[This website collects certain news and commentary on Hong Kong politics, society and culture. English-news sources exist in abundance, such as South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press, Reddit on Occupy Central, etc). This websites provides transcriptions/translations from Chinese-language sources, including both mainstream media (Hong Kong newspapers, television and radio) and social media (Facebook, YouTube, blogs, discussion forums).]

(SCMP) March 10, 2017.

A pledge by chief executive race front runner Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to help the citys public broadcaster expand its reach without a firm promise on securing extra resources or clearing political obstacles has left the RTHK union more miffed than mollified.

Her qualified offer of help came with a dash of criticism of the station, which disappointed programming staff, RTHK insiders said after she spoke at a Journalists Association forum attended by the three leadership candidates.

Lam did not endear herself to RTHK staffers by calling one programme outdated and praising state-owned CCTV programmes carried by the broadcaster.

While she vowed to embrace media diversity if elected on March 26 and promised to see whether policy support is lacking or that resources are mismatched at RTHK, her comments attracted criticism.

The public broadcaster has faced constant manpower and resource shortages, due in part to strong opposition from pro-establishment lawmakers who accused the station of producing anti-government content. Its plan for a new broadcasting house came to a halt after lawmakers refused to approve funding in 2014.

But as she vowed to expand RTHK, Lam said she could not imagine that those lawmakers, most of whom were her supporters, would all back her plan. It is never my opinion that the broadcasting policies in this administration are good policies, Lam said. She then said one of the stations new channels relied too often on still photos, making it appear substandard and outdated.

Instead, she suggested the station loop funny remarks from officials, such as her often-cited comment that an official has more guts when she has no more desire. She made the remark in 2015 when defending her decision to order government officials not to be pressured to drink possibly lead-contaminated water during the citys tainted water scare.

Hitting back, Gladys Chiu Sin-yan, chairwoman of RTHKs programme staff union, said: We wish to emphasise that we are not the governments mouthpiece and should not be instructed to loop what officials say. We appreciate her high hopes for RTHK, but we also need the next chief executive to help secure funding for our development into a professional TV station.

On Lams claim that she had little knowledge of the problems facing RTHK, the union said in a statement it was deeply disappointed that she was blaming others when she ought to be clear about all policy areas as a candidate.

(RTHK) March 28, 2017.

Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam appeared on our programme this morning. The RTHK Programme Staff Union presented her with an open letter which urged her to show responsibility for public broadcasting policies, to increase resource allocation and to meet with RTHK management as soon as possible to firm up the plans for the new building.

Internet comments:

- As noted, RTHK "faced constant manpower and resource shortages, due in part to strong opposition from pro-establishment lawmakers who accused the station of producing anti-government content."

Why do these pro-establishment lawmakers feel so strong? What are they upset about? Is it because they hate freedom of press? Do they just want RTHK to become a government mouthpiece.

To help you understand, here is a recent sample of RTHK work.

- (HKG Pao) At the post-election conference, RTHK reporter Chan Miu-ling posed separate questions to Carrie Lam and John Tsang. Is she fair and balanced? Are her questions politically and personally motivated? Do you trust her reporting?

To Carrie Lam: "I want to ask again. Earlier many other colleagues have asked a question: That is, Will you go to the China Liaison Office to thank them for their support? Can you answer clearly? That is, in the upcoming period of time, will you or will you not? Will you promise the people of Hong Kong that you will not go to the China Liaison Office to thank them for their support? Instead, you will do as John Tsang did to attend gatherings without bringing bodyguards and police officers in order to be in contact with citizens? In addition, I want to ask with what kind of feelings do you welcome or otherwise be psychologically prepared that over the next five years, the people at the Legislative Council and those who oppose you will call you 777 7 9 (dog)? Thank you!"

To John Tsang: "RTHK Chan Miu-ling. I want to the same thing. You could not replicate Barcelona because at this match, the organizers, the sideline judges and the referee all come from the other side. That is why you lost. Or do you accept that you lost fairly and squarely? I also want to ask: Although you said that you are going to sleep for a few days, there is going to be a Legislative Council by-election coming up really soon. New Territories East and Kowloon West. Will you take real action to thank your supporters? Or will you have another dream with us five years from now?

- Chan Miu-ling (RTHK) did not even bother to observe the most basic manners. Her question on visiting the China Liaison Office was posed in the form of the proverbial: "Have you stopped beating your wife? Just answer YES or NO."

If Carrie Lam refuses to make that promise, it means that she is admitting that she had China Liaison Office support in violation of Basic Law Article 22. If she makes that promise, it means that she can never ever visit the China Liaison Office for any reason. Alternately, every time that Lam visits the China Liaison Office, she must state the nature of her business.

- This is also supremely stupid. Why do they have to meet at the China Liaison Office for Carrie Lam to express her overflowing gratitude? Why can't they just meet in a private room at the exclusive members-only China Club. Who is going to know?

- Chan Miu-ling suggested that Carrie Lam has to be protected by a phalanx of secret service agents because regular people hate her everywhere, whereas John Tsang walks around with no police protection. (YouTube) Well, who might the guy in the khaki jacket then?

- John Tsang said I once thought perhaps I could turn the tables by the end of the match, just like Barcelona did in that epic game. But the fact is, you might not be able to win for sure no matter how good your team played, even when you have support from fans and keep scoring. So Chan Miu-ling added her own interpretation: "At this match, the organizers, the sideline judges and the referee all come from the other side. That is why you lost." Then she asked for John Tsang whether he agreed or not. Regardless of Tsang's answer, Chan had sneaked her message through. Is this how they teach journalism nowadays?

- The second part of Chan Miu-ling's question to John Tsang sounded like the trumpet call to John Tsang's Legislative Council election campaign. For fairness, shouldn't she be asking: "You got 365 votes. Are you worried that it will stick to you that you HEA 365 days a year? Do you work hard only on one day in a leap year?"

(SCMP) March 28, 2017.

Nine leaders and key participants of Hong Kongs Occupy movement were arrested and charged on Monday night over their roles in the 2014 pro-democracy street protests a day after Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor pledged to unite a divided society as the citys newly elected chief executive. In a move considered long overdue by critics of the protests, authorities ordered the three Occupy Central founders, along with six lawmakers and activists, to report to the Wan Chai police headquarters.

The three leaders of the protests, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming and academics Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Chan Kin-man, face three counts each conspiracy to commit public nuisance, inciting others to commit public nuisance, and inciting people to incite others to commit public nuisance. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

The trio will be prosecuted over offences allegedly committed between March 27, 2013 when they first published in newspapers their Occupy manifesto and December 2014, when they turned themselves in to police.

One or both of the incitement charges were laid against the remaining six lawmakers Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka-chun, Tommy Cheung Sau-yin and Eason Chung Yiu-wah, two former leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming, and former legislator Lee Wing-tat.

They will be prosecuted for offences allegedly committed from September 27 to September 28, 2014. All nine were released on bail last night and will appear at Eastern Court on Thursday. They said police had phoned them in the morning to tell them of their arrest by appointment.

While some questioned whether Lam was involved, others accused Leung of deliberately timing the crackdown to follow the election. Lam was quick to distance herself from the arrests, stressing that she had no prior knowledge. This is the action of the current administration, she said. [While] I want to unite society and bridge the divide that has been causing us concern, any such action should not compromise the rule of law in Hong Kong.

The Department of Justice issued a statement denying any political consideration and dismissing suggestions about Lams involvement as baseless and utterly untrue. When handling prosecution work, the department does not give prior notice to the executive branch, nor did [it] give prior warning to the chief executive-elect, Mrs Carrie Lam, as suggested by certain rumours, the department said.

Internet comments:

- (Occupy Central With Love And Peace) Manual of Civil Disobedience.

1. Philosophy
1. Civil disobedience refers to acts of opposing injustice through refusing to comply with a law, decree or order. The participants will not resort to violence. Rather, they will proactively accept the due legal consequences. The acts have to display not only civility but also a disobedient attitude in refusing to cooperate with the unjust authorities, and to strive for societal changes through continuous protest. Genuine pacifism does not mean not to resist against evils, but to fight against evils squarely with non-violent means.

2. Rules for Non-Violent Protest

1. Insist on the use of non-violence means. In the face of law enforcers and anti-Occupy Central demonstrators, never hurt anyone physically or mentally, or damage any properties.

2. Be brave in facing the authorities and accept the responsibilities of civil disobedience. Do not use any masks to cover faces.

3. Do not bring any weapons or anything that can be used as weapons.

4. When facing arrest, form a human chain and lie down to show our non-cooperation. Do not struggle hard so as to avoid injury.

5. Be bold in the face of violence. Do not try to hit back. Move to a safe place and ask for the help from the picket or medical team.

6. For the sake of consistent crowd control information, no one except designated personnel should use any loudspeakers. Do not put up any long flags or large posters that will block the views.

7. Leaders of the operation could be arrested anytime. Be prepared for changes in leadership and try to maintain good order all along.

8. Respect the decisions of OCLP. Any disagreements should only be reviewed after the operation. Avoid any action that may disrupt the operation.

1. Guidance Note on Legal Matters OCLP is a peaceful movement of civil disobedience, the purpose of which is to inspire other people in the society, to let them see some of the injustices in the law or the current system, and to motivate them to support correcting all the injustices. Those participating in civil disobedience are going to challenge the injustices in the law or the system by means of a restricted scope of unlawful conducts and will bear the legal consequences of their unlawful conducts. This is to demonstrate the commitment of Hong Kong citizens to fight for universal suffrage even in the face of bearing legal liabilities, as well as to galvanize the rest of the society. Although we are willing to bear the legal consequences of our conduct, we must also understand the relevant sections of the law, protect individual as well as collective rights, and be cautious in our actions, so as to prevent unnecessary liabilities and conflicts.

1.1 Sections the Prosecution may use against the Rally

1) Obstruction of public places: Section 4A of the Summary Offences Ordinance, Cap. 228 of the Laws of Hong Kong

2) Unauthorized assembly: Section 17A of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

3)* Unlawful assembly: Section 18 of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

4)* Disorder in public places: Section 17B of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

*: Participants will not contravene these sections if they are able to uphold OCLPs conviction of non-violence

Obstruction of public places Section 4A of the Summary Offences Ordinance, Cap. 228 of the Laws of Hong Kong:

Any person who without lawful authority or excuse sets out or leaves, or causes to be set out or left, any matter or thing which obstructs, inconveniences or endangers, or may obstruct, inconvenience or endanger, any person or vehicle in a public place shall be liable to a fine of $5000 or to imprisonment for 3 months.

There will be a criminal record in the event of being prosecuted and convicted of the offence. Most first time offenders will only be fined.

1.1.2 |nauthorized assembly Section 17A(3)(a) of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

Section 7 of the Public Order Ordinance provides that a meeting of more than 50 persons may take place only if an application for a Letter of No Objection is made to the Commissioner of Police under section 8 of the Public Order Ordinance. Section 9 of the Public Order Ordinance gives the Commissioner of Police the power to prohibit the holding of any public meeting notified under section 8 in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

According to Section 17A(3)(a) of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong, Occupy Central is an unauthorized assembly and every person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, knowingly takes or continues to take part in or forms or continues to form part of any such unauthorized assembly shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable (i) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for 5 years; and (ii) on summary conviction, to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 3 years.

There will be a criminal record in the event of being prosecuted and convicted of the offence. Most first time offenders will be fined, or may be imprisoned for several weeks, but the sentence may also be suspended.

1.1.3 Unlawful assembly
According to Section 18 of the Public Order Ordinance, When 3 or more persons, assembled together, conduct themselves in a disorderly, intimidating, insulting or provocative manner intended or likely to cause any person reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace, or will by such conduct provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace, they are an unlawful assembly. (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for 5 years; and (b) on summary conviction, to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 3 years.

If participants of OCLP only stand or sit on the road without doing anything and uphold the spirit of non-violence, calmness and peace, then the chances of committing the offence of unlawful assembly due to participating in OCLP should not be high.

Disorder in public places Section 17B of the Public Order Ordinance provides, (1) Any person who at any public gathering acts in a disorderly manner for the purpose of preventing the transaction of the business for which the public gathering was called together or incites others so to act shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 12 months or (2) Any person who in any public place behaves in a noisy or disorderly manner, or uses, or distributes or displays any writing containing, threatening, abusive or insulting words, with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, or whereby a breach of the peace is likely to be caused, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 12 months.

As with the offence of unlawful assembly, if we can uphold the OCLP spirit of non-violence, the chance of committing this offence is not high.

- They went in knowing full well that they are violating various laws and that there are legal consequences. Now they are screaming that they cannot be prosecuted? Whatever happened to rule-of-law?

- They went in saying that they will engage in an act of civil disobedience that is breaking certain laws. They said that they will accept the legal consequences. They will go to jail proudly knowing that they are morally superior.

But now the day of reckoning is here. What do they do?

I should not be prosecuted, even though I broke the law.

Even though I am prosecuted, there is no evidence that I was at the scene.

Even if you can prove with videos that I was there, there is no evidence, that I took part in creating a public nuisance.

Even if you can prove with videos that I took part in creating a public nuisance, I was temporarily insane and not accountable for my actions.

Even if you can prove with videos that I was of sound mind all the time, my motives were noble.

Even if noble motives cannot be an excuse to vacate the 2 year jail sentence, I will appeal to the High Court of Appeal.

Even if the High Court of Appeal upheld the sentence, I will appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

What happened to the original intentions? Why go through all this? Because for me to go through the entire appeal process, I will need lots of money to pay for the legal fees. So please send you money to my crowdfunding PayPal account. Thank you. It is very important for you to do that, because FREEDOM DEMOCRACY HUMAN RIGHTS JUSTICE RULE OF LAW UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE UNIVERSAL VALUES in Hong Kong depend on it.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) March 28, 2017. Law professor Benny Tai, one of those targeted, said he is willing to plead guilty if the charges against him are factually accurate. He said a guilty plea aligns with the spirit of civil disobedience the central theme of the 79-day Occupy demonstrations.

- Is this a parody? (QuoteInvestigator.com) Here is the old lawyers' adage:

There is an old trial lawyers saying When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on you side, pound the table.

Benny Tai is at the preliminary stage of pounding on the facts. That phase should quickly pass due to his voluminous writings and videos. Soon he will be pounding on the law. Ultimately he will be rolling on the floor throwing a tantrum and they will put him in a white straitjacket and bring him to the Castle Peak Psychiatric Hospital for observation.

- The court ultimately issued clearance orders because minibus operators were suffering economic losses. So there is not much doubt that Occupy Central was a public nuisance for a large number of citizens. So what can't the Occupy Central leaders be prosecuted for inciting and participating in public nuisance? If you answer FREEDOM DEMOCRACY HUMAN RIGHTS JUSTICE UNIVERSAL VALUES UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE POLITICAL CLEANSING, then you are proposing rule-of-man instead of rule-of-law.

- Public Nuisance: A Common Law Crime

What is public nuisance?

At common law public nuisance is a crime for which the remedy is criminal proceedings. It is defined as an unlawful act or omission which endangers or interferes with the lives, comfort, property or common rights of the public. Probably the most well-known example of public nuisance is obstructing the highway.

Who are the public in public nuisance?

Identifying the public affected by a public nuisance is not as simple as might initially be thought. Clearly, unlawful obstruction of the highway in Liverpool does not affect the public of Plymouth. But does it affect all, or only some, of the public of Liverpool? The modern definition is that rights common to all HMs subjects must be affected, in other words, not necessarily all the public, but rather the rights which they enjoy as citizens. A good illustration is found in the Law Reports. A quarry produced noise, dirt and vibrations which affected the neighbourhood. The court had to decide if this was a private nuisance which only affected some residents, or a public nuisance affecting all HMs subjects in the area. An injunction was ultimately granted to stop the quarry from causing a public nuisance. Among other things, the court held that the public means a class of HMs subjects. Not every member of the class need be affected by the nuisance so long as a representative cross-section is. Additionally, if the nuisance is so widespread that the community as a whole must take action, as it would be unreasonable for a single individual to do so, then the nuisance is public. Consequently, the public means a considerable number of persons or a section of the public.

- (SCMP) March 28, 2017.

The charges faced by nine Occupy leaders and protesters due in court tomorrow are rarely sought offences requiring prosecutors to prove the accused obstructed the public in exercising their rights, legal experts said.

Three Occupy Central founders academics Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Dr Chan Kin-man, and the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming were arrested on Monday, each facing one count of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, inciting others to cause public nuisance, and inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance.

University of Hong Kong principal law lecturer Eric Cheung Tat-ming said public nuisance offences descend from common law and were seldom sought.

Criminal defence lawyer Jonathan Midgley described the charges as not at all common.

Public nuisance is defined in the influential British case R v Rimmington as an act or omission endangering the life, health, property or comfort of the public, or one obstructing the public in the exercise of rights common to everyone.

Cheung said the present case would likely centre on obstruction.

He said blocking major highways could be a classic example, citing British activist Matt Pearce nicknamed Spiderman who was found guilty of public nuisance after climbing a building in Central in his superhero suit in 2005 and clambering the Tsing Ma Bridge in 2008.

Midgley said he did not know what defence would be mounted but thought a possible argument might be that what was done was not contrary to the public interest.

It was rare to see a double incitement charge, the two added.

Cheung explained the charge as akin to a meeting in which one tells attendees what to do and they subsequently instruct others.

- Why was the charge related to "common law public nuisance" instead of the usual "unlawful gathering." Under Hong Kong Basic Law Article 27:

Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike.

There are restrictions on each of these freedoms. For example, freedom of speech cannot be used to justify libel; freedom of publication cannot be used to publish child pornography; etc. Freedom of assembly means that you are free to assemble -- provided that you are not making a public nuisance of yourselves (as in interfering with the lives, comfort, property or common rights of the public at large).

- If you hold an assembly in a remote corner somewhere without applying for police permission, then you are in an unlawful assembly but you are not causing public nuisance because the public is not around. But if you assemble in the middle of Connaught Road and block all vehicular traffic for 79 days, you are in an unlawful assembly that is a public nuisance.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) March 27, 2017.

An international human rights watchdog has accused the government of attacking Hongkongers rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, following a police clampdown on at least nine leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests. This vindictiveness shows contempt for well-established freedoms in Hong Kong and will only lead to more political tensions, Amnesty International Hong Kong Director Mabel Au warned on Monday.

Au questioned the timing of the crackdown, which took place just one day after former chief secretary Carrie Lam was elected as the citys next leader. The authorities have had years to consider these cases, she said. [It] raises serious questions as to whether political manoeuvrings were a factor in the decision to bring charges now.

The Civil Human Rights Front will be staging a solidarity protest during that time outside the police station. They have called on the public to join the protest.

- (Hong Kong Basic Law Article 63)

The Department of Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall control criminal prosecutions, free from any interference.

If anyone has any information of interference by parties outside the Department of Justice (such as Chief Executive CY Leung, Chief-Executive-to-be Carrie Lam, China Liaison Office director Zhang Xiaoming, etc), they should bring it out as quickly as possible. The fate of Hong Kong depends on it.

P.S. Saying that it "raises serious questions as to whether political manoeuvrings were a factor in the decision to bring charges now" is only personal speculation. I also have "serious questions" about the seriousness of Amnesty International Hong Kong to bring this very serious matter up in this very unserious manner.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) Tanya Chan, a barrister, said the Department of Justice was part of the government and that Leung Chun-ying must have been involved in the decision to prosecute the Occupy leaders.

- If Tanya Chan produces this sort of thing as court evidence, the judge would have scolded her for wasting everybody's time. Does she not know Basic Law Article 63? Or does she think that Secretary of Justice Rimsky Yuen and Chief Executive CY Leung not know Basic Law Article 63 and therefore worked together on this?

- The events took place years ago. If it wasn't prosecuted long ago, it shouldn't be prosecuted now. Yes, I am totally in agreement with a statute of limitations. But if you want it, then what is your view of this other prosecution today? Are you going to uphold your usual double standards?

(Hong Kong Free Press) Retired police officer Franklin Chu King-wai has been arrested and charged with assault for allegedly hitting a pedestrian with a baton during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests. The offence carries a maximum penalty of three years of imprisonment under the Offences Against The Person Ordinance.

- Why did it take several years after the actual events before the charges were made? It would be very easy under CAP 228 Summary Offences Ordinance Section 4 Nuisances committed in public places, etc. However, the penalty is light (a fine of $500 or imprisonment for 3 months). Since creating a continuous public nuisance for 79 days is a more serious, the Department of Justice wanted to upgrade the charge to common law public nuisance. Since this is through common law, the Department of Justice sought outside legal advice on the likelihood of success based upon the available evidence on a case-by-case basis. The maximum penalty is 7 years in prison.

- (SCMP) March 28, 2017.

Civic Party chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit, who is a senior counsel, believed that political factors were behind the timing, questioning why police chose to charge the nine on Monday when the force was given advice by the Department of Justice months ago.

When I was still a lawmaker, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung ... said in the Legislative Council that the Department of Justice had already provided legal advice (to police). That was half a year ago, Leong said in a Commercial Radio programme on Tuesday.

It was then up to police to decide when to start the process of arresting and charging [the participants]. He elaborated: The [chief executive] election took place on March 26. Then on March 27 at around 9am, (police) phoned the Occupy Central trio. Why was there such a timing when the files were already passed to police half a year ago? Why did [the force] pick that day? If no political considerations were involved, what considerations were involved?

Why does a Senior Counsel spend so much time on the issue of timing instead of the central issue: Were these nine persons responsible for a public nuisance? Because there is nothing much a Senior Counsel can say?

Was Occupy Central a public nuisance? (Wen Wei Po) During Occupy Central, fire trucks and emergency vehicles had to make detours because the major streets were blocked. The standard of 12 minutes or less response time to Central was attained only 61% of the time compared to the 92.5% previously. Therefore people's lives were placed at risk. Retail sales volume tumbled in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok. Therefore people suffered economic losses. There can be no doubt that Occupy Central was a public nuisance.

Did these individuals participate in Occupy Central? There are plenty of videos showing them inciting and participating in this public nuisance.

- There isn't any evidence that Carrie Lam was responsible for the prosecution of the Occupy Central leaders. However, as Chief Executive-to-be, Carrie Lam will have the power under Basic Law Article 48: To pardon persons convicted of criminal offences or commute their penalties. However, under Basic Law Article 63, not even the Chief Executive can halt a prosecution and the subsequent trial. If these persons were found guilty and sentenced at trial, the Chief Executive may issue pardons afterwards. Right this moment, there is nothing that Carrie Lam can or should do.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) Social welfare sector lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun The prosecution sent a ridiculous but clear message: the government wants political cleansing whilst [Lam] proposed reconciliation with people across the political spectrum.

- (Headline Daily) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. I am curious: Wht letting you guys off means making peace, whereas rigorous enforcement of the law means making war? As Carrie Lam said, I made it very clear that I want to unite society and mend divisions. But it should not compromise the rule of law in Hong Kong. As long as these lawbreakers have not been brought to justice, we law-abiding citizens will not compromise with you.

- Of the nine persons, Shiu Ka-chun's case has an additional feature. (TVB) On October 16, 2014, Shiu Ka-chun got on the Grand Stage at Harcourt Road and used the public announcement system to say: "Tear has just been released over at Lung Wo Road. Tear gas has been fired. A friend has excitedly come over here to tell us. Tear gas has been fired. Therefore everybody should go and support their friends. Bring your towels ... wet towels ... you need to bring your goggles over." No such thing ever happened. But all all-night riot ensued anyway.

- (Ming Pao) Editorial. Many key Occupy Central member said at the time that they will use civil disobedience for the sake of their democratic ideas and accept the legal consequences. Today, they are being arrested and charged. Rather than calling this "political persecution", we should be saying that they got what they asked for.

(Ming Pao) Editorial : Do not politicalise criminal prosecution decisions. March 29, 2017.

BENNY TAI, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming, the three founders of the 2014 Occupy movement, and six other individuals including lawmakers Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka-chun have been arrested by the police and charged with crimes such as conspiracy to commit public nuisance and inciting others to commit public nuisance.

Regarding the prosecution of the Occupy movement's three founders and six other individuals, two aspects have attracted particular attention. They are the charges against the defendants and the timing of the prosecution. Chan Kin-man, one of the movement's three founders, said that they had already turned themselves in and admitted to taking part in unlawful assemblies previously to keep their promise of civil disobedience. But they did not expect the government to charge them with public nuisance, arguing that the government had made an all-out effort to charge them with new offences. Lawmaker Tanya Chan said that a criminal charge of public nuisance carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison under common law. A lawmaker loses his or her seat if sentenced to more than a month's imprisonment. In no way can anyone on the outside know whether the government is employing a craftier strategy by charging the three Occupy movement founders with more serious crimes. However, if the many sensitive cases that have been heard recently are anything to go by, all sides of society should have confidence in the impartiality of the legal system. According to legal precedents, if the Department of Justice (DOJ) believes that the disruptive behaviour involved in a case posed a threat or danger to people's lives and the public interest, it can choose to prosecute the people involved in such a manner. If the prosecution has indeed "cooked up charges" against any people arbitrarily, the court can be trusted to acquit those people citing insufficient evidence.

Who is to blame for Hong Kong's divided society? Different people have different answers. What is undeniable is that the Occupy movement was a watershed moment. After Carrie Lam's election as Chief Executive, she promised to make the effort to heal the divisions in our society. But the very next day, the DOJ pressed criminal charges against nine participants in the Occupy movement. Such an action is no different from pressing one's fingers against the wounds of a divided society, and the timing is not conducive to Carrie Lam's effort to promote an atmosphere of unity. This shows that there is a long way to go before the divisions can be healed.

Some of the defendants have argued that the prosecution was "well-planned" and was "a calculated move to 'celebrate' Carrie Lam's election". By ascribing the decision of the incumbent government to the newly-elected CE but offering no evidence, these people have demonstrated that they have two problems. If the allegation was made deliberately, it can be said to be a classic example of post-truth politics, which is aimed at reinforcing the impression shared by supporters of the pan-democratic camp that Carrie Lam is the symbol of a new phase of social division (the so-called "division 2.0"). If those people have not made the accusation on purpose, it means that their judgement has been completely clouded by a mentality of politicalising everything and treating people who disagree with them as sworn enemies. Neither of these problems is conducive to the healing of wounds in society.

In its response to enquiry by the media, the DOJ said that no one should politicalise criminal prosecution decisions. The DOJ said that allegations that the move had been ordered by Carrie Lam were absolutely untrue, and that the department would not inform the administration let alone Carrie Lam, who is not a public office holder at the moment of its criminal prosecution decisions in advance. Lee Wing-tat, one of the nine defendants, also said candidly that, though the police's move the day after the election would inevitably leave the public with a rather bad impression, he did not think the decision had anything to do with Carrie Lam. And the DOJ has rejected such a claim rather categorically.

- (Wen Wei Po) March 28, 2017.

Hong Kong legislative councilor Nathan Law (Demosisto) said that the political cleansing directed against Umbrella Movement will continue. He predicted that more people will be prosecutred.

Previously, Nathan Law joined with other legislative councilors Chu Hoi Dick, Lau Siu-lai, Siu Ka-chun and others to declare that they will cast blank ballots at the Chief Executive election. This made them the enemies of the John Tsang fans.

Here are some quotes:

- "If you elected John Tsang, you wouldn't have been arrested. You people deserve what you are getting. Nobody will have any sympathy for you."

- "I told you to vote for John Tsang. But now Carrie Lam wins and she begins with sweeping arrests."

- "I don't regard anyone who cast a blank vote as a pan-democrat. At the next Legco election, I will vote ANYONE BUT NOT (a blank ballot voter)."

- "If you had supported John Tsang, people will help you. But now you have upset all the citizens. Who is there to help you?"

- "It is useless to say anything. The people of Hong Kong are still mad at you. The Blue Ribbons obviously want you all to die. But now even the Yellow Ribbons have abandoned you. You asked for this. Please enjoy this feeling of abandonment."

Here are some reactions:

- Chapman To: "Whether you succeed or fail, you will always be a leftist retard."

- "How come you Yellow Ribbon pigs are not going after 689 (CY Leung)? He was obviously behind this, but you blame it on 777 (Carrie Lam)."

- "Many of you say that Carrie Lam ordered this political cleansing. This proves that you have no brains. You only let your imagination and stance lead you. Carrie Lam resigned as Chief Secretary already. She may be the Chief Executive-elect, but she has no power whatsoever until she takes office. It is none of her business. A large wave of prosecutions was not done haphazardly. It was not decided upon yesterday. No matter who won on Sunday, the prosecutions were scheduled to begin on Monday. If John Tsang won, CY Leung would get the blame. But Carrie Lam won, so she gets the blame. This is the typical Yellow Ribbon school of thinking."

- (SCMP) Charges against Occupy activists is bad timing, not persecution. By Alex Lo. March 29, 2017.

The godfather of Hong Kongs civil disobedience, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, has denounced charges brought against him and eight other leaders or participants of the 2014 Occupy protest movement as persecution. Coming as they did a day after the election of Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor as the next chief executive, one has to admit the optics look very bad indeed.

But most of the discussions yesterday, including Tais persecution claims, conflated two very different issues. One has to do with the timing of the charges; the other with whether the charges are legally appropriate. Once we have decided that the charges are appropriate, there is no question of persecution.

Of the charges, the three Occupy leaders the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming and academics Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man face three counts each of conspiracy to commit public nuisance, inciting others to commit public nuisance, and inciting people to incite others to commit public nuisance. Six others, including lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun, face one or both of the incitement charges.

Bearing in mind that the three occupy leaders had already turned themselves in to the police more than a year ago, their being charged should not be a surprise, even if the timing was unpredictable.

Tai even said yesterday that he would plead guilty if the facts of the case were in line with what had happened. Shiu has also said he takes responsibility for his actions during the Occupy protests.

Its hard to claim political conspiracy or persecution when some of the key players themselves have admitted guilt or acknowledged responsibility.

I respect Lai and Shius stance. Theirs is the real meaning of civil disobedience, so unlike that of many other Occupy protesters and Mong Kok rioters who have refused to take responsibility on the ground that their cause was just.

That leaves us with the timing. Its possible, though highly unlikely, that Lam, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and government prosecutors conspired together to make sure the charges were laid only after her election.

Or, maybe Lam was in the dark, as she claimed yesterday, but the others were in on it. If so, why not wait a bit longer?

Its also possible, as the Department of Justice claimed yesterday, that the timing was purely coincidental. We will never know for sure. But we do know there is no persecution.

- (Speakout HK @ YouTube) March 28, 2017.

0:11 Benny Tai: The timing of our arrest this time ... I think there is reasonable doubt about political considerations ...

0:22 Ronny Tong: I think that to interpret this as political persecution is going too far. Since you said that Occupy Central is civil disobedience and you are willing to accept the legal consequences. But when the legal reckoning arrives, you say that this is political persecution. You say that the timing is politically motivated. It does seem logically plausible.

0:48 Nathan Law: Using the public nuisance charge is meant to have some more serious charge filed against these arrested friends, to apply greater legal pressure.

0:58 Ronny Tong: If the law was not broken, nobody would be arrested. The charge is not determined based upon the maximum sentence. It is based upon whether the charge is consistent with the facts of the case.

(The Stand News) March 26, 2017.

David Beckham came to Hong Kong to attend an event. Afterwards, he posted a video on Facebook/Instagram with the note "Great 48 hours in China." The reference to "China" angered many Hongkongers who left comments: "Hong Kong is not China," "This is Hong Kong not China", "If it's China, you're not able to access Facebook" and "If this Hong Kong, your small pet dog would have been someone's dinner." Meanwhile others responded in simplified character Chinese: "Hong Kong is Hong Kong (China)", "You can ever deny that Hong Kong belongs to China," "Hong Kong independence people get lost!"

Shortly afterwards, David Beckham changed the note to "Great 48 hours in Shanghai and Hong Kong". On this trip, he visited Shanghai first and then China. But Hongkongers still challenge this solution because the video only showed Hong Kong scenes.

Internet comments:

- (Hong Kong Free Press) British ex-footballer David Beckham raised eyebrows on Saturday after he said he had enjoyed a great 48 hours in China in reference to his visit to Hong Kong.

David Beckham wore 115 caps playing for England. He never played for Great Britain, because there is no such thing as the Great Britain team. To describe David Beckham as a British footballer is a bit like ... describing Hong Kong goalie Yapp Hung-fai as a Chinese footballer.

- David Beckham is lucky, because his correction to "Great 48 hours in Shanghai and Hong Kong" did not aggravate anyone. If he changed it to "Great 48 hours in Hong Kong," he would have aggravated the mainland Chinese people. He was lucky that he also visited Shanghai.

 - When the poster for the movie Arrival placed Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, there was a backlash from pro-independence/self-determination Hongkongers. When the movie company moved the entire background to Shanghai, Hongkongers promised a boycott. Eventually, the movie grossed US$198 million worldwide including US$15 million in China, but a mere US$1.1 million in Hong Kong. This showed the power of "Hong Kong is not China"!

- The impact of the so-called 'boycott' by Hongkongers is unverifiable and unfalsifiable. You have no way of knowing what the box receipts would have been without your 'boycott'.

(Passion Times) March 25, 2017.

At a Legislative Council Children Rights Committee hearing, female citizen Lo Yuen-kit made a statement (see video, video).

Thank you, chairman Cheung Chiu-hung for holding this hearing. First of all, I am somewhat disappointed that you are going to cast a blank ballot (at the Chief Executive election). Last night I went out to show my support for Mr. Tsang. He is a candidate who wants to eliminate the TSA. I hope that you will reconsider.

I am a single mother. My child is in Primary Six this year. He skipped class for two and a half months at one time. The social worker came and asked him why. He just cried loudly. Where does the pressure come from? People ask: "Why isn't your son going to school? Is it your problem?" I have reflected on my problems. But when I go to work, can the government take pity of grassroots like me? I don't want my son to be a flying man (that is, jumping off a building) some day.

Can you tell us that it costs money and resources to do education? Or is a conscience needed? I want to know why an ordinary school can have so many examinations, tests and dictations? So much copy homework. A primary school may have only one full-time social worker, one part-time social worker, no psychological counseling. Do cases have to be immediately followed up?

The reason why my son hasn't jumped off the building is because I have the support of the church. I am a psychosis patient. I have a social worker who is following up on my son's emotional problems. But do you want me to go on social welfare so that I can watch him every day? Have your reflected on what kind of next generation Hong Kong wants? How long will you oppress our young children?

Everybody may not think that Mr. Tsang is our best choice, but right now he is our only choice. I want you to know that it is very tough to be a young child in Hong Kong. I am very sorry that I choose to give birth to him.

I heard that certain elite schools tell their students to speak putonghua in Hong Kong. They will be penalized if they speak Cantonese. What is the matter with you? Are you sick?

Why would young children jump off the building at such a young age? To commit suicide. I have tried to commit suicide, but I really don't have the courage. Why are they so desperate? They would rather commit suicide than commit reality?

So when you say that Mrs. Lam becomes Chief Executive, I am even more worried. The focus should on the education of very young children. Mrs. Lam came out of an elite secondary school. Will brainwashing begin from kindergarten? My son will not be brainwashed by you people.

I am Yellow Ribbon, and he will be Yellow Ribbon. If Mrs. Tsang loses, I will immigrate. I will marry and move to Africa if I have to.

Finally, I must ask you to think through carefully. Actually, the young children are our future. No more mechanical form. Hong Kong does not need mechanical form.

You look at the television dramas. There is no more creativity whatsoever. Taiwan is better than Hong Kong. Really. Why do so many Hongkongers want to immigrate to Taiwan. Why is the quota being exceeded? Why don't you reflect on this? I thought that there was some hope with this Legislative Council.

Finally, I want to offer something from the Bible: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Thank you.

Internet comments:

- Dear Miss "Psychosis" Lo, you don't have to marry a Kenyan to get out of Hong Kong with your son. You can always go to to the US Consulate General at 26 Garden Road and ask for political asylum. Even Amos Yee can get approved, so must you.

- Dear Miss "Psychosis" Lo, Mr. Tsang has lost the election. Have you decided on which African country to immigrate to yet? Burkina Faso? Eritrea? Libya? Zimbabwe?

(GovHK Press Release) March 26, 2017.

The result of the voting for the Chief Executive Election today (March 26) is as follows:

     Candidate                              Number of valid
                                                 votes obtained
     ---------                                  ---------------
     John Tsang Chun-wah                   365
     Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor         777
     Woo Kwok-hing                               21

Internet comments:

- John Tsang is known to be HEA (lazy). So he gets to be HEA 365 days a year.
- Woo Kwok Hing got 21 votes and thinks that it is BLACK JACK! Unfortunately the actual game is Three Card Baccarat and 2 face cards plus an ace is is a 90%-chance losing hand.
- Carrie Lam is playing the slot machine, and three lucky sevens (777) is the casino grand jackpot!

- In Cantonese, '88' is a homonym and short cut for "Bye Bye."
- '689' is the nickname of departing Chief Executive CY Leung because that was the number of votes he received.
- 88 + 689 (Bye bye, CY Leung) = 777 (Carrie Lam)

- In Cantonese, '7' is a homonym for 'dick'. It was on December 2012 that legislative councilor Raymond Wong said that he will refer to CY Leung as '689'. That was the number of votes CY Leung got, but the greater meaning is that '689' means 'no 7' = ('no dick'). But along comes Carrie Lam with '777' (='three dicks').

- Outside the Wanchai Convention Centre at 12:50 March 26, 2017 after Carrie Lam was declared the winner.

 "Don't want Carrie Lam!" 

- Before the counting began, the ballots were randomly shuffled by the election workers so that there won't be clustering. The election workers then proceeded to sort the ballots into bins for the three candidates. Television channels assigned observers to count the number of ballots going into each bin. By the time 100 or so ballots were sorted, it was clear that Carrie Lam was leading John Tsang by a 2-to-1 ratio. The ratio stayed pretty constant. By the time, Carrie Lam passed the magical number of 601, it was over.

Of course, John Tsang fans were angry because their candidate who is the people's choice has lost the election. They were going to march in the streets. Immediately? No. This evening? No. Next Sunday, because people only march on weekends with sufficient notice ahead of time? No. When then? July 1st, 2017. And it is March 26 today.

It is the core value of Hong Kong pigs to be restrained. "I am outraged by what the boss did to me, but I will be back to work tomorrow morning ..."

- Once they saw that their favorite Mr. Pringle won't become Chief Executive, they suddenly woke up to say "I hate fake election" and "I want genuine universal suffrage".

If Mr. Pringle actually won, how would they feel about this fake election? Will they think that the election was actually not fake (in the sense of one-person-one-vote where the only voter is Xi Jinping)?

- Before the results could be announced, a number of problematic ballots have to disposed of. For example, a ballot in which all three candidates were checked was ruled invalid because the intention of the voter was unclear. The biggest buzz on the Internet was this ballot in which a big "FUCK" was written in by hand. This ballot was ruled invalid because no candidates was checked and the intention of the voter was unclear.

- Damn! The voter should have checked one (and only one candidate). Then it becomes ambiguous as to whether the voter is voting for or hates that candidate, which will then lead to a prolonged debate about intention.

- "We want John Tsang!"

Live Apple Daily Facebook voting:
John Tsang: 17,582
Carrie Lam: 410
Woo Kwok Hing: 1,485
Blank ballots: 1,562

- Pre-election advice to all Hong Kong pigs: Wake up tomorrow morning at 9am, bring your Hong Kong ID, proceed to your local polling station and cast your vote for John Tsang, the only hope left for Hong Kong. If you fail to do this, you will have to immigrate to the United States.

- During the nomination phase, John Tsang received 40 pro-establishment nominations and 125 pro-democracy nominations. Woo Kwok Hing received 180 pro-establishment nominations. The total was 345 broken down into 40 pro-establishment and 305 pro-democracy.

During the election phase, John Tsang got 365 votes and Woo Kwok Hing got 21 votes. The total for the two was 386 votes.

Democracy 300+ has 326 votes. This means that Tsang and Woo got about 70 pro-establishment votes out of about 870.

If Tsang and Woo want Carrie Lam to reflect on why she can't get any pro-democracy nominations, then they should reflect on they can't get more pro-establishment votes.

- (Bastille Post) John Tsang and Woo Kwok Hing got 345 nominations including some from some pro-establishment electors such as James Tien (Liberal Party). Tsang and Woo then got 386 votes which is 41 more. These include people who didn't want to be known to nominate them, but voted for them with the secret ballots. Some of these may have even nominated Carrie Lam. Two members of the Financial Services sub-sector (Thomas Wu and Ricky Chim) nominated John Tsang but publicly announced that they will vote for Carrie Lam. So the actually number of hidden votes is 41 + 2 = 43. These 43 can be said to be the hardcore Henry Tang voters -- they opposed CY Leung and they continued to oppose Carrie Lam because she is supported by the Central Government.

- (Bastille Post) Carrie Lam had 580 nominations. In truth, another ironclad 200 votes were held back. There would be some pressure on Carrie Lam to be nominated by 780 but received fewer than that in the actual election. Carrie Lam received 777 votes. This was better than the 750 estimated by the Central Government. If you discount Thomas Wu and Ricky Chim, she received 775 out of 780, which means that she only lost 5 votes. That means that she was able to hold on to the votes from the Commercial/Industrial sector.

- What will be the new strategy for the pan-democrats? So far, they have learned:
If they boycott the election, they lose.
If they run a bona fide pro-democracy candidate, they lose.
If they package a pro-establishment figure as a pro-democracy hero, they lose.

- In 2015, the strategy recommended by the United States and the United Kingdom was to accept the August 31st framework which includes nomination by the Election Committee and one-person-one-vote. The present system includes nomination and election by the Election Committee, which means that there are two barriers to overcome. You can get John Tsang nominated and you say that he is more popular than Carrie Lam. Unfortunately, you can't get the Election Committee to vote for him. If they had accepted the August 31st framework, they could have gotten the Election Committee to nominate him and then he wins the popular election.

Instead, the pan-democrats said back then that they wanted civil nomination together with one-person-one-vote. Without that, they would rather have the present system. This is where we are.

- (Oriental Daily) March 26, 2017. The League of Social Democrats said that their members climbed on top of the Lion Rock peak to hang a yellow "I want genuine universal suffrage" vertical banner.

- When you hang a banner, the Fire Services Department has to send firemen to climb up the mountain to remove it. It is not just a piece of decoration, because the banner may fall down onto busy Loong Cheong Roard below and cause traffic accidents. And the following happened this week on another rainy day:

(EJ Insight) March 23, 2017.

A senior fireman died after falling from a cliff while he and his team were attempting to rescue two stranded hikers in a country park in the New Territories on Wednesday. Principal firefighter Yau Siu-ming, 51, succumbed to his injuries after a fall during a rescue operation in Tiu Shau Ngam (吊手岩) in Ma On Shan Country Park, several newspapers reported. The accident took place at about 5 am as Yau was climbing a hill in a bid to reach two hikers who had apparently lost their way in the mountain ridge. As he was climbing, the firefighter slipped and fell 10 meters down to the bottom of the cliff. As the mountains are very steep, other firemen had to walk four kilometers to find Yau, who was lying unconscious on the ground, according to the reports. After a long struggle, they managed to reach him and move him to the Prince of Wales Hospital. The whole process took more than 10 hours, resulting in Yau making it to the hospital only at about 4 pm. Doctors pronounced him dead due to serious head injuries, causing immense sadness to Laus

- According to The Tai Mo Shan Woman (2016/01/25) theory of freedom, it is the freedom of the people of Hong Kong to hang banners wherever they want, and it is the duty of the firemen (who are very well-paid public servants) to remove the banners no matter the conditions are.

- (Ming Pao) March 26, 2017.

Chu Hoi Dick, Nathan Law, Chan Chi-chuen and Leung Kwok-hung announced beforehand that they were casting blank ballots. Leung Kwok-hung said that the fact that Carrie Lam won by the so-called wide margin shows that the Chief Executive election system is "rotten."

Leung admitted that he misjudged the situation. He had worked under the belief that the Central Government secretly supported John Tsang so that he will win with 700+ pro-establishment votes plus 300+ pan-democratic votes to become the indomitable Chief Executive. Leung apologized formally for this misjudgment. He said that the people of Hong Kong has learned a lesson on the perfidiousness of the Chinese Communists. P.S. Leung called on all pro-democracy Hongkongers to show up next Sunday outside the China Liaison Office to protest the election of Carrie Lam.

When asked if there is any room for cooperation with Carrie Lam over the next five years, Leung said that it depends on how Carrie Lam reacts to the demonstration next week.

- Ultimately, there were 23 blank or invalid ballots. What's the difference if Carrie Lam wins by 777 versus either 365 or 388 for John Tsang?

- Zeto Cheng's Facebook

The Chinese Communists had provided a wonderful opening for the radical pan-democrats (People Power, League of Social Democrats/Self-Determination groups) to breach, but they make the following fucking stupid missteps.

1. They misjudged the situation. They thought that John Tsang was surely anointed by the Chinese Communists to turn. As a result, they made a whole string of missteps ...

2. They were unable to block Carrie Lam, who was the candidate actually anointed by the Chinese Communists, on her path to victory. Instead, they made plenty of unnecessary attacks against the straw man known as Mr. Pringle.

3. Leung Kwok-hung even joined the small-circle election, completely ruining his moral aura. If his participation was supposed to be merely strategic, then why can't the pan-democrats' support of John Tsang also be considered strategic?

4. After Leung Kwok-hung failed to gain nomination, Mr. Pringle began his public relations campaign to rally mainstream pan-democratic support. Many citizens wanted to show their opposition to Sai Wan (China Liaison Office) interference through supporting John Tsang. But many radical pan-democratic Key Opinion Leaders heaped scorn on them.

5. In the later stages of the election, everybody knew that John Tsang was doomed. Those dozen or so blank ballots will make no difference. These people did nothing whatsoever to derail Carrie Lam. Instead they acted like wise people who think everybody else is naive. This made everyone else think that they want Carrie Lam to win. In the end, when everybody begged them to give every last vote to John Tsang, they started talking about the importance of sticking to principles. But didn't they ditch their own principles in order to try to enter the small-circle election already?

6. Now that Carrie Lam is elected and she is talking about reconciliation under her, the radicals say that it was the strategic support for John Tsang which pushed the Chinese Communists towards supporting Carrie Lam. Fuck you! At first, you said that John Tsang was the secret Chinese Communist mega-candidate, so how dare you turn around and accuse everybody else? Did you think that you were perfect?

7. During the election, the radicals had lousy judgment and strategies. Apart from going to the China Liaison Office to throw toilet paper, they had no other gimmick. Their action plans conflict within themselves. Worse yet, they have totally refused to accept any responsibility. Instead, they feel that that they are always correct and they are the only ones who can enlighten the ignorant masses. According to the radicals, if the people support Mr. Pringle, then they must be Hong Kong pigs. By comparison, the Democratic Party and the Civic Party were at least willing to put in an effort and share in the glory/shame.

People Power/League of Social Democrats/Self-Determination groups have managed to offend the Yellow Ribbons this time. The payback will occur at the 2020 Legislative Council elections. Meanwhile, they can also forget about the crowdfunding campaign to support the DQ4 and the Legislative Council by-elections.

- Who is even a bigger loser than John Tsang and Woo Kwok Hing? It's Ming Pao, the newspaper formerly rated number one in public trust.

In the live coverage of the Chief Executive election, someone posted a comment: ""林鄭柒娥柒少陣 Carrie Lam fuck Ngor should fuck around less!" Use of obscenity is protected under the freedom of speech in Basic Law Article 27. Unfortunately, that person forgot to switch to his/her personal Facebook account, and so the post went out under the user name Ming Pao Real-time News. Do you think that a journalists can be working on fair and balanced news coverage as well as vent personal feelings while on the job to the point that he/she can't even figure out where he/she is?

- What is a rational elector supposed to do? Here are the raw data:

(Top left panel) Which candidates best fits the four critieria of the Central Government?
(Hong Kong Research Association)
38%: John Tsang
45%: Carrie Lam
 4%: Woo Kwok Hing
(New Forum)
31%: John Tsang
46%: Carrie Lam
 7%: Woo Kwok Hing

(Top center panel) Which candidate does the Central Government trust most?
 6%: John Tsang
83%: Carrie Lam
 1%: Woo Kwok Hing
(Sing Tao)
12%: John Tsang
84%: Carrie Lam
 2%: Woo Kwok Hing

(Top right panel) Which candidate does has the best ability for governance
37%: John Tsang
51%: Carrie Lam
  3%: Woo Kwok Hing
(Sing Tao)
39%: John Tsang
58%: Carrie Lam
 3%: Woo Kwok Hing

(Bottom panel) Which candidate do you support?
(Hong Kong Research Association)
36%: John Tsang
41%: Carrie Lam
11%: Woo Kwok Hing
(Hong Kong Economic Times/Sky Post)
30%: John Tsang
67%: Carrie Lam
  2%: Woo Kwok Hing
(Hong Kong Women's Association)
35%: John Tsang
43%: Carrie Lam
12%: Woo Kwok Hing
(Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme)
57%: John Tsang
27%: Carrie Lam
10%: Woo Kwok Hing
(Democratic Party)
50%: John Tsang
24%: Carrie Lam
17%: Woo Kwok Hing

Should you vote for the most popular candidate? That would mean that actor Andy Lau would be a shoo-in if he runs. When asked this hypothetical question, Andy Lau had the patience to point out that the Chief Executive needs to have certain job requirements (such as knowledge, experience and ability) which he does not have.

- If the people want to elect an unqualified person as their leader, they should have the right and freedom to do so.

- Of course, they reap what they sow. Reference: Donald Trump. And when things don't work out so rosily, they will blame evil external forces instead of their own poor judgment.

- There is a lot for the people of Hong Kong to think about as a result of this election. (Oriental Daily) March 27, 2017. At 4am, a 42-year-old man named Lee and his 32-year-old girlfriend named Ngan were seated on a sofa in the roped area of The Landmark, Central District, Hong Kong Island. The security guard told the two to leave because the plaza was closed. They refused. The security guard summoned the police. When the police came to investigate, the two refused to cooperate and they did not produce their Hong Kong ID's when asked. The man struck a policeman, causing an abdominal injury. The two were subdued and arrested on suspicion of obstructing police duty. As he as brought into the police van, Lee was mumbling to himself. He also yelled at the reporter: "They think that I was there to cause trouble in the plaza. I actually went there to help Hong Kong. I hope to help Hong Kong think about all its problems!"

- (Hong Kong Free Press) March 28, 2017.

U.S. congressmen have expressed concern at Beijings interference in Hong Kongs elections and warned that the special status enjoyed by the semi-autonomous city under U.S. law may be reassessed if the situation deteriorates.

Beijings clear interference in these elections is yet another example of a precipitous erosion in Hong Kongs long-cherished autonomy, senator Marco Rubio, who chairs the Chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in a statement on Monday, a day after the chief executive election.

Rubio criticised Sundays chief executive election, saying it failed to fulfill Hongkongers demands for universal suffrage and a truly representative government.

His co-chair, representative Christopher Smith, said Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam was clearly Beijings favored candidate, just like her predecessors. He warned that Beijings backing enjoyed by Lam would make it exceedingly difficult to tackle the erosions of Hong Kongs autonomy and rule of law.

If Hong Kong is to become just another mainland Chinese city under the new Chief Executives leadership, we will have to reassess whether Hong Kong warrants special status under U.S. law, Smith warned.

He added: It is in everyones interests that Hong Kong remain a free and prosperous bridge between China and the West, but the citys unique vitality and prosperity are rooted in its guaranteed freedoms.

In his statement, Rubio also highlighted the recent police crackdown on leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests. He urged Lam to work on political reforms that are consistent with Hongkongers democratic aspirations. [They are] aspirations which animated the 2014 Umbrella Movement and which remain alive and well today, he said.

- Chinese president Xi Jinping clearly and loudly interfered in this CE election. Xi shook hands for three seconds with John Tsang at the G-20 meeting in Hangzhou. John Tsang said that he was great encouraged and decided to run for Chief Executive because Xi Jinping has anointed him. In March, CY Leung was appointed as vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Xi Jinping went over to congratulate him and spoke for about 40 seconds. John Tsang and his fans came back down to earth. It was very wrong and unchivalrous for Xi Jinping to give false hopes to John Tsang and then so cruelly deflate them.

- Zhang Dejiang was widely reported to have traveled to Shenzhen where he summoned electors to meet with him. Because the electors were openly named during the nomination phase, they had to do Zhang's bidding or else face retaliation to their businesses on mainland China. I know that not a single elector who was so pressured by Zhang Dejiang has been named, but that is the whole point: they were so scared that nobody dared to reveal themselves.

- China Liaison Office director Zhang Xiaoming repeatedly met with electors and 'whipped' the Hong Kong delegation of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Hong Kong delegation of the Chinese People's Congress, the political parties (DAB, FTU, BPA, etc), the pro-establishment Legislative Councilors, the Heung Yee Kuk, the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association, the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce, etc into voting unanimously for Carrie Lam.

I know that it is true that the Democratic Party, the Civic Party, the Professional Teachers Union, etc also 'whipped' their members into voting for John Tsang, but it is different because their members knew that they are doing it for FREEDOM DEMOCRACY HUMAN RIGHTS JUSTICE UNIVERSAL VALUES UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, whereas the China Liaison Office was forcing their minions to support COMMUNISM CRONYISM ELITISM EXPLOITATION INJUSTICE ARTICLE 23 SMALL-CIRCLE_ELECTION ONE-COUNTRY-ONE-SYSTEM.

- Why don't the Americans try to stop voter suppression in the United States first before meddling in Hong Kong?

- This is all hot air from Marco Rubio and Christopher Smith. Why don't they get their Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed? That would be a substantive step (to punish the people of Hong Kong for mainland Chinese interference).

(SCMP) March 25, 2017.

Two days before polling day, chief executive underdog John Tsang Chun-wah drew thousands of supporters to his rally in Central, as he battled a fresh round of criticism that he lacked Beijings trust.

Giving an emotional speech on an open-top bus at the end of the hour-long rally at Edinburgh Place on Friday night, Tsang said: Most of you here dont have votes, but still I yearn for your support. Without your support, how would there be any meaning even if I win all Election Committee votes?

Tsang is expected to secure about 300 votes from pan-democrats on the 1,194-member Election Committee, which is dominated by pro-Beijing supporters. A candidate needs 601 votes to win in Sundays poll.

Police estimated the turnout to be 3,500. The live feed of the rally on Tsangs Facebook page drew 449,000 views by midnight and some 18,700 comments.

Tsang was the first pro-establishment chief executive candidate to host an outdoor rally since his former boss, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, held one at Southorn Playground in Wan Chai in 2007.

Excited supporters chanted John Tsang, elected! and Vote for No 1 if Hong Kong is to win!

Internet comments:

- SCMP kept repeating that John Tsang is pro-establishment. But who is showing up at the rallies/ People with Yellow Umbrellas and banners saying "Support John Tsang, I want genuine universal suffrage." So who is the real John Tsang?

- And someone is holding up a red "Father of Democracy" banner!

- Why do democrats want John Tsang as Chief Executive? (YouTube)

0:09 Alan Leong (Civic Party): The March 26 election is a duel between Sai Wan and the people of Hong Kong. It takes John Tsang to knock down Sai Wan.

0:30 John Tsang: August 31st (resolution of the National People's Congress Standing Committee) is surely our starting point, the foundation of constitutional reform. [But this group of people who say that they will vote for you were completely against the August 31st resolution].

- (Oriental Daily) March 25, 2017

Spoof street banners directed against pan-democratic political parties:
Green: Democratic Party -- give up democracy, enact Article 23
Purple: Civic Party -- kneel down to the establishment, embrace 8.31

- (Cable TV) John Tsang's biggest cheerleader James Tien predicts that Carrie Lam will win. Of the more than 200 nominations for Carrie Lam from the Commerce/Industry sector, Tien estimates that 50 to 100 will vote for John Tsang during the secret balloting. At present, they are not concerned about whether they will win or not. As for the the Liberal Party, ex-chairman James Tien said that they are pro-establishment, and therefore they support a pro-establishment Chief Executive.

- Why would the Commerce/Industry sector voters switch? James Tien said that they don't want a Chief Executive who has a popular mandate. Now I am confused here. Does the business community think that having a weak Chief Executive unable to implement/legislate anything will be good for their business? What kind of business are they in?

- Conscientious objectors?

Nathan Law (Demosisto): Will cast blank ballot
Reason: Support democratic self-determination, will not change his own democratic principles in response to fluctuating public opinions

Chu Hoi Dick: Will not vote for any candidate
Reason: I will act in accordance with my beliefs even if nobody supports me ... We are fighting for the democratic powers of the people of Hong Kong. If we compromise even on this, we are democrats -- we are public opinionists.

Fernando Cheung (Labour Party): Will cast blank ballot
Reason: I act according to my principles ... public opinions should be respected sometimes, but principles are sometimes more important.

Chan Chi Chuen (People Power) Will not vote for any candidate
Reason: I will not change my preference in response to public opinion. I will not support small-circle elections.

Leung Kwok-hung (League of Social Democrats): Will not vote for any candidate
Reason: I am said it before: I will not vote, I will not nominate, I will not participate in small-circle elections.

P.S. Lau Siu-lai has declared that she will cast a blank ballot to express her opposition to the August 31st framework and Article 23 legislation.

P.P.S. Shiu Ka-chun said that he will cast a blank ballot to oppose the August 31st framework, to demand the restart of constitution reform and to establish a fair and just social welfare system. He said that he chose the final moment to make this announcement in order to reduce embarrassment.

- So there you have it -- according to Jimmy Lai, the six Communists moles within the pan-democratic legislative councilors have just outed themselves.

- (SocREC) March 22, 2017. At a press conference, John Tsang predicted that there will be a miracle on election day.

- Here is the scorecard. John Tsang will get about 310 or so of the 326 pan-democratic votes. During the nomination, he obtained 40 pro-establishment nominations and 125 pan-democratic nominations. He would have liked to have as many pro-establishment nominations as possible because he claims to be able to bridge the rift. Therefore 40 is his maximum. There is one known desertion. So he has to depend on secret ballots from hidden supporters. How many? Nobody knows and nobody can know. So don't believe anything out there.

But here are some scenarios:

- John Tsang ends up with 320 votes, which means that the Commerce/Industrial sub-sector has completely given up on him. As the saying goes, Tsang needs to go home and seriously reflect on what has happened.

- John Tsang ends up with 350 votes, which means that Tsang got the pan-dems plus the 40 pro-establishment electors who voted for him.

- John Tsang gets 400 votes, which means that there were 40 more hidden votes within the pro-establishment camp.

- John Tsang get 601 votes to win, which means that there were massive desertions within the pro-establishment camp. As the saying goes, Xi Jinping may fire Zhang Dejiang and put someone else in charge of Hong Kong affairs.

- (Cable TV) There is some suspense as to whether Woo Kwok Hing will get more than 10 votes. Woo was nominated with 180 pan-democratic votes. But most of those voters have announced that they will switch to vote. Woo said that his positions on issues such as constitutional reform, Basic Law Article 23 legislation and universal retirement protection are much closer to traditional pan-democratic positions than any other candidate. Woo said that if he gets fewer than 180 votes, then he will feel that he had been used. He said that politics is dirty. BWAAAAAHHHHHH!

- Woo Kwok Hing has at least one committed vote from social welfare sub-sector elector Chong Chan Yau, whose blindness has been cruelly made fun of by John Tsang's fans with sincere statements of fact.

- You seem to have lots of questions, don't you? That's because they won't let you read the script.

Look at the situation of the pan-democrats in past Chief Executive elections.

In 1996, shipping magnate Tung Chee-wah got 80% of the vote to defeat Chief Justice Yang Ti-liang and businessman Peter Woo.

In 2002, incumbent Tung Chee-wah was re-elected uncontested.

In 2007, pan-democrat Alan Leong (Civic Party) ran against incumbent Donald Tsang. Leong lost by 16%-84%.

In 2012, pan-democrat Albert Ho (Democratic Party) ran against two pro-establishment candidates, former Chief Secretary Henry Tang and former Executive Council convener CY Leung. Ho got only 7% of the votes.

From history, if the pan-democrats field a properly credentialed pro-democracy candidate (as in 2007 and 2012), they will lose badly. It is also more trouble than its worth. First of all, they cannot be seen to concede on their core positions (such as genuine universal suffrage with civil nomination; universal retirement protection; right of local approval of mainland Chinese immigrants; minimum wage; standard working hours; etc). Secondly, they will see their internal contradictions exposed (such as self-determination/independence; land supply/housing; etc).

If the pan-democrats boycott the election, then it will be business as usual (in 1996 and 2002) as the pro-establishment camp proceeds to elect a Chief Executive in accordance with the law. That must not be allowed to happen.

So in 2017, the pan-democrats came up with a new strategy -- they will support a pro-establishment candidate in the form of John Tsang. But John Tsang is not in this to win. That is not likely to happen. Instead, John Tsang is there to inflict maximum damage to the true pro-establishment candidate Carrie Lam. Now John Tsang may or may not realize that this is what he got into. But he willing went along with it.

Since John Tsang has positioned himself as pro-establishment, how can one deal with all this defects? You simply pretend that you see nothing and you hear nothing.

John Tsang has accomplished nothing in his 30+ years in government service apart from the deeply troubled food truck? NO PROBLEM.

John Tsang says that constitutional reform should start from the basis of the August 31st constitutional reform? NO PROBLEM.

John Tsang says that Hong Kong should enact Basic Law Article 23 legislation? NO PROBLEM.

John Tsang says that he will work to get 60% of the people of Hong Kong into public housing but with neither plan nor schedule? NO PROBLEM.

John Tsang does not support universal retirement protection without asset/income limits? NO PROBLEM.

John Tsang underestimated the budget surplus every year during his 9-year reign as Financial Secretary? NO PROBLEM.

John Tsang says that the Occupy Movement destroyed rule-or-law and affected the economy? NO PROBLEM.

... and the list goes on ...

Do these issues matter to the pan-democrats? Of course, they matter. They matter a lot. They are the core democratic issues. But they do not matter during this election, because there is no expectation that John Tsang will be elected as Chief Executive. So if the guy huffs and puffs, let him do so if he thinks that he can get a few points in public opinion support.

Of course, you may well ask: But what if there was a Black Swan incident and John Tsang actually wins? It does not matter to the pan-democrats -- they will just turn on John Tsang to deliver on all the core democratic issues that John Tsang never agreed to. If John Tsang won't, they will filibuster, protest, Occupy Central, etc.

Does John Tsang know? Does he care? Of course, he knows because why else was the John Tsang for Chief Executive campaign run like this? If you really want to win the Chief Executive election and you know that the election is decided by 1,194 electors, you would be trying to do everything possible to appeal to those electors. Instead, you run a Facebook-based campaign that is designed to show that you are a likeable guy and  you make no attempt to find or highlight policies that might appeal to those electors. In fact, you go out your way to insult electors (for example, saying that the 689 electors who voted for CY Leung five years ago should be ashamed).

The bonus in this strategy has been Woo Kwok Hing. The pan-democrats gave him enough nominations so that there were two 'pro-democracy' and one 'pro-establishment' nominees. Under the equal time principle, the election forums saw the two 'pro-democracy' guys beating up on the 'pro-establishment' woman. But as soon as the election forums finish, Woo Kwok Hing becomes the proverbial worn-out battery to be discarded.

- (Ming Pao) Alan Leong (Civic Party chairman) said that the Principled Ones who will cast blank ballots and the Strategic Ones who will vote for John Tsang share the same goal. Leong said that he would be heartbroken if schisms occur.

Well, this is a statement that he doesn't give a rat's ass about John Tsang, because the guy is going to lose anyway. However, John Tsang is important to the extent that he serves to make a political point.

- The election was in fact decided by the nomination phase. If John Tsang was able to pull together 75 pro-establishment nominations in addition to 75 pro-democracy nominations, he would be the candidate to bridge the two oppose camps, with Carrie Lam being clearly pro-establishment and Woo Kwok Hing being clearly pro-democracy.

Better  yet, if John Tsang can get 150 pro-establishment nominations, then the scent of victory appears. The situation becomes like Henry Tang and CY Leung five years ago, where either one are fine with the pro-establishment camp. So if the pro-establishment votes split 550 for Carrie Lam and 350 for John Tsang, then the final vote will be 350 + 300 = 650 for John Tsang, 550 for Carrie Lam and 10 for Woo Kwok Hing.

Unfortunately, John Tsang maxed out at 40 pro-establishment nominations.

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

"The election results are in. The greatest existential value for HEA Tsang was that he served as a tool for the opposition camp against the Central Government. They rallied for him not because they really supported him. They knew that HEA Tsang could not have won. Actually, they didn't want HEA Tsang to win either. Their goal is to oppose. On the last two days, HEA Tsang did not work on the Election Committee members. Instead, he kept building the image that that he had public support to lay down the grounds for further social rifts. On the day when HEA Tsang loses, it is best time and excuse for the opposition to attack the government ...

(HKG Pao) The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, with more than 100 electors said that its Central Executive Committee has agreed to support Carrie Lam for Chief Executive. The DAB believes that its members will vote according to the decision of its Central Executive Committee.

The FTU (Federation of Trade Unions) surveyed its member trade unions and found that more than 90% of them support Carrie Lam. The FTU has about 60 votes including 5 Legislative Councilors in the Election Committee.

Previously, Carrie Lam obtained 580 nominations from the electors without the full endorsement of DAB, FTU, the publication sub-sector (15 votes), the performing arts sub-sector (14 votes). Unless there are mass desertions, this election is over, as everybody knows many weeks ago. The Hong Kong and Kowloon District Councils which are dominated by pro-establishment district councilors have 57 votes and the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association are also solidly for Carrie Lam. So the suspense is whether Carrie Lam will get more than 800 out of the 1,194 votes.

PolitHK Social Strategic invites you to the Hong Kong Reconnected street carnival 4pm-6pm March 26 to celebrate the election of Carrie Lam as Chief Executive

Question: If you can vote for Chief Executive tomorrow and you can vote for the following candidates, who would you vote for? (Read randomly rotated list)

Data Period #1 John Tsang #2 Carrie Lam #3 Woo Kwok Hing
March 1-5 46% 34% 12%
March 2-6 47% 33% 12%
March 3-7 45% 35% 14%
March 4-8 46% 35% 12%
March 5-9 48% 34% 11%
March 6-10 49% 34% 11%
March 7-11 48% 34% 11%
March 8-12 50% 31% 10%
March 9-13 51% 32% 9%
March 10-14 51% 33% 9%
March 11-15 52% 33% 8%
March 12-16 51% 34% 8%
March 13-17 53% 34% 8%
March 14-18 51% 34% 9%
March 15-19 52% 33% 9%
March 16-20 53% 32% 10%
March 17-21 56% 30% 9%
March 18-22 57% 27% 10%
March 19-23 56% 28% 9%
March 20-24 56% 29% 9%

Q1. Which candidate is most familiar with how the government is run?
38.5%: John Tsang
57.7%: Carrie Lam
 2.8%: Woo Kwok Hing

Q2. Which candidate is most trusted by the Central Government?
11.8%: John Tsang
83.9%: Carrie Lam
 1.8%: Woo Kwok King

Q3. Which candidate is best able to get things done?
45.7%: John Tsang
45.7%: Carrie Lam
 7.0%: Woo Kwok Hing

Q4. Who do you think will become the next Chief Executive in the end?
27.6%: John Tsang
67.8%: Carrie Lam
 2.5%: Woo Kwok Hing

Q1. Among the three candidates, who has the better governance ability?
37.4%: John Tsang
50.8%: Carrie Lam
  2.6%: Woo Kwok Hing
  9.3%: Don't know/hard to say/no opinion

Q2. Among the three candidates, who is better trusted by the Central Government?
 5.9%: John Tsang
83.4%: Carrie Lam
 0.5%: Woo Kwok Hing
10.2%: Don't know/hard to say/no opinion

Q3. Among the three candidates, who is able to become the next Chief Executive?
45.3%: John Tsang
44.2%: Carrie Lam
  3.0%: Woo Kwok Hing
  1.2%: All are able
  1.0%: None is able
  5.3%: Don't know/hard to say/no opinion

Q4. Who do you guess will become the next Chief Executive
20.6%: John  Tsang
71.7%: Carrie Lam
 0.7%: Woo Kwok Hing
 7.1%: Don't know/hard to say/no opinion

Q5. Which issue should the next Chief Executive give priority to?
39.4%: Land/housing
15.6%: Economic development
11.5%: Education
 9.0%: Healthcare
  8.4%: Restart constitutional reform
  6.1%: Relieve poverty
  5.0%: Retirement protection
  2.2%: Labor benefits
  0.6%: Other issues
  2.3%: Don't know/no opinion

Q1. Among the three candidates, who do you support most to become the next Chief Executive?
52.5%: John Tsang
25.1%: Carrie Lam
  8.3%: Woo Kwok Hing
  6.4%: None of the above
  7.5%: Don't know/no opinion
  0.1%: Refused to answer

Q2. Among the three candidates, who is most likely to be elected?
17.6%: John Tsang
68.8%: Carrie Lam
  1.1%: Woo Kwok Hing
12.2%: Don't know/hard to say
  0.3%: Refused to answer

(Bastille Post) By Lo Wing-hung. March 20, 2017.

Last night was the forum organized by the Chief Executive Election Committee. 90% of the questions came from pan-democratic electors and Carrie Lam fought back.

Many of my non-political friends watched briefly and switched channels. One reason was that it was bickering all the way. Furthermore, people were chanting slogans aloud downstage. My non-political thought that it was very rude and uncivilized, and they really disliked what was happening. Another reason was that most people want to listen to ideas and policies, such as how to increase the land supply in the face of high housing prices. But it was political bickering all the way. Nobody gave a damn about livelihood and economic issues. My friends were disappointed and switched channels.

The preponderance of questions come from the pan-democrats. The pro-establishment camp was disorganized, whereupon they don't seem to be able to mobilize unless they feel that their existence is under threat. By contrast, the pan-democrats were enthusiastic, not because they want to have a better Chief Executive but because they want to seize political power.

During the election, the candidates brought up catchy slogans. John Tsang said: "Trust, unity, hope" while Carrie Lam said "We Connect." Unity and Connect have similar means of harmony. But what I saw at the forum yesterday was mutual acrimony, social rifts and disappointment. I didn't see anything like unity or harmony. I don't see the pro-democracy and pro-establishment camps willing to tolerate each other.

Perhaps you say that elections are supposed to be this way. Perhaps the pan-democrats will say that they are going after Carrie Lam only because CY Leung attacked them and Carrie Lam is CY 2.0. So as long as Carrie Lam is not elected, then Hong Kong will be united and harmonious. If John Tsang is elected, then Hong Kong will see unity and harmony; if Carrie Lam is elected, then Hong Kong will be disunited and unharmonious. Is that so?

Let me propose the opposite theory. It does not matter whether John Tsang or Carrie Lam gets elected, Hong Kong will be unharmonious. The source is not because of any difference or similarity between these two candidates; it is about the struggle for political power.

Carrie Lam and John Tsang were both Administrative Officers. Maybe one of them had a messy desk; maybe the other has more stuff on the desk. Maybe one of them works long hours; maybe the other prefers to work smart. These are matters of style, not matters of nature. By nature, both of them want to get along with the pan-democrats.

The pan-democrats define unity as friendliness with the pan-democratic political parties. Are Carrie Lam and John Tsang different from each other? At the Democratic Party anniversary party, Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing all showed up. CY Leung would never do that.

Perhaps party attendance is superficial. What about policies? Carrie Lam has greater appeal to the pan-democrats than John Tsang. Carrie Lam wants to allocate an additional $5 billion for education, which is what the Professional Teachers Union has been fighting for over the years. Carrie Lam wants government housing unit owners to be able to rent out their units without penalty. This was proposed by Democratic Party chairman Woo Chi-wai in 2015. If she is so willing to adopt the policies from pan-democratic parties, isn't this the definition of unity and harmony?

But the mainstream pan-democrats refuse to accept Lam's olive branch. The Professional Teachers Union, the Civic Party and the Democratic Party are "all-in" for John Tsang.

The reason why the pan-democrats are adamant on voting for John Tsang is not because Carrie Lam refuses to listen to them or communicate with them. It is because the Central Government supports Carrie Lam. The pan-democrats will vote against anyone that is supported by the Central Government. Had the Central Government come out to support John Tsang, the pan-democrats would be voting for Carrie Lam.

The pan-democrats vote for the Chief Executive not on the basis of capability, ideas or communication. They want to know who the Central Government supports and then they vote the opponent. The pan-democrats and the Central Government are fighting for political power. If the pan-democrats acts this way, how can the Central Government ever talk about unity and harmony with them?

I am pessimistic about the political future of Hong Kong. When the Chief Executive takes over, he/she will be the representative of the Central Government in Hong Kong. It means that he/she will receive a million barbs from the pan-democrats. There will be fights over everything every day in Hong Kong. How can this ever be stopped?

(Bastille Post) Unity? Easier said than done. By Lo Wai-hung. March 22, 2017.

As expected, the pan-democratic electors will cast most of their votes for John Tsang. Irregardless of what their reasons are, the situation is clear: On one side, the pan-democrats support John Tsang; on the other side, the Central Government and the pro-establishment support Carrie Lam.

During the election period, John Tsang's best selling point is that he can increase unity and mend rifts. Democratic Party chairman Woo Chi-wai said that John Tsang is "furthest away from Sai Wan and closest to the people of Hong Kong."

But here is the problem. Suppose that we don't care about capabilities of the candidates and we only care about whether they can mend social rifts. If the candidate supported by the pan-democrats is elected, will there be no more social rifts?

Based upon the various Legislative Council elections in the past, we see that about 55% support the pan-democrats (including both traditional and radical types) and 45% support the pro-establishment camp. In the current Chief Executive election, John Tsang and Carrie Lam are supported by approximately in those proportions. People seem to care less about capabilities than about lining up with their political sides; they care less about unity and healing than about political tendencies.

Logically speaking, social rifts won't decrease no matter who gets elected. If A gets elected, it means that B loses. It won't mend any social rifts. In order to mend social rifts, the pan-democrats and the Central Government which back the respective candidates must yield their rigid positions, make concessions and find a compromise proposal that both sides can accept. Such is the case with constitutional reform as with any other political issue.

I am extremely pessimistic about whether social rifts will be mended after the Chief Executive election. Neither the Central Government nor the pan-democrats are ready to make concessions to reach compromises.

For the pan-democrats, they are internally weak at this time because they have split into the traditional pan-democrats and the radicals. Overall, the pan-democrats have 55% support, but almost 20% have fallen into the hands of the radicals.

The radicals used to account for only a few percentage points. The 2014 Occupy Central movement radicalized many young people, so that the support for the radicals rose sharply at the expense of the traditional pan-democrats. On the eve of the 2014 Occupy Central, the pan-democrats knew that there were problems with the unlawful action but went away anyway. They ended losing a lot of their ground. In the 2016 September Legislative Council elections, many young traditional pan-democrats had to adopt radical positions in order to compete against the radicals.

The traditional pan-democrats are still the majority in the pro-democracy camp, but they do not have leadership position. If Carrie Lam is elected, she will find it ten times harder to reach a deal with them compared to 2010. The pan-democrats have adopted radical tendencies which will make it hard to reach a compromise with the Central Government.

For the Central Government, the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao era saw an economic boom. Due to the proliferation of credit and rapid growth, corruption abounded as tycoons colluded with government officials to monopolize the state economy. In 2012, Xi Jinping took over, made structural adjustments to the economy and went after corruption. The situation has improved since.

... In the face of internal and external pressures, the Central Government will take a hard line and continue on what it sees is the right course. The Hong Kong independence movement that arose out of the Occupy Central movement and its separatism theme is in violent clash with the Central Government's governance. It will be a lot harder to ask the Central Government to compromise with the pan-democrats as they did in 2011.

Political compromise means that each side has to take one step back, instead of making one side yield all the way to let the other side gain total victory. Since both sides are unwilling to make large concessions, it does not matter what the next Chief Executive (be it Carrie Lam or John Tsang) does. Unity? Better said than done.

(SCMP) Working against Lam could backfire for pan-dems. By Alex Lo. March 23, 2017.

All the opposition lawmakers who sit on the Election Committee have released a joint statement saying they oppose chief executive front runner Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and that there is no mutual trust between the two sides.

So, assuming Lam wins on Sunday, the localists and pan-democrats have now declared they will not work with her. This is despite her offer of cooperation. Lets say she had no intention to honour her pledge. Shouldnt they at least test her first and expose her bad faith before taking the high road?

Trust is built and peace is made between enemies, not friends. It was the anti-government camp who started the ABC (Anyone but CY) campaign. They won, and Beijing decided not to shove Leung Chun-ying down Hong Kongs throat for a second term. Secretly, most of the opposition members must have felt disappointed to lose such an easy target.

Now they have to work hard to build a case that Lam is another CY. Its a complete mischaracterisation, and most of the old-hand democrats know it. Lam was on good terms with most of them throughout her civil service career especially during the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003-04 and when she was head of social welfare. It was only the ill-fated government political reform package that pitted her against them. Even before the central government published the so-called 831 position paper placing restrictions on universal suffrage in 2014, the two sides were on speaking terms.

By their civil service training and temperament, Lam is much closer to election rival John Tsang Chun-wah and former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen than Leung. But the pan-dems want to make her out to be a closet dictator. They clearly plan to stymie Lam at every turn, and from the start, just as they did with Leung.

But if Lam fails over the next five years, she will be the last moderate leader the central government is willing to tolerate in Hong Kong. Beijing will not magically go democratic on us; it will simply take a hardline stance towards a troublesome city that is being overtaken by its mainland rivals and one that can be sacrificed without too high a cost.

Oh, but what if John Tsang wins? Unlikely, but then the opposition will have to turn on him and make him out to be CY3.0.

More at Occupy Central Part 8

More at:

Occupy Central Part 1 (001-100)
Occupy Central Part 2 (101-200)
Occupy Central Part 3 (201-300)
Occupy Central Part 4 (301-400)
Occupy Central Part 5 (401-500)
Occupy Central Part 6 (501-600)
Occupy Central Part 7 (601-700)

Occupy Central Part 8 (701-)

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