HK survives first week of 2018

Even at January 5, it looks certain that 2018 will be a year of continuous, quite possibly accelerating, Mainlandization in Hong Kong. Not a day is going by without another step towards authoritarianism – a young activist being tried or retried, a pro-dem academic losing his job, an opinionated foreign visitor being turned away at the airport.

The effect is (presumably intentionally) numbing. But Beijing’s imperial edict on co-location (officially termed an NPCSC decision) is different. It crosses a line, partly because it enables Mainland law enforcement to operate openly in part of the city, but mainly because it shatters the idea that the sovereign power might be subject to any legal constraints within Hong Kong. By conjuring a legal justification for co-location out of nowhere, without any reference to the Basic Law, let alone the local laws and process, Beijing establishes law by fiat, rule by man, might-is-right as a reality here. In principle, all bets are now off.

South China Morning Post business columnists, who would normally ignore non-financial affairs, show signs of discomfort. This is Beijing’s way of convincing us that it is in charge, says one, which points to things like censorship down the road, adds another.

Most companies here have exposure to and interests in the Mainland, and they will be unperturbed so long as Beijing doesn’t crush the life and freedoms out of Hong Kong too quickly or unexpectedly. The question from a business viewpoint is: will the Communist Party be able to criminalize opinions, neuter the legislature and sidestep judges and juries discreetly and gradually enough?

It’s possible that the forthcoming Legislative Council by-elections on March 11 will be the last ones before candidate-barring and LegCo procedure-rigging make running/voting a pointless farce. (Serious prediction for when boycotts bring the turnout below 30-40%: the government makes voting mandatory.) I declare the weekend open with a suggestion to watch two fun issues that could embarrass pro-Beijing forces – the ding rights-selling village house developer scam, and the juicy prospect of converting Fanling Golf Club to affordable housing.

 

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9 Responses to HK survives first week of 2018

  1. Elections in all Oriemtal societies are nearly always a farce. How could Duterte come to power otherwise? Is Japan democratic? Taiwan? No gangs there? Oh, and as for Thailand and Indonesia…don’t get me started.

    Not to mention the Occidentals…Trump, Bush Jr, Reagan…who could make them up?

    You don’t write a diary, admit it. It’s faded GCHQ/neo-con polemic circa 1980 badly disguised as satire.

    Have a brain reset, move out of Hong Kong a while. It’s never too late to see the light.

    You deserve better.

    Tendresses et

    Pip, pip!

  2. Probably says:

    Another day, another infrastructure project, another way of lining pockets of government cronies with projects paid for out of the public purse……

    https://www.hyd.gov.hk/en/tender_notices/others/tender_notices_non_engineering/2017/HYT0022017.html

  3. Joe Blow says:

    It’s gonna be 12 C this Tuesday, Bring out the Russian hats.

  4. Knownot says:

    A Many-Censored Thing

    Law is a many-censored thing
    And the NPC can disagree with anything.
    It is China’s way of showing
    The way that we are going,
    The Basic Law according to Beijing.

    Hark – to the voice of the Hong Kong Bar,
    How bold it goes! But Carrie knows
    What an elite they are.
    And the Chinese sun will rise before
    The light of Common Law.
    Yes, law is a many-censored thing.

    – – –

    [‘Love is a Many-Splendored Thing’
    recorded by Andy Williams and others]

  5. LRE says:

    @Knownot
    Shurely from the eponymous rip-roaring roller coaster Hong Kong romance starring William Holden Chow?

  6. Donny Almond says:

    Wasn’t it sung by ex-HK (army) boy Matt Monro ?

  7. Old Newcomer says:

    The song was the theme tune of the movie of the same name, and has been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Matt Monro to Liberace. Enter it in a music search engine and you will find dozens of versions.

  8. Din Gao says:

    I am surprised that Mrs Otto Poon has not yet been proffered at this fruit stall.
    Her CV states that she served as Deputy Judge / Recorder in the Court of First Instance of the High Court of Hong Kong from 2011 to 2017.
    During this time she owned and occupied a mansion now believed to have an illegal basement although it might be another wine cellar a la Henry.
    One wonders if she ever adjudicated any cases involving illegal structures during her time on the bench…
    Even if she did not, she took this oath:
    The Judicial Oath
    I swear that, in the Office of a Judge of the Judiciary of the Hong Kong Special
    Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, I will uphold the
    Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s
    Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative
    Region of the People’s Republic of China, serve the Hong Kong Special
    Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full accordance
    with the law, honestly and with integrity, safeguard the law and administer
    justice without fear or favour, self-interest or deceit.
    Perhaps she did not understand it…
    Now she has taken another:
    I swear that, in the office of (office) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full accordance with the law, honestly and with integrity.

  9. Big Al says:

    It’s OK. Just as Henry blamed his wife for his basement, Mrs Poon can blame Otto for whatever it is she’s done … surely that’s what spouses of senior government officials are for?

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