of liberal-minded law academic Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun for a key management position, turning a deaf ear to Mathieson’s support of the candidacy.

“As you know I haven’t always got my way in the council. That has led to some difficult situations,” Mathieson said. “I’m only one member of the council so I have one vote in the council, so I can’t dominate the council’s decisions.”

Chan, who is Hong Kong’s only honorary senior counsel, was cast by pro-Beijing media as an unpromising dean under whom the law faculty achieved lower academic ratings and became the breeding ground for anti-government thought, including the pro-democracy Occupy movement conceptualised by, among others, law academic Benny Tai Yiu-ting.

But Mathieson showed no regret in backing Chan.

“Before I even started my job here, Johannes was portrayed to me as somebody that I should be thinking about promoting to a senior post. People who later didn’t support him were actively telling me in the early stages that this was somebody I should take notice of and I should meet with.”

The ensuing council meetings degenerated into an unauthorised recording and leaking of supposedly confidential minutes, culminating in students storming into the venue and blocking the way out for the members.

Controversially, Mathieson agreed to call police for help, a decision that alienated his earlier sympathisers. Billy Fung Jing-en, the outspoken student union leader at the time, was arrested and brought to court to face charges of disorderly conduct in a public place, criminal damage and attempted forcible entry. He has since been spared a jail term, instead receiving community service.

In retrospect, though, Mathieson was content with the way the protests were dealt with, adding he would not have handled the incident differently.

In a society treading a fine line between academic freedom and political correctness, trial and error seem job requirements for anyone leading a reputable university in the city.

Mathieson’s stint coincided with a period when Hongkongers voiced unprecedented disapproval over the chief executive’s power to appoint council members.

A three-member expert panel was subsequently set up by the council to review the university’s governance structure in 2016, but the suggestion from two of the experts to strip the chief executive’s power was snubbed. The council later endorsed another proposal from a working group made up of council members to have committees advise the chief executive on such matters, reserving the final say for the city’s top official.

As he prepared to leave Hong Kong, Mathieson refused to be drawn into the debate over whether the city’s leader should continue to act as chancellor of universities, a colonial practice that former chief executive Leung Chun-ying dismissed as ceremonial in nature, prompting unease over politicians’ sway over educational autonomy.

Mathieson’s peers leading the city’s other universities were uncooperative when it came to the controversial topic of Hong Kong independence. He revealed to the Post that he failed to get his way when he was “negotiating” with the vice chancellors of Hong Kong’s other publicly funded universities on whether to tolerate the discussion of “Hong Kong independence”. The topic touches a nerve with Beijing and Hong Kong officials alike, who consider it unconstitutional and secessionist.

With banners calling for an independent Hong Kong appearing on some university campuses, Mathieson and his nine counterparts came under pressure to muster a response. What followed was an ambiguous joint statement in September, decrying “abuses” of freedom of speech on campus on the one hand, and opposing Hong Kong independence on the other.

But the wording in the final text went against his wishes. Colonial privilege, academic freedom and chicken feet: reflections of a British veteran HKU professor

“In my mind we were not condemning discussion of Hong Kong independence,” Mathieson said. “Unfortunately, the way the statement came out, those two things got juxtaposed, and people linked them. But in my head, they were two separate issues.”

What he had wanted to condemn, he said, was “hate speech” as propagated in a banner celebrating the suicide of the son of undersecretary for education Christine Choi Yuk-lin.

When asked why “hate speech” was not categorically condemned in the statement, Mathieson said he had put that phrase in the original draft, before it was crossed out after further negotiations.

“If I’d had my own way, I probably would have issued a slightly longer and a slightly more detailed statement which would have explained the position more clearly, and that might have prevented some of the ambiguity.”

The compromise was made in the interest of the university, Mathieson said, adding: “I felt there was a case for us to make a statement for HKU to be part of the joint statement.”

The setbacks he faced in and out of the university would have been unexpected in October 2014, when Mathieson, barely six months after leaving the University of Bristol as medical dean, was hailed as a hero. During the Occupy protests, he walked into a crowd of tens of thousands of protesters, urging for calm and patience amid rumours of police escalating their use of force.

“Various people said [Chinese University vice chancellor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu and I] may have helped by going there – we may have helped prevent escalation,” Mathieson said. “If that was the case I’d be very happy about that.”

He added he was satisfied that the university came through that period with its principles intact, even though there was “no rule book to consult as to what to do or what to say”.

In his parting message to students and staff, Mathieson planned to hail HKU’s rising global rankings in recent years. He also called it a “very lasting contribution” for new deans to be chosen for seven of the university’s 10 faculties during his tenure, taking pride in the “quality of people we have managed to recruit”.

If anything, his message was a veiled rebuttal to all the humiliating remarks he suffered before starting his HKU position, when veteran professors openly doubted his fitness for the job. He hoped his successor – Professor Zhang Xiang, a mainland-born mechanical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley – would be treated fairly.

“Please just give him a chance,” he said. “I was in that same situation ­– all I wanted was to be given a chance.

“I felt there were some people here who prejudged me without knowing anything about me. And I don’t want them to do that to my successor.”

Already, Zhang has raised eyebrows with his call to obtain funding from mainland authorities, leaving staff and students in doubt about his ability to defend institutional autonomy. Mathieson said it was not unusual for HKU to receive funding from the mainland government.

“I think all universities in Hong Kong are very interested. As you know, most access to mainland research funding has to be done in collaboration with a mainland university or other mainland entity. We have explored how we can benefit from that in the same way as everybody else.”

As political observers noted, the city is set to be subject to even stronger attention or even policy direction from Beijing in the coming few years. How far academic integrity can be preserved is a matter of concern for those in and out of the campuses.

In offering advice to Zhang, Mathieson said: “Decide what you believe in, decide what you want to achieve with the university, and make use of all the fantastic resources that you’ve got, particularly in terms of people and facilities and funding. I said to him, if you want to be a university president, this is a great place to do it.”

For Mathieson, however, his efforts had not proved a source of considerable joy. Asked to name a bright spot during his tenure, he could not identify one.

“I think all of my bright spots for my whole life, and especially for the last four years, were personal and connected with my family,” he said. “To be honest I have had very little relaxation time in Hong Kong. I feel like I’ve worked very hard whilst I was here. It’s a busy job – it’s a seven-day-a-week job – and I’ve always worked hard and I’ve given it every ounce of my energy. And I’ve always tried to do the best.”

(SCMP) Outgoing HKU chief says Beijing officials meet him ‘all the time’ and wishes higher education ‘wasn’t so politicised’ By Stuart Lau and Olga Wong. January 8, 2018.

The outgoing head of the University of Hong Kong has described his tenure as filled with “pressure from everybody”, saying that apart from local officials, he was also given advice “all the time” by Beijing’s liaison office.

In a frank, wide-ranging interview with the South China Morning Post, Professor Peter Mathieson also revealed his premature departure was prompted in part by Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a pro-establishment politician who also chairs HKU’s governing body.

Li did not discuss the possibility of a second term with him despite, Mathieson claims, his entering “the fourth year of a five-year contract”.

Mathieson, who will take up the post of vice chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, called on Hong Kong’s leading university to continue its international approach, rather than focus solely on ties with mainland China.

Due to step down later this month, Mathieson is leaving at a time when HKU’s global rankings have risen, but with the Hong Kong public harbouring suspicion that officials are interfering in academic affairs.

“I wish higher education was not so politicised,” he said. “I think it would be simpler for people like me if politics wasn’t such a complicating factor.”

Mathieson claimed to have conversations “all the time” with Beijing’s liaison office in the city – an organisation that some in Hong Kong perceive as tending to meddle in local administration.

“All the university leaders have had contact with the liaison office, and the office takes an interest in education in Hong Kong, as in other affairs,” Mathieson said. “I consider that part of my job.”

Other officials who talked to him included Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, her predecessor Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s education secretaries as well as representatives from the mainland’s Ministry of Education.

He said he felt pressure from “everybody” – politicians across the spectrum, alumni, students, staff and the media.

“They can tell me what they think I should do, but basically I do what I believe to be in the best interest of the university,” he said. “Yes, there has been pressure, but I don’t regard that as unreasonable.”

Mathieson conceded he sometimes held a minority voice on the university’s governing body.

“I haven’t always got my way in the council, and that’s led to some difficult situations.”

He dismissed any “interpersonal difficulties” with council chairman Li, but admitted to feeling uncertain when Li made no effort to discuss what would follow when his contract as HKU vice chancellor was due to expire in 2019.

“I was coming into the fourth year of my five-year contract and … there had been no discussions with the council chairman about whether I would be offered a second contract,” he said. “Facing that uncertainty, when it became clear that Edinburgh was interested in me, I had to decide whether to participate in the contest.

“When the search firm first approached me, my initial reaction was: ‘I don’t need a job. I’ve got a perfectly good job and I’m quite happy here’,” he recalled. “But as time went on, I thought about it a lot ... and it became obvious that I should at least consider it.”

Mathieson argued that while it was important for HKU to seek mainland funding, it was equally important to keep an international profile. He cited his busy schedule meeting academics from “super partners” such as Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University, and also HKU’s dual degree programmes with University College London and Science Po in Paris under his leadership.

“For HKU, we have this great position of being able to work with China but also being able to work with the rest of the world,” he said. “It’s a symbol of international collaboration between similar universities. It’s a sign of respect for each other.”

(RTHK) January 8, 2018.

Based upon Peter Mathieson's description, Education sector legislative councilor Ip Kin-yuen said that the China Liaison Office may be seriously interfering with the universities in Hong Kong. He said that there is no problem with the China Liaison Office or the HKSAR Government communicating with the universities for information purposes. But if they are offering leading opinions, then it would be interfering with the school and taking away their autonomy.

He said that Peter Mathieson should disclose the contents of those conversations and state clearly whether there was interference. The China Liaison Office and the HKSAR Department of Education should also detail those conversations as well as promise not to interfere with the universities. He said that Mathieson should have said so earlier.

(Bastille Post) January 8, 2018.

After the survey results by the Academic Staff Association came out, Peter Mathieson sought out South China Morning Post for another interview to relieve the pressure.  Mathieson also revealed his premature departure was prompted in part by Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a pro-establishment politician who also chairs HKU’s governing body. Li did not discuss the possibility of a second term with him despite, Mathieson claims, his entering “the fourth year of a five-year contract”.

Clearly, Mathieson did not want the negative staff opinions to herald his appearance at the University of Edinburgh.

Wait a minute here? Peter Mathieson showed up at Hong Kong University in April 2014. He announced his resignation on February 2, 2017, which was 2 years 10 months later.

(Wen Wei Po) January 9, 2018.

The University of Edinburgh was the first to announce that Peter Mathieson will be their new vice-chancellor. How long does it take to hire a university vice-chancellor.

In the case of Hong Kong University, the vacancy for the vice-chancellor position was made known on February 2, 2017. The University Council met on February 28 to form a search committee and then a selection committee. The process was completed on December 15, 2017 when Zhang Xiang was announced to be the 16th Vice-Chancellor. So it took more than 9 months.

In the case of the University of Edinburgh, they began looking for a new vice-chancellor in mid-2016. At the time, Mathieson has only been at Hong Kong University for just over 2 years.

So the timing is all wrong. Somewhere about 2 years 6 months after arriving in Hong Kong, Peter Mathieson hooked up with the University of Edinburgh. But now he blames Arthur Li for not discussing contract renewal almost four years into the job?

(Wen Wei Po) January 10, 2018.

Before making his exit, Peter Mathieson threw dirty water at the China Liaison Office by hinting that the China Liaison Office often applied pressure on him over Hong Kong University matters. But the truth is that the Hong Kong University has a campus, a research institute and a hospital in Shenzhen, and therefore requires the China Liaison Office to mediate between HKU and Shenzhen. Mathieson must know that this type of contact is normal and essential. He gave no hints during his whole time here, but tossed out a bomb on his way out.

(Wen Wei Po) Internet comments. January 9, 2018.

- When the university won't extend your contract, it means that your abilities are limited and you fail to do the job. It is better for all concerned that you should leave. So why bring this up?

- Does it mean that the China Liaison Office is not allowed to communicate with the university vice-chancellors?

- Given the results of the Academic Staff Association survey are objective and reliable, it is logical that Mathieson's contract should not be extended.

- It was smart not to extend his contract. He does not do enough to earn his salary.

- Mathieson was the one who abetted the students' law-breaking activities.

- He contradicts himself all the time. A decent worker does not badmouth his ex-employer when he leaves. His ill-considered comments meant that he is unfit to be a vice-chancellor.

(SCMP) HKU council chairman calls Post interview with outgoing vice chancellor Peter Mathieson ‘fake news’. By Su Xinqi. January 10, 2018.

The chairman of the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) governing body, Arthur Li, on Wednesday repeatedly accused the South China Morning Post of publishing “fake news” in its interview with the institution’s outgoing vice-chancellor, Peter Mathieson.

Li alleged that the article misquoted Mathieson as saying Beijing’s liaison office in the city regularly interfered with his work, even though this was not how the Post reported the university don’s remarks during a recent farewell interview he gave to the paper.

Mathieson was appointed in April 2014 for a five-year term but announced his resignation last year.

In a frank hour-long interview conducted in December [see below for an excerpt of the Q&A], he told the Post that like all university leaders, he had conversations with Beijing’s representative in the city.

He also revealed that he felt pressure from “everybody” – politicians across the spectrum, alumni, students, staff and the media.

However Li, in a live webcast on Wednesday, said he was shocked to read the article, as it “seemed to me that Mathieson had been under pressure from the liaison office all the time but he never told me about those communications”.

Li added that when he quizzed Mathieson about the article, the outgoing vice-chancellor denied saying there was “interference” from the liaison office.

During the interview, hosted by former lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing and with reporters from the city’s media organisations present, Li took out his mobile phone and read out his exchange of text messages with Mathieson.

“Peter, you didn’t tell me that there were interferences from the liaison office. Please elaborate and clarify for me. [From] Arthur,” Li said.

He continued: “Peter said ‘SCMP typically misquoted me. They asked if I was put under pressure. And I said, all the time. They asked if the liaison office talked to me. And I said yes. They then conflated the two. I never called it interference. I talked about advice.’”

However, the two articles featuring Mathieson’s comments and published in the Post on January 8 neither carried the word “interference” nor at any point conflated the pressure Mathieson claimed he faced with interference from Beijing.

According to the audio recording of the interview reviewed by the Post again on Wednesday, Mathieson’s response to the question on whether he had contact with the liaison office was: “Oh yes, several times. That’s part of my job. All the university leaders have had contact with the liaison office. And the liaison office takes an interest in education in Hong Kong, in the same way as it does in other affairs. I consider that as part of my job. If there is a meeting that involves political officials that I’m invited [to], then I usually go and try to contribute.”

The original article had incorrectly reported Mathieson as saying he had conversations “all the time” with the liaison office.

The question was a follow up to Mathieson’s admission that he had received advice from senior government officials in the city.

He had said: “Yes I’ve talked to senior officials. I’ve talked to chief executive, both chief executives that I’ve worked with, education secretaries, UGC [University Grants Committee], the liaison office, the Ministry of Education in Beijing, the various press offices and all sorts of people, I have all sorts of discussion and that’s my job.”

But during Wednesday’s studio session, Li, a member of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s Cabinet, acknowledged a reporter from the Post in the audience and said: “The article made me feel that the liaison office was interfering in our university. You wrote the article in that way. That is why I called it fake news.”

He repeated the term “fake news” nine times in both Cantonese and English during his one-hour session in the studio.

The Post has contacted Mathieson for his response but has yet to hear from him.

On the webcast, Li also disputed Mathieson’s claim that he considered another job after Li did not begin a discussion with him on the possibility of a second term, despite him “coming into the fourth year of [a] five-year contract”.

Instead, Li claimed Mathieson had requested an extension in 2016, when he was “a bit into his second year” at HKU, but it was a university “rule and convention” to discuss such matters only after the vice-chancellor had completed at least three of the five contracted years.

To Lau’s question on whether he had intended to renew Mathieson’s contract, Li merely said: “It is difficult to remove a university head unless he made a huge mistake. Mathieson was doing not bad. He put in much effort, especially on international affairs. I think most people would agree to renew his contract. We only needed to have a longer period of his performance on the post for review to make the decision.”

Mathieson, 58, will become Edinburgh University’s principal and vice-chancellor next month. He told the Post that several factors made him respond to Edinburgh University’s interest in him – Li’s failure to engage him on a possible contract renewal, his mother’s ailing health before she died and the recent birth of his grandchild in London.

The incoming vice-chancellor of HKU is Professor Zhang Xiang, a mainland-born mechanical engineering expert at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States.

Peter Mathieson on the pressures he faced at HKU

On December 18 last year, outgoing HKU vice chancellor Peter Mathieson gave an hour-long interview to the South China Morning Post where he spoke of the highs and lows of his tenure, which began in April 2014. Two articles based on the interview were published on January 8. Here is an excerpt of the Q&A where he talks about the politicisation of higher education and the pressures he faced at HKU.

Q: Of course it has become such an overpoliticised issue of who to appoint as vice chancellor, and what he should do, how he should behave. Would you be able to tell us a little bit more about how you feel [about] this kind of overpoliticisation or whether it’s good for Hong Kong’s academic development?

A: I’ve spoken and written about this publicly, I wish education and in particular higher education was not so politicised because I think there is a place for politics in the university, but it shouldn’t ever get in the way of the university dealing with its core mission, delivering excellence in teaching, research and knowledge exchange. That’s our job and politics is ever present and it’s not just in Hong Kong. There is a bit of a tendency in Hong Kong sometimes to think that some of these phenomena are only happening in Hong Kong, but actually higher education is being politicised all over the world and you got any number of examples of that. So I think it would be simpler for people like me if politics wasn’t such a complicating factor, but we also have to be realistic. We live in a very politicised world, and Hong Kong is a very politicised place and everything in Hong Kong is politicised, so to have the idea that you could exist in some sort of vacuum where you don’t have to take any notice of the political context I think would be unrealistic. I do think that people like me – I’m a kidney doctor, medical researcher and teacher by background. I’m not trained to be a media expert, I’m not trained to be a politician, and I’ve had to learn and do things that I’ve probably never expected as a university leader. But again I don’t think it’s only true in Hong Kong. I think you’ve seen this happening with the universities all over the world, so we have to recognise that that’s the reality, and we have to try and take advice where we can get advice. We have to stick to our principles, we have to try and do whatever we think is best for the university and for the society and I’ve always tried to do that.

Q: There is a very fine line between politicians expressing their views on academic affairs and actually interfering in academic affairs. In your time here at HKU was there any moment that you felt [you were] subject to some kind of interference either directly or indirectly?

A: People say to me, have I been put under pressure? My answer is yes. I’m put under pressure by everybody. So I’ve been put under pressure by politicians all the way across the political spectrum. I’ve been put under pressure by staff, by alumni, by students, by media, by everybody. My job is to soak up pressure and to make sure that I always do what is in the best interest of the university. Yes, there have been pressures, but I don’t regard that as unreasonable. My job is to lead the organisation the best I can. If people want to give me their opinions, if people want to tell me what they think I should do, they are very welcome to, but it doesn’t mean I [am] necessarily going to agree with them. But obviously I will listen to people’s opinions and together with my team I will do whatever is in the best interest of the university.

Q: Back to political interference in academic affairs, are you saying you have not encountered any such incidents?

A: I did not say that. I told you everybody puts me under pressure. I’ve encountered all sorts of statements or advice or comments by various people about all sorts of the aspects of the university, including sometimes the most mundane aspects of the university … members of the public write to me, people stop me on the street ... even taxi drivers giving me advice on how to run the university. So I get advice from everybody and that’s my job.

Q: But any advice from senior officials?

A: Yes I’ve talked to senior officials. I’ve talked to chief executive, both chief executives that I’ve worked with, education secretaries, UGC [University Grants Committee], the liaison office, the Ministry of Education in Beijing, the various press offices and all sorts of people, I have all sorts of discussion and that’s my job.

Q: But you don’t regard that as academic interference?

A: No. Because they can tell me what they think I should do but basically I do what I believe to be in the best interest of the university.

Q: So you actually had contact with the Liaison Office?

A: Oh yes, several times. That’s part of my job. All the university leaders have had contact with the liaison office. And the liaison office takes an interest in education in Hong Kong, in the same way as it does in other affairs. I consider that as part of my job. If there is a meeting that involves political officials that I’m invited [to], then I usually go and try to contribute.

(Ming Pao) January 11, 2018.

HKU Academic Staff Association chairman Cheung Sing-wai said that he was shocked by the revelation that Arthur Li communicates with the China Liaison Office. This proves that Hong Kong University has regular communication with the China Liaison Office over a long period of time. Cheung said that Hong Kong University is subsidized by the Hong Kong Government and not by Beijing, so it is "completely unnecessary" to "report" to the China Liaison Office.

(Education18.com) 71 out of 450 secondary school principals responded to a mailed survey in May-June 2017.

Q1. On a scale of 0-10, please evaluate the overall performance of each university after taking into consideration its local and international reputation, facilities and campus environment, qualification of its teaching staff, academic research performance, conduct and quality of students as well as its learning atmosphere, diversification and level of recognition of its courses, with 0 representing the worst, 10 representing the best and 5 being half-half. (Average scores reported)

8.27: Chinese University of Hong Kong
8.00: University of Science and Technology
7.89: Hong Kong University
6.94: Polytechnic Universtiy
6.74: City University
6.45: Hong Kong Baptist University
6.34: Education University of Hong Kong
5.51: Lingnan University
5.32: Hong Kong Shue Yan University
5.16: Open University of Hong Kong

In 2008, HKU was first at 8.49, CUHK second at 8.38 and HKUST third at 7.69. This year, HKU has clinched third place this year. Cheers for the magnificent leadership of Peter Mathieson.

(Wen Wei Po) According to a HKU-POP poll of the general public, the top three Hong Kong universities are University of Science and Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University. According to a HKU-POP of university graduates, University of Science and Technology is first, Chinese University of Hong Kong is second and Hong Kong University is fourth.

Q4. Why do you think are the qualities which most Hong Kong university students lack?

62.0%: Work attitude
59.2%: Commitment to society
52.1%: Social-interpersonal skills
50.7%: Conduct honesty
42.3%: Global prospect/foresight
36.6%: Emotional stability
31.0%: Critical thinking and problem-solving ability
23.9%: Communication skills
23.9%: Job opportunity
22.5%: Proficiency in Chinese, English and Putonghua
16.9%: Social/work experience
16.9%: Creativity
12.7%: Academic and professional knowledge
11.3%: Financial management
  9.9%: Self-confidence
  7.0%: Others

(Hong Kong Free Press) Maligned, befuddled and misunderstood: HKU’s Peter Mathieson exits just how he entered. By Kent Ewing. January 15, 2018.

Outgoing University of Hong Kong Vice Chancellor Peter Mathieson appears to be leaving the city pretty much the way he came in—maligned, befuddled and misunderstood. His troubled, abbreviated tenure as head of Hong Kong’s oldest and most prestigious university can only be described as a failure during which HKU’s standing and reputation have been diminished.

The fact is, however, the accomplished, previously much-honoured English nephrologist never stood a chance in the shark-infested waters of Hong Kong. He was simply eaten up by the city’s polarised politics—at which, even now, as he prepares to depart this month less than four years after he assumed his post in April of 2014, he remains a hapless ingenue.

The biggest shark, of course, was HKU governing council chair Arthur Li Kwok-cheung—aka “King Arthur” and “The Tsar” for his domineering personality and autocratic leadership style—who outmanoeuvred and undermined Mathieson at every turn. This relationship was a one-sided mismatch from the get-go.

The 58-year-old Mathieson, formerly dean of the faculty of medicine and dentistry at the University of Bristol, came into his HKU post as a mild-mannered academic with a liberal democratic political worldview and little knowledge of the inner workings of Hong Kong. Li, on the other hand—although, like Mathieson, a Cambridge University-educated doctor of medicine—is the scion of a prominent Hong Kong banking family steeped in the city’s power politics both prior to and following the 1997 handover from British to Chinese sovereignty.

Li, 72, grandson of Bank of East Asia founder Li Koon-chun, has been hobnobbing with Hong Kong’s political and business elite for decades. He currently sits on the chief executive’s Executive Council and during his time as vice chancellor of Chinese University (1996-2002) and secretary for education (2002-2007) built a reputation for an imperial management style that often flattened opponents and left underlings cowed and dispirited.

While technically Mathieson, as HKU president, was not an underling, that is certainly how he was treated by Li on the governing council. The most vivid example of this occurred when, on September 29, 2015, the council voted to reject the appointment of Johannes Chan Man-mun as pro-vice chancellor after Chan, who served admirably as dean of the faculty of law from 2002 to 2014, had been unanimously recommended by a selection committee headed by Mathieson.

During the prolonged Chan controversy, Li acted as the council’s hatchet man for the central government’s liaison office and then Chief Executive Leung Cheung-yun, who had appointed Li council chair for situations precisely of this nature. The powers that be in Beijing did not want anyone like Chan—a prominent human rights and pro-democracy advocate who had supported the student-led, 79-day Occupy movement in 2014—to assume such a prominent position at Hong Kong’s best-known university.

Thus, aided by a concerted anti-Chan campaign in pro-Beijing media outlets such as Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao, Leung and Li went to work behind the scenes.

After much wrangling, rowdy student protests and repeated delays, a secret council ballot was taken, and Chan was voted down, 12-8.

Mathieson—who, along with then CUHK Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu, had won cheers and applause from student protesters when he stepped into the streets during the Occupy campaign to urge them to eschew violence as they exercised their right to free speech—never regained his authority following the Chan fiasco.

In the end, he wound up speaking out of both sides of his mouth, expressing respect for Li and council decisions while at the same time claiming to uphold the interests of faculty and students who felt their university’s institutional autonomy had been compromised and academic freedom put under threat.

In the ensuing years, the rising support for Hong Kong independence on university campuses clearly bewildered Mathieson. His liberal inclination to support freedom of speech conflicted with the central government’s pronounced “red line” against advocacy of independence.

Under pressure from all sides, he agreed last September to sign an ambiguously worded joint statement issued by 10 Hong Kong universities condemning “recent abuses” of freedom of expression while opposing “Hong Kong independence, which contravenes the Basic Law.”

In an extensive interview with the South China Morning Post published last week, Mathieson said that he signed on to the statement to avoid isolating HKU even though he disagreed with its wording, which he thought wrongfully conflated abuses of free speech with discussion of Hong Kong as an independent city-state.

In the SCMP interview, Mathieson also stated that he had intended to stay on at HKU but became discouraged when, approaching the fourth year of his five-year contract, Li had not mentioned the possibility of renewal to him. So when the University of Edinburgh came calling, he jumped at the opportunity to be vice chancellor there, albeit at a lower salary than he earned at HKU.

If Mathieson had hoped to escape all the maddening pressures of his job in Hong Kong as he transitions to Scotland, he was sadly mistaken. Indeed, his checkered HKU legacy has preceded him to Edinburgh and is already fodder for British media and no doubt a hot topic of discussion among faculty and students at his new place of employment.

The exceptionally poor ratings Mathieson received in a HKU Academic Staff Association survey conducted in December through early January drew particular attention in The Guardian. In that survey, 78 per cent of the respondents did not feel Mathieson had “effectively protected academic freedom” while 80 per cent said he did not understand “the needs of the students and the staff.”

In Mathieson’s defence, only 609 of the 2,060-member staff responded to the survey, but nevertheless the results are damning and surely raise alarms in Edinburgh prior to his arrival.

Mathieson may also have hoped that he could leave town after finally, via the SCMP interview, getting the last word in his fraught relationship with Li, but he should have known King Arthur would never let that happen. Appearing on an Internet radio show hosted by former Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing last week, Li dismissed the SCMP interview as “fake news” and read out text messages he had received from Mathieson saying the Post reporter had misquoted him about political pressures, including calls from the liaison office, that he was under as HKU chief.

The SCMP later corrected a sentence in the article stating that Mathieson was offered advice by the liaison office “all the time” to read “several times,” but that correction did not alter the overall impression given by the article of a vice chancellor under siege from the beginning to the end of his time at HKU.

“I wish higher education was not so politicised,” Mathieson told the reporter at one point. “I think it would be simpler for people like me if politics wasn’t such a complicating factor.”

Will things be any different for HKU’s incoming vice chancellor, Zhang Xiang, a mainland-born naturalised American citizen who created the world’s first “invisibility cloak” as a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California at Berkley?

Like Mathieson in the immediate aftermath of his appointment, Zhang, 54, has come under attack for the scant knowledge of the city and its politics that he displayed during his December visit. He was also very cautious, if not downright dodgy, in his answers to media questions about threats to HKU’s institutional autonomy and academic freedom.

With many observers worried that Hong Kong itself is gradually losing the autonomy it was promised under the “one country, two systems” agreement determined at handover, Zhang’s mainland background and academic connections are an additional source of concern.

Daggers are already out among the staff association and student body, so Zhang should expect no honeymoon period and will require a steep learning curve to navigate the increasingly politicised world of Hong Kong’s universities.

And, of course, King Arthur aims to be his guiding light.

(SCMP) Let's bid good riddance to Peter Mathieson. By Alex Lo. January 12, 2018.

Arthur Li Kwok-cheung is barking up the wrong tree. His beef should be with his departing colleague Peter Mathieson, not this newspaper. Mathieson, the outgoing University of Hong Kong chief, has often tried to have it both ways. Now that he has prematurely resigned from HKU to take up the top job at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, he has hinted that he was being squeezed out by Professor Li, chairman of the HKU’s governing council.

In a controversial interview with the Post, he said Li did not discuss renewing his contract after it had entered the fourth year of a five-year term. That was why when Edinburgh came calling, he jumped at the chance. Whatever the truth, Li should be pretty upset to hear such a public claim from Mathieson. But who cares! Professor Mathieson is clearly less than fully committed to HKU or our city, though he has claimed otherwise. His departure is not to be regretted.

He said Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong had contacted him “several times”, as did local government officials and politicians of all stripes. “Basically, I do what I believe to be in the best interest of the university,” Mathieson said.

I think it was this claim about the liaison office that upset Li and led him to accuse the Post of reporting “fake news”. Li read it as claiming that Beijing was interfering in HKU affairs. But the report made no such claim, though Ip Kin-yuen, the troublesome pan-democrat lawmaker for education, did try to fan the flames and called on Mathieson to spill the beans.

But Mathieson wasn’t trying to be a whistle-blower. He has been under criticism, though, from the yellow-ribbon media and Academic Staff Association at HKU for supposedly failing to stand up for free speech by joining the heads of nine other universities in a joint statement stating “freedom of expression is not absolute” and describing calls for Hong Kong independence on campuses as “abuses”.

I thought it was rather brave of the university chiefs, even though Mathieson’s action had been reported by anti-China British newspapers like The Guardian in less than flattering terms. In an interview with The Scotsman, he had tried to play down his involvement and claimed he signed the joint statement to avoid “isolation”.

Whatever, professor! We hope you do better in Scotland than you did in Hong Kong.

(Hong Kong Free Press) January 8, 2018.

No candidates have applied to run in the cabinet elections for the Hong Kong University Student Union. It may become leaderless for the first time in eight years. The nomination period expired in December with no candidates vying to run for any posts in the 14-member central committee. Nominations were then re-opened in accordance with union regulations, but the deadline passed on Friday, again with no candidates.

In recent years, the union has been led by student activists such as Yvonne Leung, a leader during the Umbrella Movement, and Billy Fung, who was sentenced to community service over protests against university council governance.

Incumbent union president Wong Ching-tak told HK01 that few people are willing to stand in the elections because the union is at the forefront of social movements, and leaders could get arrested: “Not everyone is willing to stand at the front.” He added that the recent Department of Justice appeal to lengthen the sentences of Northeast New Territories and Umbrella Movement protesters discouraged students from joining social movements and becoming involved in student affairs.

(SCMP) No candidates for HKU student union leadership as fear of political repercussions cited. The nomination deadline was extended once but still no one applied. January 8, 2018.

For the first time since 2010, the University of Hong Kong’s student union could be left without an executive committee, with some believing a fear of political repercussions has chilled participation.

Student magazine Undergrad announced on its website on Saturday that no nominations were received for the union’s 14 executive positions, including that of president, when the deadline passed at noon Friday. The nomination deadline was extended once, from December 27, after no one applied for the posts.

Current president Ed Wong Ching-tak has said he will continue to serve in the role in an acting capacity until April, when the body will hold another election to try to form an executive committee team. But he said he would need to step down by April even if no one submitted a nomination in order to focus on his studies, which he had taken a year off from.

If no executive committee was formed by April, the union’s council would appoint members to various posts, he said. Two to three students had expressed a willingness to help out.

Wong believed the general lack of interest could stem from students not feeling prepared to face political consequences, with the union taking part in many political activities and “many discouraged by the oppression they faced”. Union executives usually step down by February each year as new members are elected during the union’s annual election.

Mak Tung-wing, union president in 1987, believed the recent court convictions of student leaders could be deterring people from running for the executive committee.

“When you’re a student union leader, it’s expected that you’ll take a critical political stance,” he said.

With the unions increasingly involved in local political movements, including the 79-day pro-democracy Occupy protests of 2014 and Hong Kong independence advocacy in 2016 and 2017, student leaders have been thrust into the spotlight and come under criticism.

Last August, high-profile activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang – a former external vice-president of HKU’s student union – were jailed for between six and eight months for their actions in the Occupy movement.

After a few months in custody, the three were freed, pending appeals to the city’s top court over their jail terms.

In September, former HKU student union president Billy Fung Jing-en was handed a community service sentence of 240 hours for leading hundreds of students in besieging a university governing council meeting in 2016. They were pressing for an immediate review of the institution’s governance structure, which they believed was vulnerable to political interference.

Mak recalled that nobody ran for executive posts at the HKU body in 1988 when his team was slated to step down. He said he also had to serve as acting president beyond his term until a committee appointed four members to take up executive posts.

According to Undergrad, a similar situation transpired in 2010 when the only cabinet running for the leadership comprised eight members and they failed to obtain a majority vote of confidence. That resulted in the union council appointing students to several posts.

If you believe in so much as 10% of what Undergrad reports, both your eyes will go blind! Here is what really happened:

(Line Post) January 9, 2018.

The fact of the matter was that there were six applicants before the deadline of noon on January 5, 2018. Shortly afterwards, Undergrad rushed out to announce that there were no applicants.

All the media reports on January 6, 2018 were based upon what Undergrad reported. For example, HK01 said: "According to Hong Kong University Students' Union publication Undergrad's website, the nomination period for the election ended on January 27, 2017. However, 14 executive positions had no nominations, so the nomination period had to be extended until yesterday. But still nobody applied."

Here is another media report:

Eight years later, the Hong Kong University Students' Union once again won't have a cabinet. After the nomination period ended yesterday for the new elections, 14 executive committee positions had no nominations. HKU Students' Union president Ed Wong Ching-tak said that he will stay in the position until April, but he is afraid that he won't be able to do so for the rest of the year.

Here are the facts:

1. The extended nomination period was supposed to end at noon on January 5, 2018. At around 11am, six students were down at the office to submit their nominations. The two mainland students who were in front of the queue did not have all their documents. So the Students' Union staff had to make some calls to get instructions about how to handle their nominations. In the end, the two nominations were rejected and the two mainlanders were told to go back and fetch the missing documents. Meanwhile, there were four Hong Kong students still waiting. The workers told them their nominations will be processed. The fastest of the four Hong Kong students finished the processing at 12:05, which was after the deadline. Nevertheless these four students were given the "Receipt of Nomination Form for Annual Election 2018" to indicate that their forms have been filled in appropriately and the documentation is complete.

2. By that time that the two mainlanders came back, the nomination period had expired and their nominations were rejected. At 3am on January 6, 2018, the four Hong Kong students received emails from the Annual Election Commission to the effect that they have been disqualified because their nominations came in late and that there were mistakes in the way that their forms were filled out.

3. In the past, the time of nomination is the moment when the applicant entered the office, so that the applicants are not prejudiced because of the presence of a long waiting line or other complications. At the time, the Students' Union staff told these applicants that their nominations will be accepted because they had entered the office ahead of the deadline. Furthermore, the workers gave them each a "Receipt of Nomination Form for Annual Election 2018." Nevertheless, the Students' Union went back on its promises and disqualified the applicants.

4. When the Students Union staff issued the "Receipts," it means that they have confirmed that there were no technical problems in the applications and that the nominations were accepted. They should not be disqualifying people on the basis of minor technical issues detected afterwards. At a minimum, the Annual Election Commission should be consulting with the applicants instead of issuing a unilateral and uncontestable verdict of disqualification.

5. As for the technical flaws, one applicant was disqualified because the form was not filled out in BLOCK LETTERS in accordance with the requirement. Instead the student used both capital and small letters. When the student filled out the title of the nominated post, he/she would flip to the back of the nomination form where the titles of the posts are listed and copy the title over. Guess what? The titles are not written in BLOCK LETTERS! So if you copied it word for word, you will be disqualified!

Regardless of procedural justice, even more problematic are the announcements:

1. At 3am on January 6, the Election Commission sent emails to the four Hong Kong students that they have been disqualified. At 635am on January 6, the Hong Kong University Students Union publication Undergrad announced that there won't be a cabinet next year. But Undergrad chose to gloss over the fact that there had been applicants for the executive posts on January 5.

2. In the past, major news from the Students' Union is usually reported first by Campus TV with additional commentary from Undergrad. In this case, Undergrad usurped the role of Campus TV with a breaking story at 635am while ignoring to report that there had been several disqualified applicants. After reading the Undergrad report, the four applicants were duly disheartened by their "disappearances."

3. This leads to the question as to whether even more applicants had been disqualified for whatever reasons.

At 5pm on January 7, 2018, the four applicants sent letters of complaints by email to Annual Election Commission 2018 chairman Michael Fung Kei-lap and members of the Students' Union Council.

How did the Hong Kong University Students' Union handle the complaint? At 635pm on January 7, its publication Undergrad published the letter and listed the name of one student (Hua Sulin) and the respective department.

At 11pm on January 7, Campus TV published the names/departments of all four students.

Every HKU student becomes a member of the HKU SU automatically, with the rights to vote as well as be elected. They have the right to complain. The HKU SU has the responsibility to safeguard these rights. The HKU SU should be handling the complaint in accordance with the procedure which includes the Students' Union Council hearing testimonies at the January 16 meeting.

- Ughhh! How did Alex Chan Ho Man get accepted by Hong Kong University?

Before the process is complete, the HKU SU should protect privacy and maintain silence. Instead, the HKU SU has published their names/departments and thus create public pressure against them. This is reckless and irresponsible.

Why did the HKU SU do this? There may be political reasons, or there may be technical issues, or there may be individual misconduct. At this time, we don't know yet. If they are doing this over technical reasons, then this HKU SU is acting like an unresponsive bureaucracy. If there is misconduct, then the HKU SU must explain how it happened and apologized to the four students as well as the student body as a whole.

Internet comments:

- Hong Kong University is a bastion for the cause of Hong Kong independence, with Undergrad as the outlet for theory and praxis. Therefore the HKU SU and its media outlets cannot be allowed to taken over by the minions of the China Liaison Office.

In recent years, famous HKU SU president included Yvonne Leung Lai-kwok who was one of the student leaders of Occupy Central. She was all set to be arrested until law school exams intervened.

Yvonne Leung was succeeded by Billy Fung Jing-an, who led the siege of the university council. Fung was sentenced to 240 hours of community service for threatening to kill university council chairman Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, criminal trespassing and criminal destruction of property.

Billy Fung was succeeded by Althea Suen, who began her term with an avowal for the cause of Hong Kong independence. During Suen's term, nothing happened with Hong Kong independence at HKU SU.

Althea Suen was succeeded by Ed Wong Ching-tak, who began his term with an avowal for the cause of Hong Kong independence. He promised to take a year off in order to devote all his time to the HKU SU. During Wong's term, nothing happened with Hong Kong independence at HKU SU.

For the year 2018, there are no candidates for HKU SU president. Ed Wong will continue serving as president until April 2018, when he wants to resume his studies. If there is no pro-independence president, then HKU SU is better off headless.

- The HKU SU will not be headless. A president will be appointed by the Students' Union Council. As long as the virtually faceless council is loaded with pro-independence warriors, the appointed president will still be pro-independence.

- The HKU SU elections would be less controversial if the election rules are made more explicit with a "No Mainlanders or Dogs Allowed" sign (see No Chinese or Dogs Allowed).

The reasoning was made very clear in the Case of Eugenia Yip. Yip was a mainland HKU student running for the post of social secretary. The fact that she is from the mainland means that she is a member of the Communist Youth League/Community Party and that means she cannot be allowed to take up any position with any organization in Hong Kong.

- I am very curious as to what the missing documents were for the two disqualified mainland students.

- Undergrad reported that the name of one of the four students was Hua Sulin. That is a pinyin spelling, which means that the student is either a mainland student or else a Hongkonger who was born in mainland China. As such, a reason had to be found by any means to disqualify him/her/it.

- (Hong Kong Economic Times) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. January 16, 2018.

My friend is an exchange student from Taiwan. He went into a convenience store to buy something the other day. As he was leaving, he heard the worker whisper: "Another mainlander ..." My friend understand Cantonese. He could not help turning around and say: "Actually, I am Taiwanese."

Around the world, putonghua is becoming more and more popular. Young people are learning to speak "bo po mo fo". In South America and Africa, Chinese is listed as the second language taught in school ahead of English. But in Hong Kong today, putonghua is a virus language. If you speak putonghua, you will be brainwashed! So anyone who speaks putonghua is a Black Five Type who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party/Communist Youth League.

This type of attitude is arguably plausible before 1997. But this is 20 years after the handover, and we are still wary of people who speak putonghua or have "red backgrounds." This is political censorship, this is political oppression, this is discrmination.

Recently the Hong Kong University Elections Committee announced that there are no nominees for the student cabinet posts. Everybody is saying that the HKU Student Union has done things that alienate the students such that nobody wants anything to do with it.

In truth, there are at least six candidates. Two of them are mainland students. Three of them come from 'patriotic' schools who are new immigrants but do not speak fluent Cantonese. So these labels caused them to lose their right to be elected. They handed in their forms, but they were disqualified and excised from the records.

I attended a 'patriotic school." The Black Five Type label has stuck on me and continue to stick on the many generations of our kind.

When I was in secondary school, I wanted to be a police officer. My teacher told me: "Don't even think about it! Nobody from this school has ever managed to join the Disciplinary Services or the public service."

I refuse to accept fate. After I graduated, I applied to become a police inspector. One years. Two years. I was never accepted. At the time, the economy was booming and no university student was interested in the "blue collar"-type of work in the police force. Basically, the police was taking in any physically capable university graduate. My extracurricular activities included basketball, table tennis, swimming and dancing. It was clear that I was rejected because of my "red background."

Several decades later, Hong Kong has been handed back to China but having a "red background" is still a sin.

- (Wen Wei Po) January 17, 2018.

At the meeting of the HKU Student Union Council, union president Wong Ching-tak admitted that he witnessed the four students submitting the application at 1150am. But he said that when the student unions staff finished confirming the information, it was after 12 noon. Therefore Wong insisted that the applicants were 'late.'

Undergrad editor-in-chief Tse Hiu-sing said that the personal information of cabinet candidates is disclosed to the general membership. Those four students were not cabinet candidates because they were disqualified. Nevertheless their names and departments were published without their permission. Tse said that Undergrad obtained the information through "legal channels" and they published the information to defend "the public's right to know." He said that it was a "huge achievement" to not publish their personal telephone numbers and student ID numbers.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) January 17, 2018.

The governing council of the University of Hong Kong Student Union has ruled that it will not accept the nomination forms for four students to run for office, as their information was submitted incorrectly and late. The team did not directly answer questions about connections the applicants allegedly have with Beijing officials in Hong Kong.

Hua Sulin, one of the team of four applicants, said that they submitted their form to stand in the union elections before the deadline. It was accepted by a staff member at the student union office. However, when the process was complete, it was already ten minutes past the deadline. They also did not write down the positions they were running for in block letters as required.

After they were disqualified, they filed a complaint with the student union council. But Michael Fung, chair of the annual election commission, said at a council meeting: “There were no political considerations.”

Former student union chief Althea Suen said any error on the form would make it invalid. She said students should have enough time to fix the mistakes before submission and bear the risks of submitting in the final moments before the deadline.

The four students refused to attend the council meeting on Tuesday night, but Hua and another member – Huang Zhiyi Daniel – held a press conference in the afternoon. The pair responded to three questions during the 25-minute press conference and refused to answer more questions owing to “time constraints.”

When asked if they have connections to the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Hua said: “I don’t know where this information of connections with the Liaison Office came from.” She said that they were running for students’ welfare.

Hua also criticised HKU Campus TV and Undergrad student magazine for releasing her team’s names without authorisation. Huang said Undergrad was “fake news,” claiming it falsely reported that no candidates had applied to run in the cabinet elections.

Hua was asked why she hosted the press conference if she was afraid of her information being released. She refused to answer citing time constraints.

The president of Campus TV and the chief editor of Undergrad both said their information could be obtained from public information released by the council and the election commission. The outlets did not release their student numbers, emails or phone numbers, they said.

Both Hua and Huang studied at the pro-Beijing Heung To Middle School. Hua joined the Military Summer Camp For Hong Kong Youth in 2014 which was co-organised by the Education Bureau and the People’s Liberation Army Garrison in Hong Kong.

Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association in Response to Personal Attacks on Magistrate (2018.01.06)

The recent conviction and sentencing of a former police superintendent has aroused much public attention.

There are reports of personal and insulting attacks (and worse still with racial overtones) made against the Magistrate concerned.

We repeat what we stated in our statement dated 20th February 2017 which arose out of sentencing of seven policemen arising from the Occupy Central incident.

Whilst everyone enjoys freedom of expression and may comment on any judicial decision or ruling, personal attacks against the court or the judicial officer concerned, as in this case against the Magistrate with insulting and racist or xenophobic words and actions, undermine the respect for the court, and the due process of the law and the course of justice, which should be shown by members of the public in a society that abides by the Rule of Law.

Such conduct may even constitute contempt of court. The Hong Kong Bar Association strongly condemns such conduct, and invites the relevant authorities to take swift action to deal with such serious and offensive conduct.

Internet comments:

Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association in Response to Personal Attacks on Judge (2017.02.20)

A recent judgment in a criminal case concerning seven policemen has caused much public attention. Whilst everyone enjoys freedom of expression and may comment on the judgment, personal attacks against the Judge with insulting and threatening words and actions are of no assistance to any rational discussion, but undermine the respect for the court which should be shown by members of the public in a society that abides by the Rule of Law. Such conduct may even constitute contempt of court. The Hong Kong Bar Association condemns such conduct, and urges people with different views to express them in a manner conducive to rational debate.

- Relevant links:

#675 Martyrs of the Umbrella Counter-Revolution - Part 1 (Seven Evil Cops) (2017/02/16) This is the case that the HKBA statement of February 20, 2017 refers to. This is great reading on the history of the crime of "scandalising the judiciary."

#818 Martyrs of the Umbrella Counter-Revolution - Part 2 (The Case of Frankly Chu King-wai) (2017/11/07) This is the case that the HKBA statement of January 6, 2018 refers to.

- I don't object to punishing those who insult judges/magistrates. But I want to see rule-of-law and not rule-of-man.

Here are some well-known cases:

2015.07.30: At the sentencing of five Restore Yuen Long defendants, their supporters chanted that the dog judge was shameful. The judge said that he had been threatened.

2016.10.25: After Raymond Wong was found guilty of throwing the glass cup at Chief Executive CY Leung, he called the judge "a dog judge from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet." His supporters wished death upon the judge's entire family.

2017.08.15: The 13 defendants of the New Territories East development protests were re-sentenced. Some supported cursed the judges as "dog judges."

2017.08.17: The 3 students who led the charge into Government Headquarters were re-sentenced. Some supporters cursed the judges as "dog judges" and "may all t heir family members be paralyzed from the waist down."

Why haven't these people been prosecuted?

- How come the Hong Kong Bar Association has nothing to say about these other cases? Why are they not an existential threat to the Hong Kong judiciary?

- If you ask the HKBA, they will say that they are not aware of the specifics of the case and therefore they cannot comment. Then they will make sure that they never learn about the specifics of the case and therefore they won't ever comment.

- (SCMP) Bar association condemns insults directed at non-Chinese judge in Hong Kong who jailed senior policeman. January 7, 2018.

The Hong Kong Bar Association slammed recent personal attacks on the non-Chinese ethnicity of a magistrate who jailed a retired senior police officer for three months for attacking a bystander at a 2014 protest, urging authorities to take swift action. Releasing a statement on Saturday, the association said it had documented insulting, racist or xenophobic words and actions directed at Indian-born principal magistrate Bina Chainrai. Educated in Hong Kong, Chainrai was called to the bar in 1982 and appointed a permanent magistrate in 1990.

I get it totally. This is only about racism/xenophobia. It is unacceptable to call Bina Chainrai an "Indian bitch" or David Dufton a "white-skinned pig." But it is acceptable to call Chan Pik-kiu and Sham Siu-man "Cheena running dogs" because this is a statement of fact and not racism/xenophobia.

Oh why oh why didn't they make this clear before?

- Hong Kong's legal system is based upon common law, which relies on case precedents. If they prosecute the critics of David Dufton and Bina Chainrai, they would have to prosecute those in the other cases. That means more business for the lawyers. Life is good here in Hong Kong.

- Why do judges get preferential treatment? In Hong Kong, you can freely criticize everybody else from the restaurant waiter to the Chief Executive, but you cannot criticize judges. This is a violation of freedom of speech under Article 27 of the Hong Kong Basic Law.

- It is a cinch to win a judicial review. But I won't file one because there are legal fees. Instead, I will find a 79-year-old illiterate grandma to file (with legal aid, of course).

(Hong Kong Free Press) January 16, 2018.

A woman has been arrested for allegedly insulting a magistrate following a series of protests against the recent jailing of retired superintendent Frankly Chu. The 63-year-old woman, surnamed Kwok, was arrested Monday on charges of contempt of court. A police spokesperson said she allegedly made insulting remarks against judicial personnel outside the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on January 3. Kwok was accused of making the remarks outside court, where Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai sentenced Chu to three months in prison for hitting a pedestrian with a baton during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Dozens of Chu’s supporters hurled insults at the Indian-born magistrate, calling her a “dog” and uttering racial slurs against her. They said foreign judges were not welcome and that it would only be fair if “Chinese people were tried by Chinese judges.” The protesters said the judiciary was being unfair and called the jail sentence “an international joke.”

Kwok has been released on bail and is required to report to the police next month.

- (SCMP) Those who criticise our judges should be ashamed of themselves. By Alex Lo. January 8, 2018.

When retired police superintendent Frankly Chu was jailed for three months for assaulting a passer-by mistaken for an Occupy protester, the worst elements of the blue-ribbon, pro-government mob were out in force denouncing the sentence. Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai has been called by all sorts of nasty and racist names, many of which are unprintable in a family newspaper. Some are calling for an all-Chinese bench.

Chu has launched an appeal and may yet have the sentence overturned. But assuming the judgment stands, the punishment is quite lenient, considering the offence could carry a heavy sentence that counts in years rather than months. Of course, the real punishment is not the jail time, but Chu’s expected loss of his pension.

In a rare consensus, not only the yellow-ribbon media and the Bar Association but also some of the bluest pro-government news outlets such as HKG Pao and Speakout.hk have all rounded on those who attacked the judge.

Those who made the most offensive remarks may have committed contempt of court. If a few of them are ever charged, no one would shed a tear.

But the blue-ribbon mobs haven’t been the only ones going after judges. Yellow-ribbon thugs were doing the same thing when their own people were jailed. Last year, 13 pro-democracy activists were sent to prison for their violent protest against a government development plan in the northeastern New Territories. Likewise, three former student leaders of the Occupy protests had their community service penalties toughened to jail terms after government prosecutors appealed against their sentences. In response, the opposition went into a paroxysm. Some of its more uncouth supporters were calling the ethnically Chinese judges in the two cases “Chee-na men” and “communist running dogs”. Meanwhile, some of the most respected Western publications and some former senior foreign government officials were calling for the release of the trio, as if it were a political decision rather than something that required due process, and that our judiciary was some kind of kangaroo court.

The worst and most extreme elements of the blue and yellow-ribbon mobs behave in much the same despicable way. Those who shout loudest about threats to the rule of law in front of foreign media are helping to undermine it.

Our judges, who maintain a dignified silence and diligently administer justice, are the real heroes of Hong Kong.

- (Oriental Daily) January 6, 2018.

Judges are humans. They have emotions and desires and they have political positions. In Hong Kong, everything is politicized. It is clear that judicial decisions have political leanings.

After the reacting to the sentences given to the seven police officers, the public is now reacting to the three month sentence given to retired police superintendent Frankly Chu. Both cases are sideshows to Occupy Central, and the defendants were jailed over their actions during law enforcement. Meanwhile the instigators of Occupy Central, including Next Media boss Jimmy Lai and Hong Kong University professor Benny Tai, have still not faced any legal consequences. So enforcing the law is a crime whereas breaking the law is not; loving Hong Kong is punished, but causing chaos in Hong Kong goes unpunished. It is a joke to say that we are all equal before the law.

There are many examples of injustice. As one example, someone caused others to charge at the Legislative Council building by falsely proclaiming the enactment of an Internet Article 23 law. Many persons were arrested and found guilty of unlawful gathering and criminal destruction of property. In his infinite wisdom, the judge decided that the defendants were indigent and rejected the prosecutor's request for economic damages.

As another example, the 13 defendants in the New Territories East development protests were sentenced to community service. In his infinite wisdom, the magistrate praised the defendants as "speaking out for the oppressed people" and "defending public justice."

Even more absurd was the case of the three students who led the invasion of Government Headquarters to precipitate Occupy Central. They had clearly broken the law. At the trial, the judge heaped praises on them: "They are still young, they are filled with ideals, they genuinely care about society and they did not do this for personal interests." It was as if the defendants were heroes and the court was holding an awards ceremony.

Dear judges and magistrates, did you think that the seven police officers, or Frankly Chu, or even the three persons who threw pig entrails at Jimmy Lai did not care about society or are not filled with ideals? Which of them did it for personal interests?

How come the Blue Ribbons are always punished and the Yellow Ribbons always let off?

- (HKG Pao) January 6, 2018.

Yesterday was the police recruitment day for the winter season. The 2,300+ applicants was the second highest number on record. So there was no fall-off in spite of the smears on the Hong Kong Police by the Yellow Ribbon media.

(Oriental Daily) January 7, 2018.

At Hong Kong University, the Student Union election had 14 posts with no candidates, including all the cabinet members. In recent years, the Hong Kong University Student Union has been embroiled in political issues such as Occupy Central, Hong Kong independence, etc. Alex Chow was sentenced to 8 months in jail for the taking of Government Headquarters. Billy Fung was sentenced to 240 hours of community service for criminal destruction of property and forcible entry.

- More generally, if your resumé shows that you were in the Student Union executive committee, it will be assumed that you are a pro-independence radical violence-prone activist. That limits your employment opportunities.

- The above is an assumption. There are no data to support it one way or the other. But it provides an explanation as to why there is little or not interest in the posts.

- Twelve steps for Color Revolution

11. Add in violent agent provocateurs to provoke the police to use force. This will cause the target government to lose the support of other countries and become “deligitimized” by the international community.

There are job openings for martyrs and butchers for the Umbrella Revolution. Any takers?

(Oriental Daily) January 5, 2018.

At the Discussion Board of Bus Facebook, there was a photo of a man sitting on the stairwell of the 69C double-decker bus this morning. This man was listening to music while standing there. The bus driver stopped the bus and approached the man to remind him that the operating rules do not permit standing in the stairwell. The man immediately sat down and asked the bus driver: "Is that okay?" The man refused to budge from the position. The bus driver was forced to arrange for all the passengers to transfer to another bus.

Internet comments:

- CAP 230A Public Bus Service Ordinance

13A. General conduct of passengers and intending passengers

(1) No passenger or intending passenger shall

(a) willfully obstruct, impede or distract the driver or the bus or any authorized person;
(c) willfully do or cause be done with respect to any part of the bus or its equipment, anything which

(i) obstruct or interferes with the workings of the bus or causes damage; or
(ii) causes injury, discomfort, annoyance or inconvenience to any other person;

(2) No passenger shall stand

(a) on any part  of a bus other than the gangway;
(b) on the upper deck of a bus; or
(c) on a single-decked bus or on the lower deck of a double-decked bus, forward of the rearmost part of the driver's,

while the bus is moving.

13. Power to remove passengers etc.

(1) Any person who is an employee of a grantee and who is in uniform and on duty may remove from a bus any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe has contravened these regulations.

(2) Any person who is an employee of a grantee and who is in uniform and on duty may require any passenger whom he has reasonable cause to believe has contravened these regulations to give his name and address and produce proof of identity.

(3) Any person who is an employee of a grantee and who is in uniform and on duty may arrest without a warrant any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe has contravened these regulations and may detain such person until he can be handed over to a police officer.

(4) A police officer, to whom a person is handed over under subregulation (3), shall take such person into custody without a warrant and thereafter sections 51 and 52 of the Police Force Ordinance (Cap. 232) shall apply.

- Facebook comments: What to do?

- All the other passengers should band together and curse the fucker out!
- As soon as the bus driver spoke, all the other passengers should have started to curse.
- He made all the passengers get off this bus and take another bus. They should curse him out! The only issue is whether they do it to his face, or on the side.
- Why is there still an option to do it on the side? He should been shown a red card and ejected.
- Not everybody is as courageous as you are. Some people are afraid of being cursed back.
- It would have been better if he was the only one to take another bus.
- Why is this discussion being restricted to cursing the man or not? The bus was filled to capacity, so there were more than 100 other passengers. They should have acted together and tossed the guy out of the door! Instead they marched meekly to get on another bus.

- This isn't the whole story. When the other passengers transferred to another bus, what happened to the man? Did he go with them and continue to sit in the stairwell? That would show that he is a righteous civil rights activist. Or did he charged ahead first and grabbed a seat for himself? That would show that he is a selfish prig.

- Many drivers won't speak out. But since he had already stopped the bus to speak to the man, he should finish the job by telling him to get off. If the man refuses, the driver should summon the police.
- What can the driver really do? They have to follow the rules of operation, for which they are often criticized for lack of flexibility. They make just over $10,000 a month. Is that worth being cursed out by various passengers for all sorts of reasons over the entire shift?
- The driver is being criticized for speaking out to the man and then making the passengers switch buses. If he did nothing, there will be a different Facebook post about him letting people stand/sit in the stairwell. And if there should be an accident in which someone is injured on the stairwell, he faces criminal liability.

- We need to issue an APB (All-Points Bulletin) to identify this man, his family members and his business associates. We need to find out where his son goes to school and then the classmates will get to ask the son about the behavior of his father. We will ask his employer whether this type of selfish behavior stands for standard operating behavior and corporate image over at the company.

- This is the after-effect of Occupy Central -- it's all about what you want and the hell with everybody else!
- "I want genuine sitting on the stairwell" and the hell with the other passengers!
- So what if I violated some law or the other? Benny Tai said that this is just civil disobedience. - Hong Kong University law professor Benny Tai tells us that we can break the law to achieve justice.
- The Public Bus Service Ordinance prohibits standing on the stairwell of a double-decked bus. It does not say anything about sitting on the stairwell. Therefore the man will surely win in court.
- Occupy Central taught everybody to fight for their rights. In this case, the man on the stairwell had the absolute right to sit there. His action is just like Rosa Parks, who exercised her absolute and inalienable right to sit in the front of the bus.
- Even if the Public Bus Service Ordinance explicitly prohibits sitting on the stairwell of a double-decked bus, the man should be fighting against such an unjust law. There was no reason why a person cannot sit on the stairwell. The bus is in motion and nobody was going up or down the stairs.
- It will no doubt be argued that it was dangerous to stand/sit in the stairwell. If the bus has to swerve suddenly, a person in the stairwell may lose balance and fall down. That is utter nonsense. It is my fucking life and I will bear the consequences of my actions. If I should get hurt in this manner, I will sue the bus driver for reckless driving and the bus company for imperfect safety features. It won't cost the public a cent.
- Occupy Central also taught us that the maximum penalty for breaking the law is just a few hours of community service, if that. More likely, if the bus driver summoned the police to arrest this man, charges would be dropped before trial anyway due to chronic understaffing at the Department of Justice. Three years after more than 200 persons were arrested for contempt of court during the clearance of Occupy Central, only 9 have been charged. When you ask Chief Executive Carrie Lam, ex-Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen or current Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng for an update, they turn their backs and flee.

- Here is what I just did. I was on a Number 1 bus going to Star Ferry. At Tak Shing Street, nobody asked to get off. Since the preceding bus was a Number 1A going down the same route to the same destination, my bus driver was not going to stop. A man dashed out of nowhere and wanted to board my bus. Fortunately the bus driver braked in time and let the man on. This man proceeded to curse the bus driver out and promised to lodge a complaint. Some passengers argued with this man. I was too much of a coward and I shut up. But as I got off, I told the bus driver that I had already called the Bus Customer Service Center to tell them what just happened. I do what I can and I hope that this will help the bus driver.

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 29, 2017.

Hong Kong pro-democracy marchers are “not ruling out” an overnight protest at Civic Square following the annual New Year’s Day rally on Monday.

The Civil Human Rights Front has been granted a letter of no objection from the police to end its march at the symbolic area outside government headquarters. It was closed by then-leader Leung Chun-ying in 2014, but was re-opened by current Chief Executive Carrie Lam on a limited basis on Thursday.

Known formally as the East Wing Forecourt of the Central Government Offices, the area is open to the public from 6am to 11pm daily, but protesters will only be allowed to gather there on Sundays and public holidays.

The march on January 1 is scheduled to end at 6:30pm after beginning at 2pm in East Point Road, Causeway Bay.

“We don’t worry [about being cleared out by the police],” Civil Human Rights Front convener Sammy Ip told RTHK. “Firstly it depends on the headcount. If many people turn up, [the police] don’t have an excuse to clear us out, because our march will not have ended. Secondly, it’s clear that re-opening Civic Square is a piece of political engineering by Carrie Lam. I don’t think she would want to do something ugly at the very first large-scale protest.”

The police told RTHK that they have not yet assessed the risks of Civic Square being “re-occupied”. They cited the march’s organisers as estimating that around 2,000 participants will turn up.

(RTHK) January 1, 2018.

The Civil Human Rights Front is organizing a demonstration march from Causeway Bay to the east wing forecourt of Government Headquarters. They estimate that 10,000 will participate. According to Civil Human Rights Front convener Sammy Ip said that the recent controversy over the Co-location Arrangement may drive up participation. If the demonstrators don't want to leave at the destination point, they will continue to stay.

(Oriental Daily) January 1, 2018.

The Civil Human Rights Front vice-convener Carlos Hung said that they have set up a stage outside the entrance of the East Wing Forecourt of Government Headquarters and the demonstrators can use the East Wing Forecourt itself. He said that the assembly will last one to two hours with various guest speakers.

At around 1pm, Tam Tak-chi (People Power) claimed that a man dressed in black has destroyed their demonstration tools. The police arrested a 56-year-old man named Chan on suspicion of criminal destruction of property.

The march began at 225pm with 500 people assembled. The end of the queue departed at 306pm with a total of 1,200 participants in the march.

There were flags of more than 20 organizations. Apart from the traditional political parties, there were many university social work students. However, the university student unions were not present.

During the march, the police stopped the procession several times in order to let citizens and cars pass. The demonstrators were upset and hollered that they be allowed to proceed.

Videos:

RTHK - Viu TV - TVB - NOW TV

Epoch Times

Internet comments:

- Another vertical banner was erected on Mount Parker yesterday morning. The first banner on Lion Rock on the day before said: "Safeguard Hong Kong." This second one on today said: "Safeguard Hong Kong, New Year's Day march." There was no time for the third most crucial one: "Safeguard Hong Kong, New Year's Day march, Donate money to Lau Siu-lai."

- The baseline should have been double the 1,200 figure but half of the regular marchers are participating in the Falun Gong march in Kowloon. The Civil Human Rights Front could have used the Falun Gong's hired marching bands and dancers as well as the airlift of Taiwanese demonstrators.

- (Apple Daily) 14:32 January 1, 2018. At least 2,000 people are gathered at the assembly point. East Point Road is completely filled, with spillover into Cannon Street.

- (Oriental Daily) January 1, 2018. The Civil Human Rights Front announced that 10,000 citizens marched today. The police said that the peak number was 6,200. Last year, the Civil Human Rights Front announced 9,150 while the police said 4,800.

- (Wen Wei Po) The Hong Kong Police estimated that 360,000 persons watched the fireworks display on both sides of Victoria Harbour at midnight on New Year's Eve.

- This is clearly a plot by the Hong Kong Communist Government to reduce turnout at the Safeguard Hong Kong demonstration march.

- (Oriental Daily) Thousands of people came to the Tsim Sha Tsui Cultural Centre to watch 300 lion-dancing teams perform at the Eighth World Lion Dance Festival on New Year's Day.

- This is clearly a Communist plot to reduce turnout at the Safeguard Hong Kong demonstration march.

- (Wen Wei Po) On New Year's Day, the Hong Kong Jockey Club held 11 horse races at the Sha Tin Racecourse. Total attendance was 85,124 persons who placed a total of $1.65 billion in bets.

- This is clearly a Communist plot to reduce turnout at the Safeguard Hong Kong demonstration march.

- Here is a photo of the people who drove attendance down: The pro-Hong Kong independence people who want to return to British rule. (Oriental Daily) January 1, 2018.

(YouTube) Pro-independence demonstrators chanting "Hong Kong independence" and "I am a Hongkonger." All five of them.

- They are obviously being paid by the China Liaison Office to provide the justification for Article 23 National Security Legislation.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong returning to ‘Great’ Britain? You are having a laugh. By Niall Fraser. January 2, 2018.

Over the years I have witnessed more political protest marches in more places about more things than you can shake a placard stick at. In fact, if protest miles were a thing, my place in the Che Guevara Lounge of Revolutionary Airways would be assured.

After nearly 40 years, starting as a student agitator against “[Margaret] Thatcher the Milk Snatcher’’ in late 1970s Scotland to journalistic observer of the mass tumult which toppled and led to the execution of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989 and countless Hong Kong pro-democracy marches, if asked today “What do we want?” and “When do we want it?” my most likely answer would be: a toilet, now!

Over the years, the banners brandished and slogans shouted have ranged from the downright rubbish and hopelessly unachievable to the incredibly effective and laugh-out-loud funny – my personal favourite being the absurd “Free Bill Posters”

However, at the New Year’s Day pro-democracy march in Hong Kong this week, being held aloft was a placard that took the ridiculous biscuit, crumbs and all. Unless, of course, the person carrying it was a foot soldier of the agent provocateur wing of the Chinese Communist Party.

It read: “Make Hong Kong Great Britain Again.’’

Putting to one side the not insignificant faux pas of plagiarising the campaign slogan of a semi-literate president of the United States for whom democracy represents a means to nefarious authoritarian ends, if whoever penned the words on this placard was serious, I suggest they stem the flow with a double dose of verbal Imodium and read on.

As a British passport holder as well as a permanent resident of Hong Kong, I will no doubt be considered a treacherous turncoat to Queen and country for what I am about to say. But say it I will and to anyone who wants to shoot the messenger, you know where to find me and I can supply the gun if you aren’t tooled up.

Any country which feels the ongoing need to prefix its name with “Great” – whatever the etymology of that word in this context – is by definition nothing of the sort. So, as was the case for incumbent British Prime Minister Theresa May not so long ago, your slogan is starting to fall apart.

In any case, Hong Kong never was and never will be Great Britain. It was like so many other places around the world, a stolen plunder of empire, an empire over which generations of schoolchildren were taught the sun never sets.

As has been said by greater men and women than I could ever imagine to be, the real reason eternal pink daylight shone across the British imperial map was because God could never trust the Brits in the dark.

Our placard-waving friend would do well to ponder that sentiment, given that two decades after your shining white knight left Hong Kong, it has shown absolutely no sign that your trust and love will ever be reciprocated, not as long as there is a deal to be done and money to be made.

I certainly don’t have ready-made solutions for the difficult and deep-rooted problems this city faces, but I know one thing for certain, they do not lie in clinging to a past which is well and truly in the past and placing your trust in the untrustworthy.

And if you think that treachery is a trait the British establishment ditched as the letters of their empire dropped off one by one, read the official documents released by the Irish government last week. They revealed that British intelligence sought the services of a loyalist terrorist gang in Northern Ireland to murder the democratically elected prime minister of Ireland, Charles Haughey, in 1987.

Be careful what you wish for. Perfidious Albion indeed.

- (Oriental Daily) January 1, 2018. At around 4pm when the demonstrators arrived at Government Headquarters, People Power, Neo Democrats and Co-location Concern Group members took turns to charge at the flagstaff platform. A security guard was injured and taken to the hospital.

The action began with People Power member Chin Po-fun charging up the dais. She was stopped by a large number of security guards. Several minutes later, People Power member Tam Tak-chi charged up the platform to demand to see if Chin Po-fun has been injured. Another man successfully climbed onto the platform. During the struggle, a male security guard was injured and taken away by stretcher. The man who climbed onto the platform claimed to have sustained injuries on his finger and neck; in fact, he said that he felt pain all over this body. Ten minutes later, another man charged up and was blocked by the security guard.

- (Video)
- (Video)

- This is what I saw: The bespectacled guy named Wong grabbed a female security guard by the collar and buried his head into her breasts. She screamed and pushed him away. He took a dive onto the ground and screamed "police brutality."

- ... and therefore you must donate even more money.

- This is what I saw: The dark-blue-uniformed security thugs roamed the scene looking to pick fights with citizens. They pounced upon the bespectacled guy named Wong. They tried but failed to break his arm. They picked him up from the platform and threw him onto the ground below. They went over and tried to stomp on him. A blond-haired white dude threw his own body to cover the assault victim. Outraged citizens condemned the thugs, who just stood there smirking. This is the darkest day for democracy in Hong Kong.

- ... and therefore you must donate even more money.

- (The Stand News) Civil Human Rights Front convener Sammy Ip said that the police and the security guards have greater numbers and therefore have greater responsibility to handle any clashes. He said that they will maintain contact with those protestors and provide assistance to them if required.

- ... and therefore you must donate even more money.

- (The Stand News) Nathan Law (Demosisto) said that this was only a "fake re-opening of Civic Square but actually a stage show." He told citizens to distinguish truth from lies. He emphasized: "We cannot tolerate being ordered about by the North. The people of Hong Kong have their own dignity."

- That's about right. Xi Jinping ordered Civic Square closed before and re-opened now. After all, Hong Kong is the center of the universe and Nathan Law is the center of the center.

- ... and therefore you must donate even more money.

- (SCMP) January 3, 2017.

Officials released two pictures showing Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung visiting groups of security officers of the Tamar site. According to the captions, Cheung was “thanking them for their dedication and professionalism in assisting to maintain order at [the government headquarters]”. “[Cheung] also expressed concern for two security guards injured while carrying out duties in the East Wing Forecourt and wished them a rapid recovery,” the captions stated.

Sammy Ip Chi-hin, convenor of Civil Human Rights Front, the organiser of the New Year’s Day march, said the move showing Cheung interacting with the guards was “provocative”. “Hong Kong people are unhappy about governance and they took to the streets to protest and now a top official comes out to praise those who have tried to suppress the protesters,” Ip said.

- ... and therefore you must donate even more money.

- After all the bellicose posturing, it ended with a whimper: (SCMP) At about midnight, only four protestors remained, and security guards moved in. Three protestors left without incident, and the fourth had to be carried out.

- The number of demonstrators was never the point. This is really about the amounts raised by various organizations. This is one of the three most important money-raking days of the year, together with June 4th and July 1st.

Justice Defense Fund: $370,000
League of Social Democrats: $260,000
Demosisto: $220,000
Teacher Siu-lai's Democracy Classroom: $120,000
Civic Party: $80,000
Democratic party: $78,000

- (HKG Pao) January 3, 2018.

One slogan in this New Year's Day march is that the Hong Kong government is "destroying the rule of law." Of course, it is also the law that anyone soliciting donations from the public must apply for a permit from the Home Affairs Bureau. On this day, the only two organizations (People Power and Power for Democracy) had those permits. All other political parties (including the Civic Party, the Democratic Party, the Labour Party, Demosisto, etc) did not have permits.

Under the law, violations can result in a fine plus 3 months in jail.

- ... but since these people are "pro-democracy", the normal laws cannot be applied to them. Or else Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch/Hong Kong Watch will scream about political oppression.

- (Oriental Daily) January 3, 2018.

Over the past several demonstration marches, the political parties had pledged their takings to the Justice Defense Fund. But the practice has been discontinued this time. League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng said that their members have enough legal problems of their own, so they are keeping their receipts to "defend their own justice." The Civic Party, Democratic Party and Demosisto are doing likewise.

The problem with the Justice Defense Fund is that the goal posts kept being moved. At first, they were there to support the DQ4 legislative councilors. Then they added the Occupy Central Nine to the list. Who knows how the list is going to be augmented again in order to extend the project? No wonder the political parties are walking away.

- Karl Marx used the term "permanent revolution" to describe the strategy of the revolutionary class to pursue its class interests independent and without compromise, despite overtures for political alliances and despite the political dominance of opposing sections of society.

The Hong Kong pro-democracy movement has evolved and refined "permanent revolution" into "permanent crowdfunding." History has shown that this is a green, sustainable and self-perpetuating movement.

(Hong Kong Bar Association) Statement of the HKBA dated 28 December 2017 on the Decision of the NPCSC of 27 December 2017 on the Co-operation Agreement

1. The Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) refers to –

(a) The Decision of the Standing Committee of 12th National People’s Congress adopted on 27 December 2017 at its 31st Session on Approving the Co-operation Agreement between the Mainland and the HKSAR on the Establishment of the Port at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link for Implementing Co-location Arrangement (the NPCSC Co-location Decision);

(b) The Explanations given by Director Zhang Xiaoming of the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office to the NPCSC Session on 22 December 2017 in respect of the Draft NPCSC Co-location Decision (the Explanations); and

(c) The Co-operation Agreement between the Mainland and the HKSAR on the Establishment of the Port at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link for Implementing Co-location Arrangement (the Co-operation Agreement) that the HKSAR Government published on 27 December 2017.

2. The HKBA notes that the Co-operation Agreement provides in –

(a) Paragraph 2 that the HKSAR provides to the Mainland the Mainland Port Area of the Port at the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station (WKS) of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) for use and exercise of jurisdiction by the Mainland in accordance with the Co-operation Agreement; and that the acquisition, duration and fees for the use of the site of the Mainland Port Area shall be provided by a contract between the said parties.

(b) Paragraph 4 that the Mainland Port Area shall, from the date of its commencement of operation, be subject to Mainland jurisdiction in accordance with the Co-operation Agreement and Mainland laws (including judicial jurisdiction), with the Mainland Port Area being regarded as within the Mainland for such purpose.

(c) Paragraphs 5 and 6 that Mainland authorities shall be stationed at the Mainland Port Area to carry out duties under Mainland laws in respect of entry/exit border check, customs supervision and examination and quarantine.

(d) Paragraph 9 that passengers bound for the HKSAR shall be treated as within the Mainland before they leave the Mainland Port Area and if any one of them contravenes a Mainland law, the Mainland authorities stationed there shall take appropriate legal measures according to the law and the specific circumstances.

(e) Paragraph 10 that passengers bound for the Mainland shall be treated as within the Mainland after they have entered the Mainland Port Area and if any one of them contravenes a Mainland law, the Mainland authorities stationed there shall take appropriate legal measures according to the law and the specific circumstances.

(f) Paragraph 12 that HKSAR officers may enter the Mainland Port Area to assist in respect of sudden and emergency incidents only at the request and authorization of the Mainland authorities stationing there.

3. On 19 October 2017, the HKBA issued a statement indicating that it has been monitoring the development in respect of the "Three-step Process" closely and will publish its views if and when appropriate. Now that the HKBA has access to the details of the first two steps of the "Three-step Process" following yesterday’s events, we consider it necessary to state our views on the legal and constitutional issues involved.

4. The HKBA refers to the Explanations and considers that its claim at page 5 that the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the HKSAR is the source of authority for the HKSAR to enter into the Co-location Arrangement with the Mainland is erroneous in material respects. The HKBA makes the following observations on the provisions of the Basic Law used to support this claim:

(a) The HKSAR’s authority to maintain its own immigration control system pursuant to Article 154(2) of the Basic Law is the reason for the HKSAR, not the Mainland authority, to maintain exit control check for Mainland-bound passengers using the XRL and entry control check for Hong Kong-bound passengers using the XRL.

(b) Although the directions in Articles 118 and 119 of the Basic Law for the HKSAR to formulate appropriate policies to promote and co-ordinate the development of various trades and to provide an economic and legal environment for encouraging investments, technological progress and the development of new industries may suggest or make it desirable for the adoption of certain policies by the HKSAR Government to promote, co-ordinate or facilitate economic development, they do not authorize the HKSAR Government to act inconsistently with the systems provided for under the Basic Law.

(c) While Article 7 of the Basic Law may enable the HKSAR Government to enter into an agreement with another person in respect of the granting of the use of a piece of land within the HKSAR, it does not authorize the HKSAR Government to divest all institutions of the HKSAR (including the HKSAR courts) from having the jurisdiction they have pursuant to the various provisions of the Basic Law over that piece of land.

5. Accordingly, the HKBA is of the firm view that none of the Basic Law provisions referred to the Explanations provide the source of authority for the Co-location Arrangement in the Co-operation Agreement, the implementation of which will clearly mean the disapplication of the systems of the HKSAR provided for by and under the provisions of the Basic Law, pursuant to Article 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and Article 11 of the Basic Law, in respect of the land within the HKSAR at the Mainland Port Area at WKS. Given that Article 11(2) of the Basic Law provides that not even legislation of the HKSAR can contravene Article 11 of the Basic Law, the Co-operation Agreement (being an agreement entered into between the HKSAR Government and the Guangdong Provincial Government), by itself, has no authority to override Article 11.

6. In this regard, the HKBA considers that the suggestion in the Explanations that the Co-location Arrangement does not contravene Article 18 of the Basic Law because Mainland laws only apply to a part of the HKSAR (i.e. the Mainland Port Area) – which will be regarded under the Co-location Arrangement as being situated in the Mainland – and not the entire HKSAR, goes against any plain reading of the Article. Such logic, if extended, is capable of authorizing the application of Mainland laws to any part of the HKSAR designated by the HKSAR Government (e.g. the High Court Building) as long as it does not cover the whole of the HKSAR, and completely by-passes and emasculates the requirement under Article 18(3) of the Basic Law that only national laws listed in Annex III of the Basic Law shall be applied to the HKSAR.

7. The HKBA is appalled by the NPCSC Co-location Decision, which merely states that the NPCSC approves the Co-operation Agreement and "confirms" that the Co-operation Agreement is consistent with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law without stating how this is so. This is followed by a provision phrased in terms of an "obligation" of the HKSAR to legislate to ensure the implementation of the Co-operation Agreement. This plainly amounts to an announcement by the NPCSC that the Co-operation Agreement complies with the Constitution and the Basic Law "just because the NPCSC says so". Such an unprecedented move is the most retrograde step to date in the implementation of the Basic Law, and severely undermines public confidence in "one country, two systems" and the rule of law in the HKSAR.

8. The NPCSC does not exercise power out of a vacuum. Its functions and powers are provided in Article 67 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, and its functions and powers are prescribed (and circumscribed) in Articles 17, 18, 20, 90, 158, 159 and 160, and Annexes I and II to the Basic Law. The NPCSC must abide by these provisions of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law when it makes a decision in respect of the HKSAR.

9. The HKBA considers that the assertion in the NPCSC Co-location Decision that the stationing of Mainland authorities at the Mainland Port Area at WKS to exercise their duties under Mainland laws there is different from the situation under Article 18 of the Basic Law of national laws being implemented in the whole of the HKSAR begs the question of how this is different. The assertion that it is appropriate to make provision under the Co-operation Agreement to provide for the division of jurisdiction and the application of laws in the WKS Port and to confirm that the Mainland Port Area (a part of the HKSAR) shall be regarded as "being in the Mainland" again begs the question of why this is appropriate. The assertion that the establishment of the Mainland Port Area in the Port at WKS does not alter the extent of the HKSAR, does not affect the high degree of autonomy of the HKSAR enjoyed according to law, and does not limit the rights and freedoms the Hong Kong residents enjoy according to law, plainly begs the question of how and why they are so.

10. The NPCSC Co-location Decision is both wholly unconvincing and unsatisfactory in achieving its purported purpose, namely to provide a firm legal basis for the Step 3 local legislation being the last of the "Three-step Process". The Co-location Arrangement’s disapplication of the systems of the HKSAR provided for by and under the provisions of the Basic Law means that the Step 3 local legislation will, by reason of Article 11(2) of the Basic Law, appear to be inconsistent with specific provisions of the Basic Law, including Articles 4, 11, 19, 22(3), 31, 35, 38, 39, 41, 80, 87. The HKBA does not regard as a satisfactory explanation any reliance by the HKSAR Government of the NPCSC Co-location Decision in answer to any of the above questions of inconsistency.

11. The HKBA considers that the NPCSC has, by reason of the NPCSC Co-location Decision and the way the NPCSC has adopted it, generated a strong perception among the legal community in Hong Kong and in the wider legal and political communities outside Hong Kong that the NPCSC is prepared to make decisions at the request of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR and the HKSAR Government under her leadership just because the subject matter concerned "is a good thing", without due regard and respect for the provisions of (and restrictions in) the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law. The HKBA notes, with utmost concern and regret, that such a strong perception will surely impair and undermine the confidence of the local and international communities on the maintenance of the rule of law and the "one country, two systems" policy in Hong Kong, both of which are provided for by the Basic Law, which was enacted pursuant to Article 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. Through the combined efforts of the HKSAR Government, the State Council and the NPCSC in producing NPCSC Co-location Decision, the integrity of the Basic Law has now been irreparably breached.

Internet comments:

- History:

September 16, 2017. Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association (“HKBA”) in Response to News Reports Regarding HKBA’s Stance on the Co-location Arrangement

1. The HKBA is deeply concerned about certain news reports on the alleged disclosure of the discussion within the Bar Council concerning the Co-location Arrangement ("News Reports"). These news reports, which appeared in the past 2 days, include references to an internal paper prepared for the Bar Council’s consideration by the Bar Council’s sub-committee on Constitutional Affairs & Human Rights ("Paper").

2. The HKBA is aware that a Court hearing has been fixed towards the end of this month for argument to be heard on legal issues arising from the Co-location Arrangement. In these circumstances, the Bar Council has resolved that it is inappropriate to comment on the relevant legal matters at this stage. Further, in light of the fact that discussions of the Bar Council are confidential, the HKBA will not be making any substantive response to the News Reports. HKBA wishes to emphasise that all decisions of the Bar Council (including the decision to issue this Statement) are the result of the collective deliberations of the Bar Council with the benefit of full and candid discussions.

3. However, in order to dispel any misunderstanding in relation to the HKBA’s position on the Co-location Arrangement and for the avoidance of doubt, we must emphasize that the Bar Council is still considering and discussing the various complicated and multi-faceted legal issues arising from the Co-location Arrangement, and the Paper forms part of this continuing process. The HKBA emphasizes that it has not yet made a decision or adopted a position on whether the Co-location Arrangement is or is not permissible under the Basic Law.

4. News Reports of what transpired in the Bar Council’s discussion are incorrect and misleading. The HKBA strongly denounces the misrepresentations made to the media and the disclosure of HKBA’s internal material in breach of confidentiality. It is deeply regrettable that this may have caused the public to misunderstand the HKBA’s position on the Co-location Arrangement.

October 19, 2017. Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association (“HKBA”) in Relation to the Co-location Arrangement

1. The HKBA notes the public discussions concerning the legal and constitutional issues in relation to the Government’s Proposed Co-location Arrangement.

2. The HKBA urges the Government to keep the general public timeously informed of the details of the "Three-step Process" to facilitate a proper, constructive and rational discussion on the legal and constitutional issues involved.

3. The HKBA is monitoring the development closely, and will publish its views if and when appropriate.

(SCMP) Legal eagles led by Philip Dykes to run in Hong Kong Bar Association polls, vowing to ‘stand fearlessly’ for judicial independence. December 23, 2017.

Shock waves were sent through Hong Kong’s legal circles on Friday after it emerged that a star-studded line-up – led by prominent human rights lawyer Philip Dykes SC – will contest the Bar Association election next month amid criticism that the legal body has recently been less vocal in defending the city’s rule of law.

Dykes – who was chairman of the Bar Council, the association’s governing body, in 2005 and 2006 – will run for the same post again after a decade.

Joining him are several legal heavyweights aiming for council membership, including Lawrence Lok Ying-kam SC and Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, the former law dean of the University of Hong Kong and the city’s first and so far only honorary senior counsel in Hong Kong.

Barristers Erik Shum Sze-man, Joe Chan Wai-yin and Randy Shek form the remaining three on the six-person list, which has the campaign slogan: “A strong bar, a strong rule of law”.

“Our vision is a strong bar that stands up fearlessly for the rule of law and judicial independence,” the group said in a statement. “We want to work closely with our young members who represent the future. We believe in healthy competition.”

Dykes is set to run against incumbent chairman Paul Lam Ting-kwok SC, who earlier hinted at securing a second term. It is rare for any incumbent chairman to face competition, with an unspoken rule that the person stays in the post for two years.

The Bar Association courted controversy in October for issuing only a three-paragraph statement responding to the controversial joint checkpoint plan for a cross-border express rail link to mainland China.

A number of lawyers and scholars, including Johannes Chan, questioned the legal basis for the proposal, which would for the first time allow mainland officials to enforce national laws in part of the rail terminus in Hong Kong.

In the statement, the Bar Association only “noted” public discussions concerning the legal and constitutional basis of the joint checkpoint arrangement, and “urged” the government to keep the general public informed to facilitate a constructive discussion, pledging to “monitor” developments closely.

Shek said they decided to run as they foresaw several controversial legal issues that could arise from coming events in the current political climate. These included the enactment of a local version of the national anthem law and the introduction of national security legislation.

“We hope the Bar Association can contribute to society by issuing a clear stance [on these issues] as Hongkongers have great expectations of the body,” Shek told the Post.

“The association has the duty to be seen by society as a professional body that would defend the city’s principles, rule of law and judicial independence.”

Shek, also a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said most of the current Bar Council members focused on civil law with very few specialising in criminal law and public law.

“There will be a lot of debates on constitutional matters in the coming two years and we hope we can bring our knowledge and experience to the council,” he added, describing Dykes and Johannes Chan as “impeccable” in their knowledge of public law.

When asked if Paul Lam’s performance was the catalyst triggering them to run, Shek said they were neither targeting anyone nor planning to take over the council, which consisted of 20 members.

“We are not focusing on what has [been improperly done] in the past, but more on what we can do in the future.”

The Bar Council election will take place on January 18.

- Election campaign consultants and pollsters tell "leftist" candidates that they should "move to the right" and "campaign to the center" with positions that are "between the 'left' and the 'right'." This is the way, they say, to "attract swing voters."

For example, let us suppose that the voters are divided into 33% leftists, 34% centrists and 33% rightists. Campaigning as a true-blue leftist will get you 33% + 17% = 50%. Campaigning as a centrist and positioning your opponent as an extremist whacko rightwing thug will get you 33% + 34% = 67%. That is the calculus.

In the Hong Kong Bar Association elections, the incumbent Paul Lam has to move to the left in order to defang his opponent. And that is why the December 28th 2017 statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association has such a belligerent tone. Lam may just win the HKBA election, but only at the cost of losing popular support for his organization.

- People who overdo triangulation usually end up losing because they are perceived as insincere and cynical.

- What is the end game of this fight against the Co-location Arrangement?

In the short term, the Co-location Arrangement may be shelved via judicial reviews in Hong Kong and the High Speed Rail will not depart from West Kowloon Station as scheduled even though the service will be ready to go. Hongkongers who want to use the High Speed Rail can take local transportation (bus/subways) to Guangzhou South. But instead of 48 minutes via High Speed Rail, they take more than 3 hours. They will know that their time is being wasted for which they will blame the pan-democrats and the Hong Kong Bar Association with their politicking.

- Economic Times/Sky Post online poll

Yesterday, the National People's Congress Standing Committee voted unanimously to pass the Co-Location Arrangement. Do you believe that this arrangement is consistent with One Country Two Systems and the Basic Law? (1120 respondents)

79%: Yes
19%: No
2%: No opinion

In the long term, the National People's Congress Standing Committee may introduce an amendment to the Basic Law to enable the Co-location Arrangement. Since the NPCSC is the highest legislative authority in China, there will be no possibility of judicial reviews by Hong Kong courts. High Speed Rail users will applaud this development. The amendment will open the way for further NPCSC actions including the enactment of Article 23 National Security.

- According to Cable TV, HKSAR Basic Law Committee deputy chairperson Elsie Leung noted that Basic Law Article 158 is relevant to any judicial review of this National People's Congress Standing Committee decision: when the courts of Hong Kong consider affairs which are the responsibility of the Central People's Government, or concerning the relationship between the Central Authorities and the Region, they shall, before making their final judgments which are not appealable, seek an interpretation of the relevant provisions from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress through the Court of Final Appeal. When the Standing Committee makes an interpretation of the provisions concerned, the courts of the Region, in applying those provisions, shall follow the interpretation of the Standing Committee.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 30, 2017.

I have not previously written about the Co-location Arrangement because I felt that it was an unnecessary question: "Would you like to haul your luggage and be inspected once or twice?" What kind of stupid question is this?

...

A couple days ago, legislative councilor Tanya Chan led the Co-location Concern Group to demonstrate outside the West Kowloon Station. On that day, there was a total of nine demonstrators (seven men and two women). In mathematics, this is a single digit number.

NOW TV gave this group a 90-second on-air report. They described the size of the group as "about 10 persons" so that the count was now a two-digit number. Still, NOW TV considers a 9-person demonstration to be a newsworthy event.

...

And then we have the government television station RTHK. The National People's Congress Standing Committee has just passed a resolution on Hong Kong. Immediately, the RTHK Facebook posted a 1:44 minute Commercial Radio interview of legislative councilor Tanya Chan. We have no idea what Li Fei, or Carrie Lam, or Rimsky Yuen think or say. We only have 1:44 minutes of Tanya Chan. Worse yet, this video was made not by RTHK but by its competitor Commercial Radio. Why is RTHK running promotions for a politician and its rival station?

As Tanya Chan likes to say, the government is forcibly raping public opinion with the Co-location Arrangement. But wouldn't it be really forcible rape if the government decide to foist the preference of nine persons (seven men and two women) upon the people of Hong Kong?

- If the pan-democrats and the Hong Kong Bar Association cannot beat the National People's Congress Standing Committee on their home ground, they will have to seek international help. But both United Staes and United Kingdom will be embarrassed because they have their own co-location arrangements up and running for many years already. How are they supposed to argue against themselves?

- Any comments by the United States or the United Kingdom will be rebutted by Hua Chun-ying as interference with the internal affairs of China. So this is just shadow boxing.

Besides, even American and British politicians know to pick issues that they can sell to their own constituents. In this case, how they tell their constituents that Hong Kong travelers should be forced to get off in the middle of their journey for customs/immigration/quarantine?

As much as the Hong Kong Bar Association wants to, they cannot go to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, because the latter does not have jurisdiction over Hong Kong affairs.

If the United Kingdom goes to the United Nations over the apparent violation of the Joint Sino-British Declaration, there is no case because both signatories must agree to be heard.

- High Speed Rail did not exist in 1984, so how could the Joint Sino-British Declaration have anything to say about it one way or the other?

It gets back to common sense: "Which would you prefer -- hauling your luggage to be inspected once or twice?" If your reading of the Joint Sino-British Declaration leads you to conclude that the answer must be twice, then you should seek an appointment with a psychiatrist.

- (HKG Pao) December 30, 2017.

In the legend of the Gordian knot, Alexander of Macedonia untied the intricate knot by a simple stroke of his sword. This is often used as a metaphor for solving a seemingly intractable problem by creative thinking ("cutting the Gordian knot").

In the matter of the Co-location Arrangement, "thinking inside the box" would mean debating the texts of Basic Law articles 2, 18, 20, 118 and 119 with the pan-democratic legislative councilors and senior barristers. Do you think that you will ever get anywhere with them? They will enjoy it and they may even be handsomely paid for their work in the judicial reviews. But you should not expect to ever reach resolution.

"Thinking outside the box" requires just answering a few questions with obvious answers:

(1) Under One Country Two Systems, which stands higher: the Country or the HKSAR? Answer: The Country.

(2) China is a rule-of-law and not rule-of-man country. Which is the highest legislative body in China? More pertinently, which legislative body has the highest power of interpretation under the Basic Law? Answer: The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

(3) The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has discussed and voted to pass the Co-location Arrangement. Does that imply legal authority? Answer: Yes.

(4) As Li Fei said, the decision of the highest legislative body of the country is the law. Does that imply legal basis? Answer: Yes.

(5) When the highest legislative body in the People's Republic of China voted to pass certain laws for the HKSAR, can it be overruled by a bunch of pan-democrats and senior barristers in Hong Kong? Answer: No.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong lawyers can oppose the joint checkpoint plan for the high-speed rail, but they should not deny its legal basis. By Ronny Tong. January 2, 2018.

I have been a member of the Hong Kong Bar for over 40 years and have the highest respect for its council. I also firmly believe that when a professional body deals with an important issue, it must do so in a fair and professional way, and always be on guard to avoid using emotive and intemperate rhetoric. This is particularly so when it comes to interpreting a constitutional document like the Basic Law.

You can therefore imagine my shock and sadness at reading the Bar Association’s statement on the co-location clearance proposal of the Hong Kong government for the cross-border rail link, and on the corresponding decision by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee relating to that.

Don’t get me wrong; I respect the association’s view and do not expect it to coincide with mine. But I also expect a more restrained and measured statement, much in the vein of the statements that previous Bar Councils – the governing body of the association – have issued in the past.

The dispute over the legality of the co-location proposal comes down to one question: is it in contravention of Article 18 of the Basic Law? This article, which defines the very essence of “one country, two systems”, reads, “National laws shall not be applied in the Hong Kong SAR except those listed in Annex III to this law … [which] shall be confined to those relating to defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the region as specified by this law.”

But what does it mean?

Our Court of Final Appeal has said on many occasions in interpreting the Basic Law that it is an aspirational document and one must adopt a purposive interpretation. This means the Basic Law is forward-looking and not enslaved by dated concepts. When we read the Basic Law, we must read it as a whole, try to discern its purpose, and give effect to it in accordance with such a purpose.

Adopting this approach, at least one reading of Article 18 is that its purpose is to prevent Chinese national law from applying to the whole of Hong Kong, thereby undermining “one country, two systems” and, in particular, the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. On this reading, if the proposed co-location clearance arrangement has no such effect but, on the contrary, is necessitated by economic development, then Article 18 is not contravened.

In any event, there is a separate legal argument for the proposal. If local law is eventually passed “deeming” the immigration and customs clearance area that has been leased to mainland authorities as being outside the borders of Hong Kong, then Article 18 will not be engaged either. If so, it follows that the other provisions of the Basic Law will provide the necessary powers to the special administrative region government to set up the co-location border control. Such is the legal basis of the proposal.

You can say this legal basis is weak, or even wrong. But you cannot say there is no legal basis at all; nor can you say Article 18 admits of no such reading at all. Nor can you then build on this restricted view to make the accusation that the rule of law is being “severely undermined”.

There is another disturbing aspect. If there is a legal basis for the proposal – albeit one you do not agree with – then there was a procedure whereby the arguments in support were put forward openly in writing, and officials from the SAR government were invited to participate in meetings where the proposal was discussed, then voted upon by the NPC Standing Committee. Thus, one cannot say this is a case of “mere say so” by the NPC Standing Committee. One may disagree with the procedure, challenge its representativeness, or disagree strongly with the final decision, but it was no “mere say so”.

Besides, the NPC Standing Committee is the highest executive, constitutional and legal authority in the land and its decision on any view deserves some measure of respect, even if you strongly disagree with it. This is all the more so under “one country, two systems”. Not respecting the NPC Standing Committee is akin to not respecting the “one country” of “one country, two systems”, and if we don’t respect the “one country”, how can we expect the “one country” to respect the “two systems”?

- Johannes Chan's argument is that the international financial community will have lose its confidence in Hong Kong if they see how the National People's Congress Standing Committee can intercede so freely. The counter-argument is that the international financial community will lose its confidence in Hong Kong if they see that the Hong Kong legal eagles are powerful enough to cut off the economic benefits of a High Speed Rail service against all economic rationale.

- Former Bar Association chairman Paul W.T. Hsieh said that the whole NPCSC decision was built upon "air". Well, actually, how did he think One Country Two Systems came about? Was there any basis within the Constitution of the People's Republic of China? Were there any precedents anywhere else in the world? No, it all came because one person (Deng Xiao-ping) thought so and ordered a Basic Law Draft Committee to proceed. That was about as rule-of-man as possible. Will the Hong Kong Bar Association challenged the lack of a constitutional basis for One Country Two Systems/Hong Kong Basic Law?

- (SCMP) December 23, 2017. In 2003, the Bar Association – then led by Civic Party veteran Alan Leong Kah-kit SC – played a key role in opposing legislation on a national security law. The bill was eventually shelved after 500,000 people took to the streets, fearing their rights and freedoms would be curbed.

- In 2003, it was the Bar Association and the People vs. the Central Government/Hong Kong SAR Government. Fearmongering against the national security law lined the People up with the Bar Association.

In 2017, it was the Bar Association vs. the People and the Central Government/Hong Kong SAR Government. Any normal person can see that the Co-location Arrangement will make travel easier for common folks and that this will be good for the long-term economic prosperity of Hong Kong. If the law stands in the way, it should be brushed aside. It is impossible to argue against travel convenience and economic prosperity.

- (Bastille Post) When Paul Lam's team faces Philip Dykes' team next month in the HKBA elections, it will be just like the moderate pan-democrats running into the extremist Localists in a Legislative Council election. Under pressure from the radicals, the moderate incumbent Paul Lam has to be just as radical as the radicals.

- In 2017, the poster boy for the fearmongering campaign against the Co-location Arrangement was Howard Lam Tsz-kin (#775 and #778).

Lam does not want to be forgotten, so here is his latest missive:

I have been maligned for too long; I have almost lost my opportunity for advanced studies at Yale University. This has hurt the bodies and minds of me and my family.

Today, the Hong Kong court may not be able to render justice on my behalf.

But some day you will eventually find out that I was innocent and framed. This has been thoroughly a case of cross-border enforcement, including torture, imprisonment, etc.

(*I hope that when the case officially to try, you will carefully scrutinize the so-called evidence. If you just look at it superficially, it will be like a blind man feeling the elephant and make you believe the superficial evidence. You must think carefully and then you will perceive the absurdity!"

*** I think some of my genuine friends for believing and supporting me! I will keep my promise to continue even if I have to die! This is not my personal issue; I have the duty to be faithful to Hong Kong history.

- Indeed. That is why we must all get together on New Year's Day to march to stop the Co-location Arrangement. Our slogan will be "We are all Lam Tsz-kin!"

- How not to mobilize public opinion:

(Oriental Daily) December 30, 2017.

At around 6am, a citizen call the police that there was a vertical banner (3 meters by 25 meters) hanging down from Lion Rock. Because the banner was not securely fastened, the top fell down. This means that the banner was hung backwards and upside down. There were concerns that the banner could fall down on the road underneath and endanger traffic safety. The words on the banner were "defend Hong Kong." Several firefighters were taken to Lion Rock peak by a Civil Aviation Department helicopter to remove the banner.

- In Chinese custom, hanging a banner upside down means that you support the anti-message. Like the thumbs-up and thumbs-down signs.

(SCMP) December 21, 2017.

A Greenpeace protest ended in a fiasco on Thursday as 19 members involved in a plot to storm the 60-metre-high observation wheel at the Central waterfront were arrested by police. The recently reopened attraction was forced to cease operations for the day, prompting disappointed visitors to criticise the green group for being “selfish”. Eleven women and eight men were arrested. Five were at the site taking part in the event, according to police. They were arrested for causing a nuisance in a public place.

Superintendent Chan Hin-kwan of Central Police Station said the activists were on the wheel for more than six hours. They climbed down soon before 1.30pm. Chan said the force condemned the activists’ act for endangering their own safety as well as that of bystanders and for causing disorder in a public place. Some metal objects fell to the ground while they were climbing the wheel, police said. Detectives from the Hong Kong Island Regional Crime Unit are handling the case.

Greenpeace campaigner Andy Chu Kong said the original plan was to hang a banner on the wheel in the early morning as a protest against uncontrolled plastic waste pollution and to remove it by 11am, when the wheel was open to the public. “But there was a sudden wind, which damaged the large banner. That was unexpected. We needed to consider the safety of our [climbers],” Chu said.

“We would like to apologise to all affected citizens and visitors. But we hope Hongkongers, businesses and the government can understand that the problem of plastic pollution cannot be left unrestrained any more,” he added. On Thursday morning, Chu told the Post that the group had considered the legal risks before their protest and would be responsible for what they did.

Twelve Greenpeace members in orange suits and safety helmets were spotted climbing the wheel on Thursday early morning. A man alerted the police at 7.15am. More than 40 firefighters, including those from the high angle rescue team, paramedics and police officers were sent with an air cushion to handle the situation described as “persons in dangerous position” in the incident report.

A Greenpeace spokesman said the climbers were trying to hang a banner 12 metres high and 30 metres wide on the wheel. On the banner were four large Chinese characters saying “Plastic-free Now”.

The action was designed to raise public awareness on plastic use “in a most straightforward way, on a landmark of the city and during the morning traffic peak when people are on their way to work,” Chu said.

The observation wheel would not open at all on Thursday due to the action of Greenpeace, chief operating officer Robyn Joseph said. The operator previously anticipated that the wheel might be able to resume services at 6pm and visitors holding tickets could take their rides until 11pm, the normal closing time for the attraction.

“Representatives from the Fire Services Department and our technical staff are still in the wheel cutting free the banner, and ropes that Greenpeace’s protesters were incapable of removing,” Joseph said on Thursday evening. A full assessment of the wheel, which could take a few hours, would be carried out after the banner was removed, she added.

Disappointed visitors criticised the activists for being “selfish”.

“Originally I supported them, but now I oppose them … Greenpeace can protest below [the observation wheel],” said Jacqueline Yan, who has lived in Norway for more than 30 years and recently returned to Hong Kong for a month-long holiday. She arrived at 11am and planned to take the wheel with her husband, but left disappointed after waiting for more than two hours. “They can freely express their opinion to the government but should not affect others,” Yan said.

Lo Pak-kai, who had come from Sheung Shui to Central to ride the wheel with his wife on their day off, was also very disappointed. “I think the protesters are very selfish,” Lo said. He had chosen to take the ride on Thursday as ticket prices were reduced when the wheel reopened on Wednesday after a dispute between the former and current operators. The fare was cut from HK$100 to HK$20 per person.

(Agence France Presse) Greenpeace attempts to display banner on Hong Kong ferris wheel. December 21, 2017. Members of environmental group Greenpeace attempt to display a banner that reads "Plastic Free Now" on the 60-metre (196-foot) high ferris wheel in Hong Kong during a protest against single-use plastics, but are taken into police custody after they came down.

Comments:

- (Speakout HK)

Yesterday Greenpeace members climbed the Central ferris wheel to hang out a "Time to skip plastic" banner to call the government to pay attention to the plastic pollution problem. But the banner was damaged by high winds and the action "failed." Nineteen persons were arrested by the police for creating a "public nuisance."

In this age when protests are as regular as meals, even Greenpeace supporters don't support them.

When I was in university, my sociology professor invited the Greenpeace director to speak to us about 'resistance.' At the time, the speaker said that Greenpeace use "creative" methods of resistance to air their demands. As a 20-something-year-old, I was very impressed by these innovative and attention-grabbing ideas.

In recent years, Greenpeace actions often involve "creative" methods such as having members/volunteers climb to high spots to hang out banners. This may be "creative" but it is also risky. For example, when the Greenpeace members climbed up the ferris wheel this time, they may have accidents even though they have received professional training? Or they may affect the structure of the ferris wheel when they get up there? Or they will place others persons (policemen, firemen, emergency service workers, etc) in danger? Is this necessary?

Meanwhile the citizens have become inured or even hostile to such methods which no longer arouse public attention. I suggest that Greenpeace and other environmental protection groups find some legal but not dangerous ways to express their demands. If they don't think this is enough, they can run more online campaigns which should get even more attention.

The notion of "creative resistance" is outdated. I don't mean to say that "resistance" is outdated. I mean to say that using dangerous methods to resist is wrong. Nobody wants to see resisters or innocent others get injured in dangerous situations or even die.

- (SCMP) ‘Liking, sharing Facebook posts won’t bring change’: Hong Kong Greenpeace activist urges city to wake up ... and smell the wasteJune 24, 2017.

- The people of Hong Kong are just pigs that must be led to the trough in order to be fed. That is why we need Leninist vanguardism such as Greenpeace to lead the pigs.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 24, 2017.

I have always supported environmentalism. I donated money regularly to environmental conservation/protection groups. But ever since the environmental protector Eddie Chu Hoi Dick was elected Legislative Council, I began to re-think about whether I should give money to those who sabotage society while claiming to be "protecting society."

Eddie Chu was elected with the highest number of votes in New Territories West more or less because people were sick of the business-as-usual ways of the pro-establishment and non-establishment camps. They wanted to give the "rookie" a try. All along, this "rookie" had been hiding in his dream cave without competing in the cruel world. So once he came out, he only knew to CHARGE CHARGE CHARGE!, and his actions were even more unthinkable than the traditional opposition camp.

The bull spirit has extended into the entire environmental protection movement. A few days ago, 19 Greenpeace demonstrators climbed up the Central ferris wheel to hold an "Occupy ferris wheel" movement. As a result, the ferris wheel was shut down for the entire day and several thousand visitors were turned away. Interviews at the scene as well as online opinions were united unanimously against the Occupy people, who were said to be selfish and indifferent to safety considerations. The people wanted the operator to seek civil damages and the police to press criminal charges.

After watching this "Occupy ferris wheel" incident, I have made the decision to discontinue all donations to environmental conservation/protection groups. Today Greenpeace is no longer peaceful; they are the same ilk as the oppositionists.

When 19 persons climb up the ferris wheel, how much manpower, resources and money had to be spent to bring them down safely? How much time and money have they wasted of tourists, lovers, children and families? I don't know what they mean to express when they shut the ferris wheel down for the day. I only know whom they had harmed.

From the Copyrights Bill (Amendment) to the Medical Registration Ordinance to the Co-location Arrangement to the amending of the Legislative Council rules of procedure, the oppositions used filibusters so much that the citizens hate them and even their supporters are demoralized.

One after another mass mobilization yielded paltry responses. Public opinion had been the oppositionists' main weapon in their arsenal but they are losing it now. This time, they risked their lives to occupy the ferris wheel. They couldn't buy a LIKE if their lives depended on it; instead, they got a ton of boos. People are turning away from them now.

Recently Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of Government and Public Administration senior lecturer Ivan Choy Chi-keung wrote:

Filibustering has been over-used and become routinized. As such, it has been overspent with no aura left ... the pan-democrats have always been a minority within the Legislative Council. In 2003, they did not win because of the Legco voting, but because they were able to join with the society outside to form a massive opposition front. If the pan-democrats lose public backing, they have nothing left."

By comparison, Joshua Wong announced immediately after he came out of jail: "How come there are only several hundred people at these assemblies? ... Nowadays the assemblies are more like press conferences than mass assemblies."

At least Ivan Choy was willing to reflect on the causes and consequences. But since the oppositionists chose to make a bunch of Yellow Guards lead the way, will anyone listen to old farts like Ivan Choy anymore?

- Greenpeace took this action in order to draw public attention. They drew a lot of public attention.

Greenspace was looking for a huge public reaction. They got a huge public reaction.

Mission accomplished? Not really. Not when the huge public reaction was mostly negative (as in, "I will never ever donate another cent to any environmental conservation/protection cause.")

- The Greenpeace action was directly based on the Occupy Central modus perandi.

Occupy Central has the goal of "genuine universal suffrage". Greenpace wanted to stop plastic pollution.

The government won't implement "genuine universal suffrage" or ban plastic use.

Occupy Central took Central (plus Causeway Bay and Mong Kok) hostage. Greenpeace held the Central ferris wheel hostage.

When the victims in Central (plus Causeway Bay and Mong Kok) got angry, Occupy Central told them that it is the government's fault. When the ferris wheel visitors got angry, Greenpeace told them that it is the government's fault.

Actually the people ended up hating Occupy Central and whatever their causes were. And now the people are hating Greenpeace and whatever their cause was.

Same old noble goals, wrong methods and bad consequences.

- And they never seem to learn because they keep recycling this failed model.

- Well, actually, the most important thing is to have skin as thick as a dinosaur's hide. Look at the case of Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je:

- (NDTV) October 14, 2014. Taipei City mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je said about Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement: "If the government chooses to suppress this pursuit for universal values, then it is wrong as well as unworkable. More suppression will only lead to greater resistance by the people. Therefore from my personal angle, I think that the Hong Kong government has taken certain measures that are failures."

- (The Stand News) December 25, 2017. In Taipei, labor groups organized a demonstration march. The organizers said that the march would be over by 6pm, but the demonstrators refused to leave. They occupied the roads outside the Executive Yuan as well as in Ximending to continue to protest. Early morning, the police cleared the scene and took away 80 persons including lawyers. Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je insisted that he respects the right of the people to protest. But blocking the streets and paralyzing traffic is more than what he can tolerated. "This is not allowed."

So all you have to do is to declare victory regardless of the actual circumstances.

- Greenpeace needs to imitate the Tai Mo Shan Woman. Instead of apologizing to the policemen, firemen and emergency workers, they should be attacking them: "On one hand, it is my life and the Basic Law says that I have the freedom to go wherever I want. If I want to put my life in danger, then I am fully responsible for it. On the other hand, you are highly paid public servants. It is your job to save me if I get in trouble."

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 22, 2017.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) said it was extremely concerned over news site HK01 allegedly pulling reports on details of the Tiananmen massacre recorded in declassified UK files.

The files contained telegrams sent by then-British ambassador Alan Donald to the foreign office. Donald cited a member of the Chinese State Council as estimating that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the crackdown on June 4, 1989.

HK01 published two reports on the documents on Wednesday morning but they were taken down within hours. HKJA said the reports were only republished at 5 pm after demands from HK01’s news department, and after multiple changes had been made, including the Chinese translation for “member of the Chinese State Council.” The Association said it understood that HK01 planned two days of coverage, but Thursday’s coverage was pulled.

“We are extremely concerned about self-censorship owing to the political sensitivity of the reports,” HKJA said in a statement. “It is suspicious for HK01 to publish the first batch of reports, retract them, and republish only after modifications. It is also unusual for the second batch of reports to be shelved, causing worries over political factors.”

The HK01 website was launched in January 2016 and its weekly publication was launched in March of that year. Often carrying breaking news, investigative reports and political gossip stories citing unidentified sources, the site has been criticised for its conservative, if not pro-Beijing editorials. It courted controversy after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was spotted at the newspaper’s launch party.

In one of the reports republished on Wednesday, the phrase “over 10,000 civilians dead” was removed from the headline, and “27 Army shooting soldiers” was changed to “27 Army shooting – students and soldiers both shot.”

Among the paragraphs removed in the updated version of the report was a quote from the documents: “Students understood they were given one hour to leave square but after five minutes APCs [armoured personnel carriers] attacked. Students linked arms but were mown down including soldiers. APCs then ran over bodies time and time again to make ‘PIE’ and remains collected by bulldozer.”

The updated version also removed information from the document including the name of the commander of the 27 Army of Shanxi Province, the troop responsible for the massacre. Its commander was Yang Zhenhua, the nephew of Yang Shangkun, China’s president at the time.

“[The 27 Army] were kept without news for ten days and told they were to take part in exercise,” another quote removed from the report said.

HKJA said Lung King-cheong, chief editor of HK01, denied that the news site pulled the first batch of reports. He said they made changes after considering news angles. He also told HKJA that he did not know about the second batch of reports as he never saw them.

HKJA also said that Chik Pun-yip, HK01’s executive chief editor, did not directly confirm whether the second batch was shelved. He said two reports were already published on Wednesday and there was no plan to publish more related reports.

Apple Daily cited unnamed “HK01 internal sources” as saying that the outlet’s owner Yu Pun-hoi ordered the reports published on Wednesday to be retracted.

Comments:

- With respect to the media nowadays, the rule is to always go to the source and then you can re-read the readings and interpretations imposed by the reporters/editors. For example, you should always read the judge's reason for a verdict instead of the newspaper's 100 word summary written in accordance with the political position of the newspaper.

In this case, HK01 has provided the photocopy of the original document written in English.

(HK01 https://www.hk01.com/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/140801/-%E5%85%AD%E5%9B%9B%E5%AF%86%E6%AA%94-%E8%8B%B1%E5%BC%95%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B%E5%9C%8B%E5%8B%99%E9%99%A2%E6%88%90%E5%93%A1-27%E8%BB%8D%E6%8E%83%E5%B0%84-%E5%AD%B8%E7%94%9F-%E5%A3%AB%E5%85%B5%E7%9A%86%E4%B8%AD%E6%A7%8D )

- (Hong Kong Citizen News https://www.hkcnews.com/article/8972/%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF01-%E5%85%AD%E5%9B%9B-%E4%BA%8E%E5%93%81%E6%B5%B7-8972/%E3%80%8A%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF01%E3%80%8B%E5%85%AD%E5%9B%9B%E8%A7%A3%E5%AF%86%E6%96%87%E4%BB%B6%E5%A0%B1%E9%81%93%E4%B8%80%E5%BA%A6%E4%B8%8B%E6%9E%B6-%E5%A4%9A%E8%99%95%E4%BF%AE%E6%94%B9%E5%A2%9E%E5%88%AA%E5%BE%8C%E5%86%8D%E5%88%8A%E5%87%BA ) December 21, 2017.

The HK01 report first issued at 830am had the heading: 英引中國國務院情報 27軍掃射軍人 逾萬平民死亡  (British cited Chinese State Council information; 27 Army shooting soldiers; more than 10,000 civilians dead). At around 11am, the link went to "404 OOPS! Can't locate web page." By night, the link was restored to a revised report with the heading 英引中國國務院人員:27軍掃射 學生、士兵皆中槍 (British cited Chinese State Council personnel: 27 Army shooting; students, soldiers both shot).

HK01 editor-in-chief Lung King-cheong said that the reason had nothing to do with any HK01 position with respect to the June 4th incident. Instead, there were problems with the reporting. "The report was not well-written." He said that the original report contained misleading content.

A comparison of the two versions (morning versus evening) showed these major differences:

(morning title) British cited Chinese State Council information; 27 Army shooting soldiers; more than 10,000 civilians dead

(evening title) (British cited Chinese State Council personnel: 27 Army shooting; students, soldiers both shot

(morning version) The HK01 reporter read  several thousands of declassified files at the National Archives (United Kingdom) and restored history

(evening version) The HK01 reporter read declassified files at the National Archives (United Kingdom)

(morning version) In one of the files dated the day after the bloody suppression by the People's Liberation Army, the British ambassador Alan Donald received information from a committee member of the Chinese State Council (member of State Council) with details on the clearance mission of the 27th Army, including "random" shooting" to kill students, civilians and unarmed soldiers of the Shenyang Military Region. The internal estimate of the State Council is that at least 10,000 citizens died.

(evening version) In one of the files dated the day after the clearance by the People's Liberation Army, the British ambassador Alan Donald received information from a member of the Chinese State Council about the clearance mission of the 27th Army. During the process, some students, civilians and unarmed soldiers of the Shenyang Military Region were shot.

(morning version) The identity of the source who cited the information from the Chinese State Council was blacked out.

(evening version) The identity of the source of information was blacked out, and therefore so far unknown

(morning version) In another telegraph from Donald to London, there is a detailed description of how a committee member of the Chinese State Council (member of State Council) provided information to a source for the British.

(evening version) In another telegraph from Donald to London, there is a detailed description of how a member of State Council provided information to a source for the British. Compared to other United Kingdom Foreign Office files, information from ordinary workers is most often attributed to "staff" and "member" can be translated as "member" or "staff."

(morning version) At the time, there were 14 committee members within the Chinese State Council, including the premier, vice premiers and the Foreign Affairs Committee members.

(evening version) [This entire sentence was deleted]

(morning version) Donald's telegraph said that the information from this senior Chinese person has proven to be accurate in the past. The source also classified individual information as FACT, SPECULATION or RUMOUR.

(evening version) Donald's telegraph said that the information from this senior Chiense person has proved to be accurate in the past. The document also listed clearly that the Chinese source has classified individual information as FACT, SPECULATION or RUMOUR.

(morning version) The document pointed out that the "atrocities" were carried out by the 27th Army from Shanxi. 60% of those soldiers are illiterate. The commander of the 27th Army was Yang Zhenhua, the nephew of State Chairman and Central Military Commission vice-chairman Yang Shangkun. That is, he is the son of Yang Baibing. The 27th Army soldiers were told that they were on a training mission in Beijing to be filmed. They were not allowed to watch news for the ten days preceding the clearance.

(evening version) [The entire paragraph was deleted.]

(morning version) The armored vehicles arrived and opened fire. Unarmed soldiers and students were shot to death.

(evening version) The armored vehicles arrived and opened fire. Unarmed soldiers and students were shot.

(morning version) Students understood they were given one hour to leave square but after five minutes APCs attacked. Students linked arms but were mown down including soldiers. APCs then ran over bodies time and time again to make quote PIE quote and remains collected by bulldozen.

(evening version) [The entire paragraph was replaced.] During the clearance on June 4th, there were reports of army tanks running over students, including the student Fang Zheng who narrated his own experience. But there has rarely been any information, reports or oral narration of tanks running over soldiers by mistake.

(morning version) "The cruel and bloody night" 10,000 estimated dead

(evening version) There are multiple versions of the number of deaths

(morning version) The source inside the Chinese State Council confirmed that Yang Shangkun is friendly with Deng Xiaoping

(evening version) The person quoted in the document confirmed that Yang Shangkun is friendly with Deng Xiaoping.

(morning version) Finally the document pointed out that the State Council estimated that the minimum number of civilian deaths is 10,000 (minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000).

(evening version) Finally, that State Council person estimated that the minimum number of civilian deaths is 10,000 (minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000).

(morning version) Over the years, there have been many versions of the number of deaths. The Chinese Red Cross estimated between 2,600 and 30,000. In 2014, <Next Weekly> cited declassified White House files which cites an informant within the Chinese martial law forces who cited internal Chinese documents to say that 8,726 persons were killed at Tiananmen and Changan Avenue. Together with the 1,728 killed in Beijing outside of Tiananmen, the total number of deaths should be 10,454. This is similarly to the estimate from the Chinese State Council source cited by the British.

(evening version) [The entire paragraph was replaced.] In 2008, Tiananmen Mothers representative Ding Zilin summarized that the total number of dead was 188 after 19 years of searching. Of these, 71 were students. She emphasized that this was surely not the total number of dead, and the bodies of 13 of these have not been found yet.

...

HK01 editor-in-chief Lung King-cheong said that the original report was inaccurate and misleading in places. For example, the "member of State Council" is not necessarily a "committee member 委員" as in the original report. Even the "staff 員工" in the revised report is not necessarily accurate but at least it can be interpreted as a "member成員". Since this was the principal source of information, it must be accurately presented.

Who decided to make these changes? Did the HK01 owner Yu Pun-hoi take part? Lung King-cheong replied: "I don't want to tell you because this is an internal matter. Why should I tell you? Yu Pun-hoi, Lung King-cheong and Ernest Chi (Executive Editor-in-Chief) will bear the responsibility for these revisions." He added: "Whether Yu Pun-hoi took part or not is unimportant. Because I told you what I just said as the Editor-in-Chief. I am good enough to tell you. This is the way HK01 is."

Does this case involve editorial independence? "What is editorial independence? I want to ask you just what is editorial independence? If this same essay were to be placed in either Wen Wei Po or Apple Daily, then Wen Wei Po and Fat Man Lai will have their own ways of handling it. If Wen Wei Po does it their way, is that editorial independence? If Fat Man Lai does it his way, is that editorial independence? Come on! Is that what you think editorial independence is about? Can the reporter or the editor act independently? Or is it decided by me as the Editor-in-Chief?"

Why was the estimated number of civilian deaths excised? Lung King-cheong said that the archived file presented one version. "We believe that you can have other versions that you can bring out. When you write this way, you are merely referring to one archived file. As a reporter, you should treat the archives ... you can say so at the time, you can say so in 1989, but today many other facts have emerged. You must be able to make a judgment about this. As a reporter, you cannot treat the archived filed as the whole truth."

Our reporter tried to contact the reporter who wrote this report, but he declined to respond.

- With respect to the three-page document sent by British Ambassador Alan Donald:

1. (BLACKED OUT SENTENCE). He was passing on information given him by a close friend who is currently a member of the State Council. This source has previously proved reliable and was careful to separate fact from speculation and rumour.

So immediately the WHO in the WHO WHAT WHY WHEN WHERE HOW is blocked off for the sake of confidentiality.

In the original HK01 report, the reporter took "member of the State Council" to be a member of the standing committee of the State Council, which at the time had 14 members "including the premier, the vice premiers and the Foreign Affairs Committee members." As such, these persons have the right and need to know all levels of information.

But more generally a "member of the State Council" could be any staff worker ranging from a janitor to a secretary to a minister and all the way up to the premier himself.

So who is this BLACK OUT person? What is his level and access to information? You can't tell. So you cannot trust this person based upon any credentials.

Instead, you will have to scrutinize his information. First of all, does it make sense? Secondly, has it been corroborated? If it could not be validated at the time, this is 2017 now. Has anything on these issues emerged from other sources in the 28 years since?

- This person was careful to separate fact from speculation and rumour.

9. FACT. Beijing MR commander had refused to supply outside armies with food, water or barracks. Source said many barracks in Beijing but note TV pictures of tents. 27 Army were using dum-dum bullets. 27 Army snipers shot many civilians on balconies, streetsweepers, etc for target practice. Beijing hospitals ordered had been ordered to accept only security force casualties. So far 6 foreign students and 23 foreign journalists had been killed in the fighting (note: We have no evidence of this).

What is this rubbish!? This reliable source promised to separate fact from speculation and rumour. Under FACT, he reports: "6 foreign students and 23 foreign journalists had been killed in the fighting." The British ambassador Alan Donald noted that they have no evidence of this. Nevertheless Donald forwarded this telegraph as being FACT from a "reliable source." This is 28 years later now. Nobody has ever come up with anything about the 6 dead foreign students and 23 dead foreign journalists. So how much trust can we have in this anonymous source's FACTs now?

- Did the Beijing Military Region commander ostracize the 27th Group Army? Our source said yes, because he saw TV pictures of tents. That is classified as FACT and not SPECULATION/RUMOUR.

- 6. 27 Army ordered to spare noone and shot wounded SMR soldiers. 4 wounded girl students begged for their lives but were bayoneted. A 3 year old girl was injured but her mother was shot as she went to her aid as were six others who tried. 1000 survivors were told they could escape via Zhengyi Lu but were then mown down by specially prepared M/G positions. Army ambulances who attempted to give aid were shot up as was a Sino-Japanese hospital ambulance. With medical crew dead wounded, driver attempted to ram attackers but was blown to pieces with anti tank weapon. In further attack APCs caught up with SMR straggler trucks, rammed and overturned them and ran over troops. During attack 27 Army officer shot dead by own troops apparently because he faltered. Troops explained they would be shot if they hadn't shot officer.

- This particular item was not classified under the FACT, SPECULATION or RUMOUR scheme. I personally pick RUMOUR, because the entire sequence sounded like a movie script with too many actors and too many viewpoints. The "member of the State Council" could not have witnessed all of this. So he must be relying on the reports from others. Who are these others?

The 27 Group Army is not going to write a report to the State Council about how they specially prepared M/G positions to mow down civilian survivors, or massacred Shenyang Military Region soldiers, or blew up ambulances, or executed their own officer. [Oh, don't forget about bayoneting the four wounded schoolgirls.]

And if the report comes from various other sources such as students, civilians or journalists, how does the State Council assess the their reliability then? If a member of the State Council Standing Committee does not know how to process information from multiple streams and sources, he/she should not be in that decision-making position.

It is 28 years later now. How would you assess the veracity of this list of atrocities? Not a scintilla of evidence! 1,000 survivors were mowed down in Zhengyi Lu by the 27th Group Army machine guns? They have no families?

- 11. FACT. Yang Shangkun and Deng Xiaoping were very close friends. Some members of the State Council considered that civil war is imminent. Qin Jiwei was forced unwillingly to appear in background on TV programme on 20 May to give aura of unity. Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000.

- There are four items in this enumeration of "FACTs." The first item is social gossip. The second item is hearsay. The third item is social gossip. The four item is the sexiest quote that made this a news story now: "Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000."

How about a little more of WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE HOW to make this more credible? Let me help you: "According to an urgent report submitted by the Beijing Public Security Bureau to the Ministry of Public Security which was forwarded to the Standing Committee of the State Council, the number of known deaths (including civilians, military, police and other government workers) within the Beijing city area between 00:00 June 3rd and 12:00 June 5th was 10,454." So now you know who said what for where and when.

- And what about the Butcher of Tiananmen Square Yang Zhenhua? Where did he go? There is no information on Yang Zhenhua anywhere either before or after June 4th 1989 -- nothing about him becoming the commander of the 27th Group Army, or leaving the post anytime afterwards. Was he rewarded or punished for his actions? There is no clue. The biographies of Yang Shangcun and his half-brother Yang Shangzheng (aka Yang Baibing) do not refer to any Yang Zhenhua.

- People refer to the June 5th 2015 article in Next Weekly on declassified files from the White House Situation Room (see Boxun link) as corroboration of this latest declassified British document. Yes, it is a corroboration of some sort because the facts, speculations and rumours are largely IDENTICAL! This leaves two choices: either British ambassador Alan Donald copied an American report, or else the Americans copied Donald's report. In any case, plagiarism is not corroboration.

For example, the American documents reported this shocking story: About 1,000 students were told by the army that they can hide at Zhengyi Lu near the Peking Hotel. When they got there, they were shot by soldiers waiting in ambush.  Sounds exactly the same, doesn't it? But no one has ever offered the names of the students killed there.

- The Human Rights in China listing of 155 victims included 31-year-old Sports News employee Yang Yansheng (#014) who was hit by an exploding bullet on Zhengyi Road in the early morning of June 4, 1989 while trying to assist those wounded. He was taken to Beijing Hospital, but attempts to save his life failed. He was cremated and his ashes are at Wanan Public Cemetery.

Nothing about 1,000 dead students. Why?

- More authoritative sources of information:

(Central News Agency) December 23, 2017.

With respect to the minimum estimate of 10,000 deaths, former student movement leader and now US citizen Xiong Yan declared: "I think that this is reliable."

Hong Kong Baptist University professor and China scholar Jean-Pierre Cabestan also thinks that this number is credible. He said that the recently declassified American files also have a similar estimate. He said: "Two independent sources said the same thing. Cabestan was in Beijing a few days before the crackdown. "Considering the number of people who were mobilized and how crowded Beijing was at the time, this report from the British ambassador is not particularly surprising."

Former student leader and American resident Feng Congde pointed out that British ambassador Alan Donald sent another telegraph three weeks later that the number of estimated deaths was between 2,700 and 3,400. He said that this estimate is quite reliable because it is close to the estimates by the Chinese Red Cross and the student committee based upon hospital reports.

Here are the most urgent causes. Without money, these pro-freedom/democracy organizations will be extinct.

(Wen Wei Po) December 21, 2017.ram

The main Mong Kok riot trial is due to start in January 2018. Defendants Ray Wong Toi-yeung (convener of Hong Kong Indigenous) and Li Tung-sing (member of Hong Kong Indigenous) failed to appear a pre-trial hearing, whereupon the judge has issued arrest warrants for them. Meanwhile Hong Kong Indigenous announced that spokesperson Edwad Leung Tin-kei has resigned from the party in order to spend more time with his family.

According to Ta Kung Pao, Ray Wong applied to the Companies Registry to cancel the registration of Channel i(HK). That company was formed by Ray Wong and Edward Leung in 2015 to receive donations and handle finances for Hong Kong Indigenous. Ray Wong and Edward Leung are listed as the company directors. Hong Kong Indigenous' online website is named Channel i too.

Recently our reporter visited the headquarters office of Hong Kong Indigenous in Fotan district. There were two large plastic bottles of distilled water outside the door. The door bell had been dismantled. There were many letters stuffed into the mailbox downstairs, including letters addressed to Ray Wong. There was nobody to accept anything. Our reporter checked with the local real estate agency. This office unit is not listed on the rental market. Our reporter watched the office for a long period of time. Nobody came in or went out. It appears that the office has been vacated.

Last year a Ta Kung Po investigation revealed that the founder of Hong Kong Indigenous is Chow Chun-kin. His recent whereabouts are a mystery. Of the three cars registered under his name, two of have just been sold.

In July 2017, Chow applied for a bank mortgage loan to buy a $8.8 million apartment in De Novo (Kowloon City). Our reporter could not spot Chow's car in the parking lot. After three days of observation, our reporter did not see Chow. Previously Chow had resided in Manning Garden (Tai Po). That particular unit is currently under renovation.

- (Wen Wei Po) Spending more time with his family? This is coming from the guy who said that he does not get along with his parents, because they disapprove of his activities. YK Keung: "You fucking bastard! You are exploiting your parents to gain the sympathy of the judge!"

- When Ray Wong was arrested, he was found with $530,000 in crisp new bills, 100 Viagra bills and a small amount of marijuana. When he ran away this time, what did he take with him?

- Don't tell me how Hong Kong Indigenous needs money to survive! Tell me first about their finances -- whatever happened to the money that they raised and keep raising in order to pay for the legal fees of the Valiant Justice Warriors? Have Ray Wong and Li Tung-sing taken the money and run, leaving Edward Leung to hold the bag (which explains why he resigned)? Until they get make a cleaning accounting of what went on, I won't give them one extra cent.

(Silent Majority HK) December 20, 2017.

Passion Times founder and ex-Civic Passion leader Wong Yeung-tat made an urgent appeal this morning on his online programme. He said that Passion Times has a serious financial problem. Therefore he is making the "last angry roar" to raise $300,000 in order to continue to operate. Wong Yeung-tat said that if they cannot raise $300,000 by today, they won't make it past Christmas.

Just recently, Wong Yeung-tat had collaborated with the Teddy Boys manga series to run a class on script-writing. The tuition fees was $16,000 for 10 classes.

Wong explained that the financial hardship came from the legal fees to support Yeung Ka-lun's appeal of his conviction (#725). Yeung had been sentenced to four years and nine months for rioting and arson during the Mong Kok riot. His appeal was not approved, but Passion Times had to pay for the (huge) legal fees.

Internet comments:

- It is necessary to revive an old post:

(HK Nuts Power Facebook)

Here are  the 11 vacations that Mr. and Mrs. Wong Yeung-tat took over the past 5 years:
May 2017: Osaka
February 2017: Tokyo
October 2016: Vancouver/Toronto
September 2016: Taipei
April 2016: Taipei
October 2015: England
February 2015: Taipei
December 2014: Osaka
May 2014: Seoul
October 2013: Portugal
August 2013: Kenting (Taiwan)

Here are the Cartier rings that Mrs. Wong bought ($12,600 for white gold, $25,900 for platinum)

Where does the money come from?

Civic Passion member Chan Pak-yeung was sentenced to 9 months in prison for participation in the Mong Kok riot. Civic Passion asked people to donate money, noting that Passion Times will keep 30% of each donation to cover daily operational costs.

- (HKG Pao) Mrs. Wong responded on Facebook: "My only thought is that two trips per year is too measly. Over the past decade, the many trips to France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, England, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere have been great ." This is an insult to those who cannot even afford to visit a wilderness park in Hong Kong once a year, or have fewer than 7 days of vacation per year.

There is nothing too unusual about two trips per year. What is astonishing is that Mr. and Mrs. Wong keep wanting the Civic Passion supporters to donate money which is always in short supply, and then they take vacations and buy jewelry for themselves. Don't the Passion Times supporters feel foolish about how their money is being put to use?

- Why do Wong Yeung-tat want $300,000 before Christmas? Because Mr. and Mrs. Wong want to go on vacation! And they need you to pay for their trip.

- Passion Times is an online content farm/chat show with near zero audience. What is the difference to the world if it lives or dies?

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 19, 2017.

Local investigative news agency Factwire has made an urgent request for HK$3.8 million in donations to cover their operating costs in the coming year.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the news agency said that in the face of financial difficulties, they will leave Factwire’s fate for Hong Kong people to decide. “If Factwire can raise HK$3.8m by the end of January to cover its operating expenses for a year, we promise to continue pursuing the truth in news,” it said.

The announcement came after various local media outlets reported on Monday that Factwire faces imminent closure and will appeal to its readers for money.

Factwire said that in-depth investigative reporting requires manpower, time and resources. It added that, in the course of 21 months, the news wire has published 56 investigative reports on 20 topics.

“These reports are the result of lengthy investigations by our reporters, all with the aim of defending the public’s right to know,” Factwire said.

The news agency said it had hoped to sustain its operation via a paid subscription scheme targeted at local and overseas media. It said that its client list consists of 80 per cent local media outlets and some authoritative overseas outlets, but the subscriptions were not enough to cover its expenses. It added that, in order to maintain editorial independence, it does not rely on investors or financial backers.

Factwire added that its monthly expenses are around HK$300,000. The amount covers the wages of its ten reporters, rent, electricity and water bills, overseas investigation fees, professional evaluations, and so on. It has raised HK$7.8 million in total since its establishment.

Factwire said its current funds are insufficient to cover one month of operating expenses. “Perhaps the road to seeking truth has come to an end. Looking back, our team of reporters have faced harassment from unknown forces and the threat of lawsuits; we’ve made mistakes and accumulated invaluable experience.”

According to Factwire’s subscription programme, those who give yearly or one-off donations of HK$2,555 or above will automatically become subscribers and receive breaking investigative reports via email; so far, only 139 have signed up.

The news wire was founded two years ago following a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised HK$3 million. It is the first investigative news agency in the city, and has published reports on defects in a Chinese nuclear power plant, the alleged “kidnapping” of pro-democracy figure Howard Lam, and sub-standard electricity cables.

Internet comments:

- Factwire is an anti-democracy news outlet. Their coverage of the kidnapping of pro-democracy activist Lam Tsz-kin torpedoed the campaign to stop the Co-location Arrangement at West Kowloon. As a result, many more Hongkongers will be kidnapped through cross-border law enforcement. Factwire must apologize and retract those reports before I will give them a cent.

- We already have Epoch Times doing in-depth investigative reporting. Why do we need Factwire?

- Giving money to Factwire means fewer resources are available for other progressive pro-democracy groups. We must be very careful about where our $1 is going to.

- There are many more other more urgent causes than Factwire. Here is a partial listing:

(1) Lau Siu-lai is looking at huge legal bills for her appeal against her disqualification as Legislative Councilor. If she doesn't get enough in donations, she may have to sell her house(s).

(2) Tommy Cheung Sau-yin is running in the pro-democracy primary election for the New Territories East legislative council by-election, and he says that he is the only candidate endorsed by Hong Kong Indigenous and Youngspiration. It will be a huge blow to the cause of Hong Kong independence if he doesn't win. Of course, Cheung denies that he is pro-independence (nudge nudge wink wink you know what I mean).

(3) Frederick Fung is running in the pro-democracy primary election for the New Territories East legislative council by-election. His political party ADPL is effectively finished if he doesn't win.

(4) Gary Fan Kwok-wai is running in the pro-democracy primary election for the New Territories East legislative council by-election. His political party Neo Democrats is effectively finished if he doesn't win.

(5) Kwok Wing-kin (Labour Party) is running in the pro-democracy primary election for the New Territories East legislative council by-election. Joshua Wong (Demosisto) has endorsed Kwok as the most progressive candidate in the by-election.

(6) Lee Cheuk-yan (Labour Party) wants more money for the Alliance to Support Democratic Movements in Hong Kong because remembrance of June 4th 1989 is now more important than ever.

(7) Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching have to pay their salaries and operating expenses back to the Legislative Council. If they don't get enough in donations, they may have to declare bankruptcy.

(8) Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Joshua Wong are appealing their sentences for unlawful gathering. If they fail, they will have to go back to jail and serve out their sentences.

(9) The New Territories East 13 are appealing their sentences for unlawful gathering. If they fail, they will have to go back to jail and serve out their sentences.

(10) The Civil Human Rights Front is calling for a demonstration march on New Year's Day. This is not the business-as-usual perfunctory event, because the future of Freedom and Democracy really and truly hinges on it this time. Really.

...

Background: The Martyrs of the Fishball Revolution - Part 8A (2017/04/26); compilation of news videos

Video: Apple Daily

(SCMP) December 18, 2017

Eight Legco employees – seven security officers who saw the chaos and a technology officer who provided surveillance footage of the incident – were due to testify in the trial.

But after the five defendants, who are all aged 30 and below, agreed to the facts of the case at a pre-trial session in July, the prosecution added four other Legco employees to its witness list. It did not ask for special permission from Legco, like it had with the eight witnesses.

The Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance stipulates that no Legco officer can give evidence elsewhere without the council’s special leave.

As the trial was about to begin on Monday, barrister Douglas Kwok King-hin, representing Leung and Yau, raised the issue of the four new witnesses and asked for part of the agreed facts of the case to be withdrawn.

Kwok said: “We agreed to the facts because we believed that the prosecution would not be making such mistakes … But the prosecution did not do their job well.” Kwok also sought to clarify the process of granting special leave, as the Legco secretariat’s assistant secretary general Dora Wai had informed the justice department of its approval to summon the eight witnesses. However, Legco house rules state that the secretary general, Kenneth Chen Wei-on, should be responsible for telling the department.

The department’s senior assistant director of public prosecutions, Jonathan Man Tak-ho, initially argued that special leave was not required for the four Legco officers and said “the agreed facts must not be withdrawn so easily”. But Man later backtracked and asked for the trial to be suspended for the day so he could address Kwok’s points.

Magistrate Wong Sze-lai agreed and adjourned the trial until Tuesday morning.

The five defendants in May pleaded not guilty to one joint count of unlawful assembly over the storming which took place outside a conference room at Legco on November 2, 2016. They also denied a second joint count of forcible entry. As the second charge is an alternative to the first, the defendants can only be found guilty of one of the two charges.

The charge of unlawful assembly carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, while the charge of forcible entry carries a maximum fine of HK$5,000 or two years in prison.

- CAP 382 Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance

Evidence of proceedings in the Council or any committee not to be given without leave

(1) No member or officer of the Council, and no person employed to take minutes or keep any record of evidence before the Council or a committee, shall give evidence elsewhere in respect of the contents of such minutes or record of evidence, or of the contents of any document laid before the Council or committee, as the case may be, or in respect of any proceedings or examination held before the Council or committee, as the case may be, without the special leave of the Council.

(2) During a recess or adjournment of the Council, the special leave referred to in subsection (1) may be given by the President or, if the President is unable to act owing to his absence from Hong Kong or incapacity, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

In this case, nobody is being asked about any minutes or records of evidence or documents or proceedings or examinations held before the Council or committee. The security guards are going to be asked about what (if anything) they saw, heard or experienced (such as being kicked in the shin) in front of the Conference Room Number One on November 2, 2016.

(SCMP) December 19, 2017.

A female security guard collapsed and a few more were injured when two ousted pro-independence lawmakers and their three assistants stormed a meeting in the city’s legislature last November, Hong Kong prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Yau Wai-ching allegedly kicked and kneed a security guard in the leg while Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang tried to jump over the guards multiple times to grab hold of the door to a room at the Legislative Council on November 2, 2016.

Prosecutors added that the five individuals, including the assistants – Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung – used their bodies to push past the guards to enter a conference room, with some among the group hurling verbal abuse.

On Tuesday, the second day of the group’s trial for unlawful assembly, the Kowloon City Court was told of the sequence of events that led to the chaos.

Yau and Leung were banned from taking part in the meeting on November 2 last year after they displayed anti-China antics during the Legco swearing-in ceremony for lawmakers elected earlier in September.

They attempted to re-take their oaths on the day but Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen rejected their request.

When council members gathered in the Legco chamber, Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau entered the chamber around 11am, despite signs at the door warning them not do so.

Footage by news media played in court showed former lawmaker Lau Siu-lai – who was this year disqualified from Legco over improper oath-taking – then taking her oath. Yau and Sixtus Baggio Leung then strode to the front of the chamber, with Yau speaking into what appeared to be a microphone that she had brought along.

At the president’s request, security guards tried to escort the pair away, only to be blocked by pan-democrat lawmakers Claudia Mo and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, and now-disqualified legislator “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung. Other pan-democrats also subsequently offered their help.

Andrew Leung then adjourned the meeting in the chamber and said it would resume in the conference room.

Chaos ensued when the meeting in the conference room began at 12.55pm. The five defendants were joined by 10 others, with the defendants then trying to break through a cordon line set by security guards.

Sixtus Baggio Leung, Yeung, and Cheung chanted “one, two, one, two” when they attempted to enter the room, prosecutors said.

“Hit me!” Sixtus Baggio Leung allegedly yelled.

He, Chung, and Cheung then hurled verbal insults at the guards, with the two assistants giving him a boost as he tried repeatedly to jump and grab hold of the door.

Kwan Yiu-kee, then an acting security officer at Legco, testified on Tuesday that all five defendants eventually stopped scuffling. Yau and Sixtus Baggio Leung told the media last year after the incident that they did not want to injure the guards.

But Kwan also recalled that after the fracas subsided, “all the injured [guards] were lying on the ground”.

Lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, a doctor by profession, then tended to them.

The five defendants earlier this year denied one count of taking part in an unlawful assembly. They also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of attempted forcible entry.

But prosecutors maintained that they had flouted the law and “conducted themselves in a disorderly, intimidating, insulting or provocative manner” that might cause people to fear peace had been breached.

The case continues before Magistrate Wong Sze-lai on Wednesday.

(Oriental Daily) December 19, 2017.

In the opening statement, the prosecutor stated that the Legislative Council president had issued an order to bar Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching from entering the chamber on November 2, 2016. However, Leung and Yau forced their way in. The president moved the meeting to Conference Room Number One. Leung, Yau and the three other defendants charged violently at the security guards in order to force themselves in. Apart from jostling the security guards, they also kicked and kneed them. They insulted the security guards and dared them to hit back. Leung and Yau were not able to enter the conference room. Many security guards sustained injuries, including a female security guard who fainted.

The first witness was Legislative Council security director Kwan Yiu-kee. He said that they had planned the day before that if Leung and Yau were to use force to enter the chamber, they would let them in without making physical contact. They also arranged the alternate meeting location.

At the meeting, Leung and Yau forced themselves in. The Legco president asked them to leave, but they refused. The president ordered them removed. The security guards approached to carry out the order. The two resisted. Other legislators intervened on their behalf. Eventually Yau left, but Leung continued to tussle with the security guards. The president announced that the meeting would be moved to Conference Room Number One. The security guards kept guard outside. Leung and Yau attempted to enter again.

A number of videos were shown in court. The five defendants were seen charging at the Conference Room Number One. They had physical contact with the security guards. There were quarrels, including obscene curses. Leung Chung-hang pointed at the security guards and told them: "Hit me!"

(Apple Daily) December 19, 2017.

The prosecutor played videos from televisions stations, newspapers and Apple Daily. Legco security director Kwan Yiu-kee identified the five defendants. In the Apple Daily video, someone was heard yelling: "Protect Ms. Yau's breasts." Someone was said to have fainted. The female security guard Chan Suk-han yelled: "I am dying!"

Kwan testified that he learned over the walkie-talkie that female colleague Chan Suk-han had fainted. So he came out of the conference room into the corridor to rescue her. He asked the crowd to make away. But Leung Chung-hang's aide named Chin told him: "Legislators cannot even attend the conference room. So how am I going to make way for you?" Later Kwan learned that Chan had already been rescued. He went back into the conference room and saw Chan and two other colleagues lying on the floor, being attended to by legislators-doctors Kwok Ka-ki, Lee Kwok-lun and Chan Pui-yin.

(Oriental Daily) December 20, 2017.

Under cross-examination, Kwan Yiu-kei said that he regarded Leung and Yau as legislators when the Legco president asked them to leave the chamber. Kwan said that he did not know the basis under which the president asked them to leave. The defense asked Kwan: "The president unlawfully expelled Leung and Yau, and Kwan is carrying out the unlawful order of the president. Therefore Kwan was unlawfully preventing Leung and Yau from entering the conference room." Kwan disagreed with this statement.

The defense said that there were many people outside the conference room. The defendants could not find a handle, so they used the door frames to propel themselves forward. At the same time, they counted "One Two One Two" to create a rhythm. Should the security guards allow this? Kwan said that the security guards would not stop them if they were allowed to enter the conference room.

The prosecutor then summoned female security guard Chan Suk-han to testify. She said that when she asked the defendants not to push, they booed and insulted her. Someone told her that she was breaking the law. Yau said that she will be taking legal action. In addition, Leung grabbed the door frame twice in order to hurdle the defense line but he failed. Chan described her as being sandwiched and she eventually passed out and was hospitalized. She received injuries in the waist muscles that require physical therapy.

(Apple Daily) December 20, 2017.

Under cross-examination, Kwan Yiu-kee agreed that Legco president Andrew Leung addressed Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching as "Legislators." The defense said that Legislators are entitled to enter the chamber regardless of any ordinance or administrative order. Kwan said that the Legco president Andrew Leung had ordered Leung and Yau to leave. Therefore he and his colleagues were carrying the order of the president. Kwan said that he regards all orders to be reasonable unless it involves assaulting or injuring people. Does he worry about the legal basis or the rules of procedure? Kwan said: "The president will be responsible for whatever he says. I will carry out the order as long as it does not involve assaulting or injuring people."

Kwan said that he was in the police force for more than a decade before joining the Legislative Council. Does Kwan agree that Andrew Leung's order for Leung/Yau to leave is unlawful? Kwan said that he does not know how to answer. He denied that he acted unlawfully by carrying out the order of the Legco president, or that he was unlawfully exercising his authority as a Legco officer. He disagreed that he and his colleagues unlawfully prevented Leung, Yau and their assistants from entering the conference room.

On the news videos, Kwan was able to identify the Legco public information department manager Chan Yin-hei and senior director Chan Ka-ming. When Leung and Yau entered the chamber, those two asked the reporters in the corridor to make way. According to information, Chan Ka-ming was a TVB reporter before joining the Legislative Council.

The female Senior Security Assistant Chan Suk-han testified that she saw Leung and Yau attempting to gain entrance to the Legco chamber. So she pointed to the notice posted outside the door. The two read the notice which barred them from entering, but they entered nevertheless. Chan followed them and tried to get Yau to leave. Legislator Claudia Mo blocked her while Yau grabbed the collar of another female security guard. Chan said: "Yau kept wriggling and she kept kicking. She wriggled her body about." In the end, they succeeded in removing Yau from the chamber.

(Apple Daily) December 20, 2017.

Female security guard Chan Suk-han testified that the atmosphere was tense after the meeting was moved to the Conference Room Number One. There were many reporters in the corridor. Leung Chung-hang, Yau Wai-ching and more than ten assistants shouted "One Two One Two" and charged at the human chain formed by the security guards. Chan asked them not to press, but they booed and insulted her. Someone said: "Nobody told you to be here. You can just walk away!" Chan said that Yau Wai-ching told her impatiently: "I took down the names of you three security guards. If necessary, I will take legal action."

Chan said that after some jostling, Leung Chung-hang suddenly lost control of his emotions. He grab the frame of the side door and lifted his body up to hurdle the security guards. He did not succeed. She said that the security guards were unarmed and she was sandwiched within a wall of human flesh. She was afraid that Leung might harm the security guards. Chan said that when the crowd wanted to break through the wall, she put her hand in front of Yau Wai-ching's breasts out of protectiveness. Someone said: "Don't fondle her breasts!" She replied in explanation: "That was my hand. I want to protect Miss Yau's breasts." Someone said: "Who the hell needs your protection?"

Shortly afterwards, Chan yelled "I can't breath" and passed out. When she came to, she was inside the conference room. At the time, she felt great pain in her spine and she could not booth. She was taken to the hospital where she stayed overnight. The doctor told her that she tore her waist muscle. She obtained nine days of sick leave, followed by two months of physiotherapy. The video showed Chan being taken out on a stretcher. She wore a neck brace and her eyes were shut.

(Apple Daily) December 21, 2017.

The defense asked female security guard Chan Suk-han whether she agrees that Leung and Yau walked over to her as opposed to charged at her. Chan disagreed. She said that the two approached them in quick steps, looking as if they want to break through the defense line. The defense said that the formation that Chan put in place was extraordinarily firm. Chan agreed that this was the first time that a human chain was deployed. But she did not think that it was excessive to unlawfully stop Leung and Yau. Chan said that she has worked at the Legislative Council for nineteen years, but she has never gone through any close physical encounters as this time. "People charged at us during Occupy Central and National Education. But we never had any close physical encounters." She said that the security guards were the victims of his incident.

Chan said that she saw Leung, Yau and their assistants charged ferociously at the defense line formed by the security guards. She was close to Yau Wai-ching but did not see any obvious physical movement on the part of Yau who occasionally turned her head. But she heard fellow security guard Lau Kin-wai yell "Don't kick anymore!" Chan said that she did not have the chance to look at Yau's lower body. Chan said that she was not kicked herself. Chan does not know who kicked Lau or whether Yau kicked anybody.

Chan said that an unwritten rule at the Legislative Council is that once a legislator is expelled by the president, he/she is not allowed to attend the meeting on the same day. Chan was shown the news video. She agreed that Legco president asked Leung/Yau to believe on the basis of Rule #1 as opposed to the usual Rule #45 for inappropriate conduct.

Chan said that she has read that Rule #1 pertains to the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance. She guessed that Andrew Leung did not allow Leung/Yau to attend the meeting because they had not completed their oaths of office yet. Chan emphasized that she was "not at that level" to make Andrew Leung explain the basis of his decision to her. Chan said that a frontline worker cannot challenge the order of the Legco president, nor is she qualified to question whether the order was proper. "If he says no, then it is no go."

Another security guard Lee Yuk-wah testified that when Leung grabbed the top bar of the door frame, a man and a woman yelled: "Get up! You get up! We will push you up!" But Leung ultimately failed to cross. Lee said that she felt numbness in her hand afterwards. She was taken to the hospital for a medical examination. She was given 5 days of sick leave.

(Apple Daily) December 21, 2017.

The prosecution summoned 180-pound, 1.7m tall security guard second-grade security director Lau Kin-wai to tesify.

Lau testified that he and his colleagues did their best to hold the defense line against the charging crowd. Yau Wai-ching used her hands to push and pull. They were also kicked and rammed. The physical confrontation lasted between 10 and 15 minutes.

The defense asked Lau to detail Yau's actions. Lau said that he does not know who kicked the security guards. Yau alternated her arms to try to pull the security guards. Then Yau used one hand to push him backwards. Lau said that he was held stationary and he was not allowed to push back. Therefore it is not surprising that Yau could move him.

The defense cited the case of Cheung Kwai-choi and Chow Ngok-hang being charted with disorderly conduct and assault at the Legislative Council in 2014. The magistrate found Lau's testimony impossible. Cheung and Chow were found not guilty. The defense suggested that Lau's testimony here was also fictive and dishonest. Lau disagreed.

(Oriental Daily) Decembe 22, 2017.

Male security guard Cheung Shui-sing testified that the defendant Chung Suet-ying hit him on the hand in order to make him loosen his grip on the door frame. After female security guard Chan Suk-han passed out, Yau attempted to force her way by putting her leg into the space between Cheung's thighs. Yau rammed Chan's thighs several times. The defense asked Cheung whether he heard anyone yell: "Don't touch the breasts"? Cheung said that he heard it and the speaker was security guard Lau Kin-wai. The defense asked Cheung if Yau Wai-ching looked like as she was about to faint with difficulty in breathing. Cheung said no. The defense asked why Cheung did not visit a doctor afterwards. Was it because Yau Wai-ching did not deliberately knee him? Cheung explained that he did not feel any pains and therefore there was no need to visit a doctor.

Male security guard Chow Kai-ho testified that he saw someone yanking the identification card of female security guard Chan Suk-han as if they wanted to take a photo.

Male security guard Chan Tak-yin testified that Leung Chung-hang pressed his collar and attempted to push him away. Chan said Leung would bump into Chan each time that Leung moved his body. Chan said that Leung may not have done so deliberately.

(Oriental Daily) December 27, 2017.

Under cross examination, male security guard Chan Tak-yin said that Leung Chung-hang pushed him while attempting to enter the conference room. Chan characterized the amount of force as somewhat big. Did he feel offended? Chan said: "It was acceptable." Chan said that when Leung tried to climb over him, he put his weight against Chan. But he felt that Leung did not do so deliberately.

The defense claimed that defendant Chung Suet-ying grabbed the door frame only because she was about to fall down. Chan disagreed. He said that Chung leant forward and pressed her body against the defensive line.

Male security guard Chan Chi-chiu testified that when Leung, Yau and their assistants attempted to enter the conference room by force, he saw female security guard Lee Yuk-wah painfully being pressed by defendants Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung. So he left with Lee. Under cross-examination, Chan agreed that Chung did say: "I am not pushing. I am being pushed from behind." Cheung also asked the people behind not to push. But Chan said that the two pushed at other moments.

Male security guard Lo Pui-fong testified that Leung Chung-hang did yell: "Hit me!" Lo believes that Leung said so because he could not get his way. The defense asked whether Leung yelled "Hit me!" to Lo or in Lo's direction. Lo said that he was not sure. The defense asked whether Lo said: "Don't touch the breasts!" Lo denied so. Lo is unsure if other security guards said this to Leung. But he agreed that the video showed that Leung reacted strongly after hearing it.

Female security guard Choi Yiu-man said that she was lifted off her feet during the clash. She felt as if she was going to faint. She tried to hold onto the the door frame, but she was pushed aside. She ended up injuring her wrist.

Male security guard Lau Kin-wai waited to help the unconscious female security guard Chan Suk-han. But Chung Suet-ying scolded him: "What rescue! You get lost!" Cheung Tsz-lung also blocked Lau and used obscene curses. Chung and Cheung pushed Lau against the wall. The defense said that Chung had asked people to make way for Lau to rescue Chan and Cheung did not use any obscenities. The defense said that neither Chung nor Cheung pushed Lau against the wall. Lau disagreed.

(Headline Daily) December 27, 2017.

Today a person who claimed to a witness to most of the happenings in the case and an informant applied for a judicial review at the High Court. She accused the Kowloon City magistrate presiding over the case of Leung-Yau as well as the prosecutor of failure to summon certain other persons who accompanied Leung Chung-hang and had very important evidence. The magistrate failed to take action over the information that she had presented directly. She asked the High Court to issue a direct order to the Kowloon City magistrate to stop the proceedings and follow its orders instead.

The appellant is named Doris Leung Kit-hing. She claimed to represent most of the voters for Leung Chung-hang and some of the voters for Yau Wai-hing. The other defendants Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-hing and Cheung Tsz-lung were also listed as persons whose interests are affected by this application.

- (Oriental Daily) Doris Leung Kit-hing is allegedly the aunt of defendant Baggio Sixtus Leung Chung-hang.

(Oriental Daily) December 28, 2017.

Legislative Council Secretariat assistant secretary-general Wai Pik-yiu testfieid that her duties include preparations and follow-ups for Legco meetings. Wai confirmed that she issued a series of special permissions to security guards to testify in court.

The defense said that Wai cannot testify in court because she did not apply for special permission for herself. Wai explained that as long as her testimony does not involve Legislative Council meeting minutes or documents, she does not need any special permission. Since her testimony today does not involve any meeting minutes, she did not need to apply.

The defense said that only the deputy secretary-general can act on behalf of the secretary-general. Since Wai is merely an assistant secretary-general, she cannot so act. Wai disagreed.

(Oriental Daily) January 2, 2018.

With respect to the admissibility of evidence coming from the Legislative Council (including the videos and the testimonies of the eight security guards), the magistrat e pointed out that the Legislative Council has given special admissions. Previously, the defense had questioned whether the court is biased on behalf of the prosecution. The magistrate said that this kind of talk is disrespectful and baseless. Both the prosecution and the defense have the duty to assist the court in settling disputes over the law, so the defense is acting inappropriately.

The defense asked the magistrate to find that there is no evidence on the charges against the five defendants. The defense said that when judge Au Hing-cheung refused to issue an temporary injunction against the re-taking of the oath by Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, he had supposed that the Legislative Council president will allow them to take the oath again. Therefore, the two should be able to continue to function as Legislative Councilors. However, the two were not able to re-take their oaths because the pro-establishment legislative councilors left the chamber together and caused the oaths to be postponed. Thus, Au's ruling should stand regardless of what the National People's Congress Standing Committee decided later.

The defense said that if a legislative councilor was expelled for "disorderly conduct" under Article 45 of the Legislative Council Rules of Procedure, he/she may not attend this meeting anymore. But Legislative Council president Andrew Leung expelled Leung and Yau that day without specifying the particular article. Therefore, the prosecution cannot show that Leung and Yau are not allowed to enter Conference Room Number 1. Instead, the security guards were the ones who were unlawfully blocking the two and their assistants.

The prosecutor said that Leung and Yau were not legislative councilors at the time of the incident. High Court judge Au Hing-cheung had stated in his ruling in October 2016 that it was still undecided whether Leung and Yau have lost their positions. But in his ruling in November 2016, Judge Au ruled that the two have been disqualified, and therefore the Legislative Council president cannot oversee their oaths of office. The Court of Final Appeal also agreed that the two were not legislative councilors at the time of the incident.

The magistrate rejected the argument of the defense and ruled that the evidence exists for the charges against the defendants. On Thursday (January 4 2018), Leung and Yau will decide whether they want to testify on their own behalf.

(Apple Daily) January 4, 2018.

Today defendant #1 Baggio Leung Chung-hang testified on his own behalf. He said that the security guards stood firm outside the conference room on November 2. Leung told them that he wanted to attend the meeting, but the security guards claimed to be carrying out the order of Legislative Council president Andrew Leung. Leung put his hand on the shoulder of the security guard to indicate to make way. But the security guard was unresponsive. Leung said that he was pushed from the front as well as from the back, and could barely stay on his feet. Therefore he reached out for the door frame to steady himself.

Leung said that the pressure on his stomach made him want to vomit. "I was unable to talk reason or the Legislative Council rules of procedure. Leung denied that he chanted "One Two One Two" and he did not did anything according to the beat. Leung denied charging ahead. But he admitted that he grabbed the door frame to scale over the security guards unsuccessfully.

As for the angry "Hit me!" shout, Leung explained that the security guard in front of him warned him: "Don't touch the breasts!" Leung thought that it was "character assassination". So he pointed his finger at the security guard and said angrily: "What are you talking about! Hit me!"

Under cross-examination, Leung clarified that the co-defendant Cheung Tsz-lung was merely helping him clean up the election bills and not actually hired formally as an assistant. On that particular day, Cheung was in the Legislative Council building as a visitor. Leung disagreed that Cheung's job that day was to help him to charge at the security guards.

(Oriental Daily) January 4, 2018.

The prosecution said that the closed circuit television video showed that the 5 defendants and 11 other assistants took two elevators from the tenth floor to the second floor. They regrouped at the scene of the clash. This showed that they had planned to do this. Leung Chung-hang denied that this was the case. He said that he intended to go to the meeting room, but he had no idea what the others wanted to do.

(SCMP) January 4, 2018.

An ousted localist lawmaker in Hong Kong on trial for storming a Legislative Council meeting took to the witness box on Thursday to accuse a security guard of “character assassination” during the incident.

Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang said the guard accused him of “touching someone else’s breasts” during the chaos on November 2, 2016, even though he had kept his arms by his side at the time.

Leung, his ally Yau Wai-ching – also an ousted lawmaker – and their three personal assistants are accused of forcing their way into a meeting despite obstruction from security guards.

Referring to the comment he claimed was made by one of the guards, Leung said: “It was character assassination.”

In response that day, Leung said he shouted back angrily: “What are you saying? Hit me!”

Prosecutors had cited the last comment in their opening speech, but did not include Leung’s version of the context of the remark.

Leung, Yau and their three assistants – Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung – denied one joint count of taking part in an unlawful assembly. They also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of attempted forcible entry.

As prosecutors wrapped up their case, Leung on Thursday took to the witness box to rebut their allegations.

The court heard that Yau and Leung had tried to enter the chamber earlier on that morning to be sworn in after their oaths in October, which contained anti-China antics, were rejected.

Chaos then ensued, causing Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen – who held firm he would not entertain the duo’s attempt to retake their oaths – to adjourn the meeting to a later time at a conference room.

The prosecutors said Baggio Leung used his body to push guards preventing him from entering, and chanted “one, two, one, two” before storming the place. Leung refuted the allegations.

He said he turned up outside the meeting room that day, not expecting such resistance from the guards because he believed it was against the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance for anyone to obstruct lawmakers. He said he felt “a force pushing him backwards for two or three steps” when he tried to advance.

He admitted he sought to jump through the mass of bodies by grabbing the top of a door, but the attempt failed and he was sandwiched between a crowd shoving him from the back and security guards pushing him from the front.

“I merely used some force to balance myself,” he said, denying pushing back at the guards.

The chaos resulted in one of the guards fainting. Leung said he tried to alert other guards about their colleague, but he had difficulty speaking at the time because his abdomen was pressed against the masses and he felt like vomiting.

The scene was packed with reporters, he recalled, and it took a while for them to eventually retreat from the back.

In a cross-examination, senior assistant director of public prosecution Jonathan Man Tak-ho, who argued Leung had teamed up with others to carry out the offence, said video footage showed 16 people, including Leung and Yau, taking the same lift to the meeting room in two groups. Leung said he did not find this information particularly “special” and denied devising a plan in advance with the others.

The trial continues at Kowloon City Court before Magistrate Wong Sze-lai on Friday.

(SCMP)  January 5, 2018.

An ousted pro-independence lawmaker told a Hong Kong court on Friday the law was on her side when she tried to bypass security guards to take part in a Legislative Council meeting two years ago.

Yau Wai-ching took to the witness box to tell the Kowloon City Court that she was only fulfilling her responsibility when she demanded to enter a conference room of the legislature on November 2, 2016.

The Youngspiration lawmaker was stopped by security guards on the day, after they were ordered by Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen to stop her and her fellow localist lawmaker-elect, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, from entering.

At the time, the pair had not yet been disqualified from the body. But neither one’s oath had been accepted after their earlier efforts laden with anti-China antics were rejected.

Magistrate Wong Sze-lai had heard they were trying to retake their oath on the day.

But the two are now being accused of storming the meeting with their assistants.

They and their three assistants – Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung – denied one joint count of taking part in an unlawful assembly, while pleading not guilty to an alternative charge of attempted forcible entry.

Testifying on Friday, Yau said: “I have sufficient legal reasons, but they don’t.” She was referring to the security guards who stopped her.

On Thursday, Leung testified that he, Yau and their team were issuing a warning to security guards during the chaos. He claimed they told them it was against the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance for anyone to obstruct lawmakers.

But the prosecutors argued that Yau resorted to kicking and kneeing a security guard, while using her body to push her way through.

On Friday, Yau denied ever pushing the guards or using her hands to shove them aside. The scene was chaotic and packed with reporters, the court heard earlier, with one security guard passing out. “I might have hit others with my knees when I lost balance,” Yau said.

She stressed that, as a lawmaker-elect at the time, it was her duty to attend the meeting. “I couldn’t just give up just because there was a huge crowd,” she said.

Yau recalled trying to enter the Legco chamber to take her oath during an earlier session on the day. But she was removed by the security guards, as Andrew Leung adjourned the meeting to a conference room. She recalled hearing Baggio Leung say “I am heading out” before the move to the conference room.

But when pressed by the prosecutors, who argued she teamed up with others to storm the meeting, she denied ever discussing with her Youngspiration ally where to go before he headed out.

Yau described the situation as “pro-establishment camp over the law” when told by Andrew Leung he would not monitor their oaths because he feared the pro-establishment camp would cause the meeting to adjourn.

(Apple Daily) January 5, 2018.

Leung Chung-hang denied that he occupied the space that was just vacated by the female security guard Chan Suk-han who had passed out. He explained that he was being pushed by powerful forces from behind. He believed that those were reporters. He said that he did not push forward himself. Leung denied that he discussed with Yau Wai-ching or the assistants about how to charge the human chain of security guards." He said that he did not feel that he had the authority to order the assistants to do so. He denied that they had planned to charge together.

Yau Wai-ching testified that she heard Leung Chung-hang say "I'm going out" in the office and she followed him. She did not think that they would be going to the conference room. She did not tell anyone to leave the office either. She said that she has the bad habit of lowering her head to use her mobile phone while she walks, and therefore she has no idea that other people were following her to go downstairs.

Yau said that did not attack or push anyone outside the conference room. After the chaos, she felt dizzy and her hair was all knotted. The group did not disband eventually at the behest of either Youngspiration or Leung Chung-hang.

- (Apple Daily) January 5, 2018.

Yau Wai-ching testified that she did not discuss with the assistants about what actions would be taken that day. "I don't know what they were thinking about" and "they can decide for themselves whether to follow us or stay at the office." The prosecutor asked, "Shouldn't such employees be dismissed?" Yau replied: "But they did show up for work."

Yau denied that she kneed any security guard. But she said that she might have made physical contact with other persons when she lost her balanace.

Defendant Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung did not testify on their behalf, nor did they summon other witnesses. Summation will be heard on February 28, 2018.

Internet comments:

- Short summary of the testimonies of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching:

Leung decided to take a walk and Yau followed him. They had no idea that 14 other persons were following them too because they were too busy using their mobile phones with lowered heads. When they got to the corridor outside the conference room, they were pushed powerfully against the security guards by reporters from behind.

So there you have it.

- This tall tale comes from the people who said that they pronounced "People's Republic of China" as "People's Re-fucking of Chee-an" because of their Ap Lei Chau accent. If you so much as believe 10% of what they say, you will go blind in both eyes.

- A few low-end security guards got hurt for carrying out unlawful orders. Here is what Yau Wai-ching thinks:

(Oriental Daily) December 17, 2017.

The Hong Kong College of Technology held its graduation ceremony yesterday. When the national anthem was played, some graduands refused to stand up. After about ten seconds, the music was stopped and a college representative announced that the ceremony was halted because certain people disrespected the national anthem and violated the regulations. The two graduaands were asked to leave. The two left in the company of more than ten others who supported their action. The graduation ceremony resumed after a delay of almost 20 minutes.

The students who left chanted slogans and displayed placards outside the hall. They demanded a response from the administration. Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay said that the graduate ceremony is a grand and solemn occasion for the graduates and their teachers/friends/families. He said that the Hong Kong College of Technology is known to be a patriotic school. He said that students should respect the occasion as well as the school's position. On the Hong Kong College of Technology website, there is a photo of the graduates with the note that they want to have a solemn ceremony that is not subject to disruption.

(Wen Wei Po) December 17, 2017.

According to information, the Hong Kong College of Technology began this year to require students stand at attention during the national anthem at the graduation ceremony. In the rules and regulations for the ceremony, it is clearly stated that any disrespectful or inappropriate action by a graduand during the playing of the national anthem may result in the graduand not being allowed to get on stage for the conferment ceremony. This was reiterated during the rehearsal.

However, two graduands from the social work department were upset with this arrangement. They thought that the conferment of the diploma should not be linked to the national anthem. Furthermore respect for the country should not be conditional on whether one sings the national anthem or not. Therefore they refused to stand at attention and they even crossed their arms to show their disrespect for the national anthem.

Based upon the rules and regulations, the school asked the two graduands to leave. About 10 more graduands also walked out because they support the two troublemakers. The ceremony was held up for 20 minutes as a result.

Afterwards those students who knowingly violated the rules and regulations stood outside with placards "Those who won't want to be slaves" and shouted "High-pressure regimes lead to high-pressure schools" so as to continue to annoy the other students and families.

After the graduation ceremony, HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay went to speak to the protestors. He said that he loves the students and therefore he made sure that the graduate ceremony would be completed. He emphasized that the graduation ceremony is a solemn occasion, and therefore he stuck to his principles and made sure that it would be so. He asked these students to reflect: "You want the school to respect your views. Why can't you respect the position of the school about respecting the national anthem?"

Chan shared the history of the Hong Kong College of Technology with the students. He said that the Hong Kong College of Technology was already a patriotic school before the 1997 handover. From the 1960's they were already hoisting the People's Republic of China fives-star national flag and singing the People's Republic of China national anthem. As a result, the school was suppressed by the British colonial administration, which took away financial subsidies and even the school campus. But the school never gave up its patriotic stance. "There is no room for compromise on this." He said that he respects the views of these students, but he wishes that they would continue to get to know society and China.

The HKCT spokesperson added that the graduands were given the rules and regulations for the graduation ceremony. The school always respects freedom of speech, such that everybody has the right to express personal opinions on all matters. But in so doing, they must do so in the appropriate situation while respecting others. As an institute of higher learning, the HKCT has the responsibility of teaching the students to know right from wrong and accept responsibility for their actions.

Videos

Speakout HK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwa-OpKTcb0 Incident coverage including the national anthem and the expulsion of the students.

Apple Daily https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsj6SFM5TSY

HK01 https://www.hk01.com/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/141929/-%E5%9C%8B%E6%AD%8C%E6%B3%95-%E6%B8%AF%E5%B0%88%E7%95%A2%E6%A5%AD%E7%94%9F%E6%8B%92%E9%B3%B4%E5%A5%8F%E6%99%82%E7%AB%99%E7%AB%8B%E9%81%AD%E8%B6%95%E9%9B%A2%E5%A0%B4-%E6%96%A5%E6%A0%A1%E9%95%B7%E7%8E%87%E5%85%88%E6%8E%A8%E5%9C%8B%E6%AD%8C%E6%B3%95

Sing Tao/Headline Daily https://www.facebook.com/fatBhasasay/videos/843882449151719/

Speakout HK
https://www.facebook.com/speakouthk/videos/987874831360596/
https://youtu.be/d63cRLwZdmU
HKCT President Chan Cheuk-hay spoke to the "troublemaking" students

Sina Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_j8xs0Ic5A Chan Cheuk-hay speaking to the students, including what happened at last year's ceremony.

Ta Kung Pao http://www.takungpao.com.hk/hongkong/video/2017/1218/133860.html Interview with Hong Kong College of Technology chairperson Priscilla Lau

Scoring:

In the dialogue between the college president and the students, the student speaker loses many points because he comes across as shrill and hysterical in tone and volume.

In the video in which the student named Yu explains his reasons for so doing, the commentators are more fascinated by his facial features.

Internet comments:

- (HKG Pao) President Chan Cheuk-hay acted with reason.

(1) The most basic thing in life is to know to respect other people. When President Chan saw those students disrespecting the national anthem and the 1.3 billion Chinese people whose anthem it is, how can he not act to stop them? What kind of teacher wouldn't?

(2) Some Yellow Ribbon media said that the Hong Kong College of Technology is enforcing the national anthem law even before the Hong Kong Legislative Council has enacted the relevant law. But we should be respecting the national anthem with or without any law. Why should such commonsense be required to have a legal basis?

(3) Some of the student troublemakers said that they disrespect the national anthem because "the political regime in China is unstable and not there to serve the people." This shows that they are filled with prejudices and hate for the motherland. President Chan really needed to wake them up.

(4) For most of the graduands, the graduation ceremony marked an important milestone in their lives. It does not matter what those student troublemakers want, they have no right to deprive the other graduands of the right to have a solemn and memorable graduation ceremony.

(5) For those student troublemakers, they have lost the opportunity to attend their own graduation ceremony, but they got a chance to reflect on their mistake.

(6) When President Chan corrected them, they have a chance to look carefully at what is happening in China. The Hong Kong College of Technology provides many mainland trips throughout the year. Why didn't they go there themselves? Why do they insist on believing the unreal China that is being presented in Apple Daily and social media? Why do they insist on being frogs at the bottom of the well?

(7) If they don't rectify themselves even after this, then they will be despised because they don't know how to respect the country, their teachers, their fellow students and themselves.

- Before today's graduation ceremony, the college administration had already given the rules and regulations to the students. This was a reaction to what happened the previous year:

(Ta Kung Pao) November 27, 2016.

Yesterday the Hong Kong College of Technology held its graduation ceremony at its Ma On Shan campus. The media were not invited. Afterwards some participants forwarded videos to Apple Daily showing some students raising placards and chanting slogans during the national anthem and while on stage. They chanted: "Oppose National People's Congress interpretation of the Basic Law, thus destroying rule-of-law in Hong Kong." There were also people upset at the behavior of these students, and they shouted "Support the National People's Congress interpretation of the Basic Law" and "Down with Hong Kong independence dogs."

Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay spoke. He said that he was born and raised in the British colonial era. He was oppressed by imperialism. "Young kids were bullied and assaulted by foreigners. We were afraid to speak up until our national anthem sounded and our five-star national flag was raised." Now our country is leaving behind those days of being bullied and abused. He said that many western countries are still trying to blockade China militarily and economically. "Those leading imperialists cannot stand the sight of our country being strong and they want to continue to keep us down."

Chan said that no country in the world can "send civilian airplanes out to war zones to extract our citizens." He said that China sent warships to war zones to extract our citizens. Japan even has to rely on us to transport their citizens out. Chan said that he felt bad when he saw some of the students did during the playing of the national anthem today. He asked: "When you travel outside and encounter manmade or natural disasters, who is going to help you?"

Former Demosisto vice-president Oscar Lai was one of the protesting graduands from the department of social work at the College of Technology. He told Apple Daily that 40 to 50 fellow students wore yellow ribbons and held up "Oppose National People's Congress interpretation of the Basic Law" placards. More than 10 students shouted slogans on stage too.

- (HKG Pao) HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay told those students about how the school was a patriotic school oppressed by the British colonial government. "If you weren't aware of this when you came here, you are in the wrong school!"

- (Wikipedia) The HKCT was originally established as the Mongkok Workers' Night School in 1957 to provide education opportunities for working-class families.

- (Bastille Post)

The dozen or so graduands went outside and then chanted: "President! President! Come out and meet with us." So Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay came out to speak with them.

The graduand shouted: "Just because we sat down does not mean that we do not respect the national anthem. Just because we won't sing the national anthem does not mean that we are unpatriotic. We don't understand why that on account of a national anthem, we social work students for whom so much effort was already spent to teach us were excluded from the graduation ceremony ... I want to ask you why you treat students this way."

Chan waited for the student to finish before he replied solemnly: "The Hong Kong College of Technology is a patriotic school. We must hold the patriotic flag high. There can be no compromise on this. Even during the British colonial era, we have never retreated. The Hong Kong College of Technology is a patriotic school. It has been a patriotic school long before 1997. From inception, we have raised the five-star national flag and sung the March of the Volunteers. For these actions, we were suppressed by the British colonial government. Our subsidies were canceled, and our campus was repossessed. But we never gave up our patriotic position. (Pointing to the students) If you did not know this when you came here, you chose the wrong school!"

The student replied: "Just because we won't sing the national anthem does not mean that we are unpatriotic. It is precisely because we know China that we know that the regime is unstable and not serving the people. We also see that the Hong Kong government is deeply influenced by the Chinese regime. As social work students who have to face those who use public services, we know better how this regime ignores the demands of the people. We should be coming out and speaking up because we are patriotic."

Chan said: "My position is clear. But I respect your views. I hope that you can continue to explore the problems of the country, and make changes as students ... I love the students, and that is why I will continue with the graduation ceremony in spite of the disruptions. You want the school to respect your views. But why don't you respect the position of the school and respect the national anthem? The graduation ceremony is a solemn occasion. We must adhere firmly to the principles during the ceremony."

Chan then went back inside.

A university teacher said that many teachers and presidents are afraid of the 'valiant' attitudes of the students. Even if they disapprove of the student methods, they are too afraid to speak out for fear of being criticized and bullied. Very few are like Chan Cheuk-hay who was unafraid to tell the students about the school's position and point out that the disruption was wrong. Chan's courage is admirable.

- (Speakout HK https://www.speakout.hk/%E6%B8%AF%E4%BA%BA%E8%8A%B1%E7%94%9F/29360/-%E5%BC%B7%E7%83%88%E8%AD%B4%E8%B2%AC-%E7%8D%A8%E5%AE%B6%E5%8F%AF%E9%9D%A0%E6%B6%88%E6%81%AF-%E6%A0%A1%E6%96%B9%E6%B2%92%E6%9C%89%E8%A8%AD%E5%82%B3%E5%AA%92%E6%8E%A1%E8%A8%AA-%E5%AD%B8%E7%94%9F%E5%AE%89%E6%8E%92-%E8%98%8B%E6%9E%9C-%E8%A8%98%E8%80%85%E4%BB%A5%E7%95%A2%E6%A5%AD%E7%94%9F%E8%A6%AA%E5%8F%8B%E8%BA%AB%E4%BB%BD%E9%80%B2%E5%85%A5%E6%9C%83%E5%A0%B4 ) December 17, 2017.

According to information, the Hong Kong College of Technology did not arrange for media to cover the graduation ceremony. Instead, the graduands arranged for the Apple Daily and HK01 reporters to receive passes to attend as their friends/relatives.

Furthermore, these graduands had printed the slogans on white paper to bring to the ceremony.

This showed that the whole incident was preplanned. The rules and regulations were made known to these students beforehand, and they knowingly violated them while making sure that friendly media would be there.  This was not a spontaneous occurrence.


- If the action was decided at the spur of the moment, where would they make up the banners after being ejected? Instead this graduand raised up two pieces of white A4 paper on which is printed: "Students, those who don't wish to be slaves." The pieces of paper showed fold marks. In particular, this graduand isn't even aware that the piece in his right hand was folded such that the sentence read: "Students, not the original slave people." These pieces of paper were printed beforehand, folded and put into the pocket to bring into the hall to use.

- There are "normal" ways of expressing your displeasure at the fact that the national anthem would be played at the graduation ceremony. For example, you can just stay home and explain your reasons on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc). But that wouldn't make you a public hero. Therefore you choose to interrupt the graduation ceremony and meet the press (whom you had contacted beforehand) after being expelled in accordance with the announced rules.

- Well, I don't see you expressing your displeasure at (1) the national flag flying at the Hong Kong College of Technology and many other institutions; (2) the Hong Kong passport showing the People's Republic of China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the issuer; (3) the Hong Kong ID showing the logo of the People's Republic of China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; (4) the presence of People's Liberation Army barracks in many locations across Hong Kong; etc.

- Once again, you don't protest these other things because it won't be media sensationalism that will make you a public hero.

- (HKG Pao) Priscilla Lau Pui-king is the chairman of the Hong Kong College of Technology. She has been a Hong Kong delegate to the National People's Congress since 1998. She said that the school was aware that some students were planning to start trouble and that they had given two admission tickets to reporters. Therefore the school hired 10 security guards to maintain order. They also told the students that the graduation ceremony will be held up until any troublemaker leave.

Lau said that the troublemakers came from the social work department. There was a social work teacher who "gave them bad ideas." This teacher has resigned earlier.

- In this video, the student leader said that they merely refuse to stand up solemnly. Instead they merely sat quietly. They did not make any obscene gestures or raise any banners. But the video showed that he raised two pieces of white paper with a slogan.

In this other video, Hong Kong College of Technology chairperson Priscilla Lau said that the national anthem was interrupted because two individuals crossed their arms to indicate rejection. So it is not true that they sat silently.

- The case of the Hong Kong College of Technology brings up the issue of self-determination/autonomy at educational institutes in Hong Kong. According to HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay, their school has been "patriotic" ever since it was founded in 1957 as the Mongkok Workers' Night School -- they have always flown the Chinese five-star flag and played the March of the Volunteers anthem.

The question is just who represents the Hong Kong College of Technology which is a private school. Is it the board of directors who were not elected by universal suffrage with civil nomination? Is it up to HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay who was hired by the board of directors? Or is it up to the students who spend two years there and move on? Or is it up to the dozen social work graduands? Or should the matter be left to a student/teacher/staff referendum?

- Who knows more about the Hong Kong College of Technology, including its mission, history and operations? Students who will spend two years there to obtain an associate degree? Or Chan Cheuk-hay who has been president there since 1978?

- HKCT has been 'patriotic' since inception. How did these 'pro-democracy' students end up there in the first place? What were they thinking? Caveat emptor!

- (Wen Wei Po) December 19, 2017. HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay: "Before 1949, the British colonial government was afraid that the KMT may take back Hong Kong. Therefore they supported the leftists (Communists) against the rightists (KMT). With the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the British colonial government flipped position to support the rightists (KMT) against the leftists (Communists). Around 1950, they told the Workers' Night School (founded in 1946) that they must hang up the portrait of the King George VI and raise the Union Jack flag with nothing else being allowed. The Workers' Night School refused. The government cut off the subsidies. They also said that the Mong Kok Government School would be repurposed and ordered the Workers Night School to move out. The school was unable to pay its teachers, some of whom worked for no pay and even gave money to keep the school going. The school solicited donations and raised more than $200,000. Under public pressure, the government allocated a plot of unregulated cemetery in Ho Man Tin to the school. It was a time of economic depression after the Korean war, and the $200,000 was hardly enough to build a school. The school went through another round for fund-raising and finally in 1957 built the Mong Kok Workers' Children Secondary School that was shared with the Mong Kong Workers' Night School."

- (Ko Chi Sum's Facebook) If these students are upset at finding themselves at a 'patriotic' school, it is never too late. They can always refuse to accept the diploma for the associate degree and enroll at some 'pro-democracy' institutions elsewhere. Will they?

- What happened here is consistent with the theory behind Occupy Central/Umbrella Revolution.

There you want something from the government but you can't force them directly. So you hold the general public hostage by blocking the streets and create mass inconvenience. When the public gets upset, it will surely blame the government and not you.

Here some students don't want the school to play the national anthem at the graduation ceremony. So they caused a disruption. When the other students and their friends/relatives get upset at the delay (or even the cancellation of the ceremony), they will surely blame the school administration and not the troublemakers.

Of course,  that was not the way that it worked out, back then and now.

- No, it was not an equivalent situation. In the YouTube video, the national anthem was played for several seconds. Then a college administrator in the front raised his hand to stop the playing. He read from a script: "There was disrespectful behavior of the national anthem among those present. This is a violation of the rules and regulations. The graduation ceremony today could not be held in a solemn manner." The man said next: "Earlier we spotted at least two persons present were disrespectful of the national anthem. Can you please leave? Or else the graduation ceremony today will officially end as of now." As the dozen or so graduands left, others applauded.

The college administration was completely prepared for this eventuality. They had a pre-written script and a hand signal system for stopping the national anthem.

- The troublemakers' plan was to create a media circus, but the administration put the onus back on them: Either they leave or the graduation ceremony will be canceled immediately. They blinked. If they stayed, they would have to face the wrath of the other graduands. This was a simple and brilliant counter-plan.

- The Hong Kong College of Technology graduation ceremony was targeted this year after what happened last year. It was an improvised action last year and the video was taken by participants and passed onto Apple Daily. This year, the troublemakers gave guest passes to Apple Daily and HK01 reporters, thinking that they would make an even bigger splash. But the college was completely aware and had a contingency plan in place.

- (SCMP) Pan-democratic legislator Shiu Ka-chun, who opposes the anthem legislation, said educators should not serve their political ends over educational goals. “The biggest problem here is that the school is covering up the educational missions with their political missions,” Shiu said. “Should a Catholic school demand all students convert?”

- (Ming Pao) December 18, 2017.

Hong Kong College of Technology student Yu Kai-to told our newspaper that the school had established a new rule about standing solemnly during the national anthem or else face expulsion. Before the graduation ceremony, the school also announced that if the graduate ceremony will be canceled if the students won't stand solemnly. Yu and some other social work graduands believe that the Hong Kong government has not done enough public consultation on the national anthem law, so this violates "procedural justice." The school is going ahead with the national anthem law even before its enactment. This was holding the guests and family members of the graduands as hostages in order to force the graduands to comply. Therefore they decided to sit down during the national anthem and also raise placards in protest. Three students did not stand up during the national anthem, and the school asked them to leave. Ten other social work graduands left with them in protest. All these graduands received their diplomas afterwards.

Yu said that he is not a Localist and he has no political party affiliation. His parents are from mainland China. "I have Chinese blood." Like his fellow students, he cares about current affairs. But the more he learned about current affairs, the harder it was to identify with China. "There are many unjust things in China, but the leaders won't acknowledge or change them. For example, the forced eviction of the low-end population showed that they are not there to serve the people. It is hard to identify with the country."

- (Economic Times) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 19, 2017.

This performance was planned beforehand. The college did not invite any media. But some students obtained parent admission tickets for Apple Daily and HK01 reporters to film. Afterwards, these Yellow Media followed college president Chan Cheuk-hay around. A female student was heard to issue directions: "Film more of him! Film more of his disgusting appearance!"

Things worked out differently. The filmed dialogue between college president and the students made the students look "disgusting" instead.

Social work graduand Yu Kai-to said: "Just because we didn't sing the national anthem does not mean that we are unpatriotic. It is because we understand the situation in China that we know that the Chinese government is unstable and not truly serving the people. As social work students, we should come out and be heard ..."

Using "unstable" to characterize the China of today proves that they don't understand much. So it is not so shocking for them to find out only on graduation day that they had been attending a patriotic school.

The Hong Kong College of Technology began as the Mong Kok Workers' Night School. In the 1950's it provided language and technical education to deal with lack of education and good jobs among workers. After the handover, it has become an institute of higher education for occupational training.

I attended primary and secondary schools which were 'patriotic.' These were known as "leftist schools." They were the abandoned children within the Hong Kong educational system. The government didn't give them a cent in subsidy, so their operational funds come from the meager tuition fees. As a result, the teachers were paid poorly and the students had dim futures.

Back then the government and the disciplinary services do not accept students from 'patriotic' schools. Patriotism is an original sin, just like criminal records and mental illness. The colonial administration screened such people out. So our graduates could only find work at Chinese emporia, China capital banks, the China Travel Services, etc.

When I was young, I wanted to join the Girl Scouts and the Junior Police Call. But none of the uniformed groups wanted to cooperate with "leftist" schools. We were excluded from all extracurricular activities outside of our own school.

Self-reliance has its advantages. Although we had no government subsidy and no famous coaches, our dancing, Chinese music and gymnastics were always among the top. A fellow male student was the all-round gymnastics champion for many years, representing Hong Kong at the Asian Games against the likes of Li Ning.

These schools were finally able to procure government financial subsidies after the 1997 handover. Hong Kong College of Technology went through a long road of political persecution to wait for the day when the five-star flag now flies high. Doesn't this national anthem have a special meaning?

- (Speakout HK) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 23, 2017.

Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay was targeted by Yellow Ribbon media. Over the past several days, they trailed him everywhere that he went. When they cannot find anything unbecoming, they began to provoke him.

On this day, the trailing reporter kept bumping into him and kicking him while holding the mobile phone in hand. Clearly, the reporter wanted Chan to get upset and start cursing.

The same thing happened to the family of Frankly Chu. At the courthouse, the reporters followed them closely and kept provoking them: "Is Chu going to apologize to the victim?" "Is he sorry for assaulting people?"

Those were not questions. Those were verdicts. The reporters had come with pre-established positions to provoke the family. Finally a family friend had to curse them out. So the reporters got their assignments completed, and they rushed back to post the headline: "The son of Frankly Chu hurls obscene curses at reporters."

Today, if you stand up and oppose the Yellow Ribbons, your entire family will fall under White Terror. Over the past three years, the family of Frankly Chu has been harassed by the paparazzi. Whether they want a cup of milk tea or a bowl of beef noodle soup, someone is filming them secretly. Even his son in junior secondary school has been tailed by the paparazzi.

What is the news value of Frankly Chu's family? What does the private life of HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay matter to the general public? What do these reporters thought they were getting into when they joined the profession?

- According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the people's right to know trumps everything else (including any laws, rules, regulations, norms, morals and ethics).

- But if you report on the doings of Jimmy Lai's family, you would be causing grave harm to freedom of press in Hong Kong.

- They are only giving what their audiences want. Even if something didn't happen (such as Frankly Chu's son was not cursing), it should be reported as such because that is what the audience wants to see. This is a win-win outcome, because the audience and the media are both happy.

- (SCMP) Keep Hong Kong schools out of political shenanigans. By Alex Lo. December 28, 2017.

Young people may demand democracy, Hong Kong independence or fight the government for alleged corruption and failing the city. I can understand their impulse.

What baffles me is why, to fight for those goals, so many have decided to take on their own schools and go after their teachers in the hope of turning educational institutions into political battlegrounds. Most students are there to study and learn, not to carry out political struggle.

Less than two weeks ago, several students invited undercover reporters to cover their protest against the proposed national anthem law at their graduation at Hong Kong College of Technology. After the students were kicked out, they confronted the college head, thereby giving the reporters the headline they needed. It became such a big news story – I don’t know why – that some paparazzi even tailed the principal and his family members for several days as if it were a major political scandal.

In the past few months, a handful of students at Our Lady’s College in Wong Tai Sin, an all-girls secondary school, have been advocating Hong Kong independence on campus by handing out fliers and disrupting school anniversary events. When they were told not to do it, they invited the news media and cried political censorship.

The doings of such students are not accidental. Under two groups called Studentlocalism and Hong Kong National Front, which openly advocate the city going it alone from the mainland, separatist student groups at 18 schools and universities, possibly more, have been set up this year alone. Their express agenda is to bring separatism into campuses, not just at universities and colleges, but also secondary schools – and not just for discussion, but as a political cause, described in their own literature as “the only option” for Hong Kong.

Now if young students want to be politically committed, who are we to stop them? But there are many places to do it. How about in front of government buildings or the residence of Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at Government House?

There is no obvious relationship between advocating for a political cause and disrupting whatever school you happen to be a student at. Don’t other students have the right to be left in peace? No wonder the Education Bureau, usually the government department I have the least respect for, has instructed schools not to tolerate separatist activities; and mainland-funded scholarships now require applicants to swear by their patriotism.

(The Standard) December 15, 2017.

A university student who fell from a height in Kowloon Tong today has died. At about 7:43am this morning, the 22-year-old man was found lying unconscious after falling from the Academic and Administration Building at Baptist University Road. He was rushed to hospital and later certified dead. The young man was a fourth-year Hong Kong Baptist University student, who studied social sciences, Headline Daily reported.

What is the coverage in the Yellow Ribbon media of Hong Kong?

(Apple Daily) December 15, 2017.

Before jumping off the building, the deceased had posted on his Facebook: "Please do not believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. Goodbye, everybody!"

According to information, the student used to be in a family of four. He lived in Wong Tai Sin with his father, mother and younger sister. Some years ago his mother passed away and his father re-married and had a daughter who is 12-years-old mother. The relationship between the student and the stepmother was bad. One year ago, they got into a fight and the police came to investigate. The student rented a room in To Kwa Wan and moved out. Recently the police completed the investigation and arrested the student and her stepmother

(Ming Pao) December 15, 2017.

Before falling from a height, the deceased posted on social media Facebook: "Please do not believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. Goodbye, everybody!"

(HK01 https://www.hk01.com/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/141517/-%E6%A0%A1%E5%9C%92%E8%87%AA%E6%AE%BA-%E6%B5%B8%E5%A4%A725%E6%AD%B2%E7%94%B7%E7%94%9F-%E8%A1%8C%E6%94%BF%E6%A8%93%E5%A2%AE%E6%A8%93%E4%BA%A1-%E6%A0%A1%E6%96%B9%E7%B1%B2%E9%81%87%E5%9B%B0%E6%93%BE%E5%8F%AF%E6%B1%82%E5%8A%A9 ) December 15, 2017.

According to information, the deceased is a 25-year-old fourth-year local student named Hung. Before falling from a height, he posted on Facebook: "Please do not believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. Goodbye, everybody!"

Internet information indicated that Hung studied for an associate degree in Humanities (History) at Lingnan University School of Continuing Education at first. Last year, he was able to qualify for the History department at Baptist University. At the graduation class, he encouraged those who had failed to gain university admission through the DSE exam to follow his own example.

The police have checked the CCTV recordings at Baptist University. The deceased was seen to be using his telephone and then he fell down. He did not carry any letter on him, so the reason for the suicide is unknown.

- Here is how anti-Yellow Ribbon media covered this story differently: (Oriental Daily) December 16, 2017.

(1) More than 10 years ago, the father remarried a mainland woman who gave birth to a daught er.

(2) Hung and his stepmother got into a fight after a dispute over bathroom priority.

(3) At 737am, he said goodbye to his good friends on Facebook. The phrasing was 'peculiar' with an emoji of waving his hand.

Internet Comments:

- This is typical of Apple Daily by quoting a Facebook comment without offering any evidence. Who is to know whether their out-sourced reporter made this up? After all, the reporter is being paid on the basis of "hits" to the story.

- The video in the Apple Daily story contained a screen capture.

But I grant you that this is so easy to forge. I can easily use Photoshop to change the text: "Donald Trump killed me because I have evidence that he is an alien from outer space."

- Textual analysis: 千奇唔好信一地兩檢無跨境執法

There is a glaring mistake in this one sentence. Normally one wuld use 千祈 which literally means "One thousand prayers." Thus, I say one thousand prayers for you in the hope that you won't believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. However, he used instead the homonym 千奇, which literally means "One thousand curiosities." Very curious, indeed.

- Not curious at all. After all, when Joshua Wong sent out an annotated map of his prison cell, he managed to misspell 6 words out of the 10 named items (see #786). Nowadays in Hong Kong, the young people are semi-illiterate.

- I firmly believe that Cross-border Law Enforcement is taking place and will continue to take place with or without the Co-location Arrangement. We are all Lam Tsz-kin!

- Why was the young man was wary about the Co-location Arrangement? Here is a blog post by someone else at The Stand News:

As soon as the High Express Rail becomes operational in Hong Kong, large numbers of soldiers and munitions will immediately saturate Hong Kong. Shenzhen and Hong Kong will become one city. Hong Kong and China will become a single body. The Hong Kong Dollar will be displaced by the RMB, for this is the reason why High Speed Rail tickets can only be purchased with RMB.

Meanwhile, you must especially note that the High Speed Rail has a stop near the Shek Kong Barracks. According to Internet information, legislator Eddie Chu Hoi Dick has revealed that there is an underground tunnel leading from the PLA barracks to the High Speed Rail station. Ex-legislator Gary Fan Kwok-wai has released information that there is even a surface passageway. When the High Speed Rail becomes operational, there is nothing to stop the Chinese Communist and their armies from coming into Hong Kong. Just think about it, the Chinese Communists will have full control of the Hong Kong section. Not even the Hong Kong Customs Department or the Hong Kong Police can do anything. They can do whatever they want?

It is amazing that people can believe this nonsense.

The People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison has been present in Hong Kong since July 1, 1997. They are here to defend Hong Kong, so they must surely be armed already. If they want to move 1,000 Type 95 light machine guns here, they can just drive a few trucks down. If they want to move soldiers down, they can do so by land, sea or air at will. Why do they need the High Speed Rail? It takes more time because you have to transport to the train, load onto the train, unload from the train and transport to the final destination. Why not just drive directly to the final destination?

If agents of "a powerful department" need to kidnap Hong Kong citizens and take them back across the border, they can go by land, sea or air. For example, they can travel by speedboat or even use a PLA Navy boat. Why do they need the High Speed Rail? How do they clear the kidnap victim through Hong Kong Immigration/Customs there?

- No matter how you look at it, it was mainland China which killed his young man.

On one hand, the young man's death note was about the Co-location Arrangement. Thus, he became the first victim of the Co-location Arrangement. There will undoubtedly be many more to come. To save those lives, we must immediately scrap the Co-location Arrangement.

On the other hand, the young man came under family pressure because his mother passed away and his father had the nerve to marry a mainland woman and have another daughter. A year ago, the son and the stepmother got into a fight over bathroom priorities. The police was summoned and may yet charge them with common assault. The son was forced to move out. Whenever a mainland woman married down to Hong Kong, there are always family as well as socio-economic problems. We must immediately stop all immigration from mainland China or else even more lives will be lost.

- The suicide took place at Baptist University. Hong Kong Baptist University students must be depressed and fearful of the sight of the People's Liberation Army Kowloon East Barracks (formerly known as Osborn Barracks) right across the street from their campus. Every day when they walk down Waterloo Road or Junction Road, they see this symbol of foreign colonialism. It is imperative that these barracks be demolished and replaced by something more sightly (such as a shopping mall) or else even more student suicides will take place.

- Valiant resistance does not mean killing oneself in the face of impossible odds. It means strapping a suicide bomb on oneself and shouting "Long live Hong Kong independence" as one rushes the sentry post. The People's Liberation Army should vacate the premises before the Valiant Martyrs take action.

- A death is a personal tragedy which should not be exploited for political purposes. Shame on all those exploiters!

- (Daily Beast) The Werther effect: A new study provides the strongest evidence yet that sensational media reporting of a teen suicide plays into the tendency of other kids to imitate the tragic act.

Unfortunately, the priority for the media is to capture eyeballs and make money. A  lot of money. They are not in the business of saving lives.

(Oriental Daily) December 12, 2017.

At around 6pm, almost 100 pan-democratic legislators, politicians and supporters gathered at the Legislative Council demonstration area. They erected about 10 tents and declared that they intend to stay overnight. They called on citizens to come down to voice their opposition and prevent the pro-establishment from amending the rules of procedures by laying siege to the Legislative Council.

At around 1130pm, Legislative Council security guards began clearing the site of tents and people. However, as soon as a person is carried out of the area, he/she would turn around and immediately re-enter the area. At around 1210am, the Legislative Council secretariat called the police for assistance to complete the clearance.

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 12, 2017.

Pro-democracy demonstrators have been removed from outside the legislature amid a protest over the pro-Beijing camp’s attempt to amend the LegCo’s rules in their favour.

Around 300 attended Monday’s protest, including lawmakers. Democrats had initially intended on camping overnight and surrounding the Legislative Council Complex on Wednesday. However, after repeated warnings from the police, they were removed from the site just before midnight.

Earlier in the evening, the protesters were ordered by a LegCo security guard to “behave in an orderly manner” and “comply with directions given by officer of the Council” under section 11 of the legislature’s administrative instructions. Protesters were forbidden from putting up tents, and were requested to retrieve any tents that had been erected.

“I have a right to protest,” demonstrators chanted.

They were also told that, under the law, those who assault, interfere with or obstruct a Legislative Council officer are liable to a HK$10,000 fine and 12-months behind bars.

“Hong Kong is finished after the LegCo rules are changed,” one protester shouted outside the police barricade. “How can one person [LegCo president] has so much power?”

According to the Legislative Council rules, the demonstration area is only open for use between 7am and 11pm.

At around 11:30pm, the camps were peacefully pulled to the sidewalk, while the protesters were removed one by one from the site by guards. Some demonstrators had to be carried out by Legislative Council security officers.

The guards asked for police assistance at around 12:10am on Tuesday to move more protesters.

(Oriental Daily) December 13, 2017.

Early this morning at 2am, the police cleared the site. The demonstrators moved out to Tim Mei Road outside the demonstration area.

Tonight, there were about 20 tents and more than 200 people gathered outside the demonstration area. Legislators Alvin Yeung, Jeremy Tam, Wu Chi-wai and Chan Chi-chuen stayed in the tents last night.

At 830pm tonight, the police found that a 16-year-old Studentlocalism member named Lau with a facsimile air gun. Lau was taken down to the police station to assist in the investigation.

- Video Lau Hong and the police

(Oriental Daily) Wednesday. December 13, 2017.

At 615pm, a number of pan-democratic political parties amassed in the Legislative Council demonstration area to declare that they are laying siege to the Legislative Council.

When the assembly began, there were less than 100 persons, including Occupy Central founder Benny Tai, disqualified legislator Leung Kwok-hung, League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng and vice-chairman Raphael Wong, district councilor Ho Kai-ming (ADPL) and Neo Democrats' Gary Fan. There were about 30 tents on the roadside, some with banners such as "Oppose the amendment of the rules of procedures" and "Please do not dismantle."

By 730pm, there were almost 200 people present.

At 745am, about 20 pan-democratic legislative councilors, plus the disqualified legislative councilor Yiu Chung-yim, showed up. They declared that they were ready for a sustained battle. Benny Tai said that the passage of the amendment of the rules of procedure will weaken the restraining power of the pan-democrats within the Legislative Council. Therefore the pan-democrats must united and continue to resist even if the space is restricted. Tai admitted that more assemblies won't be effective, because too few people are participating. But nevertheless resistance must continue.

Video: Chin Po-fun vs the police

(Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017.

Last night, the number of tents outside the Legislative Council building increased from about 30 to more than 40. The number of protestors stayed around 200. The pan-democratic legislators came out after their session to make speeches. By 830pm, the protestors began to leave.

(Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017.

On the evening after the vote, the pan-democratic legislators went to the Legco demonstration area to apologize to their supporters for failing to stop the amendments to the rules of procedure. They called on their supporters to vote for pan-democrats in the by-election next yar.

At the time, there were about 300 people present, including both pro- and con- protestors. The two sides cursed at each other across the barricades. By 930pm, there were about 100 persons in the demonstration area. The assembly ended at around 10pm.

Another group of protestors stayed at the tents on the sidewalk of Tim Mei Road. There were about 30 tents. After the assembly ended, some of these people began taking down the tents to leave.

Internet comments:

- Here is the activity log at the Legislative Council:

1:55 police clearance at legislative council building accomplished.
1:51am The next protester's (man, DQ legislator, DQ legislator, legislator, legislator, legislator) willingly walks out.
1:48am The next protester (man. former legislator) willingly walks out.
1:47am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:43am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:42am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:41am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
1:39am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:38am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:35am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:32am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:29am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:26am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:25am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:20am The next protester (woman, DQ legislator) willingly walks out.
1:16am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
1:13am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
1:12am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:08am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:05 am One protester (woman) is claiming to be ill and fainted.
1:03am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1am The next protester (woman) willingly walks out.
12:58am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
12:57am The next protester (woman) willingly walks out.
12:55am The next protester (woman) willingly walks out.
12:52am. The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
12:50 am One protester (man) is claiming to be ill and fainted. The police appear to not know what to do to remove him. He is finally carried out and removed motionless.
12:44am First protester carried out now by arms and legs.
12:37 am The police are now setting up barricades to carry the protesters out, Guessing once carried out they will get each protester's i.d. information to possibility charge them with a crime (unauthorized public assembly of 30 people or more) at a later date.
12:32am The police and Legislative Council security has withdrawn.
The protesters remain.
12:13am Police now moving in to arrest all the protesters who are sitting or laying down with locked arms. Numbering about 50 protesters with 50 media. Many of them have been arrested multiple times before for protesting and are hardly afraid of another arrest or the police. The oldest protester is 95 year's old. @ Legislative Council.

Occupy Central founder Benny Tai pointed out that if 10,000 people come out and lay siege to the Legislative Council building or Government Headquarters, there won't be enough police manpower to remove or arrest them. So how do we get 10,000 people to come and lie on the ground for two days?

- Let's see: If you pay them $1,000 each per day, then the total cost for two days of work is $1,000 x 10,000 x 2 = $20,000,000. This is a drop in the bucket for Jimmy Lai given that his company is losing hundreds of millions a year already.

- On this Wednesday night, hundreds of thousands of people rushed off from work and hurried over to Happy Valley and the Off-Course Betting Branches to follow the Hong Kong Jockey Club horse races.

- (HKG Pao) Here a group of protestors leave linking arms. They chanted: "Tonight they arrest 10 persons. Tomorrow 100 persons will come."

Well, what has been happening is that 100 persons came around tonight. Nothing much happened. Tomorrow only 10 persons show up.

- The yet-to-be-finalized talk is that the pan-democrats will raise the ante by calling for a hunger strike. At first, the participants will be the disqualified legislative councilors and the second-tier pan-democrats, because the frontline pan-democrats have to be energized to fight inside the Legislative Council.

- (SCMP) Lesson for Hong Kong’s politicians: this is how you do a hunger strike. By Yonden Lhatoo. August 11, 2016.

We have hunger strikes here in Hong Kong too, but they’re feeble publicity attempts by veteran and budding politicians who are prone to separation anxiety when they’re kept away from food for too long.

Our so-called hunger strikes can be farcical exercises in futility, with the concept of marathon fasting morphing conveniently into a relay system, in which participants working in shifts pass on the starving baton to reinforcements while they take a break to tank up.

Remember student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung’s “indefinite hunger strike” during the Occupy protests of 2014? It lasted all of four days, and he gave up citing “strong doctor’s advice” and “extreme physical discomfort”. Government officials sat it out, smug in the knowledge that it would never get to the stage where they would be forced to the negotiating table.

Democratic Party heavyweight Albert Ho Chun-yan, no pun intended, also staged an “indefinite hunger strike” for universal suffrage in 2014. It lasted all of 100 hours as a bout of “diarrhoea” combined with a “mild headache” prompted him to throw in the towel and pick up a plate.

This is not an attack on the heroes of the pan-democratic camp. At least they try to go hungry in the name of democracy on occasion. Their pro-establishment rivals should try it, too – for health reasons if not for politics. The amount of fasting involved in the cases of Wong and Ho was probably good for them in terms of detoxification.

My Muslim friends do it all the time as part of their faith. They tell me it rejuvenates your body and helps you think clearly.

- (Silent Majority HK) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 13, 2017.

The decisive moment for the amendment of Legco rules of procedure has arrived. The pan-democrats have erected large numbers of tents outside the Legislative Council. They are calling upon their supporters to join their resistance effort. They said that they will stay until Christmas.

The first time that an idea is introduced, it is a "new idea." When it is used again, it is a "old idea." After it is used a few more times, it is a "worn-out idea."

The same people using the same method in the same place to oppose the same enemy.

Three years ago, the number of tents and persons were "countable." Three years later today, the numbers are countable. The reason is simple: When a confidence man uses the method in the same place to run the same confidence game, can there still be suckers around?

According to Sing Tao Daily, there were several dozen citizens present when the assembly began. By midnight, there were over one hundred persons present. There were about ten tents which were erected by the political parties.

You might say that Sing Tao Daily intentionally understated the numbers!

So I checked the Yellow Ribbon media. Oddly enough, Apple Daily and Citizen News did not report on the numbers at all. They only said "about 20 tents stayed to hold fort" and "50 persons were removed during the clearance." HK01 said: "More than 20 tents remained outside the Legislative Council, with more than 100 persons gathered now."

When I taught journalism, I would always ask when I see such homework reports: About 10? So was that 8, or 9 or 10? And twenty-something? Was it 21 or 29? News reporting should be accurate. This is not having to count to 2,900 or 29,000. What can't you count 100-something accurately?

10 or 20 tents. 100-odd persons. How come no reporter cared to count accurately? Three years ago, "10,000 persons Occupied Central" was a landmark. Three years later today, "20 persons Occupied Central" should be the ending of the story. This is a very important number, and it is surely countable. Why don't the reporters give us an accurate count and tell the public. Please!

- (Silent Majority HK)

The numbers are telling us that filibustering is unpopular. The pan-democrats had called on their supporters to "lay siege to the Legislative Council. What were the results? A couple of days ago, the tent city consisted of about 10 tents, most of which were unoccupied. Last night the peak attendance at the "siege" of the Legislative Council was just over 100, most of them being the regular troublemakers. After a couple of hours, they lost interest and went home.

The pan-democrats joined hands with the independence/self-determination to oppose the amending of the Legco rules of procedures. But they looked on the edge of defeat even as they got started. The reason is simple: filibustering is unpopular with the people. Denial merely makes the defeat look ever uglier. Eddie Chu Hoi Dick has run out of dirty tricks, so he doesn't look so smug now. Hui Chi-fung tried attacking the security guards who are doing their jobs. Public opinion was firmly against him.

Everybody knows that amending the Legco rule of procedures is intended to stop filibustering. The Legislative Council needs to hold regular meetings, construction workers need to have work, and livelihood and economic packages need to be passed on a timely basis. The only way to do this is to change the Legco rules of procedure. The pan-democrats were addicted to filibustering. If the rules are unchanged, they won't be able to restrain themselves from filibustering. The people of Hong Kong can see this clearly. Even the pan-democrats' supporters can see it. That is why there are so few protestors apart from their pan-democratic legislators and their aides.

- It is not true that they are shopping the same old worn-out ideas. This time they have mobilized the "scholars."

Objection to amending the Legislative Council’s Rules of Procedure to weaken its deliberation and oversight powers ( Petition for the academics)

In recent days, pro-establishment legislators proposed to amend the Legislative Council’s Rules of Procedure, at a time when the democrats had lost their veto powers as a result of the oath-taking controversy. We object to the amendment proposals because once such amendments are passed, they stand to gravely weaken the Council’s power to monitor the government, already minuscule as they are, and allow the all-powerful executive authorities to escape legislative oversight even further, rendering a much increased chance of Hong Kong heading towards an authoritarian system.
Reasons for the above understanding are as follows:

First, the pro-establishment camp claims that the purpose of amending the Rules of Procedure is to deter filibuster. But detailed examination of their proposals shows that some of the suggested amendments have actually nothing to do with filibustering, for example, the proposal to raise the quorum from 20 to 35 for investigations of public officers. The democratic camp has in the past presented three petitions for investigating public officials, including the entertainment expenses and overseas visits of Mr. Tong Hin-ming Timothy when he was Commissioner of the ICAC, delays and cost overruns of the express train project, and the payment deal between Mr. Leung Chun-ying and UGL. All the petition proceedings took about five minutes and neither necessitated nor constituted filibustering. Raising the requested number of petitioners to 35 before petitions can be presented is tantamount to dictating a pro-establishment camp endorsement before petitions can be referred to select committees. This would mean the similar, investigative committees would have little chance of being set up in future. The Legislative Council will have even greater difficulty in initiating investigations into suspected dereliction of duty by officials while costs to officials and public officers for abuse will be even less.

In addition, the pro-establishment camp proposes lowering the quorum for the Committee stage of the whole Council on a bill from 35 to 20. Attending Legislative Council meetings to deliberate on bills is legislators’ duty. The pro-establishment camp’s suggestion to lower the quorum rather than encouraging legislators to fulfil their duty of attending Council meetings is putting the cart before the horse and lowering its own standards. The suggestion is also in contravention of Article 75 of the Basic Law which stipulates that “[t]he quorum for the meeting of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be not less than one half of all its members.”

Furthermore, the pro-establishment camp proposes a change on motions to adjourn debate or of proceedings of a committee of the whole Council. When the Chairman is of the opinion that the moving of the adjournment of proceedings is an abuse of procedure, he or she may decide not to propose the question or to put the question forthwith without debate. The passage of this revision will make legislature’s members unable to compel the withdrawal of unreasonable or draconian bills. The Chairman will be able to order a vote on a draconian bill and substantially weaken legislators’ capacity to reduce administrative abuse and mistakes.

When legislators lose the power to deliberate and the Legislative Council cannot rely on legislative procedures and powers to exert pressure and scrutinize the government, costs to the government for poor governance and pushing poor legislation will be much diminished and the government will not need to respond to the legislature or to public opinion.
If the pro-establishment camp succeeds in amending the Rules of Procedure, when the government decides to push through draconian legislation that breaches public interests and human rights, including legislation of Article 23, the Legislative Council will have greater difficulty in deterring such moves through legislative scrutiny and mobilizing for public support. The government will be more likely to become the representative of a dictatorial regime not subject to any checks to its powers, and all Hong Kong people will suffer.

* Scholars' Alliance for Academic Freedom
* CHAN Ka Lok, Kenneth (HKBU, Associate Professor)
* CHAN, Stephen C.K. (Lingnan U, Professor)
* CHAN Sze Chi (HKBU, Senior Lecturer)
* CHAN Yin Ha (CUHK, Senior Lecturer)
* CHEUNG, Chor Yung (CityU, Senior Teaching Fellow)
* CHOI Po King (CUHK, Adjunct Associate Professor)
* CHONG Yiu Kwong (EdUHK, Senior Lecturer)
* CHOW Po Chung (CUHK, Associate Professor)
* FU King-wa (HKU, Associate Professor)
* FUNG Wai-wah (Senior Lecturer, CityU of Hong Kong)
* HO Chi Kwan (Caritas Higher Institute of Education, Research Professor)
* HUI Hon Wing (EdUHK, Lecturer)
* KWOK, Rowena (HKU, former Assistant Professor)
* KUAN Hsin Ki (CUHK, Emeritus Professor)
* KUNG Lap Yan (CUHK, Associate Professor)
* LEUNG Chi Yuen (PolyU, Teaching Fellow)
* LEUNG Yan Wing (EdUHK) , Adjunt Associate Professor
* LEUNG, Yuk-ming Lisa (Lingnan U, Associate Professor)
* LI Chin Wa (EdUHK, Senior Lecturer)
* LUK Kit Ling (HKCC, PolyU, Lecturer)
* MA, Ngok (CUHK, Associate Professor)
* NGO Hang Yue (CUHK, Professor)
* POON Eric (CUHK, Associate Professor of Practice)
* SING Ming, Dixon (HKUST, Associate Professor)
* SO, Alvin (HKUST, Chair Professor)
* TO Yiu Ming (HKBU, Assistant Professor, retired)
* WONG Wai Kwok, Benson (HKBU, Assistant Professor)
* WONG Chi Wai, Paul (CC City U, Lecturer)
* YAU, Joe C.K. (HKBU, Lecturer)

(SCMP) Our scholars need a lesson in honesty. By Alex Lo. December 12, 2017.

A group of more than 25 university lecturers have formed an alliance and declared themselves against rewriting the rule book of the Legislative Council – while exploiting the prestige of their academic titles.

As citizens, they have every right to express an opinion for or against the overhaul, which aims to curb the ability of the opposition to launch filibustering and other delaying tactics in Legco. But why do they think their individual university employment titles and collective identity as professional academics matter – unless, that is, to create a false and elitist impression that they have special insights and knowledge and we don’t?

“We, the undersigned scholars, …” they wrote, then listed their university titles.

Chinese traditionally have a special respect for scholars. In the contemporary world, this means someone with a PhD and/or employed at a university with a professorial title. Here, I include assistant and associate professors, and honorary lecturers on temporary contracts. We still seem to assume such people possess special knowledge and insights. And they do, but only in their particular scientific and literary fields.

Some of them no doubt think they are special. But if you think about it, are they really any more insightful than a well-informed taxi driver who spends all day listening to the radio and hourly news in his car? Professional scholars are rarely superior when it comes to matters that concern ordinary citizens. The fact that many spend their entire lives in an academic setting should give you pause.

The online statement published by the group of academics essentially repeats the same arguments against rewriting the Legco rules and procedures that have already been voiced by the opposition. In fact, if you look up those names, some of them are card-carrying party members of the opposition and/or long-time supporters. Why not just be honest and declare yourselves writing as or for the opposition?

The problem with this battle is that the government-friendly lawmakers, for once, have managed to present a simple and coherent message, which is that for years, the opposition is opposing for its own sake and holding up important legislative business.

The opposition, however, has made a complete mess of it; worse, it reinforces the pro-government message by creating more disruptions and chaos in Legco to try to stall the rule overhaul.

But it’s late in the day and they have already lost the battle.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong pan-dems now reap what they have sown. By Alex Lo. December 14, 2017.

When opposition lawmakers called for an Occupy-like overnight rally against rewriting the rule book in the legislature, only a handful of supporters showed up.

Legislative Council security and police cleared the area in no time. So much for what they have called “a struggle to the death”.

More humiliating for the lawmakers is that instead of sympathy, they were mercilessly mocked – by localists.

Wong Yuk-man, former lawmaker and “father of Legco filibustering”, might be expected to support the pan-dems’ efforts against curbing filibustering and other delay tactics in Legco. Instead Wong spent no fewer than three segments on his online radio show ridiculing and shouting obscenities at them.

Ernie Chow Shue-fung, the former Chinese University student union president who acquired citywide notoriety on YouTube for shouting racial slurs at fellow mainland students, said the pan-dems had no credibility among street protesters. Chow, who also has his own radio show, labelled the pan-dems “Legco self-castrators and sinners of a thousand epochs”.

Lewis Loud, the English pseudonym of a localist who is sometimes called the pen of the radical movement because of his literary flair, took a more regretful tone.

“We came out for you during the Occupy protests (in 2014) … confronted the government over its development plans in the Northeastern New Territories … fought police to protect hawkers (during the 2016 Mong Kok riot),” he wrote on Facebook. “You criticised our actions as too extreme … Many of us were put on trial and sent to jail, but we barely had any legal assistance … You insist on calling your own people ‘prisoners of conscience’, yet you never say a word about those of us who have been jailed.”

You can hardly blame the trio for their animosity. The last time the Legco rule book was rewritten in 2011, the pan-dems fully supported it. The major change was to extend the power of the Legco president to eject members from the chamber for misbehaviour to chairmen of Legco committees.

It was overwhelmingly voted in by the Civic Party’s Tanya Chan, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, Alan Leong Kah-kit and Ronny Tong Ka-wah, and Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan, Fred Li Wah-ming, James To Kun-sun, Emily Lau Wai-hing, Lee Wing-tat and Kam Nai-wai.

That rule change clearly aimed to shut up Wong and his filibustering partners Albert Chan Wai-yip and “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung.

Now the pan-dems are reaping what they have sown from radical localists.

- The stated goal is to mobilize the general population to oppose this grave threat to freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. However, public opinion polling suggests that the general population actually wants to see an end to the shenanigans at the Legislative Council. So in order to make the general population become more aware, the pan-democratic legislators have provided more ammunition to the other side:

- (Hong Kong Free Press) December 15, 2017.

A pro-democracy lawmaker has been kicked out of the Legislative Council chamber as the battle over the controversial changes to the legislature’s house rules nears its end.

Before the meeting started on Friday, pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu attempted to charge into the president’s seat, but he was stopped by security guards who backed him against the wall.

Following that, Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui put a rape alarm into his drawer, allowing it to buzz. LegCo President Andrew Leung asked him to hand over the key of his drawer, but he refused. Hui then left the chamber, and Leung banned him from the chamber for the day over  “serious misconduct.” The device was removed by guards using a backup key.

The incident came after a similar one on Thursday night, when lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun took out a rape alarm, saying that he hoped to give a “final warning” to Hong Kong people. He said the current battle to strip lawmakers of their power was akin to the 1933 Enabling Act of Germany, which gave Adolf Hitler his dictatorial power. The Communist and Social Democrat members of the German legislature were not able to vote after the infamous Reichstag fire. “We have to wake people up,” he said, as pro-democracy members passed the alarm around.

Guards tried to block lawmakers Ray Chan and Ted Hui from passing it. The meeting was suspended for ten minutes when lawmaker Claudia Mo fell to the ground after she clashed with guards.

- (Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017. At 1:08pm, legislator Eddie Chu raised another procedural question. Then he brought out a banner with the words "Don't want to be the People's Congress" and chanted slogans. Next he brought out a rape alarm and set it off. After multiple warnings failed, chairperson Starry Lee banned Chu. Legislators Shiu Ka-chun, Cheung Chiu-hung and Claudia Mo stood by Chu who had chained himself to his seat. The security guards used cutters to cut off the chain and carried Chu out.

- (Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017. Previously, pro-democracy legislator Chan Chi-chuen had said that the pro-establishment camp has dog eyes. He corrected himself today and said that the comment was an insult to dogs. Instead, he said that the pro-establishment camp uses their "butt holes" to see. The pro-establishment camp ignored the insult and refused to waste any time to object.

Chan Chi-chuen was the last pro-democracy legislator to speak. Afterwards, it was the turn of pro-establishment legislator Martin Liao to speak. While Liao spoke, Chan stood and hollered the whole time. Chairperson Andrew Leung warned Chan to no avail. Leung ordered Chan removed. The security guards approached and found that Chan had chained himself to his seat. So the security guards used cutters to cut the chain and then carried Chan out.

- Video (Speakout HK via YouTube) Claudia Mo fell down to the ground and other pan-democratic legislators demanded that the session be immediately suspended to summon an ambulance to take her the hospital. Shortly afterwards she bounced back up from the ground and immediately asked for a quorum count.

- James To, Roy Kwong and Leung Yiu-chung were tossed out together. Why these three? They were elected in the District Council (Second) Functional Constituency by voters all over Hong Kong, with To getting 243,930 votes, Kwong getting 491,667 votes and Leung getting 303,457 votes. They came out and told the press that the wishes of 1,039,024 (=243,930 + 491,667 + 303,457) voters had just been disrespected.

- 1,039,024 voters voted for To, Kwong and Leung last year. Last night, 100 or so people showed up to demonstrate outside the Legislative Council. Please reflect on how your actions over the past year has alienated your voter base.

- All of these incidents are telegenic and therefore replayed endlessly on the television news programs and social media. This is definitely going to move the public even more to the other side.

- (SCMP) The opposition has truly lost the plot. By Alex Lo. December 16, 2017.

Actions speak louder than words. That’s why the antics of opposition lawmakers causing chaos and disruptions in the legislature have overshadowed the arguments they have made against rewriting the rule book to curb filibustering and other delaying tactics as legitimate legislative methods.

In so doing, they are confirming the pro-government bloc’s argument that they have nothing constructive to offer than being disruptive for its own sake, so curtailing their ability to interrupt legislative business is perfectly reasonable.

As if to prove this point, the first thing Democrat Ted Hui Chi-fung did yesterday in the legislative chamber was to set off an ear-splitting alarm. He then confronted security staff and refused to hand over the device.

At the same time, for no apparent reason and without provocation, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, an independent localist lawmaker, rushed at the Legco president before being stopped by security. Last month, while trying to stop another meeting on the rule book overhaul, Chu even tried to introduce a motion to kick out members of the press and public from the chamber, just to stall and waste time!

Is there anything that’s more against the democratic principle than keeping away citizens and journalists? Afterwards, Chu’s allies explained that they would have all voted against the motion, even Chu himself! But surely the first rule of political theatre is that symbolism and sending the right message matter. It’s not just what you do but how you do it.

But Chu’s actions are by no means the worst. On this week’s 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, Chan Chi-chuen of radical People Power suddenly tried to introduce a motion to debate the historical tragedy and Japan’s failure to properly apologise for it. It was not that he had suddenly become patriotic. He made no bone that it was all an attempt to delay debating the Legco rule book change.

Sometimes the ends justify the means, especially if you are trying to win. But in this battle, the opposition has already lost. Not only do the pro-government loyalists have the voting numbers to succeed in rewriting the rule book, they also have solid public support.

The opposition should have taken the moral high ground and sent a clear message that it’s fighting for a democratic principle. But merely to delay the inevitable, it has shown there is no line it won’t cross.

It has truly lost the plot.

- (Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017.

Five reasons why the pan-democrats lost this one:

(1) Six pan-democratic legislators were disqualified earlier. This means that the pan-democrats did not have the numbers to veto the proposal within the directly elected geographical constituency. The implication here is that the pan-democrats must win all three geographical constituency seats in the Legco by-election in March 2018 in order to take back veto power.

(2) The pro-establishment camp was united. They canceled all overseas trips and local activities. They stayed at the Legislative Council in case of quorum calls. They voluntarily refrained from speaking and they ignored insults and provocations from the pan-democrats. Legco chairman Andrew Leung also stood up.

(3) At first the government insisted on advancing a bill about the banking industry, which was used by the pan-democrats to stall for time. More than 10 hours of were wasted. The government withdrew that and most other proposals and cleared out the Legco agenda for this proposal. So there was nothing else that the pan-democrats could filibuster with.

(4) The pan-democrats had packaged the amendments as "self-castration," "authoritarianism" and "oppression" that are paving the way for Article 23 legislators. But most citizens appear to be genuinely tired of the filibustering. The CUHK public opinion poll showed that more than 50% oppose filibustering with only 20%-30% supporting it. By the time that the pan-democrats tried to get scholars and supporters to come out for them, it was too late. In the absence of widespread public support, the "siege" of the Legislative Council melted away silently.

(5) The pan-democratic camp is divided into the traditional pan-democrats and the localist/independence/self-determination group. The traditional pan-democrats were on their own, because the localists do not seem to think that this concerns them. Most of the participants in the demonstrations outside the Legislative Council building were middle-aged and senior citizens, with very few young people or "masked men."

- Even before the Legco vote took place, the pan-democrats have moved on to the next great battle for Freedom and Democracy in Hong Kong. The Civil Human Rights Front announced that they plan to hold a Defend Hong Kong demonstration march on New Year's Day. Last year, they stated a figure of 50,000 to the police in their application for a letter of no-objection. This year, they stated a figure of 2,000 to the police.

Of course, this has never been about any issues or attendance figures. It has always been about raising money. So please remember to go down, open your wallets and give generously! Freedom and Democracy in Hong Kong are counting on you!

- (Silent Majority HK) January 11, 2018.

At the first meeting of the Legislative Council after the Xmas/New Year break, the pan-democrats went through their usual routine under the newly passed rules of procedure.

First, pan-democrats Charles Mok, Claudia Mo, Alvin Yeung and Wu Chi-wai handed in a petition to turn the Co-location Proposal to the Internal Affairs Committee for "in-depth discussion." This would have stalled the progress of the proposal. Only 21 pan-democrats/pro-independence/pro-self-determination stood up support this petition. So it was rejected because it did not reach the newly established threshold of 35.

Next, the pan-democrats went for the quorum count. During the discussion over the budget proposal, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick asked for quorum. Legco president Andrew Leung rejected his request. Under the new rules of procedure, only 20 legislators are required to be present instead of 35. So the $8.3 billion additional budget request was passed.

Afterwards the pan-democrats lined up to meet to press and shouted slogans to tell how terrible the rules of procedure. They failed to elicit any public reaction.

- Could it be that the public approves of the amendment of the rules of procedure?

(SCMP) December 13, 2017.

Nine Hong Kong democracy activists have been banned from the race to elect 36 deputies to China’s National People’s Congress.

The move is in line with an unprecedented new rule that says candidates aspiring to represent the city in the country’s legislature must swear to uphold the Chinese constitution and the “one country, two systems” principle under which Hong Kong is governed.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, pro-independence activist Yeung Ke-cheong and seven supporters of Hong Kong’s Occupy democracy protests of 2014 had their candidacies invalidated. A 10th candidate was disqualified because he did not hand in any nomination forms.

The decisions were made on Wednesday morning by the 19-member presidium that oversees the poll, which will be held on Tuesday next week. The body is chaired by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and its members include two of her predecessors, Leung Chun-ying and Tung Chee-hwa.

In total, 49 candidates will run for the 36 seats. They include two pro-democracy figures, Roger Wong Hoi-fung and Henry Lam, who in March joined Hong Kong’s pan-democratic camp in nominating John Tsang Chun-wah and Woo Kwok-hing to contest Carrie Lam in the city’s leadership poll.

In the NPC poll five years ago, two pan-democrats, Paul Zimmerman and Fong King-lok, were allowed to run but they both failed to get elected.

In March, the national legislature endorsed new rules for the election of Hong Kong and Macau deputies, making it mandatory for candidates to sign a declaration that they would uphold the Chinese constitution and Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law.

Among the nine activists who had their candidacies invalidated, Kwok was the only one who refused to sign the declaration.

Asked why Yeung and the seven Occupy supporters were not allowed to run, the presidium’s spokesman, Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen, said the ruling was made according to recommendations by the NPC Standing Committee.

“In accordance with the regulations, authorities related to the Standing Committee collected material on some aspirants’ public remarks and acts. They were widely reported by the media and contravened the content of the declaration,” Lau said, declining to disclose details.

Last month Lau warned that candidates who failed to make their declarations “genuinely” would be disqualified.

Kwok said the disqualifications demonstrated the “ridiculousness and falseness” of the election, which he called “just a show”.

“Why do they have to set so many bars to screen candidates? It doesn’t help the integration between the mainland and Hong Kong,” he said.

A panel of 1,989 Hong Kong voters, including about 300 pan-democrats, will choose the 36 deputies by block vote on December 19.

Among the 49 candidates, 26 are seeking re-election, while 23 are currently not NPC deputies.

The 23 include lawyer and opponent of the 2014 Occupy movement Maggie Chan Man-ki, former constitutional and mainland affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, and Tam Yiu-chung, a former chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the city’s largest pro-establishment political party. Tam is tipped to replace the retiring Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai as the sole local delegate to the NPC Standing Committee.

The case of Kwok Ka-ki

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 28, 2017.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki has said he will run for the National People’s Congress (NPC) to combat its “unreasonable” decisions on Hong Kong, and to promote “genuine freedom and democracy” in China in accordance with the ideals of late Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Kwok is the only major pro-democracy figure to run. But he will not sign a required form declaring that he upholds the Chinese Constitution, and admitted that he will likely be disqualified from running.

He said he hopes to scrap Beijing’s 2014 decision to impose a restrictive framework on Hong Kong’s chief executive elections and invalidate its five interpretations of the city’s Basic Law. He also said he hoped to bring the Charter ’08 manifesto into China’s top legislature – Liu was jailed for 11 years for co-writing the pro-democracy document.

He said he has no issues with other items on the declaration form – such as upholding the Basic Law and pledging allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – but said the Chinese Constitution should be amended according to Charter ’08.

He quoted the charter as saying: “… amend the Constitution, deleting clauses in the current Constitution that are not in conformity with the principle that sovereignty resides in the people, so that the Constitution can truly become a document that guarantees human rights and allows for the exercise of public power, and become the enforceable supreme law that no individual, group, or party can violate, establishing the foundation of the legal authority for democratizing China.”

He said he expected that he will be disqualified from running: “It is very difficult for me to uphold a Constitution that cannot protect the democracy and freedom of Hongkongers and all Chinese people.”

“Disqualification is now the norm… But if we give up opportunities, I am afraid in the future we won’t be able to run for anything.”

- (SCMP) December 13, 2017. Kwok said the disqualifications demonstrated the “ridiculousness and falseness” of the election, which he called “just a show”.

- Indeed, Kwok's announced candidacy coupled with the failure to sign the declaration form is "just a show." He got plenty of media coverage for this non-event.

The Case of Yeung Kecheong

(#519) May 6, 2016.

The Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong was founded by former League of Social Democrats member Yeung Kecheong. Today at 6pm at the party press conference, Yeung announced that there are many options for self-determination/autonomy, including:

(1) Hong Kong becomes an independent nation

(2) Hong Kong joins the Republic of China in Taiwan as a county/city

(3) Hong Kong becomes a territory of the United States of America, either as a state (such as Hawaii or Alaska), or an unincorporated organized territory (such as Guam, Northern Marianna Islands, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands), or an unincorporated unorganized territory (such as American Samoa).

(4) Hong Kong forms a federation with the Guangdong and Guangi provinces of China.

All these options will still allow Hong Kong to elect its own leader by universal suffrage. Yeung admitted that he has not discussed these options with the relevant authorities in Taiwan, the United States or Guangdong/Guangxi.

Yeung Kecheong said that when National People's Congress Standing Committee chairman Zhang Dejiang visits Hong Kong next week, he will try to get close to Zhang and express these demands. Yeung said that he was prepared to bear responsibility for his actions. He said that the Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong will participate in the Legislative Council elections in September.

The Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong claims to have several dozen members, and they adhere to "peace and rationality," and "localism without valiant force."

(SCMP) July 31, 2016.

Pro-democracy localist candidate Yeung Ke-cheong was disqualified from running in Hong Kong’s upcoming Legislative Council elections after he did not pledge to uphold the city’s mini-constitution.

“I was disqualified as I deliberately stated that I would not uphold the Basic Law and thus did not sign the relevant statement,” Yeung wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.

Section 40(1)(b) of the ordinance states that a person’s candidacy will not be validated unless his nomination form includes a declaration that he will uphold the Basic Law and pledges allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Instead, Yeung submitted to the watchdog a separate statement asserting that the city’s mini-constitution no longer applied to Hong Kong’s current situation and thus it would be difficult for him to sincerely uphold it.

“I fully understand such a move does not comply with the requirement laid out by section 40 of the relevant ordinance and could ban me from running,” Yeung wrote in the statement he submitted to the commission. “But I think the relevant legal clauses have violated basic human rights and freedom of speech and unreasonably limit my right to run. On this basis I will launch a judicial review.”

(Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong) March 4, 2017. The Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong was unable to achieve quorum for its annual meeting. Therefore it will cease all activity effectively immediately.

The case of the seven Gao-wu (Shopping) Revolutionaries

(Wen Wei Po) (Ta Kung Pao) December 11, 2017.

Gao-wu (Shopping) Revolutionaries Chin Po-fun, Ku Po-ching, Wu Kin-wah, Yip Hing-cheung, Cheung Tak-wing, Yuen Yuet-hing and Ho Suk-yu declared their candidacy for the Hong Kong National People's Congress delegation. They signed a declaration that they support the Chinese constitution and the Hong Kong Basic Law, that they support One Country Two Systems, that they pledge loyalty to the People's Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and that they have not received any form of direct or indirect aid from foreign organizations or individuals for the election.

These are clearly false statements given their previous support for Hong Kong independence and opposition to the Chinese Communist Party, the Central Government and the Hong Kong government.

In September this year, Ta Kung Po reported that Chin Po-fun led other Shopping Revolutionaries to Chinese University of Hong Kong to hold up a red placard with the words "Hong Kong independence" to show passersby. Another Revolutionary held up a Lion-Dragon flag for Hong Kong independence.

The Ta Kung Pao reporter called up Chin Po-fun and asked her why she violated the Constitution/Basic Law by calling for Hong Kong independence. Chin said: "I am busy ... I am in the street ... I can't hear you clearly." Then she hung up. Does she support Hong Kong independence? The closest she got to an answer was: "The people of Hong Kong don't have any guns. What is there to talk about independence then?"

The Ta Kung Pao reporter went down to the home ground of Sai Yeung Choi Street South to speak to these Shopping Revolutionaries.

Ho Suk-yu explained her view of Hong Kong independence: "Daddy and mommy want to oppress their son who wants to be independence. We can't stop them." "Why do young people talk about 'Hong Kong independence' all the time? Because they feel that their parents are too oppressive."

What about Chin Po-fun and others pushing for "Hong Kong independence" at the Chinese University of Hong Kong? Ku Po-ching, Wu Kin-wah and Yip Cheung-hing said: "Someone sneaked in. We don't know those people" and "We can't control what other people do."

How can they support the Constitution while opposing the Communist Party? Wu Kin-wah said: "In the Constitution, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is mentioned only in the foreword, not in article something or the other within the main text. If you think that I violated the Constitution, you should tell me which article it was. It can't be about the foreword. You are talking about the table of contents? Can there be a crime based upon the table of contents?"

Yip Hing-cheung said: "We support the People's Republic of China. This is a republic for the people of China. It is a republic for all of the people. It is not a People's Republic of Communist Party China. If that were the case, I have no comments. If it is about supporting the Communist Party, I have no comments.

In July this year, Chin Po-fun talked about stopping the Co-location at West Kowloon West Station. She called for resistance against the governments of China and Hong Kong: "The people of China and the people of Hong Kong rise up together to resist."

The Democracy Street Mong Kok Gao-wu Group Facebook has also published numerous pro-independence, anti-Communist and anti-mainland posts. For example, "China is an evil ghoul country," China is a county of swindlers," "China only knows how to persecute its citizens" and "being born a mainlander means having no freedom."

According to legal professionals, these seven persons made false statements when they signed their declarations.

Background: #639 A Tale of Two Cities

(Oriental Daily) November 1, 2017.

Five individuals are on trial today. The five face one count of unlawful assembly each. In addition, four of them face one count of common assault each. The five are transportation worker Giok Kheng (53), retiree Tong Fat-cheung (72), housewife Lam Kam-sheung (68), retiree Lau pit-chuen (71) and housewife Kwong Kwai-sim (67).

Today Nathan Law testified in court. He said that he was returning from Taiwan by airplane and he had arranged to speak to reporters about his activities in Taiwan.

As soon as he stepped into the lobby, he was surrounded by 20 to 30 persons from "patriotic organizations." These people were excited and cursed him out as "Chinese traitor", "running dot", "traitor", "get out of Hong Kong." It was chaotic. Someone grabbed his collar. He was punched and kicked. In addition, someone hit him with placards and poured identified liquid on him such that his eyeglasses fell off. He was supposed to be escorted by security guards to meet with the press. But the plainclothes police officers had to take him down the stairs to leave.

Law went to the hospital and confirmed that he had bruises and scratch marks on his neck, chest and arms. Law believed that these people caused the injury. The bruises on the inside of his thighs were believed to have been caused when he slid down the stairs.

At the police line-up, Law was able to identified three male defendants.

(Oriental Daily) November 1, 2017.

Under cross-examination, Nathan Law said that he had encountered demonstrators when he left Hong Kong for Taiwan. There was no physical clash, but he filed a police report. He believed that the police arranged plainclothes officers to protect him when he came back. Law said that Hong Kong International Airport is an air traffic hub, and should be the safest place in the world. Law said that he trusted that the police can provide personal safety for me.

The defense questioned if Law deliberately went among the demonstrators and caused things to spin out of control. Law disagreed. He said that the demonstration was fluid, and the demonstrators can surround him no matter where he was. He said that he "should not have been treated this way." Like all other passengers, his personal safety should be guaranteed no matter which exit he took.

Law said that he felt pain in his lower legl, probably after being kicked. He agreed that the medical examination did not reveal this. He said that he was kicked and punched, but he was unsure who did it and he could not tell if it was intentional. As Law counted his injuries, a spectator commented: "Just say yes." The magistrate expelled this person from the courtroom for interfering with the testimony of the witness.

(Oriental Daily) November 2, 2017.

Under cross-examination, the defense asked Nathan Law whether he "cursed back" or "hit back" at the demonstrators. Law said that he did neither. He only told the demonstrators: "I will not let my beliefs recede on account of this."

Defendant #4 Lau pit-chuen did not have legal representation. He had gone to the airport because he learned from television about what Nathan Law was doing in Taiwan. "I wanted to ask why you did it. If you weren't a legislator, I wouldn't mind."

Lau said that he was being held around the neck by security guards and did not know that Law was attacked. He questioned whether Law fantasized being attacked. He denounced Law was a untrustworthy witness.

Senior Superintendant Fu Chung-wai testified that he arranged for defendant #4 Lau pit-chuen to come down to the police station for a line-up. Lau refused to cooperate, so Fu arranged for a one-to-one encounter between Lau Pit-chuen and Nathan Law without obtaining Lau's permission. When Lau saw Law, he shouted "Chinese traitor!" Law pointed at Lau and said: "I recognize him. I recognize him." Lau said that he refused to participate in the police line-up because: "He is a Hong Kong independence activist. It is shameful. I have no reason to let him identify me." Lau said that Law is trying to set him  up.

Before the court session began, the prosecutor said that Nathan Law complained that defendants #2 and #4 and a member of the public cursed out Nathan Law yesterday. The magistrate said that it was important that the defendants not have contact with prosecution witnesses. He warned the defendants not to have any more contact with prosecution witnesses.

During the hearing, the prosecutor indicated that videos will show defendant #3 Lam Kam-shueng and defendant #5 Kwong Kwai-sim poured liquid on and slapped Nathan Law. The magistrate asked the defense lawyers just what they will argue about. At first, the lawyers refused to say. This caused the magistrate to say that the defense lawyers are wasting the court's time. Besides it would help their clients if the magistrate was told about the points of debate and can focus on them.

Finally the defense lawyers said that they had originally intended to argue whether their clients intend to commit crime. But now that they saw the paucity of evidence against their clients, they intend to argue whether their clients had been properly identified.

The defense played the news videos. Defendant #3 was clearly seen to pour liquid on Nathan Law, while defendant #5 hit Law's head with a cardboard sign.

The magistrate found that the evidence exists for the charges against defendants #1, #2 and #4. He will decide tomorrow about defendants #3 and #5.

(HKG Pao) November 2, 2017.

72-year-old Tong Fat-cheung chose not to be represented by a lawyer. With the help of the magistrate, Tong cross-examined Nathan Law. Tong said that there wasn't any tussling, punching, kicking or tossing unidentified liquid. He accused Law of being an unethical witness. Tong admitted that he shouted slogans such as "Chinese traitor" and "running dog." He said excitedly: "I am angry. I am very angry right now!" and "God sent me to clash with him!"

(Oriental Daily) November 3, 2017.

Today, the magistrate said that the evidence exists for all five defendants. Summation then took place. A verdict will be rendered on December 6.

Defendant #1 Giok Khengtestified for himself. He said that he went to the airport by himself, because he wanted to ask Legislative Councilor Nathan Law why he went to Taiwan to promote Hong Kong independence. "He was elected from 7 million Hong Kong citizens. How can he sell out the citizens?" He denied that he knows the other defendants. He said that he does not know Nathan Law either. He said: "How would I know any Hong Kong independence activist?" Ko admitted that he went into the crowd of demonstrators. Three times, he pulled at Nathan Law's collar with "normal strength." Law did not resist. Ko said that this showed that Law felt guilty. Ko said that he did not intentionally pull Law.

Before defendant #2 Tang Fat-cheung testified, he took the oath in thickly accented Cantonese. The magistrate was worried that he might not understand what Tang says. The defense lawyer said: "He has a slight accent, but it should be okay once you get used to it." Tang testified that Nathan Law is a troublemaker who worked against the country. He admitted that he wanted to shame Nathan Law. So he pushed his way through the crowd and used one finger to tug at Nathan Law's backpack. During his testimony, Tang cursed Law: "It is the greatest shame in life to be a traitor."

During summation, the defense lawyer said that Nathan Law's testimony was unreliable because even Law said that his memory might be faulty. Defendant #4 Lau Pit-chuen who had no legal representation cried and said that there was no reason for him to be charged with unlawful assembly because he did not know the other defendants. He also said that the screen captures from the scene were selectively edited.

(Oriental Daily) December 6, 2017.

Previously, Giok Kheng, Tong, Lau and Kwong were found guilty of one count of unlawful gathering. Ko, Tong and Kwong were found guilty of one count of common assault.

In their plea, the defense pointed out that Giok Kheng was tall and strong. During the incident, he restrained himself or else "Mr. Law would have suffered serious injuries." Giok had "noble ideas" to preserve the territorial integrity of the People's Republic of China. Giok was upset by Nathan Law meeting with pro-Hong Kong/Taiwan independence proponents and committed the crime.

The defense pointed out that Toang Fat-cheung had a cardiac problem with his left artery being completely blocked already. The defense asked the court to consider sentence on humanitarian grounds. The defense pointed out that Kwong was a first-time offender who should be sentenced leniently.

Defendant Lau Pit-chuen had no legal representation but he said, "I don't need to ask for mercy." He said that Nathan Law is a pro-Hong Kong independence person and that the court will have to face up to the matter of Hong Kong independence. There were some random noise coming from the audio system, such that the session was adjourned to fix the technical problem. During the adjournment, Lau told the prosecutor that "he will be punished by the Heavens for persecuting good people." Tang yelled "Citizens are forced to act because the government won't", "zero tolerance for Hong Kong independence because it is a dead end," and "pro-Hong Kong independence is not a crime but opposing Hong Kong independence is a crime instead."

The magistrate accepted that Nathan Law was a trustworthy witness who did not give consent to be assaulted. He believed that Giok, Tong and Kwong had pulled Law's collar, pulled Law's backpack and hit him with a placard respectively.

With respect to the two female defendants, the prosecutor had only videos as evidence. The magistrate ruled that Lam's hairstyle and glasses were different, and therefore he cannot be sure that Lam was present at the scene. Kwong looked exactly the same now as before, so he ruled that Kwong took part in an unlawful gathering with the three male defendants.

The magistrate said that Hong Kong has rule of law. The four defendants have the freedom to express their views, but they must obey the law and not use violence. The four defendants used violence to assault Nathan Law and caused injuries. Since the four defendants showed no remorse, the magistrate sentenced them to three months in prison each.

Members of the public reacted strongly against the sentence. They yelled "Rule of law is dead," "Dog judge!," "Impossible!" etc. A person claiming to be from the Senior Citizen Journalists Association told them to calm down while saying "The same thing happened to the seven policemen. Two years!"

At first Lau Pit-chuen refused to apply for bail to file an appeal. He said, "I will appeal to the supreme court of the People's Republic of China", "Hong Kong is finished." After 15 minutes, Lau changed his mind because he wanted to go travel with his wife. The magistrate approved his application.

(SCMP) December 6, 2017.

Four pro-establishment supporters convicted of taking part in an illegal protest that saw pro-democracy student activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung being assaulted were jailed for three months on Wednesday.

The magistrate in the case applied the same new sentencing principles that sent Law and his fellow Occupy protesters to jail earlier this year.

Delivery man Giok Kheng, 53, retired nurse Kwong Kwai-sim, 69, retirees Tong Fat-cheung, 72, and Lau Pit-chuen, 71, were among a wider crowd who attacked Law at a protest at Hong Kong International Airport when he returned from a trip to Taiwan on January 8 this year.

They were found guilty of taking part in an unlawful assembly. Giok, Tong and Kwong were also each found guilty of one count of common assault on Law.

West Kowloon Court heard at least three of them attended the assembly because they wanted to protect the unity of China, unhappy that Law, then a lawmaker, flew to the strait to attend a pro-independence forum.

But sentencing the defendants, Magistrate Edward Wong Ching-yu said although Hong Kong had freedom of expression, there was a line that cannot be crossed, citing the Court of Appeal.

He was referring to the appeal court’s earlier judgment on Law and two fellow activists, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, when they sent them to jail for storming the government headquarters two days before the Occupy protests on September 28, 2014.

The trio was originally given suspended sentences or community service, but the appeal court strengthened the punishment at the prosecutors’ requests under new sentencing principles it handed down. It said when violence was involved in protests, it crossed the line and hence an immediate jail sentence would be inevitable – a decision hailed by pro-Beijing supporters at the time.

Wong adopted the higher court’s approach, before concluding the violence, or at least threats to use violence, were some of the elements in the present case.

“[Law’s] safety was endangered and he was injured,” he said, adding that the case was serious, and the defendants showed no remorse.

“An immediate custodial sentence is inevitable,” he said.

Their supporters in the public gallery immediately jeered at the magistrate. “Blind judge,” one yelled, before another compared the magistrate to a dog.

Lau vowed to appeal to the highest court in the People’s Republic of China, even though the highest jurisdiction in the city is the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.

They were all given bail pending an appeal.

The court previously heard Law was punched, kicked and had liquid poured on him by the mob the day after returning from Taiwan. The trip was made prior to Law being disqualified as a legislator over a legal bid lodged by the government.

Although Law failed to identify all of the defendants, the magistrate had viewed footage taken at the scene and found that the four were present and had breached public order.

While Giok and Tong pulled Law, Wong said, Kwong used a placard to hit him. Police and security guards were required to stop them, including Lau, who rushed towards Law.

During the trial, Giok testified that by not resisting, he believed Law consented to the violence because Law felt he had done some wrong. But Wong rejected the claim, saying that it was obvious Law was under protection, and that the activist had never asked the guards to stop protecting him.

The magistrate accepted Law as an honest and reliable witness.

He acquitted Lam Kam-sheung, who faced both the assault and unlawful assembly charges, as he was not able to confirm her presence through the videos.

In mitigation, Foster Yim, for Giok and Tong, said they committed the offence because of a noble belief.

“He thought Law who received pay [as a lawmaker] attended pro-independence activities in Taiwan and may even bring that to Hong Kong,” he said, referring to Giok.

They only cared about the future of the mainland and Hong Kong and wanted to protect its unity, he said.

(HKG Pao) Interview with 72-year-old Tong Fat-cheung.

In thinking about his own history of social activism, Tong said that he was already supporting Regina Ip over the Article 23 legislation in 2003. He thought that the people of Hong Kong must defend national security. In retrospect, Tong said: "If Article 23 were enacted back then, Hong Kong independence would be less of an issue today."

"I read in the newspaper that Chief Executive Donald Tsang wanted to have a showdown with the pan-democrats. I thought that this was inappropriate. Hong Kong is a part of China, so how can the Chief Executive want to create 'opposition'. So I went to Government House to remind him. Tsang would not see me. So I told the police guard outside to relay my message. I kept talking and talking until my tongue started to bleed. Accidentally, I coughed blood on the white shirt of the police guard. I wanted to be a good citizen who reminds the Chief Executive not to do things that are inappropriate and harmful."

Tong came to Hong Kong in 1962. At the time, he was only 17 years old. Tong was the fourth child out of seven siblings. Because his high school record was not recognized in Hong Kong, he had to work at whatever jobs that he can find: "I have been a packer, a dye factory worker, a metallurgy apprentice, etc. I have worked in more than a dozen jobs. I had to suffer so much to reach where I am today. When I see China become stronger and stronger, I have an indescribable happiness."

"That is why I think that some of the young people in the opposition have no idea how lucky they are. They don't know the hardships in China. They don't know how parents shower affection on them. They only know how to enjoy themselves. Hong Kong was developing nicely. Nothing came easy. So why do this? Why harm the nation? Why harm Hong Kong? That is why I have misgivings."

Because of those misgivings, Tong became an activist. He said that the pro-independence people are basically anti-social and therefore he must point out their harm. "Because I love my country and I love Hong Kong even more, I detest the spread of pro-independence ideas. I went to protest at the airport in order to contribute my feeble efforts."

In retrospect, Tong was very sorry. "If I had to do this all over again, I would never have gone! I am retired. I own two flats in Hong Kong. I own a property in Shenzhen too. I have a little bit of money on hand. Things should be very nice. Why did I have to come out and do this? It does me no good whatsoever."

"Thinking about it again, I went to show the anti-independence position of the people of Hong Kong. I was doing something for everybody, for the country. I am proud even if I have to make sacrifices!" Tong wants to thank the patriotic friends for their concern: "The friends over at the Jiznshu Compatriots Association and the Suzhou Compatriots Associations were very concerned. Many friends said that they will raise money to support me. I told no. I want to say thanks to all those who want to help me."

"Today even China says that it will have zero tolerance for Hong Kong independence. So why are those pro-independence people not in jail, but those anti-independence people are in jail? If the Hong Kong government won't react to this situation, aren't they abetting Hong Kong independence?"

Tong said: "Fame and fortune depend on the circumstances. You can eat or spend as much as  you like. I am a nobody, but I want to do the right thing for the public good. Oh!'

(HKG Pao) Interview with 71-year-old Lau Pit-chuen.

Lau was born in Shanghai. Because his family was capitalist, he was sent down to work in Xinjiang. So he knows what grassroots citizens have to go through: "It hurts when I see those opposition legislators create trouble in the Legislative Council to ruin workers' livelihoods."

Lau came to Hong Kong in 1981. At the time, he was 36 years old. He had to start from scratch. Eventually he opened a knitting factor. At the peak, he owned four companies. He is happiest not about his business accomplishments. He is happiest about family harmony. His family supports his social activism. "I have one son, one daughter and five grandchildren. They all support me. In 1996, I went to defend the Diaoyutai Islets. At first, my wife won't let me. Eventually she understood and she supported me."

"At first, I was actually in the pro-democracy camp. In 1989, I supported the student movement. When the government pushed for Article 23 legislation in 2003, I thought that they were wrong and I joined the protest march.

When Occupy Central began in 2014, Lau no longer that the democrats were pro-democracy any more. They are no longer for democracy and they won't even let the people of Hong Kong lead stable lives. They want to cause trouble for the people of Hong Kong. So Lau began to oppose them: "I had to come out because I cannot allow them to destroy Hong Kong's prosperity."

"What happened in Occupy Central is that this was Benny Tai wanting to overthrow the government. I saw them controlling the scene over walkie-talkies. This was a planned coup. But he cannot succeed because the ultimate authority lies with the Central Government which will never compromise. They can even send out the PLA to quell any trouble."

After Occupy Central, Lau was disgusted with the chaotic situation at the Legislative Council: "I saw those pan-democratic legislators such as Claudia Mo filibuster endlessly to stop the government. Maybe you don't believe this, or maybe someone don't want to believe this. But I have kept the pan-democrats company for so many years. Even now I am still a member of the Alliance to Support Democratic Movements in China. I can clearly see that they are deliberately causing trouble in Hong Kong. They do so deliberately and not inadvertently."

Lau continued: "I went through the Cultural Revolution in mainland China. I suffered. But I do not believe that one can pursue personal interests alone. One must also be concerned about the nation. This is how I am different from them. I don't believe that pro-democracy means anti-nation. Even during the 1989 student movement, I supported the students because they opposed corruption and wanted the nation to become better. How can there be democracy without a nation?"

Patriotism made Lau come out: "With respect to this Hong Kong independence thing, nobody is going to do anything unless the people come out. We are different from pan-democrats such as Lau Chin-shek and Albert Ho, whom I knew from the Alliance. I saw that they only incite others to do thing for them. I think that if something has to be done, then I should do it myself."

Lau said that those pro-independence people are putting Hong Kong into a bind. "Everybody knows that Hong Kong cannot take care of itself in terms of military and foreign affairs. Hong Kong independence is impossible. We see how the European Union is treating Great Britain after Brexit. How can Hong Kong be so stupid as to leave China? Even if the Central Government lets you, you can't do it!" The reason why Lau went to the airport to protest against Nathan Law was that he wanted to protect Hong Kong, which is the same as protect his family. "I will give up my life to defend my family."

As for his legal troubles, Lau said: "At first I did not to file an appeal. But they said that this means that I admit guilty. I am not guilty, so I will file an appeal. My only plea is for the judge to think about the issue of Hong Kong independence. With respect to his assertion in court that he will appeal to the Supreme Court of the People's Republic of China, Lau said: "Of course I don't really think that the Supreme Court will take the case. I only want the people in China to know that there is a phenomenon of an anti-China judiciary in Hong Kong whereupon the judges are persecuting righteous citizens."

Lau said: "An old employee from more than 30 years ago suddenly called me a couple of days ago. I am very touched. Actually I don't even remember her. She said that her name is Ah King and she worked at my factor. She had seen me recently in the news and thought that I might be unhappy. Therefore she called me up to tell me that she supports me."

(HKG Pao) Interview with Giok Kheng.

The first half of the story is plain. Giok Kheng and his wife lived steadily in Hong Kong. The husband worked as a delivery man and the wife worked as a tourist guide. They didn't care about politics. They used their hands to earn money to buy daily necessities. They were happy.

Along came Occupy Central. The livelihoods of the Gioks were impacted. They watched television and they were angry at what was going on."

"I saw how they went too far. They wore surgical masks and they occupied the streets. They refused to let cars use the street. They curse out the police. How absurd can this be! What did the police do wrong?"

So Giok rushed out to demonstrate at Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok. He attempted to remove the barricades. He asked the demonstrators to have mercy on the police and the people's livelihoods.

After the defeat of Occupy Central, their livelihoods did not recover. The Gioks only had part-time work.

When he learned that Nathan Law was flying to Taiwan to meet with pro-Taiwan independence activists, he thought: "How can this person be so audacious? How can he ignore history? We the Chinese people were always bullied until today. We should be proud of ourselves. How can he forget history? Furthermore he is a legislator paid for by the people's money. How can he do something like this?"

The series of questions made him angry and led him to meet Nathan Law on his return.

Everybody knows what happened next. Giok emphasized that he went there to express his dissatisfaction: "I can't help if the Honorable Judge wants to send me to jail. Actually I am not afraid of jail. But there are other people in trouble. They are 60- or 70-years-old. Think about it. Actually I am most concerned about those other three. Therefore we are appealing our sentences together. If I were the only one, I would not have appealed."

People wanted to donate money to him because they know that court proceedings cost money. Giok turned them down: "Actually I have gained a lot besides money. Most of all I see that my wife has changed her mind, because she knows that I am going the right thing for the country. When I went down to Mong Kok to remove the barricades, she objected. But now she is supportive."

(HKG Pao) Interview with 69-year-old Kwong Kwai-sim.

Kwong Kwai-sim is a registered nurse for all her life. In the 1970's she graduated from secondary school to study nursing. After qualifying to become a nurse, she went on to specialize in pediatrics.

Kwong is 150cm (4'11'') tall and 37 kg (86 lbs) in weight. "Only when I was pregnant did I reach 98 lobs. Given what happened at the airport, it is surprising to find Kwong is actually so short and petite. By comparison, Nathan Law is about 166cm (5'6"") tall. People call Kwong by her nickname "steel beam."

In the 1970's, there was no MTR service yet. Kwong commuted from her home in To Kwai Wan to work at Prince Margaret Hospital. She works up at 5am in order to begin work at 630am. "I took the 6C bus to Mei Foo, and then I switch to another bus to Prince Margaret Hospital." Her shift runs from 630am to 130am first, followed by another shift from 900pm to 700am. Since there are just a few hours between shifts, she did not get any real rest. Instead she made up for her sleep during the sleeping day after the two shifts.

When I asked for these details, Kwong said: "Oh, don't write about this. I don't want any exaggeration." She added: "People were like that in that era." Between the 1960's and 1970's when Hong Kong's economy had not taken off yet, people were all like that. They never minded the hardship. Any work was good work for them. Kwong enjoyed being a nurse because she can increase her knowledge as well as help other people. She has never thought of changing jobs.

Kwong retired in 2009. Her husband is a public service worker who also retired recently. If there were no Occupy Central, she would be a content retired housewife. After retirement, her husband started to learn singing Cantonese opera. Today he is competent enough to teach students to sing.

After the incident at the Hong Kong International Airport, Kwong was taken by the police at 7am down to the police station to take a statement. She felt sorry because her husband was performing that night and she wanted him to get enough sleep. She finished at past 1pm and she went home to change and then watch her husband perform. They did not discuss the airport incident, because they knew each other well enough.

While Kwong was down at the police station, a friend called up their home to express concern. Her husband said: "My wife has always done the right thing. Why should I be concerned?"

The petite Kwong left her housewife role after Occupy Central. All citizens, including housewives, have a duty to defend the country. "Patriotism is innate!" You don't have to be patriotic, but you should not be harming the country. "China is developing and getting better day by day." Of course, Kwong knew about the Cultural Revolution. She also supported the Democratic Party and Alliance to Support Democratic Movements in China after June 4th 1989. "You can get bogged down if you like, but you should not be stopping the country from moving ahead." With it came to talking about national sentiments, Kwong was bright-eyed and spirited. So I would never have to worry the petite Kwong.

In front of me is a meticulous, serious and magnanimous woman. Irrationality and emotional distress are not party of her vocabulary.

(HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 9, 2017.

I am an ignoramus as far as the law goes. Like many Hong Kong citizens, I look up to the judges. If I were to receive a summons from the court, I would be scared. I have been brought to think that the judges are sacrosanct.

I was once curious: Do judges have likes and dislikes? Do they take positions? Do they commit errors? I was even more curious: Which newspapers do the judges read? Who were their teachers?

In an information-filled society, I don't think that there are any saints who have no feelings. If a judge reads Apple Daily every day and his mentor is Martin Lee, how can there not be prejudices under the wig?

In certain folklores, the judges are the bringers of justice. When I grew up, I began to discover that the law is just a money game. In recent years, the myth about judges have been unveiled. With one after another unfathomable court ruling, I begin to wonder if Hong Kong is under rule-of-law, or rule-of-man, or rule-by-judges?

After Occupy Central, almost every case involving Yellow Umbrella soldiers end up with not guilty verdicts or light sentences. "Community service" and "suspended sentence" are the hottest legal terms of the year. At the same time, all the cases involving anti-Occupy Central, anti-violence and anti-Hong Kong independence end up badly. I wanted to make a list here, but I found so many cases in my research that I can write an entire thesis. So I gave up.

Over these years, I have heard these pleas in court: "He is merely a student," "they are enterprising young people," "they broke the law to achieve justice," "they have nobles ideals," "he has both good character and scholarship" ... someone even used "he was only 18 when he broke the law," "he wants to run in the Legislative Council election, so please don't destroy his dream" as excuses. So the judges gave mercy: $2000 fine for assaulting a police officer; $500 for causing injury to another person; community service for occupying the streets for 79 days; etc. These penalties are even lighter than spitting in public.

But I wonder how these excuses change color as soon as the defendants become senior citizens? Why do the outcomes become the complete opposite?

The term "breaking the law to achieve justice" is fashionable nowadays. "Justice" also includes "opposing Hong Kong independence." Even Chairman Xi is saying that he has zero tolerance and therefore a full effort must be given. So why are full efforts directed against those who oppose Hong Kong independence?

Judges are humans. All humans commit errors. When a judge commits an error, where can the citizen seek recourse? The answer is: No way.

Cap 433 Judicial Officers (Tenure of Office) Ordinance states that judges who misbehaved will be judged internally by other judges with the results being held confidential.

I am an ordinary citizen. I don't know if the judges protect each other. I do know that the judges know each other.

The statue does not topple with a sudden burst of wind. It was eroded over many years before it turned into a piece of rotten wood. Judges are sacrosanct only because there is nobody watching over them.

(SCMP) December 10, 2017.

A Catholic school in Hong Kong was forced to shut its doors during an open day on Saturday after students distributed leaflets, accusing teachers of suppressing freedom of speech.

The school closed its gates as students chanted slogans through amplifiers while others distributed leaflets claiming they had been “suppressed” by Our Lady’s College in Wong Tai Sin and listing what, in their view, was wrong with Hong Kong society. Although they were not on campus, teachers asked them to cover their uniforms to avoid giving the impression the school endorsed their actions.

On live footage on their Facebook page, the students claimed the school had prevented them spreading political messages, such as opposition to government legal action against Occupy movement leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung, by drafting new rules against the distribution of leaflets. Further away, a dozen supporters from two fledgling pro-localism groups – Hong Kong National Front and Studentlocalism – gathered to support the students. Plain-clothes police took ID card numbers, according to Tony Chung Hon-lam, convenor of Studentlocalism. “We will wait and see how Our Lady’s College deals with the students in order to assess the effectiveness of our action,” Chung said.

The school could not be reached for comment.

Videos:

Apple Daily Open Day at Our Lady's College

Nexus olr The student association cabinet at Our Lady's College 2017-2018

Internet comments:

- (LIHKG)

[A certain girls' school] I am currently a teacher at the Our XXXX's College. Recently there was a huge stir over the distribution of pro-Hong Kong independence pamphlets. I am very disappointed. My disappointed was not at the behavior of the students; rather it was the lousy way by which the school handled the matter.

Everybody knows that the senior administration of the school is pro-China. They had criticized the students at the teacher/staff meeting. They said that they will do everything possible to persecute the students, including summoning the parents. They encouraged the teachers to heap scorn on these students, and use various divisive tactics to break up the Concern Group. When an attendee asked the principal to clarify which school rule was violated, the answer was: "It does not matter. Anyway, we won't permit this because it is unlawful." Anyone who knows anything would know that the Basic Law does not restrict people's behavior. As long as there is no legislation, any action or thought that contravenes the Basic Law is still not yet unlawful.

I do not support Hong Kong independence. But I believe that the students have the absolute right to promote their political ideas. This is freedom of speech. The school administration are barbaric and want to impose their own political positions on the students. They use unethical tactics to deal with the students. They make sarcastic comments. It makes me wonder if they conduct themselves in a professional manner.

I am alone in the school and I cannot change things by myself. Therefore I am using this platform to express my support for the students. I hope that the students will persist bravely. Democracy will surely win.

- Duh! Yet another anonymous post. Hey, I can easily write ten of these posts every day.

- This was not a very good piece of fictional writing. I would have made up some details in order to make it more convincing.

- This guest post has been deleted by the Facebook group administrator.

- (LIHKG)

I am a student at Our Lady's College. Before I express my personal opinions, I would like to provide some background first.

On November 23, the school's student association president and some other students forced themselves into the classrooms during lunchtime and stuffed a pamphlet with the title "Is there any more freedom in Hong Kong?" into the drawers of all the students. At the time, a number of students witnessed the members of the Our Lady's College Concern Group reached through the opened windows to open the locked doors and put pamphlets in the drawers of all the students. Afterwards, the teacher summoned these students who had forcibly entered the classrooms. But those students exaggerated the matter and distorted the action of the teachers as "suppression of freedom of speech."

Today is open day on the 65th anniversary of the founding of our school. These students once again took action by linking up with several dozen outsiders to lay siege to the school and cause a disturbance. Our student association president used a megaphone to express her opinion that many of our teachers are carrying out "brainwashing" in order to turn students against students.

What are the facet?

First of all, the student association president was not elected by us on a one-vote-one-person basis. She does not stand for our voices. During this year, she was the only candidate for student association president. Therefore she automatically became president. Unfortunately, she failed to live up to the duties of a student association president. Instead she imposed her own views upon us. Is this supposed to be freedom of speech?

Secondly, I saw a large group of people outside the school entrance. They filmed with their mobile phones, and they kept hollering. We were very afraid. Our teachers did not retreat! Instead they fulfill their duties as teachers and they protected us. They told us to leave because they can handle the matter themselves. But we are part of Our Lady's College, so how can we sit still and ignore this? Spontaneously we came out to defend our school grounds. We rolled up paper to form make-shirt megaphones and we sang our school song. We told them to leave. When they saw that practically the entire school was united against them, they had to back off. Out of safety consideration, we closed the school gates. But they hung around outside and refused to leave.

Thirdly, we were not happy with them forcing their way into our classrooms. Can you break the rules in the name of freedom? But they tried to rationalize their action and communicated misleading information to the press in order to exaggerate things.

Fourthly, they said that our teachers are "Education Animals" who are brainwashing us. Must we agree with their ideas in order to show that we are not "brainwashed"? When the teachers protect the students, they are called "Education Animals"? Are the teachers good only if they do nothing when the Open Day is ruined and the students are filmed and harassed? Why do you want to distort the goodwill of the teachers?

Fifthly, I want to ask everybody just what is freedom of speech. In my humble opinion, a democratic society with ideal freedom of speech should be tolerant of diverse ideas. When you express your views,  you should consider the feelings and opinions of other people. If you think that exercising that freedom allows you to do inappropriate things, then I am afraid that you are wrong. Why were you summoned to a meeting at the school? I think that you know very well -- you had forced your way into the classroom of others and made a mess out of their things. While you exercise your freedom and rights, have you thought about the freedoms and rights of the other students?

Sixthly, if you think that we have already become 'puppets', then you couldn't be more wrong. There are many young people who support democracy and rule-of-law in Hong Kong! I am one of them. Why won't we support you? You have to ask yourself whether your behavior was proper. The school has never suppressed our freedom of speech! You are distorting the facts. So whenever we express our views, you accused us of being brainwashed.

Sorry, you are jumping to conclusion without known the causes and effects. I think that if things continue to develop in this manner, it would be very unfair to us, to our teachers and to the school.

Dear Fellow Student Tse (president of the student association), I don't know if you will make it into the newspapers. But given your ability to twist the facts about you fucking the tutor, I already admire you.

- (SCMP) How one school is harmed by media circus. By Alex Lo. December 11, 2017.

A group of students hand out fliers without permission in their secondary school and put a copy on the desk of every one of their classmates. School authorities warn them not to do it again. In the following weeks, they switch to putting up banners and passing out the same copies, with the support of outsiders, at the main entrance and the street outside their school. They are then advised not to wear school uniforms while doing it and to avoid disturbing fellow students and parents visiting the school. This is especially a busy time as the school is celebrating its 65th anniversary with an open house this week.

For the life of me, I cannot tell in what way the school has done wrong. I would not even consider it a news story, certainly not something worth commenting on. The school did not punish or even reprimand those students. However, those fliers are about Hong Kong independence, produced and handed out by students who openly advocate it.

Suddenly, the unfortunate school, Our Lady’s College in Wong Tai Sin, becomes a political news story. Its authorities are accused by the student group, which calls itself Our Lady’s Localist Concern Group, of censoring and brainwashing students with the ban on fliers. Such accusations are duly repeated and exaggerated by anti-China publications such as Apple Daily and Stand News.

I don’t blame the student activists; young people will always be full of passion and enthusiasm rather than sense and restraint. I only wish they had been more tolerant and respectful of others. But it’s the shameless manner in which the “yellow ribbon” media have invented, exploited and manipulated what ought to concern only the school itself into a political struggle. Activists shout slogans with loudhailers outside the school, then news photographers show up, along with the police.

In the current affairs section of lihkg.com, a popular online forum, there is an excellent account and critical analysis of what actually happened, written by a student of the school. She explains how her activist classmates disregarded school regulations, disrupted classroom routines, denounced teachers who tried to stop them for political censorship, and dismissed schoolmates who disagreed with them as being “brainwashed”.

“Many of us support democracy and the rule of law, yet we may still disapprove of your actions,” she wrote of her activist schoolmates. “This doesn’t mean we have been brainwashed and cannot think for ourselves.”

This student does her school proud.

- Now the whole world wants to know about the details behind the small footnote. Absent the details, this is a smear.

- Well, if Fellow Student Tse is over 16 years old, then she can fuck anyone she wants under Hong Kong law.

- What was the distortion of facts about that case? Well, it is alleged that Fellow Student Tse fucked her tutor and brought the condom to show the other students afterwards.

- What could the alternate version be? Someone came up with these news stories:

- (Apple Daily) November 13, 2017. 43-year-old tutor Tsang Kui-man was accused of having sexual intercourse with 12-year-old X on August 6 2011 in a Wong Tai Sin apartment, and again in May 2012 the 13-year-old X in a tutor school. In 2011, X's parents were divorced and she went to receiving tutoring at Tsang's school. On August 1, X and Tsang fell in love. Five days later, Tsang invited X to watch movies at his apartment. During this time, Tsang kissed X and took her into the bedroom to have sexual intercourse for about half an hour. Afterwards X continued to watch movies while Tsang cooked. About 2 months later, X felt uncomfortable in her genitals and her mother took her to visit a doctor.

In September 2011, X stopped her tutoring lessons. However, she continued to visit the school. Tsang got married in March but continued to see X. At around 8pm on a certain day in Day, 13-year-old X went to the school to pllay with the computer. She sat on Tsang's thighs with her legs spread. The defendant took off X's panties and had intercourse with X who was dressed in school uniform. On May 25, X admitted openly to her mother that she had sexual intercourse with her tutor. Her mother filed a police report. Tsang was arrested three days later.

- (Shuonline) December 16, 2012. Tsang Kui-man was sentenced to 32 months in jail. The judge noted that Tsang did not use a condom to prevent harming X with sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy. The judge cited the report that X's self-respect was hurt. She showed signs of depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. She was defensive at school and social circles. She lost interest in the opposite sex. Her father said that he was angry and upset at himself for not being able to protect his daughter from harm.

There are two discrepancies: (1) X was 12 years old as Form 2 student in August 2011. This is now December 2017, and X is 18 years old. Can she still be in Form 6 now? (2) The judge noted that Tsang did not use a condom. But Fellow Student Tse went around school showing off a condom. So this linkage may not be right.

- (Elite School Secrets Facebook)

Recently my secondary school came to public attention. I was one of the students present at the scene. I want to point out certain actions directed against our students, and the reactions of our teachers and students.

This essay does not take any position on Hong Kong independence.

At first around noontime, the members of a certain political group (Our Lady's College Concern Group) went past the school's front gate with flags in hand. The teachers only stopped them from filming the interior of the school. They did not do anything else. The members of the group attempted to enter the school grounds but were stopped by the staff and teachers. After failing to entering, a tall man cursed out the teachers with obscene language. They told passersby that the school is refusing to let them enter.

At the time, I was one of the students present. When the man began cursing, I was very scared. The teachers told us not to mind them.

Next, certain students used megaphones to demand a certain teacher to explain certain speeches. Meanwhile the other members of the group blockaded all the exits from the school. Certain members of the Love Society used their group chants to cover up the megaphone. Soon almost every student in the assembly area went to the front gate to chant. You can see this on Facebook. You can hear clearly that these chants were in English and not obscene language.

The reason why we chanted was not because we opposed Hong Kong independence. Their leader even included someone who supports Hong Kong independence. They were objecting to members of a certain group not allowing people to enter or leave the school. Their actions had laid waste to the stalls that were put together by the workers over the past month.

The reason why the school called the police to send plainclothes officers to the school was because a certain group that they were going to distribute pamphlets here on Open Day. Our Lady's College is a girls' school and most of the staff are women. They won't be able to fend off strong and able men.

I admit that the teacher said that it was easy to divide students. I admit that it was wrong to say that the students learned incorrectly. Yet, did you have to block all the entrances/exits in order to force the teachers to make a statement? Have you ever considered the feelings for the students who were in the school, as well as the neighbors and other children?

You told the media that the school would not let you leave the gate. But you omitted to say that you prevented all the students in the school from leaving.

Frankly, I was supportive of the student who distributed pamphlets in November. Yet on Open Day, you came across to me like triad gangsters. If you had used regular methods, I believe that I would still be supporting you.

The students began wanting to watch this as spectators. Yet, your actions have repelled them.

Finally, I want to say that the teachers did not brainwash us. You can say that they want to avoid responsibility. At the most they discussed the matter of the pamphlets during one morning assembly. But they did not intend any insults. We were touched by the teachers protecting the students to leave.

I hope that outsiders won't make rash judgment without knowing the truth. Every word and every action of yours will affect us.

Actually, do you think really think that we can be so easily brainwashed? Like other secondary school students, we don't like our teachers. But you gave them the chance to show they care about us. Although I may not pay attention in class in the future, at least I am now proud to be an Our Ladian. The video shows us chanting our society slogans together.

- Are you wondering how many people are in the Our Lady's College Concern Group?

(The Stand News) The Our Lady's College Concern Group was never a big organization. The group was formed after the Legislative Council elections in September 2016. At first, there were a few more students than now. But ever since the actions of the Concern Group drew the attention of the school administration, some members left due to the pressure. Basically there are only two students left now: Form 5 student Vivian and Form 4 student Hazel.

So there you have it. Only two students are active in the Our Lady's College Concern Group. One of them (Vivian) is the current student association president who won the post by default because there were no other candidates. However they have the backing of two outside groups: Studentlocalism (#570 which has only one active founding member (Tony Chung) left) and the Hong Kong National Front. 

(Webb-site) The Enigma Network: 50 stocks not to own. May 15, 2017.

Sometimes, a picture is really all you need to know why you should not invest in a company, or in this case, 50 HK-listed companies in what we will call the "Enigma Network". In the diagram below, some of them are known bubbles, on which the SFC has issued concentration warnings. It is remarkable that despite those warnings, the listed companies which own those shares continue to hold them. They will probably do so until the bubble bursts, because the gains on such stocks are not actually intended to benefit their shareholders. The people who engineer such bubbles have other plans. In other cases of non-bubbles, there are multiple holdings below the normal 5% disclosure threshold which when aggregated, provide significant voting power when the companies seek approval from "independent" shareholders to do something that might not make sense to others.

(The Standard) December 7, 2017.

Rosetta Fong Sut-Sam, the deputy chairwoman and executive director of financial advisers, Convoy Global Financial Holdings, (1019) has left the headquarters of the Independent Commission Against Corruption after being questioned for about five hours in connection with an on-going investigation.

In the operation involving about 50 officers today, a dozen people including the company's executives were driven to the anti-graft agency's headquarters for investigation, Headline Daily reported. Sources told the sister daily of The Standard that some employees were suspected of using the Hong Kong-based company to solicit an advantage of about HK$47 million between March and June 2015.

Earlier today, Fong was escorted from her Sai Kung home by anti-graft officers to the ICAC offices in North Point. Officers also searched her home and removed some documents. The Headline Daily reports that Fong and Christie Chan Lai-yee, an executive director, were arrested by ICAC officers. They also searched Convoy's head office in North Point.

Chairman Quincy Wong Lee-man and another executive director Cho Kwai-chee are both targets of the investigation, according to the report, but Wong is currently in Taiwan.

At this time, Quincy Wong Lee-man is a person of great interest to the Hong Kong Internet.

Convoy Global Holdings Limited thinks that an area of great potential is Mainland China.

But Quincy Wong is also a die-hard Yellow Ribbon Pro-Democracy/Freedom warrior. He has scaled Lion Rock to look at the "I want genuine universal suffrage" banner. He has photos taken with Joseph Zen and Martin Lee. When he and his team finished the North Pole Marathon in 2013, they unfurled a "I want genuine universal suffrage" banner.

(HK01) November 7, 2017. When news of the ICAC raids became known, the media immediately went looking for Quincy Wong. His Facebook indicated that he had just been eating fried chicken in Taipei with his wife. HK01 left a comment at the Facebook. Quincy Wong replied: "Sorry, but it is inconvenient to respond at such a sensitive time. Thank you for your concern." HK01 wrote: "I understand. I am very grateful for your reply. One thing else, do you  plan to come back to Hong Kong as quickly as possible to deal with the company matters?" Quincy Wong replied: "The travel itinerary has not been decided yet." HK01: "Got it! Thank you, Mr Wong." Quincy Wong added: "Whatever has to be dealt with has to be dealt with."

So will Quincy Wong follow the footsteps of Lee Sin-yee who fled to Taiwan after being charged with rioting? Will Quicncy Wong apply for political asylum because Carrie Lam through the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Securities and Futures Commission are persecuting him for his political beliefs in freedom and democracy?

(The Standard) December 8, 2017.  Extra! Quincy Wong has been arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for suspected corruption when he arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport at about 430pm today.

New banner: "I want genuine arrest/charges"

(Oriental Daily) December 8, 2017. A key figure in the Convoy affair is executive director Roy Cho Kwai Chee. In the ongoing negotiations of the sale of <Next Magazine> (#766), it is rumored that the financier behind apparent buyer Kenny Wee is in fact Roy Cho Kwai Chee. At this time, the sale of <Next Magazine> has been stalled for unexplained reasons, with a number of deadlines apparently missed already. Are those troubles related to the Convoy affair? Who knows?

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 6, 2017.

Taiwanese political and cultural commentator Chang Tieh-chih has said he was denied entry to Hong Kong after arriving at the airport on Wednesday.

The former editor-in-chief of prominent Hong Kong lifestyle publication City Magazine, Chang lived in the city and moved back to Taiwan two years ago. He said on Facebook that he was planning to come to Hong Kong to attend a cultural conference. “I watched as my wife passed through,” he wrote on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. Chang’s wife is a Hongkonger.

Chang said in another post that he had a Hong Kong resident identity card, but border officials told him it was expired when he produced it. He then tried to apply for a visa online at the airport, but it was rejected. “I have always cared about the cultural exchange between Taiwan and Hong Kong – it is a very sad thing if I cannot go to Hong Kong,” he said.

A columnist with a range of publications in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, Chang has been vocal in supporting democracy and social movements on both sides of the strait. According to Stand News, however, he is not affiliated with any political party.

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 6, 2017.

“This is the first time that a Taiwanese person who holds no government post and is not part of the political system [has been denied entry],” said Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator Kwok Ka-ki on Wednesday evening. “He’s just a private citizen.” “Firstly, this damages ‘One Country, Two Systems’,” added the Civic Party lawmaker. “Secondly, this causes great damage to the international reputation of Hong Kong. This will have an effect on the judgement of Taiwanese people who want to come to Hong Kong for work or tourism.”

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

Hong Kong lawmaker Dr Kwok Ka-ki, of the opposition Civic Party, said he was shocked to learn of the news and said he had written to Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, demanding an explanation. “Chang holds no government post and is not a member of any political party,” Dr Kwok. “His wife is a Hong Kong resident and he had worked in Hong Kong for long time. He can be said to be a half-Hongkonger. This hurts Hong Kong’s international image.” Kwok believed Chang might have written something in the past that had angered Beijing.

- Really? What did Chang Tieh-chih write? The Seven Lovers of Xi Jinping? Or what? Can Kwok Ka-ki tell us? Or has he never read anything by Chang Tieh-chih?

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

Chang Tieh-chih, also former chief editor of Hong Kong’s popular lifestyle and cultural monthly City Magazine, broke the news on Wednesday afternoon with a message on his Twitter account: “Finally, I was denied entry at the Hong Kong airport.” But he wrote that his wife, Amy Cui, was allowed to enter. Cui is a Hong Kong resident. “I watched as my wife passed through,” he wrote on Twitter.

In a Facebook message posted on his return to Taiwan on Wednesday evening, Chang said he had plans to come to Hong Kong for a cultural exchange conference but was told his travel document had expired and that an online application for a landing visa was rejected. He claimed he was used to using his Hong Kong identity card to visit Hong Kong but this time was told his card had expired. ““I tried to apply for a landing visa online at the Hong Kong airport but the application was rejected,” Chang wrote on Facebook page. “I thought I might have filled in some information improperly and I filled the form again but still [the application] was rejected.”

He claimed he had asked an immigration officer and was told “not everyone’s application can be successful”. He added: “So, I could only return to Taiwan.” He expressed “deep regret” and said he was still looking forward to seeing “more freedom and normal exchange” between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Chang has been vocal in supporting democratic campaigns and social movements.

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

A spokesman for the Immigration Department of Hong Kong said it would not comment on individual cases. “In handling each immigration application, the Immigration Department will consider all the factors and circumstances related to the application so as to decide whether an individual application is approved or not in accordance with the Hong Kong law and prevailing immigration polices,” the spokesman said in a statement.

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

Chang said he was coming to Hong Kong for the City-to-City Cultural Exchange Conference. Organised this year by the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture, the forum is a gathering of cultural sector workers, officials and academics from Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with the cities taking turns to host the event.

Taipei is usually represented at the forum by a member of The General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC), of which Chang is the deputy general secretary. The head of GACC is Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The GACC was founded in 1967 by late Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek to promote a revival of Chinese culture on the mainland. The association has always been headed by either an incumbent Taiwan leader or someone appointed by him or her. The association itself took the centre-stage of a political brouhaha earlier this year (2017) when there were speculations that Tsai could rename the association by removing the word “Chinese”, and replace it with the word “National”.

When Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian, also of DPP, was in power from the 2000 to 2008, the word “Chinese” was removed from the name of the association, but the word was restored after Liu Chao-shiuan became the president of the association in 2010 with the approval of Taiwan’s former leader Ma Ying-jeou.

- Is The General Association of Chinese Culture political or not?

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

A source familiar with the matter said that although Chang’s wife is a Hong Kong resident and Chang holds Hong Kong identity card, he is not a permanent resident and has to renew his dependent visa from time to time. “He was not allowed to leave the gate at the e-channel because his visa has expired,” the source said.

“Immigration staff asked if he had any other valid travel documents. He displayed a [Republic of China] passport, but it is not regarded as a valid travel document because he did not have a mainland travel permit for a Taiwan resident. He also did not register online before travelling to Hong Kong.”

The source said he was then transferred to the airline to see if the carrier could help him with the travel documents but the airline decided to send him back to Taiwan. “That is what an airline should do when a passenger failed to show any valid travel document to enter a place,” the source said.

(Ming Pao) November 7, 2017.

According to Chang Tieh-chih, an immigration department worker told him that the visa on his Hong Kong ID had expired in April this year. Yesterday, he did not have his "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents" (台湾居民来往大陆通行证 aka 台胞证). However he had his Republic of China passport with him. So he immediately went online to apply for the "Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents." However the system indicated that the application was "denied" for unspecified reasons.

Ways for Taiwan residents to visit Hong Kong

(1) If the spouse of the Taiwan resident is a Hong Kong permanent resident, it is possible to become a Hong Kong resident as a "dependant". The Hong Kong ID will have a date of issuance. The normal period of stay is two years. The holder should proceed in person to the Immigration Department to apply for an extension of stay before the expiration date. The holder is normally entitled to use the e-passage with this Hong Kong ID

Case of Chang Tieh-chih: The period of stay for his Hong Kong ID ended in April 2017.

(2) If the Taiwan resident holds a Republic of China passport, then he/she should apply for a Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents (PAR) at the website of the Hong Kong Immigration System. The applicant will be informed of the result instantaneously. If successful, the applicant must print the notification slip, sign it and present it to the immigration officer. If unsuccessful, the registrant may apply to the Immigration Department for an entry permit.

Case of Chang Tieh-chih: He had a Republic of China passport with him. When he applied online, the result was "denied."

(3) If the Taiwan resident holds a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (aka "Tai Bao Zheng"), he/she may enter the HKSAR as visitors and stay for up to 30 days.

Case of Chang Tieh-chih: He did not bring his Tai Bao Zheng with him when he came to Hong Kong.

Internet comments:

- (Hong Kong Future Concern Group Facebook, Taiwan)

We strongly disagree with the unreasonable decision of the Immigration Department in Hong Kong, and we hereby urge Taiwan to take the following actions,

1. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen should lodge solemn representations to Hong Kong's chief executive, Mrs Carrie Lam.

2. For the applications of admission to Taiwan made by disciplinary services personnel in Hong Kong, their applications should be rejected unless they otherwise show their disagreement towards the decision made by the Immigration Department.

3. Erick TSANG Kwok-wai, who is the Hong Kong Director of Immigration, should be listed as an unwelcomed figure of Taiwan, until the end of his tenure in the position.

4. As the incident represents that Hong Kong is further controlled by Beijing, we once again request the Taiwan Legislative Yuan to refer to the current "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Bill" currently under discussion in the United States for establishing punitive mechanisms for Hong Kong and China government officials that suppress fundamental freedoms of Hongkongese, including admission refusal and asset freezing.

Comments:

- (1) If "Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen" were to write to Hong Kong's chief executive Mrs Carrie Lam, she would be lowering her grade. Tsai is the President of Taiwan, a de facto and soon-to-be-actual independent sovereign nation. Lam is the Chief Executive (i.e. mayor/governor) of a special administrative region (i.e. city) of China. By writing to Lam, Tsai has lowered herself to be the governor of the Taiwan special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.

(2) If you want to exclude the Hong Kong disciplinary services personnel from entering Taiwan, you should at least ask the relevant question in your National Immigration Agency's Arrival Card. Right now, the closest thing under 'Occupation' is 'Government Officer' (which was translated from the Chinese word 公務員 for 'public service worker'). This is going to include hospital nurses, office building janitors, street cleaners, sanitation inspectors, computer network administrators, traffic cops, postal office mail delivery men, etc.

(2) The Hong Kong Disciplined Services include the Hong Kong Fire Services Department and the Correctional Services Department. Do you want them excluded too?

(3) If you want to exclude Erick Tsang, it should be forever and not just while he is the Hong Kong Director of Immigration. And it is not about him personally, because he is unlikely to have any personal involvement in the case of Chang Tieh-chih. A better target would be whoever is the Hong Kong Director of Immigration who oversees the policy of excluding Freedom/Democracy fighters from Taiwan.

(4) "Hong Kong is further controlled by Beijing."

(Hong Kong Free Press) On December 5, 2017, Wang Zhenmin, the legal chief for the China Liaison Office, said: "Since July 1, 1997, Hong Kong's political colour undoubtedly became red, meaning it has become part of red China. So there is no question of whether Hong Kong is 'becoming red' because Hong Kong has already been red since 1997, when it came under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party." Wang was referring to a local colloquialism, “reddening” – also known as “mainlandisation” – referring to the growing influence of mainland China on Hong Kong’s politics and culture.

So please do not delude yourself that this is a gradual process that can be stemmed or even reversed. It has been so since July 1st, 1997.

(4) "The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Bill"

The assumption behind the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (#611 and #743) is that the targets want to visit the United States and/or invest money over there. I don't think that Taiwan is particularly attractive in both regards, so that there is no deprivation. What good is a threat when it has no teeth?

- (Immigration Department, The Government of the HKSAR)

Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents

Chinese residents of Taiwan who were born in Taiwan can make use of this online service to apply for pre-arrival registration to visit the HKSAR.

After the required information has been inputted, the computer system will process the registration automatically. The registration result will be made known to the registrant instantly.

If the registration is successful, registrant should print the “Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents” (the notification slip) generated by the computer system on an A4 size blank white paper. Registrant must check the inputted data on the notification slip to confirm they are true and correct and tally with those of his/her travel document for re-entry to Taiwan before signing on the notification slip.

In case the online pre-arrival registration cannot be completed, registrant may apply for an entry permit to the Immigration Department under the existing entry arrangement, if necessary.

Arrangements for Entry to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for Overseas Chinese and Chinese residents of Taiwan

16. Taiwan residents holding a valid "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents" may enter Hong Kong as a visitor and stay for up to 30 days irrespective of whether they are transitting through Hong Kong to/from the Mainland or coming to Hong Kong for visit, provided normal immigration requirements are met.

16. They may also apply for a single entry permit or a multiple entry permit through the authorised airlines, provided that they are not in possession of any travel document issued by other authorities outside Taiwan (except the “Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents”, and an entry permit issued by the Immigration Department), but they must hold a travel document valid for at least six months for re-entry to Taiwan.

21. It normally takes four weeks to process an overseas entry permit application and two working days for a multiple entry permit submitted through authorised airlines in Taiwan.

- Why is the airline being held responsible? Well, it was the airline which permitted Chang to get on the airplane with an expired Hong Kong ID. Therefore it is the airline, not the Hong Kong Immigration Department, which is accountable for this slip-up. As a result of this incident, the airline will pay for Chang's return fare. As well, there will be a hefty fine for negligence.

- (EJ Insight) Chang said he was told by the immigration department that his identity card had expired. But he noted that he had had no problems entering Hong Kong for similar purposes using his ID card before Wednesday. Chang said it will be very sad if he cannot visit Hong Kong as he has deep feelings for the city.

You have to admire these intellectual types who find it so hard to figure out the simple facts of life:

(1) Chang's Hong Kong dependant visa (normally for 3 years) expired in April 2017.
(2) Chang was able to enter Hong Kong in January 2017 because the visa was still valid.
(3) Chang was unable to enter Hong Kong in December 2017 because the visa is no longer valid.

Duh! Why act surprised? How else can it be?

There is an alternative. Chang could use his Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (Tai Bao Zheng) to enter Hong Kong. Of course, he left it at home (or so he says).

There is yet another alternative. Chang immediately went online to apply for a Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents. Hey, what does "pre-arrival registration" mean to you? It means "before arrival". It does not mean "post arrival" after you land at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Duh! It would be a system bug if this was approved.

There is yet another alternative.

(Hong Kong Immigration Department) Visit Visa/Entry Permit Requirements

9. If you are a Chinese resident of Taiwan, you should submit your application for an entry permit through one of the authorised airlines.

Duh! It means that you cannot Do It Yourself. And besides it takes two days to process. Is Chang going to sleep in the airport meanwhile?

Now has Chang gone back to Taipei and sulk at home through Twitter? Or is he coming back to Hong Kong with his Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents in hand? Will he also apply for a Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents before arrival just in case?

- Guidebook for Entry for Residence as Dependants in Hong Kong

12. A dependant may apply for extension of stay for resident in the HKSAR within four weeks before his/her limit of stay expires.

Apparently Chang Tieh-chih never paid attention to this. Perhaps he was too busy fighting for FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. Or maybe he thinks that such mundane details can always be ironed out with the help of legislator Kwok Ka-ki.

- Relevant link: #505 We need the airline unions to come out and insist that all security/immigration procedures must be followed to the letter with no exceptions. Or else we all die. Or something.

- (Apple Daily) December 7, 2017. Hong Kong Baptist University School of Communication senior lecturer Bruce PK Lui said that Chang Tieh-chih is a moderate who has resided in Hong Kong before. Therefore this action was not directly against Chang personally. Instead, it is the Central Government which is tightening control over Hong Kong-Taiwan links.

- Yes, the Central Government made Chang Tieh-chih forget to renew his Hong Kong visa and to leave his Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents at home. Those Commies are really nefarious. I would never have guessed until this HKBU School of Communication senior lecturer brought this to my attention.

- (EJ Insight) December 7, 2017. A Taiwanese official said the Hong Kong government should treat civil exchanges between their two places with an open mind and a positive attitude so as not to hurt the city’s image in the eyes of Taiwan people or affect their relationship built over many years.

- ... but no Taiwanese officials have come out to remind their citizens to always bring valid travel documents when they going overseas.

(Chinese University of Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies) 722 Hong Kong citizens aged 18 or over were interviewed November 21-25, 2017 by telephone.

Q1. Do you support filibustering on principle?
50.8%: Do not support
30.3%: In-between
14.0%: Support
4.8%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2. Do you agree with changing the rules of procedure in the legislature in order to reduce the change of filibustering?
30.1%: Disagree
16.6%: In-between
49.4%: Agree
3.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Q3. Are you worried that changing the rules of procedure at the legislature will end up weakening the speech rights of legislators?
44.0%: Not worried
16.0%: In-between
35.2%: Worried
3.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Q4. Do you agree with filibustering over the Co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Station?
58.6%: Disagree
14.1%: In-between
22.2%: Agree
5.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Q5. Statements on filibustering

Filibustering hinders governance and slows down social development in Hon gKong
19.8%: Disagree
23.1%: In-between
53.2%: Agree
3.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Filibustering only represents a chance for a political show by the legislators to increase public exposure
31.9%: Disagree
26.3%: In-between
37.4%: Agree
4.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Filibustering can raise public awareness on the issues and make the government face up to the demands
43.9%: Disagree
22.0%: In-between
31.7%: Agree
2.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Legislators filibuster because there is no full universal suffrage at the legislature
40.9%: Disagree
21.3%: In-between
30.7%: Agree
7.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Internet comments:

- (Oriental Daily) December 6, 2017. The pan-democratic legislators met with the press today. With respect to the CUHK-IAPS poll, legislator Chan Chi-chuen said that the poll will not affect the future actions of the pro-democracy camp.

- Who fucking cares about what people think!? We are pro-democracy and we certainly don't have to care!

- (HKG Pao) Actually, the pan-democrats care a lot. Here is Alvin Yeung (Civic Party) offering his explanation:- Filibustering is a non-violent form of resistance. If filibustering is disabled in future, then there is only violent resistance left. He said: "First of all, we wouldn't want to hurt the security guards who are blameless. I feel that this is the most essential. From this premise, we have to think about what we can do to achieve our goals." (see video of violence in the Legislative Council chamber)

- Short summary: If you won't let us filibuster, we are going to have to assault security guards. If and when they get hurt (and they will), you will bear full responsibility because you stopped filibustering.

- (HKG Pao) Lawmaker James To (Democratic Party) told the press that "Amending the Rules of Procedure" = "Eliminating One Country Two Systems." What is the line of reasoning?

One Country Two Systems means that the two systems are different. If the two systems converge, then One Country Two Systems is dead. Therefore, the two systems must continue to be different.

The Hong Kong system allows filibustering right now, but they don't do so in mainland China. If we eliminate filibustering in Hong Kong, it means that the two systems will be alike. Therefore we must keep filibustering in Hong Kong, or else One Country Two Systems is dead.

In like manner, this argument can be extended to any number of other fields.

For example, mainland China has the High Rail Express. Therefore Hong Kong must not allow the High Rail Express to come in or else One Country Two Systems is dead. Instead Hongkongers must continue to take the cow train.

- Who is going to be happiest after the rules of procedure are amended?

[ ] The pro-democracy camp
[ ] The pro-establishment camp
[ ] The Hong Kong SAR government
[ ] The Central Government/Chinese Communist Party
[ ] The Legislative Council secretariat (including the security guards)
[ ] The media
[ ] The people of Hong Kong

(Hong Kong Free Press) Lawmaker Paul Tse, who is the chair of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, said, "The public must be the happiest ones."

- (SCMP) Hong Kong’s opposition leaders only have themselves to blame. By Alex Lo. December 9, 2017.

The irony is hard to miss. The opposition is using protests, disruptions, quorum counts, filibustering and any and all delaying tactics it can come up with to stall changes to the rule book of the Legislative Council to restrict such tactics. The chaos we have just witnessed in the Legco chamber this week will only get worse.

But the opposition is just digging a bigger hole for itself – and confirming for the public that it has nothing constructive to offer other than opposing for its own sake.

Filibustering and stalling in general have a place in any legislative assembly that doesn’t want to be just a rubber stamp. But they need to be used sparingly and wisely. Unfortunately, such tactics became the weapon of first rather than last resort for opposition lawmakers during the years of the Leung Chun-ying administration, which they hated and despised to an almost hysterical level.

Opposition leaders like to claim they oppose only unjust bills and “white elephant” infrastructure projects. But, whether intentional or not, their indiscriminate, scorched-earth tactics have caused tremendous collateral damage.

In local construction, an estimated HK$180 billion of works, of which about 40 per cent is funded publicly, is needed each year to sustain a 400,000 workforce.

Last year, the government sought HK$67.5 billion for 72 construction projects, yet only a handful were approved because of disruptions to funding in Legco. The vast majority were minor works, not large-scale “white elephants”.

More ridiculously, opposition legislators have been happy to hold up funding approval they themselves support just to spite the government. That was what happened in July when a popular HK$3.6 billion additional recurrent funding in education was not approved until the last minute because of protests against the disqualification of localist lawmakers.

It should surprise no one that more than half of those questioned in a recent Chinese University survey opposed filibustering and other delaying tactics, while only about a third expressed support.

The loyalists in Legco are no doubt exploiting a rare opportunity to curb the ability of the opposition to block government bills with the disqualification that has left six Legco seats vacant; they would be foolish not to.

Opposition leaders have no one to blame but themselves to have used questionable tactics to such an irrational and destructive extent as to squander public goodwill, understanding and forbearance.

- (EJ Insight) Is it time for the opposition to throw in the towel?  By SC Yeung. December 12, 2017.

The democrats appear to be fighting a losing battle in their effort to prevent changes to the Legislative Council rules. Public opinion is not on their side. Neither is time.

The establishment camp is keen on pushing through with the changes, which would stop filibusters and lower the quorum, weapons the opposition use to either delay or stop the proceedings to tackle controversial government bills.

The administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam is solidly behind the move, although under the principle of separation of powers, the executive branch is not supposed to meddle with the affairs of the legislature.

Something must happen before Lam leaves for her duty visit to Beijing later this week, and nothing would please her boss, President Xi Jinping, more than the news that the Legco rule changes are in the bag.

There is no better time to pass the proposed changes than now, when six of the pan-democrats have been disqualified after the court invalidated their oath-taking, and the pro-Beijing camp has gained control of Legco.

All that the opposition can do to block the changes is to resort to delaying tactics, disrupt the proceedings, and prevent a vote.

Is there really nothing the opposition can do to sway public opinion to their side, to convince the public that the changes would turn Legco into a rubber stamp like the National People’s Congress in Beijing, that the changes are inimical to their interests?

The democrats want to resort to action similar to the Occupy campaign in 2014. They want their supporters to camp out in front of Legco to oppose the proposed changes, which could be approved as early as next week, before the legislature adjourns for the Christmas holiday.

But would such an action be enough for the opposition to win the hearts and minds of the people, and turn the tide in their favor?

The opposition’s message is too simple. They are saying that the rule changes would lead to the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law, and restrict the freedom of speech that we currently enjoy.

But the public view is that the rule changes would give order to the Legco proceedings, put a stop to the long delays that to them are simply a waste of time and people’s money. In short, the public has had enough of the opposition’s old tricks.

One of the proposed changes is to lower the minimum number of legislators present in a meeting to establish a quorum to 20, from the current 35 or half of the entire body. The opposition has used this rule to stop the legislature from voting on controversial bills and also to criticize pro-Beijing lawmakers who are often absent from sessions.

If the proposal is approved, it would no longer be difficult for the establishment camp to start a meeting and facilitate the enactment of controversial government bills.

But such a proposal is itself controversial, and may be a violation of the Basic Law. According to Article 75 of our mini-constitution, the quorum of the Legislative Council shall be not less than one-half of all its members. In fact, the government may need to ask Beijing for another interpretation to make the law effective in Hong Kong.

Former Legco president Andrew Wong on Monday weighed in on the controversy, noting that both the establishment camp and the pan-democrats have gone overboard. He said most of the proposed rule changes are unnecessary, but some rules, such as the one that allows the removal of the press from the chamber, are indeed outdated and should be scrapped. Wong urged lawmakers to handle the matter more carefully and to spend more time to arrive at a consensus.

But the entire pro-Beijing camp, including Legco president Andrew Leung, wants to set a deadline to have the rule changes approved as soon as possible. Leung, in fact, has extended the Legco sessions to have the proposals approved.

In truth, the Legco leadership has shut the door to any further deliberation on the proposals or to reach a compromise with the democrats.

Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung admitted that the democrats‘ options to block the proposed rule changes are quite limited. He did urge both sides to sit down to work out a plan to restore normal Legco functions. “We should not keep fighting against each other at Legco,” Yeung said.

In the face of defeat at Legco, what else could the democrats do? Would they now throw in the towel and return to the parliament of the streets?

(Ming Pao) December 13, 2017.

In countries and regions with a representative political system, the use of filibuster by minority lawmakers in the legislative body is part of its business. In this light, pan-democratic lawmakers' use of filibuster in Hong Kong to advance their proposals and demands is not a big issue. However, what is different between Hong Kong's Legislative Council and the legislative bodies in other countries and regions is that Hong Kong does not have a mechanism for handling filibuster. As a result, pan-democratic lawmakers, though in the minority, get to hijack the Legislative Council, paralyse the deliberation of issues and undermine almost all of its functions as a legislative body.

According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the CUHK, of the 722 respondents over 18, 49.4 per cent supported the amendment of the Rules of Procedure in order to curb filibuster, while 30.1 per cent were against the move. As for whether lawmakers should filibuster against controversial issues to prevent related bills or motions from being adopted, 50.8 per cent of respondents said "no", while only 14 per cent said "yes", showing an even greater discrepancy. In the past, citizens were neutral towards filibuster. Now their preference is clear — they are obviously against filibuster. This is believed to be the result of the pan-democrats' overuse of filibuster, so much so citizens feel that their interests have been harmed. Hence the change of the tide of opinion.

In the same survey, respondents were also asked about the "Co-location Arrangements". It was found that 58.6 per cent of respondents did not think that lawmakers should filibuster against the motion, while only 22.2 per cent thought they should. The pan-democratic camp had invented many scenarios to frighten citizens, trying to paint a horrifying picture of the Co-location Arrangements. As shown by the survey, their strategy has not been successful. The finding, together with citizens' stance on filibuster, demonstrates that pan-democratic lawmakers are now at the opposite of public opinion. In spite of this, some of them, however, have said they will not pay attention to the survey and will continue to do what they want to do. It is uncertain whether the pan-democrats as a whole will filibuster to the end.

(YouTube)

King Leonidas: Spartans! Prepare for glory!

Daxos: Glory? Have you gone mad? There is no glory to be had now! Only retreat, or surrender or death!

King Leonidas: Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadian! Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word. Let every Greek assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul. And while you're at it, search your own.

...

King Leonidas: Children, gather round! No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight... and die. A new age has begun. An age of freedom, and all will know, that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it!

(Oriental Daily) November 30, 2017.

The League of Social Democrats, Demosisto and other groups announced today at a prses conference that they will hold a demonstration this coming Sunday. The theme shall be: "March with the activists, resist authoritarianism." The march will begin from Southorn Sports Ground in Wanchai and end at the Court of Final Appeal in Central. League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng said that they have applied for a letter of non-objection from the police with an expected crowd size of 2,000.

Earlier in August, several days after Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow went into jail, several organizations marched to support the "political prisoners." Many pan-democrats, localists and students showed up. This was one of the few times when the organizers did not provide a crowd size estimate. Former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general said that this was the largest crowd since the 2014 Occupy Movement and that they raised $2.5 million in donations.

Less than two months later, the same group held an Anti-Authoritarian March on October 1 to demand the resignation of Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen. The organizers claimed that 40,000 persons marched and donated more than $1.1 million.

Previously the Justice Defence Fund hijacked the marches. At first, they said that they were raising money for the four disqualified Legislative Councilors. Then they said that the money would be used to help Occupy Movement people. Now the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund said that they want to help the imprisoned activists in the North East New Territories development case.

This latest march is set to raise money for the Justice Defense Fund and the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund. Apart from the previously stated aid recipients, we now have Joshua Wong ready to be sentenced next week for contempt of court in the Mong Kok clearance and the sentence appeal for Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow in January. It is highly likely that Wong, Law and Chow will go back to jail. So is this latest march an attempt to raise more "family settlement" money for them?

(Oriental Daily) December 3, 2017.

The Anti-Authoritarianism demonstration march by the League of Social Democrats, Demosisto and other organizations started out at 235pm from Southorn Sports Ground in Wanchai and arrived at the Court of Final Appeal in Central at 320pm.

About 300 persons started the march. They changed slogans including "Defend the disqualified legislative councilors," "Oppose political prosecution," "Oppose political persecution," "We don't want Article 23," "Release the political prisoners", "No fear of authoritarianism," "I want genuine universal suffrage," "The people should be in charge," etc.

Most of the marchers held donation boxes to raise money for the Justice Defence Fund. Among those present were Joshua Wong and Nathan Law of Demosisto, the four disqualified legislative councilors (Lau Siu-lai, Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law and Yiu Chung-yim), Occupy Central trio member Benny Tai, Avery Ng and Raphael Wong of the League of Social Democrats and some members of the North East New Territories 13.

Joshua Wong said that he expects to be sentenced to jail on Thursday for contempt of court during the Mong Kok clearance. Therefore this will be his last march this year. He said that this march will be a shot in the arm for social activists. He said that the the crowd size is unimportant. He believes that all the marchers have firm will. He hopes that this march will show the government that they oppose political persecution and that the people of Hong Kong have a spirit of never giving up.

Internet comments:

- If I want to make a charitable donation, I would have given it last night to the Tung Wah Charity Gala on TVB. At least I know where the money to going to.

- Who are these people anyway?
Joshua Wong: unemployed
Nathan Law: unemployed
Avery Ng: unemployed
Raphael Wong: unemployed
Leung Kwok-hung: unemployed
Yiu Chung-yim: consultant
Lau Siu-lai: University lecturer
Benny Tai: Associate professor, School of Law, Hong Kong University

- If they claim to have raised another $1 million, then the average donation per person is $1,000,000 / 300 = $3,333. And most of these people are unemployed. Who is going to believe that?

- It is not true that they are unemployed. They are all professional social activists whose income depends on the donations.

- 300? The next day, Apple Daily's headline will be the usual 全城怒吼("the whole city rose up and roared in anger").

- Joshua Wong said that the crowd size is unimportant. Oh. Why couldn't he make it clear beforehand and then everybody can just stay home?

- (Oriental Daily) December 4, 2017. The issue is less than the absolute number '2000.' More importantly, these same people claimed 40,000 came to demonstrate the last time. What happened to the other 38,000 today?

- Turnout was impacted today by the non-appearance of those in the localism/independence/self-determination movements. The reason is that Ray Wong (Hong Kong Indigenous) has just jumped bail and gone missing (see Hong Kong Free Press). So the normally verbose leaders of the localism/independence/self-determination movements hiding from the press, and the rank-and-file members are under gag orders.

- The Justice Defence Fund has never counted the Mong Kok rioters (including Ray Wong and Edward Leung) among those ineligible for its aid. So why would the localism/independence/self-determination movements show up at a fundraiser for the Justice Defence Fund?

- What can the localism/independence/self-determination say about the case of Ray Wong? On one hand, if they say that Wong was right to jump bail so as to avoid political persecution by a rigged judicial system, their words will be used against them when they apply for bail some day. On the other hand, if they say that Wong should turn himself in, they would be colluding with the three powers (executive, legislative and judicial) to persecute a comrade. So at the most they can only say that they don't know the facts here and therefore cannot comment.

- (SCMP) December 3, 2017. Event organisers said 2,000 people joined the march from Southorn Playground in Wan Chai to the Court of Final Appeal in Central over a series of recent court cases, including the imprisonment of the pro-democracy movement activists and the disqualification of four opposition lawmakers. Police estimated 1,800 people attended the protest.

- Normally, the Civil Human Rights Front produces a number which is 5 to 10 times larger than the police number which tends to be close to the numbers from the university pollsters. What happened here? Has Civil Human Rights Front discovered honesty?

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 22, 2017.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is “absolutely valid” in response to a parliamentary question on freedoms in Hong Kong.

At a British Parliament session on Tuesday, Labour Party MP Geraint Davies said: “[I]n Hong Kong freedom of the press, freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed by Article 3(5) of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Yet last week, Beijing said they would basically imprison people up to three years for booing or disrespecting the Chinese national anthem.”

“President Trump said nothing about this during his visit, what is he [Johnson] going to do about this to uphold fundamental values that we are legally obliged in the United Kingdom to uphold?”

In response, Johnson said: “We have made it absolutely clear to our Chinese partners that the Joint Declaration is absolutely valid and operative, and the One Country, Two Systems enshrining all the values that he [Davies] rightly draws attention to. One Country, Two Systems remain in force.”

Hong Kong Watch, a new London-based advocacy organisation focused on Hong Kong, said on Twitter: “Thank you Geraint Davis MP for raising important concerns about freedom of expression, and press freedom in Hong Kong.”

The group has the support of patrons from across the political spectrum, including former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC, former Labour Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West MP, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown, independent cross-bencher Lord David Alton, and former prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic, barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice QC.

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 27, 2017.

Lord Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, says Britain has a duty to Hong Kong. He said the Sino-British Joint Declaration is an enshrined international treaty: “It is up to all to make sure that they preserved that and protect it.”

“The British government has a duty here too. Britain sadly is obsessed with Brexit at the moment, but you know this is our engagement. I think it was John Major, the British prime minister, who said to the people of Hong Kong: ‘You’ll never walk alone’.”

“Chris Patten has said Britain risks selling her honour if, in order to get a decent trade deal we’re all desperate to get, Britain forgets her obligations in Hong Kong.”

(The Foreign Correspondents Club Hong Kong) Britain should offer right of abode to BNO passport holders, says Lord Ashdown as he sets up Hong Kong Watch. November 28, 2017.

The former Royal Marine, in Hong Kong on a fact-finding exercise, said he would “favour very strongly the BNO being extended to the right of abode if it is the case that the conditions in Hong Kong are created by whatever force that enables those who hold the BNO passport to feel so vulnerable that they can’t live here any longer”. However, the SAR passport “is probably a better travel document than the BNO”, he added. The BNO (British Nationals Overseas) passport was created in 1987 and is issued to permanent residents of Hong Kong. Holders can visit the UK for up to six months.

Internet comments:

- (Wikipedia) British National (Overseas) Passports

British Nationals (Overseas) are British nationals but not British citizens, and hence do not have the right of abode in the UK. Holders of BN(O) passports can only visit UK for no more than six months (or three months when arriving from the Republic of Ireland). For longer stays or other purposes of visit, holders of BN(O) passports need to apply for the appropriate visas at the UK diplomatic missions overseas.

British National (Overseas) status is not recognized by the Government of China, so BN(O) passports are not recognized by Mainland China ports of entry controlled by Ministry of Public Security. Plus, the Government of Hong Kong does not allow BN(O)s' withdrawal of Chinese citizenship pursuant to the Nationality law of the People's Republic of China. Therefore, BN(O)s who wish to visit Mainland China must obtain Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents in advance.

- (Wikipedia) Check Kiting

Check kiting is a form of check fraud, involving taking advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. In this way, instead of being used as a negotiable instrument, checks are misused as a form of unauthorized credit.

Kiting is commonly defined as intentionally writing a check for a value greater than the account balance from an account in one bank, then writing a check from another account in another bank, also with non-sufficient funds, with the second check serving to cover the non-existent funds from the first account. The purpose of check kiting is to falsely inflate the balance of a checking account in order to allow written checks to clear that would otherwise bounce. If the account is not planned to be replenished, then the fraud is colloquially known as paper hanging.

According to Wikipedia, Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, known as Paddy Ashdown served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999. So what? This only makes him a used-up battery with no power today.

Lord Ashdown is in no position to promise UK citizenship to BNO passport holders. He has nothing in his bank account. He can write another check to promise that he will bring the subject up if the situation so warrants at a later time, but that is the covering check from another bank account with no money in it either.

- (The Stand News) November 29, 2017.

At the FCC, Lord Ashdown said:

“On BN(O), you will not be surprised to know that I would favour very strongly that the BN(O) be extended to right of abode, if it is the case that the conditions in Hong Kong are created by whatever force that enables those who hold the BN(O) passport to feel so vulnerable that they can’t live here any longer, I think as a backstop assurance that should be provided.”

“…I don’t say we should do it now, but if it is the case that those who have BN(O) passports feel so vulnerable that they can’t live here any longer, and that is proven to be a case, then I think Britain should certainly be prepared to show generosity in that matter.”

There are two key issues: (1) Does Lord Ashdown have sufficient pull in British politics to make this happen? (2) Will British politicians and general public accept this? Given the preoccupation in the United Kingdom with Brexit, I am pessimistic.

Previously, former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten said during his visit to Hong Kong that he will bring this topic up for parliamentary debate. So far, we haven't seen him done anything yet. Last month during the Benedict Rogers affair, the British government even summoned the Chinese ambassador. But the matter seemed to have faded away by now. We are neither surprised nor disappointed, because this was just what we expected.

In the end, this is as Professor Simon Shen Xu Hui wrote: "The British will only express their concerns verbally, but they will never take any concrete action. Such is the unspoken political reality."

- (Simon Shen's blog) October 10, 2014.

Individual Hong Kong politicians seem to want the British to intervene in Hong Kong. Even the last governor Chris Patten said that the British government is being "irresponsible" by not intervening. But this is just wishful thinking.

First of all, why is the Joint Sino-British Declaration a "declaration" and not a "treaty" or "agreement"? That is because China refused to sign a treaty with the United Kingdom less they looked as if they are accepting the unequal treaties such as the Treaty of Nanking or the Treaty of Peking. They don't want the United Kingdom to have any say in Hong Kong after the handover.

After the Declaration was signed, a number of legislators such as Chung Sze-yuen suggested that the Declaration be entered into the United Nations in order to gain international recognition. What does that mean? In the era of the League of Nations before WWII, the registration of such documents are legally binding. After WWII, the newly founded United Nations removed this requirement. This means that all other treaties, agreements and declarations not registered are treated the same way. The so-called "registration" refers to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations:

1. Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it.

2. No party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations.

This has nothing to do with the legal status of the document. The Joint Sino-British Declaration is a bilateral declaration, so that only those two signatory nations can have a say. It is wrong to think that just because it was entered into the United Nations means that the United Nations can take over and monitor the implementation.

If either the British or the Chinese thinks that the other side has broken the promise, can they complain to the international community? In theory, yes. But the problem is that the Declaration does not say what recourse is available in such a situation. For example, the Declaration does not say what happens if China took Hong Kong back before 1997 or if the United Kingdom refused to hand Hong Kong over in 1997. The United Nations might be able to intervene in case of war, but its scope of action is limited in other matters.

In theory, the United Kingdom can sue China at the International Court of Justice to seek a binding arbitration. But an arbitration requires bilateral agreement, and China would never agree to it.

The United Kingdom can imitate the Philippines to sue China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration but that decision is non-binding. Besides the United Kingdom has slim chance of winning because the wording in the Joint Sino-British Declaration is deliberately vague (maintaining "basic policies", preserving the "life-style", "the chief executive will be appointed by the Central People's Government on the basis of the results of elections or consultations to be held locally") in order to give maximum flexibility to the sovereign nation. Today, the United Kingdom needs Chinese capital investment and trade. The British will only express their concerns verbally, but they will never take any concrete action. Such is the unspoken political reality.

- When Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is “absolutely valid”, he is kiting a check. He has nothing to back up that statement.

- (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China) June 30, 2017.

Q: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on June 29 that the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free media have all been central to Hong Kong's success. Hong Kong's future success will depend on the rights and freedoms protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The spokesperson of the US State Department also said that the US remains concerned about any infringements of civil liberties in Hong Kong, including intrusions on press freedoms, and supports the further development of Hong Kong's democratic systems. What is China's comment on that?

A: We can tell whether Hong Kong is successful or not based on its development over the past two decades since its return to the motherland, rather than any outsiders' irresponsible remarks.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has achieved all-round progress over the past 20 years under the energetic support of the central government and the mainland. From 1997 to 2016, GDP annual growth rate in Hong Kong averaged 3.2%, ranking among the top developed economies. Hong Kong has kept its unemployment rate below 3.5% over recent years, while the world average is 5%. For 23 years in a row, Hong Kong has been rated by the Heritage Foundation as the freest economy in its Index of Economic Freedom Report. According to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017, Hong Kong topped the list of competitive economies for the second consecutive year. The successful practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and the prosperous and contented life of people in Hong Kong have made people of the SAR and the entire China happy, although it seems to have made some others sour.

As for the remarks made by those from the US and the UK, I want to stress that Hong Kong is China's SAR, and Hong Kong affairs belong to China's domestic affairs. The Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) clearly marks the transitional period off from China resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. It's been 20 years now since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, and the arrangements during the transitional period prescribed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are now history and of no practical significance, nor are they binding on the Chinese central government's administration of the Hong Kong SAR. The British side has no sovereignty, no power to rule and supervise Hong Kong after the handover. It is hoped that relevant people will come around to this.

- Every few weeks, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pops up to say that the Joint Sino-British Declaration is as valid as ever. By auto-rote, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China spokesperson says that Hong Kong matters are internal Chinese matters. What is the point of this pantomime show?

- What, if anything, can the British do? Cut off all economic ties with China and get the rest of the world to do so too? Send their aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth II to Hong Kong if and when it is battle-worthy? Bring a motion to denounce Hong Kong's national anthem law before the United Nations General Assembly and lose by a vote of 1-157?

- (Wen Wei Po) November 30, 2017.

No sooner did Paddy Ashdown finish his speech than Edward Leung (Hong Kong Indigenous) immediately issued the call: "All those who have not renewed their BNO passports should do so immediately, so that the correct number can be used for effective legislation."

Melody Lam: This is a waste of time. If the Brits wanted to do this, they would have done it a long time ago.

Io Va Chu: This is not the first time that you heard from the the Brits. If the people of Hong Kong become boat people, the United Kingdom will be among the first wave of nations to shut the gates!

Vincent Or: The Brits would be stupid to pay any attention to you!

Caleb Lam: This is just a way for the political hacks to come out and get some attention.

Kam Lau: Each time they bring out some bit player to make statements that they won't take responsibility for. Meanwhile those who have the real power to effect things never say anything.

William Lai: Ha ha ... he talks big but he doesn't have to pay the bill. Nevertheless many people actually believe him and give him applause. It is so easy to be a politician.

- The British voted for Brexit because they don't want all those Eastern Europeans coming to their beautiful homeland. And they also don't want the hordes of Middle Eastern refugees waiting in Calais (France) to come. What are the chances of them welcoming a couple of million Hongkongers to come to the British Isles to collect welfare and use the National Health Service?

- India, a former British colony and still a member of the British Commonwealth, has a Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act with a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail. This Act of the Parliament covers the desecration of the National Flag, the National Anthem and the Constitution? Why doesn't the United Kingdom complain? Where is Lord Ashdown when he is needed?

- Hong Kong already has a National Flag law in place, with a citizen being sentenced to 9 months in prison for flag-burning (see SCMP). Why can't they have a National Anthem law too? Why is it different?

- Is the argument that the National Anthem law would not preserve the "life-style" that is enshrined in the Joint Sino-British Declaration? That's funny, I don't remember that the British colonial administration allowed the booing of the British anthem or the burning of the British flag.

- (Bastille Post) December 1, 2017.

When Paddy Ashdown said that the British government is being hypocritical on the Hong Kong problem, I think that the only thing true is the word "hypocritical." Not only is the British government hypocritical, but the British politicians (including Paddy Ashdown) are hypocritical too. Not only this, but all politicians who have to survive electoral politics (including the pro-establishment and pro-democracy camps in Hong Kong) are hypocritical. The Liberal Democratic Party is a small party that is the third or fourth largest party in the United Kingdom. After the 2010 elections, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democratic Party formed a coalition government, and their head Nick Clegg served as the deputy prime minister. If the Liberal Democrats cared so much about Hongkongers, then why didn't they fight for the right of abode for BNO passport holders when they were actually part of the ruling coalition?

When the British left Hong Kong, the BNO passports were intended to be a travel document. The cover may be identical to the British passport, but the BNO passport states clearly inside that the bearer does not have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. At the time, certain Hongkongers held actual British passports. But after the handover, the British government immediately amended the law so that those Hongkongers who hold British passport but are not normal tax-paying residents in the United Kingdom will have to pay full overseas tuition for their children. When a government wants to claw away even at student tuition, what are the chances of this government giving right of abode to about 150,000 BNO passport holders? Right now, the refugee crisis in the European Union had caused the Brexit referendum to succeed. So what room is there for the British government to act on the right of abode for more outsiders?

So why did Lord Ashdown tell Hongkongers about something that he can't deliver? This is the common problem for politicians -- they will go to different places to tell different peoples whatever those people want to hear. He came to Hong Kong and knew that some Hongkongers don't like the Chinese government. So he said things that they wanted to hear, such as granting the right of abode to BNO passport holders. At this time, the Liberal Democrats hold only 8 seats in Parliament. They aren't even part of any coalition government. So they can say whatever they want without accountability. Lord Ashdown goes even further than most politicians, because he even wants to appease Hongkongers who are not British voters. Well, he can say anything that he wants to but he actually cannot deliver on any of it.

- (SCMP) Britain needs to truly let go of Hong Kong. By Alex Lo. December 1, 2017.

It’s both amusing and infuriating to watch British grandees flying in and out of the city making pronouncements about our future and how China should behave. On a practical level, when will these very important people realise their country is now irrelevant on the international stage and their government has little influence anywhere in the world, including in Hong Kong?

This negative assessment of Britain’s international standing, is not my own judgment, but that of Jonathan Powell (see his Guardian op-ed), Tony Blair’s chief of staff from 1995 to 2007, and of Steven Erlanger, chief diplomatic correspondent of The New York Times, who just completed four years as the paper’s London bureau chief.

People like British peer Paddy Ashdown, who has been on a “fact-finding” tour here like we are some kind of war-worn Bosnia and Herzegovina, his old haunts, are entertained by members of the local opposition and their expatriate supporters grasping at straws. But even their most fervent fans know deep down they will make no difference whatsoever, whatever happens in Hong Kong now and forever.

China must honour the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Ashdown solemnly declares. But why wouldn’t China when this international treaty, from the very beginning, focuses on preserving “the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong” and “upholding national unity and territorial integrity”?

It sounds like some opposition members and Hong Kong secessionists are the ones working to undermine this treaty.

“Our duty to Hong Kong is non-negotiable,” Ashdown said. “Britain does need to understand that it has a very special duty to Hong Kong and it needs to fulfill that duty. We have a legal duty. We have a moral duty. We have a duty of friendship.”

I am sorry, but doesn’t anyone feel embarrassed hearing him speak like that? Not British peers, evidently.

And preserving Hong Kong’s freedoms, too. Presumably that means achieving full democracy and universal suffrage. But there is no mention of any of that in the Joint Declaration. It’s all in the Basic Law. I would join the opposition this minute if they start respecting the city’s mini-constitution in total, including Article 23, which calls for Hong Kong to enact national security legislation.

In a disaster or war, do you think Britain or China would rush all available resources to help Hong Kong? Oh wait, that would be mainland interference. Better call the Brits for help!

- Flashback! (New York Times) July 23, 1989.

The controversy surrounding Britain's refusal to allow holders of British passports in Hong Kong to settle here has fed a long-running debate over this nation's policies toward immigrants.

Since the Communist repression of the pro-democracy movement in China last month, London has reaffirmed several times its decision not to give Hong Kong's 3.25 million Chinese who hold British passports the right to live in Britain after the colony's scheduled reversion to China in 1997.

Sir Geoffrey Howe, British Foreign Secretary repeated this last week. He told the House of Commons that the Government would be as ''generous as possible'' in admitting people from the colony but that a commitment to take in all of them was ''impossible.''

''It would be wrong to raise expectations we could not possibly meet,'' Sir Geoffrey said, adding that the authorities were working on a plan to admit some people from both the private and public sectors on the basis of the value of their service to Hong Kong, as well as their connections with Britain.

Both Conservative politicians and their Labor opponents have supported the Government's decision. But The Sunday Times, in a recent editorial, accused the authorities of not standing by the colony's people.

''To most British politicians, Hong Kong is a place out of sight, out of mind,'' the newspaper said. ''On both sides of the House their attitude is, at best, clouded by ignorance; at worst, warped by racism.''

Opinion polls suggest that the public is divided over the immigration issue.

Under the headline ''No! No! No!'' The Sun, a national tabloid, published a survey recently that indicated that 65 percent were against a mass immigration of people from Hong Kong.

A Gallup Poll published last month in The Daily Telegraph, just after the Chinese Army crushed the pro-democracy protest, showed that the crackdown had not changed attitudes on giving the colony's people the right to settle here.

The poll indicated that 42 percent of Britons favored extending the right, 46 percent opposed it and the rest were undecided. When Gallup asked the same question in November 1983, it got almost identical results.

Behind the statistics is the reality of Britain today. In the early 1950's, the nation had 35,000 nonwhite residents, compared with 2.5 million today out of a total population of 57 million.

Huge waves of immigrants, many of whom were encouraged to settle here to fill the lowest paying jobs, arrived in the 1950's and 60's from Africa, India, Pakistan and the West Indies.

They settled in a class-oriented country that had previously known the newcomers only as colonial subjects. Sociologists say Britain remains socially and politically uncomfortable as a nation of diverse cultures and cannot easily contemplate a commitment to accept a new influx of immigrants.

Government figures show that a total of about 49,000 immigrants were allowed to settle in Britain last year and, in the last four years, fewer than 1,000 a year were allowed in from Hong Kong.

Critics of the Government position say it should undertake research before embarking on its stated course of asking the rest of the world to help Hong Kong residents in the event that the colony's people are forced to flee.

Paddy Ashdown, leader of the Social and Liberal Democrats, has condemned the political consensus over the Hong Kong issue. In a letter to The Independent newspaper, Mr. Ashdown said Mrs. Thatcher had added to the impression that concessions to Hong Kong would greatly strain the nation by giving Parliament a ''savagely simple'' answer to a question about the hardships that families faced when immigration regulations caused them to be separated.

''Her case, she said, rested on the fact that we are already admitting 40-50,000 immigrants per year and could not absorb any more,'' Mr. Ashdown wrote. ''In other words, issues of justice and morality are overruled by the numbers game.

''This fawning before unstated popular prejudice does no credit to our leading politicians. It may not in itself be racist - but it feeds off and adds to the already dangerous level of racism within our society.''

(The Independent) March 4, 1995.

As he strolls through the leafy grounds of the Governor's country residence and relishes the colonial splendour of Government House today, John Major may well reflect that this is could be the last time a British prime minister sets foot on Hong Kong soil as a British colony. When he flies out of Hong Kong this evening, what will John Major have concluded there is to be proud of? What indelibly good British values will we leave behind in June 1997?

This ill-gotten little slice of a faraway land, so ignobly acquired in the Opium Wars, will be just as ignobly deserted. The final and abiding symbol of our shabbiness will be 13 elderly war widows who have been denied British passports - (well, who wants to be "flooded" with widows?). The number of widows goes down with every article written about them, for the obvious reason; not long ago there were 50. A small concession is expected from the Prime Minister: 2 million Hong Kong Chinese, holders of the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) passports will have the same right to visit Britain without a visa that the 3.5 million entitled to British National Overseas passports will have after 1997. But none of them will have the right to live or work here. Even this paltry gesture was vigorously opposed in cabinet by the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, afraid it might be a back-door route to illegal immigrants.

A few months ago Governor Chris Patten bravely called for the Government to grant passports to all 3.3 million born and bred in Hong Kong. The furore he caused was all the more disgusting for being so entirely predictable. Michael Howard's blunt refusal was enthusiastically endorsed by Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, Jack Straw, who said that it was neither "appropriate or practical to offer automatic admission to three million Hong Kong overseas citizens." Only Paddy Ashdown has honourably advocated their cause.

Some 50,000 of the best-heeled Hong Kong families are to be allowed passports that will let them live in Britain. The rest of the 3.3 million who were born in the colony will be left to their fate. Late in the day, when many of the richest Hong Kong residents had already made other arrangements to live in countries that welcome them with open arms - Canada, Australia and New Zealand - Britain added on a tacky little proviso to our No-Chinky-Chonks-Here policy: they can come in if they have pounds 1m and promise to invest it in treasury bonds. There has not been a noticeable stampede.

Racism is deep-dyed in British politics, with a left-right consensus on immigration that endorses the meanest foreigner-hating spirit of British prejudice. Of the many MPs who have spoken out against Hong Kong immigration, I decided to talk to the relatively insignificant but typical Tory backbencher David Wilshire. He has his finger on the pulse of some of the nastier national attitudes towards immigration, a view of the world from which you, gentle reader of this liberal newspaper, may sometimes be over-protected.

"Just say to them we're full up. I'm ever so sorry, there isn't any room left!" he told me. "We haven't the housing for them, we haven't the jobs." But these are skilled people and unlikely to be unemployed or to need council housing. Wouldn't they rekindle the torpid housing market? "I don't believe that guff about them all being entrepreneurs. Sorry, just no room." He adds: "I'm by no means a racist but mixing does cause huge problems. We have a very serious racial problem already. It's just about under control, but it could get out of control, God forbid!" He is in favour of voluntary repatriation for anyone wanting to leave. "Only too pleased to help them go."

Mr Wilshire represents Spelthorne, one of Britain's safest Tory seats, which abuts Heathrow airport: 35,000 pilots, flight crew and skilled mechanics live in his 97 per cent-white patch, while the poor Asians who work at the airport live in Hillingdon, to the north.

"In my pubs immigration and customs officers tell their stories, and maybe with Chinese whispers they get a bit exaggerated. One will say he's just picked up someone saying they're coming on holiday, when they've got a letter from Staines in their luggage offering them a job starting next Monday. Another has Christmas decorations in her case, at Easter. How long is she planning to stay?"

He fulminates about the 40,000 asylum applications a year. I point out that in 1994, only 825 were actually admitted. "You don't need facts for prejudice," he replies wisely. "It's what people think that matters. I know how my people think."

Why do people think what they think? Partly because their prejudices are fuelled by politicians. Language matters. Lord Dubbs reports an eight-year-old Ethiopian girl in her school playground asking her teacher what "bogus" means because the other children keep calling her "bogus", as in "bogus refugee" and "bogus asylum-seeker".

Nice white Britain, ethnically clean, colourless, tasteless and lifeless as a thick-cut loaf of Mighty White - imagine a Britain that had never allowed immigration. The list of cultural riches is too long to contemplate and when would you begin, since "we" are and always have been a mongrel island? A recent report from the London Research Centre celebrated the success of London as Europe's best multi-racial city, where nearly a third of the people will be from myriad ethnic minorities in 15 years' time, cosmopolitan and largely at ease with itself.

Our attitudes towards Asia have become curiously contradictory. The Tiger economies are admired by both Blair and Major. Industrious, studious, ambitious, their people never strike, never divorce, save and prosper. Crimelessly obedient, they are the perfect citizens - if only we were more like them! Personally I am quite glad we are not. For one thing, these homogeneous cultures have a narrow, closed outlook themselves, often intensely racist and hostile to outsiders. It would be hard to match Japan's deep-seated contempt for foreigners, while the Chinese have never given citizenship to anyone not ethnically Chinese. However, both main parties extol the various virtues they find in these societies, yet how do they square this admiration with an adamantine refusal to let these paragons of virtue into Britain?

Gibbon blamed the decline of Greek civilisation on its racial restrictions on citizenship. "The narrow policy of preserving, without any foreign mixture, the pure blood of ancient citizens had checked the fortune and hastened the ruin of Athens and Sparta." Rome, on the other hand, thrived by embracing the talents of "slaves, strangers, enemies and barbarians" if they would make citizens of merit.

Time and again we are told that real gold lies in human resources - people, education, talent, brain, inspiration and intellectual capital. We live in a world where the successful economies are driven by the best ideas, designs and inventions. Turning away these Hong Kong citizens, sending them elsewhere about the globe, may begin to look like throwing away a treasure trove as valuable as North Sea oil. The brightest and best of Hong Kong, rejected by us, are heading instead for the sun-rise countries. We shall miss their talents as the sun finally sets over the British empire.

The Sun

(SCMP) January 16, 2018.

The city’s leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor hit out at the latest report of UK-based group Hong Kong Watch on Tuesday, slamming it as interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs with “unfounded and unfair” comments.

The 10-page report, compiled by British peer Paddy Ashdown, suggested that recent events had raised concerns over the city’s rule of law, including the joint-checkpoint plan which would grant mainland officers almost full jurisdiction in part of the West Kowloon terminus of the cross-border rail link.

“I take great exception to the comments and conclusion in that report. Those comments are totally unfounded and unfair,” Lam said on Tuesday morning before the weekly meeting of her cabinet.

“To attack the rule of law in Hong Kong and to allege that China … this is the words they use, ‘continues to erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms thereby breaching an international treaty’ is totally unfounded.”

The chief executive added: “We have seen no evidence of that. Quite the contrary, the central government has been fully backing Hong Kong and supporting Hong Kong in our economic and social development.”

She slammed Hong Kong Watch for “interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs” and said it was worrying that some people in the city only attacked the central government liaison office yet followed the comments of foreign organisations. Hong Kong Watch was set up by British human rights activist Benedict Rogers, who was refused entry to Hong Kong in October last year.

Reiterating that the core values of the city included the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, Lam again pledged: “I will do my utmost to safeguard those core values.”

Ashdown, who sits in Britain’s House of Lords, wrote in the report that the decision of the National People’s Congress to push through the joint-checkpoint arrangement, “despite objections from Hong Kong lawyers that such a move is unconstitutional as it breaches Article 18 of the Basic Law, sets a dangerous precedent”.

Article 18 states that national laws shall not be applied to Hong Kong except for those listed in Annex III of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.

He also feared that the recent change in the Legislative Council’s rule book – which would effectively curb filibusters – would further reduce the power of pro-democracy voices in Hong Kong, and lamented the lack of progress in the city’s democratic development.

Ashdown, who was in Hong Kong for a two-day fact-finding mission in November, said the enactment of the national security law had the “potential to breach human rights” and the government should ensure the draft would be in line with the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

He also called on China to uphold the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the “one country, two systems” principle, while Britain should also continue to monitor the human rights situation in Hong Kong.

(SCMP) January 17, 2018.

Hong Kong let Lord Ashdown in and he acted like a Justice of the Peace of olden days to listen to the little people. The report for his political group, Hong Kong Watch, is titled: “Hong Kong 20 Years On: Freedom, Human Rights and Autonomy Under Fire – A report on Lord Ashdown’s trip to Hong Kong: November 2017.”

He didn’t seem to recognise the irony, though. “I met with fellow legislators, legal experts and political activists in Hong Kong,” the British peer wrote. “It was my intention to listen to diverse voices during my trip in order to provide a balanced account.”

So he met lots of people and gave many speeches. His local friends such as Democrat Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung have been busy promoting his report, so much so that even Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor yesterday had to defend Hong Kong against allegations made in the report.

It looks like it’s still a free city. But is the report balanced? Well, that depends on whether you are “yellow” or “blue”.

It claims the Department of Justice may be interfering in the legal judgments of courts. That’s way out there.

Even the government’s fiercest critics have so far only claimed that the department’s decision to appeal against the sentencing of several Occupy protest leaders was politically motivated, not that the judge’s subsequent decision to toughen their sentences was interfered with.

The report urges us to introduce universal suffrage. We tried in 2015, but it was voted down by the opposition, along with any hope to phase out or abolish the functional constituencies in the Legislative Council election in 2020. Hence the current stalemate.

The report says Beijing must uphold the Basic Law, then goes on to warn against the dangers of legislating a national security law under Article 23. How does one decide which articles in the Basic Law are more important than others? Or is it just cherry-picking?

And British National (Overseas) (BNO) passports: “Consider reviewing the status of BNO holders, and taking steps to protect BNO passport holders if the human rights situation in Hong Kong significantly worsens.”

Go further, Lord Ashdown. Why not urge your government to grant right of abode to all BNO passport holders now?

Let’s have a beauty contest between post-Brexit Britain and post-1997 Hong Kong to see how local people choose to live in one or the other place. Everything else is just words.

(Hong Kong Free Press) Carrie Lam, Lord Ashdown’s report is not ‘foreign meddling’ – it reflects Britain’s commitment to the Handover. By Benedict Rogers. January 17, 2018.

On Monday, one of Britain’s most distinguished parliamentarians and a long-time friend of Hong Kong published a report. Lord Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats and one of the leading proponents of the rights of Hong Kong people at the time of the Handover of Hong Kong, wrote his reflections based on a visit in November for Hong Kong Watch. He articulated genuine concerns that the rule of law, democracy and the human rights of people of Hong Kong are under threat.

The report was not the ravings of a radical politician with an agenda to undermine Hong Kong, but the measured reflections of one of Britain’s most experienced politicians and a long-time friend of Hong Kong. It was not anti-China propaganda, but concludes with Lord Ashdown’s firmly held conviction that ‘it is in the interests of Britain, China and Hong Kong to continue to uphold the rights enshrined at Handover.’

In light of this, I was shocked by the strength and animosity of Carrie Lam’s response on Tuesday morning. Without addressing any of the major concerns raised in the report, she said that the report was ‘totally unfounded and unfair’. This is an inadequate response to serious questions raised by one the UK’s most experienced politicians, particularly given the fact that the Sino-British Joint Declaration remains in force.

Ms Lam described Lord Ashdown’s comments as an ‘attack on rule of law’ in Hong Kong, but failed to mention the balanced way that Lord Ashdown approached the topic. Lord Ashdown repeatedly emphasised that the Hong Kong judiciary is still largely ‘intact and independent’, but also expressed concern that rule of law is under increasing pressure by citing a long list of examples. Foremost among these is the implementation of mainland law at the new West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus. Lord Ashdown is not alone in describing this as a breach of Basic Law. The Hong Kong Bar Association have said that they are ‘appalled’ by a plan which is the ‘most retrograde step to date in the implementation of the Basic Law’. The former head of Hong Kong’s legislature and pro-establishment heavyweight, Jasper Tsang, wrote in a column that the government should “admit frankly” the arrangement does not comply with the Basic Law.

Another example is the case of booksellers who were abducted in 2015, a serious violation of freedom of expression and rule of law. Angela Gui tells me that her father Gui Minhai is still in custody in mainland China over two years later. Lord Ashdown also expressed concerns about the disqualification of lawmakers based upon a ‘reinterpretation’ or modification of the Basic Law by the Chinese government which appears politicised. Such incidents raise justifiable questions about the status of Hong Kong’s rule of law. The rule of law is still intact, but appears under threat.

Ms Lam made no reference in her remarks to democracy in Hong Kong, despite it being a major focus of Lord Ashdown’s report. Lord Ashdown said in his report that ‘despite being promised in Hong Kong’s Basic Law, there is still a considerable way to go before universal suffrage is realised in Hong Kong.’ He described the functional constituencies as ‘the worst legacy left behind by Britain’, saying that:

‘The functional seats were acceptable in the transition but should gradually be removed. They are a major barrier to the realisation of universal suffrage in Hong Kong.’

He continued to highlight that recent changes to the rules of the Legislative Council have undermined Hong Kong’s limited democracy.

Contrary to Carrie Lam’s allegation that this is ‘foreign meddling’, Lord Ashdown’s report reflects the extension of a hand of friendship and the commitment on the part of British people to honour the international treaty signed in 1984. Lord Ashdown has repeatedly said to me that he believes it is in the interests of both Britain, China and the people of Hong Kong for the rights protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong Basic Law to be upheld. That includes all of the rights laid out in the United Nation’s International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, as is stipulated by Article 39 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

At this critical juncture in Hong Kong politics, with the legislation of Article 23 potentially on the horizon, he believes that this is a time when all signatories to the Sino-British Joint Declaration must reaffirm their commitment to upholding human rights in Hong Kong and ensuring the gradual transition towards democracy. I am pleased that the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has communicated his commitment to ‘one country, two systems’ at multiple points in the last year.

In the conclusion of her statement, Carrie Lam said that she has: ‘time and again stressed that Hong Kong’s core values are rule of law and independence of the judiciary’. I am very pleased to hear her affirm the vital importance of these two pillars of Hong Kong’s society. Hong Kong Watch exists to be a friend to Hong Kong, and we exist to protect these core values, alongside other rights enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. If Carrie Lam is sincere in her desire to protect Hong Kong’s rule of law and judicial independence, then we hope that we will be able to have a constructive working relationship with her administration as we stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.

(SCMP) January 18, 2018.

The British peer who published a damning report about the former colony last week has dismissed as an overreaction the Hong Kong leader’s claim that he had interfered in Chinese affairs.

Paddy Ashdown, a co-founder of the London-based Hong Kong Watch group, insisted on Wednesday that it was “absolutely within the terms” of the Sino-British Joint Declaration for him to speak out.

The former Liberal Democrats leader, who is lobbying the UK government to consider giving British National (Overseas) passport holders citizenship in the long run “if things go really badly”, also called on eligible Hongkongers to claim their BNO passports.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post in the House of Lords on Wednesday, Ashdown said: “I understand the pressures that the administration in Hong Kong is under, I understand that.

“But British parliamentarians have a right to identify when the British government isn’t doing what it said it would, and when the Beijing government isn’t doing it either.”

Ashdown was responding to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who on Tuesday said the report amounted to an interference in China’s and Hong Kong’s affairs.

Her assertion that Hong Kong matters were China’s business only was “manifestly not true”, Ashdown said.

“This is Britain acting absolutely within the terms of the Joint Declaration, which is a treaty,” he said. “And this has been scrupulously and carefully done.”

“I am sure Carrie Lam or those who represent Hong Kong are big enough to be able to look at an assessment and analysis in a rational and objective way,” he added.

Speaking to dozens of audience members in parliament and from the public as he introduced the report, Ashdown said Lam’s remarks were “unhelpful” and an “overreaction”, adding: “Perhaps the kind of overreaction [that] would only serve to give the report more publicity.”

“I am not … saying that the rule of law has been undermined,” Ashdown said. “I have not said anything more than ‘keep a close eye on this’.”

He added that judges in Hong Kong had “maintained strength” in upholding an independent judiciary.

- I completely agree with Lord Ashdown that everybody should "keep a close eye" on everything.

(China Daily) Lord Ashdown - hollow mouthpiece for opposition. By Tony Kwok. January 18, 2018.

Tony Kwok explains why the veteran British politician ended up producing an inaccurate and unfair report on the city's rule of law

When I read Paddy Ashdown's report on Hong Kong based on a visit in November last year, entitled "Hong Kong 20 Years On: Freedom, Human Rights and Autonomy Under Fire", my first thought was "who paid for his trip and for the report"?

Lord Ashdown said he visited Hong Kong for a week in November, "to gather information about human rights, the rule of law and democracy". A business class airfare from London to Hong Kong costs about 5,200 pounds ($7,165), while hotel accommodation and daily expenses for a week in the city could come to at least HK$100,000. Was he doing this freely or was he engaged as a consultant to produce the report? If it is the latter, the minimum daily rate of honorarium for international consultant is 1,000 pounds. Therefore, Lord Ashdown's mission could cost over HK$240,000 - a very attractive sum compared with the daily allowance of 300 pounds he would receive for attending one House of Lords' meeting.

I believe he has an obligation to declare his sponsor or employer - to see whether or not there is any conflict of interest. If it is someone associated with the opposition camp in Hong Kong or an US organization, people will then understand why the report is so biased. I would not even be surprised if it was drafted by a member of the opposition camp - as it merely repeats all the publicly known accusations leveled by opposition politicians and activists toward Beijing and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in recent years.

I have visited many countries in my capacity as international anti-corruption consultant to assess corruption problems. In each case, I ensured I had the opportunity to speak to all stakeholders before coming up with my recommendations. This would include anti-corruption officials, senior government officials, public prosecutors and judges, political parties, NGOs, chambers of commerce and academics. Lord Ashdown claimed he had spoken to "fellow legislators, legal experts and political activists". But he did not identify them; one cannot help wondering whether he only spoke to those from the opposition camp, considering the obvious bias of his report.

For instance, he said the rule of law in Hong Kong has been eroded because "elected lawmakers were thrown out of the Legislative Council". But he did not check the much-reported facts that these lawmakers were subsequently disqualified upon a court ruling after failing to take their oaths of office "solemnly, sincerely and in its entirety in accordance with the law". These lawmakers only have themselves to blame! Would Lord Ashdown expect a member of parliament to be allowed in the House of Commons if he or she refused to swear allegiance to the Queen, or mocked the Queen during their oath taking?

He complained that "student protest leaders were imprisoned" but did he bother to read the judgment of the Court of Appeal? This clearly stated that they were not imprisoned because of their public protests but because they had incited people to use violence and caused injuries to a number of security guards. It is also pertinent to ask what was Lord Ashdown's reaction to the well-publicized protests in 2010. At the time students in the United Kingdom demonstrated against the government's planned increases in tuition fees for universities. This resulted in riots in many cities in Britain and resulted in injuries to hundreds of police, students and citizens. Does he think the students involved in these riots should not be punished?

Lord Ashdown alleged that "Hong Kong's democracy has been further damaged by recent changes to the rules of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong". I wonder if this is not a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Indeed, he ought to know about the disgraceful and often violent behavior of opposition lawmakers within the LegCo chamber. I am also interested to know what Lord Ashdown, who claims to be a champion of the press, thinks of opposition legislator Eddie Chu Hoi-dick's motion evicting the media from the LegCo chamber as a filibustering technique to delay voting.

When I watched House of Commons debates live, I often saw only a handful of MPs present late at night. They are never interrupted by frivolous quorum calls. So how can Lord Ashdown criticize the change of rule in our city which aims to minimize such interruptions so legislators can carry on with their duties? Does he know that for just one year alone, the opposition legislators called quorum counts on 95 occasions! This has led to delays in legislation which held back commencement of much-needed infrastructure projects. This resulted in losses worth billions of dollars due to rises in costs. Incidentally, the rule change enjoys overwhelming support according to a public opinion survey.

He criticized Beijing for imposing its "decision to implement mainland law at the new West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus", implying jurisdictional trespassing. How is it we never hear of such complaints in joint customs border checkpoints in other parts of the world?

He alleged that Hong Kong has deteriorated since the 1997 handover under the "one country, two systems" principle. On the contrary, the city has continued to thrive in economic terms, overtaking many leading cities around the world, including London - which is expecting an exodus of expatriates as Brexit looms. In Hong Kong, our expat community is voting with their feet in support of us. The SAR has seen a near doubling of US and a tripling of French nationals since 1997. Businessmen and worldly professionals are hard-nosed individuals. They are not blind to the facts - for instance, Hong Kong's latest annual GDP growth rate is 3.6 percent compared with the UK's 1.7 percent. The unemployment rate for Hong Kong is now 3 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in the UK.

Corruption is generally regarded as the best benchmark for the rule of law. For the past 20 years, Hong Kong has remained one of the least corrupt places in the world. The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 ranked Hong Kong as 15th most corruption-free place in the world with an assessment mark of 77, the highest mark in the past four years. In another authoritative assessment, the Trace International Trace Bribery Risk Matrix 2017, which measures corruption risk, under the "Anti-bribery Laws and Enforcement", Hong Kong's risk score is 5, better than UK's score of 7. That means UK has a higher risk of bribery occurring than Hong Kong! The World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators project put Hong Kong at the 94.7 percentile for rule of law in 2015, compared with UK's 93.8.

I find it ironic that with UK losing out to Hong Kong in most of the international rankings, we have a prominent British public figure lecturing us on our shortcomings! So I cannot help suspect that it is the UK's underhand way of interfering with our internal affairs!

So at a time when UK is confronted with the Brexit crisis and other serious problems, we can tell this fleeting visitor from UK: "Mind your own business!"

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 28, 2017.

The Legislative Council Commission on Monday sent letters to former lawmakers Lau Siu-lai, Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung and Edward Yiu, asking that they repay HK$2.7 to 3.1 million each in salaries and operating expenses, as they were never legally considered lawmakers. The votes they cast at the legislature, however, will remain valid.

The LegCo Commission – an administrative body which comprises mostly of pro-Beijing lawmakers – decided to send the lawmakers demand letters following a special meeting on Monday.

“Considering the legal advice, as public money is involved, it is the Commission’s duty to recover the funds,” Leung said. “According to the interpretation of the Basic Law, no entitlements shall be enjoyed if they are not lawmakers.”

(EJ Insight) November 28, 2017.

Four former pro-democracy lawmakers said the Legislative Council Commission’s decision to demand that they pay back the salaries and allowances they had received prior to their disqualification was absurd and obvious political oppression.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the four – Dr. Lau Siu-lai, founder of Democracy Groundwork; “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats; Nathan Law Kwun-chung, chair of the political party Demosistō who was jailed for his role in a 2014 protest but is currently free on bail; and  Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, who represented the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency – said they will seek legal advice while hoping that the commission will be able to reconsider its decision.

They were disqualified by the High Court in July for improper oath-taking last year. Their disqualification is effective from Oct. 12, 2016, the day the swearing-in ceremony for  Legco members took place.

Based on the ruling, the commission decided after a special meeting on Monday morning that they have to return a combined HK$11.74 million in salaries and operating allowances they earned during the period, ranging from HK$2.7 million to HK$3.1 million each, Apple Daily reports.

Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who also chairs the commission, told media it is the commission’s duty to recover the funds as public money is involved.

The former lawmakers will be given a notice first and then they will have four weeks to provide a reply to the commission, the Legco chief said, adding that it will then consider the next move after receiving their replies.

It is understood the commission might reconsider its decision if the affected parties could come up with a strong defense, an unnamed source told the newspaper.

According to the Legco president, the decision was made after taking reference to legal opinions, although the votes the four had cast at Legco during the period were deemed effective.

Lawmaker Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan, who is vice chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, urged the four to communicate with the commission as soon as possible, while Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said he will write to the commission to ask for reconsideration.

Law said they had served the public at Legco diligently, and as such, they should not be asked to return their salaries and allowances they had been paid in the months preceding the court’s decision, saying their “sweat deserved the pay”.

The commission’s decision reflects Beijing’s wish to deter them from joining any election in the future by forcing them to enter into bankruptcy, Law said, adding that it could be considered as a deprivation of their political rights.

Leung Kwok-hung said the government should first sue the Legco president because it was he who had called the four lawmakers’ oath-taking valid.

Lau urged the public to join a demonstration scheduled for Sunday to protest against the political persecution.

(Oriental Daily) November 28, 2017.

Here are the amounts requested:

Lau Siu-lai: $860,000 in salary, $400,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,870,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $3,130,000.

Yiu Chung-yim: $860,000 in salary, $460,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,800,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $3,120,000

Leung Kwok-hung: $860,000 in salary, $370,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,520,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $2,750,000.

Nathan Law: $860,000 in salary, $460,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,420,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $2,740,000.

(Silent Majority HK) November 28, 2017.

This morning, Nathan Law got on radio and said that he does not have any way to repay $2,740,000 to the Legislative Council. If he cannot repay the money, he will have to declare bankruptcy. But a bankrupt person won't be allowed to run for Legislative Council for the next five years. After weighing the pros and cons, he has decided to begin a crowdfunding campaign.

Nathan Law argued that in the 2016 Legislative Council elections, the pan-democratic candidates received 180,000 votes. If each one of these voters donate $17 each, he will have $3 million to repay the Legislative Council. Even if the base is restricted solely to the 50,000 who voted for himself only, each one of those voters need only donate $60. And if the voters are willing, they can help Architectural, Surveying and Planning sector's Yiu Chung-yim repay his $3,120,000!

But will the voters continued to be fooled? The oath antics of the DQ4 were very disappointing already. Over these years, they have contributed nothing useful. They only know how to stir up trouble. There are also any number of crowdfunding projects, such as the Justice Defence Fund, the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund, the Hong Kong Federation of Students' Resisters Support Fund, etc. Do they think that the citizens will donate more money to them? That is a joke.

(Commercial Radio) November 28, 2017.

Who can bail out the four disqualified legislators? That should be the voters in their respective constituencies who voted for them or other pan-democrats.

In the case of Nathan Law, 181,148 persons voted for Christopher Lau, Cyd Ho, Cheung Kam-mun, Hui Chi-fung, Tsui Chi-kin, Paul Zimmerman, Tanya Chan or Nathan Law. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $2,740,000 / 181,148 = $15.12

In the case of Leung Kwok-hung, 335,907 persons voted for Lam Cheuk-ting, Wan Chin, Leung Kwok-hung, Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, Alvin Yeung, Cheung Ka-foo, Gary Fan Kwok-wai, Wong Sum-yu, Chan Chi-chuen or Baggio Leung Chung-hang. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $2,750,000 / 335,907 = $8.18

In the case of Lau Siu Lai, 161,506 persons voted for Avery Ng, Ho Chi-kwong, Claudia Mo, Jeremy Tam, Raymond Wong, Helena Wong, Lam Yee-lai, Lau Siu-lai, Yau Wai-ching or Lee Wing-hon. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $3,130,200 / 161,506 = $19.38.

In the case of Yiu Chung-yim, 2,491 voted for him in the Architectural, Surveying and Planning constituency. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $3,120,000 / 2,491 = $1252.50

Of course, this assumes that these voters do not object to the childish antics during the oath ceremonies.

- You may think that you are donating money to Lau Siu-lai to help foot the Legco bill, but please read the footnote at Teacher Siu Lai's Classroom: "The donation will be used totally on office operations and not be used to pay back the salary." Why does an out-of-office ex-legislator still need to run an office?

- (EJ Insight) Is it right to order ousted lawmakers to return their salaries? By SC Yeung. November 28, 2017.

Barely had the opposition camp finished celebrating its better-than-expected showing in Sunday’s district council bypolls, it was hit with some bad news from the legislature authorities.

On Monday, the Legislative Council ordered four pro-democracy lawmakers who were stripped of their seats in July to return the salaries and allowances they received prior to their disqualification.  

Letters were sent to the disqualified lawmakers — Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu — that they must pay back amounts ranging between HK$2.7 million and HK$3.1 million. 

As the High Court ruled in July that the four should be barred from office as they didn’t take their oaths properly last October, they are deemed illegal occupants of the Legco seats for nine months and must hence repay all the money they received during that period, authorities argued.  

It is the duty of the Legislative Council to recover the funds as public money was involved, Legco president Andrew Leung said, adding that the decision was in line with legal advice.

The order, not surprisingly, was met with howls of protest from opposition groups, who accused Legco’s administrative body, which is dominated by pro-Beijing figures, of political persecution.  

Youth activist Law, one of the four former lawmakers who was asked to repay millions of dollars in salaries and allowances, slammed Legco’s demand as “ludicrous” and said he suspects the decision is part of a game plan to prevent him from running in upcoming by-elections.

If the political activists are unable to repay the huge amounts, they may be forced to declare bankruptcy, rendering them ineligible to contest fresh elections.

Lau and Leung have filed appeals against their disqualifications, while Law and Yiu chose not to. 

By-elections to fill seats vacated by Law and Yiu, as well as those formerly held by Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching — two Youngspiration lawmakers who, too, had been ousted earlier for improper oath-taking — are scheduled to take place in March next year.

Setting the bypolls factor aside, one must say it is quite ridiculous for Legco to order the former lawmakers to repay the money they received while performing their duties for nine months.

From October last year until their disqualification this July, Law, “Long Hair” Leung, Lau and Yiu attended Legco sessions and participated in debates and voting.

Having performed their duties, they have a right to be compensated in salary and allowances, just as any other lawmaker in the house. 

But now, they are being penalized in a retroactive way, ordered to cough up the money already spent on activities such as hiring aides and other personal expenses.

The action reeks of pettiness and vindictiveness, with the Legco Commission seen bent on punishing the anti-Beijing lawmakers as much as possible. 

One thing to note here is that while the lawmakers have been disqualified, the votes they cast during the nine months are still valid, a fact that Legco chief Leung himself admitted on Monday.

Looking at the whole issue, one suspects it is a political decision backed by Beijing authorities, with central authorities staying behind the scenes and intervening in the Legco business. 

As some ousted members have filed appeals against their disqualifications, why did Legco not wait at least until the outcome of the appeals before seeking to recover the money from them?

From an outside perspective, it appears that Legco’s decision was short-sighted and driven more by politics, rather than the need to play by the law.

Law told reporters on Monday that the demand for repayment is absurd, given that he and the three other ousted lawmakers had faithfully served the public for nine months.

An order now to repay the past remuneration amounts to a cruel political joke on the pro-democracy activists, who were backed by tens of thousands of votes in the 2016 election.

“Those being asked for the repayment, including myself, would definitely be bankrupt,” Law said, adding that “this means the government is actually blocking me from running” in coming bypolls.

Also, Law remarked that Legco chief Leung should shoulder part of the blame.

If Leung had decided not to recognize their oaths at the very start, the newly-elected members wouldn’t have got a chance to perform their lawmaker duties, and things wouldn’t have come to such a pass.

It was Leung’s decision to allow them to take their oath again and formally become lawmakers. Despite a law interpretation by the National People’s Congress in Beijing, which set the standard for oath-taking for all public officers, Leung can’t escape responsibility for the chaos last October.

As such, Leung owes the lawmakers and the public an apology for a wrong political judgment.

If the four lawmakers are forced to return their salaries, Leung should also make some amends so as to take responsibility for a wrong decision he had made.

Because “he was the one who passed our oath-taking and also granted us the right to act as [legislators], so… he shall be the one to bear the responsibility instead of the four of us,” Law said on Monday, according to RTHK.

Beijing is using all kinds of means to bar the opposition activists from running in elections again, said Law.

While debate rages over the clawback of salaries of the lawmakers, the controversy threatens to spark another round of legal wrangling between the government and the pan-democrats.

As for the Legco, given the domination of establishment figures in the house as well as its various panels, concerns will grow that it has become a rubber stamp, implementing whatever orders flow from Beijing.

With the Communist regime advocating zero-tolerance against those who it sees as crossing the line, expect its proxies here to step up their bizarre games and strong-arm tactics.

(EJ Insight) November 29, 2017.

On Monday, the Legislative Council Commission officially demanded that the four ousted Legco members — “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Dr. Lau Siu-lai — return all their salaries and reimbursable allowances they had received during their term of office before they were disqualified, ranging from HK$2.7 million to HK$3.1 million each.

The next thing the commission will do is to send every one of them a written notice demanding payment, and they will be given four weeks to reply.

The pan-democrats denounced the decision as “political persecution”. The four ousted lawmakers held a press conference to protest the decision, saying it is aimed at ruining their political career by forcing them into bankruptcy.

However, according to sources, even though Legco President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who is also chairman of the commission, said that the commission decided to recover every single penny from the four ex-lawmakers because taxpayers’ money is involved, the decision is just a formality.

There is a lot of room for discussion and bargaining when it comes to the actual amount of money the four ousted lawmakers eventually have to return to Legco, according to some sources.

However, whether the commission would go easy on them depends largely on their attitude as well as the legal grounds they are going to cite in their written replies, sources said.

In fact, it is said that it just took an hour for members of the commission on Monday to reach consensus over the decision to recover funds from the foursome.

During the meeting, it is said that even some pro-establishment members pointed out that the situation with the four ousted lawmakers is fundamentally different from the Youngspiration duo, in that they did fulfil their official duties as lawmakers during their term in office prior to their disqualification by the court in July this year.

Given that, they suggested that they only need to return their unspent operating funds rather than all of their salaries and allowances. If members of the commission finally agree on this suggestion and then successfully hammer out a deal with the four, then all they need to pay back eventually could only be somewhere around HK$300,000 to HK$400,000 each.

Nevertheless, some in the pro-establishment camp criticized the four ousted lawmakers for holding the press conference to condemn the commission’s decision, saying their comments were unreasonable and unacceptable.

- So they run crowdfunding campaigns and raise $3 million each and then Legco comes around to inform them that they only have to pay one-tenth of that amount. What happens to the remaining money? It goes down into a Black Hole.

- They will divert your attention by starting another brand new crowdfunding campaign for some other issue that poses a grave threat to democracy in Hong Kong. Or something. Anyway, you should keep donating and stop raising questions. Okay?

- Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown

- It's called division of labor, in which we should all do individually what we each do best. So they are best at calling on people to give money to them, and you are best at giving your money to them. It's a win-win setup!

(HK01) November 25, 2017.

Chief Executive Carrie Law attended the graduation ceremony at the Hong Kong Police Academy and quoted Chairman Xi Jinping on "the glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all" to remind the police that they should watch their actions and words. Although Commissioner for Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung tried to excuse her by saying that her words were intended only for the rookie police officers, many frontline police officers understood that Lam's words damaged the reputation police. "Was she hinting that some police officers have horses that harm the team?"

(Ming Pao) November 26, 2017.

Commissioner for Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung was asked if Carrie Lam is saying that there are "horses that harm the team" within the police force. He disagreed and said that Lam was trying to remind the new graduates about the important of public trust. He said that even the most perfect organization can have "horses that harm the team." One such case is too many already, so the police will follow up seriously on any case.

The record shows that many police officers were embroiled in criminal cases recently, such as the Case of the Seven Police Officers and the Case of Frankly Chu during Occupy Central, the bribery case of superintendent Ng Wai-hon, etc. According to the HKU-POP survey this May, the Hong Kong Police Force has a satisfaction rate of only 64.1%, the lowest among all the Disciplinary Services.

(Apple Daily) November 26, 2017.

Civil Human Rights Front ex-convener Au Ngor-hin said that Carrie Lam's speech meets that the senior government officials are aware that the image of the police and police-civilian relationships have gone to a dangerous low. Ever since the Umbrella Movement, police powers have expanded. The many court trials have revealed that the police think that they are always right and all those who obstruct law enforcement are rioters. Meanwhile there are many other cases of police officers abusing their offices and knowingly breaking the law. These are not isolated instances. Rather there are major problems with police culture which require systemic reforms including an open, transparent monitoring system.

(HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. November 28, 2017.

There is a popular foreign cartoon with this scene: A is clearly chasing after B with a knife in hand, but the camera cropped the scene and made out as if B is trying to kill A. This cartoon is annotated with the words "It's media."

Today, I saw the same scene in our media.

Earlier Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended the graduation ceremony at the Hong Kong Police Academy. She delivered a speech to encourage to the graduates. Out of the 2,400-word speech, the media chose eight words 「一榮皆榮、一損俱損」("the glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all") and then summarized the speech about as being about the 「害群之馬」("the horse that harms the team").

When I read that, I began to wonder why Chief Executive would say such negative things on a day of celebration for the graduates?

Nowadays, you just can't trust the news reports that you read. You must spend some time to dig out what is behind. Normally, when I have doubts, I would look up the source. With the Internet, I can get into the government news website and retrieve the entire speech of Carrie Lam at the Police Academy. It turns out to be something quite different.

In her speech, Carrie Lam used 2,200 words to encourage and praise the police. For example, she said that 8,200 companies have set up regional offices in Hong Kong because we have "firm rule of law," "a non-corrupt society" and "a high degree of security." The police are the ones who help us maintain rule-of-law, stop corruption and keep public order. "It is no exaggeration to say that the Hong Kong Police has contributed greatly to the economic development of Hong Kong. Every colleague in the Disciplinary Services should be proud of this."

Towards the end, Carrie Lam cited Chairman Xi Jinping on "the glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all." She said: "I hope that every colleague who is graduating today will remember firmly in your future years that the actions and sayings of each one of you will affect the reputation of the Hong Kong Police directly. I hope that we all continue to uphold this constantly improving disciplinary force."

This is a standard speech of encouragement but the media took what she said out of context. The media reported "Carrie Lam felt that the police force has more horses that harm the team nowadays and that is why she said so ..." Then they took the statement to ask the Hong Kong Police commissioner for comments.

The commissioner was caught unawares and answered: "One horse that harms the team is one too many. If there is one, we will definitely follow up seriously ..." So these two sound bites completed the reporter's perfect script.

To magnify a few words to trigger social conflict, even to stir the members of the Hong Kong Police to resent the Chief Executive. This is what this kind of misleading news reporting is meant to accomplish.

 "The glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all." This is a truism everywhere in the world. After all, isn't the dropping of one rat falling into the pot of congee of all reporters enough to spoil the whole pot?

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 27, 2017.

The pro-democracy camp enjoyed a mini-victory on Sunday, regaining a District Council seat from the pro-Beijing camp after six years. Democrats, however, failed to take The Peak – though there was a drop in the number of voters in the pro-Beijing stronghold.

In the Tung Wah constituency of Sheung Wan, the Democratic Party’s Bonnie Ng won with 1,034 votes, beating her main rival, primary school principal Ambrose Lui who gained 909 votes. Former Labour Party member Olivia Lau, got 20 votes.

In The Peak constituency, the Liberal Party’s Jeremy Young won with 1,378 votes, beating hedge fund manager and pro-democracy activist Edward Chin, who gained 394 votes.

The by-elections were caused by the resignations of their former pro-Beijing district councillors Kathy Siu and Joseph Chan, who joined the government in the middle of their terms.

Each area has more than 5,000 voters. The turnout rates in Tung Wah and The Peak were 38.81 and 33.41 per cent respectively, lower than the 46 and 40.77 per cent recorded in the 2015 District Council election.

Tung Wah was held by Democratic Party’s Frederick Ho until 2011 when Kathy Siu, of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), took over. The Peak was once taken by Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan between 2008 and 2011, but was lost to the Liberal Party’s Joseph Chan in 2011.

In the 2015 District Council election, Kathy Siu won 1,352 votes, beating Frederick Ho who gained 980 votes. Although Ambrose Lui declared as an independent candidate, he received support from numerous pro-Beijing figures. However, he received some 450 fewer votes when compared to Siu.

Tung Wah’s Bonnie Ng said that voters had focused more on candidates’ political views and efforts to serve the district, but she expected the race to be close: “I expected the difference to be around 100 votes, but it was difficult to tell who would win.”

Ng said: “The DAB did not field any candidates after [Siu] joined the government. The voters may think that the party has abandoned them. I can’t rule out that this was the reason some voters did not support a pro-Beijing candidate this time.”

But Lui said the result proved that he did not have the strong backing of political parties, and said he hoped his campaign would set an example for his students – to pursue what they believe in.

Olivia Lau denied her campaign was an an effort to snatch votes from Ng, saying that anyone with enough nominations could run.

In The Peak constituency, the pro-Beijing camp also saw fewer votes compared to 2015. Jeremy Young received almost 500 fewer votes when compared to party colleague Joseph Chan in 2015. The pro-democracy camp received 77 more votes when compared to 2015.

Young, the political assistant to the education secretary between 2008 and 2012, said the drop was normal as turnout is usually lower in a by-election.

(SCMP) By-election results leave us with a clouded crystal ball. By Alex Lo. November 28, 2017.

The latest district council by-election showdowns were supposed to be a prelude to those for the legislature in March. After all, Sunday’s elections were the first held since the controversial disqualification of six opposition lawmakers over improper oath-taking.

As it turned out, the results were ambiguous and voter turnout was low. People just weren’t enthusiastic about neighbourhood elections at The Peak and the Tung Wah constituency in Sheung Wan. The opposition and the government-friendly camps each secured a win.

Perhaps the most interesting result was the decisive defeat of Edward Chin Chi-kin at The Peak, by Jeremy Young Chit-on, a former political assistant with the government and rising star within the pro-business Liberal Party. Young secured more than three times as many votes as Chin, who was a core member of the 2014 Occupy protest movement. Chin received only 394 votes despite campaign support from such opposition godfathers as Martin Lee Chu-ming, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and Alan Leong Kah-kit.

Young’s victory is seen as a stepping stone to running for a seat in the Central and Western district in the crucial Legislative Council election in 2020.

Chin ran on his Occupy credentials. Predictably, that hardly endeared him to voters at The Peak, one of the city’s wealthiest and most conservative neighbourhoods. A more moderate pan-democrat might have fared better. That was indeed the case in the Tung Wah by-election, where the mainstream Democrat Bonnie Ng Hoi-yan won a narrow victory with 1,034 votes against the 909 secured by Lui Kam-keung.

Ng, wisely, focused on livelihood issues at the district level rather than running a politicised campaign. Her rival Lui was described as an independent, though he was supported by pro-establishment heavyweights such as former Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, Executive Council and Legco member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and former secretary for food and health Dr Ko Wing-man. He reportedly campaigned in a car that belonged to the state-owned Cofco Group, the mainland food-processing giant.

Given the kind of support he had, Lui might as well have run on a ticket with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the city’s dominant pro-establishment party. The DAB didn’t field any candidate, even though the seat Lui was fighting for was vacated by one of its members.

Those hoping to use Sunday’s by-election results as a crystal ball to what will happen in March have been disappointed.

(InMediaHK) November 27, 2017.

After the election results were announced, Edward Chin said that there has been a lot of changes at The Peak in recent years. For example, the rich people are getting closer to political parties and many residents have acquired foreign passports: "They have either given up on Hong Kong or else they choose to put up with it." He sighed that he entered this election in order to defend Hong Kong core values because Hong Kong is crumbling. He said that he did not expect to win in a one-on-one confrontation.

- Let us say that Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee actually entered this election too. Now it does not matter how you split up the 1,378 votes, either Jeremy You and/or Regina Ip will get more votes than Edward Chin's 394.

For example, Ip at 1,000 votes and Young at 378 votes. Or Ip at 700 votes and Young at 678 votes. There is no way that 394 votes can win.

(Wen Hui Po) November 28, 2017.

Cantonese saying「死雞撐飯蓋」Literally: “a dead chicken props up the lid of a rice pot”. Meaning: to refuse to admit failure even when the truth is obvious

Edward Chin's group 2047 HK Monitor declared on Facebook that they did not lose even though they were defeated. They reasoned that the Liberal Party lost 459 votes (7.52%) compared to the last year (actually, it was two years ago) but 2047 HK Monitor gained 77 votes (7.51%). They concluded that "we did not win the election, but we won hearts and minds."

Wow! Hong Kong University Undergrad magazine ex-deputy editor-in-chief Wong Chun-kit immediately posted a photo of Edward Chin with the comment: "I laughed my heart out" and "You are already jerking off after losing by a thousand votes -- it would be the darkest day for Hong Kong democracy if you had won." "Brother kidney" Lewis Loud expressed admiration at the "masturbatory act." The "Chronic Complainer" Facebook said that when the pro-establishment camp loses an election, they analyzed the reasons and then they will plan to come back. But when the pan-democratic Yellow Ribbon leftist retards lose, they find it impossible to admit defeat. "'Failure is the mother of success.' How many of them can really bring themselves to say that? A defeat by 1,000 votes is not just a defeat. This is really ..."

Charles Low: Edward Chin was one of the ten Occupy Central "dare-to-die" warriors. "He lost but he did not lose. So it is natural that this 'dare-to-die' warrior did not die."

Lee Ka Fai Hilton: Edward China is an investment fund manager. These fund guys are best a fudging numbers. So 1378 vs 394 is not a loss.

Quentin Cheng: These fund guys' specialty is selling false hopes.

(Wen Wei Po) November 28, 2017.

Brian Yau: Edward Chin is doing a handstand with one hand while masturbating with the other hand. How else can he interpret things that way?

Hati Li: Masturbation is acceptable, but it is strange to be hung up and beaten first, and then masturbating.

Chio Tsang: The operation was a success, but the patient died.

Leung Tak Man: This was a stage victory, so he should applaud himself.

Charles Lok: Didn't this guy say before that a low turnout = people have abandoned Hong Kong? Now he says that his participation in this election is a small victory? So is people abandoning Hong Kong a victory? Fuck, I am very confused!

Choi Wai Tak: His opponent lost 459 votes, but he only picked up 77 votes. Where did the other 382 votes go to? 

(Oriental Daily) November 27, 2017.

Before the elections, experts assessed the Tung Wah district election as 50-50 chance for the two main candidates with a margin of victory with 100 votes or so. Bonnie Ng was able to preserve the pan-democratic base with 1034 votes. Ambrose Lui managed only to get 909 votes, more than 400 votes fewer than Kathy Siu (DAB) got the year before last.

Before the election, Lui had received support from numerous pro-establishment heavyweights such as former Food and Environmental Hygiene secretary Ko Wing-man. But on election day, none of these people showed up, leaving only Lui and his team to canvass votes on their own. It was noted that former legislative councilor Ip Kwok-him (DAB) was spotted driving past without bothering to stop and keep Lui company. It may be that Ip Kwok-him will be held accountable for this loss.

The traditional wisdom is that low voter turnout favors the pro-establishment candidates. But Lui did not benefit at all from the low sub-40% turnout. The conspiracy theory is that the DAB did not put out a total effort to transfer their iron-clad votes to Lui. As a result, the DAB will be able to field their own candidate two years from now.

Internet comments:

- (Oriental Daily) October 17, 2017. When Edward Chin filed to run in the District Council by-election, he compared himself to Donald Trump. No, Chin did not mean that he supports racism, gropes beauty queens, or disrespects universal values such as freedom and democracy. He meant to compare himself with Donald Trump who upset his rival Hilary Clinton in the US presidential election. So while he is not favored in this election against the Liberal Party candidate Jeremy Young, he thinks that he can still win. He emphasized: "How would you know until you've been in the election?"

Of all people, is it politically smart to compare oneself to Donald "Mad Man" Trump?

- Edward Chin's main claim to fame is that he is one of the ten "dare-to-die" Occupy Central martyrs. But for this election in the Peak district, his issues are not "genuine universal suffrage", Hong Kong independence/self-determination, or the overthrow of the Chinese Communist regime. Instead, his issues were traffic, public security and wild boars. Clearly even he knew what to touch and not to touch.

- (Oriental Daily) November 27, 2017. The Democratic Party is happy with Bonnie Ng's victory, with the exception of their legislative councilor Hui Chi-fung. Previously Hui had his own idea of his own candidate for this district which is his base, but the party endorsed the South Island faction's choice of Bonnie Ng. So now the South Island is encroaching on Hui's home turf. More open- and closed-door intra-party clashes are expected to take place.

- Why didn't the DAB field their own candidate in Tung Wah? Doesn't Kathy Siu have aides who are familiar with the district? Well, Kathy Siu Ka-yi gave up her district council post in order to become the political assistant to Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. As such, she will be perceived as abandoning her constituents in Tung Wah district in the middle of her term. A DAB candidate may be punished by the voters for that abandonment. Those voters may vote for the other candidate or just simply don't vote at all.

The Liberal Party candidate this time Jeremy Young got several hundred votes fewer than Joseph Chan (Liberal Party) who quit to become Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury. That is the punishment. But since Chan had won his district council seat for The Peak by margin of 1837-317, the margin was so large that a small amount of bleeding can't hurt. But Kathy Siu's margin of victory in Tung Wah was only 1,352-980. That was too close for comfort. So DAB ducked this one.

(Wen Wei Po) November 26, 2017.

After Hong Kong University Student Union ex-president Billy Fung watched the movie <Lost in the Fumes> featuring Edward Leung, he posted on Facebook that Leung is a hero just like Moses. He said that people held too much expectation for Leung and therefore Leung was abandoned because he could not do what people expected him to.

The truth was that Edward Leung told people that he wanted to start the Epochal Revolution for which he is willing to die in the process. People had to be duly impressed. But then he scooted off to study overseas. People had to be duly disappointed.

Alan Fung: Don't insult Moses by comparing him with a lawbreaking rioter. If Moses went to protest at Sai Wan, he would not have given an interview with Apple Daily Action News and then hop on a taxi to leave the scene of the riot.

Ashworth Nina: Don't insult Moses. Moses was not a deserter.

Billy Fung: Moses killed an Egyptian and fled to Midan (Exodus 2). Was Moses a deserter?

Ashworth Nina: Moses became a hero after he saved an entire people. Did he commit the murder before or after he saved his people?

Billy Fung: I wanted to ask if Moses was a deserter. You said that he wasn't a deserter.

Ashworth Nina: He wasn't, because he was trying to evade responsibility for a personal crime. He was not avoiding Nation Building. Edward Leung was the opposite. He has not evaded his personal crime (that is, he did not skip bail and flee). But he avoided Nation Building.

Billy Fung: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Ashworth Nina: Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3). A leader or someone who wants to become a leader should imitate Moses by being humble. Did Moses call the Israelis pigs? (like the localists calling the people of Hong Kong pigs)

Prince Louise: When you put forward someone who failed to do what you want, he is supposed to be avoiding Nation Building? Then how come the Democratic Party still exists?

Ashworth Nina: Let's make this clear. Which "you" are you talking about? Who wanted him to do something? As a New Territories East voter, I did not vote for him in the by-election. He does not represent me. I never wanted him to do anything. [Edward Leung was the one who came forth to pronounce the Epochal Revolution]. When I say "Nation Building", I am using in the sense of the localists without any quotation marks. I am sorry that my negligence has created misunderstanding.

Ken Ng: You are all wrong. Edward Leung was never a soldier. He was an excellent master of ceremony.

(Wen Wei Po) November 26, 2017.

Dickson Ho: I don't think of Edward Leung as a hero. The Hong Kong independence movement does not seem able to get democracy for Hong Kong. Instead it is causing destruction.

Hugo Leung: Edward Leung: An adult; twenty-something-years old. Drives an Audi. Lives in Kornhill Apartments. Studying in Canada. Giving talks in the United States/Europe as a representative of the Hong Kong democracy movement. But he claims to be a child in order to sell his fragility.

Ashworth Nina: When he is in trouble and needs help, he says that he is a student and wears that halo. When he wants to act like the hero, he becomes the spokesperson for the Localism movement.

Ken Ng: What is the agenda behind the promotion of Edward Leung by certain media? Alternately, can you tell me just what Edward Leung has ever accomplished?

Shirley Au: Edward Leung split up the Hong Kong democracy movement!

Ken Ng: But now he is buddies with certain pan-democrats. This is really chilling. Some pan-democrats are afraid of the fucking stupid young voters who support Hong Kong independence, so they can't openly sever all ties.

Related link: #620 Edward Leung Tin-kei Resurfaces (2016/12/06)

(Speakout HK) November 27, 2017.

... Edward Leung, Ray Wong and others are not heroes. At this time, they are merely crime suspects. Perhaps you disagree. But let us think about whether having a noble purpose allows you to break the law? Or incite others to riot? In the case of the Mong Kok riot, even if those rioters have political demands, why did they have to attack the police? Do they become heroes by harming the police as well as society? I disagree no matter what.

The gist of the matter is that is wrong to build your political demands upon the pain and suffering of other people! No matter how noble their ideals are, it cannot mean that they can hurt innocent people. Perhaps Billy Fung feels an affinity for Edward Leung because they both attended Hong Kong University. But at his own trial for laying siege to the University Council, Billy Fung said that he believes now that the more extreme methods cannot solve problems and that he regrets having harmed the university? Isn't it funny that Fung should be glorifying Leung now?

Now Billy Fung wants to compare Edward Leung to biblical figures who persist even if the citizens gave him the cold treatment. But has Fung noticed how Leung has betraying his own supporters? In the Mong Kok riot, several dozens of people were arrested and some are already serving jail time. But what happened to Edward Leung, the man who told these people to charge ahead? During media interviews, he is saying "I am very much a coward" and "I don't want to be remanded in custody instantly." So it does not seem right to say that Leung as being so noble.

(Electoral Affairs Commission) September 14, 2017.

The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) announced today (September 14) that a Legislative Council by-election is planned to be held on March 11 (Sunday) next year.

"This by-election will be held to fill four vacant seats of the Legislative Council, including the vacancies for the three geographical constituencies (Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East); and the vacancy for the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency," a Commission's spokesman said.

(Ming Pao) November 22, 2017.

Over the years, the pan-democrats have always managed to win in the by-elections of the geographical constituencies in the Legislative Council. So it is natural that the pan-democrats will think that they can continue to pick up the three geographical constituencies under the 60:40 Golden Rule.

But this is simplifying things, because there are three assumptions:

(1) The pan-democrats will not field two or more candidates to split the votes for the same seat and create an opening for the pro-establishment candidate.

(2) The candidate chosen by the primary election system is someone who is acceptable across the entire pan-democratic spectrum;

(3) The various pan-democratic political groups will work together to canvass votes for this candidate.

These assumptions were met in 2000 for Audrey Eu and in 2007 for Anson Chan in Hong Kong Island.

But in the 2016 New Territories East by-election, the mainstream pan-democrats reached a consensus to support Alvin Yeung (Civic Party) to replace the departing Ronny Tong (Civic Party). But the Localists insisted on fielding Edward Leung. In the end, Leung obtained 15.4% of the votes. Alvin Yeung was able to squeak through with 37.2% of the votes, just 10,000 ahead of Holden Chow (DAB).

In Kowloon West, the interested pan-democrats include Frederick Fung (ADPL), Yuen Hoi-man (Democratic Party), Yuen Kin-yan (who has been publicly endorsed by Yau Wai-Ching (Youngspiration) as a 'fellow traveler'), former Civic Party member Kenneth Tsang and Socialist Action chairperson Tang Mei-ching. The disqualified Lau Siu0lai is ambiguous about her intentions.

In New Territories East, the interested pan-democrats include Gary Fan Kwok-wai (Neo Democrats), former Scholarism member Tommy Cheung, Au Chun-wah (Democratic Party) and the new Labour Party chairman Kwok Wing-kin.

The uncertainties for the pan-democrats include:

- If the coordination fails, the pan-democrats may lose the seat because multiple candidates split the votes.

- Even if a candidate was selected by the process, that person may not have the support of the other pan-democratic groups. For example, the enmity between Gary Fan and the Democratic Party is well-known in politics. It would be hard to imagine that the Democratic Party will canvass votes for Gary Fan. Frederick Fung has a similar relationship with the Democratic Party. And even if they give verbal support, they won't actually go out and knock on doors to remind people to vote.

- Even if the pan-democratic groups give 100% effort for the candidate, that person may not be able to appeal to the entire political spectrum. For example, if that person is with the Democratic Party or ADPL, then the localists won't vote for him; if that person is a localist, then the moderate pan-democratic voters won't vote for him.

This is the dilemma for the pan-democrats in recent years. This is the so-called fragmentation of the political spectrum. Not only are there more and more groups, but their interests and ideologies are very different. Harmonization is not up to two large political parties sitting down to make a deal. After the Umbrella Movement, it is now fashionable to "take down the Grand Stage" and think "Nobody represents me."

By contrast, the pro-establishment camp has reached consensus early on. They will field Cheng Wing-shun (DAB), Tang Ka-piu (Federation of Trade Unions) and Judy Chan (New People's Party) to run in Kowloon West, New Territories East and Hong Kong Island respectively. They are already actively working on their campaigns already and they will be better prepared than the pan-democrats.

In Hong Kong Island, the situation is clearer. The pan-democrats have reached the consensus to let Demosisto field a candidate to take back their seat (Nathan Law). According to media reports, that candidate is likely to be Agnes Chow Ting.

Hong Kong Island has the highest education and income levels in Hong Kong. So the electors are "picky". In past by-elections, the pan-democrats fielded candidates like Audrey Eu and Anson Chan. These are people with excellent backgrounds and careers, and are accepted by mainstream society as successful figures. Such choices have greater chance to attract middle-of-the-road electors.

However, Agnes Chow does not have the profile and caliber of Audrey Eu or Anson Chan. In fact, she is the complete opposite. So it is unknown whether the electors will accept her.

In the 2016 Legislative Council elections, Demosisto won a seat in Hong Kong Island with 13.49% of the votes. Can they catch all the remaining pan-democratic votes? That is unknown.

In recent years, the share of pan-democrat votes has shrunk with the retirement of heavyweights such as Martin Lee and Audrey Eu. Against them are figures like Regina Ip and Ricky Wong who are regarded as successful figures by mainstream society. In 2008, the share was 60%; in  2012, 50%; in 2016, 48%. Thus, Agnes Chow and Demosisto have plenty to worry about in Hong Kong Island.

(Oriental Daily) November 23, 2017.

Earlier the disqualified Yau Wai-ching (Youngspiration) disclosed that she may be giving her support to a fellow traveler to contest the Kowloon West constituency in the Legislative Council by-election. This Plan B was the social activist Yuen Kin-yan, the son of the so-called Occupy Central pastor Yuen Tin-yau.

Today Yuen announced that he will not enter this by-election. He said that the reason was very simple: "Rather than infighting, why don't we work together to fight the enemy." He is thus calling for a united front of resistance. In other words, he is opposed to the pre-election plan of the pan-democrats.

Power for Democracy is the organization responsible for coordinating the by-election for the pan-democrats. All those pan-democrats who want to run can apply to them to run in a primary election. The winner of that primary election will become the solo candidate for the pan-democrats. However every aspirant has to share the costs of the primary election. In Kowloon West, this is going to cost between $50,000 to $60,000. In New Territories, this is going to cost $100,000. So if you want to run, you better have the money; if you don't have the money, you can forget it.

Yuen Kin-yan said that there are four known interested parties/persons: one from the Democratic Party; one from the ADPL; former Civic Party member Kenneth Tsang; and himself. None of these four are receiving broad support across the pan-democratic spectrum. No matter who wins the primary election, that person will not receive enough support to win the by-election. Is this why Yuen Ki-yan would rather save $50,000 as well as not waste his time.

Internet comments:

- Power for Democracy is proposing that the primary election shall consist of three components: 45% weight given to a public opinion poll; 45% weight given to actual voting at their voting booths; 10% weight given to voting by political organizations. The public opinion poll clearly favors people with high name recognition (e.g. Frederick Fung (ADPL) who was a legislative councilor between 2000 and 2016). The paper balloting favors people who can mobilize voters to travel to the few voting locations.

This proposal has not been accepted by the potential candidates as they mull over the details.

- As is normal, the pan-democrats have double standards.

In Hong Kong Island, they gave the choice of candidate to Demosisto, because the party's chairman Nathan Law was the one who was disqualified.

In Kowloon West and New Territories East, they did not leave the choice to Youngspiration, even though it was that party's Yau Wai-ching and Leung Chung-hang who were disqualified.

- (Silent Majority HK) November 28, 2017.

After being asked by the Legislative Council to cough back more than $3 million in salary/expense payments, Lau Siu-liu is indicating that she may be interested in participating in the March 2018 by-election after all.

Previously Lau had said that she would not participate. She offered a "noble and magnificent" reason in that the seat belonged to Yau Wai-ching (Youngspiration) who is therefore entitled to designate a successor. So why is she changing her mind now? Clearly, she is worried about having to sell one or more or her apartments to pay the Legislative Council. So by announcing her candidacy, she can begin yet another crowdfunding campaign.

- (Oriental Daily) November 6, 2017.

Previously a woman named Leung Kit-hing claimed that she had filed appeals to the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council over the disqualification of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching from the Hong Kong Legislative Council. She said that the Hong Kong Elections Affairs Commission should not be holding by-elections to fill the two Legco seats until the appeals have been exhausted. Today, Leung Kit-hing applied to the High Court for a judicial review. She is requesting that the court issue an injunction to order the Elections Affairs Commission to halt the by-election.

Previously it was reported that Leung Chung-hang's father had a sister named Leung Kit-hing. Our reporter called the applicant for confirmation. The applicant insisted that this was a privacy matter. However, she said: "I will neither admit nor deny this." In her application, she claimed that she is the representative of most of the voters for Leung Chung-hang and some of the voters of Yau Wai-ching.

The applicant bases her legal reason on the CAP 542 Legislative Council Ordinance article 36(1)(e)(ii):

36. By-election to be held to fill vacancy in membership of Legislative Council

(1) The Electoral Affairs Commission must, in accordance with regulations in force under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance (Cap. 541), arrange for a by-election to be held in the following circumstances and not otherwise—

(d) subject to sections 70A and 72(1A), on the Court’s making a determination under section 67 that a person whose election is questioned was not duly elected and that no other person was duly elected instead;

(e) if an appeal against a determination referred to in paragraph (d) is lodged to the Court of Final Appeal—

(i) on the Court of Final Appeal’s making a determination under section 70B that a person whose election is questioned was not duly elected and that no other person was duly elected instead; or

(ii) on the termination of the appeal proceedings in other circumstances.

- All along, Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching have been suspected of being moles working for the Chinese Communists, because their actions objectively destroyed the Localist movement. Now Leung Chung-hang's aunt comes along to derail the March 2018 Legislative Council by-elections. Does she know what she is doing?

Right now the battle over at the Legislative Council is over the amendment of the rules of procedure. If allowed to pass, filibustering will be curtailed at the Legislative Council. The pan-democrats don't have enough votes to stop passage, so their tactic is to filibuster/delay until after the March 2018 by-election when they expect to muster enough votes to prevent passage.

Objectively, the postponement of the by-elections until the resolution of these "appeals" at the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council means that the pan-democrats will have to filibuster/delay until then.

Objectively, then, Leung Kit-hing's judicial review will help passage of the amendments to the rules of procedure at the Legislative Council.  Therefore she is acting as a Chinese Communist mole, whether she knows it or not.

(Born In A Time of Chaos) Facebook


Salute to a martyr

Earlier on, Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended a Ming Pao student reporter event. A Secondary School Form 5 student successfully "ambushed" her by raising a mobile phone screen with the words "Hong Kong independence" during the group photo.

(Studentlocalism) Facebook

... On Friday during class, the student was summoned to meet with school representatives for more than 3 hours. During this time, the school representatives kept poor attitudes, warning the student not to promote any issue on school grounds, in school uniform, during school functions or in the name of the students.

Studentlocalism issued two calls to the Methodist School in Kwai Chung:

(1) Write a formal letter of apology to the student openly
(2) Withdraw all inappropriate statements

Studentlocalism said that the Methodist School must provide a reasonable response by noon on Wednesday, or else Studentlocalism does not exclude the possibility of further action.

Studentlocalism absolutely will not allow the freedom of speech of students be suppressed again. Therefore Studentlocalism and the Hong Kong National Front will promote Hong Kong independence ideas along with that student outside the school tomorrow at 4pm. Once again, we demand the school to apologize openly to the student, to write a formal letter of apology and to withdraw all inappropriate statements. We urge all Hongkongers who support and defend the freedom of speech to join us tomorrow.

(Oriental Daily) November 24, 2017.

About ten persons from Studentlocalism and Hong Kong National Front showed up to protest outside Methodist College (Kwai Chung). Some of them were dressed in school uniforms. They demand an apology from the school because students have freedoms of speech and expression.

About twenty persons from the Treasure Group showed up to support the school. They opposed the advocacy of Hong Kong independence. The two sides shouted at each other across barriers set up by the police.

In the end, the school arranged for the students to leave through the back gate.

The protestors left at around 615pm. Studentlocalism convener Mr. Chung said that the action was a failure because the school ignored their demand for an apology. They also did not see the student who was involved in the incident. He said that that he does not exclude the possibility of coming back to the school at a later date.

Internet comments:

- A martyr is a person who is killed for their religious or other beliefs. Is Lau Hong dead yet?

- No, there are several meanings for the word.

(Dictionary.com)

1. a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.

2. a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.

3. a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.

4. a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc

You were thinking about (1), but Lau Hong is actually (4).

- If every Hongkonger is as brave as this kid Lau Hong, then there is hope for Hong Kong.
- Lau Hong has a bright future ahead of him. May he lead a colorful life (as Alvin Yeung says)!
- Those who keep sharing the photo of Lau Hong as a martyr actually want him dead. I know the Revolution needs some dead martyrs to revive morale, but it is a demoralizing sight.

- Is showing his photo going to get him into trouble? Hey, he is the one who is posting his own photos all over the place.


Lau Hong with Edward Leung (Hong Kong Indigenous)


Lau Hong with Ray Wong (Hong Kong Indigenous)

- Lau Hong looks a bit like Singaporean Amos Yee, who has been given political asylum in the United States. The U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong is located at 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong (phone (852) 2523-9011, fax (852) 2845-1598). Appointments can be made online beforehand.

- The Chinese fortune teller summarizes: a long neck like a giraffe; cockeyes; acne; cardboard-thin body.

Are there really no normal persons among the Yellow Ribbons? Are they all Zombies? Is this what the warriors for the Holy War of Hong Kong Independence look like?

- This middle school Form Five student wants to foist Hong Kong independence on the rest of us. He has never held a job or paid any taxes in his life. He has to ask his mom for lunch money before he goes to school in the morning. Why, oh why, do we have to do as he says?

- Was this supposed to be the First Great Battle in the War of Independence for Hong Kong? There were 10 pro-independence youngsters versus 20 counter-revolutionary uncles and aunties. This is embarrassing even for a prelude.

Videos
Part 1 An older StudentLocalism/HKNF man explains that he is doing all this because he wants to keep the Communists away. The Treasure Group told him that if he is so scared, he should just stay home.
Part 2 A 13-year-old boy uses megaphone to respond to the Treasure Group but cannot explain why he is here
Part 3 The megaphone of Treasure Group overwhelms Studentlocalism
Part 4 Methodist College students leaving by back entrance

- (Wen Wei Po) December 13, 2017.

Several dozen protestors were camped outside the Legislative Council building to "protest" the amendment of the rules of procedures. The police announced that a 16-year-old male named Lau has been arrested for possession of a facsimile air-gun.

The Studentlocalism Facebook said that one of their members was arrested at around 830pm in the Legco demonstration area on suspicion of possession of a facsimile gun.

According to media reports, the arrested 16-year-old is Lau Hong from the Methodist School in Kwai Chung.

- Studentlocalism showered support on Lau Hong by having convener Tony Chung tell the press that their group had no scheduled activity last night and that they did not tell their members to participate in the pan-democrats' protest. They said that they did not know that Lau Hong was down at the Legislative Council and that they have no idea what he was doing with a facsimile gun.

- Video Lau Hong and the police

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 21, 2017.

Democracy activists and lawmakers have submitted official complaints to the Correctional Services Department and called for improvements to the correctional system.

Bailed activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow were joined by lawmakers Shiu Ka-chun and Fernando Cheung and the Juvenile Prisoners Human Rights Concern Group at a rally outside the department’s headquarters on Tuesday. They protested the alleged physical and psychological abuse of inmates and requested to meet with the head of the department to express their concerns.

The three activists were given jail sentences of six to eight months in August for their participation in the Civic Square clashes which led to the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. They were recently released on bail pending their appeals.

In his complaint, Joshua Wong specifically targeted an alleged practice at the Tung Tau Correctional Institution where he and the other prisoners were forced to strip, squat naked on the floor and answer staff members’ questions. He said it was an unnecessary form of psychological abuse that served only to strip prisoners of their dignity.

“Even those in prison have basic human rights. Why is it that in prison, when answering staff members’ questions, we have to take off all our clothes and let staff members use a commanding, forceful tone, and force every person… to crouch on the floor and look up – like a dog – to answer their master’s questions?” Wong added that he was also pressured by five different staff members to retract complaints that he had made while in juvenile detention.

Alex Chow said that they did not intend to throw the entire prison system into doubt, but wanted to make suggestions to improve the system. He said he met some officials who were very good people during his time in Pik Uk prison, but that the humanity of prison officials is often “obscured” and they often used swear words to yell at prisoners.

(HKG Pao with video) November 22, 2017.

Caller Mr. Poon: Faced with the one-sided criticisms over the past several months, the colleagues around me are actually very unhappy. Why are you doing this? I don't want to speculate. But I wish that you would do one thing -- you can be a bit fairer. To seek justice for the prisoners ... to seek justice for us (at the Correctional Services department) ... when an incident takes place, you should refer it to another law enforcement agency to follow up. In truth, our department has been facing up to every single thing that you have mentioned and referring the cases to the law enforcement agencies. I hope that you understand this.

(HKG Pao with video) November 22, 2017.

Caller Mr. Poon: Frankly, as a representative of the frontline workers (at the Correctional Services department), we don't want to see those present naked or to use our hands to go through feces. Actually, it is alright if this kind of work can be taken over by science and technology. In future, if you are genuinely so concerned about things over at the Correctional Services Department, why don't you fight for upgrading the prison technologies. Such being the case, then why don't we used a more advanced technology? Since technology involves resources, I wish that the legislative council would be more lenient during the budget allocation process.

(HKG Pao with video) November 22, 2017.

Caller Mr. Poon: First of all, one complainant has posted on Facebook that he will publish certain prison diaries. He is soliciting monthly subscriptions for a fee. He will use the money so earned to edit the articles into a book that will be translated into English and sold. The profit earned from selling the book will be used for politicking. Under such circumstances, we should not be promoting on his behalf in the media.

Host: Who are you talking about? Who? The second issue is that this friend has already lodged a complaint. Yesterday, he lodged a complaint in a high-profile manner. We should not be discussing the details over the air.

Caller Mr. Poon: One of them. I don't want to name names. Or even pose questions to this ...

Joshua Wong: That is to say, you feel that RTHK should not invite this complainant to discuss ...

Host: Let us listen to what Mr. Poon has to say.

Caller Mr. Poon: I feel that we should not be discussing this over the air. We should not be discussing matters within the cases. Everybody is talking about fairness. Everybody is talking about procedural justice. If you only allow one-sided statement, then the principal cannot offer an explanation. There was no way to tell the steps before and after the incident, to explain what happened before and after the incident, to present the entire case so that the authorities can understand that this is a unfair process.

(Headline Daily)  By Chris Wat Wing-yin. November 23, 2017.

Ever since Lee Wai-ling proclaimed: "When I say something, that's evidence. I am the witness!" after being fired by Commercial Radio, it has become fashionable in society to declare "I am the witness!"

As long as you are willing to face the media and declare "I am the witness", you own the media field and the Internet users will unthinkingly line up on your side, because everybody thinks that they are helping the weak to fight the strong.

Several more recent social incidents have caused me to think that people are being led by the media and a few complainants to the point of losing their own sense of judgment. In the German fable, the pied piper used his magic pipe to lure the mice to drown themselves in the river and the children to be lost in the cave. Our sanity is being led by the media flashlights off the cliff down into the valley.

The hottest item now is Joshua Wong's complaint against the Correctional Services department. While on bail waiting on the appeal of his sentence, he has denounced the Hong Kong prison as a hell in which corrections officers abuse prisoners. This is a completely one-sided presentation. But the Yellow Ribbon media were willing to coordinate, and RTHK invited him to provide a detailed 30 minute description. So these became "facts" wherein whatever he said is evidence and whatever the Corrections Services department does is cover-up.

The other news item is the bullying at the Tuen Mun primary school. Seven-year-old Hin Chai's parents told the media as well as filed a police report. They said that their son was bullied by classmates last week, including inserting an eraser into the ear and poking the eye with a pen. Since the "defendants" and the school were not present at the "trial", the whole world believes than Hin Chai was violently bullied by a female classmate. Even the Secretary for Education is articulating his concerns.

Yesterday, the school called a press conference. The principal said that they have asked the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrators, the students in the classroom, the teachers, the school bus chaperones and the students riding in the school bus, and they have looked at the closed circuit television videos. They have found no evidence whatsoever of any bullying incidents.

So this is a Rashomon case. But the media rendered the judgment before the investigation was made. Has anyone wondered whether a six- or seven-year-old has any idea of what "bullying" is? When everybody condemns the female student before any trial, isn't this another case of bullying her and her family?

Hong Kong is a rule-of-law society. The principle of rule-of-law is "Go tell it to the judge" and not "Go tell it to the media." Today, Joshua Wong lodges an official complaint first and then gets on radio to enumerate the problems over at the Correctional Services department; the parents go to the media first, and then everybody denounces the "bullying" of Hin Chai. Who is the judge in our system of rule-of-law? The person wearing the wig? Or the person holding the camera in one hand and a pen in the other hand? Is trial in absentia rule-of-law? I have my doubts.

(Oriental Daily) November 23, 2017.

After politics destroyed the court system, it is now moving to destroy the corrections system. After Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were released on bail, they got together to demonstrate against the violation of the human rights of prisoners by the Correctional Services department. They talked about physical punishments, torture, 30-second showers, etc. Joshua Wong said that the prisoners have to be strip-searched, squat on the floor and answer questions for 3 minutes. He said that "it was like a dog looking up at the master and answering questions."

Oddly enough, his previous communication from inside the prison said that he has adapted to prison life and learned many things already (such as how to fold his blanket). What kind of dog it this? Meanwhile Alex Chow described his time in prison as a "fantastic journey." The three said in various media interviews that they learned how to think, to read, to absorb ... this is not quite anyone's idea of how dogs live.

The truth is easy to ferret out. The prisoners are allowed to receive visitors. Given that Hongkongers complain about anything and everything, they are not going to hold back. The prison system is also visited by Justices of Peace. The Correctional Services officers cannot possibly stop all information from getting out.

A prison is a prison. As the Correctional Services officers point out, the major work/function of the department is (1) punishment and (2) rehabilitation. If you won't allow punishment and rehabilitation, then the prison become a dormitory/hotel paid for by the taxpayers. I don't think that that the people of Hong Kong want to see this.

(Speakout HK) November 22, 2017. Interview with retired Correctional Services director Eddy Ng:

On "collect payment" (the legendary custom of administering a beating upon admission)

"Collect payment." No. Definitely not. "Collect payment." I can say boldly. Yes, some people will "collect payment." But it is not common. Because we teach our disciples that if you beat someone up, you will have to pay. In the course of history, some officers were sent to jail as a result for assaulting people. We always teach the officers: You will have to pay. You don't command everything.

On calling a prisoner by his number and not by his name:

No. Actually this is a minor misunderstanding. We want to have convenience in our management. Everything that we do is based upon the number. That is a fact. This is like our Hong Kong ID number. But when we have to have face-to-face contact with him, we usually call his name. The prisoner's garb has a white name plate upon which his name is written. This allows us to identify him easily.

On the movie <Prison on Fire> (1987):

When <Prison on Fire> came out, our morale was as low as it can get. Because everybody thought that it was real. At that time, it was hard on us. We have to explain to everybody. We have to talk to them about the movie. This is especially for us in the management echelon. We were disheartened.

On Joshua Wong:

When Joshua Wong entered the correctional system, I can guess from his character just what he will do. I really guessed right. The first thing that he asked about was the length of the hair. Why does it have to be so short? He talked about it the other day. You asked him what his answers were. "Yes Sir, Sorry Sir." There isn't any "No Sir." This is how we train the kids. If you are right, then it is "Yes Sir." If you misspoke, then it is "Sorry Sir." We placed them under a very high discipline. Or maybe we demand a parade march. One parade march per day. That is, we hope that they will know that being in prison is not so simple. From this, we reduce that the likelihood of recidivism is low.

- The Hong Kong Correctional Services employs about 7,000 workers to look after a prison population of about 8,000 persons. According to the 2016 statistics, there were 4,104 acts of indiscipline, 527 violent cases, 18 assaults against CSD officers and 79 cases of self-harm of persons in custody (PICs). This is with the present level of searching already. Why would you advocate the removal of searching in the name of human dignity?

- (Hong Kong Correctional Services) The Complaints Investigation Unit (CIU) is an independent establishment appointed by the Commissioner of Correctional Services (CCS) to handle and investigate all complaints within its purview expeditiously, thoroughly and impartially under the ISO Quality Management Systems aiming at redressing grievances, preventing similar complaints and bringing continual improvement in overall service quality. For check and balance, Correctional Services Department Complaints Committee (CSDCC) is vested with the authority to examine all investigation findings handled by CIU. CIU will endeavour to complete its investigation of a complaint within 18 weeks. After endorsement of the outcome of the investigation by CSDCC, the complainant will be informed of the outcome in writing accordingly. A complainant who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the CIU investigation may apply in writing for appeal to Correctional Services Department Complaints Appeal Board.

- The trick here is that once you file a complaint with the Complaints Investigation Unit, the Correctional Services and its workers cannot comment on that complaint in public. So you have effectively gagged them, such that the entire media domain is yours. You know, "All your base are belong to us."

- (Silent Majority HK) November 22, 2017.

Every year, thousands of people are sent to jail in Hong Kong for breaking the law. They range from a former Chief Executive to the grassroots, and they are equal before the law. But these three "revolutionaries" won't be happy unless they get preferential treatment.

The most annoying thing about Occupy Central is that those people think that their way is the only way, to the point where they can override and hurt the interests of all other persons. This is no democracy. This is hegemony. This is hypocrisy.

Every nation in the world has prisons for those who break the law. At every prison, the prisoners lose their personal freedom and are subjected to disciplinary supervision. The prisoners are in prison to bear the legal consequences of their actions. The prison is a penal institution; it is not a five-star vacation village. Have Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law watched too many television commercials such that they think that the prison should be a five-star home?

Nelson Mandela spent 30 years in jail. Mahatma Gandhi was thrown in jail countless number of times for civil disobedience. Have we ever heard them whine about food and dignity in prison? But our young lords spent just over one month in prison and they come out screaming and complaining about this and that. The difference between hero and bum is clear to see.

- (Oriental Daily) November 22, 2017.

The Chinese name of the Correctional Services is 懲教署. The word 懲 means "punishment" and the word 教 means "teaching." For committing a crime, the prisoner was sent to prison by a judge. In prison, he will be punished for his crime and he will be taught not to repeat his mistake. All prisoners are treated the same way, with no exceptions being given to "politicians" or "philosophers." If the system is tailored for individual needs, then it would be unfair.

Is it undignified for a prisoner to be asked to strip down and squat? This is a security requirement. Prisoners are known to hide weapons and drugs on their bodies, with the most likely place being the anus. Therefore prisoners used to have to undergo cavity searches. Nowadays it is mostly done by electronic scanning. Unfortunately not all prisons have the equipment yet. Therefore it is unavoidable to have to strip and squat. When it was not done, the robber king Yip Kai-foon concealed a sharpened toothbrush handle on his body and attacked someone with it. This system is imposed for the personal safety of everybody, including Joshua Wong.

If Joshua Wong bothered to read the Chinese classic <Water Margin>, he might learn something about the 殺威棒, which refers to the cane strokes that are automatically administered upon entry into the system. Or he might read about how democratic United States of America treat its prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. If so, he may find that it is a blessing to be in a Hong Kong prison.

- What kind of world is this? Now we have criminals who demand human rights, respect and dignity in prison. They want to take away discipline. They want to forbid correctional officers to give orders to the prisoners. And if they don't get their way, they will threaten to take industrial action, with the head of the Correctional Services being hauled in front of a Legislative Council committee and asked to explain.

- Many pennies for his thoughts: Joshua Wong's Facebook

Subscription targets:

The encouragement from you plus the income from this project will support me to continue to write and get engage in political work. Here are the subscription targets that I am setting up with you. I hope that your support will enable me to go further.

NT$30,000/month: Initiate the Mailbox project. Readers can send me letters to ask questions. I will do my best to answer in letter form. In addition, I will select three questions that will help the public most to think about and write three detailed essays in response.

NT$50,000/month: Initiate the Notebook project. I will record my thoughts during the Resistance Movement and give you the real me outside of the flashlights.

NT$100,000/month: Face the international community by publishing English-language books to share my thoughts and experiences.

How can you support me?

I have designed different subscription options at different prices. I welcome you to give me your support based upon your ability.

Your subscription will allow me to continue to affect everyone, so that more people can understand why Hong Kong deserves people giving to.

- Why does Joshua Wong want his money in Taiwan currency? The superficial reason was that his political party Demosisto does not have a bank account. If he uses his personal bank account for this purpose, the bank might shut him down for money laundering. That is why he wants to be paid in Taiwan which is beyond the scrutiny of the Hong Kong/Chinese authorities.

- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book IV, aphorism 341:

What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!"

Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: "You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine."

Here is life with Joshua Wong: Give him more money so that he can tell you his thoughts and do more political work. Then what? Then you can give him more money so that he can tell you his thought and do more political work. Well, it is an eternal recurrence of the same thing over and over again.

- Can I give him money so that he will just shut up and go away? Eh ... no answer? ... guess not ...

- (Wen Wei Po) November 23, 2017.

So far, the number of subscribers to <Prison Diaries> over at SOSReader is 17 for a total income of NT$4,252 (about HK$1,000). I am worried about these subscribers.

First of all, if Joshua wrote the entries himself, then will the subscribers understand what he wrote? If they can read it, will their Chinese language skills retrogress as a result of the reading? After all, when Joshua Wong sent out an annotated map of his prison cell, he managed to misspell 6 words out of the 10 named items (see #786).

Secondly, where is the subscription money going? The Derek Lam case is still a mystery because the Demosisto members are gagged. All we know is that Derek Lam was forced to resign. In Hong Kong, Demosisto is not registered and does not have a bank account. The donations are going into the personal accounts of various members. There are obvious management and moral hazards.

Thirdly, the subscription offer was made almost a month ago. So far not a single update has been made at SOSReader. Where are Joshua Wong's prison diaries? In Hong Kong, this would be a straightforward case of false advertising.

- Well, let us not complain about slow news days because we've been having a great month:


Yellow Ribbon Zombies:

- Edmund Leung (one of the North East New Territories 13) was transferred from the regular Tong Fuk Correctional Institution to the Siu Lam Psychiatric Hospital because he has mental problems.

- Legislative Councilor Eddie Chu Hoi Dick motions to expel the press and the general public from the Legislative Council building.

- Localist Ho Loy became a goat when she declared that a goat carcass outside a restaurant was a dog carcass.

- The King of Judicial Review Kwok Cheuk-kin is bankrupt because he can't pay the legal fees. Before immigration to the United Kingdom, he is lodging some more complaints at the Independent Commission Against Corruption when there is no filing fee.

- Legislative Councilor Tanya Chan marched with 40 people against the Co-location at West Kowloon Station and declared that they (and only they) represent the People of Hong Kong (7.3 million of them).

- Apple Daily columnist Ko Wai-yin wrote a column about the shortcomings of Alipay. The essay made her famous overnight in mainland China for her ignorance. For example, she said that Alipay cannot be tied to credit cards which are used exclusively by upper-class people. In fact, Alipay is limited to linkage to a maximum of only 18 bank cards and/or credit cards. Does upper-class person Ko Wai-yin own 18 cards?

- Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow complained that they were treated like dogs by the Correctional Services officers in prison. After spending several dozen days in prison, they think that they know enough to reform the entire prison system.

- (Facebook) Here is the famous quote from Joshua Wong: "I don't think that I look like a man. I looked more like a dog."

BEFORE:

(Hong Kong Free Press) October 25, 2017.

Local schools have been encouraged to cancel classes so students can watch a live broadcast of a Basic Law forum to be attended by a top Beijing official.

The forum on November 16 will include a speech by Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The topic will be “Hong Kong’s role and mission under the country’s constitution and the Basic Law as a Special Administrative Region.”

The Education Bureau said it has invited schools to watch the live broadcast and encourages government schools to make arrangements to improve students’ knowledge of “One Country, Two Systems” and the Basic Law. However, participation is purely voluntarily and schools will make a final decision.

(SCMP) November 6, 2017.

The Education Bureau has invited schools to play the live broadcast of the speech on the Basic Law next week by Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei, to deepen students’ understanding of the mini-constitution, and some people are quick to see this in a negative light.

Whenever anything related to national education is mentioned, some critics go on the offensive. However, in countries all over the world, national education is a compulsory part of the school curriculum and serves the purpose of instilling a sense of national identity in students. Hong Kong is part of China, so it follows that pupils should learn more about their home country, where our traditions, culture, systems and uniqueness are formed and passed down through generations.

We ought to have faith in the bureau, which is comprised of professionals who know the education system inside out; they would take into account the needs of different stakeholders before they launched any national education course, ensuring that it was beneficial to the overall well-being of students.

As for broadcasting a speech on the Basic Law live to secondary school students, I don’t see any harm in doing that from an educational standpoint. While students may not have ample knowledge of the Basic Law, the speech might get them more interested in the subject and lead to them learning more about our mini-constitution. Concerns often arise from ignorance and lack of understanding of a subject, so absorbing a little more knowledge about the constitution may go a long way towards starting a healthy discussion on national identity and citizens’ responsibility.

Some people say broadcasting the speech amounts to indoctrination of students, which I think is totally unfounded. In this digital age, information flows freely on the internet in Hong Kong society and students are known to have developed critical thinking skills, thanks in no small part to the new senior secondary curriculum.

Tech-savvy millennials are adept at accessing information, reflecting on their learning experiences and discussing with peers on a range of issues.

They may not readily accept ideas spoon-fed to them, so to claim that the 45-minute speech would brainwash them with ideology is a weak argument.

If brainwashing worked, teachers would not be having such a hard time asking students to revise material for exams. It’s unnecessary to be overly worried about the broadcast.

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 16, 2017.

Around 50 schools accepted the Education Bureau’s invitation to broadcast the talk live for students. Many of them were government schools.

The pro-democracy People Power party handed out red cloths to students in Kwun Tong, Sha Tin and Shau Kei Wan, in response to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who previously said students can cover their eyes if they did not want to watch the broadcast. The party’s Tam Tak-chi said a school searched a student’s bag after they accepted a red cloth. Tam said he will follow up to see if the student received any unnecessary pressure or punishment. The League of Social Democrats also protested outside the Exhibition and Convention Centre, the venue of the speech.

AFTER:

(SCMP) November 16, 2017.

For 120 secondary school pupils at Lions College, the live broadcast of Li Fei’s speech on Thursday inspired a mix of yawns, drowsiness and head-scratching.

The school’s principal admitted there had been a language barrier for pupils listening to the 50-minute speech on the Basic Law made in Mandarin by the chairman of the Basic Law Committee, but stressed the event was a valuable experience.

The school in Kwai Chung was one of 50 that accepted the Education Bureau’s invitation to stream the broadcast in an attempt to deepen students’ understanding of the city’s mini-constitution.

“Since the speech was rather long and made in Mandarin, there might be a language barrier,” said Lions College’s principal Lam Yat-fung. “It is not surprising a few students lost their focus as they are young and their attention span may not be long. Still, it is valuable to experience a seminar on such a large scale. I am sure students might respond better in other activities, such as a visit or outing, but this is a learning process and we are trying to arrange a different chance for them.”

A student representative, assigned by the school to speak to the press, said he found the activity helpful for his studies but language remained an issue. “Since it was in Mandarin, I could not fully understand it,” Jacky Chan, in Form Five, said. “The event was quite good as it fits the subject we are studying. It was helpful as Li Fei explained the purpose and meaning of the Basic Law, and I listened to it intently. Personally I am against the Hong Kong pro-independence movement as I do not think it is workable, so I agree with what Li Fei said.”

Another student representative said she was more confused after Li’s speech. “He said that Basic Law is secondary to China’s constitution law, so I am now a bit confused about the purpose and status of having it in Hong Kong in the first place,” Stacey Lau, who is in Form Six, said. She said she could only understand about 70 per cent of what Li said.

Before the speech, the pupils gathered in an assembly hall at 9.30am for the additional class that began with a 30-minute briefing by a liberal studies teacher about the background of the Basic Law. Ten minutes into the speech, some of the blank-faced pupils began to rub their faces, scratch their heads, and yawn, despite the presence of the cameras. Only a few were seen jotting notes, but no one dared to chat among themselves. A few closed their eyes, appearing to be dozing off, only to be elbowed awake by neighbouring pupils.

The teacher gave out worksheets after the speech, with questions about how the Basic Law contributes to the prosperity of Hong Kong, its relationship with China’s law and so on. Principal Lam promised to pass their questions to Li if the pupils had any doubts about his remarks.

Education sector lawmaker, Ip Kin-yuen, the only pan democrat lawmaker at the seminar, said Li’s speech was too difficult for secondary school students to understand.

“After Li finished, I told him I disagreed with having his speech broadcasted … Even Li said it was difficult for him to take care of both students and the people at the scene, who knew more about the matter than students,” Ip said.

(Speakout HK) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. November 18, 2017.

Li Fei comes to Hong Kong. The media did not flock to the Wanchai Convention Centre where Li Fei was. Instead, they rushed over to the Lions Club College in Kwai Chung.

The Education Bureau had invited Hong Kong middle schools to hold live broadcasts of Li Fei's speech. The Yellow Ribbon media and politicians denounced this as brainwashing. Fortunately, the Lions Club College principal Lam Yat-fung was bold enough to open his school to let the media film the live broadcast at the school. This was enough to dispel all talk of brainwashing.

A few days ago, it was announced that 50 schools had accepted the invitation to broadcast Li Fei's speech. The Yellow Ribbon immediately sought to compile the names of the 50 brainwashing schools who sucked up to the Central Government.

Why are they so nervous about a one-hour live broadcast of a speech? They are upset that the students can listen to a Beijing official directly without being distorted or twisted by the Yellow Ribbon media.

I admired the openness of principal Lam Yat-fung and the Lion College students. They were listening to a speech and not breaking any law. What is there to hide? So what if the 50 schools are named? Parents will only get to find out which schools are going the right thing.

If you want denunciations, then why not tell us which 20 schools had pro-Hong Kong independence pamphlets distributed in front of them? As a parent, I would really like to know why those schools are so scared that they won't do anything about the troublemakers outside their front gates.

If you can brainwash someone with a one-hour talk, then this technique deserves a Nobel Prize as an innovative teaching technique. In future, teachers won't have to teach hard subjects such as trigonometry for the school term. They only need to hire a senior Central Government official to deliver a one-hour lecture on the subject and the students will have the material etched into their brains forever.

The next day, Ming Pao came up with this heading: "Non-government school aired Li Fei's speech live; Lam Yat-fung denied that he was trying to ingratiate himself." Nobody ever says that they do something in order to ingratiate themselves with someone else, because this term has negative connotations already. What happened was that the reporter asked Principal Lam : "Are you ingratiating yourself?" When Principal Lam said "NO", the reporter wrote down duly: "Lam Yat-fung denied that he was trying to ingratiate himself." So this was a trap. At least the reporter did not ask: "Did you want to mentally rape the students?" and then the headline next day will be: "Lam Yat-fai denies that he raped students."

Apple Daily's heading was "Bored to tears with live broadcast of Beijing official's speech; the students shut their eyes like Carrie Lam said." But can brainwashing still take place if you close your eyes?

Actually I thought that this lesson was not about the Basic Law or putonghua. This is about learning what is first-hand material. These two hours are the best education for the students. We let them listen to Li Fei's original speech and then we compare the various news reports and reactions from scholars and politicians. We can teach the students how to ferret out the truth in this age of information explosion. This was not a lesson in politics. This was a lesson in media studies.

(EJ Insight) Boring for the nation is not the same as rallying the nation. By Stephen Vines. November 17, 2017.

Only a bunch of deluded bureaucrats and equally misguided democrats could possibly have expressed concern over the fact that a (admittedly worrying) speech by Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei was broadcast live to some 50 schools last Thursday.

Comrade Li does not have a reputation as an electric orator and a speech on constitutional issues is hardly the stuff that sets the average school student’s heart racing. The additional fact that Li spoke in Mandarin made it even less likely that close attention was paid, as students had a struggle to understand the language, especially in the stilted and formal style employed by Li.

However, certain members of the democratic camp have got all het up about this on grounds of our old friend “principle”. They say that in principle, political indoctrination speeches should not be foisted on school kids and question whether the authorities even had the right to initiate a broadcast of this kind.

The principle of the matter may be important but the reality is that a speech like this is almost certain not to have gained a scintilla of attention from a bunch of school kids forced to watch it when they had far more pressing things on their minds, possibly including finishing off a vital video game or maybe they used the time to think about how much homework was piling up.

However, an indoctrination session may well have provided precisely the push needed to get students to pay more attention to those giving out leaflets arguing the case for Hong Kong independence. The leaflet disseminators have re-emerged recently and were probably met more with puzzlement than interest but when a school forces its students to sit through a lengthy dirge on the Basic Law, it sure helps to ignite the fires of rebellion.

Most students, however, probably greeted this interruption to normal lessons with a shrug of indifference. I base this not only on vague memories of my own ability as a school student to simply switch off when being harangued by some boring teacher but also on my experience as a reporter.

In this context, my most vivid memory is of traveling to Guangzhou shortly after the violent suppression of the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square. I wanted to find out how these events had impacted a part of the country far removed from Beijing.

One of the people I interviewed was a female factory worker who told me that all work on the shop floor had been brought to a halt so that employees could watch a number of television address giving the government’s version of what happened. How long did that last, I asked. “I’m not sure,” she replied. “It seemed like hours.” And what were you told? She looked at me in amazement and said, “I have no idea; of course I didn’t listen.”

I would take a bet that if you asked any of the school students to provide a summary of Li Fei’s address, the overwhelming majority would similarly not be able to do so.

This raises the question of why they were subjected to this mind-numbing experience in the first place. Lamentably, the answer is easy to supply because these days the Hong Kong government is displaying a kind of sycophancy that would be amusing if it were not so troubling. Officials who want to get noticed and get promoted know full well that this is most likely to happen if they can think of ways of pleasing their masters in Beijing.

And nothing pleases the masters more than efforts by local sycophants to promote so-called patriotic initiatives. They just love it when one of the kowtowers quotes a Chinese leader, preferably Xi Jinping, or bemoans the lack of patriotic spirit among the young (you can tell this is important because CY Leung is especially assiduous in this regard) but, by and large, they will settle for more or less anything that indicates enthusiasm denoting subservience to the central authorities. The brown nosers are acutely aware of Xi’s insistence that the central authorities exercise “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong and want to demonstrate their support.

What better way to do this than by insisting that Li Fei’s address should be beamed directly into schools? The flag wavers can and will do much worse than this; the democrats should have kept their powder for such an eventuality.

Internet comments:

- Question: At what point were you brainwashed into thinking that there is such a thing as brainwashing?

(Wikipedia) Brainwashing.

Brainwashing (also known as mind control, mind break, menticide, coercive persuasion, thought control, thought reform, and re-education) is a non-scientific concept that the human mind can be altered or controlled by certain psychological techniques. Brainwashing is said to reduce its subject’s ability to think critically or independently, to allow the introduction of new, unwanted thoughts and ideas into the subject’s mind, as well as to change their attitudes, values, and beliefs.

The concept of brainwashing was originally developed during the Korean War to explain how Chinese captors appeared to make American prisoners of war cooperate with them. Advocates of the concept also looked at Nazi Germany and at some criminal cases in the United States. The concept of mind control was later expanded and modified by psychologists including Margaret Singer and Philip Zimbardo to explain conversions to some new religious movements (NRMs). This resulted in scientific and legal debate; with Eileen Barker, James Richardson, and other scholars, as well as legal experts, rejecting at least the popular understanding of the concept.

The concept of brainwashing is sometimes involved in legal cases, especially regarding child custody; and is also a major theme in both science fiction and in criticism of modern political and corporate culture. However, in the view of most scholars, it is not accepted as scientific fact.

- Brainwashing may not exist as such, but it is very useful for scaring people.

- (Apple Daily) November 16, 2017.

The title of Li Fei's talk was “Hong Kong’s role and mission under the country’s constitution and the Basic Law as a Special Administrative Region.” Li said that there are three levels of discussion: (1) Where did the Hong Kong SAR come from? (2) What is the position of Hong Kong in the national system? (3) What should the Hong Kong SAR be doing?

Li said that "Where did the Hong Kong SAR come from" is the question of "Where do we come from?" This leads to the three questions: "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" The future of Hong Kong depends on answering these questions properly.

- Why should the three questions (Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?") come in together?

That's because they form the title of a famous painting by French artist Paul Gauguin (Wikipedia).

In the upper left corner, Gauguin inscribed the French title: "D'où Venons Nous  /Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous." The inscription has no question mark, no dash, and all words are capitalized.

Gauguin indicated that the painting should be read from right to left, with the three major figure groups illustrating the questions posed in the title. The three women with a child represent the beginning of life; the middle group symbolizes the daily existence of young adulthood; and in the final group, according to the artist, "an old woman approaching death appears reconciled and resigned to her thoughts"; at her feet, "a strange white bird...represents the futility of words." The blue idol in the background apparently represents what Gauguin described as "the Beyond."

Unfortunately, the initial reception of this painting was just like the reception of Li Fei's speech. Gauguin reflected: "Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not."

- How to answer Li Fei's three questions:

Apple Daily's brainwashing answers:
1. Where do we come from? Hong Kong
2. What are we? Hongkongers
3. Where are we going? Anywhere but China.

A normal Hongkonger's answers:
1. Where do we come from? Hong Kong
2. What are we? Chinese
3. Where are we going? We stand in Hong Kong backed up by China and face the world

- Actually the best sound bite came from someone else.

(SCMP) November 17, 2017.

A Beijing official based in Hong Kong on Friday mocked local critics of the Communist Party regime as having “brains made of granite”.

Wang Zhenmin, the legal chief of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, also criticised Hongkongers for “getting stuck on unfortunate historical events”. The city, which unlike the rest of China is entitled to free speech under its mini-constitution, the Basic Law, has held annual vigils for Beijing’s bloody military crackdown in Tiananmen Square 28 years ago.

Wang, a former law dean at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, was speaking at a seminar on the Basic Law held in the city on Friday.

Those who criticised the Communist Party and the central government, Wang said, “have brains made of granite. They have not changed after several decades, they always live in the past, they get stuck on unfortunate historical events, and they open up scars already healed from time to time.”

Wang went on to reject some of Hongkongers’ recurring criticisms of China. “Some say our state leaders are nationalistic, but which state is represented by leaders who don’t love their nation? Some say Chinese judges are appointed by the Communist Party, but doesn’t the US government appoint its own judges as well? If China doesn’t have freedom of speech and freedom of communications, why does China have Alibaba and Tencent, but not in other countries?” Wang said, citing leading Chinese tech giants.

Wang called on Hongkongers to learn more about China’s past and present, with a key topic being the Communist Party’s leadership of the country.

- The popular understanding of brainwashing comes from the 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller The Manchurian Candidate (remade in 2004). During the time of the Korean War, North Korea and China were considered to be backward nations ruled by totalitarian regimes.

So the first question must be: How can these backward nations develop such powerful techniques for psychological warfare? The answer is that these are evil techniques that only evil regimes can conjure up, experiment with and bring to perfection. By contrast, the United States respects human rights and can never bring itself to use such evil techniques.

The next question is: Once the United States discovered that the Chinese/North Koreans/Russians were using psychological warfare, did it try to study the techniques and come up with defensive measures? For example, did they develop tests that can be applied on returned prisoners-of-war to detect signs of brainwashing and then to de-program brainwashed persons? The official position of the American Psychological Association is "we do not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue."

Here is the truth of the matter: If brainwashing works, the United States would be the most proficient nation in the world already because it can amass more resources to develop and refine such weapons than the rest of the world combined.

- The United States is the leading practitioner of the art of waterboarding. People can be made so say whatever they think the interrogator wants to hear.

(Hong Kong Economic Times) November 17, 2017

The Chinese University of Hong Kong helds its 81st annual graduation ceremony for several hundred graduates. The diplomas and awards were handed by CUHK board of trustees chairman Norman Leung and CUHK vice-chancellor Joseph Sung.

When the national anthem was played, almost 20 graduates raised placards with the words "Democratic Freedom; National People's Congress law interpretation; separation of powers; fairness with rule of law" as well as a photo of CY Leung which was torn up immediately afterwards. Graduates also raised placards with the word Interpretation crossed out to express their opposition to the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpretation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. At the time, Leung and Sung were on stage.

When Leung began to hand out diplomas for the School of Social Sciences, the graduates stood up, raised placards and ripped up CY Leung photo again because he was supposed to split up Hong Kong.

Some CUHK students were also upset that CUHK vice-chancellor delivered his speech in putonghua, Cantonese and English in that order. They wondered if they went to the Shenzhen campus instead.

Afterwards, Sung said that the graduate ceremony is an important and solemn occasion at which protests are inappropriate. He expressed his regrets and hoped that people can understand and respect each other.

On Thursday, about 50 social science graduates wore face masks and held up banners as they received their degrees. The signs said “Safeguard freedom of speech in academia” and “Don’t silence me”.

Social work department graduates had initiated the protest, saying they aimed to draw attention to threats to freedom of speech, which is protected under the Basic Law.

One of them told the Post that the university should tolerate all expressions of political views. “The democracy wall dispute made us feel that freedom of speech was threatened on campus,” the graduate said.

“We just want to grasp the last chance to convey our views,” former student union president and fresh graduate Tommy Cheung Sau-yin said. Asked why they had decided not to act when the anthem was being played, Cheung stressed he and his peers were more concerned about the democracy wall episode than the looming anthem law.

(SCMP) November 16, 2017.

A group of youngsters staged a silent protest and held up signs calling for the protection of free speech during Chinese University’s graduation ceremony on Thursday, but when the national anthem was played, they did not boo or cause a scene.

Instead, most of them at the degree conferment ceremony got to their feet, with some singing along to March of the Volunteers and taking photos, a surprise given that Chinese University’s campus had been ground zero for pro-independence campaigning by tertiary students just months ago.

(Facebook video) Why do these School of Social Sciences people wear surgical masks when they hold up protest placards? What are they afraid of?

(Wen Wei Po) November 18, 2017.


The Progress UST Facebook urged: "If you hear a song that is to be respected for who knows what reason today or tomorrow, remember not to do anything unlawful."

Yesterday at the University of Science and Technology graduate ceremony, the graduates entered at 315pm. Nobody refused to stand up for the national anthem. But towards the end of the national anthem, there were some low-volume noises. When asked, the University of Science and Technology said that they don't know what it was.

Under-secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said when university students or others want to express their opinions, they should consider the appropriateness of the occasion as well as the impact on other people. A university graduation ceremony is not just your occasion, but it is an occasion for other students and parents. Many of these other people want to have a solemn and dignified ceremony.

(Wen Wei Po) November 18, 2017.


Education University people
Civil Disobedience

The Education University will hold its graduate ceremony on November 17 and 18. The Education University Freedom of Speech Concern Group announced that its members will be protesting on one of those days.

The Concern Group urged the students to "cross their arms high in the air and boo or their own methods when the national anthem is played." They also asked people to post the so-called "unlawful" banners everywhere."

There was no action during the November 17 action.

(Silent Majority HK) November 19, 2017.

Former Education University Student Union vice-president Hui Fung-ming displayed a Hong Kong Is Not China banner and shouted "Defend freedom of Hong Kong independence speech" at the graduation ceremony. Hui said that several other students had told him that they would join him, but they didn't. So he was a solo act. Hui refused to stand or sing during the national anthem. Instead he sat and played with his mobile phone.

- That fool even held the banner upside down. What school is going to hire him to teach?

- He inverted the banner? This means that he opposes "Hong Kong is not China."

- This was the biggest day of his life in which he could finally showed the world what he is capable of. But he screwed up.

(The Standard) November 13, 2017.

Catholic Bishop Michael Yeung Ming- cheung said it is only natural for people to sing the national anthem but resisting to sing it is against social norms.

Yeung, speaking on the sidelines of an event yesterday, supports the patriotism behind the national anthem, saying that as a citizen "what's the big deal on singing the national anthem? It's just natural." He believes people should not be too sensitive. He personally found no Hongkonger would reject the view that he is Chinese. "If somebody insisted on not singing the anthem, then it's against the social norm."

Yeung also said many Catholic schools have been voluntarily playing the national anthem since the handover, and it was not compulsory for students to stand straight. He believes it would backfire if students were coerced into standing up, and things would not turn to the negative side if education "let nature takes its course."

(SCMP) November 16, 2017.

Chaos broke out at a graduation ceremony in Hong Kong on Thursday as students protested against a bishop’s support for a controversial national anthem law.

Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, the chairman of the board of governors in Caritas Institute of Higher Education, had earlier said singing the anthem was a very natural thing and people who refused to sing along were “violating the social norm”.

A group of about 10 graduates had planned in vain to stage a protest at the ceremony in the Tseung Kwan O institute, with a black banner reading: “Singing the anthem is not a social norm”.

Clashes broke out when Yeung, flanked by security guards and staff, ignored students who were chanting, trying to hand him petitions and blocking his access to a lift.

After a short deadlock, Yeung responded and clarified his remarks: “I did not mean I would force students to sing the national anthem.”

He asked the students to hand their letters to the university management.

“Yeung’s remarks are stifling the students’ chance to discuss our national identities … I would not say I am a Chinese at this moment,” Janet Chan, a social work graduate said, referring to Yeung’s earlier remarks that most people would not reject their Chinese identities.

Chan also opposed the anthem law, saying she did not know how to express respect and “the appropriate emotion” towards the anthem without having heartfelt approval.

(Silent Majority HK with Cable TV news video) November 17, 2017.

Previously Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong Michael Yeung Ming-cheung voiced his support for the national anthem law. Today he was surrounded by Caritas Institution of Higher Education students at the graduate ceremony.

Michael Yeung: You say that you are Chinese. I respect you. You say that you are Hongkongers. I respect you. I don't have a problem.

Female student voice: What about all the Hongkongers who won't sing the national anthem? Why do you think that this is the social norm?

Michael Yeung: I said that it is the social norm for the citizens of a nation to stand up when the national anthem is played. Therefore I said that this was no big deal.

Female student voice: What about Hong Kong?

Michael Yeung: Hong Kong? If a Hongkonger wants to sing the national anthem, he can sing it. I am not forcing them to either sing or not sing.


National anthem ‡ Social norm

- These Caritas students hold a banner to protest the statement that standing while the national anthem is played is the social norm. Fair enough! But this photo is receiving wide circulation because the writer wrote the word "social" incorrectly. It is one thing to have an illiterate college student make a primary school mistake, but what about the other students who failed to detect this error and actually posed with the banner and took photographs? Are they all illiterate? Or do they know that the word was wrong and simply don't care?

- Fuck! If these students are any good, they would be in a proper university instead of this Caritas Institute of Higher Education.

- What is freedom of speech? Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction. In this case, Bishop Michael Yeung spoke his mind. On this day, he was surrounded by a bunch of students who demanded that he repent and retract his previous statement. What happened to freedom of speech?

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 17, 2017.

German firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch has refused to sell MP5 submachine guns to the Hong Kong police force.

Several news outlets cited unnamed sources as saying that the police sought to buy the gun and its accessories at the start of this year, but the request was rejected. A police source told Ming Pao that Germany had recently banned firearms companies from selling to non-NATO countries, but the police were able to buy equipment from other EU states and the US.

Internet comments:

- Does it matter to the Hong Kong Police?

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 17, 2017.

Security Secretary John Lee refused to comment on the reports on Thursday afternoon. But he said there are many choices available in the market: “The supply of firearms will not affect the operations of the law enforcement agencies.”

“We will not rely on a single type [of gun] or a single manufacturer. So in terms of our work, especially in counter-terrorism, it will not be affected,” he said.

Asked if there will be any issue when switching equipment, Lee said: “This is not the first time. Every law enforcement agency has its own experience in using and maintaining guns. Also there are some alternatives in the market. Thus, in every review we do, law enforcement agencies will procure new guns or look into new supplies, to ensure our operations are not affected.”

Veteran lawmaker James To, who focuses on security, said the police will need time to train with new gear: “After all they have used German [brands] for so long, trained for some time… In the fight with terrorists, either they die or you die in a split second – if you use new guns, training has to be done all over again.”

- Duh! If the Hong Kong Police needs H&K MP4A4's, they have a reliable supplier on standby:

(TheFirearmBlog) Norinco NR08

No one remembers the day when China acquired from Heckler & Koch a license to manufacture an automatic rifle H & K MP5A4. However, in the Chinese domestic market and even in some export offers, a clone of the above model appeared – the Norinco NR08. By the way, the “novelty” already has the first buyers – the Philippines bought Norinco NR08 for the needs of law enforcement agencies at a price of $ 2,500. Surprisingly, the Chinese have chosen MP5 for cloning – it is already being reproduced in Pakistan (POF) and Turkey (MKE) Equipment. In this case, the products are cheaper than the Chinese are asking for unlicensed copies. H & K’s attempt to sue the manufacturer failed – the Norinco company belongs … to the PRC government and is inviolable. Germany is not ready to go to a diplomatic scandal with China because of the illegal production of MP5.

James To told Ming Pao that around six to eight years ago, a German consul asked him about Hong Kong’s Special Duties Unit procuring German submachine guns. He said the consul asked what the unit was and if they would crackdown on people, because EU members cannot sell guns to countries or regions who suppress their own people.

To said he replied the unit was the police’s elite unit for dealing with violent criminals, and the unit does not use firearms for crackdowns.

He added that he did not know the reason for the ban on sales this time, but it may be related to the decline in human rights and right to peaceful assembly in Hong Kong.

- Everybody, especially James To, knows that the Hong Kong Police operates on the tactical philosophy known as "One Plus": they use a level of force that is always one higher than that used by their opponents.

If the opponents charge, the police will use pepper spray.
If the opponents attack without arms, the police will use batons.
If the opponents attack with arms (bamboo poles, etc), the police will fire rubber bullets.
If the opponents attack with lethal arms (machetes, axes, etc), the police will fire small arms.
If the opponents fire small arms, the police will fire shotguns and rifles.
If the opponents fire rifles, the police will fire submachine guns.
If the opponents fire submachine guns, the police will fire rocket-propelled grenades ...

So to get the Hong Kong Police to buy more MP5's, H&K needs to sell small arms to the Hong Kong rebels.

- Why is the German company Heckler & Koch getting a whitewash now for not selling to the Hong Kong Police because they are an ethical company which protects Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights? Here is what they want you to ignore:

(The Guardian) September 8, 2017.

Heckler & Koch, the German weapons manufacturer whose guns are estimated to have killed more than 2 million people since the company was founded in 1949, has quietly adopted the most ethical sales policy of any gunmaker in the world.

Over the past 65 years, Heckler & Koch guns have been licensed to – among others – Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Myanmar, from where they have made their way into conflicts in virtually every part of the world. There are an estimated 15 million of the firm’s G3 rifles in circulation alone, and it is estimated that one person gets killed by a Heckler & Koch bullet every 13 minutes.

The company has pledged no longer to sell arms into warzones or to countries that violate corruption and democracy standards, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, or any African countries.

Heckler & Koch – sometimes called Germany’s deadliest company by activists – said it would now sell only to “green countries,” which it defined according to three criteria: membership of Nato or “Nato-equivalent” (Japan, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand); Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index; and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index.

- In 1984, Union Carbide killed at least 3,787 in Bhopal, India. That is considered the world's worst industrial disaster. But Union Carbide is not in H&K's league with 2 million kills. However, H&K is still far behind Big Tobacco with 100 million killed in 20th century and 1 billion in the 21st century.

- Do the NATO countries even allow H&K guns in? (see TheFirearmsBlog, H&K does not hate you: Import and Export Laws vs. the People, September 2, 2013)

- And H&K used to rail against the German government export restrictions the argument: "If we don't make and sell these guns to all comers, someone else in the world will do so anyway. So we won't save any lives and we will only lose German jobs (in Oberndorf)."

Today, H&K is not necessarily getting out of the business. Instead, they have found one national market which is bigger than the rest of the world combined. So this globalized company is perfectly happy to move the jobs from Oberndorf, Germany to Columbus, Georgia, USA. Now they don't have to be bothered with small buyers like the Hong Kong Police.

- If H&K won't sell to the Hong Kong Police, the latter won't have replacement parts and bullets. Assuming that they have no other weapon, their existing stock will run down. So when the Big Uprising occurs, the Hong Kong Police will have no firearms to use. Game over? Not quite. If that occurs, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will pick up the phone and ask for the intervention of the People's Liberation Army. That would be the real Game Over.

- (HKG Pao) November 19, 2017.

What is the MP in "MP5"? It stands for Machine Pistol. Heckler and Koch's 9mm MP5 was introduced in 1966 and was adopted widely by police forces in western countries. In the late 1970's, the Hong Kong Royal Police's Special Duties Unit (SDU) bought MP5's to replaced their antiquated WWII Sterling 9mm submachine guns. The Airport Security Police and the VIP protection unit also bought various versions of MP5 for various situations.

So the MP5 has been used by the Hong Kong Police for 51 years already. No matter how excellent the design of the MP5 was, it is being challenged in the market. There are many competitors, such as the 9mm MPX from the German company SIG Sauer. A couple years ago, the Hong Kong Police purchased some MPX's for testing and evaluation. There is plenty of information about MP5 vs MPX on the Internet (see, for example, YouTube). Most Hongkongers won't appreciate the technical differences, but they can surely appreciate the fact that the MPX costs half as much as the MP5.

As for Heckler & Koch restricting their sales to the European Union only now, this is a joke! First of all, the patent on the MP5 has expired and anyone (such as Norinco) can clone it. Secondly, the Hong Kong Police Crime Investigation Unit is equipped with P250 semi-automatic pistols from SIG Sauer, a Swiss/German company. Is SIG Sauer also going to stop selling to the Hong Kong Police because of freedom, democracy and human rights? Thirdly, Germany and China appeared to be on good relations diplomatically and economically. Is this so-called "ban" another episode of cold war mentality from brains that have been frozen in granite rock?

Hong Kong Legislative Council: Members' Biography

Hon Shiu Ka-chun

Constituency :

Education and professional qualifications :

Occupation :

(HKG Pao with video) November 2, 2017. Legislative Council session.

0:01 Chairman Andrew Leung: Legislator Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon3).

0:04 Shiu Ka-chun: Chairperson!

0:05 Andrew Leung: What procedural question?

0:06 Shiu Ka-chun: You mispronounced my name. My name is Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon1), not Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon3).

0:07 Andrew Leung: I called out Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon1). I called it. I did not call you Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon3).

0:14 Shiu Ka-chun: You called me Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon3). I want to watch the video.

0:15 Andrew Leung: I called out Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon1). If you don't get it, you can go and listen to it.

0:20 Shiu Ka-chun: I want to request to watch the video. I heard you call me Shiu Ka-chun (sound of zeon3).

0:23 Andrew Leung: You can go out and ask to watch the video.

0:25 Shiu Ka-chun: Go out to where? May I ask, chairman?

0:27 Andrew Leung: You can just ask the Secretariat. Alright?

0:28 Shiu Ka-chun: Where is the secretariat? May I ask, chairman?

0:30 Andrew Leung: Do you have any questions about procedure?

0:32 Shiu Ka-chun: I want to ask how I can locate the Secretariat to watch the video?

0:37 Andrew Leung: This is not a question about procedure.

Internet comments:

- The Legislative Council is a zoo and the Legislative Councilors are monkeys putting on a circus show. What have these people really done for the people of Hong Kong?

- Andrew Leung clearly pronounced Shiu Ka-chun's name correctly, but the latter kept pestering Leung with irrelevant questions. When videos such as these get circulated all over the place, public opinion will accumulate towards the revision of the rules of procedure of the Legislative Council to cut off these types of antics.

- Knowingly or unknowingly, these pan-democratic legislators are fulfilling certain roles and functions.

Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching served to let the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpret Basic Law Article 104 and stop all future shenanigans around the oath of office. A by-product was the ouster of a total of six pan-democratic legislators.

Cheng Chung-tai served to highlight the National Flag law and thus facilitate the introduction of a National Anthem law.

Shiu Ka-chun is now serving to empower the pro-establishment camp to revise the rules of procedure of the Legislative Council so as to cut off filibustering.

Afterwards, the search begins for designated stooges to enable (1) the enactment of Article 23 national security laws; etc.

- For the passage of the High Speed Rail Co-location motion, the task was sub-contracted to unemployed Democratic Party member Lam ("Stapler King") Tsz-kin. Once he held his press conference, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

- (YouTube) October 14, 2017. During Occupy Central, Shiu Ka-chiu addressed the assembly from the Grand Stage: "Tear gas has been fired at Lung Wo Road. That friend excitedly came over to inform us. Tear gas been fired. So those friends who want to offer support there, bring your towels ... wet towels ... goggles ... goggles must be brought."

- No such thing had happened. Shiu said that someone came and whispered in his ear, and he was merely repeating the information. Those who heeded his call rushed over, charged the police, got clobbered and some were arrested.

- (YouTube) Shiu Ka-chun at his oath of office at the Legislative Council. Everything was normal until 0:44 when he struck a tambourine several times and yelled: "Umbrella Movement may have failed but it has not dissipated. It will persist strongly. WE ARE BACK!"

- Shiu Ka-chun is a hero of the Umbrella Revolution. At the very beginning, he was presented by the Occupy Three Trio (Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming) as one of the ten supporters who were given the name 佔中十死士 (Ten Occupy Central warriors who are ready to die for the cause).

- Is he dead yet?

[821] Of Dogs And Lambs (2017/11/11)

(Apple Daily) October 27, 2017.

Ho Loy, a volunteer for the Animal Life Guard Action Group, reported this morning that a certain restaurant on Kam Fai Path, Yuen Long district was slaughtering dogs and selling dog meat to the public. They cited residents who heard "the tragic cries of dogs being slaughtered almost every day." However, the restaurant was smart because they always cut off the head and claws." The volunteers have filed reports with the Hong Kong Police and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

A person who claimed to the daughter of the restaurant owner left a message at the Facebook of the volunteer and claimed that they were only selling black goat stew and accused Ho of defamation. "On account of your ignorance, our manager has to go and make statements at the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the police station for the investigation. He has to do this three times this week already, and he cannot conduct business meanwhile. Our losses have been huge."

Three photos of the restaurant are being circulated. One of them showed a grown-up dog sitting on a chair. Another showed a headless carcass (believed to be a dog) on a table. It looked very gruesome. After the initial post, the Animal Life Guard Action Group Facebook, posted an update: "The fifty-cent gangers are coming to work. They are trying to persuade people that the carcass is that of a lamb and not of a dog. Or the people of Hong Kong should regard this as a trivial manner. They mean to say that the people of Hong Kong should shut up, not harbor any doubts and conduct no investigation?" At 3pm, the Animal Life Guard Action Group Facebook updated at 3pm that they have given the photos to three animal experts to examine, and all three agreed that this was the carcass of a dog.

The Animal Life Guard Action Group Facebook noted that if a restaurant is forthright in its business, it should not be afraid of any investigation. They called on Yuen Long restaurants to pay attention to the area around Kam Fai Path, especially looking for animal body parts such as heads and claws. If they hear animals crying, they should immediately hold a Facebook live broadcast.

In the afternoon, the daughter of the restaurant owner commented at the Animal Life Guard Action Group Facebook that the sound of dog barking comes from the dog kept by the laundry store next door and is completed unrelated to the restaurant. "You can criticize the taste and texture of our food. We listen to all opinions. But we completely reject any comments about things that we have never done."

Roy Kwong (Democratic Party) is a Hong Kong legislative councilor as well as a Yuen Long district councilor. He said that he received citizen complaints this morning and he has made inquiries with the police. His office has sent people to gather evidence at the scene. They have verified that the restaurant exists, but they haven't found any dogs. He said that the veracity of the photos has not yet been established. He said that now that winter is here, some people may be exercising their habit to eat dog meat for better health. "But this is too cruel and unacceptable."

The Hong Kong Police responded to Apple Daily and said that they have received a complaint that a Yuen Long restaurant was selling dog meat. Police officers have visited the scene and have asked the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to follow up. If a crime took place, they will enforce the law accordingly.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department responded that they have received complaints and have sent inspectors to the restaurant. The restaurant claimed that it was cooked lamb. The inspectors went into the kitchen and saw two pots of cooked meat.  The department has taken a sample of the meat for analysis. They will wait for the analysis results to decide what to do next.

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals said that they have received complaints this morning and sent an inspector to the scene. The restaurant owner said that it was cooked lamb meat. The inspector went into the kitchen and found two pots of cooked beat. "Although it is not yet determined whether this was dog meat of not, the restaurant owner has shown us the invoice for black goat meat dated October 26, 2017." The society said that the inspector also looked around the neighborhood but did not find anything else. The society has show the Internet photos to a veterinarian who was unable to determine the kind of animal due to the absence of a head, limbs and internal organs.

(Ming Pao)  October 27, 2017.

Our newspaper interviewed the boss lady Mrs. Chan of the Man Lok Cuisine Restaurant. She said that the restaurant had been accused of selling dog meat earlier in the year and they have clarified that it was goat meat. "We absolutely don't sell dog meat."

The so-called noise of "slaughtering dogs" is actually the barking of the pet dog Shiu Bing of the neighboring store. Mrs. Chan said that Shui Bing frequently comes over to pay. The Chan family owns a beagle named Bobby. "We love dogs too, so how can we butcher dogs?"

Why are they being accused of selling dog meat once more? Mrs. Chan does not know why. She does not know if she has offended someone.

(HK01) October 27, 2017.

Our newspaper interviewed the boss Mr. Chan Sei-kon. He complained that the carcass in the photo was that of a black-skinned goal from Hainan Island. When delivered, the head, limbs and internal organs have already been removed. Due to limited space, he cooked the lamb and put it on the roadside table to cool down. The sound of dog barking comes from the pet dog in the laundry store next door.

Mr. Chan said that he and his wife started this small restaurant three years ago. They work 16 hours and they barely eke out a living. Last year there was a similar complaint but business volume plunged.

(Wen Wei Po) October 31, 2017.

Roy Kwong's Facebook

"I have a beagle myself, so how can I slaughter dogs?" The boss Brother Kon smiled and said: "I only want to concentrate on being a chef."

Last Friday, a lot of Internet users sought our help to investigate a suspected dog meat restaurant. Many people wanted to know the truth, so we opened an investigation. Today, we met with Brother Kon to have dinner at his restaurant. Over the meal, we sensed that Brother Kon is a kind man.

Brother Kon said that he is a dog lover too. He does not mind being misunderstood by many Internet users as being a butcher of dogs: "Actually we all care." The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has taken away a sample and their report will be issued shortly. He said that this was the second time that such a misunderstanding has occurred. He smiled and said: "Fortunately we have a Legislative Councilor/District Councilor to help us determine the truth this time. I don't believe that there will be another misunderstanding ..."

Without verification, Roy Wong posted on Facebook that he and the police are investigating a Yuen Long restaurant for selling dog meat, and he wants everybody to help spread the news. Many Internet users went to curse this restaurant, causing the restaurant loss to go sleepless and to close the premise down for two days. Now more details have surfaced to suggest that the case was fictional. For two days, Roy Kwong stayed out of sight while his Facebook post stayed on.

Perhaps Roy Wong finally sensed the public outrage. So he has deleted his original post, went down to the restaurant and made a new post to completely reverse himself. Now he refers to the restaurant owner as Brother Kon instead of a butcher who was too cruel to describe. Throughout all this, there was no apology or even a mention of the harm that his original Facebook post had caused Brother Kon.

(Sing Tao Daily) November 7, 2017.

Yesterday the letter arrived from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to say that the lab analysis showed that the sample was goat meat. Today, Mr. Chan showed us the letter and thanked citizens for supporting him. 64-year-old Mr. Chan said that he has been vexed and lost 10 pounds over the past two weeks. He hopes that the rumormongers will stop. He said that people should tell the truth.

Mr. Chan thanked the citizens who drove from Aberdeen just to buy his lamb stew. He said that there is still human warmth left in Hong Kong. He will continue to prepare good food for the people of Hong Kong.

Mr. Chan's daughter posted the FEHD letter on the restaurant's Facebook. Many Internet users who condemned Mr. Chan earlier came to say "Sorry" about their actions.

(TVB) Interview with Man Lok Restaurant owner Mr. Chan Sei-kon. "An old man was defamed without evidence, causing him great distress. So far the instigator has not said apologize, even though she claims to be defending the weak and vulnerable! ... What is the purpose of maligning a small neighborhood restaurant selling dog meat?"

(Wen Wei Po) November 8, 2017.

Previously, Local Actions member Ho Loy reported that the Man Lok Cuisine Restaurant was selling dog meat in Yuen Long and Democratic Party member Roy Wong asked everybody to spread the news. On the day before yesterday, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department reported that their lab analysis showed that it was goat meat. Today, Internet users want Ho Loy and Roy Kwong to acknowledge their mistake and apologize to the restaurant owner. But experience tells us that the chance of that happening is ZILCH, because everybody knows that you cannot wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep.

People who wanted to comment at the Animal Life Guard Action Group Facebook found that the comment function has been disabled. So they are left to howl in the wind.

Some Roy Kwong supporters continued a rearguard reaction. One of them said: "Roy never said that it was dog meat; he asked people to help to investigate." What!? Roy Kwong told everybody (1) that nothing has been confirmed yet; and (2) to join the investigation and (3) to spread the news everywhere. What everybody spread was that the Man Lok Cuisine Restaurant is selling dog meat. Who was responsible for that?

Another Roy Kwong supporter said: "Before Roy Kwong did anything, Ho Loy was already telling people to spread the news. Why don't you go after her? Instead more than one hundred thousand people used hashtags to get Roy Kwong to take action. Once he did, you criticize him ... that's a bummer!" Indeed, Ho Loy was inexcusable for telling people to spread the news. But Roy Kwong is a Legislative Councilor who was elected with 490,000+ votes! The destructiveness of his Facebook post is far more than anything that Ho Loy can conceivably do! Who else should we blame for what happened? Shouldn't legislative councilors be very careful about what they do because of their tremendous influence?"

Internet user Johnny Chong drew an analogy: "First he said that he suspects you of raping a grandma. He says that he will be conducting an investigation. Meanwhile everybody should help spread the news that you raped a grandma. When things go awry, he comes over to put his arm around your shoulder for a photo-op. He says that you look like a nice guy, so you are unlikely to have raped the grandma ... only the Honorable Legislative Councilor Roy Kwong have such thick skin!"

Internet users urged the restaurant owner to take legal action against Ho Loy and Roy Wong for defamation.

(Wen Wei Po) November 9, 2017.

Legislative Councilor Claudia Mo posted on her Facebook the hashtags #The_truth_is_now_known, #Say_sorry_to_restaurant_owner, #Hope_he_understands_why_we_are_running_scared.

Internet user Aiden Chan: "After you defame someone, shouldn't you compensate their damages? It was your problem that you were running scare. In the absence of evidence, you told the public that they were selling dog meat. This is not running scared; this is defamation. How can a legislator malign someone without evidence and then claim to be running scared afterwards?"

Internet user Keyman Hor: "After you apologize to them, you should see how you can help them revive their fortunes! Do you know how hard it is to build a business that can feed the family? Do you know anything about poverty?"

Internet user Wong Ka Man: "Before the truth was known, you were leading the cyberbullying already? It is easy for you to point your finger at someone, but they are hapless and defenseless against the horde. Have you ever thought about their plight?"

Internet user Edmund Siu: "I know when Hong Kong began to have more people who respect animals and fewer and fewer people who respect other people ..." Henry Lee said: "Please don't make people misunderstand those who care about animals as if they will accuse people of slaughtering dogs all the time ..."

Naturally Claudia Mo manages to ignore all the criticisms that came with her post. Instead she continued to post her thoughts on the governance report and plenty of photos too.

(Wen Wei Po) November 9, 2017.

Now that the smoke has cleared and the truth is know, legislative councilor Cheng Chung-tai (Civic Passion chairman) posted on Facebook: "I did not want to resort to populism, so I waited to learn all the facts before deciding whether to follow up or not. I don't believe that one photo plus some text will allow me to tell whether it was a dog or a lamb. The restaurant is a small business. If I exercise my authority and pressure the government departments to crack down, I may be hurting innocent people. Therefore I was willing to put up with the initial criticisms against me for I won't cater to the taste and standards of the public."

This is obviously a dig at Roy Kwong and Claudia Mo. "I want to have face. I find it totally unacceptable to oppress small businesses, and then share the news as if nothing had happened. Or even going down to patronize them for a meal."

Internet user Roy Tsang quoted the very same Cheung Chung-tai: "This was unavoidable, because the public are idiots. They are not as smart as Civic Passion." Jeffrey Yeung added: "Fuck you, Worm Tai! Those who supported you are idiots too! You have no fucking right to criticize others!"

Ex-Civic Passion member Pierre Cheung pointed out that Civic Passion has done its share of defaming small businesses in the past. "Dear Chairman Cheung Chung-tai, your Civic Passion member Becky Mok was one of those who maligned Man Lok with selling dog meat. Even now she has not given up her defamation." This comment was 'disappeared' quickly.

(TVB via HKG Pao) November 17, 2017.

Reporter: Although there is a Food and Environmental Hygiene Department report that the suspicious meat comes from a lamb, Ho Loy still doubts the credibility of this report.

Ho Loy: First of all, this certificate is not proven to be the laboratory analysis of the first carcass. Secondly, when we released the photos that night, the carcass was left there overnight. When the FEHD came to take the sample the next morning -- even if they went immediately -- it is still possible that it was not the same carcass.

Uncle Kon: I can't accept this.

Reporter: Why?

Uncle Kon: My misgivings are that I have to put up all this for so many days. I cry every day. I am afraid that I will be beaten up if I go outside. I am Uncle Kon. I am Ah Chan. Yes, perhaps I made procedural mistakes in what I do, or perhaps my procedures were incorrect. But have you tried to understand why Uncle Kon does it this way? Have you checked Uncle Kon's documents? What you people say on the Internet ... professors, all sorts of people ... how long will you malign me. When I have slept? Do you know how hard it is on me? Do you know how difficult it has been for me?

Internet comments:

- Why should Ho Loy, Roy Kwong, Claudia Mo or Cheng Chung-tai apologize? Here is a classic phrase from a movie.

- The most precious thing in Hong Kong is Freedom of Speech/Expression. Ho Loy was exercising her freedom of speech/expression. If Mr. Chan sues Ho Loy for defamation and wins, it will be a huge blow to Freedom of Speech/Expression because it will create a climate of fear and loathing. If Mr. Chan loses a few days of business, then it is a price worth paying for.

- Maybe Mr. Chan feels that he has been defamed and the law should be on his side. But the central message from Occupy Central is this:


This is a TVB screen capture of an Occupy Mong Kok demonstrator announcing: "I feel that the law comes second."

What comes first is whatever you need at the moment: Democracy, Freedom, Human Rights, Universal Suffrage with Civil Nomination, Animal Rights, Opioids, whatever.

In this case, there is a much more serious issue at stake than the reputation of a small restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We are talking about Freedom of Speech/Expression here. Mr. Chan needs to Shut The Fuck Off and not be exploited by the Hong Kong Communist Government in their relentless effort to take away our Freedom of Speech/Expression. To show our defiance, Ho Loy should repeat those accusations every day. The day that she is stopped is the day when we have lost our freedom.

- What is the point of Mr. Chan suing Ho Loy for defamation? Ho Loy lives off $6,000 a month in public welfare payment. Mr. Chan will not get a cent out of Ho Loy. He will only wind up losing his legal fees.

- I think that this is very unfair. Ho Loy lives off public welfare because her full-time job is social activist. She works on historical preservation (Star Ferry, Queen's Pier), environmental protection (Hong Kong International Airport expansion plan), urban planning (stopping the Central Market revitalization), education (her daughter's right not to attend public school), animal rights (the dog meat restaurant in Yuen Long), etc. These projects don't pay, so she needs the public welfare payments to support her. In addition, her indigent status allows her to obtain legal aid to file the related judicial reviews.

- Can Mr. Chan even sue Ho Loy since she is not using her real name? Ho Loy literally means "coming from where?" She does not want to remember where she comes from or what her real name is. Mr. Chan doesn't even know what the name of the defendant is.

- (HKG Pao)

Ho Loy: When I saw the photo, I wondered why the restaurant would put a carcass out on the street. This is actually seriously offensive.

Comment: Offensive? Do you know what you are talking about? There are any number of BBQ meat restaurants all over Hong Kong hanging out roasted chicken, roasted ducks, roasted geese, roasted suckling pigs, cow tongues, pig intestines, etc in the windows. Are these more or less offensive to you?

Ho Loy: But I still hope you understand that many neighbors tell us that they are scared by a carcass put out in the street. Is there any way of making the carcass less scary?

Comment: Scared? Uncle Kon said that he is scared that he could be beaten up if he goes out in the street. How come you are speaking up for him?

- Ho Loy's non-apology was an insinuation that Mr. Chan switched the carcass from that of a dog to that of a lamb before the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department inspector arrived. This drew these comments (HKG Pao):

Nicole Lo: Fuck your mother! You go eat shit!
Kirsten Tsang: You defame people for eating dogs. When you died in your previous life, your body must have been tossed out in the wilderness to feed the dogs.
Gutsy Hung: Anyway this is not how dog meat is sold. If you want to know, you ought to take a trip to the wet market in Guangzhou.

- (InMediaHK) November 16, 2017.

Ho Loy said that the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department report did not convince her that the photos were that of the carcass of a dog. But she said that she saw the genuine outpouring of emotions of the owner Brother Kon on television and believed that he was truthful. Thus, she was willing to apologize to him. She asked him to be magnanimous and appreciate animal rights protection.

Ho Loy especially emphasized that she does not believe in the FEHD report: "The FEHD only knows how to bully small vendors and protect businesses."

... Hoy Loy said that she hopes that the owner Brother Kon would understand that putting the carcass out on the street makes people uneasy. It is also offensive for animal rights volunteers. Ho Loy said that vegetarians have physical reactions against animal carcasses, including discomfort. But they have to put up with this in Hong Kong.

With respect to the Internet criticisms, Ho Loy said that she does not care about the costs of social activism, including jail time and judicial reviews. "I have no need to seek exposure. I am sufficiently well known. I have no political or economic interests. I have enough things to do already." Ho Loy believes that she is being targeted. "A lot of people want me dead."

Ho Loy is a vegetarian. When asked about the difference between eating dog meat and eating lamb meat, she said that there is no difference because both are cruel and unethical slaughter.

- Vegetables are living things too. If that head of lettuce was not picked out of the field, it would still be living nicely. Instead you are stuffing it into your mouth. This is so cruel and unethical.

If you respect life, you should only ingest inanimate lifeless things (such as pebbles).

- Many days of many critical comments at his Facebook finally led Roy Kwong to issue an "apology" that is a non-apology. Negative comments continued to flood his Facebook to demand his resignation.

(Roy Kwong's Facebook) November 15, 2017.

Here is the signs that the public is angry at Roy Kwong:

- (SCMP) How hard can it be to simply say sorry? By Alex Lo. November 20, 2017.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word. That’s especially so with Democrat lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu and veteran “yellow-ribbon” protester Ho Loy. The two were instrumental in “exposing” a Yuen Long restaurant for selling dog meat for mutton. Thanks to their involvement, what could have been a minor incident was turned into a major news story in the Chinese-language media in the past few weeks.

It turns out that no one was selling dog meat; the “mutton” really was mutton, according to a laboratory analysis of samples taken from the restaurant by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

After two weeks of silence, Kwong finally posted a short apology last week, but it was buried in his Facebook page, where he admitted his “handling of the incident was less than ideal”. That’s small comfort for the elderly restaurant owner who was reduced to tears after being chased by reporters. He said not only was business affected, he was afraid of going out ever since the exposé.

Meanwhile, Ho offered an apology of sorts that sounded more like an accusation during a TVB interview. She said she regretted the incident, but questioned the accuracy of the government report. She said photos of the animal carcass in question that started the whole furore looked more like a dog than a sheep, even to “experts” consulted by her animal welfare group.

Because she is a vegetarian, she said it was “not appropriate” for her to apologise. It’s not clear what she meant, though she did plead for understanding – for herself. “We in the animal welfare sector are very sensitive, though we never thought the whole incident would have gotten so serious,” she told TVB.

“We hope [the restaurant owner] will understand that many of our citizens love Hong Kong and its core values. So let our citizens continue to treasure animals and treasure life.”

What has this whole incident to do with our love of Hong Kong and its core values? How about the value of taking responsibility when you screw up or giving someone the benefit of the doubt before flaming them in public and making unsubstantiated accusations?

The irresponsibility of people like Ho and her gang actually give animal welfare activists a bad name.

The moral of this whole sorry saga? Woe to any ordinary citizens who find themselves in the cross hairs of our freedom-loving activists.

(Wikipedia) 穿櫃桶底 In the past, the cashier puts all the money in a drawer. After the shop closes, the money is taking out of the drawer and taken to the bank. Money is proverbially stolen when someone opens a hole at the bottom of the cashier drawer through which money is dropped to the waiting hand. Today are many other methods to steal money from the company, so the term 穿櫃桶底 is now used to refer generically to crimes of defalcation/ embezzlement/misappropriation/peculation even though no cashier's drawer is involved.

(SCMP) November 9, 2017.

Hong Kong’s youngest political party Demosisto, co-founded by student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, removed a core member from its standing committee on Thursday after he was found to have violated the group’s financial rules.

Derek Lam Shun-hin, 24, also resigned from the party, which approved his application to withdraw from membership. No specific reason was revealed regarding Lam’s decision to quit.

Demosisto was founded last year with Wong and disqualified lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung as its leaders.

Lam was one of the eight standing committee members of the party and viewed as a core member after Law, the chairman, and Wong, its secretary general, were jailed in August over an unlawful assembly in the lead-up to the 2014 Occupy movement.

In a short statement posted on its Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, Demosisto said Lam had violated party rules on financial matters. But the party said it did not suffer any financial losses.

“After an internal investigation, the party found Lam had violated the conduct for party members and removed Lam from his duty as a standing committee member immediately,” the statement said.

It added that Lam then applied to quit the party and the move was approved.

“From now on, Derek Lam Shun-hin is no longer a member of Demosisto and his acts have nothing to do with the organisation,” the party said without elaborating on what Lam had done.

Sharing the statement on his own Facebook page, Lam said he owed the party “too many apologies and thanks”.

“No matter what, today is the beginning of a new journey,” he wrote.

The theology student from Chinese University could not be reached for comment.

Internet comments:


Greedy pig Derek Lam (spoof)

- (Wen Wei Po) November 10, 2017.

Derek Lam Shun-hin had "violated party rules on financial matters." This is going to be one of two things: (1) receiving outside donations personally without reporting it to the party; (2) using party financial resources without authorization. This is likely to have occurred while Nathan Law and Joshua Wong were in jail and left Demosisto leaderless. The only other recognizable name is Chow Ting, who does not have the stature to assert party leadership. If someone was taking advantage of this situation to profit personally, then his political morals are suspect and his political career is basically over.

Demosisto has been raked with financial problems even before its founding. Previously Joshua Wong had the student organization Scholarism with a hefty war chest raised from donations since 2012. But since Joshua Wong and other members were getting older, they shut down Scholarism and transferred the money to the political party Demosisto and a student organization. (#492: What Happened To My Money? (2016/03/21)) Since then, nobody has heard from that other student organization.

Meanwhile the money going to Demosisto is supposed to help pro-democracy activists who are in legal trouble. Of course, the first two priorities are Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong and chairman Nathan Law. So this is people helping themselves.

Demosisto always raises money from the public 365 days a year. At the important dates (for example, July 1st), they usually raise the large amount of donations among the political parties. Since Demosisto does not have a bank account, all the money is deposited into the personal accounts. And they never explain where all the money is going. When you run a black box operation with zero transparency and accountability, it is a temptation to enrich yourself.

- (Wen Wei Po) Internet comments. November 10, 2017.

- The imagination runs wild with the statement that party rules on financial matters have been violated. The unexplained problem is so grave as to warrant immediate (dismissal from the standing committee) + (resignation from the party).

- Derek Lam must have done something to upset the Big Two (Joshua Wong and Nathan Law). Rather than an low-keyed exit with the standard excuse of needing to spend more time with the family, Demosisto told Lam that they will be taking the very public action of announcing the expulsion of Derek Lam from the standing committee due to financial irregularities. If Derek Lam wanted to stay, it would only be as an ordinary member who would not be allowed to speak for Demosisto. This forced Lam to resign.

- What? They were so upbeat a couple of weeks ago, but now they boot Derek Lam out of the party? There has to be something going on behind this party with the biggest halo.

- Power corrupts, money corrodes. The kids are fighting over power and money.

- As you expect, the principals made their Facebook statements and have collectively gone underground and refused to answer all telephone calls, emails and text messages.

- This is the Hong Kong definition of "shouldering political responsibility." In Cantonese, there is a saying 側側膊. Literally it means that when you have to carry a heavy load, you can try to slope your shoulder down so that the load drops off and you are free! According to the Cantonese dictionary, this term is used to mean (1) shirt responsibility; shift the blame; (2) to get around the rules or avoid responsibility without it being obvious to the observer.

The principals want to go underground for a few days. When they re-emerge, they will say that they have said everything that can be said about the old topic which is so passé already. Instead, they need to deal with the more urgent issue of Co-location (or whatever) because Hong Kong democracy is under imminent threat of extinction. Or something.

- They can't wait that long. (Oriental Daily) November 11, 2017. They have already floated the news that Agnes Chow Ting intends to run in the Hong Kong Island Legislative Council by-election for Nathan Law's vacated seat. Previously the rumor was that their candidate would be Nathan Law's girlfriend Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai.

- When Demosisto was founded, the big names were chairman Nathan Law, secretary-general Joshua Wong, deputy secretary-general Agnes Chow and vice-chairman Oscar Lai. This year at the annual Demosisto elections, Joshua Wong barely made the vote of confidence while Agnes Chow failed to be re-elected as vice secretary-general. Previously Oscar Lai had resigned from Demosisto. Ivan Lam ran for vice-chairman but failed to get enough votes. Joshua Wong and Nathan Law may be going to jail to complete their sentences. They have more cases coming from (such as Joshua Wong for the contempt of court case in Mong Kok). Demosisto is a deeply troubled organization.

- Yes, it is time to talk about Agnes Chow's hairdo again: (Wen Wei Po) June 4, 2016.  In the past, people have made fun of Agnes Chow's greasy hair. For this protest, Agnes Chow brought a professional photographer. The mission was highly successful because the ten or so photos on her Facebook drew a lot of attention. These photos managed to remove even any reflections under the noontime sun. The photos were taken the day before, and it took one day's professional handling before they got posted on her Facebook yesterday. For her effort, Agnes Chow got blasted by Internet users for insincerity and showboating.

- There is a Chinese saying 「共患難不能共富貴?」(We can only be friends in times of trouble, but not in good times). When we have next to nothing, we can share whatever we have; once we start having money, we can start squabbling over how to share the wealth. Do we agree on what are fair shares? Is anyone stealing from the till?

- Violation of party rules on financial matters? No financial losses were suffered? ... This can mean anything -- it can be outright embezzlement but paying back after being caught; it can be writing a check but jotting down an incorrect check number; it can be putting the donation money into his own personal banking account and forgetting to tell the treasurer (as was the case of Leung Kwok-hung); ... What is it that cannot be told publicly? Inquiring minds want to do but they will never tell.

- In Hong Kong, the most typical  "improper financial handling" situation is that the restaurant manager closes shop at night, takes the day's receipt out, rides the late night Turbo Jet to Macau, plays at the casino, takes the morning Turbo Jet back to Hong Kong, puts the money back in the safe and opens shop.

- Alternately, somebody just gave you a sure-win stock or horse tip and you "borrowed" the money from the company for a short time.

- (SCMP) After visiting New York with Wong in August this year, he wrote an article for The New York Times titled “I won’t make Jesus bow down to Xi Jinping”, which earned him foreign attention.

- (Apple Daily) October 1, 2017. While the two big Demosisto honchos Nathan Law and Joshua Wong were stewing in jail, Derek Lam traveled to England. At an Europaeum forum on academic freedom in Oxford University (chaired by Oxford University chancellor and former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten), Derek Lam spoke on behalf of Joshua Wong. Lam declared that Hong Kong has become an authoritarian, even dictatorial, city. Young people there only wanted freedom of expression and democracy, but they are facing punishment and jail.

The other speaker was former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski. He said that the results are more important than great ideals. Today many western countries support the One China principle. If the people of Hong Kong reject Chinese sovereignty in Hong Kong, they will lose the support of these western democracies and thus set back the progress of democracy in Hong Kong. The Polish people learned only after many setbacks that the most radical elements among them were in fact deliberately instigated by the government.

- "The most radical elements were in fact deliberately instigated by the government"? Indeed, how else can you explain the rise of Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching/Edward Leung and the demise of Localism?

- Does the financial problem of Derek Lam have to do with this trip to England? He may have used Demosisto money for the trip, got reimbursed by the sponsors but neglected to pay back Demosisto. When the question came up a month later, he had no plausible excuse.

- Or perhaps it was just jealousy at how Derek Lam became elevated from "gofer"/"hanger-on"/"bit player" to "Leader of the 'Umbrella Movement'" while the Big Two were in jail.

- (SCMP) Lam was charged over the Mong Kok clashes last year but walked free after prosecutors cited lack of evidence and withdrew the charge of rioting.

- What was more interesting is what happened afterwards, because it illustrates Derek Lam's financial management skills (=nil):

After the charges were withdrawn, Derek Lam filed for legal costs against the government.

(Weixin.qq) On May 10, Derek Lam appeared in court to file for $700 in legal costs covering transportation costs to the courthouse ($600) and photocopying ($100).

The magistrate noted that Lam's lawyer Alvin Yeung (Civic Party legislative councilor) had submitted bills in the previous court appearance for two trips (both from the Chinese University of Hong Kong to the Kowloon City Court House) (see map).

However on this day in court, Derek Lam himself submitted bills for two trips (both from Sai Wan to the Kowloon City Courthouse) totaling $600 (see map).

The magistrate expressed his skepticism. Derek Lam was sworn in as a witness and stated that his memory was faulty. He said that the most recent bill is the correct one. However, the magistrate pointed out that on the first trip in the most recent, Lam had been transported from Sai Wan to the Kowloon City Court House by the police so that there cannot be any question of taxi charges! The defense then revised the transportation fees from $600 down to $450. The magistrate was incensed by the nonchalant attitude of the defense, and said that there was no way to tell which version was true (or maybe all the versions were lies!). The magistrate said that Lam's credibility is nil. In the end, the magistrate allowed only $190 in legal fees, covering photocopying charges and one trip from/to Sai Wan by public transportation (either bus/mini-bus).

Afterwards, Derek Lam met the press and gave this statement (Oriental Daily):

(Verbatim translation) Actually I ... the magistrate al