Hong Kong By The Numbers

Someone does not know how to count here.  You can take your pick -- lawyers, police or reporters.  This is disturbing no matter what, because some pillars of society cannot count very well.

The event is the "Dressed-in-Black March" organized by the Article 45 Concern Group to protest the upcoming interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee over the length of tenure of the next chief executive.

The march was a short walk from the High Court in Admiralty through Queens Road to the Court of Final Appeal in Central.  The group marched in silence, without slogans or placards.  They held silence for one minute at the Court of Final Appeal before disbanding.  Typical of Hong Kong demonstrations, this one was exceedingly civil.

How many people were there?  [Sing Tao via Yahoo! News and Ming Pao via Yahoo! News]

According to the organizers, there were about 850 people in the march.  Of these, 550 to 600 were barristers, solicitors and law students, and another 200 to 300 were citizens.  The group had previously send about 3,000 electronic mail messages to the approximately 5,000 persons in the legal profession in Hong Kong to ask them to attend the march.  According to Legislator Councilor Ronny Tong, the group assigned eight people in two groups to count the people from the head and tail of the march column, and they believe that their count should be quite accurate.

According to the police, there were about 500 people in attendance in total, of which 210 people were citizens who were demonstrating for the right to abode.

According to the Sing Tao reporter, there were about 300 people from the legal community, and the remaining 200 people were either individual citizens or resident parents demanding the right of abode for their children on the mainland.

The benchmark was against the similar march when the Basic Law was interpreted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in 1999 with respect to the right of abode.  The attendance back then was 600 people from the legal community.

How hard is it to count the fewer than 1,000 people?  Not very.  So how could the number diverge like that?  Someone could not count here.  I report, you decide.

Supplementary Numbers of the Day:

[Ming Pao via Yahoo! News]  According to a telephone survey of 1,892 randomly selected citizens commissioned by the New Territories Communities Association,

According to the Head of the Central Policy Unit, Lau Siu-kai, many surveys have shown that citizens look at the question about the length of tenure of the next chief executive with a pragmatic and calm manner, and most people think that the dispute is just something among the political and legal circles.

Supplementary Numbers of the Day:

[Ming Pao via Yahoo! News]  In recent years, the government has tried hard to educate students about China, and they have called for the schools to raise the national flag on important dates such as National Day and Hong Kong Return Day.  But it turns about out of the 900 government and subsidized schools, there are still about 60 which do not have flagstaffs and therefore cannot raise the national flag.

In response to an inquiry from Legislative Councilor Wong Kwok-hing, the Education and Manpower Bureau said that these schools were unable to construct flagstaffs for a variety of reasons (such as being located at a temporary campus, insufficient space, temporarily removing the flagstaff for renovation purposes, etc).  The Education and Manpower Bureau said that it will encourage the schools to set up flagstaffs and that the schools should give priority to this when they allocate the renovation budget each year.

Aren't we glad that someone is on top of the important things in life?