[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).]

(Oriental Daily) December 17, 2017.

The Hong Kong College of Technology held its graduation ceremony yesterday. When the national anthem was played, some graduates refused to stand up. After about ten seconds, the music was stopped and a college worker announced that the ceremony was halted because certain people disrespected the national anthem and violated the regulations. The two graduates were asked to leave. The two left in the company of more than ten others who supported their action. The graduate ceremony resumed after a delay of almost 20 minutes.

The students who left chanted slogans and displayed placards outside the hall. They demanded a response from the administration. Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay said that the graduate ceremony is a grand and solemn occasion for the graduates and their teachers/friends/families. He said that the Hong Kong College of Technology is known to be a patriotic school. He said that students should respect the occasion as well as the school's position. On the Hong Kong College of Technology website, there is a photo of the graduates with the note that they want to have a solemn ceremony that is not subject to disruption.

(Wen Wei Po) December 17, 2017.

According to information, the Hong Kong College of Technology began this year to require students stand at attention during the national anthem. In the rules and regulations for the ceremony, it is clearly stated that any disrespectful or inappropriate action by a student  during the playing of the national anthem may result in the student not being allowed to get on stage for the conferment ceremony. This was reiterated during the rehearsal.

However, two graduates from the social work department were dissatisfied with this arrangement. They said that they conferment of the diploma should not be linked with the national anthem. Furthermore respect for the country should not be conditional on whether one sings the national anthem or not. Therefore they refused to stand at attention and they even crossed their arms to show their disrespect for the national anthem.

Based upon the rules and regulations, the school asked the two students to leave. About 10 more graduates also walked out because they support the two troublemakers. The ceremony was held up for 20 minutes as a result.

Afterwards those students who knowingly violated the rules and regulations stood outside with placards "Those who won't want to be slaves" and shouted "High-pressure regimes lead to high-pressure schools" so as to continue to annoy the other students and families.

After the graduation ceremony, HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay went to speak to the protestors. He said that he loves the students and therefore he made sure that the graduate ceremony would be completed. He emphasized that the graduation ceremony is a solemn occasion, and therefore he stuck to his principles and made sure that it would be so. He asked these students to reflect: "You want the school to respect your views. Why can't you respect the position of the school about respecting the national anthem."

Chan shared the history of the Hong Kong College of Technology with the students. He said that the Hong Kong College of Technology was already a patriotic school before the 1997 handover. From the 1960's they were already hoisting the People's Republic of China fives-star national flag and singing the People's Republic of China national anthem. As a result, the school was suppressed by the British colonial administration, which took away financial subsidies and even the school campus. But the school never gave up its patriotic stance. "There is no room for compromise on this." He said that he respects the views of these students, but he wishes that they would continue to get to know society and China.

The HKCT spokesperson added that the graduates were given the rules and regulations for the graduation ceremony. The school always respects freedom of speech, such that everybody has the right to express personal opinions on all matters. But in so doing, they must do so in the appropriate situation while respecting others. As an institute of higher learning, the HKCT has the responsibility of teaching the students to know right from wrong and accept responsibility for their actions.


Apple Daily https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsj6SFM5TSY

HK01 https://www.hk01.com/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/141929/-%E5%9C%8B%E6%AD%8C%E6%B3%95-%E6%B8%AF%E5%B0%88%E7%95%A2%E6%A5%AD%E7%94%9F%E6%8B%92%E9%B3%B4%E5%A5%8F%E6%99%82%E7%AB%99%E7%AB%8B%E9%81%AD%E8%B6%95%E9%9B%A2%E5%A0%B4-%E6%96%A5%E6%A0%A1%E9%95%B7%E7%8E%87%E5%85%88%E6%8E%A8%E5%9C%8B%E6%AD%8C%E6%B3%95

Sing Tao/Headline Daily https://www.facebook.com/fatBhasasay/videos/843882449151719/

Speakout HK
HKCT President Chan Cheuk-hay spoke to the "troublemaking" students


In the dialogue between the college president and the students, the student speaker loses many points because he comes across as shrill and hysterical in tone and volume.

In the video in which the student named Yu explains his reasons for so doing, the commentators are more fascinated by his facial features.

Internet comments:

- (HKG Pao) President Chan Cheuk-hay acted with reason.

(1) The most basic thing in life is to know to respect other people. When President Chan saw those students disrespecting the national anthem and the 1.3 billion Chinese people whose anthem it is, how can he not act to stop them? What kind of teacher wouldn't?

(2) Some Yellow Ribbon media said that the Hong Kong College of Technology is enforcing the national anthem even before the Hong Kong Legislative Council has enacted the relevant law. But we should be respecting the national anthem with or without any law. Why should such commonsense be required to have a legal basis?

(3) Some of the student troublemakers said that they disrespect the national anthem because "the political regime in China is unstable and not there to serve the people." This shows that they are filled with prejudices and hate for the motherland. President Chan really needed to wake them up.

(4) For most of the students, the graduation ceremony marked an important landmark in their lives. It does not matter what those student troublemakers want, they have no right to deprive others of the right to have a solemn graduation ceremony.

(5) For those student troublemakers, they have lost the opportunity to attend their own graduation ceremony, but they got a chance to reflect on their mistake.

(6) When President Chan corrected them, they have a chance to look carefully at what is happening in China. The Hong Kong College of Technology provides many mainland trips throughout the year. Why didn't they go there themselves? Why do they insist on believing the unreal China that is being presented in Apple Daily and social media? Why do they insist on being frogs at the bottom of the well?

(7) If they don't rectify themselves even after this, then they will be despised because they don't know how to respect the country, their teachers, their fellow students and themselves.

- Before today's graduation ceremony, the college administration had already given the rules and regulations to the students. This was a reaction to what happened the previous year:

(Ta Kung Pao) November 27, 2016.

Yesterday the Hong Kong College of Technology held its graduation ceremony at its Ma On Shan campus. The media were not invited. Afterwards some participants forwarded videos to Apple Daily showing some students raising placards and chanting slogans during the national anthem and while on stage. They chanted: "Oppose National People's Congress interpretation of the Basic Law, thus destroying rule-of-law in Hong Kong." There were also people upset at the behavior of these students, and they shouted "Support the National People's Congress interpretation of the Basic Law" and "Down with Hong Kong independence dogs."

Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay spoke. He said that he was born and he grew up in the British colonial era. He was oppressed by imperialism. "Young kids were bullied and assaulted by foreigners. We were afraid to speak up until our national anthem sounded and our five-star national flag was raised." Now our country is leaving behind those days of being bullied and abused. He said that many western countries are still trying to blockade China militarily and economically. "Those leading imperialists cannot stand the sight of our country being strong and they want to continue to keep us down."

Chan said that no country in the world can "send civilian jets out to war zones to extract our citizens." He said that China even sent warships to war zones to extract our citizens. Japan even has to rely on us to transport their citizens out. Chan said that he felt bad when he saw some of the students did during the playing of the national anthem today. He asked: "When you travel outside and encounter manmade or natural disasters, who is going to help you?"

Former Demosisto vice-president Oscar Lai was one of the protesting graduates from the department of social work at the College of Technology. He told Apple Daily that 40 to 50 fellow students wore yellow ribbons and held up "Oppose National People's Congress interpretation of the Basic Law" placards. More than 10 students shouted slogans on stage too.

- (HKG Pao) HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay told those students about how the school was a patriotic school oppressed by the British colonial government. "If you weren't aware of this when you came here, you are in the wrong school!"

- (Wikipedia) The HKCT was originally established as the Mongkok Workers' Night School in 1957 to provide education opportunities for working-class families.

- (Bastille Post)

The dozen or so students went outside and then chanted: "President! President! Come out and meet with us." So Hong Kong College of Technology president Chan Cheuk-hay came out to speak with them.

The student shouted: "Just because we sat down does not mean that we do not respect the national anthem. Just because we won't sing the national anthem does not mean that we are unpatriotic. We don't understand why that on account of a national anthem, we social work students for whom so much effort was already spent to teach us were excluded from the graduation ceremony ... I want to ask why you treat students this way."

Chan waited for the student to finish before he replied solemnly: "The Hong Kong College of Technology is a patriotic school. We must hold the patriotic flag high. There can be no compromise on this. Even during the British colonial era, we have never retreated. The Hong Kong College of Technology is a patriotic school. It has been a patriotic school long before 1997. From inception, we have raised the five-star national flag and sung the March of the Volunteers. For these actions, we were suppressed by the British colonial government. Our subsidies were canceled, and our campus was repossessed. But we never gave up our patriotic position. (Pointing to the students) If you did not know this when you came here, you chose the wrong school!"

The student replied: "Just because we won't sing the national anthem does not mean that we are unpatriotic. It is precisely because we know China that we know that the regime is unstable and not serving the people. We also see that the Hong Kong government is deeply influenced by the Chinese regime. As social work students who have to face those who use public services, we know better how this regime ignores the demands of the people. We should be coming out and speaking up because we are patriotic.

Chan said: "My position is clear. But I respect your views. I hope that you can continue to explore the problems of the country, and make changes as students ... I love the students, and that is why I will continue with the graduation ceremony instead of the disruptions. You want the school to respect your views. But why don't you respect the position of the school and respect the national anthem? The graduation ceremony is a solemn occasion. We must adhere firmly to the principles during the ceremony."

Chan then went back inside.

A university teacher said that many teachers and presidents are afraid of the valiant attitudes of the students. Even if they disapprove of the student methods, they are too afraid to speak out for fear of being criticized and bullied. Very few are like Chan Cheuk-hay who was unafraid to tell the students about the school's position and point out that the disruption was wrong. Chan's courage is admirable.

- (Speakout HK https://www.speakout.hk/%E6%B8%AF%E4%BA%BA%E8%8A%B1%E7%94%9F/29360/-%E5%BC%B7%E7%83%88%E8%AD%B4%E8%B2%AC-%E7%8D%A8%E5%AE%B6%E5%8F%AF%E9%9D%A0%E6%B6%88%E6%81%AF-%E6%A0%A1%E6%96%B9%E6%B2%92%E6%9C%89%E8%A8%AD%E5%82%B3%E5%AA%92%E6%8E%A1%E8%A8%AA-%E5%AD%B8%E7%94%9F%E5%AE%89%E6%8E%92-%E8%98%8B%E6%9E%9C-%E8%A8%98%E8%80%85%E4%BB%A5%E7%95%A2%E6%A5%AD%E7%94%9F%E8%A6%AA%E5%8F%8B%E8%BA%AB%E4%BB%BD%E9%80%B2%E5%85%A5%E6%9C%83%E5%A0%B4 ) December 17, 2017.

According to information, the Hong Kong College of Technology did not arrange for media to cover the graduation ceremony. Instead, the students arranged for the Apple Daily and HK01 reporters to attend as their friends/relatives.

Furthermore, these students had printed the slogans on white paper to bring to the ceremony.

This showed that the whole incident was preplanned. The rules and regulations were made known to these students beforehand, and they knowingly violated them while making sure that friendly media would be there.  This was not a spontaneous occurrence.

- If the action was made at the spur of the moment, where would they make up the banners after being ejected? Instead this student leader raised up two pieces of white A4 paper on which is printed: "Students, those who don't wish to be slaves." The pieces of paper showed fold marks. In particular, this student isn't even aware that the piece in his right hand was folded such that the sentence read: "Students, not the original slave people." These pieces of paper were printed beforehand, folded and put into pockets to bring into the hall.

- There are "normal" ways of expressing your displeasure at the fact that the national anthem would be played at the graduation ceremony. For example, you can just stay home and explain your reasons on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc). But that wouldn't make you a public hero. Therefore you choose to interrupt the graduation ceremony and meet the press (who you contacted beforehand) after being expelled in accordance with the announced rules.

Well, I don't see you expressing your displeasure at (1) the national flag flying at the Hong Kong College of Technology and many other institutions; (2) the Hong Kong passport showing the People's Republic of China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the issuer; (3) the Hong Kong ID showing the logo of the People's Republic of China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; etc.

- The case of the Hong Kong College of Technology brings up the issue of self-determination/autonomy at educational institutes in Hong Kong. According to HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay, their school has been "patriotic" ever since it was founded in 1957 as the Mongkok Workers' Night School -- they have always flown the Chinese five-star flag and played the March of the Volunteers anthem.

The question is just who represents the school. Is it the board of trustees who are not elected by universal suffrage? Or is it the students? It is up to HKCT president Chan Cheuk-hay who was hired by the board of trustees? Or is it up to the dozen social work graduates? Or should the matter be left to a student referendum?

- HKCT has been 'patriotic' since inception. How did these 'pro-democracy' students end up there in the first place? What were they thinking? Caveat emptor!

- (Ko Chi Sum's Facebook) If these students are upset at finding themselves at a 'patriotic' school, it is never too late. They can always refuse to accept the diploma for the associate degree and enroll at some 'pro-democracy' institutions elsewhere. Will they?

- What happened here is consistent with the theory behind Occupy Central/Umbrella Revolution. There you want something from the government but you can't force them directly. So you hold the general public hostage by blocking the streets and create mass inconvenience. When the public gets upset, it will surely blame the government and not you. Here some students want the school to stop playing the national anthem. So they disrupt the graduation ceremony. When the other students and their friends/relatives get upset, they will surely blame the school administration and not the troublemakers.

Of course,  that was not the way that it worked out, back then and now.

(The Standard) December 15, 2017.

A university student who fell from a height in Kowloon Tong today has died. At about 7:43am this morning, the 22-year-old man was found lying unconscious after falling from the Academic and Administration Building at Baptist University Road. He was rushed to hospital and later certified dead. The young man was a fourth-year Hong Kong Baptist University student, who studied social sciences, Headline Daily reported.

What is the coverage in the Yellow Ribbon media of Hong Kong?

(Apple Daily) December 15, 2017.

Before jumping off the building, the deceased had posted on his Facebook: "Please do not believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. Goodbye, everybody!"

According to information, the student used to be in a family of four. He lived in Wong Tai Sin with his father, mother and younger sister. Some years ago his mother passed away and his father re-married and had a daughter who is 12-years-old mother. The relationship between the student and the stepmother was bad. One year ago, they got into a fight and the police came to investigate. The student rented a room in To Kwa Wan and moved out. Recently the police completed the investigation and arrested the student and her stepmother

(Ming Pao) December 15, 2017.

Before falling from a height, the deceased posted on social media Facebook: "Please do not believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. Goodbye, everybody!"

(HK01 https://www.hk01.com/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/141517/-%E6%A0%A1%E5%9C%92%E8%87%AA%E6%AE%BA-%E6%B5%B8%E5%A4%A725%E6%AD%B2%E7%94%B7%E7%94%9F-%E8%A1%8C%E6%94%BF%E6%A8%93%E5%A2%AE%E6%A8%93%E4%BA%A1-%E6%A0%A1%E6%96%B9%E7%B1%B2%E9%81%87%E5%9B%B0%E6%93%BE%E5%8F%AF%E6%B1%82%E5%8A%A9 ) December 15, 2017.

According to information, the deceased is a 25-year-old fourth-year local student named Hung. Before falling from a height, he posted on Facebook: "Please do not believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. Goodbye, everybody!"

Internet information indicated that Hung studied for an associate degree in Humanities (History) at Lingnan University School of Continuing Education at first. Last year, he was able to qualify for the History department at Baptist University. At the graduation class, he encouraged those who had failed to gain university admission through the DSE exam to follow his own example.

The police have checked the CCTV recordings at Baptist University. The deceased was seen to be using his telephone and then he fell down. He did not carry any letter on him, so the reason for the suicide is unknown.

- Here is how anti-Yellow Ribbon media covered this story differently: (Oriental Daily) December 16, 2017.

(1) More than 10 years ago, the father remarried a mainland woman who gave birth to a daught er.

(2) Hung and his stepmother got into a fight after a dispute over bathroom priority.

(3) At 737am, he said goodbye to his good friends on Facebook. The phrasing was 'peculiar' with an emoji of waving his hand.

Internet Comments:

- This is typical of Apple Daily by quoting a Facebook comment without offering any evidence. Who is to know whether their out-sourced reporter made this up? After all, the reporter is being paid on the basis of "hits" to the story.

- The video in the Apple Daily story contained a screen capture.

But I grant you that this is so easy to forge. I can easily use Photoshop to change the text: "Donald Trump killed me because I have evidence that he is an alien from outer space."

- Textual analysis: 千奇唔好信一地兩檢無跨境執法

There is a glaring mistake in this one sentence. Normally one wuld use 千祈 which literally means "One thousand prayers." Thus, I say one thousand prayers for you in the hope that you won't believe that there is no cross-border law enforcement under the Co-location Arrangement. However, he used instead the homonym 千奇, which literally means "One thousand curiosities." Very curious, indeed.

- Not curious at all. After all, when Joshua Wong sent out an annotated map of his prison cell, he managed to misspell 6 words out of the 10 named items (see #786). Nowadays in Hong Kong, the young people are semi-illiterate.

- I firmly believe that Cross-border Law Enforcement is taking place and will continue to take place with or without the Co-location Arrangement. We are all Lam Tsz-kin!

- Why was the young man was wary about the Co-location Arrangement? Here is a blog post by someone else at The Stand News:

As soon as the High Express Rail becomes operational in Hong Kong, large numbers of soldiers and munitions will immediately saturate Hong Kong. Shenzhen and Hong Kong will become one city. Hong Kong and China will become a single body. The Hong Kong Dollar will be displaced by the RMB, for this is the reason why High Speed Rail tickets can only be purchased with RMB.

Meanwhile, you must especially note that the High Speed Rail has a stop near the Shek Kong Barracks. According to Internet information, legislator Eddie Chu Hoi Dick has revealed that there is an underground tunnel leading from the PLA barracks to the High Speed Rail station. Ex-legislator Gary Fan Kwok-wai has released information that there is even a surface passageway. When the High Speed Rail becomes operational, there is nothing to stop the Chinese Communist and their armies from coming into Hong Kong. Just think about it, the Chinese Communists will have full control of the Hong Kong section. Not even the Hong Kong Customs Department or the Hong Kong Police can do anything. They can do whatever they want?

It is amazing that people can believe this nonsense.

The People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison has been present in Hong Kong since July 1, 1997. They are here to defend Hong Kong, so they must surely be armed already. If they want to move 1,000 Type 95 light machine guns here, they can just drive a few trucks down. If they want to move soldiers down, they can do so by land, sea or air at will. Why do they need the High Speed Rail? It takes more time because you have to transport to the train, load onto the train, unload from the train and transport to the final destination. Why not just drive directly to the final destination?

If agents of "a powerful department" need to kidnap Hong Kong citizens and take them back across the border, they can go by land, sea or air. For example, they can travel by speedboat or even use a PLA Navy boat. Why do they need the High Speed Rail? How do they clear the kidnap victim through Hong Kong Immigration/Customs there?

- No matter how you look at it, it was mainland China which killed his young man.

On one hand, the young man's death note was about the Co-location Arrangement. Thus, he became the first victim of the Co-location Arrangement. There will undoubtedly be many more to come. To save those lives, we must immediately scrap the Co-location Arrangement.

On the other hand, the young man came under family pressure because his mother passed away and his father had the nerve to marry a mainland woman and have another daughter. A year ago, the son and the stepmother got into a fight over bathroom priorities. The police was summoned and may yet charge them with common assault. The son was forced to move out. Whenever a mainland woman married down to Hong Kong, there are always family as well as socio-economic problems. We must immediately stop all immigration from mainland China or else even more lives will be lost.

- The suicide took place at Baptist University. Hong Kong Baptist University students must be depressed and fearful of the sight of the People's Liberation Army Kowloon East Barracks (formerly known as Osborn Barracks) right across the street from their campus. Every day when they walk down Waterloo Road or Junction Road, they see this symbol of foreign colonialism. It is imperative that these barracks be demolished and replaced by something more sightly (such as a shopping mall) or else even more student suicides will take place.

- Valiant resistance does not mean killing oneself in the face of impossible odds. It means strapping a suicide bomb on oneself and shouting "Long live Hong Kong independence" as one rushes the sentry post. The People's Liberation Army should vacate the premises before the Valiant Martyrs take action.

- A death is a personal tragedy which should not be exploited for political purposes. Shame on all those exploiters!

- (Daily Beast) The Werther effect: A new study provides the strongest evidence yet that sensational media reporting of a teen suicide plays into the tendency of other kids to imitate the tragic act.

Unfortunately, the priority for the media is to capture eyeballs and make money. A  lot of money. They are not in the business of saving lives.

(Oriental Daily) December 12, 2017.

At around 6pm, almost 100 pan-democratic legislators, politicians and supporters gathered at the Legislative Council demonstration area. They erected about 10 tents and declared that they intend to stay overnight. They called on citizens to come down to voice their opposition and prevent the pro-establishment from amending the rules of procedures by laying siege to the Legislative Council.

At around 1130pm, Legislative Council security guards began clearing the site of tents and people. However, as soon as a person is carried out of the area, he/she would turn around and immediately re-enter the area. At around 1210am, the Legislative Council secretariat called the police for assistance to complete the clearance.

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 12, 2017.

Pro-democracy demonstrators have been removed from outside the legislature amid a protest over the pro-Beijing camps attempt to amend the LegCos rules in their favour.

Around 300 attended Mondays protest, including lawmakers. Democrats had initially intended on camping overnight and surrounding the Legislative Council Complex on Wednesday. However, after repeated warnings from the police, they were removed from the site just before midnight.

Earlier in the evening, the protesters were ordered by a LegCo security guard to behave in an orderly manner and comply with directions given by officer of the Council under section 11 of the legislatures administrative instructions. Protesters were forbidden from putting up tents, and were requested to retrieve any tents that had been erected.

I have a right to protest, demonstrators chanted.

They were also told that, under the law, those who assault, interfere with or obstruct a Legislative Council officer are liable to a HK$10,000 fine and 12-months behind bars.

Hong Kong is finished after the LegCo rules are changed, one protester shouted outside the police barricade. How can one person [LegCo president] has so much power?

According to the Legislative Council rules, the demonstration area is only open for use between 7am and 11pm.

At around 11:30pm, the camps were peacefully pulled to the sidewalk, while the protesters were removed one by one from the site by guards. Some demonstrators had to be carried out by Legislative Council security officers.

The guards asked for police assistance at around 12:10am on Tuesday to move more protesters.

(Oriental Daily) December 13, 2017.

Early this morning at 2am, the police cleared the site. The demonstrators moved out to Tim Mei Road outside the demonstration area.

Tonight, there were about 20 tents and more than 200 people gathered outside the demonstration area. Legislators Alvin Yeung, Jeremy Tam, Wu Chi-wai and Chan Chi-chuen stayed in the tents last night.

At 830pm tonight, the police found that a 16-year-old Studentlocalism member named Lau with a facsimile air gun. Lau was taken down to the police station to assist in the investigation.

- Video Lau Hong and the police

(Oriental Daily) Wednesday. December 13, 2017.

At 615pm, a number of pan-democratic political parties amassed in the Legislative Council demonstration area to declare that they are laying siege to the Legislative Council.

When the assembly began, there were less than 100 persons, including Occupy Central founder Benny Tai, disqualified legislator Leung Kwok-hung, League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng and vice-chairman Raphael Wong, district councilor Ho Kai-ming (ADPL) and Neo Democrats' Gary Fan. There were about 30 tents on the roadside, some with banners such as "Oppose the amendment of the rules of procedures" and "Please do not dismantle."

By 730pm, there were almost 200 people present.

At 745am, about 20 pan-democratic legislative councilors, plus the disqualified legislative councilor Yiu Chung-yim, showed up. They declared that they were ready for a sustained battle. Benny Tai said that the passage of the amendment of the rules of procedure will weaken the restraining power of the pan-democrats within the Legislative Council. Therefore the pan-democrats must united and continue to resist even if the space is restricted. Tai admitted that more assemblies won't be effective, because too few people are participating. But nevertheless resistance must continue.

Video: Chin Po-fun vs the police

(Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017.

Last night, the number of tents outside the Legislative Council building increased from about 30 to more than 40. The number of protestors stayed around 200. The pan-democratic legislators came out after their session to make speeches. By 830pm, the protestors began to leave.

(Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017.

On the evening after the vote, the pan-democratic legislators went to the Legco demonstration area to apologize to their supporters for failing to stop the amendments to the rules of procedure. They called on their supporters to vote for pan-democrats in the by-election next yar.

At the time, there were about 300 people present, including both pro- and con- protestors. The two sides cursed at each other across the barricades. By 930pm, there were about 100 persons in the demonstration area. The assembly ended at around 10pm.

Another group of protestors stayed at the tents on the sidewalk of Tim Mei Road. There were about 30 tents. After the assembly ended, some of these people began taking down the tents to leave.

Internet comments:

- Here is the activity log:

1:55 police clearance at legislative council building accomplished.
1:51am The next protester's (man, DQ legislator, DQ legislator, legislator, legislator, legislator) willingly walks out.
1:48am The next protester (man. former legislator) willingly walks out.
1:47am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:43am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:42am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:41am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
1:39am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:38am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:35am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:32am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:29am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:26am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:25am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1:20am The next protester (woman, DQ legislator) willingly walks out.
1:16am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
1:13am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
1:12am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:08am The next protester (man) is carried out.
1:05 am One protester (woman) is claiming to be ill and fainted.
1:03am The next protester (woman) is carried out.
1am The next protester (woman) willingly walks out.
12:58am The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
12:57am The next protester (woman) willingly walks out.
12:55am The next protester (woman) willingly walks out.
12:52am. The next protester (man) willingly walks out.
12:50 am One protester (man) is claiming to be ill and fainted. The police appear to not know what to do to remove him. He is finally carried out and removed motionless.
12:44am First protester carried out now by arms and legs.
12:37 am The police are now setting up barricades to carry the protesters out, Guessing once carried out they will get each protester's i.d. information to possibility charge them with a crime (unauthorized public assembly of 30 people or more) at a later date.
12:32am The police and Legislative Council security has withdrawn.
The protesters remain.
12:13am Police now moving in to arrest all the protesters who are sitting or laying down with locked arms. Numbering about 50 protesters with 50 media. Many of them have been arrested multiple times before for protesting and are hardly afraid of another arrest or the police. The oldest protester is 95 year's old. @ Legislative Council.

Occupy Central founder Benny Tai pointed out that if 10,000 people come out and lay siege to the Legislative Council building or Government Headquarters, there won't be enough police manpower to remove or arrest them. So how do we get 10,000 people to come and lie on the ground for two days?

- Let's see: If you pay them $1,000 each per day, then the total cost for two days of work is $1,000 x 10,000 x 2 = $20,000,000. This is a drop in the bucket for Jimmy Lai given that his company is losing hundreds of millions a year already. $20 million won't make a difference to him.

- On this Wednesday night, hundreds of thousands of people rushed off from work and hurried over to Happy Valley and the Off-Course Betting Branches to follow the Hong Kong Jockey Club horse races.

- (HKG Pao) Here a group of protestors leave linking arms. They chanted: "Tonight they arrest 10 persons. Tomorrow 100 persons will come."

Well, what has been happening is that 100 persons came around tonight. Nothing much happened. Tomorrow only 10 persons show up.

- The yet-to-be-finalized talk is that the pan-democrats will raise the ante by calling for a hunger strike. At first, the participants will be the disqualified legislative councilors and the second-tier pan-democrats, because the frontline pan-democrats have to be energized to fight inside the Legislative Council.

- (SCMP) Lesson for Hong Kongs politicians: this is how you do a hunger strike. By Yonden Lhatoo. August 11, 2016.

We have hunger strikes here in Hong Kong too, but theyre feeble publicity attempts by veteran and budding politicians who are prone to separation anxiety when theyre kept away from food for too long.

Our so-called hunger strikes can be farcical exercises in futility, with the concept of marathon fasting morphing conveniently into a relay system, in which participants working in shifts pass on the starving baton to reinforcements while they take a break to tank up.

Remember student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fungs indefinite hunger strike during the Occupy protests of 2014? It lasted all of four days, and he gave up citing strong doctors advice and extreme physical discomfort. Government officials sat it out, smug in the knowledge that it would never get to the stage where they would be forced to the negotiating table.

Democratic Party heavyweight Albert Ho Chun-yan, no pun intended, also staged an indefinite hunger strike for universal suffrage in 2014. It lasted all of 100 hours as a bout of diarrhoea combined with a mild headache prompted him to throw in the towel and pick up a plate.

This is not an attack on the heroes of the pan-democratic camp. At least they try to go hungry in the name of democracy on occasion. Their pro-establishment rivals should try it, too for health reasons if not for politics. The amount of fasting involved in the cases of Wong and Ho was probably good for them in terms of detoxification.

My Muslim friends do it all the time as part of their faith. They tell me it rejuvenates your body and helps you think clearly.

- (Silent Majority HK) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 13, 2017.

The decisive moment for the amendment of Legco rules of procedure has arrived. The pan-democrats have erected large numbers of tents outside the Legislative Council. They are calling upon their supporters to join their resistance effort. They said that they will stay until Christmas.

The first time that an idea is introduced, it is a "new idea." When it is used again, it is a "old idea." After it is used a few more times, it is a "worn-out idea."

The same people using the same method in the same place to oppose the same enemy.

Three years ago, the number of tents and persons were "countable." Three years later today, the numbers are countable. The reason is simple: When a confidence man uses the method in the same place to run the same confidence game, can there still be suckers around?

According to Sing Tao Daily, there were several dozen citizens present when the assembly began. By midnight, there were over one hundred persons present. There were about ten tents which were erected by the political parties.

You might say that Sing Tao Daily intentionally understated the numbers!

So I checked the Yellow Ribbon media. Oddly enough, Apple Daily and Citizen News did not report on the numbers at all. They only said "about 20 tents stayed to hold fort" and "50 persons were removed during the clearance." HK01 said: "More than 20 tents remained outside the Legislative Council, with more than 100 persons gathered now."

When I taught journalism, I would always ask when I see such homework reports: About 10? So was that 8, or 9 or 10? And twenty-something? Was it 21 or 29? News reporting should be accurate. This is not having to count to 2,900 or 29,000. What can't you count 100-something accurately?

10 or 20 tents. 100-odd persons. How come no reporter cared to count accurately? Three years ago, "10,000 persons Occupied Central" was a landmark. Three years later today, "20 persons Occupied Central" should be the ending of the story. This is a very important number, and it is surely countable. Why don't the reporters give us an accurate count and tell the public. Please!

- (Silent Majority HK)

The numbers are telling us that filibustering is unpopular. The pan-democrats had called on their supporters to "lay siege to the Legislative Council. What were the results? A couple of days ago, the tent city consisted of about 10 tents, most of which were unoccupied. Last night the peak attendance at the "siege" of the Legislative Council was just over 100, most of them being the regular troublemakers. After a couple of hours, they lost interest and went home.

The pan-democrats joined hands with the independence/self-determination to oppose the amending of the Legco rules of procedures. But they looked on the edge of defeat even as they got started. The reason is simple: filibustering is unpopular with the people. Denial merely makes the defeat look ever uglier. Eddie Chu Hoi Dick has run out of dirty tricks, so he doesn't look so smug now. Hui Chi-fung tried attacking the security guards who are doing their jobs. Public opinion was firmly against him.

Everybody knows that amending the Legco rule of procedures is intended to stop filibustering. The Legislative Council needs to hold regular meetings, construction workers need to have work, and livelihood and economic packages need to be passed on a timely basis. The only way to do this is to change the Legco rules of procedure. The pan-democrats were addicted to filibustering. If the rules are unchanged, they won't be able to restrain themselves from filibustering. The people of Hong Kong can see this clearly. Even the pan-democrats' supporters can see it. That is why there are so few protestors apart from their pan-democratic legislators and their aides.

- It is not true that they are shopping the same old worn-out ideas. This time they have mobilized the "scholars."

Objection to amending the Legislative Councils Rules of Procedure to weaken its deliberation and oversight powers ( Petition for the academics)

In recent days, pro-establishment legislators proposed to amend the Legislative Councils Rules of Procedure, at a time when the democrats had lost their veto powers as a result of the oath-taking controversy. We object to the amendment proposals because once such amendments are passed, they stand to gravely weaken the Councils power to monitor the government, already minuscule as they are, and allow the all-powerful executive authorities to escape legislative oversight even further, rendering a much increased chance of Hong Kong heading towards an authoritarian system.
Reasons for the above understanding are as follows:

First, the pro-establishment camp claims that the purpose of amending the Rules of Procedure is to deter filibuster. But detailed examination of their proposals shows that some of the suggested amendments have actually nothing to do with filibustering, for example, the proposal to raise the quorum from 20 to 35 for investigations of public officers. The democratic camp has in the past presented three petitions for investigating public officials, including the entertainment expenses and overseas visits of Mr. Tong Hin-ming Timothy when he was Commissioner of the ICAC, delays and cost overruns of the express train project, and the payment deal between Mr. Leung Chun-ying and UGL. All the petition proceedings took about five minutes and neither necessitated nor constituted filibustering. Raising the requested number of petitioners to 35 before petitions can be presented is tantamount to dictating a pro-establishment camp endorsement before petitions can be referred to select committees. This would mean the similar, investigative committees would have little chance of being set up in future. The Legislative Council will have even greater difficulty in initiating investigations into suspected dereliction of duty by officials while costs to officials and public officers for abuse will be even less.

In addition, the pro-establishment camp proposes lowering the quorum for the Committee stage of the whole Council on a bill from 35 to 20. Attending Legislative Council meetings to deliberate on bills is legislators duty. The pro-establishment camps suggestion to lower the quorum rather than encouraging legislators to fulfil their duty of attending Council meetings is putting the cart before the horse and lowering its own standards. The suggestion is also in contravention of Article 75 of the Basic Law which stipulates that [t]he quorum for the meeting of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be not less than one half of all its members.

Furthermore, the pro-establishment camp proposes a change on motions to adjourn debate or of proceedings of a committee of the whole Council. When the Chairman is of the opinion that the moving of the adjournment of proceedings is an abuse of procedure, he or she may decide not to propose the question or to put the question forthwith without debate. The passage of this revision will make legislatures members unable to compel the withdrawal of unreasonable or draconian bills. The Chairman will be able to order a vote on a draconian bill and substantially weaken legislators capacity to reduce administrative abuse and mistakes.

When legislators lose the power to deliberate and the Legislative Council cannot rely on legislative procedures and powers to exert pressure and scrutinize the government, costs to the government for poor governance and pushing poor legislation will be much diminished and the government will not need to respond to the legislature or to public opinion.
If the pro-establishment camp succeeds in amending the Rules of Procedure, when the government decides to push through draconian legislation that breaches public interests and human rights, including legislation of Article 23, the Legislative Council will have greater difficulty in deterring such moves through legislative scrutiny and mobilizing for public support. The government will be more likely to become the representative of a dictatorial regime not subject to any checks to its powers, and all Hong Kong people will suffer.

* Scholars' Alliance for Academic Freedom
* CHAN Ka Lok, Kenneth (HKBU, Associate Professor)
* CHAN, Stephen C.K. (Lingnan U, Professor)
* CHAN Sze Chi (HKBU, Senior Lecturer)
* CHAN Yin Ha (CUHK, Senior Lecturer)
* CHEUNG, Chor Yung (CityU, Senior Teaching Fellow)
* CHOI Po King (CUHK, Adjunct Associate Professor)
* CHONG Yiu Kwong (EdUHK, Senior Lecturer)
* CHOW Po Chung (CUHK, Associate Professor)
* FU King-wa (HKU, Associate Professor)
* FUNG Wai-wah (Senior Lecturer, CityU of Hong Kong)
* HO Chi Kwan (Caritas Higher Institute of Education, Research Professor)
* HUI Hon Wing (EdUHK, Lecturer)
* KWOK, Rowena (HKU, former Assistant Professor)
* KUAN Hsin Ki (CUHK, Emeritus Professor)
* KUNG Lap Yan (CUHK, Associate Professor)
* LEUNG Chi Yuen (PolyU, Teaching Fellow)
* LEUNG Yan Wing (EdUHK) , Adjunt Associate Professor
* LEUNG, Yuk-ming Lisa (Lingnan U, Associate Professor)
* LI Chin Wa (EdUHK, Senior Lecturer)
* LUK Kit Ling (HKCC, PolyU, Lecturer)
* MA, Ngok (CUHK, Associate Professor)
* NGO Hang Yue (CUHK, Professor)
* POON Eric (CUHK, Associate Professor of Practice)
* SING Ming, Dixon (HKUST, Associate Professor)
* SO, Alvin (HKUST, Chair Professor)
* TO Yiu Ming (HKBU, Assistant Professor, retired)
* WONG Wai Kwok, Benson (HKBU, Assistant Professor)
* WONG Chi Wai, Paul (CC City U, Lecturer)
* YAU, Joe C.K. (HKBU, Lecturer)

(SCMP) Our scholars need a lesson in honesty. By Alex Lo. December 12, 2017.

A group of more than 25 university lecturers have formed an alliance and declared themselves against rewriting the rule book of the Legislative Council while exploiting the prestige of their academic titles.

As citizens, they have every right to express an opinion for or against the overhaul, which aims to curb the ability of the opposition to launch filibustering and other delaying tactics in Legco. But why do they think their individual university employment titles and collective identity as professional academics matter unless, that is, to create a false and elitist impression that they have special insights and knowledge and we dont?

We, the undersigned scholars, they wrote, then listed their university titles.

Chinese traditionally have a special respect for scholars. In the contemporary world, this means someone with a PhD and/or employed at a university with a professorial title. Here, I include assistant and associate professors, and honorary lecturers on temporary contracts. We still seem to assume such people possess special knowledge and insights. And they do, but only in their particular scientific and literary fields.

Some of them no doubt think they are special. But if you think about it, are they really any more insightful than a well-informed taxi driver who spends all day listening to the radio and hourly news in his car? Professional scholars are rarely superior when it comes to matters that concern ordinary citizens. The fact that many spend their entire lives in an academic setting should give you pause.

The online statement published by the group of academics essentially repeats the same arguments against rewriting the Legco rules and procedures that have already been voiced by the opposition. In fact, if you look up those names, some of them are card-carrying party members of the opposition and/or long-time supporters. Why not just be honest and declare yourselves writing as or for the opposition?

The problem with this battle is that the government-friendly lawmakers, for once, have managed to present a simple and coherent message, which is that for years, the opposition is opposing for its own sake and holding up important legislative business.

The opposition, however, has made a complete mess of it; worse, it reinforces the pro-government message by creating more disruptions and chaos in Legco to try to stall the rule overhaul.

But its late in the day and they have already lost the battle.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong pan-dems now reap what they have sown. By Alex Lo. December 14, 2017.

When opposition lawmakers called for an Occupy-like overnight rally against rewriting the rule book in the legislature, only a handful of supporters showed up.

Legislative Council security and police cleared the area in no time. So much for what they have called a struggle to the death.

More humiliating for the lawmakers is that instead of sympathy, they were mercilessly mocked by localists.

Wong Yuk-man, former lawmaker and father of Legco filibustering, might be expected to support the pan-dems efforts against curbing filibustering and other delay tactics in Legco. Instead Wong spent no fewer than three segments on his online radio show ridiculing and shouting obscenities at them.

Ernie Chow Shue-fung, the former Chinese University student union president who acquired citywide notoriety on YouTube for shouting racial slurs at fellow mainland students, said the pan-dems had no credibility among street protesters. Chow, who also has his own radio show, labelled the pan-dems Legco self-castrators and sinners of a thousand epochs.

Lewis Loud, the English pseudonym of a localist who is sometimes called the pen of the radical movement because of his literary flair, took a more regretful tone.

We came out for you during the Occupy protests (in 2014) confronted the government over its development plans in the Northeastern New Territories fought police to protect hawkers (during the 2016 Mong Kok riot), he wrote on Facebook. You criticised our actions as too extreme Many of us were put on trial and sent to jail, but we barely had any legal assistance You insist on calling your own people prisoners of conscience, yet you never say a word about those of us who have been jailed.

You can hardly blame the trio for their animosity. The last time the Legco rule book was rewritten in 2011, the pan-dems fully supported it. The major change was to extend the power of the Legco president to eject members from the chamber for misbehaviour to chairmen of Legco committees.

It was overwhelmingly voted in by the Civic Partys Tanya Chan, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, Alan Leong Kah-kit and Ronny Tong Ka-wah, and Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan, Fred Li Wah-ming, James To Kun-sun, Emily Lau Wai-hing, Lee Wing-tat and Kam Nai-wai.

That rule change clearly aimed to shut up Wong and his filibustering partners Albert Chan Wai-yip and Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung.

Now the pan-dems are reaping what they have sown from radical localists.

- The stated goal is to mobilize the general population to oppose this grave threat to freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. However, public opinion polling suggests that the general population actually wants to see an end to the shenanigans at the Legislative Council. So it order to make the general population become more aware, the pan-democratic legislators have provided more ammunition to the other side:

- (Hong Kong Free Press) December 15, 2017.

A pro-democracy lawmaker has been kicked out of the Legislative Council chamber as the battle over the controversial changes to the legislatures house rules nears its end.

Before the meeting started on Friday, pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu attempted to charge into the presidents seat, but he was stopped by security guards who backed him against the wall.

Following that, Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui put a rape alarm into his drawer, allowing it to buzz. LegCo President Andrew Leung asked him to hand over the key of his drawer, but he refused. Hui then left the chamber, and Leung banned him from the chamber for the day over  serious misconduct. The device was removed by guards using a backup key.

The incident came after a similar one on Thursday night, when lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun took out a rape alarm, saying that he hoped to give a final warning to Hong Kong people. He said the current battle to strip lawmakers of their power was akin to the 1933 Enabling Act of Germany, which gave Adolf Hitler his dictatorial power. The Communist and Social Democrat members of the German legislature were not able to vote after the infamous Reichstag fire. We have to wake people up, he said, as pro-democracy members passed the alarm around.

Guards tried to block lawmakers Ray Chan and Ted Hui from passing it. The meeting was suspended for ten minutes when lawmaker Claudia Mo fell to the ground after she clashed with guards.

- (Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017. At 1:08pm, legislator Eddie Chu raised another procedural question. Then he brought out a banner with the words "Don't want to be the People's Congress" and chanted slogans. Next he brought out a rape alarm and set it off. After multiple warnings failed, chairperson Starry Lee banned Chu. Legislators Shiu Ka-chun, Cheung Chiu-hung and Claudia Mo stood by Chu who had chained himself to his seat. The security guards used cutters to cut off the chain and carried Chu out.

- (Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017. Previously, pro-democracy legislator Chan Chi-chuen had said that the pro-establishment camp has dog eyes. He corrected himself today and said that the comment was an insult to dogs. Instead, he said that the pro-establishment camp uses their "butt holes" to see. The pro-establishment camp ignored the insult and refused to waste any time to object.

Chan Chi-chuen was the last pro-democracy legislator to speak. Afterwards, it was the turn of pro-establishment legislator Martin Liao to speak. While Liao spoke, Chan stood and hollered the whole time. Chairperson Andrew Leung warned Chan to no avail. Leung ordered Chan removed. The security guards approached and found that Chan had chained himself to his seat. So the security guards used cutters to cut the chain and then carried Chan out.

- Video (Speakout HK via YouTube) Claudia Mo fell down to the ground and other pan-democratic legislators that the session be immediately suspended to summon an ambulance to take her the hospital. Shortly afterwards she bounced back up from the ground and immediately asked for a quorum count.

- James To, Roy Kwong and Leung Yiu-chung were tossed out together. Why these three? They were elected in the District Council (Second) Functional Constituency by voters all over Hong Kong, with To getting 243,930 votes, Kwong getting 491,667 votes and Leung getting 303,457 votes. They came out and told the press that the wishes of 1,039,024 (=243,930 + 491,667 + 303,457) voters had just been disrespected.

- 1,039,024 voters voted for To, Kwong and Leung last year. Last night, 100 or so people showed up to demonstrate outside the Legislative Council. Please reflect on how your actions over the past year has alienated your voter base.

- All of these incidents are telegenic and therefore replayed endlessly on the television news programs and social media. This is definitely going to move the public even more to the other side.

- (SCMP) The opposition has truly lost the plot. By Alex Lo. December 16, 2017.

Actions speak louder than words. Thats why the antics of opposition lawmakers causing chaos and disruptions in the legislature have overshadowed the arguments they have made against rewriting the rule book to curb filibustering and other delaying tactics as legitimate legislative methods.

In so doing, they are confirming the pro-government blocs argument that they have nothing constructive to offer than being disruptive for its own sake, so curtailing their ability to interrupt legislative business is perfectly reasonable.

As if to prove this point, the first thing Democrat Ted Hui Chi-fung did yesterday in the legislative chamber was to set off an ear-splitting alarm. He then confronted security staff and refused to hand over the device.

At the same time, for no apparent reason and without provocation, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, an independent localist lawmaker, rushed at the Legco president before being stopped by security. Last month, while trying to stop another meeting on the rule book overhaul, Chu even tried to introduce a motion to kick out members of the press and public from the chamber, just to stall and waste time!

Is there anything thats more against the democratic principle than keeping away citizens and journalists? Afterwards, Chus allies explained that they would have all voted against the motion, even Chu himself! But surely the first rule of political theatre is that symbolism and sending the right message matter. Its not just what you do but how you do it.

But Chus actions are by no means the worst. On this weeks 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, Chan Chi-chuen of radical People Power suddenly tried to introduce a motion to debate the historical tragedy and Japans failure to properly apologise for it. It was not that he had suddenly become patriotic. He made no bone that it was all an attempt to delay debating the Legco rule book change.

Sometimes the ends justify the means, especially if you are trying to win. But in this battle, the opposition has already lost. Not only do the pro-government loyalists have the voting numbers to succeed in rewriting the rule book, they also have solid public support.

The opposition should have taken the moral high ground and sent a clear message that its fighting for a democratic principle. But merely to delay the inevitable, it has shown there is no line it wont cross.

It has truly lost the plot.

- (Oriental Daily) December 15, 2017.

Five reasons why the pan-democrats lost this one:

(1) Six pan-democratic legislators were disqualified earlier. This means that the pan-democrats did not have the numbers to veto the proposal within the directly elected geographical constituency. The implication here is that the pan-democrats must win all three geographical constituency seats in the Legco by-election in March 2018 in order to take back veto power.

(2) The pro-establishment camp was united. They canceled all overseas trips and local activities. They stayed at the Legislative Council in case of quorum calls. They voluntarily refrained from speaking and they ignored insults and provocations from the pan-democrats. Legco chairman Andrew Leung also stood up.

(3) At first the government insisted on advancing a bill about the banking industry, which was used by the pan-democrats to stall for time. More than 10 hours were wasted. The government withdrew that and most other proposals and cleared out the Legco agenda for this proposal. So there was nothing else that the pan-democrats could filibuster with.

(4) The pan-democrats had packaged the amendments as "self-castration," "authoritarianism" and "oppression" that are paving the way for Article 23 legislators. But most citizens appear to be genuinely tired of the filibustering. The CUHK public opinion showed that more than 50% oppose filibustering with only 20%-30% supporting it. By the time that the pan-democrats tried to get scholars and supporters to come out for them, it was too late. In the absence of widespread public support, the "siege" of the Legislative Council melted away silently.

(5) The pan-democratic camp is divided into the traditional pan-democrats and the localist/independence/self-determination group. The traditional pan-democrats were on their own, because the localists do not seem to think that this concerns them. Most of the participants in the demonstrations outside the Legislative Council building were middle-aged and senior citizens, with very few young people or "masked men."

- Even before the Legco vote took place, the pan-democrats have moved on to the next great battle for Freedom and Democracy in Hong Kong. The Civil Human Rights Front announced that they plan to hold a Defend Hong Kong demonstration march on New Year's Day. Last year, they stated a figure of 50,000 to the police in their application for a letter of no-objection. This year, they stated a figure of 2,000 to the police.

Of course, this has never been about any issues or attendance figures. It has always been about raising money. So please remember to go down, open your wallets and give generously! Freedom and Democracy in Hong Kong are counting on you!

(SCMP) December 13, 2017.

Nine Hong Kong democracy activists have been banned from the race to elect 36 deputies to Chinas National Peoples Congress.

The move is in line with an unprecedented new rule that says candidates aspiring to represent the city in the countrys legislature must swear to uphold the Chinese constitution and the one country, two systems principle under which Hong Kong is governed.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, pro-independence activist Yeung Ke-cheong and seven supporters of Hong Kongs Occupy democracy protests of 2014 had their candidacies invalidated. A 10th candidate was disqualified because he did not hand in any nomination forms.

The decisions were made on Wednesday morning by the 19-member presidium that oversees the poll, which will be held on Tuesday next week. The body is chaired by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and its members include two of her predecessors, Leung Chun-ying and Tung Chee-hwa.

In total, 49 candidates will run for the 36 seats. They include two pro-democracy figures, Roger Wong Hoi-fung and Henry Lam, who in March joined Hong Kongs pan-democratic camp in nominating John Tsang Chun-wah and Woo Kwok-hing to contest Carrie Lam in the citys leadership poll.

In the NPC poll five years ago, two pan-democrats, Paul Zimmerman and Fong King-lok, were allowed to run but they both failed to get elected.

In March, the national legislature endorsed new rules for the election of Hong Kong and Macau deputies, making it mandatory for candidates to sign a declaration that they would uphold the Chinese constitution and Hong Kongs mini-constitution, the Basic Law.

Among the nine activists who had their candidacies invalidated, Kwok was the only one who refused to sign the declaration.

Asked why Yeung and the seven Occupy supporters were not allowed to run, the presidiums spokesman, Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen, said the ruling was made according to recommendations by the NPC Standing Committee.

In accordance with the regulations, authorities related to the Standing Committee collected material on some aspirants public remarks and acts. They were widely reported by the media and contravened the content of the declaration, Lau said, declining to disclose details.

Last month Lau warned that candidates who failed to make their declarations genuinely would be disqualified.

Kwok said the disqualifications demonstrated the ridiculousness and falseness of the election, which he called just a show.

Why do they have to set so many bars to screen candidates? It doesnt help the integration between the mainland and Hong Kong, he said.

A panel of 1,989 Hong Kong voters, including about 300 pan-democrats, will choose the 36 deputies by block vote on December 19.

Among the 49 candidates, 26 are seeking re-election, while 23 are currently not NPC deputies.

The 23 include lawyer and opponent of the 2014 Occupy movement Maggie Chan Man-ki, former constitutional and mainland affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, and Tam Yiu-chung, a former chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the citys largest pro-establishment political party. Tam is tipped to replace the retiring Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai as the sole local delegate to the NPC Standing Committee.

The case of Kwok Ka-ki

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 28, 2017.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki has said he will run for the National Peoples Congress (NPC) to combat its unreasonable decisions on Hong Kong, and to promote genuine freedom and democracy in China in accordance with the ideals of late Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Kwok is the only major pro-democracy figure to run. But he will not sign a required form declaring that he upholds the Chinese Constitution, and admitted that he will likely be disqualified from running.

He said he hopes to scrap Beijings 2014 decision to impose a restrictive framework on Hong Kongs chief executive elections and invalidate its five interpretations of the citys Basic Law. He also said he hoped to bring the Charter 08 manifesto into Chinas top legislature Liu was jailed for 11 years for co-writing the pro-democracy document.

He said he has no issues with other items on the declaration form such as upholding the Basic Law and pledging allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region but said the Chinese Constitution should be amended according to Charter 08.

He quoted the charter as saying: amend the Constitution, deleting clauses in the current Constitution that are not in conformity with the principle that sovereignty resides in the people, so that the Constitution can truly become a document that guarantees human rights and allows for the exercise of public power, and become the enforceable supreme law that no individual, group, or party can violate, establishing the foundation of the legal authority for democratizing China.

He said he expected that he will be disqualified from running: It is very difficult for me to uphold a Constitution that cannot protect the democracy and freedom of Hongkongers and all Chinese people.

Disqualification is now the norm But if we give up opportunities, I am afraid in the future we wont be able to run for anything.

- (SCMP) December 13, 2017. Kwok said the disqualifications demonstrated the ridiculousness and falseness of the election, which he called just a show.

Indeed, Kwok's announced candidacy coupled with the failure to sign the declaration form is "just a show." He got plenty of media coverage for this non-event.

The Case of Yeung Kecheong

(#519) May 6, 2016.

The Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong was founded by former League of Social Democrats member Yeung Kecheong. Today at 6pm at the party press conference, Yeung announced that there are many options for self-determination/autonomy, including:

(1) Hong Kong becomes an independent nation

(2) Hong Kong joins the Republic of China in Taiwan as a county/city

(3) Hong Kong becomes a territory of the United States of America, either as a state (such as Hawaii or Alaska), or an unincorporated organized territory (such as Guam, Northern Marianna Islands, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands), or an unincorporated unorganized territory (such as American Samoa).

(4) Hong Kong forms a federation with the Guangdong and Guangi provinces of China.

All these options will still allow Hong Kong to elect its own leader by universal suffrage. Yeung admitted that he has not discussed these options with the relevant authorities in Taiwan, the United States or Guangdong/Guangxi.

Yeung Kecheong said that when National People's Congress Standing Committee chairman Zhang Dejiang visits Hong Kong next week, he will try to get close to Zhang and express these demands. Yeung said that he was prepared to bear responsibility for his actions. He said that the Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong will participate in the Legislative Council elections in September.

The Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong claims to have several dozen members, and they adhere to "peace and rationality," and "localism without valiant force."

(SCMP) July 31, 2016.

Pro-democracy localist candidate Yeung Ke-cheong was disqualified from running in Hong Kongs upcoming Legislative Council elections after he did not pledge to uphold the citys mini-constitution.

I was disqualified as I deliberately stated that I would not uphold the Basic Law and thus did not sign the relevant statement, Yeung wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.

Section 40(1)(b) of the ordinance states that a persons candidacy will not be validated unless his nomination form includes a declaration that he will uphold the Basic Law and pledges allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Instead, Yeung submitted to the watchdog a separate statement asserting that the citys mini-constitution no longer applied to Hong Kongs current situation and thus it would be difficult for him to sincerely uphold it.

I fully understand such a move does not comply with the requirement laid out by section 40 of the relevant ordinance and could ban me from running, Yeung wrote in the statement he submitted to the commission. But I think the relevant legal clauses have violated basic human rights and freedom of speech and unreasonably limit my right to run. On this basis I will launch a judicial review.

(Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong) March 4, 2017. The Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong was unable to achieve quorum for its annual meeting. Therefore it will cease all activity effectively immediately.

The case of the seven Gao-wu (Shopping) Revolutionaries

(Wen Wei Po) (Ta Kung Pao) December 11, 2017.

Gao-wu (Shopping) Revolutionaries Chin Po-fun, Ku Po-ching, Wu Kin-wah, Yip Hing-cheung, Cheung Tak-wing, Yuen Yuet-hing and Ho Suk-yu declared their candidacy for the Hong Kong National People's Congress delegation. They signed a declaration that they support the Chinese constitution and the Hong Kong Basic Law, that they support One Country Two Systems, that they pledge loyalty to the People's Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and that they have not received any form of direct or indirect aid from foreign organizations or individuals for the election.

These are clearly false statements given their previous support for Hong Kong independence and opposition to the Chinese Communist Party, the Central Government and the Hong Kong government.

In September this year, Ta Kung Po reported that Chin Po-fun led other Shopping Revolutionaries to Chinese University of Hong Kong to hold up a red placard with the words "Hong Kong independence" to show passersby. Another Revolutionary held up a Lion-Dragon flag for Hong Kong independence.

The Ta Kung Pao reporter called up Chin Po-fun and asked her why she violated the Constitution/Basic Law by calling for Hong Kong independence. Chin said: "I am busy ... I am in the street ... I can't hear you clearly." Then she hung up. Does she support Hong Kong independence? The closest she got to an answer was: "The people of Hong Kong don't have any guns. What is there to talk about independence then?"

The Ta Kung Pao reporter went down to the home ground of Sai Yeung Choi Street South to speak to these Shopping Revolutionaries.

Ho Suk-yu explained her view of Hong Kong independence: "Daddy and mommy want to oppress their son who wants to be independence. We can't stop them." "Why do young people talk about 'Hong Kong independence' all the time? Because they feel that their parents are too oppressive."

What about Chin Po-fun and others pushing for "Hong Kong independence" at the Chinese University of Hong Kong? Ku Po-ching, Wu Kin-wah and Yip Cheung-hing said: "Someone sneaked in. We don't know those people" and "We can't control what other people do."

How can they support the Constitution while opposing the Communist Party? Wu Kin-wah said: "In the Constitution, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is mentioned only in the foreword, not in article something or the other within the main text. If you think that I violated the Constitution, you should tell me which article it was. It can't be about the foreword. You are talking about the table of contents? Can there be a crime based upon the table of contents?"

Yip Hing-cheung said: "We support the People's Republic of China. This is a republic for the people of China. It is a republic for all of the people. It is not a People's Republic of Communist Party China. If that were the case, I have no comments. If it is about supporting the Communist Party, I have no comments.

In July this year, Chin Po-fun talked about stopping the Co-location at West Kowloon West Station. She called for resistance against the governments of China and Hong Kong: "The people of China and the people of Hong Kong rise up together to resist."

The Democracy Street Mong Kok Gao-wu Group Facebook has also published numerous pro-independence, anti-Communist and anti-mainland posts. For example, "China is an evil ghoul country," China is a county of swindlers," "China only knows how to persecute its citizens" and "being born a mainlander means having no freedom."

According to legal professionals, these seven people are making false statements when they signed their declarations.

Background: #639 A Tale of Two Cities

(Oriental Daily) November 1, 2017.

Five individuals are on trial today. The five face one count of unlawful assembly each. In addition, four of them face one count of common assault each. The five are transportation worker Giok Kheng (53), retiree Tong Fat-cheung (72), housewife Lam Kam-sheung (68), retiree Lau pit-chuen (71) and housewife Kwong Kwai-sim (67).

Today Nathan Law testified in court. He said that he was returning from Taiwan by airplane and he had arranged to speak to reporters about his activities in Taiwan.

As soon as he stepped into the lobby, he was surrounded by 20 to 30 persons from "patriotic organizations." These people were excited and cursed him out as "Chinese traitor", "running dot", "traitor", "get out of Hong Kong." It was chaotic. Someone grabbed his collar. He was punched and kicked. In addition, someone hit him with placards and poured identified liquid on him such that his eyeglasses fell off. He was supposed to be escorted by security guards to meet with the press. But the plainclothes police officers had to take him down the stairs to leave.

Law went to the hospital and confirmed that he had bruises and scratch marks on his neck, chest and arms. Law believed that these people caused the injury. The bruises on the inside of his thighs were believed to have been caused when he slid down the stairs.

At the police line-up, Law was able to identified three male defendants.

(Oriental Daily) November 1, 2017.

Under cross-examination, Nathan Law said that he had encountered demonstrators when he left Hong Kong for Taiwan. There was no physical clash, but he filed a police report. He believed that the police arranged plainclothes officers to protect him when he came back. Law said that Hong Kong International Airport is an air traffic hub, and should be the safest place in the world. Law said that he trusted that the police can provide personal safety for me.

The defense questioned if Law deliberately went among the demonstrators and caused things to spin out of control. Law disagreed. He said that the demonstration was fluid, and the demonstrators can surround him no matter where he was. He said that he "should not have been treated this way." Like all other passengers, his personal safety should be guaranteed no matter which exit he took.

Law said that he felt pain in his lower legl, probably after being kicked. He agreed that the medical examination did not reveal this. He said that he was kicked and punched, but he was unsure who did it and he could not tell if it was intentional. As Law counted his injuries, a spectator commented: "Just say yes." The magistrate expelled this person from the courtroom for interfering with the testimony of the witness.

(Oriental Daily) November 2, 2017.

Under cross-examination, the defense asked Nathan Law whether he "cursed back" or "hit back" at the demonstrators. Law said that he did neither. He only told the demonstrators: "I will not let my beliefs recede on account of this."

Defendant #4 Lau pit-chuen did not have legal representation. He had gone to the airport because he learned from television about what Nathan Law was doing in Taiwan. "I wanted to ask why you did it. If you weren't a legislator, I wouldn't mind."

Lau said that he was being held around the neck by security guards and did not know that Law was attacked. He questioned whether Law fantasized being attacked. He denounced Law was a untrustworthy witness.

Senior Superintendant Fu Chung-wai testified that he arranged for defendant #4 Lau pit-chuen to come down to the police station for a line-up. Lau refused to cooperate, so Fu arranged for a one-to-one encounter between Lau Pit-chuen and Nathan Law without obtaining Lau's permission. When Lau saw Law, he shouted "Chinese traitor!" Law pointed at Lau and said: "I recognize him. I recognize him." Lau said that he refused to participate in the police line-up because: "He is a Hong Kong independence activist. It is shameful. I have no reason to let him identify me." Lau said that Law is trying to set him  up.

Before the court session began, the prosecutor said that Nathan Law complained that defendants #2 and #4 and a member of the public cursed out Nathan Law yesterday. The magistrate said that it was important that the defendants not have contact with prosecution witnesses. He warned the defendants not to have any more contact with prosecution witnesses.

During the hearing, the prosecutor indicated that videos will show defendant #3 Lam Kam-shueng and defendant #5 Kwong Kwai-sim poured liquid on and slapped Nathan Law. The magistrate asked the defense lawyers just what they will argue about. At first, the lawyers refused to say. This caused the magistrate to say that the defense lawyers are wasting the court's time. Besides it would help their clients if the magistrate was told about the points of debate and can focus on them.

Finally the defense lawyers said that they had originally intended to argue whether their clients intend to commit crime. But now that they saw the paucity of evidence against their clients, they intend to argue whether their clients had been properly identified.

The defense played the news videos. Defendant #3 was clearly seen to pour liquid on Nathan Law, while defendant #5 hit Law's head with a cardboard sign.

The magistrate found that the evidence exists for the charges against defendants #1, #2 and #4. He will decide tomorrow about defendants #3 and #5.

(HKG Pao) November 2, 2017.

72-year-old Tong Fat-cheung chose not to be represented by a lawyer. With the help of the magistrate, Tong cross-examined Nathan Law. Tong said that there wasn't any tussling, punching, kicking or tossing unidentified liquid. He accused Law of being an unethical witness. Tong admitted that he changed slogans such as "Chinese traitor" and "running dog." He said excitedly: "I am angry. I am very angry right now!" and "God sent me to clash with him!"

(Oriental Daily) November 3, 2017.

Today, the magistrate said that the evidence exists for all five defendants. Summation then took place. A verdict will be rendered on December 6.

Defendant #1 Giok Khengtestified for himself. He said that he went to the airport by himself, because he wanted to ask Legislative Councilor Nathan Law why he went to Taiwan to promote Hong Kong independence. "He was elected from 7 million Hong Kong citizens. How can he sell out the citizens?" He denied that he knows the other defendants. He said that he does not know Nathan Law either. He said: "How would I know any Hong Kong independence activist?" Ko admitted that he went into the crowd of demonstrators. Three times, he pulled at Nathan Law's collar with "normal strength." Law did not resist. Ko said that this showed that Law felt guilty. Ko said that he did not intentionally pull Law.

Before defendant #2 Tang Fat-cheung testified, he took the oath in thickly accented Cantonese. The magistrate was worried that he might not understand what Tang says. The defense lawyer said: "He has a slight accent, but it should be okay once you get used to it." Tang testified that Nathan Law is a troublemaker who worked against the country. He admitted that he wanted to shame Nathan Law. So he pushed his way through the crowd and used one finger to tug at Nathan Law's backpack. During his testimony, Tang cursed Law: "It is the greatest shame in life to be a traitor."

During summation, the defense lawyer said that Nathan Law's testimony was unreliable because even Law said that his memory might be faulty. Defendant #4 Lau Pit-chuen who had no legal representation cried and said that there was no reason for him to be charged with unlawful assembly because he did not know the other defendants. He also said that the screen captures from the scene were selectively edited.

(Oriental Daily) December 6, 2017.

Previously, Giok Kheng, Tong, Lau and Kwong were found guilty of one count of unlawful gathering. Ko, Tong and Kwong were found guilty of one count of common assault.

In their plea, the defense pointed out that Giok Kheng was tall and strong. During the incident, he restrained himself or else "Mr. Law would have suffered serious injuries." Giok had "noble ideas" to preserve the territorial integrity of the People's Republic of China. Giok was upset by Nathan Law meeting with pro-Hong Kong/Taiwan independence proponents and committed the crime.

The defense pointed out that Toang Fat-cheung had a cardiac problem with his left artery being completely blocked already. The defense asked the court to consider sentence on humanitarian grounds. The defense pointed out that Kwong was a first-time offender who should be sentenced leniently.

Defendant Lau Pit-chuen had no legal representation but he said, "I don't need to ask for mercy." He said that Nathan Law is a pro-Hong Kong independence person and that the court will have to face up to the matter of Hong Kong independence. There were some random noise coming from the audio system, such that the session was adjourned to fix the technical problem. During the adjournment, Lau told the prosecutor that "he will be punished by the Heavens for persecuting good people." Tang yelled "Citizens are forced to act because the government won't", "zero tolerance for Hong Kong independence because it is a dead end," and "pro-Hong Kong independence is not a crime but opposing Hong Kong independence is a crime instead."

The magistrate accepted that Nathan Law was a trustworthy witness who did not give consent to be assaulted. He believed that Giok, Tong and Kwong had pulled Law's collar, pulled Law's backpack and hit him with a placard respectively.

With respect to the two female defendants, the prosecutor had only videos as evidence. The magistrate ruled that Lam's hairstyle and glasses were different, and therefore he cannot be sure that Lam was present at the scene. Kwong looked exactly the same now as before, so he ruled that Kwong took part in an unlawful gathering with the three male defendants.

The magistrate said that Hong Kong has rule of law. The four defendants have the freedom to express their views, but they must obey the law and not use violence. The four defendants used violence to assault Nathan Law and caused injuries. Since the four defendants showed no remorse, the magistrate sentenced them to three months in prison each.

Members of the public reacted strongly against the sentence. They yelled "Rule of law is dead," "Dog judge!," "Impossible!" etc. A person claiming to be from the Senior Citizen Journalists Association told them to calm down while saying "The same thing happened to the seven policemen. Two years!"

At first Lau Pit-chuen refused to apply for bail to file an appeal. He said, "I will appeal to the supreme court of the People's Republic of China", "Hong Kong is finished." After 15 minutes, Lau changed his mind because he wanted to go travel with his wife. The magistrate approved his application.

(SCMP) December 6, 2017.

Four pro-establishment supporters convicted of taking part in an illegal protest that saw pro-democracy student activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung being assaulted were jailed for three months on Wednesday.

The magistrate in the case applied the same new sentencing principles that sent Law and his fellow Occupy protesters to jail earlier this year.

Delivery man Giok Kheng, 53, retired nurse Kwong Kwai-sim, 69, retirees Tong Fat-cheung, 72, and Lau Pit-chuen, 71, were among a wider crowd who attacked Law at a protest at Hong Kong International Airport when he returned from a trip to Taiwan on January 8 this year.

They were found guilty of taking part in an unlawful assembly. Giok, Tong and Kwong were also each found guilty of one count of common assault on Law.

West Kowloon Court heard at least three of them attended the assembly because they wanted to protect the unity of China, unhappy that Law, then a lawmaker, flew to the strait to attend a pro-independence forum.

But sentencing the defendants, Magistrate Edward Wong Ching-yu said although Hong Kong had freedom of expression, there was a line that cannot be crossed, citing the Court of Appeal.

He was referring to the appeal courts earlier judgment on Law and two fellow activists, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, when they sent them to jail for storming the government headquarters two days before the Occupy protests on September 28, 2014.

The trio was originally given suspended sentences or community service, but the appeal court strengthened the punishment at the prosecutors requests under new sentencing principles it handed down. It said when violence was involved in protests, it crossed the line and hence an immediate jail sentence would be inevitable a decision hailed by pro-Beijing supporters at the time.

Wong adopted the higher courts approach, before concluding the violence, or at least threats to use violence, were some of the elements in the present case.

[Laws] safety was endangered and he was injured, he said, adding that the case was serious, and the defendants showed no remorse.

An immediate custodial sentence is inevitable, he said.

Their supporters in the public gallery immediately jeered at the magistrate. Blind judge, one yelled, before another compared the magistrate to a dog.

Lau vowed to appeal to the highest court in the Peoples Republic of China, even though the highest jurisdiction in the city is the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.

They were all given bail pending an appeal.

The court previously heard Law was punched, kicked and had liquid poured on him by the mob the day after returning from Taiwan. The trip was made prior to Law being disqualified as a legislator over a legal bid lodged by the government.

Although Law failed to identify all of the defendants, the magistrate had viewed footage taken at the scene and found that the four were present and had breached public order.

While Giok and Tong pulled Law, Wong said, Kwong used a placard to hit him. Police and security guards were required to stop them, including Lau, who rushed towards Law.

During the trial, Giok testified that by not resisting, he believed Law consented to the violence because Law felt he had done some wrong. But Wong rejected the claim, saying that it was obvious Law was under protection, and that the activist had never asked the guards to stop protecting him.

The magistrate accepted Law as an honest and reliable witness.

He acquitted Lam Kam-sheung, who faced both the assault and unlawful assembly charges, as he was not able to confirm her presence through the videos.

In mitigation, Foster Yim, for Giok and Tong, said they committed the offence because of a noble belief.

He thought Law who received pay [as a lawmaker] attended pro-independence activities in Taiwan and may even bring that to Hong Kong, he said, referring to Giok.

They only cared about the future of the mainland and Hong Kong and wanted to protect its unity, he said.

(HKG Pao) Interview with 72-year-old Tong Fat-cheung.

In thinking about his own history of social activism, Tong said that he was already supporting Regina Ip over the Article 23 legislation in 2003. He thought that the people of Hong Kong must defend national security. In retrospect, Tong said: "If Article 23 were enacted back then, Hong Kong independence would be less of an issue today."

"I read in the newspaper that Chief Executive Donald Tsang wanted to have a showdown with the pan-democrats. I thought that this was inappropriate. Hong Kong is a part of China, so how can the Chief Executive want to create 'opposition'. So I went to Government House to remind him. Tsang would not see me. So I told the police guard outside to relay my message. I kept talking and talking until my tongue started to bleed. Accidentally, I coughed blood on the white shirt of the police guard. I wanted to be a good citizen who reminds the Chief Executive not to do things that are inappropriate and harmful."

Tong came to Hong Kong in 1962. At the time, he was only 17 years old. Tong was the fourth child out of seven siblings. Because his high school record was not recognized in Hong Kong, he had to work at whatever jobs that he can find: "I have been a packer, a dye factory worker, a metallurgy apprentice, etc. I have worked in more than a dozen jobs. I had to suffer so much to reach where I am today. When I see China become stronger and stronger, I have an indescribable happiness."

"That is why I think that some of the young people in the opposition have no idea how lucky they are. They don't know the hardships in China. They don't know how parents shower affection on them. They only know how to enjoy themselves. Hong Kong was developing nicely. Nothing came easy. So why do this? Why harm the nation? Why harm Hong Kong? That is why I have misgivings."

Because of those misgivings, Tong became an activist. He said that the pro-independence people are basically anti-social and therefore he must point out their harm. "Because I love my country and I love Hong Kong even more, I detest the spread of pro-independence ideas. I went to protest at the airport in order to contribute my feeble efforts."

In retrospect, Tong was very sorry. "If I had to do this all over again, I would never have gone! I am retired. I own two flats in Hong Kong. I own a property in Shenzhen too. I have a little bit of money on hand. Things should be very nice. Why did I have to come out and do this? It does me no good whatsoever."

"Thinking about it again, I went to show the anti-independence position of the people of Hong Kong. I was doing something for everybody, for the country. I am proud even if I have to make sacrifices!" Tong wants to thank the patriotic friends for their concern: "The friends over at the Jiznshu Compatriots Association and the Suzhou Compatriots Associations were very concerned. Many friends said that they will raise money to support me. I told no. I want to say thanks to all those who want to help me."

"Today even China says that it will have zero tolerance for Hong Kong independence. So why are those pro-independence people not in jail, but those anti-independence people are in jail? If the Hong Kong government won't react to this situation, aren't they abetting Hong Kong independence?"

Tong said: "Fame and fortune depend on the circumstances. You can eat or spend as much as  you like. I am a nobody, but I want to do the right thing for the public good. Oh!'

(HKG Pao) Interview with 71-year-old Lau Pit-chuen.

Lau was born in Shanghai. Because his family was capitalist, he was sent down to work in Xinjiang. So he knows what grassroots citizens have to go through: "It hurts when I see those opposition legislators create trouble in the Legislative Council to ruin workers' livelihoods."

Lau came to Hong Kong in 1981. At the time, he was 36 years old. He had to start from scratch. Eventually he opened a knitting factor. At the peak, he owned four companies. He is happiest not about his business accomplishments. He is happiest about family harmony. His family supports his social activism. "I have one son, one daughter and five grandchildren. They all support me. In 1996, I went to defend the Diaoyutai Islets. At first, my wife won't let me. Eventually she understood and she supported me."

"At first, I was actually in the pro-democracy camp. In 1989, I supported the student movement. When the government pushed for Article 23 legislation in 2003, I thought that they were wrong and I joined the protest march.

When Occupy Central began in 2014, Lau no longer that the democrats were pro-democracy any more. They are no longer for democracy and they won't even let the people of Hong Kong lead stable lives. They want to cause trouble for the people of Hong Kong. So Lau began to oppose them: "I had to come out because I cannot allow them to destroy Hong Kong's prosperity."

"What happened in Occupy Central is that this was Benny Tai wanting to overthrow the government. I saw them controlling the scene over walkie-talkies. This was a planned coup. But he cannot succeed because the ultimate authority lies with the Central Government which will never compromise. They can even send out the PLA to quell any trouble."

After Occupy Central, Lau was disgusted with the chaotic situation at the Legislative Council: "I saw those pan-democratic legislators such as Claudia Mo filibuster endlessly to stop the government. Maybe you don't believe this, or maybe someone don't want to believe this. But I have kept the pan-democrats company for so many years. Even now I am still a member of the Alliance to Support Democratic Movements in China. I can clearly see that they are deliberately causing trouble in Hong Kong. They do so deliberately and not inadvertently."

Lau continued: "I went through the Cultural Revolution in mainland China. I suffered. But I do not believe that one can pursue personal interests alone. One must also be concerned about the nation. This is how I am different from them. I don't believe that pro-democracy means anti-nation. Even during the 1989 student movement, I supported the students because they opposed corruption and wanted the nation to become better. How can there be democracy without a nation?"

Patriotism made Lau come out: "With respect to this Hong Kong independence thing, nobody is going to do anything unless the people come out. We are different from pan-democrats such as Lau Chin-shek and Albert Ho, whom I knew from the Alliance. I saw that they only incite others to do thing for them. I think that if something has to be done, then I should do it myself."

Lau said that those pro-independence people are putting Hong Kong into a bind. "Everybody knows that Hong Kong cannot take care of itself in terms of military and foreign affairs. Hong Kong independence is impossible. We see how the European Union is treating Great Britain after Brexit. How can Hong Kong be so stupid as to leave China? Even if the Central Government lets you, you can't do it!" The reason why Lau went to the airport to protest against Nathan Law was that he wanted to protect Hong Kong, which is the same as protect his family. "I will give up my life to defend my family."

As for his legal troubles, Lau said: "At first I did not to file an appeal. But they said that this means that I admit guilty. I am not guilty, so I will file an appeal. My only plea is for the judge to think about the issue of Hong Kong independence. With respect to his assertion in court that he will appeal to the Supreme Court of the People's Republic of China, Lau said: "Of course I don't really think that the Supreme Court will take the case. I only want the people in China to know that there is a phenomenon of an anti-China judiciary in Hong Kong whereupon the judges are persecuting righteous citizens."

Lau said: "An old employee from more than 30 years ago suddenly called me a couple of days ago. I am very touched. Actually I don't even remember her. She said that her name is Ah King and she worked at my factor. She had seen me recently in the news and thought that I might be unhappy. Therefore she called me up to tell me that she supports me."

(HKG Pao) Interview with Giok Kheng.

The first half of the story is plain. Giok Kheng and his wife lived steadily in Hong Kong. The husband worked as a delivery man and the wife worked as a tourist guide. They didn't care about politics. They used their hands to earn money to buy daily necessities. They were happy.

Along came Occupy Central. The livelihoods of the Gioks were impacted. They watched television and they were angry at what was going on."

"I saw how they went too far. They wore surgical masks and they occupied the streets. They refused to let cars use the street. They curse out the police. How absurd can this be! What did the police do wrong?"

So Giok rushed out to demonstrate at Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok. He attempted to remove the barricades. He asked the demonstrators to have mercy on the police and the people's livelihoods.

After the defeat of Occupy Central, their livelihoods did not recover. The Gioks only had part-time work.

When he learned that Nathan Law was flying to Taiwan to meet with pro-Taiwan independence activists, he thought: "How can this person be so audacious? How can he ignore history? We the Chinese people were always bullied until today. We should be proud of ourselves. How can he forget history? Furthermore he is a legislator paid for by the people's money. How can he do something like this?"

The series of questions made him angry and led him to meet Nathan Law on his return.

Everybody knows what happened next. Giok emphasized that he went there to express his dissatisfaction: "I can't help if the Honorable Judge wants to send me to jail. Actually I am not afraid of jail. But there are other people in trouble. They are 60- or 70-years-old. Think about it. Actually I am most concerned about those other three. Therefore we are appealing our sentences together. If I were the only one, I would not have appealed."

People wanted to donate money to him because they know that court proceedings cost money. Giok turned them down: "Actually I have gained a lot besides money. Most of all I see that my wife has changed her mind, because she knows that I am going the right thing for the country. When I went down to Mong Kok to remove the barricades, she objected. But now she is supportive."

(HKG Pao) Interview with 69-year-old Kwong Kwai-sim.

Kwong Kwai-sim is a registered nurse for all her life. In the 1970's she graduated from secondary school to study nursing. After qualifying to become a nurse, she went on to specialize in pediatrics.

Kwong is 150cm (4'11'') tall and 37 kg (86 lbs) in weight. "Only when I was pregnant did I reach 98 lobs. Given what happened at the airport, it is surprising to find Kwong is actually so short and petite. By comparison, Nathan Law is about 166cm (5'6"") tall. People call Kwong by her nickname "steel beam."

In the 1970's, there was no MTR service yet. Kwong commuted from her home in To Kwai Wan to work at Prince Margaret Hospital. She works up at 5am in order to begin work at 630am. "I took the 6C bus to Mei Foo, and then I switch to another bus to Prince Margaret Hospital." Her shift runs from 630am to 130am first, followed by another shift from 900pm to 700am. Since there are just a few hours between shifts, she did not get any real rest. Instead she made up for her sleep during the sleeping day after the two shifts.

When I asked for these details, Kwong said: "Oh, don't write about this. I don't want any exaggeration." She added: "People were like that in that era." Between the 1960's and 1970's when Hong Kong's economy had not taken off yet, people were all like that. They never minded the hardship. Any work was good work for them. Kwong enjoyed being a nurse because she can increase her knowledge as well as help other people. She has never thought of changing jobs.

Kwong retired in 2009. Her husband is a public service worker who also retired recently. If there were no Occupy Central, she would be a content retired housewife. After retirement, her husband started to learn singing Cantonese opera. Today he is competent enough to teach students to sing.

After the incident at the Hong Kong International Airport, Kwong was taken by the police at 7am down to the police station to take a statement. She felt sorry because her husband was performing that night and she wanted him to get enough sleep. She finished at past 1pm and she went home to change and then watch her husband perform. They did not discuss the airport incident, because they knew each other well enough.

While Kwong was down at the police station, a friend called up their home to express concern. Her husband said: "My wife has always done the right thing. Why should I be concerned?"

The petite Kwong left her housewife role after Occupy Central. All citizens, including housewives, have a duty to defend the country. "Patriotism is innate!" You don't have to be patriotic, but you should not be harming the country. "China is developing and getting better day by day." Of course, Kwong knew about the Cultural Revolution. She also supported the Democratic Party and Alliance to Support Democratic Movements in China after June 4th 1989. "You can get bogged down if you like, but you should not be stopping the country from moving ahead." With it came to talking about national sentiments, Kwong was bright-eyed and spirited. So I would never have to worry the petite Kwong.

In front of me is a meticulous, serious and magnanimous woman. Irrationality and emotional distress are not party of her vocabulary.

(HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. December 9, 2017.

I am an ignoramus as far as the law goes. Like many Hong Kong citizens, I look up to the judges. If I were to receive a summons from the court, I would be scared. I have been brought to think that the judges are sacrosanct.

I was once curious: Do judges have likes and dislikes? Do they take positions? Do they commit errors? I was even more curious: What newspapers do the judges read? Who taught them?

In an information-filled society, I don't think that there are any saints who have no feelings. If a judge reads Apple Daily every day and his mentor is Martin Lee, how can there not be prejudices under the wig?

In certain folklores, the judges are the bringers of justice. When I grew up, I began to discover that the law is just a money game. In recent years, the myth about judges have been unveiled. With one after another unfathomable court ruling, I begin to wonder if Hong Kong is under rule-of-law, or rule-of-man, or rule-by-judges?

After Occupy Central, almost every case involving Yellow Umbrella soldiers end up with not guilty verdicts or light sentences. "Community service" and "suspended sentence" are the hottest legal terms of the year. At the same time, all the cases involving anti-Occupy Central, anti-violence and anti-Hong Kong independence end up badly. I wanted to make a list here, but I found so many cases in my research that I can write an entire thesis. So I gave up.

Over these years, I hear pleas in court: "He is merely a student," "they are enterprising young people," "they broke the law to achieve justice," "they have nobles ideals," "he has both good character and scholarship" ... someone even used "he was only 18 when he broke the law," "he wants to run in the Legislative Council election, so please don't destroy his dream" as excuses. So the judges gave mercy: $2000 fine for assaulting a police officer; $500 for causing injury to another person; community service for occupy the streets for 79 days; etc. These penalties are lighter than even spitting in public.

But I wonder how these excuses change color as soon as the defendants become senior citizens? What do the outcomes become the complete opposite?

The term "breaking the law to achieve justice" is fashionable nowadays. "Justice" also includes "opposing Hong Kong independence." Even Chairman Xi is saying that he has zero tolerance and therefore a full effort must be given. So why are full efforts directed against those who oppose Hong Kong independence?

Judges are humans. All humans commit errors. When a judge commits an error, where can the citizen seek recourse? The answer is: No way.

Cap 433 Judicial Officers (Tenure of Office) Ordinance states that judges who misbehaved will be judged internally by other judges with the results being held confidential.

I am an ordinary citizen. I don't know if the judges protect each other. I do know that the judges know each other.

The statue does not topple with a sudden burst of wind. It was eroded over many years before it turned into a piece of rotten wood. Judges are sacrosanct because there is nobody watching over them.

(SCMP) December 10, 2017.

A Catholic school in Hong Kong was forced to shut its doors during an open day on Saturday after students distributed leaflets, accusing teachers of suppressing freedom of speech.

The school closed its gates as students chanted slogans through amplifiers while others distributed leaflets claiming they had been suppressed by Our Ladys College in Wong Tai Sin and listing what, in their view, was wrong with Hong Kong society. Although they were not on campus, teachers asked them to cover their uniforms to avoid giving the impression the school endorsed their actions.

On live footage on their Facebook page, the students claimed the school had prevented them spreading political messages, such as opposition to government legal action against Occupy movement leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung, by drafting new rules against the distribution of leaflets. Further away, a dozen supporters from two fledgling pro-localism groups Hong Kong National Front and Studentlocalism gathered to support the students. Plain-clothes police took ID card numbers, according to Tony Chung Hon-lam, convenor of Studentlocalism. We will wait and see how Our Ladys College deals with the students in order to assess the effectiveness of our action, Chung said.

The school could not be reached for comment.


Apple Daily Open Day at Our Lady's College

Nexus olr The student association cabinet at Our Lady's College 2017-2018

Internet comments:


[A certain girls' school] I am currently a teacher at the Our XXXX's College. Recently there was a huge stir over the distribution of pro-Hong Kong independence pamphlets. I am very disappointed. My disappointed was not at the behavior of the students; rather it was the lousy way by which the school handled the matter.

Everybody knows that the senior administration of the school is pro-China. They had criticized the students at the teacher/staff meeting. They said that they will do everything possible to persecute the students, including summoning the parents. They encouraged the teachers to heap scorn on these students, and use various divisive tactics to break up the Concern Group. When an attendee asked the principal to clarify which school rule was violated, the answer was: "It does not matter. Anyway, we won't permit this because it is unlawful." Anyone who knows anything would know that the Basic Law does not restrict people's behavior. As long as there is no legislation, any action or thought that contravenes the Basic Law is still not yet unlawful.

I do not support Hong Kong independence. But I believe that the students have the absolute right to promote their political ideas. This is freedom of speech. The school administration are barbaric and want to impose their own political positions on the students. They use unethical tactics to deal with the students. They make sarcastic comments. It makes me wonder if they conduct themselves in a professional manner.

I am alone in the school and I cannot change things by myself. Therefore I am using this platform to express my support for the students. I hope that the students will persist bravely. Democracy will surely win.

- Duh! Yet another anonymous post. Hey, I can easily write ten of these posts every day.

- This was not a very good piece of fictional writing. I would have made up some details in order to make it more convincing.

- This post has been deleted by the Facebook group administrator.


I am a student at Our Lady's College. Before I express my personal opinions, I would like to provide some background first.

On November 23, the school's student association president and some other students forced themselves into the classrooms during lunchtime and stuffed a pamphlet with the title "Is there any more freedom in Hong Kong?" into the drawers of all the students. At the time, a number of students witnessed the members of the Our Lady's College Concern Group reached through the opened windows to open the locked doors and put pamphlets in the drawers of all the students. Afterwards, the teacher summoned these students who had forcibly entered the classrooms. But those students exaggerated the matter and distorted the action of the teachers as "suppression of freedom of speech."

Today is open day on the 65th anniversary of the founding of our school. These students once again took action by linking up with several dozen outsiders to lay siege to the school and cause a disturbance. Our student association president used a megaphone to express her opinion that many of our teachers are carrying out "brainwashing" in order to turn students against students.

What are the facet?

First of all, the student association president was not elected by us on a one-vote-one-person basis. She does not stand for our voices. During this year, she was the only candidate for student association president. Therefore she automatically became president. Unfortunately, she failed to live up to the duties of a student association president. Instead she imposed her own views upon us. Is this supposed to be freedom of speech?

Secondly, I saw a large group of people outside the school entrance. They filmed with their mobile phones, and they kept hollering. We were very afraid. Our teachers did not retreat! Instead they fulfill their duties as teachers and they protected us. They told us to leave because they can handle the matter themselves. But we are part of Our Lady's College, so how can we sit still and ignore this? Spontaneously we came out to defend our school grounds. We rolled up paper to form make-shirt megaphones and we sang our school song. We told them to leave. When they saw that practically the entire school was united against them, they had to back off. Out of safety consideration, we closed the school gates. But they hung around outside and refused to leave.

Thirdly, we were not happy with them forcing their way into our classrooms. Can you break the rules in the name of freedom? But they tried to rationalize their action and communicated misleading information to the press in order to exaggerate things.

Fourthly, they said that our teachers are "Education Animals" who are brainwashing us. Must we agree with their ideas in order to show that we are not "brainwashed"? When the teachers protect the students, they are called "Education Animals"? Are the teachers good only if they do nothing when the Open Day is ruined and the students are filmed and harassed? Why do you want to distort the goodwill of the teachers?

Fifthly, I want to ask everybody just what is freedom of speech. In my humble opinion, a democratic society with ideal freedom of speech should be tolerant of diverse ideas. When you express your views,  you should consider the feelings and opinions of other people. If you think that exercising that freedom allows you to do inappropriate things, then I am afraid that you are wrong. Why were you summoned to a meeting at the school? I think that you know very well -- you had forced your way into the classroom of others and made a mess out of their things. While you exercise your freedom and rights, have you thought about the freedoms and rights of the other students?

Sixthly, if you think that we have already become 'puppets', then you couldn't be more wrong. There are many young people who support democracy and rule-of-law in Hong Kong! I am one of them. Why won't we support you? You have to ask yourself whether your behavior was proper. The school has never suppressed our freedom of speech! You are distorting the facts. So whenever we express our views, you accused us of being brainwashed.

Sorry, you are jumping to conclusion without known the causes and effects. I think that if things continue to develop in this manner, it would be very unfair to us, to our teachers and to the school.

Dear Fellow Student Tse (president of the student association), I don't know if you will make it into the newspapers. But given your ability to twist the facts about you fucking the tutor, I already admire you.

- (SCMP) How one school is harmed by media circus. By Alex Lo. December 11, 2017.

A group of students hand out fliers without permission in their secondary school and put a copy on the desk of every one of their classmates. School authorities warn them not to do it again. In the following weeks, they switch to putting up banners and passing out the same copies, with the support of outsiders, at the main entrance and the street outside their school. They are then advised not to wear school uniforms while doing it and to avoid disturbing fellow students and parents visiting the school. This is especially a busy time as the school is celebrating its 65th anniversary with an open house this week.

For the life of me, I cannot tell in what way the school has done wrong. I would not even consider it a news story, certainly not something worth commenting on. The school did not punish or even reprimand those students. However, those fliers are about Hong Kong independence, produced and handed out by students who openly advocate it.

Suddenly, the unfortunate school, Our Ladys College in Wong Tai Sin, becomes a political news story. Its authorities are accused by the student group, which calls itself Our Ladys Localist Concern Group, of censoring and brainwashing students with the ban on fliers. Such accusations are duly repeated and exaggerated by anti-China publications such as Apple Daily and Stand News.

I dont blame the student activists; young people will always be full of passion and enthusiasm rather than sense and restraint. I only wish they had been more tolerant and respectful of others. But its the shameless manner in which the yellow ribbon media have invented, exploited and manipulated what ought to concern only the school itself into a political struggle. Activists shout slogans with loudhailers outside the school, then news photographers show up, along with the police.

In the current affairs section of lihkg.com, a popular online forum, there is an excellent account and critical analysis of what actually happened, written by a student of the school. She explains how her activist classmates disregarded school regulations, disrupted classroom routines, denounced teachers who tried to stop them for political censorship, and dismissed schoolmates who disagreed with them as being brainwashed.

Many of us support democracy and the rule of law, yet we may still disapprove of your actions, she wrote of her activist schoolmates. This doesnt mean we have been brainwashed and cannot think for ourselves.

This student does her school proud.

- Now the whole world wants to know about the details behind the small footnote. Absent the details, this is a smear.

- Well, if Fellow Student Tse is over 16 years old, then she can fuck anyone she wants under Hong Kong law.

- What was the distortion of facts about that case? Well, it is alleged that Fellow Student Tse fucked her tutor and brought the condom to show the other students afterwards.

- What could the alternate version be? Someone came up with these news stories:

- (Apple Daily) November 13, 2017. 43-year-old tutor Tsang Kui-man was accused of having sexual intercourse with 12-year-old X on August 6 2011 in a Wong Tai Sin apartment, and again in May 2012 the 13-year-old X in a tutor school. In 2011, X's parents were divorced and she went to receiving tutoring at Tsang's school. On August 1, X and Tsang fell in love. Five days later, Tsang invited X to watch movies at his apartment. During this time, Tsang kissed X and took her into the bedroom to have sexual intercourse for about half an hour. Afterwards X continued to watch movies while Tsang cooked. About 2 months later, X felt uncomfortable in her genitals and her mother took her to visit a doctor.

In September 2011, X stopped her tutoring lessons. However, she continued to visit the school. Tsang got married in March but continued to see X. At around 8pm on a certain day in Day, 13-year-old X went to the school to pllay with the computer. She sat on Tsang's thighs with her legs spread. The defendant took off X's panties and had intercourse with X who was dressed in school uniform. On May 25, X admitted openly to her mother that she had sexual intercourse with her tutor. Her mother filed a police report. Tsang was arrested three days later.

- (Shuonline) December 16, 2012. Tsang Kui-man was sentenced to 32 months in jail. The judge noted that Tsang did not use a condom to prevent harming X with sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy. The judge cited the report that X's self-respect was hurt. She showed signs of depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. She was defensive at school and social circles. She lost interest in the opposite sex. Her father said that he was angry and upset at himself for not being able to protect his daughter from harm.

There are two discrepancies: (1) X was 12 years old as Form 2 student in August 2011. This is now December 2017, and X is 18 years old. Can she still be in Form 6 now? (2) The judge noted that Tsang did not use a condom. But Fellow Student Tse went around school showing off a condom. So this linkage may not be right.

- (Elite School Secrets Facebook)

Recently my secondary school came to public attention. I was one of the students present at the scene. I want to point out certain actions directed against our students, and the reactions of our teachers and students.

This essay does not take any position on Hong Kong independence.

At first around noontime, the members of a certain political group (Our Lady's College Concern Group) went past the school's front gate with flags in hand. The teachers only stopped them from filming the interior of the school. They did not do anything else. The members of the group attempted to enter the school grounds but were stopped by the staff and teachers. After failing to entering, a tall man cursed out the teachers with obscene language. They told passersby that the school is refusing to let them enter.

At the time, I was one of the students present. When the man began cursing, I was very scared. The teachers told us not to mind them.

Next, certain students used megaphones to demand a certain teacher to explain certain speeches. Meanwhile the other members of the group blockaded all the exits from the school. Certain members of the Love Society used their group chants to cover up the megaphone. Soon almost every student in the assembly area went to the front gate to chant. You can see this on Facebook. You can hear clearly that these chants were in English and not obscene language.

The reason why we chanted was not because we opposed Hong Kong independence. Their leader even included someone who supports Hong Kong independence. They were objecting to members of a certain group not allowing people to enter or leave the school. Their actions had laid waste to the stalls that were put together by the workers over the past month.

The reason why the school called the police to send plainclothes officers to the school was because a certain group that they were going to distribute pamphlets here on Open Day. Our Lady's College is a girls' school and most of the staff are women. They won't be able to fend off strong and able men.

I admit that the teacher said that it was easy to divide students. I admit that it was wrong to say that the students learned incorrectly. Yet, did you have to block all the entrances/exits in order to force the teachers to make a statement? Have you ever considered the feelings for the students who were in the school, as well as the neighbors and other children?

You told the media that the school would not let you leave the gate. But you omitted to say that you prevented all the students in the school from leaving.

Frankly, I was supportive of the student who distributed pamphlets in November. Yet on Open Day, you came across to me like triad gangsters. If you had used regular methods, I believe that I would still be supporting you.

The students began wanting to watch this as spectators. Yet, your actions have repelled them.

Finally, I want to say that the teachers did not brainwash us. You can say that they want to avoid responsibility. At the most they discussed the matter of the pamphlets during one morning assembly. But they did not intend any insults. We were touched by the teachers protecting the students to leave.

I hope that outsiders won't make rash judgment without knowing the truth. Every word and every action of yours will affect us.

Actually, do you think really think that we can be so easily brainwashed? Like other secondary school students, we don't like our teachers. But you gave them the chance to show they cared about us. Although I may not pay attention in class in the future, at least I am now proud to be an Our Ladian. The video shows us chanting our slogans.

- Are you wondering how many people are in the Our Lady's College Concern Group?

(The Stand News) The Our Lady's College Concern Group was never a big organization. The group was formed after the Legislative Council elections in September 2016. At first, there were a few more students than now. But ever since the actions of the Concern Group drew the attention of the school administration, some members left due to the pressure. Basically there are only two students left now: Form 5 student Vivian and Form 4 student Hazel.

So there you have it. Only two students are active in the Our Lady's College Concern Group. One of them (Vivian) is the current student association president who won the post by default because there were no other candidates. However they have the backing of two outside groups: Studentlocalism (#570 which has only one active founding member (Tony Chung) left) and the Hong Kong National Front. 

(Webb-site) The Enigma Network: 50 stocks not to own. May 15, 2017.

Sometimes, a picture is really all you need to know why you should not invest in a company, or in this case, 50 HK-listed companies in what we will call the "Enigma Network". In the diagram below, some of them are known bubbles, on which the SFC has issued concentration warnings. It is remarkable that despite those warnings, the listed companies which own those shares continue to hold them. They will probably do so until the bubble bursts, because the gains on such stocks are not actually intended to benefit their shareholders. The people who engineer such bubbles have other plans. In other cases of non-bubbles, there are multiple holdings below the normal 5% disclosure threshold which when aggregated, provide significant voting power when the companies seek approval from "independent" shareholders to do something that might not make sense to others.

(The Standard) December 7, 2017.

Rosetta Fong Sut-Sam, the deputy chairwoman and executive director of financial advisers, Convoy Global Financial Holdings, (1019) has left the headquarters of the Independent Commission Against Corruption after being questioned for about five hours in connection with an on-going investigation.

In the operation involving about 50 officers today, a dozen people including the company's executives were driven to the anti-graft agency's headquarters for investigation, Headline Daily reported. Sources told the sister daily of The Standard that some employees were suspected of using the Hong Kong-based company to solicit an advantage of about HK$47 million between March and June 2015.

Earlier today, Fong was escorted from her Sai Kung home by anti-graft officers to the ICAC offices in North Point. Officers also searched her home and removed some documents. The Headline Daily reports that Fong and Christie Chan Lai-yee, an executive director, were arrested by ICAC officers. They also searched Convoy's head office in North Point.

Chairman Quincy Wong Lee-man and another executive director Cho Kwai-chee are both targets of the investigation, according to the report, but Wong is currently in Taiwan.

At this time, Quincy Wong Lee-man is a person of great interest to the Hong Kong Internet.

Convoy Global Holdings Limited thinks that an area of great potential is Mainland China.

But Quincy Wong is also a die-hard Yellow Ribbon Pro-Democracy/Freedom warrior. He has scaled Lion Rock to look at the "I want genuine universal suffrage" banner. He has photos taken with Joseph Zen and Martin Lee. When he and his team finished the North Pole Marathon in 2013, they unfurled a "I want genuine universal suffrage" banner.

(HK01) November 7, 2017. When news of the ICAC raids became known, the media immediately went looking for Quincy Wong. His Facebook indicated that he had just been eating fried chicken in Taipei with his wife. HK01 left a comment at the Facebook. Quincy Wong replied: "Sorry, but it is inconvenient to respond at such a sensitive time. Thank you for your concern." HK01 wrote: "I understand. I am very grateful for your reply. One thing else, do you  plan to come back to Hong Kong as quickly as possible to deal with the company matters?" Quincy Wong replied: "The travel itinerary has not been decided yet." HK01: "Got it! Thank you, Mr Wong." Quincy Wong added: "Whatever has to be dealt with has to be dealt with."

So will Quincy Wong follow the footsteps of Lee Sin-yee who fled to Taiwan after being charged with rioting? Will Quicncy Wong apply for political asylum because Carrie Lam through the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Securities and Futures Commission are persecuting him for his political beliefs in freedom and democracy?

(The Standard) December 8, 2017.  Extra! Quincy Wong has been arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for suspected corruption when he arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport at about 430pm today.

New banner: "I want genuine arrest/charges"

(Oriental Daily) December 8, 2017. A key figure in the Convoy affair is executive director Roy Cho Kwai Chee. In the ongoing negotiations of the sale of <Next Magazine> (#766), it is rumored that the financier behind apparent buyer Kenny Wee is in fact Roy Cho Kwai Chee. At this time, the sale of <Next Magazine> has been stalled for unexplained reasons, with a number of deadlines apparently missed already. Are those troubles related to the Convoy affair? Who knows?

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 6, 2017.

Taiwanese political and cultural commentator Chang Tieh-chih has said he was denied entry to Hong Kong after arriving at the airport on Wednesday.

The former editor-in-chief of prominent Hong Kong lifestyle publication City Magazine, Chang lived in the city and moved back to Taiwan two years ago. He said on Facebook that he was planning to come to Hong Kong to attend a cultural conference. I watched as my wife passed through, he wrote on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. Changs wife is a Hongkonger.

Chang said in another post that he had a Hong Kong resident identity card, but border officials told him it was expired when he produced it. He then tried to apply for a visa online at the airport, but it was rejected. I have always cared about the cultural exchange between Taiwan and Hong Kong it is a very sad thing if I cannot go to Hong Kong, he said.

A columnist with a range of publications in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, Chang has been vocal in supporting democracy and social movements on both sides of the strait. According to Stand News, however, he is not affiliated with any political party.

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 6, 2017.

This is the first time that a Taiwanese person who holds no government post and is not part of the political system [has been denied entry], said Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator Kwok Ka-ki on Wednesday evening. Hes just a private citizen. Firstly, this damages One Country, Two Systems, added the Civic Party lawmaker. Secondly, this causes great damage to the international reputation of Hong Kong. This will have an effect on the judgement of Taiwanese people who want to come to Hong Kong for work or tourism.

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

Hong Kong lawmaker Dr Kwok Ka-ki, of the opposition Civic Party, said he was shocked to learn of the news and said he had written to Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, demanding an explanation. Chang holds no government post and is not a member of any political party, Dr Kwok. His wife is a Hong Kong resident and he had worked in Hong Kong for long time. He can be said to be a half-Hongkonger. This hurts Hong Kongs international image. Kwok believed Chang might have written something in the past that had angered Beijing.

- Really? What did Chang Tieh-chih write? The Seven Lovers of Xi Jinping? Or what? Can Kwok Ka-ki tell us? Or has he never read anything by Chang Tieh-chih?

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

Chang Tieh-chih, also former chief editor of Hong Kongs popular lifestyle and cultural monthly City Magazine, broke the news on Wednesday afternoon with a message on his Twitter account: Finally, I was denied entry at the Hong Kong airport. But he wrote that his wife, Amy Cui, was allowed to enter. Cui is a Hong Kong resident. I watched as my wife passed through, he wrote on Twitter.

In a Facebook message posted on his return to Taiwan on Wednesday evening, Chang said he had plans to come to Hong Kong for a cultural exchange conference but was told his travel document had expired and that an online application for a landing visa was rejected. He claimed he was used to using his Hong Kong identity card to visit Hong Kong but this time was told his card had expired. I tried to apply for a landing visa online at the Hong Kong airport but the application was rejected, Chang wrote on Facebook page. I thought I might have filled in some information improperly and I filled the form again but still [the application] was rejected.

He claimed he had asked an immigration officer and was told not everyones application can be successful. He added: So, I could only return to Taiwan. He expressed deep regret and said he was still looking forward to seeing more freedom and normal exchange between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Chang has been vocal in supporting democratic campaigns and social movements.

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

A spokesman for the Immigration Department of Hong Kong said it would not comment on individual cases. In handling each immigration application, the Immigration Department will consider all the factors and circumstances related to the application so as to decide whether an individual application is approved or not in accordance with the Hong Kong law and prevailing immigration polices, the spokesman said in a statement.

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

Chang said he was coming to Hong Kong for the City-to-City Cultural Exchange Conference. Organised this year by the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture, the forum is a gathering of cultural sector workers, officials and academics from Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with the cities taking turns to host the event.

Taipei is usually represented at the forum by a member of The General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC), of which Chang is the deputy general secretary. The head of GACC is Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The GACC was founded in 1967 by late Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek to promote a revival of Chinese culture on the mainland. The association has always been headed by either an incumbent Taiwan leader or someone appointed by him or her. The association itself took the centre-stage of a political brouhaha earlier this year (2017) when there were speculations that Tsai could rename the association by removing the word Chinese, and replace it with the word National.

When Taiwans former president Chen Shui-bian, also of DPP, was in power from the 2000 to 2008, the word Chinese was removed from the name of the association, but the word was restored after Liu Chao-shiuan became the president of the association in 2010 with the approval of Taiwans former leader Ma Ying-jeou.

- Is The General Association of Chinese Culture political or not?

(SCMP) November 7, 2017.

A source familiar with the matter said that although Changs wife is a Hong Kong resident and Chang holds Hong Kong identity card, he is not a permanent resident and has to renew his dependent visa from time to time. He was not allowed to leave the gate at the e-channel because his visa has expired, the source said.

Immigration staff asked if he had any other valid travel documents. He displayed a [Republic of China] passport, but it is not regarded as a valid travel document because he did not have a mainland travel permit for a Taiwan resident. He also did not register online before travelling to Hong Kong.

The source said he was then transferred to the airline to see if the carrier could help him with the travel documents but the airline decided to send him back to Taiwan. That is what an airline should do when a passenger failed to show any valid travel document to enter a place, the source said.

(Ming Pao) November 7, 2017.

According to Chang Tieh-chih, an immigration department worker told him that the visa on his Hong Kong ID had expired in April this year. Yesterday, he did not have his "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents" (台湾居民来往大陆通行证 aka 台胞证). However he had his Republic of China passport with him. So he immediately went online to apply for the "Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents." However the system indicated that the application was "denied" for unspecified reasons.

Ways for Taiwan residents to visit Hong Kong

(1) If the spouse of the Taiwan resident is a Hong Kong permanent resident, it is possible to become a Hong Kong resident as a "dependant". The Hong Kong ID will have a date of issuance. The normal period of stay is two years. The holder should proceed in person to the Immigration Department to apply for an extension of stay before the expiration date. The holder is normally entitled to use the e-passage with this Hong Kong ID

Case of Chang Tieh-chih: The period of stay for his Hong Kong ID ended in April 2017.

(2) If the Taiwan resident holds a Republic of China passport, then he/she should apply for a Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents (PAR) at the website of the Hong Kong Immigration System. The applicant will be informed of the result instantaneously. If successful, the applicant must print the notification slip, sign it and present it to the immigration officer. If unsuccessful, the registrant may apply to the Immigration Department for an entry permit.

Case of Chang Tieh-chih: He had a Republic of China passport with him. When he applied online, the result was "denied."

(3) If the Taiwan resident holds a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (aka "Tai Bao Zheng"), he/she may enter the HKSAR as visitors and stay for up to 30 days.

Case of Chang Tieh-chih: He did not bring his Tai Bao Zheng with him when he came to Hong Kong.

Internet comments:

- (Hong Kong Future Concern Group Facebook, Taiwan)

We strongly disagree with the unreasonable decision of the Immigration Department in Hong Kong, and we hereby urge Taiwan to take the following actions,

1. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen should lodge solemn representations to Hong Kong's chief executive, Mrs Carrie Lam.

2. For the applications of admission to Taiwan made by disciplinary services personnel in Hong Kong, their applications should be rejected unless they otherwise show their disagreement towards the decision made by the Immigration Department.

3. Erick TSANG Kwok-wai, who is the Hong Kong Director of Immigration, should be listed as an unwelcomed figure of Taiwan, until the end of his tenure in the position.

4. As the incident represents that Hong Kong is further controlled by Beijing, we once again request the Taiwan Legislative Yuan to refer to the current "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Bill" currently under discussion in the United States for establishing punitive mechanisms for Hong Kong and China government officials that suppress fundamental freedoms of Hongkongese, including admission refusal and asset freezing.


- (1) If "Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen" were to write to Hong Kong's chief executive Mrs Carrie Lam, she would be lowering her grade. Tsai is the President of Taiwan, a de facto and soon-to-be-actual independent sovereign nation. Lam is the Chief Executive (i.e. mayor) of a special administrative region of China. By writing to Lam, Tsai has lowered herself to be the governor of the Taiwan special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.

(2) If you want to exclude the Hong Kong disciplinary services personnel from entering Taiwan, you should at least ask the relevant question in your National Immigration Agency's Arrival Card. Right now, the closest thing under 'Occupation' is 'Government Officer' (which was translated from the Chinese word 公務員 for 'public service worker'). This is going to include hospital nurses, office building janitors, street cleaners, sanitation inspectors, computer network administrators, traffic cops, postal office mailmen, etc.

(2) The Hong Kong Disciplined Services include the Hong Kong Fire Services Department and the Correctional Services Department. Do you want them excluded too?

(3) If you want to exclude Erick Tsang, it should be forever and not just while he is the Hong Kong Director of Immigration. And it is not about him personally, because he is unlikely to have any personal involvement in the case of Chang Tieh-chih. A better target would be whoever is the Hong Kong Director of Immigration who oversees the policy of excluding Freedom/Democracy fighters from Taiwan.

(4) "Hong Kong is further controlled by Beijing."

(Hong Kong Free Press) On December 5, 2017, Wang Zhenmin, the legal chief for the China Liaison Office, said: "Since July 1, 1997, Hong Kong's political colour undoubtedly became red, meaning it has become part of red China. So there is no question of whether Hong Kong is 'becoming red' because Hong Kong has already been red since 1997, when it came under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party." Wang was referring to a local colloquialism, reddening also known as mainlandisation referring to the growing influence of mainland China on Hong Kongs politics and culture.

So please do not delude yourself that this is a gradual process that can be stemmed or even reversed. It has been so since July 1st, 1997.

(4) "The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Bill"

The assumption behind the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (#611 and #743) is that the targets want to visit the United States and/or invest money over there. I don't think that Taiwan is particularly attractive in both regards, so that there is no deprivation.

- (Immigration Department, The Government of the HKSAR)

Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents

Chinese residents of Taiwan who were born in Taiwan can make use of this online service to apply for pre-arrival registration to visit the HKSAR.

After the required information has been inputted, the computer system will process the registration automatically. The registration result will be made known to the registrant instantly.

If the registration is successful, registrant should print the Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents (the notification slip) generated by the computer system on an A4 size blank white paper. Registrant must check the inputted data on the notification slip to confirm they are true and correct and tally with those of his/her travel document for re-entry to Taiwan before signing on the notification slip.

In case the online pre-arrival registration cannot be completed, registrant may apply for an entry permit to the Immigration Department under the existing entry arrangement, if necessary.

Arrangements for Entry to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for Overseas Chinese and Chinese residents of Taiwan

16. Taiwan residents holding a valid "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents" may enter Hong Kong as a visitor and stay for up to 30 days irrespective of whether they are transitting through Hong Kong to/from the Mainland or coming to Hong Kong for visit, provided normal immigration requirements are met.

16. They may also apply for a single entry permit or a multiple entry permit through the authorised airlines, provided that they are not in possession of any travel document issued by other authorities outside Taiwan (except the Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents, and an entry permit issued by the Immigration Department), but they must hold a travel document valid for at least six months for re-entry to Taiwan.

21. It normally takes four weeks to process an overseas entry permit application and two working days for a multiple entry permit submitted through authorised airlines in Taiwan.

- Why is the airline being held responsible? Well, it was the airline which permitted Chang to get on the airplane with an expired Hong Kong ID. Therefore it is the airline, not the Hong Kong Immigration Department, which is accountable. As a result of this incident, the airline will pay for Chang's return fare. As well, there will be hefty fine for lax procedures.

- (EJ Insight) Chang said he was told by the immigration department that his identity card had expired. But he noted that he had had no problems entering Hong Kong for similar purposes using his ID card before Wednesday. Chang said it will be very sad if he cannot visit Hong Kong as he has deep feelings for the city.

You have to admire these intellectual types who find it hard to figure out certain simple facts of life:

(1) Chang's Hong Kong dependant visa (normally for 3 years) expired in April 2017.
(2) Chang was able to enter Hong Kong in January 2017 because the visa was still valid.
(3) Chang was unable to enter Hong Kong in December 2017 because the visa is no longer valid.

Duh! Why act surprised? How else can it be?

Alternately, Chang could have used a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (Tai Bao Zheng) to enter Hong Kong. Of course, he left it at home (or so he says).

There is yet another alternative. Chang immediately went online to apply for a Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents. Hey, what does "pre-arrival registration" mean to you? It means "before arrival". It does not mean "post arrival" after you land at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Duh! It would be a system bug if this was approved.

There is yet another alternative.

(Hong Kong Immigration Department) Visit Visa/Entry Permit Requirements

9. If you are a Chinese resident of Taiwan, you should submit your application for an entry permit through one of the authorised airlines.

Duh! It means that you cannot Do It Yourself. And besides it takes two days to process. Is Chang going to sleep in the airport meanwhile?

Now has Chang gone back to Taipei and sulk at home through Twitter? Or is he coming back to Hong Kong with his Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents in hand? Will he actually apply for a Notification Slip for Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents before arrival as opposed to after?

- Guidebook for Entry for Residence as Dependants in Hong Kong

12. A dependant may apply for extension of stay for resident in the HKSAR within four weeks before his/her limit of stay expires.

Apparently Chang Tieh-chih never paid attention to this. Perhaps he was too busy fighting for FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. Or maybe he thinks that such mundane details can always be ironed out with the help of legislator Kwok Ka-ki.

- Relevant link: #505 We need the unions to come out and insist that all security/immigration procedures must be followed to the letter with no exceptions. Or else we all die. Or something.

- (Apple Daily) December 7, 2017. Hong Kong Baptist University School of Communication senior lecturer Bruce PK Lui said that Chang Tieh-chih is a moderate who has resided in Hong Kong before. Therefore this action was not directly against Chang personally. Instead, it is the Central Government which is tightening control over Hong Kong-Taiwan links.

- Yes, the Central Government made Chang Tieh-chih forget to renew his Hong Kong visa and to leave his Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents at home. Those Commies are really nefarious. I would never have guessed until the HKBU School of Communication senior lecturer told me.

- (EJ Insight) December 7, 2017. A Taiwanese official said the Hong Kong government should treat civil exchanges between their two places with an open mind and a positive attitude so as not to hurt the citys image in the eyes of Taiwan people or affect their relationship built over many years.

(Chinese University of Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies) 722 Hong Kong citizens aged 18 or over were interviewed November 21-25, 2017 by telephone.

Q1. Do you support filibustering on principle?
50.8%: Do not support
30.3%: In-between
14.0%: Support
4.8%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2. Do you agree with changing the rules of procedure in the legislature in order to reduce the change of filibustering?
30.1%: Disagree
16.6%: In-between
49.4%: Agree
3.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Q3. Are you worried that changing the rules of procedure at the legislature will end up weakening the speech rights of legislators?
44.0%: Not worried
16.0%: In-between
35.2%: Worried
3.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Q4. Do you agree with filibustering over the Co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Station?
58.6%: Disagree
14.1%: In-between
22.2%: Agree
5.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Q5. Statements on filibustering

Filibustering hinders governance and slows down social development in Hon gKong
19.8%: Disagree
23.1%: In-between
53.2%: Agree
3.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Filibustering only represents a chance for a political show by the legislators to increase public exposure
31.9%: Disagree
26.3%: In-between
37.4%: Agree
4.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Filibustering can raise public awareness on the issues and make the government face up to the demands
43.9%: Disagree
22.0%: In-between
31.7%: Agree
2.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Legislators filibuster because there is no full universal suffrage at the legislature
40.9%: Disagree
21.3%: In-between
30.7%: Agree
7.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Internet comments:

- (Oriental Daily) December 6, 2017. The pan-democratic legislators met with the press today. With respect to the CUHK-IAPS poll, legislator Chan Chi-chuen said that the poll will not affect the future actions of the pro-democracy camp.

- Who fucking cares about what people think!? We are pro-democracy and we certainly don't have to care!

- (HKG Pao) Actually, the pan-democrats care a lot. Here is Alvin Yeung (Civic Party) offering his explanation:- Filibustering is a non-violent form of resistance. If filibustering is disabled in future, then there is only violent resistance left. He said: "First of all, we wouldn't want to hurt the security guards who are blameless. I feel that this is the most essential. From this premise, we have to think about what we can do to achieve our goals." (see video of violence in the Legislative Council chamber)

- Short summary: If you won't let us filibuster, we are going to have to assault security guards. If and when they get hurt (and they will), you will bear full responsibility because you stopped filibustering.

- (HKG Pao) Lawmaker James To (Democratic Party) told the press that "Amending the Rules of Procedure" = "Eliminating One Country Two Systems." What is the line of reasoning?

One Country Two Systems means that the two systems are different. If the two systems converge, then One Country Two Systems is dead. Therefore, the two systems must continue to be different.

The Hong Kong system allows filibustering right now, but they don't do so in mainland China. If we eliminate filibustering in Hong Kong, it means that the two systems will be alike. Therefore we must keep filibustering in Hong Kong, or else One Country Two Systems is dead.

In like manner, this argument can be extended to any number of other fields.

For example, mainland China has the High Rail Express. Therefore Hong Kong must not allow the High Rail Express to come in or else One Country Two Systems is dead. Instead Hongkongers must continue to take the cow train.

- Who is going to be happiest after the rules of procedure are amended?

[ ] The pro-democracy camp
[ ] The pro-establishment camp
[ ] The Hong Kong SAR government
[ ] The Central Government/Chinese Communist Party
[ ] The Legislative Council secretariat (including the security guards)
[ ] The media
[ ] The people of Hong Kong

(Hong Kong Free Press) Lawmaker Paul Tse, who is the chair of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, said, "The public must be the happiest ones."

- (SCMP) Hong Kongs opposition leaders only have themselves to blame. By Alex Lo. December 9, 2017.

The irony is hard to miss. The opposition is using protests, disruptions, quorum counts, filibustering and any and all delaying tactics it can come up with to stall changes to the rule book of the Legislative Council to restrict such tactics. The chaos we have just witnessed in the Legco chamber this week will only get worse.

But the opposition is just digging a bigger hole for itself and confirming for the public that it has nothing constructive to offer other than opposing for its own sake.

Filibustering and stalling in general have a place in any legislative assembly that doesnt want to be just a rubber stamp. But they need to be used sparingly and wisely. Unfortunately, such tactics became the weapon of first rather than last resort for opposition lawmakers during the years of the Leung Chun-ying administration, which they hated and despised to an almost hysterical level.

Opposition leaders like to claim they oppose only unjust bills and white elephant infrastructure projects. But, whether intentional or not, their indiscriminate, scorched-earth tactics have caused tremendous collateral damage.

In local construction, an estimated HK$180 billion of works, of which about 40 per cent is funded publicly, is needed each year to sustain a 400,000 workforce.

Last year, the government sought HK$67.5 billion for 72 construction projects, yet only a handful were approved because of disruptions to funding in Legco. The vast majority were minor works, not large-scale white elephants.

More ridiculously, opposition legislators have been happy to hold up funding approval they themselves support just to spite the government. That was what happened in July when a popular HK$3.6 billion additional recurrent funding in education was not approved until the last minute because of protests against the disqualification of localist lawmakers.

It should surprise no one that more than half of those questioned in a recent Chinese University survey opposed filibustering and other delaying tactics, while only about a third expressed support.

The loyalists in Legco are no doubt exploiting a rare opportunity to curb the ability of the opposition to block government bills with the disqualification that has left six Legco seats vacant; they would be foolish not to.

Opposition leaders have no one to blame but themselves to have used questionable tactics to such an irrational and destructive extent as to squander public goodwill, understanding and forbearance.

- (EJ Insight) Is it time for the opposition to throw in the towel?  By SC Yeung. December 12, 2017.

The democrats appear to be fighting a losing battle in their effort to prevent changes to the Legislative Council rules. Public opinion is not on their side. Neither is time.

The establishment camp is keen on pushing through with the changes, which would stop filibusters and lower the quorum, weapons the opposition use to either delay or stop the proceedings to tackle controversial government bills.

The administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam is solidly behind the move, although under the principle of separation of powers, the executive branch is not supposed to meddle with the affairs of the legislature.

Something must happen before Lam leaves for her duty visit to Beijing later this week, and nothing would please her boss, President Xi Jinping, more than the news that the Legco rule changes are in the bag.

There is no better time to pass the proposed changes than now, when six of the pan-democrats have been disqualified after the court invalidated their oath-taking, and the pro-Beijing camp has gained control of Legco.

All that the opposition can do to block the changes is to resort to delaying tactics, disrupt the proceedings, and prevent a vote.

Is there really nothing the opposition can do to sway public opinion to their side, to convince the public that the changes would turn Legco into a rubber stamp like the National Peoples Congress in Beijing, that the changes are inimical to their interests?

The democrats want to resort to action similar to the Occupy campaign in 2014. They want their supporters to camp out in front of Legco to oppose the proposed changes, which could be approved as early as next week, before the legislature adjourns for the Christmas holiday.

But would such an action be enough for the opposition to win the hearts and minds of the people, and turn the tide in their favor?

The oppositions message is too simple. They are saying that the rule changes would lead to the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law, and restrict the freedom of speech that we currently enjoy.

But the public view is that the rule changes would give order to the Legco proceedings, put a stop to the long delays that to them are simply a waste of time and peoples money. In short, the public has had enough of the oppositions old tricks.

One of the proposed changes is to lower the minimum number of legislators present in a meeting to establish a quorum to 20, from the current 35 or half of the entire body. The opposition has used this rule to stop the legislature from voting on controversial bills and also to criticize pro-Beijing lawmakers who are often absent from sessions.

If the proposal is approved, it would no longer be difficult for the establishment camp to start a meeting and facilitate the enactment of controversial government bills.

But such a proposal is itself controversial, and may be a violation of the Basic Law. According to Article 75 of our mini-constitution, the quorum of the Legislative Council shall be not less than one-half of all its members. In fact, the government may need to ask Beijing for another interpretation to make the law effective in Hong Kong.

Former Legco president Andrew Wong on Monday weighed in on the controversy, noting that both the establishment camp and the pan-democrats have gone overboard.

He said most of the proposed rule changes are unnecessary, but some rules, such as the one that allows the removal of the press from the chamber, are indeed outdated and should be scrapped.

Wong urged lawmakers to handle the matter more carefully and to spend more time to arrive at a consensus.

But the entire pro-Beijing camp, including Legco president Andrew Leung, wants to set a deadline to have the rule changes approved as soon as possible. Leung, in fact, has extended the Legco sessions to have the proposals approved.

In truth, the Legco leadership has shut the door to any further deliberation on the proposals or to reach a compromise with the democrats.

Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung admitted that the democrats options to block the proposed rule changes are quite limited.

He did urge both sides to sit down to work out a plan to restore normal Legco functions. We should not keep fighting against each other at Legco, Yeung said.

In the face of defeat at Legco, what else could the democrats do? Would they now throw in the towel and return to the parliament of the streets?

(Ming Pao) December 13, 2017.

In countries and regions with a representative political system, the use of filibuster by minority lawmakers in the legislative body is part of its business. In this light, pan-democratic lawmakers' use of filibuster in Hong Kong to advance their proposals and demands is not a big issue. However, what is different between Hong Kong's Legislative Council and the legislative bodies in other countries and regions is that Hong Kong does not have a mechanism for handling filibuster. As a result, pan-democratic lawmakers, though in the minority, get to hijack the Legislative Council, paralyse the deliberation of issues and undermine almost all of its functions as a legislative body.

According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the CUHK, of the 722 respondents over 18, 49.4 per cent supported the amendment of the Rules of Procedure in order to curb filibuster, while 30.1 per cent were against the move. As for whether lawmakers should filibuster against controversial issues to prevent related bills or motions from being adopted, 50.8 per cent of respondents said "no", while only 14 per cent said "yes", showing an even greater discrepancy. In the past, citizens were neutral towards filibuster. Now their preference is clear they are obviously against filibuster. This is believed to be the result of the pan-democrats' overuse of filibuster, so much so citizens feel that their interests have been harmed. Hence the change of the tide of opinion.

In the same survey, respondents were also asked about the "Co-location Arrangements". It was found that 58.6 per cent of respondents did not think that lawmakers should filibuster against the motion, while only 22.2 per cent thought they should. The pan-democratic camp had invented many scenarios to frighten citizens, trying to paint a horrifying picture of the Co-location Arrangements. As shown by the survey, their strategy has not been successful. The finding, together with citizens' stance on filibuster, demonstrates that pan-democratic lawmakers are now at the opposite of public opinion. In spite of this, some of them, however, have said they will not pay attention to the survey and will continue to do what they want to do. It is uncertain whether the pan-democrats as a whole will filibuster to the end.


King Leonidas: Spartans! Prepare for glory!

Daxos: Glory? Have you gone mad? There is no glory to be had now! Only retreat, or surrender or death!

King Leonidas: Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadian! Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word. Let every Greek assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul. And while you're at it, search your own.


King Leonidas: Children, gather round! No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight... and die. A new age has begun. An age of freedom, and all will know, that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it!

(Oriental Daily) November 30, 2017.

The League of Social Democrats, Demosisto and other groups announced today at a prses conference that they will hold a demonstration this coming Sunday. The theme shall be: "March with the activists, resist authoritarianism." The march will begin from Southorn Sports Ground in Wanchai and end at the Court of Final Appeal in Central. League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng said that they have applied for a letter of non-objection from the police with an expected crowd size of 2,000.

Earlier in August, several days after Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow went into jail, several organizations marched to support the "political prisoners." Many pan-democrats, localists and students showed up. This was one of the few times when the organizers did not provide a crowd size estimate. Former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general said that this was the largest crowd since the 2014 Occupy Movement and that they raised $2.5 million in donations.

Less than two months later, the same group held an Anti-Authoritarian March on October 1 to demand the resignation of Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen. The organizers claimed that 40,000 persons marched and donated more than $1.1 million.

Previously the Justice Defence Fund hijacked the marches. At first, they said that they were raising money for the four disqualified Legislative Councilors. Then they said that the money would be used to help Occupy Movement people. Now the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund said that they want to help the imprisoned activists in the North East New Territories development case.

This latest march is set to raise money for the Justice Defense Fund and the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund. Apart from the previously stated aid recipients, we now have Joshua Wong ready to be sentenced next week for contempt of court in the Mong Kok clearance and the sentence appeal for Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow in January. It is highly likely that Wong, Law and Chow will go back to jail. So is this latest march an attempt to raise more "family settlement" money for them?

(Oriental Daily) December 3, 2017.

The Anti-Authoritarianism demonstration march by the League of Social Democrats, Demosisto and other organizations started out at 235pm from Southorn Sports Ground in Wanchai and arrived at the Court of Final Appeal in Central at 320pm.

About 300 persons started the march. They changed slogans including "Defend the disqualified legislative councilors," "Oppose political prosecution," "Oppose political persecution," "We don't want Article 23," "Release the political prisoners", "No fear of authoritarianism," "I want genuine universal suffrage," "The people should be in charge," etc.

Most of the marchers held donation boxes to raise money for the Justice Defence Fund. Among those present were Joshua Wong and Nathan Law of Demosisto, the four disqualified legislative councilors (Lau Siu-lai, Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law and Yiu Chung-yim), Occupy Central trio member Benny Tai, Avery Ng and Raphael Wong of the League of Social Democrats and some members of the North East New Territories 13.

Joshua Wong said that he expects to be sentenced to jail on Thursday for contempt of court during the Mong Kok clearance. Therefore this will be his last march this year. He said that this march will be a shot in the arm for social activists. He said that the the crowd size is unimportant. He believes that all the marchers have firm will. He hopes that this march will show the government that they oppose political persecution and that the people of Hong Kong have a spirit of never giving up.

Internet comments:

- If I want to make a charitable donation, I would have given it last night to the Tung Wah Charity Gala on TVB. At least I know where the money to going to.

- Who are these people anyway?
Joshua Wong: unemployed
Nathan Law: unemployed
Avery Ng: unemployed
Raphael Wong: unemployed
Leung Kwok-hung: unemployed
Yiu Chung-yim: consultant
Lau Siu-lai: University lecturer
Benny Tai: Associate professor, School of Law, Hong Kong University

- If they claim to have raised another $1 million, then the average donation per person is $1,000,000 / 300 = $3,333. And most of these people are unemployed. Who is going to believe that?

- It is not true that they are unemployed. They are all professional social activists whose income depends on the donations.

- 300? The next day, Apple Daily's headline will be the usual 全城怒吼("the whole city rose up and roared in anger").

- Joshua Wong said that the crowd size is unimportant. Oh. Why couldn't he make it clear beforehand and then everybody can just stay home?

- (Oriental Daily) December 4, 2017. The issue is less than the absolute number '2000.' More importantly, these same people claimed 40,000 came to demonstrate the last time. What happened to the other 38,000 today?

- Turnout was impacted today by the non-appearance of those in the localism/independence/self-determination movements. The reason is that Ray Wong (Hong Kong Indigenous) has just jumped bail and gone missing (see Hong Kong Free Press). So the normally verbose leaders of the localism/independence/self-determination movements hiding from the press, and the rank-and-file members are under gag orders.

- The Justice Defence Fund has never counted the Mong Kok rioters (including Ray Wong and Edward Leung) among those ineligible for  its aid. So why would the localism/independence/self-determination movements show up at a fundraiser for the Justice Defence Fund?

- What can the localism/independence/self-determination say about the case of Ray Wong? On one hand, if they say that Wong was right to jump bail so as to avoid political persecution by a rigged judicial system, their words will be used against them when they apply for bail some day. On the other hand, if they say that Wong should turn himself in, they would be colluding with the three powers (executive, legislative and judicial) to persecute a comrade. So at the most they can only say that they don't know the facts here and therefore cannot comment.

- (SCMP) December 3, 2017. Event organisers said 2,000 people joined the march from Southorn Playground in Wan Chai to the Court of Final Appeal in Central over a series of recent court cases, including the imprisonment of the pro-democracy movement activists and the disqualification of four opposition lawmakers. Police estimated 1,800 people attended the protest.

- Normally, the Civil Human Rights Front produces a number which is 5 to 10 times larger than the police number which tends to be close to the numbers from the university pollsters. What happened here? Has Civil Human Rights Front discovered honesty?

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 22, 2017.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is absolutely valid in response to a parliamentary question on freedoms in Hong Kong.

At a British Parliament session on Tuesday, Labour Party MP Geraint Davies said: [I]n Hong Kong freedom of the press, freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed by Article 3(5) of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Yet last week, Beijing said they would basically imprison people up to three years for booing or disrespecting the Chinese national anthem.

President Trump said nothing about this during his visit, what is he [Johnson] going to do about this to uphold fundamental values that we are legally obliged in the United Kingdom to uphold?

In response, Johnson said: We have made it absolutely clear to our Chinese partners that the Joint Declaration is absolutely valid and operative, and the One Country, Two Systems enshrining all the values that he [Davies] rightly draws attention to. One Country, Two Systems remain in force.

Hong Kong Watch, a new London-based advocacy organisation focused on Hong Kong, said on Twitter: Thank you Geraint Davis MP for raising important concerns about freedom of expression, and press freedom in Hong Kong.

The group has the support of patrons from across the political spectrum, including former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC, former Labour Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West MP, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown, independent cross-bencher Lord David Alton, and former prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic, barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice QC.

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 27, 2017.

Lord Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, says Britain has a duty to Hong Kong. He said the Sino-British Joint Declaration is an enshrined international treaty: It is up to all to make sure that they preserved that and protect it.

The British government has a duty here too. Britain sadly is obsessed with Brexit at the moment, but you know this is our engagement. I think it was John Major, the British prime minister, who said to the people of Hong Kong: Youll never walk alone.

Chris Patten has said Britain risks selling her honour if, in order to get a decent trade deal were all desperate to get, Britain forgets her obligations in Hong Kong.

(The Foreign Correspondents Club Hong Kong) Britain should offer right of abode to BNO passport holders, says Lord Ashdown as he sets up Hong Kong Watch. November 28, 2017.

The former Royal Marine, in Hong Kong on a fact-finding exercise, said he would favour very strongly the BNO being extended to the right of abode if it is the case that the conditions in Hong Kong are created by whatever force that enables those who hold the BNO passport to feel so vulnerable that they cant live here any longer. However, the SAR passport is probably a better travel document than the BNO, he added. The BNO (British Nationals Overseas) passport was created in 1987 and is issued to permanent residents of Hong Kong. Holders can visit the UK for up to six months.

Internet comments:

- (Wikipedia) British National (Overseas) Passports

British Nationals (Overseas) are British nationals but not British citizens, and hence do not have the right of abode in the UK. Holders of BN(O) passports can only visit UK for no more than six months (or three months when arriving from the Republic of Ireland). For longer stays or other purposes of visit, holders of BN(O) passports need to apply for the appropriate visas at the UK diplomatic missions overseas.

British National (Overseas) status is not recognized by the Government of China, so BN(O) passports are not recognized by Mainland China ports of entry controlled by Ministry of Public Security. Plus, the Government of Hong Kong does not allow BN(O)s' withdrawal of Chinese citizenship pursuant to the Nationality law of the People's Republic of China. Therefore, BN(O)s who wish to visit Mainland China must obtain Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents in advance.

- (Wikipedia) Check Kiting

Check kiting is a form of check fraud, involving taking advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. In this way, instead of being used as a negotiable instrument, checks are misused as a form of unauthorized credit.

Kiting is commonly defined as intentionally writing a check for a value greater than the account balance from an account in one bank, then writing a check from another account in another bank, also with non-sufficient funds, with the second check serving to cover the non-existent funds from the first account. The purpose of check kiting is to falsely inflate the balance of a checking account in order to allow written checks to clear that would otherwise bounce. If the account is not planned to be replenished, then the fraud is colloquially known as paper hanging.

According to Wikipedia, Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, known as Paddy Ashdown served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999. So what? This only makes him a used-up battery with no power today.

Lord Ashdown is in no position to promise UK citizenship to BNO passport holders. He has nothing in his bank account. He can write another check to promise that he will bring the subject up if the situation so warrants at a later time, but that is the covering check from another bank account with no money in it either.

- (The Stand News) November 29, 2017.

At the FCC, Lord Ashdown said:

On BN(O), you will not be surprised to know that I would favour very strongly that the BN(O) be extended to right of abode, if it is the case that the conditions in Hong Kong are created by whatever force that enables those who hold the BN(O) passport to feel so vulnerable that they cant live here any longer, I think as a backstop assurance that should be provided.

I dont say we should do it now, but if it is the case that those who have BN(O) passports feel so vulnerable that they cant live here any longer, and that is proven to be a case, then I think Britain should certainly be prepared to show generosity in that matter.

There are two key issues: (1) Does Lord Ashdown have sufficient pull in British politics to make this happen? (2) Will British politicians and general public accept this? Given the preoccupation in the United Kingdom with Brexit, I am pessimistic.

Previously, former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten said during his visit to Hong Kong that he will bring this topic up for parliamentary debate. So far, we haven't seen him done anything yet. Last month during the Benedict Rogers affair, the British government even summoned the Chinese ambassador. But the matter seemed to have faded away by now.

In the end, this is as Professor Simon Shen Xu Hui wrote: "The British will only express their concerns verbally, but they will never take any concrete action. Such is the unspoken political reality."

- (Simon Shen's blog) October 10, 2014.

Individual Hong Kong politicians seem to want the British to intervene in Hong Kong. Even the last governor Chris Patten said that the British government is being "irresponsible" by not intervening. But this is just wish thinking.

First of all, why is the Joint Sino-British Declaration a "declaration" and not a "treaty" or "agreement"? That is because China refused to sign a treaty with the United Kingdom less they look as if they are accepting the unequal treaties such as the Treaty of Nanking or the Treaty of Peking. They don't want the United Kingdom to have any say in Hong Kong after the handover.

After the Declaration was signed, a number of legislators such as Chung Sez-yuen suggested that the Declaration be entered into the United Nations in order to gain international recognition. Why does that mean? In the era of the League of Nations before WWII, the registration of such documents are legally binding. After WWII, the newly founded United Nations removed this requirement. This means that all other treaties, agreements and declarations not registered are equally legally binding. The so-called "registration" refers to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations:

1. Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it.

2. No party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations.

This has nothing to do with the legal status of the document. The Joint Sino-British Declaration is a bilateral declaration, so that only those two nations can have a say. It is wrong to think that just because it was entered into the United Nations means that the United Nations can take over and monitor the implementation.

If either the British or the Chinese thinks that the other side has broken the promise, can they complain to the international community? In theory, yes. But the problem is that the Declaration does not say what recourse is available in such a situation. The Declaration does not say what happens if China took Hong Kong back before 1997 or the United Kingdom refused to hand Hong Kong over in 1997. The United Nations might be able to intervene in case of war, but its scope of action is limited in other matters.

In theory, the United Kingdom can sue China at the International Court of Justice to seek a binding arbitration. But an arbitration requires bilateral agreement, and China would never agreed to it.

The United Kingdom can imitate the Philippines to sue at the Permanent Court of Arbitration but that decision is non-binding. Besides the United Kingdom has slim chance of winning because the wording in the Joint Sino-British Declaration are vague ("basic policies", "life-style", "the chief executive will be appointed by the Central People's Government on the basis of the results of elections or consultations to be held locally") in order to give maximum flexibility to the sovereign nation. Today, the United Kingdom needs Chinese capital investment. The British will only express their concerns verbally, but they will never take any concrete action. Such is the unspoken political reality.

- When Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is absolutely valid, he is kiting a check.

- (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China) June 30, 2017.

Q: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on June 29 that the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free media have all been central to Hong Kong's success. Hong Kong's future success will depend on the rights and freedoms protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The spokesperson of the US State Department also said that the US remains concerned about any infringements of civil liberties in Hong Kong, including intrusions on press freedoms, and supports the further development of Hong Kong's democratic systems. What is China's comment on that?

A: We can tell whether Hong Kong is successful or not based on its development over the past two decades since its return to the motherland, rather than any outsiders' irresponsible remarks.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has achieved all-round progress over the past 20 years under the energetic support of the central government and the mainland. From 1997 to 2016, GDP annual growth rate in Hong Kong averaged 3.2%, ranking among the top developed economies. Hong Kong has kept its unemployment rate below 3.5% over recent years, while the world average is 5%. For 23 years in a row, Hong Kong has been rated by the Heritage Foundation as the freest economy in its Index of Economic Freedom Report. According to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017, Hong Kong topped the list of competitive economies for the second consecutive year. The successful practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and the prosperous and contented life of people in Hong Kong have made people of the SAR and the entire China happy, although it seems to have made some others sour.

As for the remarks made by those from the US and the UK, I want to stress that Hong Kong is China's SAR, and Hong Kong affairs belong to China's domestic affairs. The Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) clearly marks the transitional period off from China resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. It's been 20 years now since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, and the arrangements during the transitional period prescribed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are now history and of no practical significance, nor are they binding on the Chinese central government's administration of the Hong Kong SAR. The British side has no sovereignty, no power to rule and supervise Hong Kong after the handover. It is hoped that relevant people will come around to this.

- Every few weeks, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pops up to say that the Joint Sino-British Declaration is as valid as ever. By auto-rote, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China spokesperson says that Hong Kong matters are internal Chinese matters. What is the point of this pantomime show?

- What, if anything, can the British do? Cut off all economic ties with China? Send their aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth II to Hong Kong if and when it is battle-worthy? Bring a motion to denounce Hong Kong's national anthem law before the United Nations General Assembly and lose by a vote of 1-157?

- (Wen Wei Po) November 30, 2017.

No sooner did Paddy Ashdown finish his speech than Edward Leung (Hong Kong Indigenous) immediately issued the call: "All those who have not renewed their BNO passports should do so immediately, so that the correct number can be used for effective legislation."

Melody Lam: This is a waste of time. If the Brits wanted to do this, they would have done it a long time ago.

Io Va Chu: This is not the first time that you heard from the the Brits. If the people of Hong Kong become boat people, the United Kingdom will be among the first wave of nations to shut the gates!

Vincent Or: The Brits would be stupid to pay any attention to you!

Caleb Lam: This is just a way for the political hacks to come out and get some attention.

Kam Lau: Each time they bring out some bit player to make statements that they won't take responsibility for. Meanwhile those who have the real power to effect things never say anything.

William Lai: Ha ha ... he talks big but he doesn't have to pay the bill. Nevertheless many people actually believe him and give him applause. It is so easy to be a politician.

- The British voted for Brexit because they don't want all those Eastern Europeans coming to their beautiful homeland. And they also don't want the hordes of Middle Eastern refugees waiting in Calais (France) to come. What are the chances of them welcoming a couple of million Hongkongers to come to the British Isles to collect welfare and use National Health Service?

- India, formerly a British colony and still a member of the British Commonwealth, has a national anthem law with a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail. Why didn't the United Kingdom complain?

- Hong Kong already has a National Flag law in place, with people being sentenced to prison for flag-burning. Why can't they have a National Anthem law too? Why is it different?

- Is the argument that the National Anthem law would not preserve the "life-style" that is enshrined in the Joint Sino-British Declaration? That's funny, I don't remember that the British colonial administration allowed booing the British anthem or burning the British flag.

- (Bastille Post) December 1, 2017.

When Paddy Ashdown said that the British government is being hypocritical on the Hong Kong problem, I think that the only thing true is the word "hypocritical." Not only is the British government hypocritical, but the British politicians are hypocritical too. Not only this, but all politicians who have to survive electoral politics (including the pro-establishment and pro-democracy camps in Hong Kong) are hypocritical. The Liberal Democratic Party is a small party that is in third or fourth place in Hong Kong. After the 2010 elections, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democratic Party formed a coalition government, and their head Nick Clegg served as the deputy prime minister. If the Liberal Democrats cared so much about Hongkongers, then why didn't they fight for right of abode for BNO passport holders when they were part of the ruling coalition?

When the British left Hong Kong, the BNO passports were intended to be a travel document. The cover may be identical to the British passport, but the BNO passport states clearly that the bearer does not have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. At the time, certain Hongkongers held actual British passports. But after the handover, the British government immediately amended the law so that those Hongkongers who hold British passport but are not normal tax-paying residents in the United Kingdom will have to pay full overseas tuition for their children. When a government wants to claw away at student tuition, what are the chances of this government giving right of abode to about 150,000 BNO passport holders? Right now, the refugee crisis in the European Union caused the Brexit referendum to succeed. So what room is there for the British government to act on the right of abode for more outsiders?

So why did Lord Ashdown tell Hongkongers about something that he can't deliver? This is the common problem for politicians -- they will go to different places to tell different peoples whatever those people want to hear. He came to Hong Kong and knew that some Hongkongers don't like the Chinese government. So he said things that they want to year, such as giving right of abode to BNO passport holders. Right now, the Liberal Democrats hold only 8 seats in Parliament. They aren't even part of any coalition government. So they can say whatever they want. Lord Ashdown goes even further than most politicians, because he even wants to appease Hongkongers who are not British voters. Well, he can say anything that he wants but he actually cannot deliver on any of it.

- (SCMP) Britain needs to truly let go of Hong Kong. By Alex Lo. December 1, 2017.

Its both amusing and infuriating to watch British grandees flying in and out of the city making pronouncements about our future and how China should behave. On a practical level, when will these very important people realise their country is now irrelevant on the international stage and their government has little influence anywhere in the world, including in Hong Kong?

This negative assessment of Britains international standing, is not my own judgment, but that of Jonathan Powell (see his Guardian op-ed), Tony Blairs chief of staff from 1995 to 2007, and of Steven Erlanger, chief diplomatic correspondent of The New York Times, who just completed four years as the papers London bureau chief.

People like British peer Paddy Ashdown, who has been on a fact-finding tour here like we are some kind of war-worn Bosnia and Herzegovina, his old haunts, are entertained by members of the local opposition and their expatriate supporters grasping at straws. But even their most fervent fans know deep down they will make no difference whatsoever, whatever happens in Hong Kong now and forever.

China must honour the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Ashdown solemnly declares. But why wouldnt China when this international treaty, from the very beginning, focuses on preserving the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and upholding national unity and territorial integrity?

It sounds like some opposition members and Hong Kong secessionists are the ones working to undermine this treaty.

Our duty to Hong Kong is non-negotiable, Ashdown said. Britain does need to understand that it has a very special duty to Hong Kong and it needs to fulfil that duty. We have a legal duty. We have a moral duty. We have a duty of friendship.

I am sorry, but doesnt anyone feel embarrassed hearing him speak like that? Not British peers, evidently.

And preserving Hong Kongs freedoms, too. Presumably that means achieving full democracy and universal suffrage. But there is no mention of any of that in the Joint Declaration. Its all in the Basic Law. I would join the opposition this minute if they start respecting the citys mini-constitution in total, including Article 23, which calls for Hong Kong to enact national security legislation.

In a disaster or war, do you think Britain or China would rush all available resources to help Hong Kong? Oh wait, that would be mainland interference. Better call the Brits for help!

- Flashback! (New York Times) July 23, 1989.

The controversy surrounding Britain's refusal to allow holders of British passports in Hong Kong to settle here has fed a long-running debate over this nation's policies toward immigrants.

Since the Communist repression of the pro-democracy movement in China last month, London has reaffirmed several times its decision not to give Hong Kong's 3.25 million Chinese who hold British passports the right to live in Britain after the colony's scheduled reversion to China in 1997.

Sir Geoffrey Howe, British Foreign Secretary repeated this last week. He told the House of Commons that the Government would be as ''generous as possible'' in admitting people from the colony but that a commitment to take in all of them was ''impossible.''

''It would be wrong to raise expectations we could not possibly meet,'' Sir Geoffrey said, adding that the authorities were working on a plan to admit some people from both the private and public sectors on the basis of the value of their service to Hong Kong, as well as their connections with Britain.

Both Conservative politicians and their Labor opponents have supported the Government's decision. But The Sunday Times, in a recent editorial, accused the authorities of not standing by the colony's people.

''To most British politicians, Hong Kong is a place out of sight, out of mind,'' the newspaper said. ''On both sides of the House their attitude is, at best, clouded by ignorance; at worst, warped by racism.''

Opinion polls suggest that the public is divided over the immigration issue.

Under the headline ''No! No! No!'' The Sun, a national tabloid, published a survey recently that indicated that 65 percent were against a mass immigration of people from Hong Kong.

A Gallup Poll published last month in The Daily Telegraph, just after the Chinese Army crushed the pro-democracy protest, showed that the crackdown had not changed attitudes on giving the colony's people the right to settle here.

The poll indicated that 42 percent of Britons favored extending the right, 46 percent opposed it and the rest were undecided. When Gallup asked the same question in November 1983, it got almost identical results.

Behind the statistics is the reality of Britain today. In the early 1950's, the nation had 35,000 nonwhite residents, compared with 2.5 million today out of a total population of 57 million.

Huge waves of immigrants, many of whom were encouraged to settle here to fill the lowest paying jobs, arrived in the 1950's and 60's from Africa, India, Pakistan and the West Indies.

They settled in a class-oriented country that had previously known the newcomers only as colonial subjects. Sociologists say Britain remains socially and politically uncomfortable as a nation of diverse cultures and cannot easily contemplate a commitment to accept a new influx of immigrants.

Government figures show that a total of about 49,000 immigrants were allowed to settle in Britain last year and, in the last four years, fewer than 1,000 a year were allowed in from Hong Kong.

Critics of the Government position say it should undertake research before embarking on its stated course of asking the rest of the world to help Hong Kong residents in the event that the colony's people are forced to flee.

Paddy Ashdown, leader of the Social and Liberal Democrats, has condemned the political consensus over the Hong Kong issue. In a letter to The Independent newspaper, Mr. Ashdown said Mrs. Thatcher had added to the impression that concessions to Hong Kong would greatly strain the nation by giving Parliament a ''savagely simple'' answer to a question about the hardships that families faced when immigration regulations caused them to be separated.

''Her case, she said, rested on the fact that we are already admitting 40-50,000 immigrants per year and could not absorb any more,'' Mr. Ashdown wrote. ''In other words, issues of justice and morality are overruled by the numbers game.

''This fawning before unstated popular prejudice does no credit to our leading politicians. It may not in itself be racist - but it feeds off and adds to the already dangerous level of racism within our society.''

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 28, 2017.

The Legislative Council Commission on Monday sent letters to former lawmakers Lau Siu-lai, Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung and Edward Yiu, asking that they repay HK$2.7 to 3.1 million each in salaries and operating expenses, as they were never legally considered lawmakers. The votes they cast at the legislature, however, will remain valid.

The LegCo Commission an administrative body which comprises mostly of pro-Beijing lawmakers decided to send the lawmakers demand letters following a special meeting on Monday.

Considering the legal advice, as public money is involved, it is the Commissions duty to recover the funds, Leung said. According to the interpretation of the Basic Law, no entitlements shall be enjoyed if they are not lawmakers.

(EJ Insight) November 28, 2017.

Four former pro-democracy lawmakers said the Legislative Council Commissions decision to demand that they pay back the salaries and allowances they had received prior to their disqualification was absurd and obvious political oppression.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the four  Dr. Lau Siu-lai, founder of Democracy Groundwork; Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats; Nathan Law Kwun-chung, chair of the political party Demosistō who was jailed for his role in a 2014 protest but is currently free on bail; and  Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, who represented the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency said they will seek legal advice while hoping that the commission will be able to reconsider its decision.

They were disqualified by the High Court in July for improper oath-taking last year. Their disqualification is effective from Oct. 12, 2016, the day the swearing-in ceremony for  Legco members took place.

Based on the ruling, the commission decided after a special meeting on Monday morning that they have to return a combined HK$11.74 million in salaries and operating allowances they earned during the period, ranging from HK$2.7 million to HK$3.1 million each, Apple Daily reports.

Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who also chairs the commission, told media it is the commissions duty to recover the funds as public money is involved.

The former lawmakers will be given a notice first and then they will have four weeks to provide a reply to the commission, the Legco chief said, adding that it will then consider the next move after receiving their replies.

It is understood the commission might reconsider its decision if the affected parties could come up with a strong defense, an unnamed source told the newspaper.

According to the Legco president, the decision was made after taking reference to legal opinions, although the votes the four had cast at Legco during the period were deemed effective.

Lawmaker Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan, who is vice chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, urged the four to communicate with the commission as soon as possible, while Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said he will write to the commission to ask for reconsideration.

Law said they had served the public at Legco diligently, and as such, they should not be asked to return their salaries and allowances they had been paid in the months preceding the courts decision, saying their sweat deserved the pay.

The commissions decision reflects Beijings wish to deter them from joining any election in the future by forcing them to enter into bankruptcy, Law said, adding that it could be considered as a deprivation of their political rights.

Leung Kwok-hung said the government should first sue the Legco president because it was he who had called the four lawmakers oath-taking valid.

Lau urged the public to join a demonstration scheduled for Sunday to protest against the political persecution.

(Oriental Daily) November 28, 2017.

Here are the amounts requested:

Lau Siu-lai: $860,000 in salary, $400,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,870,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $3,130,000.

Yiu Chung-yim: $860,000 in salary, $460,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,800,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $3,120,000

Leung Kwok-hung: $860,000 in salary, $370,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,520,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $2,750,000.

Nathan Law: $860,000 in salary, $460,000 in advanced office expenditure, $1,420,000 in office expenditure with receipts, total of $2,740,000.

(Silent Majority HK) November 28, 2017.

This morning, Nathan Law got on radio and said that he does not have any way to repay $2,740,000 to the Legislative Council. If he cannot repay the money, he will have to declare bankruptcy. But a bankrupt person won't be allowed to run for Legislative Council for the next five years. After weighing the pros and cons, he has decided to begin a crowdfunding campaign.

Nathan Law argued that in the 2016 Legislative Council elections, the pan-democratic candidates received 180,000 votes. If each one of these voters donate $17 each, he will have $3 million to repay the Legislative Council. Even if the base is restricted solely to the 50,000 who voted for himself only, each one of those voters need only donate $60. And if the voters are willing, they can help Architectural, Surveying and Planning sector's Yiu Chung-yim repay his $3,120,000!

But will the voters continued to be fooled? The oath antics of the DQ4 were very disappointing already. Over these years, they have contributed nothing useful. They only know how to stir up trouble. There are also any number of crowdfunding projects, such as the Justice Defence Fund, the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund, the Hong Kong Federation of Students' Resisters Support Fund, etc. Do they think that the citizens will donate more money? That is a joke.

(Commercial Radio) November 28, 2017.

Who can bail out the four disqualified legislators? That should be the voters in their respective constituencies who voted for them or other pan-democrats.

In the case of Nathan Law, 181,148 persons voted for Christopher Lau, Cyd Ho, Cheung Kam-mun, Hui Chi-fung, Tsui Chi-kin, Paul Zimmerman, Tanya Chan or Nathan Law. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $2,740,000 / 181,148 = $15.12

In the case of Leung Kwok-hung, 335,907 persons voted for Lam Cheuk-ting, Wan Chin, Leung Kwok-hung, Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, Alvin Yeung, Cheung Ka-foo, Gary Fan Kwok-wai, Wong Sum-yu, Chan Chi-chuen or Baggio Leung Chung-hang. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $2,750,000 / 335,907 = $8.18

In the case of Lau Siu Lai, 161,506 persons voted for Avery Ng, Ho Chi-kwong, Claudia Mo, Jeremy Tam, Raymond Wong, Helena Wong, Lam Yee-lai, Lau Siu-lai, Yau Wai-ching or Lee Wing-hon. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $3,130,200 / 161,506 = $19.38.

In the case of Yiu Chung-yim, 2,491 voted for him in the Architectural, Surveying and Planning constituency. Therefore each voter needs to contribute only $3,120,000 / 2,491 = $1252.50

Of course, this assumes that these voters do not object to their childish antics during their oath ceremonies.

- You may think that you are donating money to Lau Siu-lai to help foot the Legco bill, but please read the footnote at Teacher Siu Lai's Classroom: "The donation will be used totally on office operations and not be used to pay back the salary." Why does an out-of-office ex-legislator still need to run an office?

- (EJ Insight) Is it right to order ousted lawmakers to return their salaries? By SC Yeung. November 28, 2017.

Barely had the opposition camp finished celebrating its better-than-expected showing in Sundays district council bypolls, it was hit with some bad news from the legislature authorities.

On Monday, the Legislative Council ordered four pro-democracy lawmakers who were stripped of their seats in July to return the salaries and allowances they received prior to their disqualification.  

Letters were sent to the disqualified lawmakers Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu that they must pay back amounts ranging between HK$2.7 million and HK$3.1 million. 

As the High Court ruled in July that the four should be barred from office as they didnt take their oaths properly last October, they are deemed illegal occupants of the Legco seats for nine months and must hence repay all the money they received during that period, authorities argued.  

It is the duty of the Legislative Council to recover the funds as public money was involved, Legco president Andrew Leung said, adding that the decision was in line with legal advice.

The order, not surprisingly, was met with howls of protest from opposition groups, who accused Legcos administrative body, which is dominated by pro-Beijing figures, of political persecution.  

Youth activist Law, one of the four former lawmakers who was asked to repay millions of dollars in salaries and allowances, slammed Legcos demand as ludicrous and said he suspects the decision is part of a game plan to prevent him from running in upcoming by-elections.

If the political activists are unable to repay the huge amounts, they may be forced to declare bankruptcy, rendering them ineligible to contest fresh elections.

Lau and Leung have filed appeals against their disqualifications, while Law and Yiu chose not to. 

By-elections to fill seats vacated by Law and Yiu, as well as those formerly held by Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching two Youngspiration lawmakers who, too, had been ousted earlier for improper oath-taking are scheduled to take place in March next year.

Setting the bypolls factor aside, one must say it is quite ridiculous for Legco to order the former lawmakers to repay the money they received while performing their duties for nine months.

From October last year until their disqualification this July, Law, Long Hair Leung, Lau and Yiu attended Legco sessions and participated in debates and voting.

Having performed their duties, they have a right to be compensated in salary and allowances, just as any other lawmaker in the house. 

But now, they are being penalized in a retroactive way, ordered to cough up the money already spent on activities such as hiring aides and other personal expenses.

The action reeks of pettiness and vindictiveness, with the Legco Commission seen bent on punishing the anti-Beijing lawmakers as much as possible. 

One thing to note here is that while the lawmakers have been disqualified, the votes they cast during the nine months are still valid, a fact that Legco chief Leung himself admitted on Monday.

Looking at the whole issue, one suspects it is a political decision backed by Beijing authorities, with central authorities staying behind the scenes and intervening in the Legco business. 

As some ousted members have filed appeals against their disqualifications, why did Legco not wait at least until the outcome of the appeals before seeking to recover the money from them?

From an outside perspective, it appears that Legcos decision was short-sighted and driven more by politics, rather than the need to play by the law.

Law told reporters on Monday that the demand for repayment is absurd, given that he and the three other ousted lawmakers had faithfully served the public for nine months.

An order now to repay the past remuneration amounts to a cruel political joke on the pro-democracy activists, who were backed by tens of thousands of votes in the 2016 election.

Those being asked for the repayment, including myself, would definitely be bankrupt, Law said, adding that this means the government is actually blocking me from running in coming bypolls.

Also, Law remarked that Legco chief Leung should shoulder part of the blame.

If Leung had decided not to recognize their oaths at the very start, the newly-elected members wouldnt have got a chance to perform their lawmaker duties, and things wouldnt have come to such a pass.

It was Leungs decision to allow them to take their oath again and formally become lawmakers. Despite a law interpretation by the National Peoples Congress in Beijing, which set the standard for oath-taking for all public officers, Leung cant escape responsibility for the chaos last October.

As such, Leung owes the lawmakers and the public an apology for a wrong political judgment.

If the four lawmakers are forced to return their salaries, Leung should also make some amends so as to take responsibility for a wrong decision he had made.

Because he was the one who passed our oath-taking and also granted us the right to act as [legislators], so he shall be the one to bear the responsibility instead of the four of us, Law said on Monday, according to RTHK.

Beijing is using all kinds of means to bar the opposition activists from running in elections again, said Law.

While debate rages over the clawback of salaries of the lawmakers, the controversy threatens to spark another round of legal wrangling between the government and the pan-democrats.

As for the Legco, given the domination of establishment figures in the house as well as its various panels, concerns will grow that it has become a rubber stamp, implementing whatever orders flow from Beijing.

With the Communist regime advocating zero-tolerance against those who it sees as crossing the line, expect its proxies here to step up their bizarre games and strong-arm tactics.

(EJ Insight) November 29, 2017.

On Monday, the Legislative Council Commission officially demanded that the four ousted Legco members Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Dr. Lau Siu-lai return all their salaries and reimbursable allowances they had received during their term of office before they were disqualified, ranging from HK$2.7 million to HK$3.1 million each.

The next thing the commission will do is to send every one of them a written notice demanding payment, and they will be given four weeks to reply.

The pan-democrats denounced the decision as political persecution. The four ousted lawmakers held a press conference to protest the decision, saying it is aimed at ruining their political career by forcing them into bankruptcy.

However, according to sources, even though Legco President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who is also chairman of the commission, said that the commission decided to recover every single penny from the four ex-lawmakers because taxpayers money is involved, the decision is just a formality.

There is a lot of room for discussion and bargaining when it comes to the actual amount of money the four ousted lawmakers eventually have to return to Legco, according to some sources.

However, whether the commission would go easy on them depends largely on their attitude as well as the legal grounds they are going to cite in their written replies, sources said.

In fact, it is said that it just took an hour for members of the commission on Monday to reach consensus over the decision to recover funds from the foursome.

During the meeting, it is said that even some pro-establishment members pointed out that the situation with the four ousted lawmakers is fundamentally different from the Youngspiration duo, in that they did fulfil their official duties as lawmakers during their term in office prior to their disqualification by the court in July this year.

Given that, they suggested that they only need to return their unspent operating funds rather than all of their salaries and allowances. If members of the commission finally agree on this suggestion and then successfully hammer out a deal with the four, then all they need to pay back eventually could only be somewhere around HK$300,000 to HK$400,000 each.

Nevertheless, some in the pro-establishment camp criticized the four ousted lawmakers for holding the press conference to condemn the commissions decision, saying their comments were unreasonable and unacceptable.

- So they run crowdfunding campaigns and raise $3 million each and then Legco comes around to inform them that they only have to pay one-tenth of that amount. What happens to the remaining money? It goes down into a Black Hole.

- They will divert your attention by starting another brand new crowdfunding campaign for some other issue that poses a grave threat to democracy in Hong Kong. Or something.

(HK01) November 25, 2017.

Chief Executive Carrie Law attended the graduation ceremony at the Hong Kong Police Academy and quoted Chairman Xi Jinping on "the glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all" to remind the police that they should watch their actions and words. Although Commissioner for Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung tried to excuse her by saying that her words were intended only for the rookie police officers, many frontline police officers understood that Lam's words damaged the reputation police. "Was she hinting that some police officers have horses that harm the team?"

(Ming Pao) November 26, 2017.

Commissioner for Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung was asked if Carrie Lam is saying that there are "horses that harm the team" within the police force. He disagreed and said that Lam was trying to remind the new graduates about the important of public trust. He said that even the most perfect organization can have "horses that harm the team." One such case is too many already, so the police will follow up seriously on any case.

The record shows that many police officers were embroiled in criminal cases recently, such as the Case of the Seven Police Officers and the Case of Frankly Chu during Occupy Central, the bribery case of superintendent Ng Wai-hon, etc. According to the HKU-POP survey this May, the Hong Kong Police Force has a satisfaction rate of only 64.1%, the lowest among all the Disciplinary Services.

(Apple Daily) November 26, 2017.

Civil Human Rights Front ex-convener Au Ngor-hin said that Carrie Lam's speech meets that the senior government officials are aware that the image of the police and police-civilian relationships have gone to a dangerous low. Ever since the Umbrella Movement, police powers have expanded. The many court trials have revealed that the police think that they are always right and all those who obstruct law enforcement are rioters. Meanwhile there are many other cases of police officers abusing their offices and knowingly breaking the law. These are not isolated instances. Rather there are major problems with police culture which require systemic reforms including an open, transparent monitoring system.

(HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. November 28, 2017.

There is a popular foreign cartoon with this scene: A is clearly chasing after B with a knife in hand, but the camera cropped the scene and made out as if B is trying to kill A. This cartoon is annotated with the words "It's media."

Today, I saw the same scene in our media.

Earlier Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended the graduation ceremony at the Hong Kong Police Academy. She delivered a speech to encourage to the graduates. Out of the 2,400-word speech, the media chose eight words 「一榮皆榮、一損俱損」("the glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all") and then summarized the speech about as being about the 「害群之馬」("the horse that harms the team").

When I read that, I began to wonder why Chief Executive would say such negative things on a day of celebration for the graduates?

Nowadays, you can't trust the news reports that you read. You must spend some time to dig out what is behind. Normally, when I have doubts, I would look up the source. With the Internet, I can get into the government news website and retrieve the entire speech of Carrie Lam at the Police Academy. It turns out to be something quite different.

In her speech, Carrie Lam used 2,200 words to encourage and praise the police. For example, she aid that 8,200 companies set up regional offices in Hong Kong because we have "firm rule of law," "non-corrupt society" and "high degree of security." The police are the ones who help us maintain rule-of-law, stop corruption and keep public order. "There it is no exaggeration to say that the Hong Kong Police has contributed greatly to the economic development of Hong Kong. Every colleague in the Disciplinary Services should be proud of this."

Towards the end, Carrie Lam cited Chairman Xi Jinping on "the glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all." She said: "I hope that every colleague who is graduating today will remember firmly in your hears that the actions and sayings of every one of you will affect the reputation of the Hong Kong Police directly. I hope that we all continue to uphold this constantly improving disciplinary force."

This is a standard speech of encouragement but the media took what she said out of context. The media reported "Carrie Lam felt that the police force has more horses that harm the team nowadays and that is why she said so ..." Then they took the statement to ask the Hong Kong Police commissioner for comments.

The commissioner was caught unawares and answered: "One horse that harms the team is one too many. If there is one, we will definitely follow up seriously ..." So these two sound bites completed the reporter's perfect script.

To magnify a few words to trigger social conflict, even to stir the members of the Hong Kong Police to resent the Chief Executive. This is what this kind of misleading news reporting is meant to accomplish.

 "The glory of one is glory for all, the infamy of one is the infamy for all." This is a truism everywhere in the world. After all, isn't the rat dropping of one dropping within the pot of congee of all reporters enough to spoil everything?

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)
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