[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 6, 2018.

The High Court judge who ruled on Tuesday that disgraced former leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen should bear part of the costs for his misconduct hearings last year also heaped criticism on undesirable public relations tactics used during a second trial.

After Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai explained why Tsang should pay HK$4.6 million (US$590,000) of the HK$13.7 million it cost the prosecution to mount the case, he revealed how he realised that a public relations firm had been getting prominent figures to sit in the public gallery area reserved for Tsangs family during the retrial for the bribery charge.

The individuals included former Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, former Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung, Vicar General of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese Reverend Dominic Chan Chi-ming, and radio host and political commentator Chip Tsao.

Tsang and Y Communications, the firm that accompanied him during the trial that ended on November 3 also with a hung jury, would not comment on the matter. When contacted by the Post, Tsao said he turned up to support Tsang as a personal friend, and that this was not a publicity stunt.

HCCC484/2015 HKSAR and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen

30. In the second trial, application was made by the Prosecution to discharge Mr Kiu, a juror from the jury service towards the end of the proceedings. After listening carefully to submissions from both sides, I allowed the application and indicated that I would give my full reasons. These are my reasons.

31. In the course of my summing up, the court was informed by the Prosecution that Mr Kiu during the lunch adjournment, was seen to approach one of the Defendants supporters, Mr To Kit (陶傑), a popular columnist and radio presenter for conversation and photograph, who had publicly supported the Defendant in these proceedings. The court was further informed that Mr To Kit expressed on social media antipathy towards the Prosecution and also to a degree to the Judiciary and that he had made clear his views about the merits of the case.

32. On the day in question, Mr To Kit was brought into court by one public relations representative, unlike ordinary citizens who had to queue up for seats. He then sat in an area exclusively reserved for the Defendants family and friends. In fact, this was not the first time Mr To Kit had come to court.

33. Following the procedure in the investigation of any alleged misconduct of juror as set out in the English Criminal Practice Direction, Mr Kiu frankly admitted before the court that he was a follower of Mr To Kits radio show and that he had been listening to his programme for many years. However, Mr Kiu told us that his conversations with Mr To Kit were confined only to casual matters. Given the late stage of the proceedings, the Prosecution applied to the court to exercise its discretion to discharge Mr Kiu only on the basis that there was a potential bias.

34. The House of Lord in Porter v Magill [2002] 2 AC 357 considered the question of bias in relation to the court generally and approved the test. In the case of potential bias, the court should consider whether a fair minded and informed observer could conclude that there was a real possibility, or real danger (the two being the same), that the tribunal was biased. This test was applied by the Court of Appeal in R v Poole [2002] 1 WLR 1528. In Szeypusz v UK [2010] ECHR 1323, the European Court of Human Rights said that the impartiality of a jury must be subjectively and objectively beyond doubt.

35. Mr To Kit expressed his view on social media regarding the prosecution of the Defendant (which counsel for the Defendant had made no attempt to deny). Mr Kiu sought out a known supporter of the Defendant. As such, Mr Kiu was a supporter of the Defendants supporter. In my view, the seeking out of Mr To Kit raised a real possibility that Mr Kiu could not be fair minded in the way that he approached the case.

36. The discharge of Mr Kiu led me at that stage to realise, for the first time, that public relations firm or consultant had been involved in this trial. In fact, they had been present, constantly in and out of court, throughout the first and the second trial but I was not aware of their identities at the time as every citizen was entitled to observe the proceedings.

37. At the outset of the second trial, there was legal argument on whether the Defendant was entitled to adduce good character evidence. Such evidence was elicited in the first trial through the cross‑examination of witnesses called by the Prosecution, for example his former Cabinet Secretaries during their cross‑examination by counsel for the Defendant. They spoke highly of the Defendant and I had no problem with that as that was the Defendants entitlement in his first trial. He had a good reputation then and more importantly he was presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, the situation changed. Since the Defendant had been convicted, albeit of one count only, he was no longer entitled to have any good character direction from the court. Had the Defendant decided to introduce good character evidence, the Prosecution would be entitled to introduce evidence in rebuttal. The law on this is clear. Mr Selwyn Yu SC, counsel for the Defendant in the second trial, quite rightly accepted that that was the law and that no such evidence would be adduced on behalf of the Defendant.

38. Family and friends of any defendant in a criminal trial are perfectly entitled to be present in court to observe the proceedings and to show their support. What is not permitted is for family and friends, or for that matter any other person, to try and exert any influence on the jury. Jury tampering is not permitted because it undermines the basic foundation of our criminal justice system as that interferes with the due administration of public justice.

39. Prior to both the first and second trials, the Defendant through his solicitors sought approval from the court to reserve exclusive seats for his family and friends. His request was acceded to by the court. Throughout the second trial, especially towards the end, former colleagues of the Defendant, for example, his former Financial Secretary and former Secretary for Justice, past Legislative Councillors from the Democratic Party, present Legislative Councillors from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and prominent religious figures, were taken into the court on different days by the public relations firm or consultant sitting at the exclusive area, similar to Mr To Kits situation. The objective was undoubtedly to inform and impress upon the jury that the Defendant was a good person and had support from people across the whole spectrum of the society.

40. The Defendant in this case, knowing that good character evidence cannot be introduced from witnesses testifying for the prosecution, had decided to introduce such evidence through the back door. There was of course no direct evidence suggesting the public relations firm or consultant had been engaged by the Defendant himself, the inference however was overwhelming and it would be an affront to common sense to conclude that there was not some consent, acquiescence or involvement by the Defendant. Had the engagement of public relations firm or consultant been brought to my attention earlier, I might consider discharging the entire jury.

41. In England, there are specific provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which allows judge only trial on indictment where there is a danger of jury tampering. In Hong Kong, no equivalent provisions exist in our statute books, it may be high time for giving serious consideration to that. There is however nothing to prohibit the case from being transferred to the District Court for trial.

42. The present scenario is not much different from any case where a defendant has asked his friends or followers, whom not knowing the underlying reasons, to come to court, wearing black clothing and sitting in the public gallery, with the objective of intimidating either the witness or the jury. In such a situation, the court will have no hesitation in excluding all these people. Having said that, I wish to emphasise that there is no allegation against any persons who were brought into the court by the public relations firm or consultant and for that matter Mr To Kit.

43. It came therefore with no surprise that in recent years, when the wealthy and powerful were charged for criminal offences, they tried all kinds of means and ways to list their cases in the High Court before a jury. The involvement of public relations firm or consultant in our criminal proceedings is not only undesirable but may perceive as seeking to influence the jury. It does nothing good to the rule of law in Hong Kong. This serves as a warning to all public relations firm or consultant.

- This ruling by a pro-Communist judge shows how far away Hong Kong is from true freedom and democracy. In the advanced democratic country of the United States of America, the trials of mafia boss routinely have courtroom seats filled by their henchmen (see, for example, The Untouchables), because the defendants have the right for a fair trial and their henchmen have the right to know that their bosses have a fair trial. Only in backward places like Hong Kong would this be disallowed.

(Ming Pao) Editorial. March 8, 2018.

Sentenced to imprisonment after he was found guilty of "misconduct in public office", former Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has been ordered to pay $5 million in litigation costs. In his judgement, Mr. Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai reprimanded Tsang's public relations company for lining up famous and prominent figures to sit in the courtroom late into the trial with the intention of persuading the jury "through the back door" that Tsang was a "good person" supported by people across the social spectrum. Though Mr. Justice Chan's judgement has been controversial, what truly merits attention is the fact that the rich and powerful, counting on their connections, wealth and positions, have been trying to influence the jury with PR tactics. Tactics employed by PR firms in litigation are numerous and often fall within the legal grey area. While these practices are not in violation of the law, they are detrimental to how citizens perceive fairness and justice in law, and as such are inevitably the subject of criticism for moral reasons. Society and the jury should beware of such PR tactics employed in litigation.

It is debatable whether some of the wording in Mr. Justice Chan's judgment is justified. For one thing, he compares those prominent figures attending the court with people "wearing black clothing and sitting in the public gallery with the objective of intimidating the jury." Moreover, it is a civil right to attend a court to observe proceedings. However, we should focus on the fact that when the retrial started, the court decided that since Tsang had already been found guilty, the defendant should not summon witnesses again to persuade the jury of Tsang's character. Late into the retrial, a number of prominent figures and former senior government officials attended the court one after another as friends of the defendant. By expressing their trust in and support for Tsang in front of everyone in the court (including the jury), they effectively circumvented the court's order that he "cannot adduce good character evidence".

In a jury system, jurors are supposed to pass a verdict only on the basis of the evidence brought forward in court. However, society nowadays is a victim of information overflow and there are all kinds of PR manipulation tactics. Even if a judge keeps reminding the jury to forget all they have read in news reports and on social media, it is still not easy to ensure that jurors are not influenced by factors aside from evidence brought forward in court.

The jury system is not implemented in Hong Kong's District Courts. Many complicated commercial cases are handled by the District Court instead of the High Court. One of the reasons is that hearing these cases requires more than what the jurors are equipped with. True, it is up to the prosecution to decide whether a case should be heard in the High Court or not, but the defendant may also request that a case be heard in the High Court instead of the District Court. Mr. Justice Chan mentions that the rich and powerful have tried all means to have their cases heard in the High Court before a jury. It calls for concern how common this phenomenon is. The legal sector might want to enlighten the public about this matter.

As claimed by people in charge of some PR firms, how to portray and present a defendant and a court case to the public, both inside and outside the court, by means of various PR tactics, could to a certain extent influence the verdict. For those in the PR industry, this is already an "open secret". Only the ordinary people are kept in the dark. Even if it is not against the law for PR firms and consultancies to intervene in a trial and to attempt to sway the jury openly or stealthily, the practice is not ethical, and it is not good for the rule of law.


(Oriental Daily) March 7, 2018.

When the trial of five men for the Mong Kok riot began in January, Wong Fung-yiu (nickname Grandma Wong) was banned from the courtroom by judge Anthea Pang Po-kam for hollering outside. She was allowed to watch the audiovisual live broadcast on the outside. Yesterday Wong showed up with a backpack with yellow banners saying "Release the political prisoners" and "Oppose the red-ification of Hong Kong." She also wore a scarf with the words "Restore Hong Kong." Wong watched the live broadcast from outside the courtroom. A court security guard informed the judge about the situation. The judge issued an order to bar anyone from displaying any banner inside the courthouse whether inside or outside the courtroom. Violators would be guilty of contempt of court.

This morning, Grandma Wong showed up again. The two yellow banners on her backpack were turned around so that the words are invisible. But she still wore the scarf with the words "Restore Hong Kong." Once again, a security guard informed the judge who asked that Grandma Wong be brought in for questioning.

When the judge saw the scarf, she said that Wong has disobeyed the court ruling and committed contempt of the court. Wong said that she does not understand what the judge was saying. Wong said that she was quite confused. She said that she had no idea what the words on her scarf were. She asked the court to give her a mirror so that she can look at the scarf. The judge said: "You put it on yourself. You ought to know what was written on it!" Wong asked for an opportunity to explain. But the judge said that she has already Wong to be in contempt of the court and the only remaining issue is the penalty. The judge asked whether Wong wishes to hire a lawyer. Wong said: "I have no money. I am a low-end grandma." Wong also said that she does not want to be bailed out.

Finally the judge postponed the issue of penalty until March 29 while Wong is out on bail. She was banned from attending the court trial, including watching the live broadcast from outside the courtroom.

(RTHK Face to Face 2018) Guanxi province Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference delegate and artist Wong Cho Lam.

(YKKZ) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. March 11, 2018.

The Hong Kong entertainer Wong Cho Lam had said: "The political bickering in Hong Kong has reached the stage when you have to fill out 'Yellow' or 'Blue' in all your forms."

He was driven to say this after he was interviewed on the program <Face to Face 2018> by reporter Mak Ka-wai on the government television channel RTHK. The subject was supposed to have been how Hong Kong can keep its unique characteristics and competitivity.

I have always felt that interviews with successful people are intended to let young people and latecomers to appreciate the experience of the trailblazers. Such is the social meaning of interview programs.

Yet, it seemed that Hong Kong has nothing left except the Colors. As Wong Cho Lam said, you must first declare whether you are Yellow or Blue before the interview can begin. For the next half hour, we saw a Yellow Ribbon reporter Mak Ka-wai failing to get anything meaningful out of Blue Ribbon guest Wong Cho Lam. This was a completely negative interview, which was a total waste of airtime.

Here are the twenty questions that were posed to Wong Cho Lam.

Q1. You are very popular in mainland China. You have more than 20 million Weibo fans. Actually why did you decide to develop your career in mainland China?

Q2. Mainland films, television and variety programs have progressed rapidly in recent years. They have plenty of capital, talents and technology. Do Hong Kong artists and creatives have a market in mainland China?

Q3. As soon as Hong Kong artists go north, they lose their Hong Kong flavor and they give up their Hong Kong market. Many of G.E.M. Tang's fans complain that she only cares about the mainland market. Will you keep your Hong Kong flavor?

Q4. Your mother tongue is Cantonese. Do you think that Cantonese is being marginalized? Is this because you must speak putonghua in the mainland market?

Q5. The number of Cantonese speakers is decreasing. Children in Guangzhou are no longer speaking Cantonese. What space is there left for Cantonese?

Q6. The entertainment industry in Hong Kong is going downhill. Do you agree with this assessment?

Q7. Creative space is very important. Are there any forbidden zones in the mainland?

Q8. Your television series <Inbound Troubles> caused controversy over the Hong Kong-mainland China conflicts. Over the past few years, Hong Kong-mainland China conflicts have intensified. Is there any space left? Is pointing out the mainland ugliness banned?

Q9. Back then many people criticized you on the Internet. Today will the official Chinese media outlets such as Global Times and People's Daily chime in as well?

Q10. Are there more forbidden zones in creativity and performance in mainland China? For example, you are now allowed to portray certain people? Are there many borderlines on social and livelihood issues?

Q11. In <Inbound Troubles>, there were many jokes about mainland ugliness. Do you think that it is appropriate to do so in mainland China?

Q12. Entertainments are supposed to entertain the public. But they have more responsibility nowadays, such as making political statements. For example, you have made political posts on your Weibo. In 2015 on the 70th anniversary of the War of Resistance, you posted a photo of yourself making a salute. In 2016 on the South Sea sovereignty, you posted a map of China with the words "Not an inch less." Are there consequences if you don't make a statement?

Q13. Do you remember Hong Kong entertainer Charlene Choi being criticized for posting a work photo because that was supposed to be unpatriotic?

Q14. If you want to develop a career in mainland China, you must state your positions on certain issues of nationality and sovereignty. Is that a form of pressure?

Q15. If your words are not consistent with state policy, you may get into trouble. Thus Hins Cheung was booted off the <Singer> program. More recently Ruby Lin's television serial drama was taken off the air. Does this affect your work?

Q16. In mainland China, is there a sense that the freedom of expression is being further restricted?

Q17. When entertainers or celebrities become Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference delegates, some people think that they are merely sideshows. What you do say?

Q18. As a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference delegate, you must get involved in national and regional developments. But you do not pay much attention to social or political issues in Hong Kong?

Q19. Nowadays young people in Hong Kong do not believe in One Country Two Systems and they refuse to identify with China or the Chinese people. Where does this resistance come from?

Q20. According to the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme, only 0.3% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 consider themselves as pure Chinese. That is less than 1%. How shall the people of Hong Kong find their own identities? How can the self-confidence of the people of Hong Kong be built up?

In our generation, we had the legend of Li Ka-shing: a 12-year-old Jiaozhou boy who could not speak Cantonese properly came to Hong Kong with his parents. With $7,000 in capital, he established the Cheung Kong Plastics Factory. Today, he is the wealthiest man in Hong Kong.

Today, we have the legend of Wong Cho Lam. This ordinary-looking Hong Kong boy was burdened with supporting his family when his father passed away. He said: "I graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts with first-class honors. I lived two years off welfare when I could not get a job. My income did not become steady until I got into TVB ... In the most difficult moment, my mother worked part-time at a tea restaurant and came home in the afternoon to cook for the family."

Actually, Wong's "steady income" was a measly HK$8,000 per month. His career began in 2002. He did theatrical plays, children's programs and situation comedies; he recorded songs; he got popular as a comedian on TVB. In 2012, he joined a Hunan TV show and became popular by imitating other celebrities. He began by making 50,000 RMB per show. Two years later, he was making 350,000 RMB per show.

In 2014, South Korea television channel SBS licensed Zhejiang TV to run the Chinese version of <Running Man>. Wong became a regular guest on the program. He made 2,000,000 RMB per show. The popularity of this program brought Wong other work opportunities.

In 2016, Wong established the Handicraft Creative Works Company with Shaw Brothers Films.

In 2017, he spent HK$160 million to buy three apartments in Taipo for his wife and sister. Previously, he had bought a HK$30 million home for his mother as a present.

Today Wong is a leading star in mainland China. His fee for a reality show appearance is 1.2 million RMB per episode. In this third season of <Running Man>, he is commanding 6 million RMB per show. His asking price for a movie is 30 million RMB. He has a workshop in Beijing covering artist management, audiovisual production, audiovisual investment, post-production and project planning.

The story of Wong Cho Lam is not just the story of one particular entertainer. It is about how to build a career in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, the Hong Kong media only want to whine about how the times don't favor Hongkongers anymore. The frog in the well can only see darkness above its head.

Internet comments:

- Q20: It gets back to this survey question: (HKU POP) Would you identify yourself as a Hongkonger/Chinese/Chinese in Hong Kong/Hongkonger in China?

December 4-7 2017 survey results:
38.8%: Hongkonger
29.0%: Hongkonger in China
16.1%: Chinese in Hong Kong
14.5%: Chinese
1.3%: Other
0.3%: Don't know/hard to say

So unless you pick "Chinese", you do not consider yourself to be "Chinese." Even if you say that you are "Chinese in Hong Kong" or "Hongkonger in China," you are not "Chinese."

P.S. Do you know what is the difference between "Chinese in Hong Kong" and "Hongkonger in Chinese"?

This is just bogus science.

(Hong Kong Free Press) February 25, 2018

A group of KMB bus drivers participated in a three-hour strike on Saturday evening over salary reforms pledged by management in the aftermath of the fatal Tai Po crash, which left 19 dead. During the afternoon, the newly-established Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers called on drivers to stop their vehicles wherever they were at 8pm sharp for 30 minutes. When management initially failed to respond to demands for dialogue, the group said it would extend the industrial action until 12am.

KMBs human resources department circulated an internal notice prior to the strike, warning drivers not to participate: The company will initiate serious disciplinary action against any behaviour contrary to work guidelines.

Saturday evenings strike was mostly limited to bus drivers at the Tsim Sha Tsui bus terminus. Alliance spokesperson Yip Wai-lam told reporters she could not estimate how many people took part elsewhere, because the vehicles of drivers who announced their intention to participate had been confiscated by the company beforehand.

At around 8:30pm, Yips own vehicle at the Tsim Sha Tsui terminus was confiscated and driven off by other KMB staff with assistance from the police. Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers such as Jeremy Tam and Lau Siu-lai then arrived on the scene to support the drivers. After the confiscation of her vehicle, she said that the Alliance would go and protest at Government House the residence of the chief executive if management did not respond by 1am.

But at 11pm, KMB officials arrived in Tsim Sha Tsui, promising that management would meet with the Alliance to discuss their demands on Monday. The Alliance then ended the strike.

(SCMP) February 24, 2018.

At least a dozen Hong Kong passengers experienced a short delay in their journeys on Saturday night after a KMB bus drivers union unhappy with a pay restructuring exercise launched a strike that proved less disruptive than planned.

Soon after 8pm, two KMB drivers lined up and parked their buses inside a terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui. One vehicle had about 10 passengers on board, and the two buses blocked the stations lone exit. About five other buses not part of the strike were caught behind the two vehicles for 15 minutes.

Passengers were mostly calm, and not everyone on board was aware of the situation. One surnamed Chan said he understood the motivations behind the strike. But passengers should not have been used as bargaining chips, he said, before exiting the bus to take a train instead.

KMB management and police arrived on site at around 8.15pm to enable the blocked buses to get out by using the terminus entrance.

The two who stopped their buses were Yip Wai-lam, spokeswoman of the Full-time KMB Driver Alliance that launched the strike, and an unidentified female driver.

Yip expressed no regrets. Even if Im fired after tonight, I will support my colleagues in their fight for better benefits, she said tearfully.

The Full-time KMB Driver Alliance was only set up in recent days and is one of at least five unions representing 8,300 drivers under KMB. Each group holds different views on how their benefits should be improved. The alliance claimed to represent more than 1,000 full-time drivers.

(Hong Kong Free Press) February 26, 2018.

The KMB bus driver alliance behind a strike over the weekend announced on Monday that they will wait at the Kowloon Bay bus depot for the companys management to respond to their demands. If KMB refuses to respond by 2am Tuesday morning, the alliance said it will take further action. It did not give details as to what the action may entail.

On Monday morning, Alliance spokesperson Yip Wai-lam bowed in apology to the public for any inconvenience caused by the union action.

Yip said that the companys stance was clear in that they were disregarding the dangers faced by the drivers: [T]heyre adopting standard procedures they arent listening to our demands, Yip said. I feel the only way I can describe it is its a cold business.

Theyre taking us in circles, theres no sincerity, Yip added.

Yip initially planned to meet with company representatives on Monday, but decided not to attend after learning that the firm was intending to meet her as an employee in accordance with regular procedures, rather than as an alliance member.

Yip earlier clarified that she had not been suspended as was rumoured online but that she was merely asked to not drive and stay in the office on Sunday. She said she did not believe it was an act of revenge, RTHK reported.

We are very happy that the companys management has taken positive steps towards our three demands. With these demands, we have already achieved a preliminary success, Yip said in the early hours of Tuesday morning, announcing that no further labour action will be taken by the alliance.

Yip also said that she had a greeting for the company: A single spark can start a prairie fire.

We succeeded because people can see your passion, your sincerity, Yip said, adding that she only hoped bus drivers could drive without being under too much pressure and passengers could be safe.

(Hong Kong Free Press) February 27, 2018.

A group of KMB bus drivers behind a strike over the weekend have said they will take no further action after talks with management resulted in a preliminary success.

The alliance were demanding that a bus drivers review system be scrapped; that KMB and the government do more to educate passengers on bus etiquette; and for the views of low-level bus drivers to be heard when the company formulates policies.

(HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. February 27, 2018.

Previously small businesses in Kowloon City were upset that their street had been blocked off for MTR construction for over four years. Their income suffered even as the landlords continued to raise their rents. They decided to seek the help from Kowloon West legislative councilor Claudia Mo. Her first question was; "Are you willing to sleep in the street?"

The small businesses only wanted to solve their problem, not to oppose the government or any other organization. So they declined Mo's suggestion. They went to look for a pro-establishment legislative councilor to help them. A press conference was held, and got some short reports in the back pages of newspapers. The landlords kept raising rent, the MTR continued to block off the street and their business did not improve.

This is not to say the pro-establishment legislative councilors are useless. I only want to say: "The crying child will get the candy."

Because you won't roll on the ground in a hissy fit, everybody knows that you will eventually calm down. Therefore they will ignore you and this affair will be forgotten soon. Or perhaps, it should be said that nobody paid any attention all along.

I am bringing this up because of the recently hot KMB bus driver Yip Wai-lam.

This Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers was founded five days ago. There are fewer than 10 core members and it is not known whether they are registered yet. The founder Yip Wai-lam instigated a 30-minute strike on Saturday evening. She told bus drivers to stop on the roadside at 8pm and honk for 10 seconds.

This strike is holding the passengers hostage. If the buses stop on expressways, it may be dangerous. If the buses stop in a busy street, it may create traffic congestion. In the end, only five buses took part, including the founder Yip Wai-lam and her husband who is also a bus driver.

There were more politicians present than bus drivers. There was Lee Cheuk-yan, who is always present at strikes. There is Leung "Long Hair" Kwok-hung who has almost been forgotten ever since he lost his Legco seat, there was the disqualified legislative councilor Lau Siu-lai who has moved in on bus drivers after being done with small vendors. There was the Civic Party airline pilot Jeremy Tam. There was Ray Chan Chi-chuen. There was Tam Tak-chi who has yet to make the big time ... There were also other people from People Power, Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre, League of Social Democrats, Shopping Revolutionaries, ... Once you saw this cast of characters, you understand immediately just who is stoking the fire.

The next morning, the newspapers focused on female bus driver Yip Wai-lam for the failed strike. This Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts graduate is a legend already for choosing to drive a bus. The Yellow Media kept filing stories to promote the strike. Even RTHK made 9 posts in 10 hours to help promption. RTHK even invited Yip and her husband to appear live. When you have the Yellow Ribbon Media on your side, it is so easy to be red hot.

First you cry, then you holler, then you roll on the ground. This is the formula for success in Hong Kong. On camera, the female bus driver cried as she said that she is psychologically prepared to be dismissed. Don't worry, because the company won't dare to dismiss you because you have the yellow-colored protective umbrella. Even if you are dismissed, it is just another step up as you become a headline figure who will sweep into the next Legislative Council.

(Headline Daily)  The Goddess Project. By Chris Wat Wing-yin. February 27, 2018.

... The latest God/Goddess Making projection is unbearable to watch because it is built upon the 19 dead people in the KMB (Kowloon Motor Bus) bus disaster. By using Whatsapp groups, the KMB bus driver Yip Wai-lam established an Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers in a matter of five days and drew the media limelight. She was able to hijack the opinions of 8,000 fulltime bus drivers. She also held a massive strike of 5 bus drivers. Yesterday she occupied the KMB bus depot while issuing an ultimatum for KMB to respond to her demands by 2am or else she cannot exclude the possibility of escalated actions.

Siege, occupation, ultimatum ... plus Yip Wai Wai-lam's closing to the remark to the press: "We won't forget our original intention." This is a familiar script. Once you add the phrase "Resister bus driver", the Goddess Project can begin.

KMB has almost 9,000 full-time and part-time bus drivers. There are five active labor unions at this time: the Motor Transport Workers General Union's KMB branch (Federation of Trade Unions), the KMB Workers General Union (Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council), the KMB Employees Union, the Staff Rights Association of KMB and the KMB Staff Union (Confederation of Trade Unions). More than 90% of the KMB workers are members of the first two, so the management has always conferred with these two unions over matters such as salary and benefits.

How should management deal with the demands from the various labor unions? There are already five unions. Today Yip Wai-lam has just established a sixth one: the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers.. Tomorrow someone is going to start a Concern Group For Bus Drivers Born During the 1970's. The day after tomorrow someone else is going to start a Male Bus Drivers' Grand Alliance. If each union issues three demands, that will be 24 demands in total, some possibly in conflict with others. How is management supposed to please everybody?

At the press conference, Yip Wai-lam had Leung "Long Hair" Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai, Jeremy Tam, Tam Tak-chi standing behind her ... Yip Wai-lam had graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2014, the year of Occupy Central, and made a decision to become a bus driver instead of an actress. Everything fits. You know what that means. Whether this action succeed or fail is immaterial by now. The important thing is that the Opposition has successfully created another Goddess.

Internet comments:

- But the Yellow Ribbon media won't tell you this:

(TVB) February 27, 2018.

The Motor Transport Workers General Union's KMB branch with 8,000+ members met with three members of the investigative committee of independent KMB board directors and presented a list of recommendations including pay raise for bus drivers. According to Motor Transport Workers General Union's KMB branch first vice-president Cheung Tin-kei, "$19,000/month is not asking too much. It is fair. It is just that the pay was too low in the past." Cheung said: "We post notices each time after we meet with the management. Our executive committee members are elected by our union members on a one-person-one-vote basis. We have representativeness. We are open. We do not run black box operations." Cheung said that the strike by this Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers lacked justification.

The KMB Workers General Union with almost 2,000 members also met with the managemen. They presented demands such as pay raises and scheduling. The KMB Workers General Union chief executive Wong Sing-cheung said that the strike by this Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers was illegal and lacked justification.

Nobody cares about the big two unions because they don't have a hysterical spokeswoman whose repertoire includes many moods (from despair to solemnity to jubilation).

- (Facebook video) The screaming woman puts on a show for RTHK. Are you really going let her drive a bus carrying more than 100 passengers?

- She is implying that if you don't give a hefty pay raise to the bus drivers, many more citizens will be killed.

- A bravura performance indeed, but somewhat over the top for my taste.

- Fans of Yip Wai-lam:

Leung Kwok-hung (League of Social Democrats), Jeremy Tam (Civic Party), Tam Tak-chi (People Power), Lau Siu-lai

- (Silent Majority HK) February 27, 2018.

The Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers and the KMB Employees Union called for a wildcat strike at 8pm on February 24. The action was: "Drive your bus to the roadside and turn on the emergency signal. Stay put for 30 minutes. Sound your horn for 10 seconds. During this time, you can leave one lane open for emergency and other vehicles." The instigator was intercepted at the bus terminal and her bus was taken away from her. The strike did not take place because the other four labor unions refused to support it.

On the surface, this was a strike by workers to protest against the company. But this is in truth a contest among the various KMB labor unions. At present, there are five labor unions. the larest is the Motor Transport Workers General Union's KMB branch of the pro-establishment Federation of Trade Unions with more than 6,000 members. The third largest is the KMB Staff Union of the non-establishment Confederation of Trade Unions with more than 1,200 members. Together, these two unions account for more than 90% of KMB bus drivers.

The Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers claimed to have more than 1,000 members in just two to three days using Whatsapp groups. If true, then they are highly successful because the KMB Staff Union could only manage to get 1,200 members after many years. But this claim is dubious because they are saying that anyone who joins any of the Whatsapp groups are full members of the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers. Their nominal ally, the KMB Employees Union, is a small union whose web page is blank.

The Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers said that they are taking action because the KMG management is only talking with the large unions and has not "consulted" every single KMB worker. Well, do you really expect management to talk to every single worker? If this is not feasible, then who can they talk to other than the two large labor unions who account for more than 90% of the workers?

Although there is no evidence that this labor strife was manipulated by political parties, many opposition figures have shown up including Jeremy Tam, Lau Siu-lai, Leung Kwok-hung, etc.

Afterwards, the KMB management arranged for Yip Wai-lam to attend a meeting with the management and the two largest labor unions. Yip declined because KMB has not recognized the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers. Well, the two labor unions are properly established and registered organizations. Do you think that a Whatsapp group should be accorded the same status as them?

- (Silent Majority HK) February 26, 2018.

This KMB affair was populist farce. It is reasonable for workers to strive for higher pay and better working conditions. Negotiations between management and labor over these issues take place every day all over the world.

But this time, some KMB bus drivers exploited the 19 deaths from the Tai Po bus disaster to demand pay raises because "safe driving can only take place if the bus drivers are emotionally stable." They imposed a deadline for management to respond or else they would blockade the bus terminals. This is exactly the same tactic used in Occupy Central wherein you issue a demand that must be completely accepted within a short time frame or else you will "take action."

The demands were issued on Friday afternoon. The bus driver strike began at 8pm on Saturday evening. In the end, about 5 bus drivers joined the strike. If there weren't any traffic police officers around, the Tsim Sha Tsui East bus terminal would have been "occupied" (blockaded) by these five irresponsible people.

It is unseemly, even immoral, to leverage the passengers in order to get a pay raise for yourself. It is reasonable for bus drivers to ask for higher pay and better conditions. But they should not using the citizens of Hong Kong as their pawns in the game. The citizens are sympathetic with their demands, but not if the citizens are going to be used as bargaining chips.

Yip Wai-lam of the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers jumped out and started with: "Bus drivers must be emotionally stable in order to drive safely." Does she imply that if the bus drivers don't get a huge raise, then they won't "drive safely"? It is blackmail? Under any circumstance, the safety of the passengers should be the top priority for bus drivers!

When someone says "Bus drivers must be emotionally stable in order to drive safely," it is actually an insult of the majority of the professional KMB bus drivers. This explained why so few bus drivers heeded the call of the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers to strike.

With respect to emotional stability, Yip Wai-lam ran through the gamut of emotional expressions on television. At various points, her veins were popping up, or tears covered her face, or she hollered uncontrollably. Her emotional instability really makes one question whether she is suitable to drive a bus. When her EQ (Emotional Quotient) is so poor and when she seems to have no control over her own emotions, should the lives of more than a hundred bus passengers be placed in her hands? Shouldn't KMB get a doctor to assess her emotional state first before they let her drive again? Hey, those passengers taking the 234X bus had better pay extra attention.

- (Silent Majority HK) March 1, 2018.

The problem with this production directed by Yip Wai-lam is that there are not enough actors. The principal actor is always herself. The supporting cast consisted of her husband and fewer than ten other faceless bus drivers. This is not enough even for three tables of mahjong. She called themselves the Grand Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers. How grand can this be? What percent of the almost 10,000 bus drivers do they represent? This is the first reason why this is a farce.

From the first day, Yip kept releasing to the media in the name of the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers. There would be a strike by bus drivers, the bus terminals would be blockaded, the action will be escalated ... It was the same as Occupy Central, only that the word "occupy" had not been invoked yet. Like Occupy Central, this was hijacking the interests of the citizens for their own purposes. Yip also dressed up to the tilt with face powder, mascara, earrings, nail polish, lipstick, etc to meet the press. This is more an entertainment show than a labor strike. This is the second reason why this is a farce.

The Alliance called on all bus drivers to either blockade the bus terminals if they are there or else stop by the roadside wherever they were at the time. This is not a labor strike. This is hooliganism. They want a pay raise. Fine, but why paralyze the transportation system for the public? This is the third reason why this is a farce.

The list of ever changing demands is also risible. At first, the Alliance demanded the base pay of KMB bus drivers be raised to $15,000. But it was disclosed that the base pay of KMB bus drivers already exceeds this amount. So Yip immediately switched to three brand new demands: (1) cancel the annual review for bus drivers; (2) increase cooperation between KMB and the government to promote respect for bus drivers; (3) KMB must promise to discuss important issues with the bus drivers. Well, this is like asking people to admit that your mother is a woman. This was simply pointless. This is the fourth reason why this is a farce.

The worst part is for Yip to suggest that the "pay raise" is linked to "safe driving by emotionally stable drives." Most KMB bus drivers refuse to play this game, and they will not blackmail citizens with such lack of professionalism and morality. After Occupy Central, the people of Hong Kong are wary of such tactics. So the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers and Yip Wai-lam were doomed to come to a bad end.

- (Ta Kung Pao) February 27, 2018.

Yip Wai-lam was supposed to meet with the KMB management yesterday afternoon. But Yip said that the KMB management is taking the position that the meeting is with individual employees and not with representatives from the Alliance of Paid-Monthly Bus Drivers as such. Therefore she has angrily canceled the meeting.

At around 4pm, about 30 persons who are supposedly bus drivers sat outside the KMB headquarters in Kowloon Bay to demand a meeting with the KMB management. Yip Wai-lam listed three demands and said that they will escalate action if they don't get a response by 2am.

In the evening, it was said that Yip and her husband will meet as individuals with KMB management at 930pm. But before going into the meeting, Yip said that she is attending the meeting as a representative of the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers.

KMB management told us that they will not yield to the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers. The meeting was an occasion for them to re-iterate their position. They said that they will follow the normal procedures by consulting with the two labor unions before finalizing on pay raises, bonuses, etc.

- (Ta Kung Pao) February 27, 2018.

Yesterday a bus driver posted a placard in front of his seat: "Ms. Yip does not represent me. I will drive safely to serve the citizens."

- The Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers have 1,000 members by using Whatsapp groups over just five days. But who are these 'members'? Are they really bus drivers? Or reporters?

- (Ming Pao) February 27, 2018.

Motor Transport Workers General Union's KMB branch chief executive Wong Sing-cheung said that KMB management recognizes only two labor unions at this time. If Yip Wai-lam really has 1,000 supporters for the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers, she should really channel her demands through the MTWGU-KMB run to become the chief executive of the Motor Transport Workers General Union's KMB branch.

- Photo taken next to the driver's seat on a KMB bus

The Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers does not represent me.
I support the company's proposal to improve salaries.

- (Silent Majority HK) February 27, 2018.

Yesterday Yip Wai-lam had set a deadline of 2am for the KMB management to respond to the three demands made by the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers. She said that she has multiple industrial actions planned. At around 2am, she announced that the KMB management has taken positive steps, so the Alliance will stop all industrial actions.

At around 4am, Yip said that she is "very fatigued" after the actions over the past several days. She needed rest, so she and her bus driver husband Lau Cheuk-hang will take a day off tomorrow to rest. She said that she will not be doing media interviews for now.

Well, what could she do when nobody supports her? Two to three other bus drivers supported her attempt to occupy the Tsim Sha Tsui East bus terminal. A single hand cannot make a clapping sound. So she has unilaterally declared victory and gone back home.

- What industrial actions were being planned? It is said that Yip Wai-lam and friends are going to call in sick! (Oriental Daily) February 26, 2018.

When asked, Yip Wai-lam said that some members of the Whatsapp group has proposed to call in "sick" on March 1. Yip said that she cannot stop Alliance members from thinking whatever they want to think.

- What is the point of escalation? In the Tai Po disaster, it is said that the bus driver came in late and got chewed out by the passengers. So he drove very fast to take out his anger. Now, if some bus drivers call in "sick," it is going to upset some passengers who will take it out on the working bus driver who is going to get upset and then he will step hard on the gas pedal ... whatever happens will be the fault of KMB management!

- (Speakout HK) March 2, 2018.

The previously unknown female bus driver Yip Wai-lam became a labor movement leader overnight. She declared herself to be the convener of an Alliance of Monthly-paid Bus Drivers, which works via Facebook/Whatsapp and which does not have registration procedures or membership numbers. She demanded to speak with KMB and she organized a bus driver strike in order to leverage the passengers to force KMB to come to the table. When the bus drivers gave her the cold treatment, Yip refused to accept defeat and used the media shows to keep rising up.

On RTHK, Yip held a dialogue with KMB Communications and Public Affairs deputy manager Lam Tsz-ho. She became more and more excited and linked the demand for pay raises with the Tai Po incident. She hijacked 19 deaths to coerce KMB. Then she switched the subject and took the side of the bus driver who is suspected of driving dangerously to cause the 19 deaths. She sighed: "He is only 30 years old and he has to go to jail!" Her logic is very confused.

When she found out that KMB was willing to meet with her only as an individual bus driver and not as the representative of the Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers, she immediately called off the meeting and threatened to escalate the industrial actions. On the same day, she realized that KMB is not going to budge and she reversed course quickly and went with her husband to meet the KMB management. She said that the only important thing was to have a meeting and their status was unimportant.

Yip Wai-lam is disgusting because she is hijacking the 19 deaths as well as passenger interests to satisfy her own interests.

- (HKG Pao) March 3, 2018.

Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers convener Yip Wai-lam went on strike on February 24. On February 27, she and her husband requested three days' leave. Yesterday they went back to work and found out that they were not assigned to drive for the month of March. So they were go to the company office and sit around. Internet users praised KMB, because they felt that persons who are emotional unstable should not be allowed to drive buses.

Here are some cases in which the human rights of academic researchers are being violated in Hong Kong.

(Oriental Daily) February 27, 2018.

On August 17, 2017, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were re-sentenced by the Court of Appeal to lengthier jail terms. At the time, a number of people turned out to support the three. 40-year-old former Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of Philosophy part-time lecturer Wong Sum-lung was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer. Today the trial took place in Eastern District court.

Police sergeant Tam Tsz-chung testified that he was in charge of crowd control at the scene. He observed the defendant Wong Sum-lung using his right hand to grab the right arm of a female police officer. Tam asked Wong: "What are you bothering my colleague?" Tam said that Wong turned around and pushed him. Tam felt some pain in his chest upon the contract. He went to get a medical examination at the hospital that same day, but no sign of injury was found.

A number of videos were show in court. The defendant was seen in the crowd. An old lady carrying a yellow umbrella was being jostled by the police. The defendant wanted to get close to the old lady, but the police kept him away. There was physical contract between the defendant and a uniformed male police officer.

During cross examination, the defense claimed that the defendant Wong never pushed Tam who wanted to go and protect the yellow umbrella lady. But Tam kept pushing Wong away. Wong was only struggling. Tam agreed that he was trying to prevent Wong from getting close to the old lady and that there was physical contact. But Tam denied that he pushed Wong. Tam also said that the videos did not show the old lady being pushed away by a male police officer in white uniform. Tam said that he did not see this himself either.

Wong was arrested 18 minutes after the incident. The defense claimed that Tam did not make an arrest immediately because he was not sure whether Wong intentionally assaulted him. Tam denied this to be the case.

The defense said that Wong never grabbed the arm of the female police officer. Wong only wanted the female police officer not to take away the old lady. But Wong was pushed away by Tam and other male police officers. Tam denied this to be the case.

(Oriental Daily) February 27, 2018.

Wong testified on his own behalf in court today. He said that he made contact with the arm of the female police officer when he tried to protect the old lady with the yellow umbrella. And then he pushed the police sergeant as an instinctive reaction in self-defense. He said that he did not intentionally commit any assault and that the police sergeant was being over-sensitive.

Today the court found that the evidence exists in the case of Wong Sum-lung allegedly assaulting a police officer.

Internet comments:

- This is yet another example in which academic dissidents are being persecuted in and out of academia. Wong Sum-lung has been persecuted ceaselessly by the Hong Kong Communist Government Public Security Bureau over the years. Here are some previous incidents:

(Wen Wei Po) May 25, 2015. On October 1, 2009, Radio Free Asia reported that a number of protestors from the China-Uyghur-Tibet Unity Association assembled in front of the Chinese Embassy, with a University of Essex student named Wong from Hong Kong saying that he "felt guilty as a Han person about the treatment of minority groups."

(Wen Wei Po) May 25, 2015. On May 13 in Central, someone wrote "Immoral Evil Police" on the side of a parked police car in Central District. The police checked the surveillance videos and arrested 38-year-old man Wong Sum-lung in his apartment in Central District. The police also found a "Duty Log" used by the police in his apartment. Wong was charged with criminal damage of property and theft. According to information, Wong is a part-time staff member in the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at Baptist University. Wong has bachelor and master degrees in the United States and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

(HK01) August 1, 2016. 39-year-old Wong Sum-lung pleaded guilty to stealing a police duty log. The defense pleaded that Wong committed the crime in order to cause trouble for the police. His parents wrote to the judge that their son is too tense and stubborn, and that they will do their best to make sure that their son does not stray in the future. The magistrate imposed a fine of $3,000. The defendant has a prior criminal record of causing personal injury in year 2000, for which he was fined $4,000.

- Wong Sum-lung is a pro-democracy freedom warrior. Charging him with these crimes is damaging Hong Kong's reputation as an international financial center with rule-of-law.

- In April 2014, Wong Sum-lung held a seminar on "Foucault the Darwinian,or How to Philosophize in the Wake of Gods Death" at Baptist University. This showed that his knowledge spans sociology, philosophy and religion. But Baptist University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong would only hire him as a part-time staff member and then terminated him afterwards.

- Wong Sum-lung is a 40-year-old unemployed adult male who was a part-time lecturer at Baptist University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. What has his case got to do with freedom of academic research?

- Given his curriculum vitae, Wong Sum-lung probably suffers from some form of socio-psychopathology. He is not unintelligent, because he has a doctorate. But he can't seem to get hold a job. When he manages to find a part-time job, the employer won't renew the contract. At this stage in life, he is unemployed and unemployable. How much longer can his parents support him?

- (Oriental Daily) February 27, 2018. At a prayer meeting organized by the Justice and Peace Committee of the Catholic Church, Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee said he had visited many social activists in jail including Joshua Wong and Alex Chow. He said that "it was beneficial to them to be in jail."

So what was Wong Sum-lung protesting about? Why did he want to stop a good thing?

- (Ming Pao) February 6, 2018. On the HKBU SU Democracy Wall, a marketing student Yeung Po-san posted a photo of HKBU assistant professor and HKBU Faculty and Staff Union chairman Benson Wong Wai-kwok waving both middle fingers under the subject: "Foul-mouthed university trustees: More than one!?"

When asked about the photo, Wong said that this photo was taken at a private gathering. "I can't see what action the university can take. Unless the university wants to interfere with my private life, there is no reason for them to take any action." Wong said that he will seek legal assistance if he feels that any university action is infringing on his freedom of academic research. With respect to the photo, Wong said: "If anyone feels offended, then I express my deep regrets."

Wong has asked the student Yeung Po-shan where she got the photo and why she posted it on the Democracy Wall. Yeung has not responded yet.

- HKBU should provide legal assistance to student Yeung if she feels that Professor Wong is interfering with her freedom of academic research.

- Wong Wai-kwok is being accused of:
(1) supporting Occupy Language Centre by the foul-mouthed students
(2) supporting the proposed student strike
(3) promoting Occupy Central in classrooms
(4) linking up with pro-Taiwan independence organizations
(5) promoting open discussions of Hong Kong independence on university campus

This is a violation of Wong Wai-kwok's freedom of academic research as well as his personal freedom of expression.

(Ming Pao) February 26, 2018.

Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Government and International Studies assistant professor and Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty and Staff Union chairman Benson Wong Wai-kwok has just been informed that his contract will not be renewed.

In 2016, Wong applied twice to renew his contract as an assistant professor. But the university changed the application to "associate professor" instead and then rejected him on the grounds that his research did not meet the university's requirements. However, Wong was given one-year contract extensions. This year, the university did not bring up his contract renewal as assistant professor. So he applied for "senior lecturer" instead. But yesterday the university informed him that his application was rejected and his current contract will not be renewed. His last day will be August 31.

Wong said that the outcome was "expected." As union chairman, he has dealt with various cases of union members being "bullied." Therefore the university regards him as a thorn in the side. But he said that the university imposed a new requirement this year that anyone who wants to become Senior Lecturer must be rated as "excellent" in student evaluations, thus excluding him. He does not understand why the university terminated his contract directly. He said that his case will make his colleagues fearful to speak out.

(Hong Kong Free Press) February 27, 2018.

The chair of the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty and Staff Union has to leave his job by end of August as he has not been offered a contract extension.

Benson Wong Wai-kwok, an assistant professor at the Department of Government and International Studies, said he was not surprised by the decision since he was no friend to the management. Wong is also a member of the governing council elected by staff members.

In the eyes of the university, I am a troublemaker, he told HKFP. If my fight for colleagues benefits as the chair of the union offends the powerful, it is not only suppression, but revenge.

Wong supported students who were suspended for protesting against a Mandarin language requirement exam at the university, before the suspensions were lifted. Wong also comments regularly on the universitys labour issues on media.

Wong had been teaching in the university since 2010. In 2016, he said that he had asked for an extension of his assistant professor role, but the university unilaterally changed his application to a higher-level position of associate professor, which was not approved because he did not fulfil research requirements.

He then applied for the associate professor role, as well as an extension to his assistant professor role at the same time. But Wong said only the promotion request was handled. The extension request was denied again.

Recently, Wong sought to switch roles from assistant professor to senior lecturer a teaching job without research requirements: I switched track because I refused to play the game of the academic factory anymore it measures academic achievement only by English journal articles and research funding, he told HKFP. Even though the teaching burden would be higher, I could write in Chinese to create more local impact in society and communities.

But on Monday, Wong was notified that the request was denied by the Faculty Review Panel. He said superiors told him that a new requirement for the senior lecturer role demanded evidence of outstanding teaching thus he was denied.

If the requirements were raised, they could have recommended not offering a senior lecturer role and offered a lecturer role instead. It was not considered at all they obviously want me to go as soon as possible, he added. Wong said he will ask for the report to understand the reasons his request was denied.

Internet comments:

- Benson Wong Wai-kwok is the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty and Staff Union chairman who was elected by the staff members. Therefore not renewing his contract is a slap in the face for the entire academic staff, who should be rising up in anger. It is also an act of intimidation against the entire staff by punishing their elected leader who speaks out for them. Hereafter people will be fearful.

- The Hong Kong trade union movement is pathetic. If we have universal suffrage in Hong Kong, we can have trade unions that are up to American standards. According to National Review, "Timothy Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, earned more than US$775,000 last year. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers President Newton Jones came close at US$756,973, while Laborers' International Union President Terence O'Sullivan made nearly $718,000 in total compensation." Furthermore American union presidents work for their respective unions, and hence cannot be personally threatened with dismissal by any employer. So the best thing here is for the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty and Staff Union to hire Benson Wong as their chairman the day after the current contract runs out. After all, they need someone to speak for them and Benson Wong has shown us that he is the best possible person.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) February 27, 2018. A Baptist University spokesperson told HKFP: The University adheres to its established procedures and policies in the review of academic staff members performance and their re-appointment, and the focus of the review includes teaching, research and service of the staff, as well as the manpower needs and financial situation of the faculty/department. The University will not disclose details of individual staff members reviews and contracts out of the respect for their privacy.

- This means that Benson Wong can say anything that he wants about this case without fear of being contradicted by the university.

- (Ming Pao) February 26, 2018. Benson Wong said that there must be a connection between the non-renewal of his contract and the photo of his two middle fingers on the HKBU Democracy Wall. But since the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data is handling the case, Wong will not comment at this time.

- What connection is there between his contract and his two middle fingers? Are his research credentials better with or without the two middle fingers?

- Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Government and International Studies

Benson Wong Wai-kwok
Assistant Professor

B.Soc.Sci in Chinese Studies (History) Hong Kong Baptist University (1994)
M.Phil.in Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1996)
Ph.D. in Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong (2007)

Teaching experience:
Teacher Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Education (2005-2006)
Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Communication, Chu Hai College of Higher Education (2007-2008)
Part-time Lecturer, Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Macau
Assistant Professor, Department of Education Policy and Leadership, Hong Kong Institute of Education (2008-2010)

Research experience:
Postdoctoral fellow, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Taipei, Taiwan (2007)
Centre Research Fellow, Centre for Governance and Citizenship, Hong Kong Institute of Education

Here are the obvious problems that an evaluation committee will see:

- The normal track for a person entering university is: four year to obtain a bachelor's degree; one year to obtain a master degree; three more years to obtain a doctorate. Wong's record is 2 years to obtain a master degree and then another 11 years to obtain a doctorate. 11 years? Really? Was he dense, or did he take time off?

- To say that his research and teaching experiences before coming to HKBU is "undistinguished" is being too kind. Why did HKBU hire him with these kinds of credentials?  Is the quality in the market really so poor nowadays?

- We can compare Benson Wong's situation to a typical case:

The normal research track for a university scholar is 3-5 years as an assistant professor first. This is a probation period for the person to realize his potential which may not be obvious before as a mere student/fellow/postdoc.

At the end of the period, the person is promoted to associate professor if he/she meets the standards on research and teaching requirement.

If the person fails to meet the standards on research and teaching, the contract will not be renewed. If the person is a good teacher but poor in research, he may be offered an alternate job as lecturer in the teaching track.

As associate professor, the person will be given time to consolidate reputation in research. If the person attains international stature, he/she will be promoted to full professor with tenure (lifetime contract).

Where does Benson Wong stand? His research as assistant professor was undistinguished in his few years at Baptist University. Therefore he could not be promoted to associate professor. If he was forcibly promoted, it will tarnish the reputations of both the department and the university. The ranking of a university factors in the quality of the research of its staff.

Wong realized that his research was not strong. So he said that he wanted to continue being an assistant professor. But that would be blocking the career paths of young people who just got their doctorates. An assistant professorship is not intended for an ambitionless and talentless person to squat for several decades until retirement. If a person is not good enough as a researcher, he/she should make way for others.

Therefore, when Wong applied to become assistant professor again, his application was automatically upgraded to associate professor. This is a matter of policy. And he couldn't make the cut.

Wong said that he is willing to be demoted from assistant professor to senior lecturer for whom research is less important than teaching. A senior lecturer should excel in teaching. Wong received less than "excellent" in rating from his students. Why should Wong be made a Senior Lecturer over better teachers? Just because he is the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty and Staff Union chairman?

- What can Benson Wong do? If he thinks that he has enough support, he can mobilize to "Occupy" the office of the HKBU president Roland Chin Tai-hong to renew Wong's contract. But that would truly be an example of rule-of-man overriding the freedom of academic studies and institutional autonomy.

Previous: The Martyrs of the Fishball Revolution - Part 13A

(Oriental Daily) February 20, 2018.

The High Court formed a jury pool of 105 citizens. About 77 of them were interviewed before a nine-person jury of 4 men and 5 women was formed.

Before the process began, Judge Anthea Pang instructed the jury that this case has been widely reported in the media with plenty of online discussion. Jury members may have heard about these matters or otherwise formed their personal opinions. But as jury members, they cannot decide on the case based upon their personal views or media reports which may be inaccurate. Instead, they must decide on this case based solely upon the evidence presented during the trial.

The judge said that the case is expected to last about 60 working days, ending around mid-May.

A number of potential jury members asked to be excused. The successful reasons included:

- a man said that he is a university professor who is scheduled to teach and the class cannot be canceled or rescheduled for the students who are all set to graduate.
- a woman said that she is the witness in another ongoing case.
- a woman said that a family member is a police officer and therefore she may not be fair in spite of the judge's instructions.
- a man said that he is a loyal supporter of Hong Kong Indigenous since 2016 and he has donated money to the organization. He said that he cannot look at this case in an unbiased manner.

Some rejected reasons included:

- a woman said that her Japan electronics company requires her to be in mainland China next month to conduct job appraisals. As the human resources manager, she is the only person qualified to do so. The judge said that he believes that the company can find someone else to perform those duties.
- a woman said that she is the secretary for a company that is about to be listed in the stock market. The judge said that her company must be large enough in order to get listed.

However, the defense lawyers exercised their right to recuse these two persons.

(Oriental Daily) February 21, 2018.

The prosecutor Eric Kwok Tung-ming SC said that at about 8pm on February 8, 2016, a Food and Environment Hygiene team of inspectors was enforcing the law on Portland Street, Mong Kok district. They did not expel anyone or issue any summons. At the time, there were vendors in the backlane behind the Shui Hing Mahjong School and people were gathering on Portland Street and Shantung Street. Vehicular traffic continued to flow.

At some time after 8pm, the man Ray Wong Toi-yeung wearing a blue Hong Kong Indigenous windbreaker spoke to the vendors, as recorded on video. At around 9pm, vendors began to push their carts out from Nelson Street with persons in the blue Hong Kong Indigenous following them. There was some pushing. At around 10pm, traffic was blocked on Portland Street near Nelson Street.

The prosecutor showed the video segments of traffic situation taken by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department from high above. At first, there were no carts on the street. Then a cart carrying stinking tofu appeared, followed by another. When the FEHD inspectors tried to enforce the law, the men in blue windbreakers appeared and surrounded the inspectors. A taxi surrounded by people and unable to move.

The prosecutor said that police PTU officers attempted to persuade the people to let the taxi pass. But Ray Wong stood on the top of the van and issued calls to the people with a megaphone. The situation began to go out of control, with some people charging at the police.

At around 10pm, some people heeded Ray Wong's orders and let the taxi reverse itself out of the site. Ray Wong continued to tell the crowd to impede the progress of the police. People began to move objects onto the roadway in Shantung Street and Nelson Street.

Another video showed the situation outside the SaSa shop outside Langham Place at 9pm. People wearing the blue Hong Kong Indigenous windbreakers raced towards the FEHD inspectors. A vendor pushed his stinky tofu cart at the FEHD inspectors who tried to avoid him.

(Oriental Daily) February 21, 2018.

The prosecutor showed a video taken at around 1020pm. Ray Wong was standing on top of an electricity box. He used his megaphone to tell the crowd to let the taxi leave, but he also called on the crowd to surround the police. Some people chanted "Evil cops!" But there was also a man who was telling the crowd to leave: "You leave, because business will be great if you leave" and "Leave, because you are not Andy Lau."

After the taxi left, the police moved a platform in to tell the crowd to disperse. People began to throw objects at the police. It was about midnight.

The prosecutor retreated in the direction of Shantung Street. The crowd continued to throw objects at them. The police used pepper spray. The police stood off against the crowd at Portland Street and Shantung Street. Ray Wong repeatedly used his megaphone to persuade the crowd to charge at the police. He encouraged them to throw objects at the police.

The prosecutor played the relevant video. At around 1147pm, the police attempted to bring a platform in, but the crowd blocked them. A female police officer called out: "Do not charge at the police line!" Ray Wong climbed on the roof of a parked van and used his megaphone to accuse the police of pushing citizens down on the ground. The crowd continued to push forwad.

The prosecutor pointed out that someone stuck his head out from the inside of the parked van. That person is defendant #1 Edward Leung Tin-kei. At around 1152pm, the police began to retreat. Ray Wong told the police to retreat and "to stop charging at the citizens." The video showed that at around midnight, people were throwing plastic bottles and other objects at the police at the corner of Portland Street and Shantung Street.

The prosecutor said that at around 1am on February 9, someone began to move shields and helmets into the van on top of which Ray Wong was standing. The police sent someone to talk to Wong in order to restore order. But Wong refused to cooperate. Ray Wong and Edward Leung used megaphones to provoke the crowd. The video shown in court has Edward Leung saying: "If you are going to be chased away by these public security/city management people, then  you are not Hongkongers. If you are Hongkongers, you will stay here to defend our culture and our city ... their salaries are paid with taxes from the people of Hong Kong. They should be serving us. If you don't want to obey the public security/city management, you stay around. We the Hong Kong Indigenous will stay here."

(Oriental Daily) February 21, 2018.

The prosecutor said that the crowd was not merely pushing and shoving the police. Instead they were holding shields and rods and cursing out the police with foul language. Ray Wong and Edward Leung used their megaphones to incite the crowd to charge at the police. On the order of Ray Wong, people stabbed at the police with their rods and threw objects. The police took action and pushed the crowd back up Portland Street towards Argyle. The time was almost 2am.

The prosecutor showed video segments taken by the police. At around 130am, people holding shields and rods showed up. Some people were throwing objects at the police. The police issued the so-called "334" order, wherein they issued an order to disperse, then another order three minutes later to disperse or else action will be taken in 4 minutes' time. They also told a man wearing glasses, blue Hong Kong Indigenous windbreaker and surgical mask to stop inciting the crowd. The man said: "We are holding an election campaign rally." The police asked him not to incite the crowd. The man used his megaphone to respond: "We are not inciting anything. We are holding an election rally. The Public Safety Ordinance permits us to do this. Fuck your mother!" The prosecutor said that the man was defendant #1 Edward Leung Tin-kei.

Another man then said: "If you want to play games, then we Hongkongers and Hong Kong Indigenous will play alone with you." The prosecutor said that this man was Ray Wong Toi-yeung. This man also said that if the police have the ability, they can arrest everybody.

The prosecutor asked the jury: "You can all see that if Leung and Wong were holding an election rally, would they be telling the police to arrest everybody if they can." The prosecutor asked the jury to consider whether the words of the two were matched by their actions.

(SCMP) February 23, 2018.

As Hong Kong prosecutors wrapped up their opening statement for a high-profile riot trial on Thursday, their allegations against five men including one well-known pro-independence activist gave a vivid picture of the violent unrest that unfolded in Mong Kok two years ago.

While the city celebrated the Lunar New Year, a crowd clashed with police on February 8, 2016, and the mayhem stretched into the night, only ending the next morning and obstructing Argyle Street, Fa Yuen Street, Portland Street, and Shan Tung Street in the process.

Prosecutors accused Edward Leung Tin-kei, formerly of the pro-independence Hong Kong Indigenous group, together with his colleague Ray Wong Toi-yeung, of inciting a sizeable crowd at Portland Street. Wong is not a defendant in this case.

Instead, Leung and four others are facing a host of charges related to the incident, which spilled over to other streets, with bricks, rubbish bins and glass bottles being launched as missiles to target police officers. 

Some streets were also set on fire, the prosecutors said. 

Here are their detailed allegations against each defendant:

Edward Leung Tin-kei

Charges: Leung denied two counts of rioting and one of inciting others to riot. He admitted to one count of assaulting a police officer.

Allegations: In the early hours of the stand-off at Portland Street, Leung allegedly incited the crowd using a megaphone. As police intended to clear the street, he told the large crowd that they were not Hongkongers if they found it acceptable that officers from public security and the urban management force two security departments from the mainland could remove them from the streets whenever they wanted to. If you are a Hongkonger, lets protect our city and our culture, Leung told them.

Prosecutor Eric Kwok Tung-ming SC argued that Leung committed the incitement charge in a joint enterprise with Wong, the men complementing each other when they provoked the crowd that night. The prosecutor also played a video that he said showed Leung being part of a group to hurl a rubbish bin in the direction of police officers on Argyle Street. He then assaulted a police officer. Another officer had to fire a warning shot into the sky.

Lee Nok-man

Charges: Lee denied one count of rioting.

Allegations: Lee, clad in black hoodie and a surgical mask, hurled verbal abuse at police officers during the stand-off at Portland Street. Kwok described his speeches as outlandish. When Wong incited the crowd, the prosecutor added, Lee responded positively. Lee was arrested during the incident.

Lo Kin-man

Charges: Lo denied one count of rioting.

Allegations: Nicknamed Bright, Lo wore a black cap on the night and wrapped a piece of black cloth around his mouth. During the stand-off at Portland Street, he threw objects in the direction of police on more than 10 occasions, the prosecutor said. As he returned to the same street later that night, he was captured on news footage picking up objects from the floor to throw at police officers.

Lam Ngo-hin

Charges: Lam denied one count of rioting and one count of taking part in an unlawful assembly.

Allegations: The prosecutor said police officers recognised Lam because of the outstanding outfit he wore on the night a pair of grey pants that had a pattern of sea waves. During the stand-off at Portland Street, Kwok said, Lam tried to obstruct police officers when they attempted to bring in a movable stand to broadcast their messages more effectively and urge the crowd to leave. The man was also seen talking to people from Wong and Leungs group, Hong Kong Indigenous, as he stood at the front of the crowd, Kwok said.

Lam was arrested on March 4, a month after the riot. A search of his home turned up the pants and cap he wore on the night, the prosecutor said.

Lam Lun-hing

Charges: Lam denied three counts of rioting.

Allegations: Lams first appearance was during the stand-off at Portland Street as caught on camera, according to Kwok. He was later captured throwing objects on Argyle Street, and later, bricks at Shan Tung Street, the prosecutor said. During a later stand-off at Fa Yuen Street after sunrise, Lam was spotted hitting a road sign pole with a brick, Kwok said.

He was not immediately taken into custody but was arrested a month later on the same day when Lam Ngo-hin was arrested. A staff member from the government's Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration identified him from the news and called the police. Kwok said he had made certain admissions during interviews with the police.

(SCMP) February 22, 2018.

Chaotic scenes of hurled bricks, unarmed policemen being attacked and a warning gun shot fired into the sky were relived on Thursday, as prosecutors recounted the mayhem of the Mong Kok riot two years ago.

At first,rioters punched and kicked police officers and threw rubbish bins and large crates at them, Eric Kwok Tung-ming SC told the High Court on the second day of his opening remarks. But the situation deteriorated further in the early hours of February 9, 2016, according to videos played in court, as rioters who had dispersed down a side street wielded bamboo sticks and hurled bricks at the officers.

Another video showed streets on fire, while a third, shot from the perspective of police, captured someone saying defeat these rioters. I would call it a frantic attack against unequipped officers, Kwok said.

Prosecutors alleged the riot began on the night of February 8 and carried on into the next day, covering Portland Street, Shantung Street, Argyle Street and Fa Yuen Street.

Kwok continued to lay down allegations on Thursday, a day after he accused Leung and fellow activist Ray Wong Toi-yeung who is not a defendant in this trial of inciting the crowd at Portland Street just before 2am on February 9. He told a panel of nine jurors that they would be presented with injury reports on 13 police officers.

While unequipped officers battled rioters on Argyle Street, others with helmets and shields tackled violence on the neighbouring Portland Street, Kwok said.

A news clip from the scene at 2am showed about six traffic officers being attacked by a crowd on Argyle Street. One officer fell on the ground while the attack on him continued. Leung was captured launching a rubbish bin into the air before he went on to attack a police officer with a wooden board. He did not dispute his presence on the night, Kwok said. Another officer was shown firing a shot into the sky before pointing his gun at the crowd on Argyle Street.

The crowd moved to Nathan Road, a major thoroughfare, while police officers tried to force them onto the smaller Shantung Street nearby, Kwok said. From there, the crowd gathered further weaponry in the form of bamboo sticks and bricks as the riot continued.

The flying bricks and jabbing with sticks took place at 4am, as captured in other videos. Kwok said one of the clips was shaky, as the officer who filmed the incident had to dodge about for his safety. The unrest was still continuing at 6am as the protesters and police officers were locked in a stand-off on Soy Street, and were separated by a burning rubbish bin. The noise of the protesters hitting metal fences with bricks was caught on camera. The protesters hurled bricks at the police again when the officers rushed towards them.

Kwok told the jury that after viewing all the evidence, it would not be difficult for them to conclude that riots and an illegal assembly took place that night.

(SCMP) February 23, 2018.

A high-profile riot trial involving a prominent Hong Kong pro-independence activist was temporarily disrupted on Friday, after someone claiming to be a mainland tourist took photos from the public gallery while court was in session. Photography is prohibited in all Hong Kong court buildings and so is publication of such photos. There are signs saying so in the court rooms. Any breach will result in a fine of HK$250 according to the Summary Offences Ordinance. But the man took seven or eight photos, and a short video, with his phone camera pointed in the direction of the jury. He then circulated at least one photo on popular Chinese social media app, WeChat, the High Court heard.

During the proceedings on the fifth floor of the court building, a witness named Miss Chan saw a man in a red windbreaker sitting next to her take out his phone to photograph the courtroom. He was talking to others on WeChat and has sent the photo, she said, when the judge invited her to recount what she saw.

The court bailiffs were approached for help and when they questioned the man, they did not take a clear look at the contents of the photos. Neither did they ask him for further details when he claimed he was a tourist from the mainland.

The situation brought proceedings to a stop as the court convened a special session to decide what to do to avoid any possible prejudicial effects on the case.

The bailiff officers, when called to give their account, said they only knew the man had taken about seven or eight pictures and a short video, and these were subsequently deleted. The officers said they had warned him not to take pictures again, but did not verify his tourist status before letting him go.

Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam said it appeared to be an incident caused by curiosity. But she raised concerns that the photos might later resurface on social media. She decided to inform the nine jurors, and allowed the media to report the incident. It should be someone who is not familiar with the Hong Kong judiciary to have made [this] careless mistake. Pang said the man also took a picture of the court before the jury entered the room. I do not think it is targeting the jury, she told them, asking them not to be worried

In response to queries from the Post, a judiciary spokesman said the courts had referred the matter to the police. He did not say if there was a protocol for bailiff officers to follow, and refused to comment on whether the protocol if it existed had been fully followed.

When the trial resumed after the drama, hawker control officers recalled how people teamed up with street vendors to clash with them during the incident. Lai Yau-yu said it was his day off on February 8, but he went to the scene after receiving messages from police officers telling him that members of Hong Kong Indigenous a localist group that Leung was then part of would be there. Assistant hawker control officer Chan Cheuk-bun said that shortly after 9pm, he saw four or five people wearing blue T-shirts bearing the words Hong Kong Indigenous. They put on masks at a back alley around Portland Street. He then heard someone urge street hawkers to move to the main road, before onlookers began to hurl verbal abuse at his colleagues. As the crowd later swelled, Cheung Man-ngai, chief hawker control officer, said he saw his colleagues being surrounded by people. A vendor, accompanied by others in blue t-shirts, charged at him with the mobile hawker stall. Cheung later clarified that the street cart did not hit him.

(Oriental Daily) February 23, 2018.

Food and Environmental Hygiene Department senior inspector Lai Yau-yu was the first witness for the prosecution. Lai testified that he was off duty that night. But at around 8pm, he went down to Portland Street/Shantung Street to visit his colleagues who were on duty. In the backlane behind Shui Hing Mahjong School, a number of cooked food vendors were set up. Due to lack of manpower, the Department tolerated these vendors as long as they did not obstruct vehicular traffic on the main streets.

Lai said that there were no vendors on Portland Street at first. At around 940pm, he noticed 8 to 10 men wearing the blue Hong Kong Indigenous jackets going into the backlane behind the Shui Hing Mahjong School. Shortly afterwards, several vendors pushed their carts out onto Portland Street, accompanied by the Hong Kong Indigenous men. The surveillance video in the backlane showed Ray Wong and other persons in the blue Hong Kong Indigenous windbreakers enter the backlane and then the vendors came out on the main street with their carts.

Lai followed the vendors down Portland Street to the corner with Nelson Street. There were more than 100 people gathered there. Some of them were cursing out the FEHD workers. One FEHD was injured and had to be taken away by an ambulance. Lai was concerned about his colleagues, so he called the command center to ask for the FEHD workers to be withdrawn.

During cross-examination, Lai said that the FEDH workers were harassed during the Lunar New Year of 2015. In 2015, the FEDH met with the Hong Kong Police who told them that Hong Kong Indigenous people may be making trouble in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok districts on Lunar New Year's Day. So even though Lai was off duty, he went down to Portland Street to see what was going on.

Lai admitted that the FEHD did not announced its policy on cooked food vending in the back lanes. He said that the FEHD has an order that unlicensed vendors who block the main streets will be issued summons.

(Oriental Daily) February 23, 2018.

FEHD chief hawker control officer Cheung Man-ngai testified that he saw about 200 people on Portland Street between Nelson Street and Shantung Street at around 925pm. He called two teams of FEHD workers to stand by. At 942pm, several masked Hong Kong Indigenous members in blue jackets accompanied the vendors to the space outside SaSa on Nelson Street. One vendor selling stinky tofu pushed his cart which has boiling hot oil against the uniformed FEHD workers. The action lasted about 20 seconds.

At 945pm, he received news that FEHD workers have been shoved, pushed and had their uniform caps seized. A FEHD worker reported an injury on his left hand. Cheung called 999 for police held. At 952pm, he received orders to gather the FEHD workers outside the MTR station exit on Nelson Street to get ready to leave. At 10pm, the injured FEHD worker was taken to Kwong Wah Hospital by ambulance. Cheung returned to his office. Cheung said that no FEHD workers issued any verbal warnings or written summons or arrested anybody that night. The FEHD did not chase away the vendors. The stinky tofu vendor who rammed the cart against the FEHD workers was later arrested by the police.

A video taken by FEHD was shown in court. The vendor carts were pushed down Portland Street in the direction of Nelson Street, with the Hong Kong Indigenous members in tow. Some people told the FEHD workers to leave and "Let them make a living on Lunar New Year's day!"

FEHD assistant hawker control officer Chan Cheuk-bun testified that he was ordered at 9pm to patrol Portland Street-Shantung Street in plainclothes. He saw about 15 vendors carts in the backland off Portland Street. About 15 minutes later, the man in the blue Hong Kong Indigenous jacket went into the backlane with more than 10 other persons. He heard people yell: "Let's go! Move them out!" Then the vendors pushed their carts in the direction of Nelson Street down Portland Street. Chan notified his colleagues.

The superiors ordered the FEHD workers to retreat. Chan was asked to stay to continue to observe. Chan said people cursing out the uniformed FEHD workers still at the scene. By that time, the cooked food vendors were all over Portland Street. Traffic policemen came to help a taxi which was trapped, but the Hong Kong Indigenous people cursed them out. About 15 minutes later, the taxi backed up and left.

Internet comments:

- (Ta Kung Pao) February 21, 2018.

On Valentine's Day, our reporter went to visit the Hong Kong Indigenous office in Fotan district. The letters in the mailbox (including those addressed to Ray Wong Toi-yeung have been removed and there the "Localist Foxconn" sign has been removed. The space consisting of three rooms and one hall has nothing left except for one vacuum clear. One of the rooms smelled strongly of cat odor, and was where the Localist Cat Slaves Front kept the two dozen or so stray cats. Three months ago, the Localist Cat Slaves Front asked people to adopt their stray cats.

In November, Ray Wong and Edward Leung applied to cancel the corporation registration for their Channel-i (HK) company. There is still one black cardboard paper with the words "Hard Times create Strong Men." There was also a receipt for a bank transfer of $3,780 to a HSBC account.

The office is currently offered for rent at an asking price of $18,000 per month. The real estate agent said that the previous tenant paid on time: "The renter was Ray Wong. You know, the one who skipped bail."

Hong Kong Indigenous wanted to nurture the youth organization StudentLocalism, so their online broadcast program was taken over by StudentLocalism in December. But StudentLocalism announced that they no longer have the resources of Channel-i (HK) to support them, so they are asking for donations via paypal in order to rent their own space.

- (Ta Kung Po) February 21, 2018.

In 2016, Hong Kong Indigenous explained that the riot was the result of police suppression of their election rally. Alternately, they said that they were out there to defend the rights of itinerant vendors to sell cooked food on the roadway. This year, Hong Kong Indigenous no long exists, with two leaders skipping bail and the third one jailed for assaulting a police officer and standing trial for rioting/incitement to riot charges. Out in the streets, the vendors continued to see cooked food. This year, it was noted that they left piles of garbage around Langham Place afterwards.

The Yellow Ribbon Facebook Front Line Science/Technology Workers posted an old photo of Hong Kong Indigenous members picking up garbage and commented: "Someone wondered why Langham Place was littered this year. Why? That's because the dedicated people have been sent off to jail," implying that the streets were garbage-free thanks to Hong Kong Indigenous.

Immediately, the backlash came. Sent to jail? Where the fuck is Ray Wong now? Wherever he is vacationing, it is certainly not in a Hong Kong jail. Garbage? The biggest piece of trash around is Hong Kong Indigenous, who tore up the pavement to throw bricks at the police and set fire to cars and stalls.

- (Oriental Daily) February 23, 2018.

Prior to the court session, the judge informed the lawyers on both sides that some other business has to be taken first. The judge said that the secretary has informed her that some people were screaming slogans inside the courtroom after the session on the day before yesterday. Therefore she intends to post warning notices in the lobby and wallboard. The prosecutor said that police officers had heard some men using offensive language against them.

The judge said that the courtroom is a solemn place in which people should not be screaming slogans. If this were to recur, the judge can dealt with the offenders through the Summary Offence Ordinance with instant incarceration for contempt of court. She instructed the court bailiffs to detain anyone who does the same thing again.

- In the next NGO report, Hong Kong will drop even further in the standings on human rights and rule of law because of what this judge did. On one hand, she is punishing people for exercising their freedom of speech as guaranteed under Hong Kong Basic Law Article 27. On the other hand, other people have done the same by chanting "Dog judges" and so on without being punished. So this judge is breaking precedent under common law.

Yes, this city is dying.

- In the name of FREEDOM DEMOCRACY HUMAN RIGHTS RULE OF LAW, we will march at 3pm on Sunday from Civic Plaza in Government Headquarters to the High Court. P.S. If you can't make it (and most of you can't), you can send me money to my paypal account. The future of Hong Kong depends on your doing so!

- The large number of death threats to Hong Kong judges has given me an idea of writing an app named Death Postcard. All you have to do is to enter the name of your target, and the app will attach appropriate text such as: "Impotent dog judge"

The app will automatically retrieve a photo of the target person from the official court system or government department websites. Photos, names and other particulars (such as work/school) of the target's family will be retrieved from Facebook. A photo of a razor will be added into the composition. Once you give approval, a postcard will be mailed from Taiwan to your target person. Why Taiwan? Because they have freedom of speech there and no extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

- (Oriental Daily) February 23, 2018

Yesterday at 715pm, someone found that the Goddess of Democracy statue at the Chinese University of Hong Kong had the words "Hong Kong hero Leung Tin-kei" spray-painted at the base. At the same time, similar graffiti were found at the Tai Po train station. Across the public restroom in Tai Po train station, someone spray-painted "Hong Kong hero Leung Tin-kei: Wisdom, bravery and benevolent."

One passerby said: "I don't want to comment on what young people are thinking about." Another passerby said: "Who is Leung Tin-kei?"

- The childish calligraphy reminds me of the "King of Kowloon" Tsang Tsou Choi. But, as Karl Marx noted, "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

(Hong Kong Building Departments) What are Unauthorised Building Works

What are Unauthorised Building Works (UBWs)?

(SCMP) January 22, 2018.

Buildings Department figures from the past 18 years suggest at least one in four properties has unsanctioned features. From 2000, the earliest records available, to October last year, it received 520,000 complaints about unauthorised building works in all properties (excluding village homes), or about 29,000 complaints each year. From January 2000 to October last year, the Buildings Department issued some 183,000 advisory letters asking owners to return their properties to their original state, but only 7 per cent complied. It was not until the department issued statutory orders with warnings of punishment for non-compliance totalling 388,000 notices that 80 per cent of owners acted.

The Buildings Department usually responds to complaints and does not conduct proactive investigations. It only follows up on the case intensively if the illegal structures are found to be a safety risk. But upon issuing a statutory order, it would also register the order with the citys Land Registry, which is expected to lower the value of the property. Prosecution can happen if the owners fail to take action within two months of receiving a statutory order. But these do not happen often, with 40,000 cases taken to court out of 388,000 orders, and only 28,000 convictions.

Public anger over illegal structures flares up every so often, especially when famous, rich or powerful owners are involved.

The latest scandal erupted earlier this month when the department found 10 illegal extensions in adjoining houses belonging to newly-appointed justice minister Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and her engineer-husband Otto Poon Lok-to. Cheng said she had overlooked the structures and had not made any alterations to the three-storey house in Villa de Mer, Tuen Mun, after she bought it in 2008. But after a copy of her mortgage deed surfaced and showed no mention of any additions, critics alleged a cover-up, questioning how Cheng, a barrister and chartered engineer, could have overlooked the structures. Cheng has issued multiple apologies, most recently on Sunday, where she also admitted that authorised persons were examining her other properties for illegal structures and she was following up on what needs to be done. In Teresa Chengs case, the 10 structures in both houses add up to 1,800 sq ft of space and would be worth HK$35 million, based on the value of her husbands home when he bought it in 2012.

Chengs fate remains to be seen but a similar scandal put an end to former number 2 official Henry Tang Ying-yens bid in the 2012 chief executive race, even though he was then the front-runner. The discovery of an illegal 2,300 sq ft basement reportedly replete with a wine cellar and a Japanese bath in his home in Kowloon Tong was believed to be the main reason for his eventual defeat in the election. Tangs popularity nosedived after he blamed his wife Lisa Kuo Yu-chin for constructing the basement during the low ebb of their marriage, while a teary-eyed Kuo admitted she was guilty. Kuo was fined HK$110,000 by a court in 2013 for starting construction without permission.

Other guilty parties include lawmakers, businessmen, entertainers and two former chief executives Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Leung Chun-ying. Like Tang, the public scrutiny meant Tsang and Leung had to remove their illegal home additions.\

(SCMP) February 11, 2018.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Hong Kong on Sunday demanding that justice minister Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah step down. The demonstrators accused Cheng of lying about illegal structures at her properties.

Civil Human Rights Front, which organised the march, estimated 1,000 people took part. Police put the turnout at 700. Front convenor Sammy Ip Chi-hin said the number was satisfactory as the Lunar New Year holiday was nearing. So many people have come out to tell [Chief Executive] Carrie Lam that they do not want Teresa Cheng to be the justice secretary. Lam should fire her, Ip said.

Cheng has been mired in controversy since assuming office early last month. She said she had been too busy so she overlooked the illegal extensions at her properties.

Internet comments:

- Before the demonstration march, Civil Human Rights Front convener Sammy Ip Chi-hin declined to provide an estimate for the number of marchers. After the demonstration march, Sammy Ip claimed that 1,000 people took part which was what he estimated. Duh!

- The Civil Human Rights Front is never ever wrong and never ever disappointed.

- I am completely for the criminalization of UBWs. I think that these rich and lawless people should be punished, especially those who hold public positions. Here are some names in addition to Teresa Cheng:

Paul Zimmerman

- (Oriental Daily with video/photos) January 30, 2018. A reader told us that Paul Zimmerman began to dismantle UBWs at his Sai Kung home right after he became the pan-democrats' candidate in the 2018 legco by-election. This reader provided many aerial photos.

According to the public records, Paul Zimmerman bought the house for $9.2 million in 2006. In 2008, the Land Registry recorded a statutory order from the Buildings Department. The owner was asked to remove or correct the UBWs within 28 days, or else further action will be taken. Nothing happened in the next ten years.

Zimmerman told us that when he purchased the house in 2006, he built a glass roof top to enhance insulation and keep the rainwater off. In 2008, he received the removal order. He considered his needs in life, and decided that he would continue this way. He did not care about the statutory order recorded at the Land Registry because he did not intend to sell his house.

Zimmerman said that he understands that the public expects more of politicians, so he decided to remove the glass roof top once he decided to enter the Legco by-election. He is arranging for a contractor to remove the other four UBWs. He apologized sincerely to the public over these UBWs.

- (Oriental Daily) February 2, 2018. Previously, Mr. Zimmerman had declared five UBWs on his roof, namely a stone bench, a kitchen cabinet, a storage shelf, glass balustrades and the glass roof top. Today Building Departments inspectors came to the site and found four more UBWs.

- (Wikipedia) Paul Zimmerman is the District Councilor for Pokfulam district, Southern District Council. He lives in Sai Kung, which is far away from Pokfulam. Therefore what he does in Sai Kung does not affect Pokfulam apart from the image of a scofflaw district councilor.

- (Wikipedia) Paul Zimmerman is running in the March 11, 2018 Legislative Council by-election in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape sector. The first strike against him is that he does not have any professional qualifications in any of architecture, surveying, planning or landscape. The second strike against him is that he has willfully and persistently shown over the past 10 years that he has no use for the building laws, so he would not be a good lawmaker representing that particular sector. The third strike (Oriental Daily January 31, 2018) against him is that his wife Janine Leung is a city planner with the Planning Department, and she must know what the relevant building laws are.

- (Oriental Daily) January 31, 2018. Pan-democrats rose up to defend Paul Zimmerman. Accountancy sector legislative councilor Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong said that people who live in standalone houses will inevitably and necessarily have UBWs on their properties. New Territories West legislator Lam Cheuk-ting admitted that his office sign was an UBW, but it was okay as long as he apologized sincerely. Information technology sector legislative councilor Charles Mok said that while he does not know how Zimmerman explained it, but he knows that Zimmerman has explained and apologized and therefore this is good enough for Mok.

- (HKG Pao) February 14, 2018. According to Headline Daily, Zimmerman admitted that he is renting a government lot on which there is a massive UWB in the form of a 7-meter high semicircular platform on which he walks the dogs. He said that the previous owner had rented the land from the government and built a concrete platform. When he moved in, he continued the lease and laid down new stone bricks. This UBW is a violation of the terms of the lease as well as being dangerous. Zimmerman said that he is willing to apologize if it turned out that he is wrong. In other words, he denies any wrongdoing at this time.

- (Oriental Daily) February 20, 2018. The Lands Department has confirmed that the 24-square-meter platform with lighting facility on the ground is constructed on government land. A letter has been sent to the owner to demand the removal of the lights within 14 days. Paul Zimmerman said that the lights have been removed. He said that he did not realize that installation of the lights constitutes illegal occupancy of public land.

- (SCMP) Paul Zimmerman is not without appeal. By Alex Lo. February 12, 2018.

Loyalists in the legislature supposedly gave the opposition a taste of their own medicine over Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah. Using filibustering and other manoeuvres, the pro-establishment lawmakers last week scuppered an opposition plan to summon the justice secretary to Legco for another grilling over illegal structures at her luxury homes.

In reality, pan-democrats are more worried about the by-election next month, in which one of their candidates has a few long-standing issues over illegal structures at home. Dragging out the public relations disaster for Cheng and the government would only invite retaliation from the rival camp. So, in a way, rather than risking mutually assured destruction, a dtente has been reached between the two camps.

Running on the opposition ticket for a functional constituency seat, urban development activist Paul Zimmerman has confessed to having the structures at his home in Sai Kung for a decade. While Cheng claimed she knew nothing about the structures because she had been too busy at work, he knew about it all along but preferred to keep them anyway. Its a bit ironic that he is running for the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape sector, which has a lot to do with building construction, legal or otherwise.

But its pointless to debate which one of the two has done worse. Its estimated one in four private homes have some illegal structures, so most of us are throwing stones in glass houses. Cheng has already survived two no-confidence motions, thanks to help from the loyalist camp. Its a bit rich for the pan-dems to complain about filibustering and dragging out their own Legco specialities when the whole saga has become a sideshow.

The opposition pretty much has a sure-win next month with its geographical constituency candidates Edward Yiu Chung-yim for the Kowloon West seat and Au Nok-hin for Hong Kong Island. But Zimmerman is running against Tony Tse Wai-chuen, an independent former lawmaker who is trying to stage a comeback and has strong support from within the professional sector.

Zimmerman, though, is not without appeal. He is politically moderate, and is primarily focused on environmentally and people-friendly urban developments. He and his associates have often come up with sensible ideas about controversial government developments such as the Central Market and harbourfront developments. But they are usually ignored. A Legco platform will give them a stronger voice.

It would also be good to have a more racially diverse Legco.

- Paul Zimmerman is my man! He is the embodiment of the Hong Kong core value of rule-of-law.

The law prohibits UBWs. But Paul Zimmerman knows from his wife that the government won't do anything except to record the statutory order at the Land Registry. If he wants to sell the house, he will need to remove the statutory order first. But he intends to continue to live there and enjoy the pleasures of the UBWs. Therefore he ignores the statutory order. When Paul Zimmerman passes away 40 years later, his heir can remove the UBWs and sell the house. In the meantime, he will have enjoyed the UBWs for those 40 years.

Life is good in Hong Kong, where we have freedom, democracy and rule-of-law.

- (Bastille Post)

In 2006, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Tourism subsector of the Legislative Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2007, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Stubbs Road Constituency of the Wan Chai District Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2008, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Tourism subsector of the Legislative Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2010, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Pokfulam Constituency of the Southern District Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2011, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Pokfulam Constituency of the Southern District Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2012, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the District Council (Second) functional constituency of the Legislative Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2012, Paul Zimmerman ran for election as a National People's Congress delegate for Hong Kong. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2015, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Pokfulam Constituency of the Southern District Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2016, Paul Zimmerman ran for election in the Hong Kong Island Constituency of the Legislative Council. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2017, Paul Zimmerman ran for election on the Election Committee for the Chief Executive. He did not deal with the UBWs.

In 2018, Paul Zimmerman runs for election in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning & Landscape subsector of the Legislative Council. He comes out and declares that he has multiple UBW problems.

- I guess that Mr. Zimmerman thinks that the UBWs should not affect his performance as a district councilor or even as Tourism-subsector legislator. But it would seem brazen for a legislator for the Architectural, Surveying, Planning & Landscape subsector to have multiple UBWs on his site. So he is not stonewalling anymore.

The more interesting question is that if Paul Zimmerman loses this election, then will the UBWs go back up immediately so that he can enjoy his lifestyle?

- The only way to stop this kind of warped logic is to impose a daily fine of $5,000 until the UBWs are removed. That will put a full stop to the whole practice. Does  Legislator Zimmerman have the courage to advocate this?

- (Bastille Post)

First, the media reported that he began to dismantle the UBWs after he entered the election. Furthermore, a statutory order was entered at the Lands Department 10 years ago already. He distracted the media by volunteering that he had reported the existence of 5 UBWs to the authorities.

Next, the Buildings Department sent inspectors to his home and found that there were actually 9 UBWs. So he had underreported the number before.

Next, the media asked him about his backyard. He said that he was renting public land. A surveyor checked the database and found out that his rented land extends only 2.5 meters out and that his platform sits on public land outside the rented area. The platform used to have a balustrade surrounding it, but that was dismantled when he entered the election. So he knew that he had a problem already.

He explained that the semicircular platform was already present when he bought the house. He applied to the government for a short-term lease and then he laid down new bricks and floor lights. He said that the Lands Department came to inspect and they reached a "consensus" that the semicircular area would not be included in the short-term lease.

Anyone with commonsense would know that the Lands Department will never reach a "consensus" over UBWs. The Lands Department acknowledged that the owner had applied to rent but the application was turned down. This proves that it was public land that he did not have a lease for and that he was illegally squatting on.

Yesterday the Lands Department sent a letter to order the owner to cease and desist the unlawful occupation of public land, and to remove all the facilities within 14 days. This proves that there was never any "consensus."

Zimmerman also told Apple Daily: "After receiving the letter from the Lands Department, I removed the floor lights on the platform. I have also notified the Lands Department that since I did not erect the platform, I will not dismantle it. The Lands Department has not asked him to do so."

What kind of logic is it for an owner to disavow responsibility for a UBW just because he did not personally erect it? If the UBW poses risks to public safety, then the owner has the responsibility to rectify the problem.

What kind of logic is it that when the Lands Department issues an order to cease and desist unlawful occupation of public land, it means that he can declare that he won't occupy the land but he can leave his UBWs in situ?

- (Bastille Post) Headline Daily interviewed Paul Zimmerman's neighbor Shoni who said: "Of course, the 7-meter platform would be dangerous. Paul Zimmerman can enjoy his lifestyle but he should consider the safety of others too." A domestic helper Noleal said she is concerned that the platform may collapse in heavy rains.

Claudia Mo Man-ching, Kowloon West legislative councilor

(Oriental Daily) February 2, 2018. At Mo's Repulse Bay apartment, the open garage was turned into an enclosed apartment. Eight years ago, the Building Departments inspectors came and determined that the change was inconsistent with the original plan. They advised the owner to remove the UBWs. But since the change did not involve structural modifications or pose immediate danger, they did not issue a statutory order or prosecute. The Land Registry noted that the land deed did not limit the floor area or number of car parking space, so the modification does not violate the land deed. Today the space is still an apartment and not a garage.

Mo said that the Buildings Department has affirmed that there were no UBWs there. She said that UBWs are not exactly arson or murder. She pointed out that Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng is under fire not for UBWs, but for concealing the truth from the public.

Cheung Tat-ming, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Hong Kong University

- (Wen Wei Po with photos) January 16, 2018. Yesterday Cheung Tat-ming criticized Secretary for Justice Teresa Teng over her UBWs.

In June 2010, Cheung Tat-ming bought an apartment in Crowfields Court, Lomond Road, Kowloon City district for $4.87 million. Cheung is listed as the sole owner. In 2011, Cheung received a Buildings Department removal order for the protruding ornamental decorations over two flower beds, but has done nothing so far. In addition, Cheung's verandah was sealed by glass windows that did not appear in the architectural plan.

At first, Cheung responded to our inquiry by claiming that the removal order was carried out to the satisfaction of the Buildings Department. When asked why the Buildings Department had not canceled the statutory order at the Land Registry, Cheung stuttered that he knew that the engineering company had asked the Buildings Department to inspect the work, and Cheung did not concern himself with what happened afterwards. He did not check whether the Buildings Department canceled the statutory order or not.

As for the verandah, he said that he did not purchase the architectural plan when he bought the apartment so he is not aware of any problems. Furthermore he has not received any Buildings Department removal order, so he does not have to do anything.

Jimmy Lai, Next Media principal owner

- (Oriental Daily with photos) January 31, 2018. In 2011, it was reported that the three verandahs were enclosed by glass walls in violation of regulations. At the time, the Buildings Department said that they have sent letters to the relevant party to remove those UBWs. In 2012, the glass walls were removed and the original look was restored. In 2013, new glass walls and new glass roofs were installed. This time around, the UBWs were bigger and better.

- In the United States, when someone has to decide whether to run for elective office, they usually ask themselves whether they have an illegal alien worker problem first. In Hong Kong, when someone is or wants to be a public figure, they should ask themselves whether they have a UBW problem. The cases of Henry Tang and CY Leung showed clearly that somebody with access to the Buildings Department and Land Registry databases is funneling such information out to the media outlets to inflict maximum damage. As Claudia Mo says, UBWs are not arson or murder. So why can't these people clean up their UBWs right from the beginning? Their inability to see this and take action really casts doubts about their abilities in doing anything.

(SCMP) February 10, 2018.

At about 6.15pm on Saturday, a KMB bus, route 872, was travelling from Sha Tin racecourse towards Tai Po. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle as he was pulling into a turn near Tai Po Mei, causing the bus to flip over onto its side.

Police said they had received multiple calls reporting the accident at around 6pm and it was 9.30pm by the time they managed to pull survivors and bodies out of the wreckage. Many passengers, injured and in shock, were sitting by the road as paramedics provided first aid. Many had bandages wrapped around their heads and several were bleeding as they were stretchered onto waiting ambulances. The bodies of the victims were covered and laid by the roadside, waiting to be taken to the morgue.

Fifteen men and three women were confirmed dead at the scene, while 63 injured passengers were rushed to a dozen hospitals across the city. A sixteenth man was confirmed dead at a hospital later at night, taking the death toll to 19. It was Hong Kongs deadliest bus accident in nearly 15 years, sparking a full-scale emergency operation.

As of 10.30am on Sunday, 10 men and one woman were in critical condition at Kwong Wah, Prince of Wales, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth hospitals. At least 21 men were also hospitalised in serious condition and at least one woman was now in stable condition.

Some survivors claimed the bus driver was throwing a tantrum after being criticised by passengers for being late. He was late for 10 minutes, a passenger recalled of the driver. He was grumpy because some people criticised him for being late. He then started to drive the bus like he was flying a plane. Another passenger said: He was driving very fast, extremely fast, even if he was driving down a slope. It was much faster than I normally feel on a bus, he said. And then it was like the tyres skidded, and the bus overturned. It was really chaotic on the bus. People fell on top of one another and got tossed around from side to side.

One of the victims, who sat by the side of the road with his right leg bandaged, also suggested the driver had been speeding.

The driver was arrested for dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and is being detained for further enquiries.

(SCMP) February 10, 2018.

Victims of the gruesome Tai Po bus crash recalled seeing people with broken limbs inside the bus after the vehicle flipped on its side, while onlookers stood by taking videos. Amid the chaotic scenes, survivors said they crawled out through the emergency exits after they were unable to find a hammer to break through the vehicles windows.

More than 15 people had died at the scene, there were broken heads, hands and legs afterwards and I heard screams, said Lee Ho-sang, 16, the youngest passenger. There were many people injured, but only me and my father were helping people. A lot of passengers were laying on the ground but no one was willing to help. Those who were less injured only stood by the sidewalk, taking videos of the situation.

Internet comments:

- The case of Liu Cheuk-yi (TVB news reporter)

- (YouTube) (YouTube) (Apple Daily) Video from NOW TV live broadcast. A rescuer tells the media that the firemen needed room to work to pull people out of the bus and requested the media to move to a spot further up the slope. The firemen were about to use equipment raise the bus, so it is dangerous to be too close. The media said that they wanted a few more minutes because they are on live broadcast. The rescuer said: "I think that it is more important to save lives. Is that okay?"

But the reporters did not leave immediately. Then a female voice was heard: "Sir, our signal is on and going out live. Can you give us three and a half minutes? We are going out live. Three and a half minutes." The rescuer said: "I ... so I ... I will coordinate with the Fire Department. I understand the importance ... do you understand? ... that is, it is hard for me to come up with a balance. Freedom of press is important, but there are human lives inside." A man said: "Two minutes!"

The rescuer then came back to say that the Fire Department insists that the media evacuate immediately. The female reporter said: "We will leave." But three minutes later, the video showed a male reporter donned in TVB uniform still there.

Another copy: (Facebook Video) Face of female TVB reporter appears at 0:50. The rescuer added: "The Fire Department colleagues are waiting for you to leave before they can begin." Man: "Half a minute! Half a minute!"

TVB news reporter Liu Cheuk-yi was captured in the NOW TV live broadcast and credited on TVB

- Three and a half more minutes only? Why don't you let me put a bus on top of you for three and a half minutes?

- You want three and a half more minutes? Why? For you to climax?

- If Liu Cheuk-yi has a family member on the bus, would she still ask for three and a half more minutes? Most likely not. She would be screaming at the firemen not to stand around anymore.

- For the purpose of damage control, TVB must immediately notify YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram, SnapChat, Whatsapp, Apple Daily, Ming Pao, etc that this video is a violation of their copyright and must be removed immediately, or else TVB cannot exclude the possibility of seeking legal redress.

- (Ming Pao) Our reporter called TVB Assistant General Manager Yuen Chi-wai. As soon our reporter identified himself and before any question was posed, Yuen said "I'm busy" and hung up.

- Buddy, you are mixing things up. The video showing the two TVB reporters was from the live broadcast of NOW TV. TVB has no copyright claims. Do you think that NOW TV should antagonize Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram, SnapChat, Whatsapp, Apple Daily, Ming Pao, Golden Forum, Galden Forum, LIHK, Hong Kong Discussion Forum, etc with cease-and-desist orders just to make nice with rival TVB?

- When I heard that a reporter refused to cooperate, I immediately thought that this was an Apple Daily reporter. But the reporter turned out to be from TVB. Apple Daily may have missed first place, but they have jumped in with a fervor to condemn the behavior that they are in fact best known for.

- (Silent Majority HK) The NOW TV video went viral. Angry Internet users scoured for information about the reporters involved. The female reporter was identified as TVB news reporter Liu Cheuk-yi. From there, the Internet users dug out her personal history. She is a journalism graduate from Shue Yan University (see 135073 Liu Cheuk-yi). Around the Occupy Central period, her journalism exercises were in praise of Benny Tai and associates. During the Copyright (Amendment) Act, she sent a letter under the titled "Oppose Internet Article 23" to the government. She accused TVB of "self-censorship" and ATV of becoming a "government mouthpiece."

- Why kind of journalism does the Department of Journalism and Communication at the Hong Kong Shue Yan University teach?

According to their Programme Objective (sic) section, the programme

4. increases students' awareness of ethical issues in mass communication;

but somehow the Programme Learning Outcome lists no impact on ethics and morality!  So the students were made to take classes on media ethics to be promptly forgotten!

- The male TVB reporter Sin Chi also seen the NOW TV live broadcast. After being asked repeatedly to leave, he said: "I'm leaving. Real soon."

- (TVB) October 25, 2014. TVB reporter Sin Chi was beaten by the Blue Ribbons (police supporters) during the pro-police rally yesterday in Tsim Sha Tsui because he was asking deliberately provocative questions such as "Were you paid to come here today?".

- At a time when certain persons with ulterior motives are fanning anger at the media, it is very important for the Hong Kong Journalists Association to come out and defend TVB news reporter Liu Cheuk-yi against the unwarranted criticisms. They must remind everyone that the people of Hong Kong have the right to know the truth, and the Fire Department must not be allowed to get in the way of the media.

- When the police coordinator told the media to move, it means that the government is curtailing the freedom of press even further. An inch of encroachment at a time adds up to a lot over time. We must stand firm and not yield an inch.

- When the authorities ask reporters to leave, it means that they have something to hide from the public. The media should never leave their posts. Freedom and democracy depends on the presence of the Fourth Estate.

- The silence of the Hong Kong Journalists Association is disturbing, just like the previous occasion on which reporters blocked the emergency workers from moving an injured man on a stretcher onto an ambulance. That was also a clear case that the people's right to know must supersede everything else. The fact that the man was screaming in pain did not cause the media to move aside.

- According to the thoughts of the Tai Mo Shan woman, Liu Cheuk-yi is saying that it is her life and she could choose to stand next to the bus as it is raised up. But if the bus should fall on top of her, then it is the responsibility of the rescuers to save her. And if some rescuer should be injured in the process, then that is something that comes with the high-paying job.

- (YouTube) On November 19, 2012, a major traffic accident on Chai Wan Road led to 3 deaths and 57 injuries. The firemen raised a red-colored barrier to block of the view of the rescue efforts. Afterwards, the Hong Kong Journalists Association criticized the firemen for infringing upon the public's right to know.

This time, the HKJA must come out and stand firmly behind the reporters against the firemen.

- (Ming Pao) Tonight TVB issued a formal response. The bus accident took place at around 6pm. By 745pm, the Fire Department had removed all the injured and deceased persons in the bus. Afterwards, the police told the media that the firemen will raise the bus to see if there are persons trapped underneath. They asked the media to evacuate. The female reporter asked the police if they can have three and a half minutes for a live broadcast. She emphasized that they will leave after three and a half minutes. About a minute later, the police said that the firemen wanted the reporters to leave, because there may be dangers when the bus is being raised. The female reporter said "Fine" and said that they will move elsewhere. The firemen actually began raising the bus several hours later. "Therefore the TVB reporters did not impede the rescue work of the Fire Department at any point in time."

- (HKG Pao) The discussion about media behavior is distracting from the main issue, which has been identified by pro-democracy legislator Cheng Chung-tai. The seventh day of the incident falls on the second day of the Lunar New Year. On that day, the government is holding its traditional fireworks display. In memory of the victims, we demand that the fireworks display be canceled forthwith. P.S. Chief Executive Carrie Lam must apologize for her mistakes in this case too.

- Pro-democracy activist Wan Chin has declared that this incident showed that Hong Kong has been abandoned by the Heavens.

- I agree. In addition, we must cancel the holidays and go back to school/work. We must not say wish each other a happy new year. We must not hand out red envelops. We must not post any red banners. We must not wear red clothes.

- If we the people forego our fireworks show, then it is only fair that the pan-democrats donate all the money that they raise at the Lunar Year market to the families of the victims. On this, we stand in solidarity.

- Jacob Siu's Facebook

When Tung Chee-hwa became Chief Executive, there was the bus disaster in Tuen Mun with several dozen casualties.
When CY Leung became Chief Executive, there was the Lamma Island ferry disaster with several dozen casualties.
When Carrie Lam became Chief Executive, there was the Tai Po bus disaster with several dozen casualties.
When Donald Tsang became Chief Executive, there was no large-scale disaster.

Can the various fortune-tellers see why all those Chief Executives picked by the Communist Party have been disastrous for Hong Kong? If the Chinese Communists would only stay away, there will be peace in Hong Kong and everybody will make a lot of money!

- (Sing Tao Daily) February 11, 2018. The KMB Union held a press conference. They said that the KMB company and the Department of Transportation are to be fully blamed. In recent years, KMB has been cutting costs by hiring part-time bus drivers who are amateur bus fans lacking driving skills. "They are recklessly endangering the lives of the passengers!"

- Yes, I am not only worried about inexperienced bus drivers, but more so the mentally unstable ones (see #310 The Case of Cheung Ray).

More at Occupy Central Part 9

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 (701-800)
Occupy Central Part 9 (801-)

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