(v4.0)

[This is a collection of information on the Occupy Central movement/revolution (also known as the Umbrella movement/revolution) in Hong Kong. This is not comprehensive coverage by any means. Many perspectives are already available in abundance in English (see, for example, Reddit on Umbrella Revolution), so there is no need for me to duplicate them here. Instead, the focus here is on popular Chinese-language materials that are not otherwise available in English. Most of the information is gathered from mainstream media, social media (Facebook, YouTube, discussion forums (mainly Hong Kong Discussion Forum, Hong Kong Golden Forum, HKGalden, Uwants and Baby Kingdom), blogs and polling data). The YouTube/Facebook videos have people speaking in the Cantonese dialect and the discussion forums often use uniquely Hong Kong Internet language that is not even comprehensible to mainland Chinese citizens. My contribution is to compile and translate into English these otherwise unknown materials to provide a fuller view of the Occupy Central movement.]

May 1st is a major holiday on mainland China, so everything possible must be done for maximum publicity to teach the mainlanders never to come to Hong Kong again.

Touring the dispensaries to thank the tourists
Buy infant formula on May 1st
Sun Kung Street, Shek Woo Market, Sheung Shui district, 15:00 Sunday
Jointly organized by:
HK National Front
North District Parallel Imports Concern Group
ProgressUST
Valiant Frontier
Studentlocalism

ProgressUST

We should listen to the instructions of the law enforcement agents
Insist on Peace, Reason and Non-violence

We should not
Treat the Chinese people violently
Destroy the parallel goods warehouses or dispensaries that serve parallel traders
If other resisters commit such actions, we should rush up immediately to provide help

(Oriental Daily) April 28, 2016.

Sheung Shui Rural Affairs Committee chairman Bowie Hau Chi-keung said that he will "take a look" at the demonstration on that day. He said that "it is very normal to be concerned about district matters" since he is a Sheung Shui resident. How many people will he bring to the scene? Hau counter-questioned: "Why do I have to instigate anything?" He said that he is supported by many local residents "anytime that he goes anywhere." He also said that he is not the only person who cares about Sheung Shui. Will he instigate radical action? Hau said that "peace is valuable." He said that their action is simply to make sure that nobody causes trouble in Sheung Shui.

Internet comments:

- (NOW TV) April 27, 2016.

Localist organizers plan to repeat demonstrations directed at mainland Chinese tourists on May 1st. Some mainlanders are worried and are choosing not to come to Hong Kong.

ProgressUST: We have already won a victory before we even took any action!

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 27, 2016.

Pan-democratic groups and organisations including the Labour Party and the League of Social Democrats protested at the real estate investment trust Link REITs Kwun Tong headquarters on Tuesday. They demanded that the trust stop raising rents and stop outsourcing market management to other companies. They also urged the company not to sell its property to speculators and asked to see the trusts Chief Executive Officer George Hongchoy.

Today, we occupied Link REIT. For the last month, Link was condescending to residents and did not care about them, this is our resistance against Link, said district councillor Au Nok-hin on Facebook. He also said that the Senior Divisional Relationship Manager So Hong Ling told everyone that he had already received their demands and told them to go to lunch.

Labour Party member Cheng Sze-lut said on Facebook: Link tried to drag things out to make the protesters go away. At first they promised to schedule a time to meet next week, but now it has become next week we will give a reply on when there can be a meeting.'

The investment trust has attracted controversy in recent months after it announced that it was outsourcing Cheung Fat Market management to Uni-China (Market) Management Limited, leading to a week-long strike initiated by stallholders against the prospect of exorbitant rents. The stallholders were then told to vacate the market so that renovation works can be conducted in early April.

However, Link told Ming Pao that it had confidence in the companies that it outsourced market management to and that there was improvement on environment and service, as well as variety of goods and food prices are also very attractive, leading to a rise in degree of satisfaction.

Link has also attracted criticism by changing the monthly rental system of its parking lots from a set number of monthly parking spaces to an altering number of monthly spaces and raising parking rates by 8 per cent. It told Ming Pao the rise was to cover the costs of electricity, staff, as well as maintenance.

(EJ Insight) April 27, 2016.

Dozens of people staged a protest against the Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT) on Tuesday, decrying what they called the property management firms merciless and profiteering attitude. 

Accusing the firm of causing hardship for small shop operators by selling properties to speculators, outsourcing management of wet markets and demanding higher rents, the demonstrators called on Link REIT to change its ways.

The protesters comprised members from several pan-democratic groups, including Hong Kong Association for Democracy and Peoples Livelihood, Neighbourhood and Workers Services Centre, the League of Social Democrats, and the Democratic Party.

The demonstration began at around 9 am and lasted for nearly 7 hours at Link REITs headquarters in Kwun Tong, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Some protesters barricaded the reception desk and entrances of elevators in the building, chanting slogans and holding banners that read bloodsucker, among other things.

The event saw some scuffles break out. A female employee of Link REIT was sent to hospital after she claimed that she was pushed down to the ground, causing her to faint.

Meanwhile, some protesters took an elevator and went up to the companys office on the 33rd floor, where they demanded a meeting with Link REITs chief executive George Hongchoy Kwok-lung. But they were unable to meet him as the CEO was allegedly on leave.

Protesters left the building only at around 4:30 pm after a company spokesman promised that a meeting will be arranged with Hongchoy no later than May 6. Stall operators who had been affected by Link REITs property renovation work are welcome to attend the meeting, the spokesman said.

Claiming that Hongchoy is open to rational discussions, Lo Bing-chung, Link REITs director of corporate communications and external relations, said the CEO had met members of pan-democratic groups more than 10 times in the past. Lo added that he hopes the protesters misunderstandings can be cleared up through a meeting, Apple Daily reported.Meanwhile, he criticized the protesters for disturbing normal office work at the building. Some groups may be just trying to get media exposure by causing trouble intentionally, the official said.

Au Lok-hin, a Southern District Council member from the Democratic Party who participated in the demonstration, urged Link REIT not to break its promise with regard to a meeting with Hongchoy. Unless the company comes up with an acceptable solution, the groups could escalate their protests, he warned.

(Oriental Daily with video) April 26, 2016.

A dozen or so persons from four pan-democratic political parties (Hong Kong Association for Democracy and Peoples Livelihood, Neighbourhood and Workers Services Centre, the League of Social Democrats, and the Democratic Party.) launched a sudden occupation of the Link REIT headquarters in Kwun Tong at 9am to express their dissatisfaction with Link REIT for selling properties and outsourcing markets and parking garages. They demand that these activities be stopped immediately and that the government should buy back Link REIT.

The demonstrators put up banners such as "Link REIT sucks blood mercilessly" and "A danger to Hong Kong" and pasted slogans in the Link REIT office. They demanded to meet with Link REIT CEO George Hongchoy Kwok-lung. Link REIT said that Hongchoy is on vacation, but the demonstrators continued to occupy the offices. At about 10am, the Link REIT suddenly locked the back stairwell and elevators so that the demonstrators can only leave but nobody else can enter the 33rd floor Link REIT offices. This made some of the occupiers very unhappy and they clashed with the Link REIT employees. During this period, a female Link REIT fainted and had to be taken away to the hospital for treatment.

At around 1pm, the demonstrators expanded their territory. Three demonstrators included Central West district councilor Hui Chi-fung protested against the blocking of the stairwell/elevator to cut off food/water supplies by sitting down on the floor of three elevators in the lobby and ate lunch.

At around 3pm, a Link REIT worker told the demonstrators that Honchoy will meet with them next week to hear their demands. At this time, only a manager can accept their petition and listen to what they have to say. The demonstrators asked two other representatives downstairs be allowed to come up for the meeting, but Link REIT refused. The demonstrators freed two elevators, and Hui Chi-fung tried to come up in one of them. The security guards dragged Hui back out.

Link REIT explained that due to costs increases for electricity, labor, repair and maintenance have caused them to raise monthly/hourly parking prices by 8%. Also, the system of outsourcing the markets has been in use since 1998 while Link REIT was still owned and operated by the government and has proven to be quite effective. Link REIT said that they have already met with these political parties for more than 10 times already, and they hope that they can continue to discuss peacefully and rationally without a recurrence of an incident like this one.

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 29, 2016.

Real estate investment trust Link REIT began legal proceedings on Thursday against a group of pan-democratic lawmakers and other activists after they protested at its Kwun Tong headquarters. The company demanded that protesters to be barred from entering the grounds of their headquarters and has asked for compensation after the demonstrators caused a disturbance at Lok Fu Plaza, which they manage.

Among the accused were Democratic Party district councillors Au Nok-hin and Ted Hui Chi-fung, Labour Party district councillor Tam Chun-yin, League of Social Democrats lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung and others who participated in Tuesdays protest against the trusts outsourcing practices and rent hikes.

Internet comments:

- What were the reasons for privatizing Link REIT? Because public management proved to be slow, ineffective, unresponsive and unimaginative. The markets were old and decrepit (e.g. no air conditioning). The privatized Link REIT increased rents and improved the conditions drastically. Everybody knew that was going to happen. What is the point of going back to government-run markets?

- The Democratic Party protesting against Link REIT? Didn't they vote for the privatization of Link REIT? Didn't they know what will happen?

- When the government sold off Link REIT at a fairly cheap price, the pan-democrats approved. After the Link REIT became a public company, they want the government to buy back Link REIT at several times the original sales price. Why, oh why?

- In Hong Kong, there is no longer any rights or wrongs. The power goes to whoever can "resist more valiantly."

- Many citizens went up to the three guys who were stopping the elevators in the lobby and complained about not being able to access the other floors that have Link REIT. But the three guys ignored them. The three guys really needed to be "resisted valiantly."

- I don't understand what happened here. The Link REIT offices are located inside a private commercial building. Couldn't the security director just call the police to remove the demonstrators who are intruding on private property? Can there be any doubt?

- The pan-democrats say that they are pro-democracy, but they believe like Communists ready to confiscate the property of the landlord.

- As a Link REIT (823) shareholder, I hope that they would sell off all the estate markets to others and distribute the proceeds to the shareholders. This way, I won't ever have to listen to these protestors again. P.S. I have no idea why they are protesting.

- It's really very simple. The protestors are socialists in a capitalist society. They think that if the food markets are nationalized and rent-free, food prices will be lower. And where does the government find the money to fund these food markets? Higher personal and corporate taxes, of course!

(Wen Wei Po) April 25, 2016.

Civic Passion, Proletariat Political Institute and City-State announced that they will field candidates in the September Legislative Council. If elected, they will immediately resign in order to trigger a de facto referendum. For the Hong Kong Island district, "Four-eyed Brother" Alvin Cheng Kam-mun is their candidate. Yesterday there was an opening ceremony for his campaign office. The other candidates Raymond Wong Yuk-man, Wong Yeung-tat, Cheng Chung-tai and Wan Chin were present.

The opening ceremony was scheduled for 2pm at the Tai Lok Street Sitting-out area, San Wan Ho district. But Raymond Wong, Wan Chin and Cheng Chung-tai were all late. So the Civic Passion devotees had to stand in the rain to wait for their leaders to arrive. The two Wong's lead some chants about "Nation building" and "Down with the Communist Party." Then they waited in the rain for the Lucky Hour to arrive to cut up the roasted piglet. Afterwards they went into Cheng's new office.

Previously, Cheng Kam-mun was arrested for a YouTube video to show how to destroy public library books written in simplified Chinese character. Yesterday Cheng distributed pamphlets that advertising his new fund-raising book-exchange program. He promised that for an initiation fee of $1,000, you can read books for free at his office and also swap any one of your books with one of his. He said: "I'll take any book, except ones that are written in simplified Chinese characters." Cheng also offers a $4,000 "Four-Eyed Brother Club Membership" which entitles you to enjoy having Cheng come in to eat at your home and he'll wash the dishes afterwards.

At 5pm, there was an auction. On the table  were a number of cartoons from private collections with a starting bid of $3,000. But after the bidding period, there were no offers. So the host invited the cartoonists to take a group photo and called an end to the proceedings.

Internet comments

- Wan Chin's Facebook

Hong Kong Island is the site of the city of the Victorian empire. It has a unique aura. Yesterday at 230pm, the Hong Kong Island office of the Civic Passion/Proletariat Political Institute/City-State alliance was opened in heavy rains. During this period, I offered prayers to the Dragon God and the Guanyin Goddess with no effect. Finally I prayed to the Heavenly God for 30 minutes of rain stoppage and that was effective. We were able to light the candles, offer tribute to Heaven and Earth, and prayed for victories in the five district elections.

Hong Kong Island may have the fruits left behind by the wizards of the British colonial government. That is why only praying to the Heavenly God works. In Kowloon and New Territories, it is only necessary to pray to the Dragon God. There is no need to bother the Guanyin Goddess.

- Raymond Wong is a Legislative Councilor, Wan Chin is a university professor and Cheng Chung-tai is a university tutor. If they can each donate one month of their respective salaries, that would be at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3av7OPCodxg Here is a video of the same folks soliciting donations at a dinner banquet. Bonus: "Miss Crooked Teeth" Bonix Chung.

- In mainland China, there is a general lack of trust because you think that everybody is a swindler going after your wallet. By his own admission, Cheng Kam-mun was born in Jiaozhou city, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China. Why would you trust him? Why would you invite him into your home?

- 浦你阿磨("Fuck your mother" in Jiaozhou dialect)!

- $4,000? Well, I would do it as long as Cheng Kam-mun will eat everything that I put on the table. Hehehe. I am going to put out a plate of dog feces and make him finish it. I don't even want him to wash the plate because I'll just throw it out. I'll videotape the whole episode and I will get tens of thousands of LIKES on YouTube/Facebook. It'll be worth $4,000.

- All that action always leads to one thing: $$$.

- What happens if Cheung Kam-mun gets elected? If he stays on the job, he gets paid $93,000 a month. But he says that he'll quit immediately to trigger a de facto referendum, which means that he will solicit donations all over again. So is there more money in election campaigning than actually serving?

- Well, you are paying too much attention to the lack of donations at the event. They are going through the motions as they must. Eventually it will come out that they got millions in donations. How? It all comes from a mysterious "anonymous donor." They have to go through the motions in order to appear that they are getting donations from all over.

[Illustrative case: A couple of years ago, Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme said that they needed to raise $800,000 to a referendum on universal suffrage. As the deadline came, there was only $30,000. Then they announced that they had met their target. What do you think happened?]

(Lingan University Public Governance Programme) 1,003 Hong Kong adults were interviewed March 29-April 5, 2016. Telephone numbers were drawn from the telephone directory and the last two digits were randomized. In homes with multiple adults, one is chosen randomly. The response rate is 34.3%.

Q1. Do you think that the force that the police applied in the clashes of recent years was excessive, appropriate or inadequate?
31.1%: Excessive
35.2%: Appropriate
21.1%: Inadequate
7.7%: Sometimes excessive and sometimes inadequate
4.5%: Don't know/no opinion
0.3%: Refused

Q2. Do you think that the force that the participants used against the police in the clashes of recent years was excessive, appropriate or inadequate?
60.3%: Excessive
20.2%: Appropriate
6.7%: Inadequate
7.2%: Sometimes excessive and sometimes inadequate
5.4%: Don't know/no opinion
0.2%: Refused

Q3. Some people think that the police can apply force against those present in order to restore order, including force that is excessive given the situation. Other people think that the police cannot use force that is excessive given the situation. What do you think?
30.0%: Agree with the former
54.6%: Agree with the latter
9.4%: Agree with neither
5.4%: Don't know/no opinion
0.6%: Refused

Q4. Some people think that the participants must never use force against the police no matter the circumstances. Other people think that when the police use excessive force, the participants can resist with force. What do you think?
46.8%: Agree with the former
30.0%: Agree with the latter
17.5%: Agree with neither
4.4%: Don't know/no opinion
1.2%: Refused

Q5. Some people think that resistance by force will stop the HKSAR government from carrying out certain policies. Other people think that resistance by force will only make the HKSAR government work harder to carry out those policies. What do you think?
28.8%: Agree with the former
45.1%: Agree with the latter
17.6%: Agree with neither
7.8%: Don't know/no opinion
0.6%: Refused

Q6. Some people think that political demands can only be obtained through peaceful means and not by force. Other people think that political demands should be obtained through peaceful means but resistance by force should not be counted out. What do you think?
57.8%: Agree with the former
35.6%: Agree with the latter
4.3%: Agree with neither
1.8%: Don't know/no opinion
0.5%: Refused

Q7. What do you think is the main reason for the Mong Kok incident?
20.0%: Taking the opportunity to cause trouble
7.2%: Dissatisfied with the government
6.3%: Discontent
5.1%: Incitement by certain persons to blow up the matter
4.8%: Youth problems
4.6%: Governance problems
4.0%: Government problems
3.6%: Police problems
3.0%: Police-civilian clash
2.9%: Social problems
2.3%: Rioting
2.2%: Inappropriate handling by the government
2.1%: Vendor problems
1.9%: The government refuses to heed public opinion
1.6%: The demonstrators over-reacted
1.4%: Everybody was wrong
1.4%: Localists
14.5%: Other answers
14.1%: Don't know/no opinion
0.5%: Refused

Q8. On a scale of 0-10, how would you rate your approval of the force used by the police during the Mong Kok incident? 0 means very unacceptable, 10 means very acceptable.
0 score: 13.7%
5 score: 18.8%
10 score: 22.2%
Average score 5.51

Q9. On a scale of 0-10, how would you rate your approval of the force used by the participants against th epolice during the Mong Kok incident? 0 means very unacceptable, 10 means very acceptable.
0 score: 42.9%
5 score: 13.7%
10 score: 4.5%
Average score = 2.67

Q10. After the Mong Kok incident, will the chances for a similar incident in the next one or two years be more or less?
62.1%: More
11.5%: Less
13.5%: Same as now
12.5%: Don't know/no opinion
0.4%: Refused

Q11. After the Mong Kok incident, do you want the HKSAR government to handle such clashes more severely, more lightly, or the same way?
37.6%: More severely
24.8%: More lightly
24.5%: The same way
11.8%: Don't know/no opinion
1.2%: Refused

Q12. After the Mong Kok incident, do you want the Central Government to tighten, loosen or keep the same its Hong Kong policies?
13.1%: Tighten
40.4%: Loosen
36.8%: Keep the same
8.5%: Don't know/no opinion
1.2%: Refused

Q13. Do you think that the HKSAR government should set up an independent commission to conduct a full study of the Mong Kok incident?
64.9%: Yes
26.3%: No
8.4%: Don't know/no opinion
0.3%: Refused

Q14. What descriptor would you use for the Mong Kok incident?
8.6%: Riot
5.7%: Disturbance
3.6%: Violence
3.5%: Chaos
3.5%: Riot
3.3%: Misfortune
3.3%: Taking an opportunity to cause trouble
2.8%: Clash
2.0%: Police-civilian clash
1.9%: Government problem
1.9%: Unnecessary
1.7%: Inappropriate
1.5%: The government forced the people to revolt
1.3%: Dissatisfaction with the government
1.3%: Tragedy
1.3%: Hooligans/thugs
1.1%: Inexplicable
1.1%: Everybody was wrong
1.1%: Plot
1.1%: Going too far
1.0%: Trivia
30.8%: Other answers
15.8%: Don't know/no opinion
1.0%: Refused

(Sing Tao) April 24, 2016.

HKUST Business School professor Francis Lui said on radio that if Hong Kong achieves independence, the overall wealth/income of Hong Kong will drop by 90% and it will take more than a decade to rebuild. Lui said that Hong Kong is able to attract foreign investments due to its geographical proximity to mainland China. The foreign investments will flee if Hong Kong achieves independent. The Central Government will regard the episode as a supreme insult and treat Hong Kong as a hostile nation.

Lui said that Hong Kong has no natural resources. About 23% of the Hong Kong GDP depends on import/export trading and logistics, of which half is going from outside through Hong Kong to mainland China, and the other half is coming from mainland China through Hong Kong to the outside. If mainland China breaks of all economic ties with Hong Kong, Hong Kong will immediately take a 20% loss in its GDP. Lui said that the finance industry is also reliant on mainland China.

Lui also pointed out that food and water can be purchased, but "where does Hong Kong come up with the money to pay for them?"

Internet comments:

- (Ming Pao Facebook)

- After many years of high economic growth, China still does not have rule of law. Even Li Ka-shing is moving his assets away. Foreign investors want to make money. As long as China cannot be trusted, they will continue to invest in Hong Kong where there is rule of law. The problem with Hong Kong right now it that CY Leung and his ilk are breaking the rule of law by executive fiat. That is why we must have an independent Hong Kong nation. At the very least, we would save a few hundred billion by scrapping the High Speed Railway, the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong bridge, the Third Runway, etc.

- In the 1960's, Hong Kong underwent an economic transformation from a trading port to a light manufacturing city. In the 1980's, the manufacturing industry went north and Hong Kong underwent an economic transformation to focus on finance and trading. We just need to come up with a new economic model.

- Francis Lui says that Hong Kong has no capital left without Chinese investments. So far in Hong Kong, the Cyberport, the Science/Technology Park, the Chinese Medicine Port, the City of Education, etc have all failed to become new economic sectors. But was this because Hong Kong is incapable? Or because the government policies were poor? When one hears Cyberport, one immediately thinks of hotel/restaurant/movie house instead of high technology. Whose fault is it?

- There are many super-rich people with tons of money in Hong Kong. When the day of independence approaches, they will have acquired foreign passports and taken their money out. Information Technology? How many Hongkongers have the training to work as IT specialists? The IT industry will employ a small number of highly paid people. These people will have to be taxed harshly in order to support the rest of the population. Cultural industry? What culture will Hong Kong have to appeal to the outside world? When that time comes, Hongkongers will be applying to become domestic servants in the Philippines.

- Francis Lui is taking these fools too seriously. Those fools have too much time on hand so they bring up the subject of Hong Kong independence. The people of Tibet and Xinjiang have been talking about independence for decades too, and look how far they have gotten. If Hong Kong independence happens, then the people of Guangdong and Guangxi will be talking about independence too. Hey, Professor Lui, if you have time on hand, why don't you analyze the stock market and make some money instead?

- A small drop in mainland tourists caused 30,000 jobs in the retail, tourism, restaurant, import/export trade and logistics sectors. Together 1.3 million people are employed in these sectors. As Ricky Wong said, the first people to suffer will always be the working class.

 - We have always been complaining that housing prices are too expensive. That was due to mainlanders coming to buy up houses in Hong Kong. If Hong Kong becomes independent, Francis Lui agrees that housing prices will come down by 90%. Isn't that exactly what we want. If even a pro-establishment economics professor agrees that this will happen, we should be ready to go ahead with Hong Kong independence.

- Fool! Francis Lui says that assets and incomes will fall by 90%. You used to make $10,000 a month and the mortgage for an 300-sq-ft apartment is $10,000. That's why you can't afford it. After independence, the mortgage for that apartment will only be $1,000. Great! Except your salary will be $1,000, because assets and wages go in tandem. So you still can't afford it.

- As for food and water, somebody or the other will sell it to you if you pay for it. They can be sent it by ship. Bottled water may not cost $3 anymore, but I am sure that someone will fly it over by air if you pay $100 a bottle. Money may not solve everything, but it solves many things.

- Francis Lui does not understand why people are talking about Hong Kong independence. The reason for Hong Kong independence is that the older generation is monopolizing economic opportunities in Hong Kong. 90% of the wealth is in the hands of the older generation. Li Ka-shing is 88-years-old already, but he refuses to retire and continues to rake in billions each year. The young people have no upward mobility, and the government has done nothing to redress the situation. When the Central Government refuses to take responsibility, the young people will have to take matters into their own hands.

- I have faith in the people of Hong Kong. They will find a way out after independence just like they found a way out in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. If you don't trust the people, you shouldn't bother with independence.

- Hong Kong always counted on doing business with foreign countries (the United States, Europe, etc). It was after the 1997 handover that Hong Kong did more business with the Locusts.

- The American and European economies aren't doing so well.

- But the Chinese economy is about to implode any day now.

- The Chinese Communists are dependent upon Hong Kong, because the foreigners will only do business with the Chinese Communists through Hong Kong. Besides, the dirty money in China needs to be laundered through Hong Kong to overseas destinations. This is how it was and this is how it will be.

- Francis Lui is wasting his time. The pro-independence people are proletariats who have nothing. There is no point in telling them that they will have nothing after independence. It is the same to them. What they want is a society that is transparent, ethical, fair and equitable without special privileges going to people like CY Leung and Li Ka-shing.

- Well, if they don't want to work to begin with, they will always wind up with nothing (except the public welfare payments). That's why they don't care if the Hong Kong economy gets ruined after independence.

- Why not try it? If you are scared, you can always leave.

- If things don't work out, we can always ask China to take us back (but on our own terms). Blood is thicker than water.

- Hey, we Hongkongers are daring, thoughtful and adaptable. I don't believe for one moment that we can't live without China. Please open your eyes, dear Professor. The world consists of more than China.

- And if things turn out badly, it is okay. At least we know that we tried out best.

- Why does China have to treat the Hong Kong Nation as a hostile entity? Isn't blood thicker than blood? How can China refuse to trade with fellow WTO member Hong Kong?

- Right now, the mainlanders come to Hong Kong to buy Hong Kong products because they know that mainland products stink. If Hong Kong becomes an independent international city, there will only be foreign products from America, Europe and Japan and no mainland products. Hurrah! Hurrah!

-

- Yesterday the same radio show was about cutting off food and water. Hong Kong pays HK$5 billion a year for the water from Dongjiang River. Before and after independence, that is still a lot of money. I don't see how the Chinese Communists could afford to give it up. Besides the mainland China depends on Hong Kong for infant formula, medicine, vaccines, etc.

- According to Wikipedia, China's GDP (PPP) is USD 20.854 trillion = USD 20,854,000,000,000 so they can ill afford to forego HKD $5,000,000,000 which is 0.005% of their GDP. If your monthly salary is HKD$10,000, you wouldn't want to lose 50 cents (=0.005%) just because you are angry at someone for an apparent slight, right?

- Hong Kong imports infant formula, medicine, vaccines from foreign countries so that mainlanders can purchase them here. It is economically more efficient for those foreign countries to export directly into the vast mainland Chinese market. Currently, their major problem is that they cannot scale up quickly enough to satisfy that market.

- China does not have to treat Hong Kong as a hostile entity. It can simply treat Hong Kong as a foreign entity and revise existing procedures.

For example, here is the employment picture of the four key industries in Hong Kong (see CENSTATD):

(1) Financial services: 236,600

(2) Tourism: 271,800

(3) Trading and logistics: 765,000

(4) Professional services and other producer services: 506,600

Here are the procedural changes:

- Hongkongers will be asked to choose citizenship/nationality, because dual citizenship won't be allowed.

- Hongkongers traveling to mainland China must apply for a visa on each trip. The procedure will be similar to that used at the American consulate in Hong Kong: submission of application, financial data, police records and $1,000 application fee; a personal interview; visa will be issued or refused without explanation.

- Mainlanders who want to travel to Hong Kong must apply to the Hong Kong consulates in mainland China as well as exit permits from the local public security bureau. They will find the process very burdensome, and the exit permits may be issued or refused without explanation. Therefore they will avoid coming to Hong Kong.

- Hong Kong companies trading in mainland China will now have to deal with Chinese custom rules and regulations. This means that there is no point for foreign companies to use a Hong Kong agent.

For freight and storage services, Hong Kong presently enjoys an advantage over Shenzhen because of their paperwork allows goods to reach China faster by unloading in Hong Kong and trucking it across the border into Shenzhen. This will change when Hong Kong becomes a foreign nation. Trucks will be backing up from the border inspection post all the way into the city, as Chinese customs inspectors check every container from one end to the other. Truckers will be eating/sleeping three days by the roadside waiting for their turn while the goods rot. As a container port, Shenzhen is already ahead of Hong Kong in terms of volume. At present, it is simply not allowed to outperform Hong Kong. After independence, there will be no restraints.

- The professional services and other producer services depend on other industries doing well. Auditors audit companies, and they are stranded when mass numbers of companies go out of business. Ditto management consultancy, information technology related services, advertising and specialised design services, etc.

- Certain Hongkongers have successful businesses in mainland China. They will be asked to choose between Hong Kong and Chinese citizenship. What will they do? For example, during Lunar New Year 2016, three Hong Kong movies racked up more than 90% of the mainland box office receipts. Will Stephen Chow and Wong Jing continue to make billions in mainland, or will they stay to make movies for millions in Hong Kong? It makes no sense either in terms of money or artistic creativity to stay. So there will be a major exodus of creative talents from Hong Kong to mainland China.

- When Francis Lui said that the average salary will fall by 90%, he is not saying that there will be an across-the-board pay cut. What will happen is that certain salaries will not be cut, other salaries will be slashed and many people will be jobless.

If you work for the Water Works Department, you will continue to have a job because somebody has to operate the water treatment plant and repair the broken pipes. You will have the same salary. If they cut your salary, you will file a judicial review which says that your contract must be honored. So you will be one of the few lucky ones.

If you work for a hotel which closes due to lack of business, you will be jobless. Because the unemployment rate may be above 50% by that time, you will have no chance of finding employment any time soon.

If there is a job opening at another hotel, there will be hundreds of applicants. The salary may only be a fraction of what you used to make.

- How can housing prices go down by 90%? Is Francis Lui stupid? The costs of land, building materials and labor must be more than that.

- Nobody is going to build any new housing any time soon. Francis Lui is talking about existing housing stocks. On one hand, many wealthy people want to leave and they are willing to sell at fire sale prices. On the other hand, those who don't have much money and so their offering prices will be low.

- The price for something does not necessarily represent the costs of production. For example, consider a 10-year-old car. Its current market value is much less than the original sales prices or its cost of production. The price is when demand meets supply.

- I can see a currency war coming. When the voice of independence gets louder, the first thing to do is to convert your Hong Kong Dollars into foreign currencies. Better yet, you should heavily sell the Hong Kong Dollar short. When the Hong Kong economy slows, the hedge funds will close in for the kill. The Hong Kong sovereign reserve fund currently used to defend the Hong Kong Dollar will be quickly exhausted by the budget deficits. By that time, your import bottle will cost not HK$5 but HK$100 even as your salary is rapidly decreasing.

- Interesting that nobody has ever talked about what kind of changes will take place after Hong Kong achieves independence. At present, there is only some mumbo-jumbo about an open, diversified, just, fair and equitable society in which no one has special privileges. But what is the point if the system remains the same afterwards? My guess is that Hong Kong will be nominally democratic and substantively communist. Everything will be put to plebiscites/referenda and if you don't like the voting results, you will filibuster/blockade/throw eggs/valiantly resist. For example, the land rent will rise to $100/sqft per month and the housing units of those who are in arrears will be confiscated immediately with no appeal.

- Here is the script after Hong Kong becomes an independent nation.

(1) The politicians will continue to enjoy good lives because they have big salaries and donations;

(2) Most other citizens will be jobless and have to scrape through with social dole;

(3) Government revenues will drop precipitously and the government will be running a huge deficit;

(4) The "democratic" government will be forced to introduce the universal retirement plan which make the deficit even more;

(5) The political instability allowed the hedge funds to make a killing on the financial markets;

(6) The politicians will increase all kinds of taxes on rich people;

(7) But the rich people are smart and most of them have moved their money out already; most large corporations are re-located in Shenzhen and Shanghai already; the domino effect made a 90% drop in wealth/salary possible;

(8) The people of Hong Kong realize that they should not have listened to the politicians. Therefore, they march in the streets and occupy Central to demand the politicians resign.

(9) The police are sent out to suppress the demonstrators. They fire tear gas and they employ water cannons ...

- If people have no money, the government can simply print more money to give away. This is simple economics that Professor Lui does not understand.

- If there are no mainland pork or vegetables, we can eat imported Japanese waygu beef, Russian caviar and American spam. If there is no mainland water, we can drink Fiji water, Asahi beer and French champagne. Money can solve many problems.

- Water is used for many other things other than drinking. According to the Water Supplies Department, the average water consumption per person per day in Hong Kong is 0.13 cubic meter (i.e. 130 liters). At this time, 80 18L bottles of Watsons Bottled Water cost $49 per bottle. Thus, you need to order to 80 18L bottles every 11 days at $49 x 80 = $3,920 for yourself. If you have a family of four, that would be $3,920 x 4 = $15,680 every 11 days.

- Of course, you will learn to be frugal when water is so expensive. Less toilet-flushing, less bathing, less housecleaning, less soup-making and more sandwich-making, more disposable eating utensils, less laundry, criminalizing swimming pools/fountains/horticulture/car washing/gold fish, etc.

- Famous saying by Lau Wing-hong:

Hong Kong is unable to become independent at this time, but that is not the sole factor why we want to think about whether Hong Kong should become independent.

If we think that Hong Kong should be independent but it does not have the ability at this time, we should be thinking about how to make Hong Kong able to become independent.

Those who think that if you should give up doing something because you can't do it now are just guys who don't dare to pick up their female goddesses when they see them.

- (EJ Insight) April 8, 2016.

The past two years have been a time of introspection for Hong Kong. Growing dissatisfaction has turned to cries of independence. Many disagree with more autonomy for Hong Kong and while opinion polls are not always accurate, they show that the majority is against independence.

On the other hand, self-determination is not a popular idea in Taiwan. Opinion polls show that if the Taiwanese were not threatened by Beijing, two-thirds would support nationhood. However, only one-third of the population is willing to stand up to an invasion. Another third is worried about the mainland using mass violence to keep the Taiwanese under control.

In Hong Kong, Beijing is careful not to create such an impression with pro-independence voices on the rise. That said, there are useful lessons from Singapore which separated from the Malaysian Federation in 1963.

For instance, Hong Kong will benefit from being able to generate more of its own water. Singapores water resources enjoy legislative protection. The country aims to be completely self-reliant for water in 2061 when its long-term supply agreement with Malaysia expires.

In most cases, Hong Kong water will be cheaper than imported water from Guangdong. Desalination at HK$12 per cubic meter is cheap compared with the HK$59 per cubic meter for water from Guangdong, especially when 35 percent of it is not even used.

Singapores food security is equally impressive. Since independence, Singapore has managed to become the second most food secure country in the world, according to a recent study by The Diplomat. Of 109 countries surveyed, Singapore ranked No. 1 in affordability, No. 11 in availability and No. 13 in quality and safety.

Singapore achieved this feat through the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority. Its No.2 ranking in food security comes despite heavy imports, mainly from the US. In contrast, Hong Kong is not rated in the study and Taiwan is not even mentioned. Mainland China comes in at No. 42.

In terms of energy independence, Singapore companies are pushing for solar power. Nuclear energy is also being considered despite its bad reputation. Hong Kong buys nuclear power from Guangdong, paying HK$1.50 per kwh compared with about HK$1 for Shenzhen.

While Singapore is cruising toward self-reliance, Hong Kong is being made ever more dependent on the mainland by politicians and business tycoons. Hong Kong people can rely only on themselves to safeguard their own interests.

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 20, 2016.

The Ming Pao Staff Association has said it is extremely angered and dissatisfied by the sudden firing of the Chinese newspapers executive chief editor.

The union said that Chief Editor Chong Tien Siong fired executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen at midnight Wednesday, with immediate effect to save resources.

The Association thinks that the incident was unclear, [we] question whether the company was using the reason of saving resources on the surface, but actually punishing staff members who have different opinions on editorial issues, a post on the unions Facebook page said.

The union has demanded the management and Chong to speak to staff members and explain the incident directly. It will also hold a staff meeting at 6pm on Wednesday evening.

The operational environment of the newspaper industry is difficult, the company has to actively take on cost-cutting measures. We are left with no alternative but to cut staff this cut involved business and editorial staff, including top-level staff, a statement from Ming Pao said.

The company hopes to get past these difficult times as soon as possible. The editorial policy of Ming Pao remains unchanged.

On Wednesday, the newspaper carried a front page report on the Panama Papers documents it acquired from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Aside from his editorial roles, Keung was known for writing a long-term analysis column in the newspaper every Sunday using his pen name On Yu 安裕. Keung previously worked at TVB and Apple Daily, among others.

When Chong Tien Siong, a Malaysian journalist, took over as the newspapers chief editor in 2014, he was not welcomed in all quarters. Chong was said to be a close ally of the papers boss Tiong Hiew King, a Malaysian Pro-Beijing businessman, and was criticised by the union for allegedly lacking local knowledge.

Chong replaced the popular Kevin Lau Chun-to, the then chief editor. He was first appointed as the executive chief editor in March 2014, and was then appointed as chief editor in October of the same year.

Chongs office was surrounded by Ming Pao reporters on his first day of arrival, asking him to sign a charter of press freedom. When reporters asked him if Ming Pao would become a pro-government newspaper, Chong said I dont know, saying he was still not the chief editor.

In February last year, Chong decided to change the front page of Ming Pao after midnight, from a report on confidential documents related to the 1989 Tiananmen massacre already approved by top-level editors  to a story about Alibaba chief Jack Ma.

He later explained the decision was made according to the logic of news and the report on the Tiananmen documents was unchanged and still published on other pages. He did not explain what was meant by the logic of news.

The decision was criticised by the union, which staged an hour-long pens down protest.

(EJ Insight) April 21, 2016.

Ming Pao Daily journalists say executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen was a victim of reprisal after his surprise sacking on Wednesday, along with several other employees. The staff union said it suspects Keung was dismissed because of differences with chief editor Chong Tien-siong over editorial policy, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Ming Pao Group earlier said it was forced to cut Keung and several other staff members because it was experiencing operating difficulties. It said there will be no change in its editorial policy. But newsroom employees said Keung and Chong often clashed over how stories should be edited.

Last night, they held a protest outside the newspapers headquarters in Chai Wan and put up posters with the word unclear, referring to the circumstances behind Wednesdays events. Meanwhile, eight media associations issued a joint statement in which they expressed shock and regret at the decision.

Keung was called to Chongs office at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and told that he was being fired as the newspaper was trying to cut costs.

Keung, a 30-year veteran in the Hong Kong media industry, has written articles critical of Beijing and supportive of human rights activists in the mainland. He was invited to continue his Ming Pao column, sources said.

Chong, under pressure from the staff union, told hundreds of protesting employees that the decision was made in order to cut spending by 8 percent. He blamed the situation on worsening conditions in the Hong Kong newspaper industry and the lackluster global economy.

Chong, who was appointed chief editor in 2014, said the choice had come down to between him and Keung. He said he regrets Keung, whom he called his right-hand man, got the ax and that he is also prepared to leave if asked.

Ming Pao Group chief executive Tiong Kiew-chiong said the sackings were not aimed at any particular staff and were left to department heads, confirming Chong did the firings.

Ming Pao Staff Association wrote a letter to the board Wednesday night demanding that the sacked employees be reinstated and that it explain its plans for future cost cutting.

(EJ Insight) April 21, 2016.

The abrupt sacking of a top editor at Ming Pao Daily News, one of Hong Kongs most influential newspapers, will intensify concerns about erosion of press freedoms in the city. The papers management insists that executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen was let go for cost-cutting reasons, but most people in the local media community are not buying that explanation.

There is speculation that Keung was fired as he has earned the displeasure of some elite due to his bold editorial decisions. The suspicions are understandable given that the marching orders came Wednesday soon after Ming Pao devoted its front page to a story about the links of the citys wealthy and politically-connected to offshore entities. 

While pro-Beijing mouthpieces have played down the so-called Panama Papers leaks, Ming Pao has carried extensive coverage on the controversial documents that pointed to the dealings of some tycoons, politicians and celebrities in overseas tax havens.

The termination of Keungs employment has come as a shock to Ming Paos editorial staff as well as the Chinese-language newspapers vast army of readers.

Some lawmakers have also expressed concern, given that the paper had over the years carved out an image of being outspoken and daring to question those in power, through in-depth and high-quality articles.

It is believed that Keung had some differences with Ming Paos chief editor Chong Tien-siong over editorial policy, which led to the boss suddenly sacking his deputy.

Chong is seen as someone who is sympathetic to Beijing and its backers in Hong Kong.  When Chong, a Malaysian, took the top job in 2014, there were concerns that he could undermine the papers editorial independence. It was rumored that the groups owner, Malaysian tycoon Tiong Hiew King, wanted the Chinese daily to be more favorably disposed towards the Xi Jinping regime.

Following Keungs dismissal, Ming Pao staff association has asked the management to reconsider its decision, but it appears that the company has made up its mind.

The paper said that it was forced to cut staff due to a difficult business environment, and stressed that its editorial principles remain unchanged. While it is difficult to prove that Keungs removal was due to his tough stance on upholding independent journalism, journalists have several questions for the management.

If cost-cutting was the only reason, why did the company not consider an across-the-board salary cut on employees, instead of eliminating jobs? And, was it right to remove an experienced, outspoken and respected journalist, citing his high salary package?

Simon Fung, a former executive editor-in-chief of Ming Pao, commented: The management underestimates the wisdom of the editorial staff and the readers.

Seen from a wider perspective, Keungs dismissal has fueled worry that Hong Kongs press freedom is coming under increasing threat as Beijing seeks to extend its influence in the territory.

Journalists here can still work on the stories they like, but there is the prospect of top editors or management killing articles they deem politically sensitive or likely to anger the big tycoons.

Incidentally, international press freedom concern group Reporters without Borders unveiled its latest world press freedom index report on Wednesday.

In the report, the group noted that in Hong Kong, the medias independence vis--vis Beijing is the main issue for freedom of information. The media are still able to cover sensitive stories involving the local government and Mainland China, but the need to fight to protect their editorial positions from Beijings influence is increasingly noticeable. The purchase of Hong Kong media by Chinese firms is extremely disturbing, the journalists group added.

Chinas Alibaba Group, led by its chairman Jack Ma, has taken control of Hong Kongs top English language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, a move that observers believe will make the paper steer clear of strong criticism of China or its leaders.

On Thursday, the paper published on its front page an interview with Ma, where the new owner sought to explain his decision to acquire the Hong Kong newspaper. Among other remarks, Ma said readers have the right to know whats happening in China in a factual and objective way. There are a lot of misunderstandings about China, he said, adding that there is a need to address the issue.

While Ma did stress that he wont interfere in the newsroom operation, the tycoons comments on imbalances in China reporting will make people wonder as to what exactly would be deemed fair and objective coverage. Although there may not be explicit instructions, editorial staff will feel the pressure to go easy on stories critical of the central leadership.

Overall, there is no disputing the fact that Beijing is stepping up efforts to control the Hong Kong media and steer the public discourse on pro-establishment path. In this, some media owners are being co-opted, through calls to create a harmonious society.

While newspapers can still enjoy sufficient room to criticize local officials and policies, a red line is sought be drawn to prevent coverage on sensitive topics on China such as human rights, political dissidents, and wrongdoings of top Communist leaders.

A survey conducted recently by the University of Hong Kong has shown that concerns are growing about the shrinking of press freedom in the city. Fifty-two percent of the interviewees said they believe Hong Kongs news media practiced self-censorship to avoid rubbing the central government the wrong way.

The latest news of the sacking of a senior editor, who was known to champion editorial independence, will only add to the prevailing concerns.

(EJ Insight) April 22, 2016.

Members of Ming Pao Staff Association said Thursday they were very disappointed after management rejected their request for a meeting, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. They said it is possible that they might take some action after discussing the matter with their employers.

Ming Pao Group on Wednesday announced that it was dismissing the executive chief editor of its Chinese newspaper, Keung Kwok-yuen, and several other staff members amid operating difficulties. The move shocked the newspaper staff, with the staff union demanding that management reinstate the sacked employees as well as explain plans for future cost-cutting.

On Thursday, it asked to meet with management to discuss the issues, only to be rejected.

Ming Pao Group chief executive Tiong Kiew-chiong was quoted by the union as saying that he has nothing to add to what he said Wednesday and management has no plans to meet with union members in the near future.

The union turned to Lee Yin-king, Ming Pao Dailys human resources head, to ask if more employees will be sacked, but she said the question should be taken to chief editor Chong Tien-siong, who made the decision to let Keung go.

Kevin Lau, who was replaced by Chong in 2014, posted an article on his Facebook account Thursday, saying Keungs leaving is definitely a loss to both the newspaper and its readers.

(EJ Insight) April 25, 2016.

Readers of Ming Pao Daily on Sunday may have been surprised to see blank spaces where they might have expected the columns of three of the newspapers commentators to be.

Eva Chan Sik-chee, a senior lecturer in the Chinese University of Hong Kongs School of Journalism; Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, the former leader of the Civic Party; and veteran journalist Sam Ng Chi-sum decided to leave their columns blank except for headlines protesting against the decision to fire executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen last week.

The Ming Pao Staff Association said the newspapers Malaysian editor-in-chief, Chong Tien Siong, who had the day off on Saturday, returned to the editorial office that night and halted the printing of Sundays paper, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.

Chong reportedly suggested filling the blanks with other content, but the editorial team balked at the idea.

In the end, Sundays papers could only resume printing after it was agreed that an editors note reiterating the reason for the axing of Keung would be added to each of the three blank columns.

Chong said limited financial resources were the reason the paper dismissed several staff last week.

The staff association said it strongly opposed Chongs interference in halting the presses.

The union demanded that Chong admit his handling of the blank columns was wrong, withdraw the decision to remove Keung from office, with an apology, and consult staff on possible solutions to cut costs.

It said it will initiate industrial action if Chong does not respond by 5 p.m. Monday.

The union observed that no editors note had been added to the blank columns filed by columnists as a protest in 2014 when Chongs predecessor as chief editor, Kevin Lau Chun-to, was removed from his job.

The staff association condemned Chong for obstructing the freedom of expression by columnists and said his actions would cast doubts on whether he would be determined and able to defend the freedoms of the press and speech.

Apple Daily reported that former radio talk show host Li Wei-ling and Martin Lee Chu-ming, founding chairman of the Democratic Party, who are also Ming Pao columnists, will leave their columns blank in the coming days in protest against Keungs termination.

Li said that while many people have been saying that, after all, Ming Pao Daily belongs to its boss, people must not forget that the freedom of the press belongs to all the people of Hong Kong.

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 27, 2016.

More blank columns appeared in Ming Pao on Wednesday, the fourth consecutive day that writers have been protesting the sacking of a top editor last week.

Brian Fong Chi-hang, assistant professor of politics at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, submitted a column entitled Support On Yu the pen name of Keung with no content.

Dr. Alfred Wong Yam-hong of the medical professional group Mdecins Inspirs also submitted an empty column entitled How sad for Ming Pao. Wong included a footnote saying he planned to submit a 1,000-word article on the sacking of Keung, but he was shocked by Ming Pao chief operation officer Keith Kam Woon-tings assertion that the newspaper was generous in allowing the empty columns. Therefore, he decided not to submit one.

Both columns were accompanied by an editors note justifying the cost cutting measure.

Meanwhile on the same page, veteran commentator Sam Ng Chi-sum submitted a column criticising the editors note, entitled There is no need to add an editors note. Ng submitted an empty column which was printed on Sunday, when the editors note was added for the first time.

Such editors notes appeared frequently everywhere on Ming Paos pages, repeating and repeating, like an annoying buzzing sound near the ears, this is a joke, he said. He added that such arrangements did not respect writers and readers. Ng said that he knew his articles must have angered Ming Paos management and his column may be cut with an excuse. The same editors note appeared at the end of his article.

In the supplement page on Wednesday, three more columns criticised the decision to fire Keung, including another one from Ng.

Ming Paos Eastern Canadian edition covered empty columns with drawings on Tuesday. The edition, mostly the same as Hong Kongs version, did the same for Mondays empty columns.

A Ming Pao staff member coincidentally met with chief editor Chong Tien Siong in Hung Hom on Monday, when he left a direct train from China. Chong was questioned by the staffer as to why he did not meet with Ming Pao employees on that day. Chong said he would meet with them on Wednesday.

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 28, 2016.

The Ming Pao Staff Association has said that preparations will be made to escalate their protest following a refusal by newspaper management to reinstate former executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen. Association Chairwoman Tsang Kam-man threatened industrial action on Wednesday, a week after the respected editor was suddenly fired following a report on the Panama Papers leaks. Tsang said that, during the latest meeting with company management, the Association requested that the dismissal be overturned but their request fell on deaf ears, RTHK reported.

Tsang also stated that company management promised the Staff Association that budget targets had been met and there would be no further dismissals from the editorial department, but it failed to make specific commitments, Ming Pao reported.

The response we have gotten from the company is that they will improve internal communication but we have not been given tangible promises or commitments. Therefore, the Association has decided that we will make preparations to escalate our protest. We hope that the company can give us a comprehensive and clear response, she said.

Internet comments:

- (Bastille Post) Early this morning Chief Editor Chong Tien-siong let the executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen go. In the afternoon, Chong met with union representatives and explained that the layoff was made because an 8% reduction in expenses had to be made in view of the woeful economy.

Chong explained that the layoffs were based upon three principles: job performance; tenure; and salary level. Within the editorial department, either Chong or Keung would have to go in order to meet the target reduction. A worker asked Chong, "You are Mr. Keung's supervisor. Why don't you leave instead"? Chong replied, "I am ready to leave anytime. If the boss tells me to leave, I will leave." But as the person in charge, Chong has certain responsibilities. The workers were apparently unhappy with Chong's explanations. They demanded whether the decision was political and related to the Panama papers report in Ming Pao. After about 30 minutes, Chong wanted to leave the editorial room. But the workers continued to pepper him with questions. In the end, Chung left by the backstairs.

- Yellow Ribbons have prevented legislators from leaving. They have prevented government officials from leaving. They have prevented university council members from leaving. So it is natural that they prevent the chief editor from leaving the editorial room.

- (HKG Pao) ... When Ming Pao Group chief executive Tiong Kiew-chiong appointed Chong Tien-siong as Ming Pao chief editor, the purpose was to introduce reforms and turn Ming Pao back into politically neutral. Two years later, Ming Pao has not corrected its course. Instead, it is following the path of Apple Daily. Today Ming Pao is a newspaper where Tiong Kiew-chiong pays the bills whereas the staff follows Jimmy Lai's ways. Just like Apple Daily, readers and advertisers are leaving in droves.

What should Chong Tien-siong think? It is likely that he is swarmed in helplessness.

Is it easy to reform a media organization? When the chief editor faces resistance by his colleagues and subordinates every day, then what is the point? When you want to change things, your boss verbally supports you in principle but he tells you to maintain amiability in practice. You own all the responsibilities but you don't make any decisions. So what is the point in persisting?

... Why is going to happen to Chong Tien-siong? I think that he is waiting for his boss to say: Come back to Malaysia!

- (HKG Pao) For media organizations, income reporting is done by the four quarters of the year. However, the four quarters are not all equal to each other. Instead, the typical distribution is 15% for Q1, 20% for Q2, 25% for Q3 and 40% for Q4. This happens because that is how the advertising industry allocates their expenditures.

For Q2/Q3 2015, Ming Pao earned $240 million with a net profit of $2.6 million. For Q4 2015, Ming Pao earned $130 million with a net profit of $8.4 million. So for the last three quarters of 2015, Ming Pao only made $11 million in profits. It would not be surprising that Ming Pao is losing money going into 2016 Q1.

In terms of corporate management, Ming Pao should have seen what was coming and started its austerity program. In Hong Kong, Next Media has shut down publications and laid off employees, Sing Tao is reducing/freezing salaries and the Oriental Group has shuttered The Sun. This much is clear.

We don't know whether the Ming Pao management was late to become aware, or if they thought that their Malaysian parent company will cover all losses. But it is astonishing to see that the first layoffs occurred only in April 2016.

How bad will 2016 be? The real estate and retail sectors are in deep trouble. The media industry live off their advertising expenditures. When even "Big Brother" TVB is in trouble, where do you think Ming Pao stands?

You may say that Ming Pao does not seem to lack advertisements recently. Hey, you don't understand that people need to save face. If you go by the book, your advertisements will tank and you will have a very thin newspaper. So the easy solution is to reduce the price in order to keep the quantity. As industry insiders know, the way is to reduce the yield-per-page. If you charged $30,000 per page before, you can close the deal for $20,000 plus a free gift of another full page. Now it appears that you haven't lost any advertisements even thought your income is plunging. But you can save your face before you are forced to disclose your earnings.

In 2016, print media are predicted to make 15% less than they did in 2015. In particular, the Yellow Ribbon media (Next Media and Ming Pao) are expected to do even worse.

So when Ming Pao Group chief executive Tiong Kiew-chiong says that he wants to reduce spending by 8% and then revised this figure to 5%, he is only trying to postpone the inevitable. Instead of decisive surgery, he wants death by one thousand nicks. You can imagine how much more painful this will be.

Keung Kwok-yuen is merely the first victim of the economic downturn and the Yellow Ribbon turn of Ming Pao. Many more will follow.

- (HKG Pao) When any organization needs to impose layoffs, it is best to start from the top. For example, Sing Tao recently announced that all senior managers will be subjected to a 20% pay cut while other workers only have to put up with salary freezes. This was feasible because the damage was limited.

Chong Tien-siong said that Ming Pao needs to reduce expenditures by 8%. Letting Keung Kwok-yuen won't meet that goal, so Keung is merely the first of many more to go. Ming Pao probably spends at least $400 million. So 8% is $32 million or so. This is not going to all come from salaries, but it maybe 50% or 60% should be coming from the workers in this labor-intensive industry. Thus Chong needed to find about about $16 million from the payroll. A reporter/editor makes $300,000 per year (or $25,000 per month). So Chong would have to layoff 53 reporters/editors to reach his target. I don't know how much Keung Kwok-yuen makes, but he is not going to worth $16 million a year. So there will be more layoffs coming up.

- (HKG Pao) What I would I think if I were the chief editor?

Firstly, the important thing is that I will have to do it even if I don't like to. Frankly, who else but the chief editor could do this unpleasant business at Ming Pao? I can refuse to do it personally and let the Human Resources Department do it. But that will merely make it worse.

Secondly, the way to save Ming Pao is to not make it Yellow Ribbon. It has to be turned back into a neutral newspaper. Ever since Ming Pao became a Yellow Ribbon newspapers, advertising revenues have taken a steep drive. Today, the 800+ Ming Pao employees have been hijacked by certain reporters/editors. Everybody is now looking at collective unemployment. This may be the last chance to save Ming Pao and its employees. Do you think that I should do it?

- When Next Media fired dozens of journalists and shut down profitable magazines, the Journalists Association praised the organization for its bold move ("a strong man cuts off his arm in order to free himself"). Now Ming Pao fired a dozen or so journalists (including the executive editor Keung Kwok-yuen), the Journalists Association is expressing its consternation.

Well, the rules here are simple to remember: Everything that Next Media does is okay because they are Yellow Ribbons; anything that anyone else does is wrong because they are not Yellow Ribbons.

- As expected, the Journalists Association have come out to recite the standard script. As expected too, legislator Emily Lau (Democratic Party) has come out to recite the standard script. Less expected is for the Professional Teachers Union to come out to recite the standard script. What business is the personnel decision at a newspaper to the Professional Teachers Union?

- Politicians think that they can meddle in everything. For example, when Disneyland laid off close to one hundred workers because they lost $148 million last year, the politicians demand that the workers be re-hired immediately and Disneyland be made to explain why it was losing money. Of course, the correct answer was that the same politicians supported Occupy Central/Shopping Revolution/Anti-Parallel Trade Actions which chased away tourists. But that answer is not as acceptable as "It is all CY Leung's fault." As another example, when the MTR raised its prices, the politicians want the government to buy back the company and reduce prices.

- (Headline Daily) Why can't this incident be hyped up? First of all, nobody except industry insiders know Keung Kwok-yuen. He is not closely connected to the political parties like Kevin Lau is, and he does not like to face reporters at critical moments. Without a recognizable victim, it is hard to turn this case into a political storm. Keung is well-aware that if he came out and makes a call, the politicians will jump in to exploit his case and the Ming Pao colleagues will rise up in support. In the end, both management and labor will suffer the consequences of the struggle. Given the sour economy, the Ming Pao union has no bargaining chip except the threat to put the newspaper out of business (and themselves out of their jobs). Keung's final words to his colleagues was to tell them to stay at their posts. He knew that the case was irreversible and he wants to protect his colleagues.

- (HKG Pao) My many years of experience as editor tells me that the blank spaces in Ming Pao did not occur just because the writers wanted it that way. If the editors did not want it, there won't be any blank spaces. Even if individual writers failed to provide articles, the editors can always find something to publish or even write something themselves. In this case, the editors worked with the Yellow Ribbon columnists to apply pressure on the Ming Pao senior management.

The two editors who were responsible for the five blank spaces over two days are named: Choi Hui-tong and Lam Yuet-wai. There is no information on the former and the latter is likely to be a lightly experienced young editor. How can they be expected to make the decision on such an important move? So their supervisor must have made that decision.

- (SCMP) Fears for press freedom in Hong Kong are overblown try publishing a Ming Pao-style blank column in a Rupert Murdoch paper. By Michael Chugani. April 26, 2016.

Oh no, there it goes again the death knell being sounded for Hong Kongs media freedom. Time to mourn. But wait. Didnt we hear that same sound in 2013 when the Executive Council refused to give Ricky Wong Wai-kay a television licence, in 2014 when Commercial Radio sacked Li Wei-ling, and when Ming Pao replaced chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to? Its back again with Ming Paos sacking of executive chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen. If media freedom is dying, its sure taking a long time.

Lets recall what the media was doing while supposedly gasping for life. It gave blanket coverage to Chief Executive Leung Chun-yings alleged pocketing of HK$50 million from an Australian firm, exposed ex-ICAC chief Timothy Tong Hin-mings extravagant lifestyle, ran leaked recordings of University of Hong Kong governing council meetings, revealed Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yees alleged flat-swap wrongdoing, and exposed the so-called baggage-gate scandal involving Leungs daughter.

How dead is media freedom when Ming Pao published blank columns from writers protesting against Keungs sacking? Try doing that in a Rupert Murdoch paper. Tune in any weekday morning to Commercial Radios Chinese-language talk show. The three hosts take turns mocking Leung. One had fired Leung-basher Li but now makes a big deal of Ming Pao firing Keung. Ming Pao co-founder and novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung reportedly once said: Press freedom of Ming Pao is the press freedom of the owner. Those who are not happy could set up another paper to pursue their own freedom. The Guardian last year quoted former New York Times editorial board member David Firestone as saying: I dont know of any publisher who pays no attention to the editorial board on the papers they own.

Public Eye doesnt know if Ming Pao fired Keung to muzzle him or to cut costs. If it was to silence him he needs to say it out loud. But Ming Paos owners have every right to their own agenda. The same goes for Apple Dailys Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and the state-owned Ta Kung Pao. Their money bankrolls their papers. If you dont like their agenda, work for someone else. Those who fear media freedom is dying can find like-minded people with the means to start their own paper. Yes, some Hong Kong media self-censor, as happens everywhere. If you feel Ming Pao is self-censoring, dont read it or work for it. But true media freedom means the freedom to decide what to publish. It sure as hell doesnt mean staff can dictate to their bosses what media freedom is.

- Ming Paos Eastern Canadian edition actually inserted quotations underneath their cartoons: "When you are petty-minded, all trivial matters get blow into major incidents"; "let things follow their natural course and keep a calm attitude"; "when someone helps you, you are lucky; when nobody helps you, that it is a fair fate."

- (HK01) Here is a constructive proposal. According to the Ming Pao union, a large number of reporters/editors have volunteered to reduce their resources so that Keung Kwok-yuen's position can be restored. One concrete proposal is that the workers give up their company-provided meal voucher. At present, the 200+ editorial department workers receive about meal vouchers worth about $400 each month. The total amount is approximately $100,000. So if the company can realize this saving, then it should no longer have to let Keung Kwok-yuen go for economic reasons.

- The economic problem that Chong Tien-siong is facing is that he needs to find $16 million in savings for the year. The meal vouchers will save $1.2 million. Where is the rest coming from? The workers want to save everybody's job, they will have to give up considerably more than their meal vouchers.

- (Oriental Daily) Chong Tien-siong told his people that Ming Pao was faring economically worse than the competition. So what kind of newspaper is first in public trust but last in economic performance? In truth, Ming Pao is full of self-contradictions. On one hand, it describes itself as the newspaper for intellectuals. On the other hand, it has more typographic errors than other newspapers. Also the boss cannot fire any employee at will because the opinion of the employees must be consulted first. Columnist can also file blank spaces to protest against the owner although they are only victimizing the readers. The union workers also put up posters about the newspaper being "neither transparent nor white" but they refused to quit all the same.

Hong Kong is a free market. People work for companies by mutual agreement. Recently an internal speech of Ma Yun at Alibaba was reported. He said that he despised those people who gripe all the time about the company but refused to leave. This is applicable to Ming Pao. Each company has its management style and each newspaper has its own ideas about how journalism should be conducted. If the workers think that there is no freedom of press or editorial autonomy, they should quit and form their own news outlet where they can decide how to do things. If the columnists are not happy with the newspaper, they should stop writing for it. As for that dismissed executive chief editor, he should have plenty of job offers if he is as good as the Ming Pao union says he is.

- (HKG Pao) If someone says that a certain person is indispensable to the extent that the newspaper will fold without him, would you believe it? When Keung Kwok-yuen left, a number of Ming Pao workers and columnists and Yellow Ribbon politicians praised him to the high heavens. In truth, they are merely using the case to launch a political attack on Chong Tien-siong and the management. In the history of Ming Pao, the single most important person was the founder Louis Cha  Leung-yung. He was incomparable. After Louis Cha left, Ming Pao did just as fine for many years afterwards. Only when certain reporters/editors turned the newspaper into a Yellow Ribbon rag did the problems emerge. Do you think Keung Kwok-yuen is greater than Louis Cha? More valuable? More important?

Today the Chinese-language newspapers are going downhill. There are two Yellow Ribbon newspapers left: Apple Daily and Ming Pao. A Yellow Ribbon journalist will have to work for one or the other. At Apple Daily, there have been waves and waves of layoffs. One should be glad just to be able to keep one's job, and never mind any raise/promotion. In this world, no one is indispensable. Those who have more experience, management skills and salaries are actually more likely to be discarded, especially when they are regarded as the cause for business deterioration.

Meanwhile at Ming Pao, the union and politicians are praising Keung Kwok-yuen for leading the Yellow Ribbon movement. Is that supposed to help him, or hurt him? And where is Keung Kwok-yuen going to go now? Apple Daily can't afford any new hires. There is no other newspaper in Hong Kong. Taiwan? Singapore? Malaysia? Mainland China? He is basically unemployable given what the Ming Pao union and the Yellow Ribbon politicians have said about him. Good luck to him!

- (SCMP) The Ming Pao Staff Association said on Wednesday night that the managements attitude at the meeting was disappointing, and they had decided to initiate preparation for industrial action. The associations chairwoman Phyllis Tsang said they would study different options before taking action. We hope the company can give a concrete and clear reply to the calls from the colleagues, Tsang said.

- This is all talk and no action. So typical of Yellow Ribbons: they threaten armed revolution but they won't go any farther than passing out leaflets and asking for donations. Perhaps it is time for the Ming Pao Staff Association to ask for alms to support their noble cause.

- What options are there for industrial action? Resignation, strike or work-to-rule slowdown. The last two are dismissable offenses (see Cap 57 Termination of Contracts of Employment): An employer may summarily dismiss an employee without notice or payment of wages in lieu of notice if the employee, in relation to his employment, willfully disobeys a lawful and reasonable order. Good luck with finding another job in this economic climate.

(EJ Insight) April 22, 2016.

Its strange to see the traditional democratic camp keeping silent in the recent heated debate over the call by some radical young political groups for independence for Hong Kong.

Some supporters of the democrats are worried that the old-school politicians might be absorbed into the establishment camp as they rely on Beijings commitment to the one country, two systems principle.

But on Thursday, a group of young politicians and academics from the democratic camp issued a Resolution on Hong Kongs Future on social media to present to the public their views on the future of Hong Kong when the commitment to that principle expires in 2047.

The declaration was signed on a personal basis by fewer than 40 people.

They include Civic Party members Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu and Tanya Chan Suk-chong, the Democratic Partys Eric Lam Lap-chi, Institute of Education political science scholar Brian Fong Chi-hang and social commentator Max Wong Wai-lun. Apart from Yeung, no other democratic lawmakers signed the declaration.

So, the declaration represents the views of only a small number of democrats on the topic. In fact, traditional democrats still have different views on the question of Hong Kong independence.

Its still far enough in the future for the democratic camp to work out a unified stance before 2047 on whether to support independence or self-determination for the city.

The declaration demands the right to determine Hong Kongs affairs internally in accordance with self-determination principles under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Hong Kongs political status after 2047 should be decided by the people of Hong Kong through mechanisms which carry a democratic mandate and are binding, the declaration says. Its signatories suggest perpetual self-rule as an option for Hong Kong.

Unlike younger activists, who dont rule out a violent approach to voicing their goal, the declaration states its signatories will stick to non-violent resistance in an effort to gain the approval of most Hongkongers to fight for political reforms and that they are not opposed to negotiating with Beijing on the citys future.

Compared with pro-independence groups such as Hong Kong Indigenous, the Hong Kong National Party and others that clearly state their support for independence or recognition of Hong Kong as an independent political entity, the declaration is quite conservative on the possible status of Hong Kong.

It leaves the options open for public discussion.

The soft stance indicates the signatories are trying to avoid breaching the Basic Law as well as mainland Chinese laws, as it states Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China.

Some radical pro-independence columnists responded coolly to the declaration, saying its soft stance on Hong Kong independence and its suggestion of internal self-determination has nothing to offer to break the deadlock between Hong Kong and the mainland.

They argued that the declaration indicates the signatories intention to let Hong Kong stay in China and that they do not dare touch the bottom line of the Communist Party.

So, the opposition camp is now splitting into two streams.

Traditional pan-democrats, including those who signed the declaration, still recognize the statutory relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China, and their aim is to fight for internal self-determination for Hong Kong after 2047.

The other stream is pro-independence groups who say Hong Kong should secede from China to become an independent state.

The traditional democrats are clearly no longer the only opposition camp in Hong Kong political landscape.

The pro-independence camp could play a key role in the Legislative Council election in September as it tests the water to see to what extent Hongkongers support their call for independence.

Meanwhile, pro-Beijing Hongkongers and mainland officials in Hong Kong have displayed a tough stance in front of media cameras, saying its illegal for Hongkongers to discuss independence, saying it violates the laws of Hong Kong and China.

They are trying their best to redefine freedom of expression, saying that it has its limitations.

The tough stance demonstrates that the authorities are taking the calls for independence, as well as the potential support for it in the Legco election, seriously.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress, who is visiting Hong Kong next month, is expected to issue a hardline statement on calls for Hong Kong independence, in an attempt to suppress the debate.

But the fact is that the debate over independence is now unavoidable, as more politicians and young Hongkongers discuss the option seriously and present theoretical arguments in favor of it.

All the political pronouncements wont stop the young people of Hong Kong from delving deeply into the issue.

Thursdays declaration may help to narrow the gap, but its conservative approach can only help the pro-independence camp to gain momentum in the Legco election campaign.

More Hongkongers, especially the younger first-time voters, might prefer to offer their support to the pro-independence camp in the election in an effort to balance out the voice of the pro-unification camp, which now includes traditional democrats as well as Beijing loyalists.

Thats the new political landscape in Hong Kong. 

Internet comments:

- (Bastille Post) After the release of the Resolution, there were Internet reports that the signatories included Hong Kong Indigenous, Demosisto and Youngspiration. These organizations immediately hit back and denied that they support the Resolution. Hong Kong Indigenous went further and said that they are not in the pan-democratic camp and that only a free and independent Hong Kong can become the true home of the people of Hong Kong. They demanded the signatories to issue a clarification immediately.

One commentators said that statements such as Occupy Central is non-violent resistance, Hong Kong should "determine their own fates and continue autonomy in perpetuity" might be considered radical, but today any qualms will only draw in criticisms such as "You are an old fart who had better get out of the way because you are radical enough."

- (Hong Kong Free Press) April 22, 2016.

A signatory to a declaration calling for internal self-determination and self-rule said on Friday that they were not advocating for Hong Kong independence and that the city does not yet have a legal basis for independence.

Tanya Chan Suk-chongs comments came a day after the release of a declaration entitled Resolution for Hong Kongs Future. It was signed by more than 30 young individuals from various pro-democracy groups and stated that Hongkongers themselves should decide the political status of Hong Kong after 2047.

Chan, a co-founder of the Civic Party and former lawmaker, said: Even though Im in a political party myself, speaking as a signatory to the declaration I can say that were not releasing this for the upcoming Legislative Council elections. Some of the signatories are scholars. Were not targeting just one or two elections, Chan said on RTHK.

Chan also said that in light of the questions Hong Kong is facing regarding its future, it would be irresponsible to look at just these elections and then feel satisfied at having solved the problem.

As a Civic Party member, this is even more so I wont say that [the declaration] will affect the elections. What were talking about here is internal self-determination it does not include [ideas of] Hong Kong independence. We hope that it will determine the political structure for self-rule.

If we cant implement internal self-rule, then maybe we would look at external self-rule such as Hong Kong independence, but I think everyone understands that at this point in time we do not have the conditions to discuss this.

Chan also said that right now, Hong Kong lacked the relevant legal basis for independence.

- (Wen Wei Po) Neo Democrats' legislator Gary Fan posted on his Facebook: "Why Hong Kong independence if we have democracy?" However, the Localists didn't appreciate it and demanded that Fan clarify whether he supports Hong Kong independence or not.

Today Fan continued to waver during a radio interview. He said that "nation building" is not a policy or position of the Neo Democrats, but he does not exclude the possibility of studying/discussing the issue in the future. He also said that he would consider signing the "Resolution for Hong Kong's Future" if he were asked.

With respect to Gary Fan's Facebook statement, former Neo Democrat Ventus Lau posted the Neo Democrats' 2015 party constitution. Article 1 says "We support Hong Kong being an inalienable part of China." Today Gary Fan acknowledged that this article has been included in the party constitution since day one. So the radio asked asked Fan: "Have you started understanding the pain of being criticized by ex-party members?" in reference to the fact that Gary Fan quit the Democratic Party because he said that the latter was enshrouded in a Big Brother culture and not aspiring.

(EJ Insight) April 7, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is being accused of misusing his power as he is said to have instructed airline staff at Hong Kong to do something that is against the airport regulations.

According to an Apple Daily report, Leung allegedly pressured Cathay Pacific Airways staff late last month to go beyond the normal rules and help Leungs daughter with regard to some luggage.

The incident took place as the chief executives youngest daughter, Leung Chung-yan, 23, was preparing to board a plane for San Francisco on the morning of March 28, a source told the paper. After she passed through the baggage screening area along with her mother Regina Tong Ching-yi, who was allowed to accompany her daughter in the airport as a special person, it was found that one of Leung Chung-yans carry-on bags was missing. Apparently, the young woman had forgotten to carry it for bagging screening, leaving it outside somewhere in the airport terminal.

Regina Tong then asked Cathay staff to bring it over. However, the staff turned down the request as airport regulations require that departure procedures must be followed all over again if something has to be brought in from outside into a restricted area. As Tongs insistence on receiving assistance did not yield the desired results, the daughter called her dad for help.

CY Leung then called Cathay to demand assistance in retrieving the luggage for his daughter as soon as possible, Apple Daily cited its source as saying. Leung is said to have even corrected a person who answered the phone to address him as Chief Executive Leung, rather than just Mr. Leung.

Informed about the situation, Airport Authority officials decided, after some discussions, to make an exception for Leungs daughter and bring her left-behind bag into the restricted area. The staff made it clear to Regina Tong that they were making a special exception, and that normal procedures are different. Regina Tong then allegedly remarked that these regulations are not correct.

Describing the whole incident as unfortunate, Carol Ng Man-yee, secretary general of the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation, said no one should enjoy any privilege that goes against airport security rules. CY Leung may have set a bad example, she said, adding that the chief executive owes a detailed explanation.

Dora Lai Yuk-sim, chairwoman of Cathays cabin crew union, said bringing unaccompanied baggage into the restricted zone can pose a security risk as someone can put dangerous stuff into unattended items. A passenger should leave the restricted area, retrieve any forgotten baggage on his or her own and go through the normal screening process again, she said.

Gary Fan Kwok-wai, a lawmaker from the Neo Democrats camp, criticized Leung and his family for seeking special privileges. Such actions will only make the public very angry, he said.

Apple Daily cited an Airport Authority spokesperson as saying that they are looking into the alleged incident. Leungs office and Cathay Pacific didnt respond to queries, the paper said.

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 7, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying allegedly used his powers to help his youngest daughter bypass security rules at Hong Kong International Airport last month, according to Apple Daily, in an article published on Wednesday night.

The newspaper said that Leungs daughter Leung Chung-yan was waiting to board a flight to San Francisco when she realised that she had left her carry-on baggage outside the airports restricted area.

Her mother, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, who was in the restricted area as a special person to send Leung Chung-yan off, reportedly requested that airline staff help bring the luggage into the restricted area; apparently the staff declined to do so.

Airport security rules stipulate that a passenger must exit the restricted area to claim the luggage and go through immigration procedures again.

According to the newspaper, Leung Chung-yan then called her father, the Chief Executive, for help. In a phone call with a staff member, Leung Chun-ying allegedly said Call me Chief Executive Leung and asked that the luggage be brought into the the restricted area.

After much discussion, the airport authority ultimately decided to have a staff member bring the luggage into the restricted area. Staff members told Regina Leung that this was a special case. According to the newspaper, the luggage went through required security checks.

Leung did not answer reporters questions as he arrived at the Chief Executives Office this morning, according to local media.

(EJ Insight) April 7, 2016.

An internal Cathay Pacific airline document detailing an incident whereby Chief Executive Leung Chun-yings youngest daughter was reportedly able to bypass security rules with help from her parents, has been published by Apple Daily. The incident at Hong Kong International Airport unfolded after she accidentally left her carry-on baggage behind when entering a restricted zone. She was preparing to board a flight to San Francisco.

The first document, marked Special Incident, revealed details of the event on March 28. At close to midnight, the chief executives daughter Leung Chung-yan said she had argued with staff from Avesco, the airport security company, for about 20 minutes, and had tried to get Cathay Pacific to retrieve the baggage for her, the document said. She said that she must not waste any more time and had to get onto the flight.

The second document said that, at 11:59pm, airline staff were told that a passenger Leung Chung-yan had left her black soft carry-on bag in the area before the entrance to immigration, and the staff found a piece of luggage matching that description, with a name tag that read CY Leung.

Her mother, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, soon returned to the location and confirmed that the bag belonged to her daughter, according to the document. The Cathay Pacific staffer explained the bag was under the control of Avesco, and that they could not allow either the airline nor Leung to take the bag back. At 12:09am, Avseco [redacted] arrived and Mrs Leung urged [that] her daughter must be on board with this bag. Avesco returned the bag to Mrs Leung after identified [it].

Avesco staff eventually brought the bag through via north immigration to the boarding gate after seeking permission.

It also said, During our conversation Avesco did try hard to explain [that the] passenger must be [the one to] identify the baggage herself but Mrs Leung did not agree with some points, although we did apologise at all times. Mrs Leung did say thank you to us when she left.

According to an earlier report, Leung Chung-yan had called her father for help, who the told staffers to Call me Chief Executive Leung, asking for the luggage be brought into the restricted area.

In a press release on Thursday evening, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying denied any wrongdoing and said that he had not asked any staff members to call him by his title.

(EJ Insight) April 7, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has gotten into more controversy after his wife was reported to have asked Hong Kong airport staff to bring her daughters handcarry luggage to a restricted area. This comes as more details are emerging from the March 28 incident involving the couples younger daughter, Chung-yan, who was leaving for San Francisco, according to confidential airport logs cited by Apple Daily.

Earlier, Leung Chun-ying was accused of misusing his office when he was reported to have intervened on his daughters behalf over some luggage.

In the latest installment of the episode, Leungs wife, Regina Tong, told airport staff to bring her daughters handcarry luggage to a restricted area apparently after the younger Leung left it on the immigration counter, according to one log.

Leung Chung-yan, 23, who was in the restricted area, reported to Cathay Pacific at 11:57 p.m. on March 27 that her handcarry bag was left at the South Hall security checkpoint due to her forgetfulness, the log said.

A Cathay Pacific staff quoted Chung-yan as saying she had been arguing with Aviation Security Co. Ltd. (AVESCO) staff for more than 20 minutes, it said. Leung [Chung-yan] asked us many times to claim her bag on her behalf from AVESCO, the log said. She was aware time was running out [boarding had started] and she did not want to waste time going through immigration.

At 00:05 on March 28, passengers mother returned to the site and confirmed the bag belongs to her daughter, according to another entry. Mrs. Leung said her daughter must board [the flight] with this bag.

AVESCO personnel tried to explain to Regina Leung that airport security regulations require the passenger to identify the baggage herself but Leung insisted her way, the log said. At 15 minutes past midnight, a Cathay Pacific staff brought the bag through the north immigration checkpoint with permission from AVESCO and it arrived at the boarding gate at 00:23. Leung Chung-yan boarded [the flight] the following minute.

Apple Daily released an exclusive photo showing Regina Tong talking to some airport staff.

A previous report said Leung Chun-ying had talked to an airport official on the phone and asked for help with his daughters luggage. In a statement Thursday, Leung said he had talked to a Cathay Pacific staff on his daughters mobile phone about how to recover the bag after the flight departs. He said he did not ask the staff to call him Chief Executive Leung, nor did he contact any Airport Authority official. He said he did not abuse his power.

(info.gov.hk) April 7, 2016.

The Chief Executive issued the following statement on a news report by Apple Daily today (April 7) regarding an incident of his daughter, Leung Chung-yan, leaving behind her hand luggage at the airport:

1. Leung Chung-yan followed the boarding procedures and used the passage used by regular passengers when departing that day. Mrs Leung was only seeing her off at the departure hall used by regular passengers. Mrs Leung did not enter the airport restricted area or boarding gate area as claimed by the news report, and she did not wear any "special identity" as claimed by the news report.

2. Leung Chung-yan did not ask for the Chief Executive's "help" regarding her leaving the hand luggage behind. The Chief Executive only knew about the incident when he called Chung-yan by habit to say goodbye, and understood from Chung-yan that she and his wife were handling the matter.

3. During the whole incident, the Chief Executive did not have any contact with Airport Authority officials, let alone exerting pressure on them.

4. The Chief Executive had, through Chung-yan's mobile phone, learnt from the airline staff assisting Chung-yan about the arrangements for claiming the hand luggage left behind in the case where Chung-yan was to depart Hong Kong first.

5. The Chief Executive did not request any one to "address me as Chief Executive Leung" and did not exercise any privilege at that night.

(SCMP) As abuse-of-power scandals go, the Leung Chun-ying luggage story packed little punch. By Alex Lo. April 9, 2016.

Oh well, at least Leung Chun-yings name didnt appear in the Panama Papers. So in the absence of a real scandal, we have the chief executive allegedly abusing his position to help his younger absent-minded daughter retrieve a piece of left-behind luggage at the airport after she entered the restricted area to board a flight.

It was reported in Apple Daily that Leung personally asked over the phone that Cathay Pacific staff help his daughter when she was about to board a flight to San Francisco late in March.

A senior staff member from the Airport Authority reportedly arrived at the boarding gate to make a special arrangement so the piece of luggage could be directly delivered to her.

You know, as a father, if my kid was in the same situation, I would abuse the hell out of whatever position I had which admittedly in my case would not amount to much to get it back for her.

It would probably be along this ineffectual line. Hey, buddy, you better get the suitcase for my daughter or I am going to write a very nasty column about you and your airline.

At which the airline staff would probably laugh. But I mean, what parents wouldnt do whatever it took for their children?

Besides, the most damning aspects of the Apple story have been denied. The newspaper also published an internal Cathay memo about the incident, but it contained nothing of the compromising details the paper alleged. So much for journalistic proof!

But assuming it was all true, what harm was done? A security breach would be the first answer. What if during the time the piece of luggage was unattended, someone planted a bomb or drugs inside?

A statement from Leungs wife claimed the luggage was checked by airport security before being handed back to her daughter.

The Airport Authority has confirmed her claim. But the most obvious thing not reported by Apple is that similar situations are not uncommon and that there is a security protocol in place to help such passengers.

But for a story premised on the abuse of power that endangered public safety, it was all pretty thin. I love a good political scandal as much as the next guy. But lets deliver a real one instead of a missing suitcase.

(EJ Insight) Why the Leung airport baggage incident has us worried. By Dennis Kwok (Civic Party legislator). April 13, 2016.

Several years ago, a hit-and-run driver in Baoding city in Hebei province was chased down and arrested by the local police.

Rather than coming clean or showing remorse, the young male driver behaved cockily and yelled at the police officers.

Do you know who my father is? My father is Li Gang (我爸是李剛)! Charge me if you can, go ahead! he said, referring to the then deputy commissioner of the Baoding police department.

Since then, My father is Li Gang has become a catchphrase in Chinese online forums, with netizens deploying the term to mock the modern-day young aristocrats who throw their weight around using the power and influence of their parents.

Now, lets come to Hong Kong.

Media reports have said recently that Chief Executive Leung Chun-yings wife, Regina Tong, ordered airport staff to take a left-behind carry-on bag into the restricted area and deliver it to her daughter at a boarding gate.

According to the reports, aviation security staff tried to explain to Regina that airport regulations require that a passenger needs to identify any missing baggage on his or her own and go through regular baggage screening.

However, the Leungs sought to have the rules bypassed.

It is reported that Leungs daughter, Leung Chung-yan, who was preparing to catch a flight to San Francisco, rang up her dad and asked him to intervene.

The chief executive then spoke to an officer at the scene over the phone, after which a Cathay Pacific employee took the bag through the security checkpoint and handed it to Leungs daughter in the restricted area.

According to the guidelines laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization on handling passengers carry-on luggage, security staff at airport checkpoints must check that the luggage belongs to the passenger on-site and place it on the inspection table in order to make sure there isnt any dangerous item in the luggage that might put other passengers at risk.

As Leung has acknowledged that he did speak with the airport staff over the phone about his daughters left-behind bag, it is apparent that the chief executives intervention has led to a serious breach of airport security rules.

We can deem the incident as being the Hong Kong version of My father is Li Gang.

Even though there was no dangerous item in Leung Chung-yans luggage, the chief executive was wrong in suggesting to the airport staff that his daughter be spared the standard security check procedures.

Calls for bypassing of the rules would mean that he might have abused his power.

According to our laws, such as the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance, Legco members are entitled to certain privileges under some circumstances in order to allow them to carry out their duties, but there are strict limits on the privileges.

And the law applies only to people holding public office.

Obviously, Leungs daughter doesnt fall into this category and therefore shouldnt have been entitled to any privilege under all circumstances.

The chief executives conduct has once again dealt a serious blow to the rule of law in our city.

(EJ Insight) April 13, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has tried to distance himself from the decision to allow a carry-on bag his daughter left in the airport check-in area to be brought to her in the restricted area where she was waiting to board a flight.

The March 28 incident has sparked criticism of Leung and his wife, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, for leaning on airport and airline staff to circumvent security regulations that require cabin baggage to undergo a security check in the presence of its owner, in this case their younger daughter, Chung-yan. 

While the chief executive has admitted speaking with a Cathay Pacific employee about the bag, he told reporters before Tuesdays Executive Council meeting that the decision that a member of airport security staff should carry his daughters cabin baggage into the restricted area was not made by him, his daughter or anyone else other than airport security staff and the airlines ground staff.

Nonetheless, the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation (HKCCF) said it will announce on Wednesday measures, including a possible sit-in at the airport, that its members will take to protest the alleged abuse of power by Leung, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) replied to an HKCCF letter of complaint with an email Tuesday, saying airlines can, depending on the situation, help passengers by carrying their cabin baggage into the restricted area after the bags undergo the required security check. But the HKCCF condemned CAD director general Norman Lo Shung-man for negating the efforts made by the industry to ensure airport security. The federation said it would write Lo another letter urging him to make a personal response.

Pilot Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a Civic Party member, submitted on Tuesday 34,000 signatures on an online petition from the public to the Airports Council International, the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Tam asked the three governing bodies to determine if the airport incident violated international flight safety protocols.

A Cathay Pacific representative said the airlines internal guidelines on cabin baggage were compliant with international standards but refused to comment on individual cases, Ming Pao Daily reported.

The Airport Authority of Hong Kong, CAD and the Security Bureau have all insisted that the incident did not violate security protocols laid down by international aviation organizations.

Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun said during a meeting Tuesday of the Legislative Councils panel on security that if government departments such as the Security Bureau insist that the carrying of cabin baggage into the restricted area by a person other than the owner does not violate airport security regulations, the panel should urge the government to table in writing the applicable guidelines and procedures for airlines and airport staff, so as to convince the public, Apple Daily reported.

Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching has called for a special meeting of Legco to which the chief executive or government representatives be summoned to explain the incident.

(EJ Insight) April 18, 2016.

Hundreds of people joined airline cabin crew to protest an airport luggage incident involving the family of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. They demanded talks with Civil Aviation Department (CAD) chief Norman Lo and threatened to escalate their protest if no action is taken, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation, which organized the protest, said more than 2,500 showed up for the mass action in Hong Kong airport. Police estimated the crowd at 1,000 at its peak. The group handed a list of demands to a CAD representative, including a direct meeting with Lo.

Minor scuffles broke out with several Leung supporters who accused the protesters of insulting the chief executive and ruining Hong Kongs reputation.

The protesters accused Leung of misusing his power when he intervened to have his daughters carry-on luggage sorted after it was left in the passenger check-in area.

Leungs wife Regina later got airport staff to bring it over to her daughter who was already in a restricted area waiting to board her flight to San Francisco. Reports said the Leungs bypassed security regulations.

Carol Ng, secretary general of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, demanded Lo retract his statement to the Legislative Council that similar cases will happen in the future.

Former lawmaker David Chu said Cathay Pacific Airways suggested sending the luggage to San Francisco on another flight which would arrive the next day but was turned down by the Leungs. He said none of the five or six staff involved in the incident has come forward, which suggests they are under some kind of pressure.

Cathay Pacific has remained silent about the incident.

Meanwhile, the government said it is aware of public concerns but denied airport security or travel safety was compromised. It said it will consider whether follow-up action is necessary after it receives an official report of the incident from the Airport Authority。

(Airport Authority) Airport Authority Submits Report to the Government on Handling of Unattended Baggage. April 25, 2016.

The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) submitted a report to the Government today on an event involving the handling of a piece of unattended cabin baggage on 27 March and 28 March 2016.

AAHK prepared the report with reference to the airports duty report and closed circuit television footages, as well as reports provided by the Aviation Security Company Limited (AVSECO) and Cathay Pacific Airways respectively. The report looks into the question of whether aviation security was compromised during the event.

The report affirms that aviation security requirements were not compromised during the event. From AAHKs perspective, the key is that both the baggage and the airline staff carrying the baggage into the restricted area had passed the required security screening.

The report lists the security screening procedures for personnel and baggage to enter the restricted area, which are established according to international and local aviation security requirements. All cabin baggage shall go through x-ray security screening. Only when there is any restricted article present or suspected to be present will AVSECO confirm the ownership of the baggage and conduct a secondary search on the baggage in the presence of the owner.

According to the sequence of the event as provided in the report, after an AVSECO staff member detected the unattended bag close to Check-in Aisle B, the stipulated security check (explosive trace detection) was carried out on the bag. The result of the check confirmed no indication of explosive trace. With the assistance of the airline, the ownership of the bag was verified and AVSECO released the bag to an airline staff. The airline staff, who possessed a valid Airport Restricted Area permit, carried the bag into the restricted area after passing through security screening for the staff member and the bag. As no restricted article was found present or suspected to be present in that security screening of the bag, there was no requirement for a secondary search and the presence of the owner was therefore not required. The bag was subsequently returned to the owner.

The report also mentions AAHKs established procedures for the handling of lost and found property, which allow AAHK staff and the relevant contractor, subject to availability of manpower, to provide courtesy delivery of found property to its established owner. These procedures include taking found property into the restricted area. For the period March 2015 to March 2016 some 517 courtesy deliveries of items were recorded. Items including travel documents, bags, wallets, clothing and electronic items were taken into the restricted area and returned to their owners after the required security screening.

AAHK recognises that appropriate handling of lost and found property is essential in promoting customer service at the airport without compromising airport and aviation security. Whether airlines choose to provide courtesy delivery of found property to their passengers in the restricted area depends on their own discretion. Provided that airlines comply with airport security screening requirements, airlines do not require approval from AVSECO or AAHK to provide such service. As part of the regular review and enhancement of customer service at the airport, AAHK will review and fine tune the existing handling procedures of airlines for lost and found items.

(SCMP) April 25, 2016.

The Airport Authority is trying to ease the controversy over Chief Executive Leung Chun-yings daughter being delivered her left luggage in a restricted area by claiming that hundreds of such courtesy deliveries have been made over the past year at Hong Kong International Airport.

The government on Monday published a report prepared by the authority categorically denying safety protocols might have been violated, or any special privileges granted, when Leung Chung-yans baggage was delivered to her from a non-restricted area to a closed-off area after her father spoke over the phone about it to airport staff last month.

For the period from March 2015 to March this year, 517 such courtesy deliveries were recorded, according to the Airport Authority. Items including travel documents, bags, wallets, clothing and electronic devices were taken into the restricted area and returned to their owners after the required security screening.

But the authority did not specify whether all these items had been delivered under the same circumstances and dealt with in exactly the same way as Chung-yans baggage.

Whether airlines choose to provide courtesy delivery of found property to their passengers in the restricted area depends on their own discretion, the authority said.

Provided that airlines comply with airport security screening requirements, airlines do not require approval from the Aviation Security Company or the authority to provide such service.

The report came about a week after a major protest by cabin crew members and their supporters at the airport on April 17.

A source closed to the case denied the left-luggage incident amounted to any breach of air safety regulations.

Asked whether Mrs Leung breached any rules at the airport, the source just reiterated the chain of events AA provided was clear.

Asked when the authority or the airlines coined the term courtesy deliveries and whether there are any guidelines on such service for frontline staff, the source said the authority was not in a position to comment on it.

The source said the authority did not maintain statistics on which type of passenger obtained such service. He said: All passengers are treated equally.

Mobile phones and bags are subject to the same procedure. All of them have to go through x-ray screening, the source said.

While stressing there were more than 500 courtesy deliveries in the year from March 2015 to March 2016, the source said AA could not provide the total number of requests it had received and refused.

Dora Lai Yuk-sim, executive member of Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation, said she was disappointed about the Airport Authoritys report because it had failed to clear up the publics doubt over security loopholes at the airport.

The veteran flight attendant from Cathay Pacific said she had never heard of courtesy delivery. Lai urged the authority and CY Leung to provide details in those 517 cases cited.

She said there were courtesy service for specific kinds of customers but the service would not extend to VIP treatments on luggage bypassing security checks.

The union would discuss their next possible industrial action over this new development.

Cathay Pacific said its internal security guidelines were in full compliance with the Civil Aviation Departments regulation.

Dora Lai Yuk-sim, executive member of Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation, said she was disappointed about the Airport Authoritys report because it had failed to clear up the public doubt over whether there were unfixed security loopholes at the airport.

And the veteran flight attendant from Cathay Pacific said she had never heard of courtesy delivery. She urged the authority and (Cy) Leung to provide details in those 517 cases (of courtesy delivery)

She said there were courtesy service for specific kinds of customers but the service would not provide special treatments on security issues relating to luggage.

The union would discuss their next possible industrial action over this new development.

Cathay Pacific said its internal security guidelines were in full compliance with the Civil Aviation Departments regulation.

(EJ Insight) April 28, 2016.

Leung Chung-yan, the daughter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying who triggered a political rumpus now called Baggage-gate, has offered to explain what really happened on March 28 at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Critics immediately questioned her motive in sending a letter to the Airport Authority (AA) offering her side of the controversy, saying it has created more doubts in the minds of people about the whole affair.

The AA confirmed on Wednesday that it received a letter from the younger Leungs solicitor last Friday before it said in an investigation report submitted to the government on Monday that the whole episode was a case of lost baggage and airport security was not breached, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

In the letter, she said she was willing to provide more information on the incident, an AA spokesman said, adding that she did not mention the names of her father and mother in it, according to Apple Daily.

The AA declined her offer as it had already finished writing its report at the time, the spokesman said.

The Chief Executive Office declined to comment on whether the letter had created pressure on the AA, but only said that neither Leung nor his wife had written any letter to the AA, Cathay Pacific Airways or Aviation Security Co. Ltd. which provides security at the airport.

In fact, the younger Leung and her mother Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee had issued a joint statement soon after the incident came to light early this month, claiming that the family absolutely did not use any privilege or put any pressure on anyone in connection with the incident.

While the younger Leung said in the statement that she had never mentioned to anyone at the airport that she is CY Leungs daughter and she realized she left a baggage outside the restricted zone and asked for help soon after she entered it, the AA report told a different story.

The authority found that she only did so 20 minutes after she passed through security check and staff from Cathay Pacific, whose flight to San Francisco she was going to board, actually asked the AA to send some officials over to help her find the baggage as she is the Hong Kong leaders daughter.

Questioning the daughters motive, lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labour Party said she might have decided to send a letter to the AA because she is worried that the incident could end up putting her in a legally unfavorable situation, Apple Daily reported. Also, sending the letter through a solicitor suggested that she had a legal team to support her, and that was tantamount to exerting pressure on the AA, Lee said, adding that Leungs family has wasted too much public resources because of the incident.

Legislator Gary Fan Kwok-wai of the Neo-Democrats agreed with Lee, saying that such a letter was not necessary if she did not take advantage of any privilege that day.

Videos:

TVB
http://news.tvb.com/local/571345e96db28c6776000004/
http://news.tvb.com/local/57135b7d6db28c5976000004/

SocREC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4jB7WX1W6w https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWiNwVYAYSI
Clash between citizens who hold different views.

Speakout HK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk1ENAzRMgI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYTpCL_TnVg
A cabin crew demonstration? Or just the usual politicians? Leung Kwok-hung (League of Social Democrats); Cyd Ho (Labour Party); Alvin Yeung, Tanya Chan, Alan Leong, Ken Tsang (Civic Party); Gary Fan (Neo Democrats); Tam Tak-chi, Erica Yuen (People Power); Leung Yiu-chung (Neighborhood Workers); Frederick Fung (ADPL); Cheng Chung-tai (Civic Passion); James To (Democratic Party).

Resistance Live Media
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcLUPIY5yi0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0IdjZRKglc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htbjmy13Uso

Internet comments:

- (Wen Wei Po) April 26, 2016.

On April 7, Apple Daily reported that Leung Chung-yan realized that she had left her luggage outside the restricted zone. So her mother Regina Leung who had entered the restricted zone as a "special person" demanded Cathay Pacific workers to deliver the luggage into the restricted zone. The request was rejected. Leung Chung-yan called her father CY Leung for "help". When the worker picked up the phone, she said "How are you, Mister Leung?" But CY Leung corrected her and said: "Call me Chief Executive Leung." He demanded the worker to help his daughter retrieve the luggage. Eventually the Airport Authority did a special favor for the Chief Executive and delivered the luggage directly to Leung Chung-yan in the restricted zone against the airport security rules.

But according to the records of the Airport Authority, the airport security company and Cathay Pacific, Regina Leung did not enter the restricted zone. She only handed the luggage to the Cathay Pacific worker at the near the northern entrance to the restricted zone. CY Leung only spoke to the Cathay Pacific worker to be apprised of the situation and he emphasized that he did not ask anyone to address him as "Chief Executive Leung" or otherwise exercise any special powers. The luggage was outside the restricted zone at first; it was passed through the security screening process before it entered the restricted zone, during the regular security check after the entrance and at the boarding area in accordance with American requirements. There was no violation of security procedures.

The Apple Daily report was rife with fictional details.

- (Bastille Post)

The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation is calling for citizens to come to the Hong Kong International Airport to protest. The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation is not directly connected to the Confederation of Trade Unions whose secretary-general is Lee Cheuk-yan (Labour Party). However, the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation chief executive Carol Ng was the British Airways Union chairperson and joined became the treasurer of the Confederation of Trade Unions in that capacity. Meanwhile, the cabin crew unions at Cathay Pacific, Dragon Air, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are member organizations of the Confederation of Trade Unions. So it is clear that this demonstration has everything to do with the Confederation of Trade Unions.

Once you understand this part, you will also understand the other part about why the Staffs and Workers Union of Hong Kong Civil Airlines (affiliated with the Federation of Trade Unions) have come out against this demonstration. Thus the Staffs and Workers Union of Hong Kong Civil Airlines deputy secretary-general Ip Wai-ming said that lost luggage happens occasionally and airlines deal with the cases based upon the situations for the convenience of passengers.

- This is supposed to be a passenger safety issue. 2,500 persons showed up to demonstrate. Who are they? According to Carol Ng in her own words, there were no airport security guards and no ground crew members among the demonstrators. None whatsoever. There were about 20 cabin crew members. As for the rest, who were they but the usual demonstrators at Occupy Central etc?

- (HKG Pao) Field observations.

(1) The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation was formed less than six months ago. So how many stewardesses participated in this demonstration? We observed about 20 or so persons holding the HKCCF banner. Even fewer people came from the Cathay Pacific and British Airways unions. How representative are these people of the cabin crew in general? There is a question mark. Instead many workers have come forth to say that there was nothing unusual about how the case was handled.

(2) Of course, other people approve of what the HKCCF is doing. Yesterday the politicians present included: Audrey Eu, Alvin Yeung, Ken Tsang, Gary Fan, Cyd Ho, Cheng Chung-tai, Oscar Lai, Leung Kwok-hung, Tsang Kin-shing, Leung Yiu-chung, Ip Wing ... they couldn't approve this demonstration more? What could be better than when someone else sets up a stage for you to perform right before the Legco elections?

Our usual expectation is that labor unions start actions for labor rights for salaries, benefits, working hours, layoffs, etc. On this occasion, the HKCCF's action had nothing to do with these kinds of issues. Instead there were more politicians than workers. So this was a refreshing change.

(3) It is hard for most people to relate this luggage incident with air travel safety. However, it was easy to spot anti-CY Leung banners everywhere. A friend joked that if CY Leung ever leaves, who will they find to hate in his place? As for CY Leung, he must be relieved to see so few people show up for this demonstration. After several years of fruitless actions such as these, the people are getting tired of it.

(4) The HKCCF claimed 2,500 demonstrators while the police said that there were 1,000 at the peak. No matter how you put it, this was no "Occupy." Hey, brother, it is expensive to travel out to the Hong Kong International Airport. A same-day roundtrip Airport Express ticket between Central and the HKIP costs $100! On the whole, it is much cheaper to stay in Mong Kok!

- (Hong Kong Free Press)

A former member of Chinas top legislative body has claimed that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying did indeed pressure an airline staff member during an incident where his daughter accidentally left luggage in a restricted area.

David Chu Yu-lin also claimed that an airline staffer cried when dealing with Leung. Chu is a former National Peoples Congress member who attended a demonstration at the airport on Sunday. He urged the public to continue following up with the incident: I do not want anyone else to cry after speaking on the phone with the privileged.

Chu claimed that he heard that Cathay Pacific  the airline involved in the incident suggested sending the lost luggage to Stanford University, Leung Chung-yans destination. However, the idea was rejected. Stanford University is very close to the airport, and [he] rejected that what is it if not exercising privilege? Chu said. Chu also claimed that the airline instructed five or six staff members not speak about the incident and that it was a case of white terror. I hope we can find the source of the abuse of power, then eliminate that source, Chu said.

During a Commercial Radio show on Monday, Chu revealed that the staff member he spoke to was not the one who took the phone call with Leung, but someone around the staff member involved, whom he said he coincidentally was in contact with last Saturday. If a girl jumped the queue and told me my dad is someone, I would tell her: go to hell, Chu said. If her dad calls me later, I will tell her dad: go to hell, he added. If he doesnt go to hell, I will help him to do so.

Chu said that he attended of his own accord, and not simply because he wanted to attack Leung Chun-ying. I am not interested in singling him out  Leung Chun-ying is not qualified for me to attack him, Chu said. I am in opposition of abusing power, because it broke the principle of equality.

- On Sunday, David Chu said that a staff member cried. On Monday, he said that he did not directly speak to the staff member who took the phone call but just "someone around the staff member involved." It is now many days later, and nobody has heard from the staff member involved or anyone around the staff member involved. This leads you to think that it was all a figment of David Chu's imagination.

- Speakout HK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo_uyddrkRA

0:18 David Chu: You are making some serious charges against the Chief Executive. How confident are you about the version that you heard?
0:22 David Chu: My judgment is that this is for real PERIOD.

0:38 David Chu: No. She is someone close to the person involved.

0:49 David Chu If what I say is wrong, I will apologize immediately.

0:55 Ko Tat-bun: If you say that you got that information from her, you get her to come out. You said it, not somebody else.

1:00 David Chu: You help me to find her. You help me find her.

Also reported on NOW TV.

David Chu: A woman had made contact with that worker. She told me that the female worker shed tears during the conversation PERIOD ... She has a family name, she has a given name, she has a job position. Why can't she be located? Not even the SAR government can find her? I challenge Mr. Ko to locate her to tell the truth. If what I said was wrong, I will apologize immediately.

Ko Tat-bun: I don't think that the SAR government should waste the time of public service workers. You got information from your source. It is very simple. You go ahead and locate her.

David Chu: That worker is unwilling to come out. She is scared.

Host: What is she scared of?

David Chu: Scared of pressure from those with special powers.

...

David Chu: I don't know if the Chief Executive applied pressure. But I heard that the woman who spoke to him was in tears. PERIOD.

Also reported on TVB.

David Chu said: "Twenty years after the handover, there are still incidents in which special powers are being exercised. I don't want another Hongkonger to burst into tears when speaking to those with special powers. Many workers at the airport came into contact with this incident, but none of them have come out to say anything." We asked Chu what he meant by "those with special powers." He responded in this manner: "This is up to your own analysis."

During the period, a number of ground crew held banners to protest against the demonstrators for ruining the reputation of the airport. The two sides engaged in shouting matches. The police and airport security guards separated the two sides.

Cargo loader Mr. Wong said: "I find it unacceptable to smear the airport, or to say that the security screening is bad. We make our living at the airport. I have worked here for more than 30 years. I am very fond of the airport."

- (Sing Tao) September 18, 2014.

Recently, the Dongguan public security bureau received a tip that about an underground casino in an industrial park in Caolei village, Xiegang town, Dongguan city, Guangdong province. Undercover officers observed a number of individuals coming and going not looking like factory workers. Early morning this Sunday, more than 100 public security officers and dogs surrounded and burst into the building. 82 persons were persons were arrested, included Hongkonger David Chu who was personally bankrupt due to gambling addiction and set up this casino in order to make money through loan-sharking.

Eh, so how does this lead to hating CY Leung? Did Leung tip off the Dongguan public security bureau?

- (Headline Daily) If a ground crew member broke into tears while speaking to a customer by phone, then that worker is unprepared to work as customer service representative.

Also noted by Suen Ming-yeung is that this story went through an evolutionary process of enrichment as different people added details so that is became a case in which CY Leung is now reported to have said: "Call me Chief Executive Leung." Suen asked: "Why wasn't this detail immediately disclosed the next day? Why did it show up one week later? If the Chief Executive really used the special powers of his position to bully an airport worker, I don't see what convincing reason there can be to explain this time gap of more than one week."

- (SCMP) Airport sit-in a vain attempt by Hong Kongs pan-democrats to show displeasure towards CY. By Alex Lo. April 19, 2016.

I dont know what threatened airport security more: retrieving a piece of left luggage for the chief executives daughter or organising thousands of people to jam-pack into the main arrival hall of Hong Kongs only airport.

At best, the protest on Sunday, ostensibly organised by the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation, caused serious inconvenience to travellers. At worst, it took away police and security resources that could have been deployed to detect crime and guard against potential terrorism.

The federation, part of the pan-democratic Confederation of Trade Unions, claimed the protest was not political, and that it was only concerned with ensuring flight security. If thats true, its a strange way to demonstrate concern by compromising security further.

The federation said 2,500 people took part; police estimated only 1,000. But even the federation admitted only 10 per cent of crew members participated in the rally. The rest was all made up of the usual pan-democratic suspects the Civic Party, the League of Social Democrats, myriad localist groups, and their supporters.

The controversy followed reports that in late March, Cathay Pacific employees helped Leung Chun-yings youngest daughter retrieve a bag she had left behind in the departure hall when she was already at the boarding gate. Leung spoke to airport staff to help his daughter.

Airport officials said the bag was scanned and checked by airport security. The Airport Authority is preparing a report on the incident for the government. It should release the full report to the public to address any lingering doubts.

However, if security was the real concern, the protesters could have rallied outside Leungs office in Admiralty and the Civil Aviation Department. Instead, the pan-dems, using cabin crew members as a front and wanting to attract maximum publicity, preferred to take over the airports arrival hall. What major city would tolerate that happening in a major airport? Probably only in Hong Kong.

Clearly, the strategy is that if they cant vote Leung out of office, they will protest and riot to force him out. That tends to happen to unpopular leaders when there is freedom but not full democracy. I just wish the pan-dems wouldnt hold the rest of us hostage by occupying major public transport hubs like the airport.

- (HKG Pao) Legislative Councilor Raymond Wong Yuk-man was reported to be sitting in the first-class section of a southbound MTR East train without paying the additional fee. He was asked to disembark at the Kowloon Tong Station to deal with this issue. During the process, Wong displayed a bad attitude by saying that "I am a legislative councilor. I am in a hurry in order to serve the citizens." Well, how come none of the pan-democrats have anything to say about this exercise of special privilege?

- When Hong Kong last governor Chris Patten's dog when missing, he ordered the Hong Kong Royal Police to make a complete search of the peak area in the middle of the night. How about that abuse of power? Did Lee Cheuk-yan ever complain?

- Let's talk about unintended consequences.

Back then the anti-parallel trade people demanded restrictions on the size of luggage that are carried within the MTR system. The MTR obliged and enforced the rules strictly. But it also meant that musicians carrying large instruments were banned from using the MTR. Previously these musicians could bring their instruments because everybody sees them for what they are and will make allowance. So there was another demonstration to demand large musical instruments be exempt. So the MTR went through process of setting up a registration system to allow musicians bring their large musical instruments. In the end, the consequences are (1) the MTR is spending time, money and resources to register musicians; (2) musicians have to register; (3) unregistered musicians are still not allowed to bring their large musical instruments. Is the public better off? Are the musicians better off?

Now we have a demonstration to demand restrictions on how unattended luggage must be handled. Specifically, all hand-carry luggage must be accompanied by the owner at all times without exception because that is the only way to ensure travel safety. Fine. Let us say that the rule goes into effect. Will travel safety be improved? Well, previously the unattended luggage will be brought in by ground crew and screened by the security guards before being delivered to the owner in the restricted zone. So it was not as if there ever was any security risk. And how will that affect the public? Generally the public is not affected one way or the other --- unless you happen to misplace your hand-carry luggage, mobile phone, iPad, keys, passport, etc! When you tell the ground crew about your predicament, the ground crew will just tell you that nothing can be done. Why? Because the Cabin Crew Federation and the pan-democratic legislators have declared that there be no exceptions. Why are we better off?

- (HKG Pao) This demonstration was started by the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation which is under the Confederation of Trade Unions. Then a bunch of Umbrella Soldiers issued a call. The Civic Passion "Hot Dogs" also entered to make noise and block passage. The Legislative Council elections will be held in September, so everybody needs airtime.

At the Hong Kong International Airport where tens of thousands of persons pass through each day, someone is going to misplace their luggage. It is fictional that the luggage must accompany the person during security screening. The airline VIP services handle the processing of the luggage on behalf of their VIP customers. So the whole case is absurd.

The fact that this was turned into a demonstration showed that it is hard to find an issue to hype up. So when this came around, everybody jumped on the bandwagon. Lee Cheuk-yan must be pretty upset that while he started this thing, other people took advantage and gained more limelight than him. Since the pan-democratic voter base is fixed, their gain is his loss.

- So the cabin crew and politicians went to demonstrate against the Chief Executive. Later the ground crew and the security guards went to demonstrate against those demonstrators for smearing them. Security screening is the responsibility of the ground crew and security guards. The key point is whether the luggage had gone through security screening and whether the owner can be identified. If the answers are both positive, then there is no problem. Whether the luggage is by the side of the owner is completely beside the point. If you think that all luggage must be accompanied by the owner, then there shouldn't be any check-in luggage, right?

The most risible part is the demand to divulge the details of the security screening procedure. Why? The greater the transparency, the easier it is to find security flaws. You speak on behalf of travel safety, but you are actually helping terrorists. The cabin crew has no grounds to tell the ground crew what to do.

- Ronny Tong Ka-wah

Let me share some personal experiences:

(1) I am a somewhat absent-minded person. Three years ago I went to Okinawa with my wife. On the way back, I went through security screening and went to the departure lounge to wait to board. Then I realized that I left my mobile phone in the rental car. The ground crew contacted the rental car company. They sent someone to bring the phone to the airport and a ground crew person brought it into the restricted zone to give to me. Two years ago I went to Hokaido with my wife and I left my iPad on the airplane. When I realized that, I had already left the airport. I went back to the airport and told the ground crew about my predicament. They sent someone to locate my iPad on the airplane, and they brought it out to give back to me. During these two incidents, the ground crew did not know that I was some kind of Legislator. They were merely doing their job. CY Leung is not a good Chief Executive and I don't like him. But these facts makes one wonder whether the affair over his daughter is being overblown.

- (The Stand News) The Airport Authority report says that Regina Tong wanted to go to the 'boarding gate." CY Leung said that his wife "had no intention to go to the boarding gate, because she would have to go past security screening and the immigration desk to do so. She could not have done it, nor did she want to."

- Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation secretary general Carol Ng has worked as cabin crew for twenty-five years, but she said that she never heard of what is known as "courtesy delivery." The Airport Authority said that there were 517 courtesy deliveries last year, but Carol Ng managed to not be aware of them of all the others that took place over all these years.

- Six reasons why customer satisfaction is so important:

  • It is a leading indicator of consumer repurchase intentions and loyalty

  • It is a point of differentiation

  • It reduces customer churn

  • It increases customer lifetime value

  • It reduces negative word of mouth

  • It is cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones

Carol Ng worked for 25 years without being aware of these reason.

- The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation issued a statement that the 517 cases of misplaced items included "travel documents, wallets, electronic items and clothing" but there is no evidence that it includes anything comparable to Leung Chung-yan's hand-carry luggage. Therefore the statement is misleading."

In item 3.6 of the Airport Authority report, it is spelled out explicitly that the 517 cases refer to "items including travel documents, bags, wallets, clothing and electronic items" in English and "items including travel documents, wallets, electronic items, hand-carry luggage and clothing etc" in Chinese. It could not be more clear. So why did the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation conveniently drop "bags"/"hand-carry luggage" from their statement? Why do they persist on the smear job?

- Under the special topic of "My Dad is Chief Executive Leung", (Apple Daily) reported first on the Airport Authority report under the title:

【我爸係梁特】報告還原 證梁太曾狂奔圖親攜行李入禁區

[My Dad is Chief Executive Leung] Report restores the truth: It proves that Mrs. Leung raced madly to bring the luggage into the restricted zone.

Anyone who has traveled through Hong Kong International Airport knows that there are three checkpoints between the departure lobby and the restricted area. Firstly, there is a security guard who checks that you have a boarding pass, that you have a travel document (e.g. passport) and that the photo in the travel document matches you. Secondly, you have to pass through security screening. Your hand-carry luggage, computer, mobile phone and other metallic objects are traced on trays to be scanned by the X-ray machines. You yourself will have to walk through a metal detector gate. If the alarm sounds, you will be searched manually. Thirdly, you will have to go through the Immigration Department desk. If you have a Hong Kong ID card, you can use the automated gate. If you have a passport, you will have to queue up and be cleared by an Immigration Department officer. In the case of Mrs. Leung, she could not have gone passed the first checkpoint because she does not have a boarding pass in her name.

Once the comments under this story got too embarrassing even for Apple Daily, the title was changed to:

【我爸係梁特】龍蝦媽大鬧機場 足本過程曝光!

[My Dad is Chief Executive Leung] Lobster Mom kicked up a storm at the airport. Full version of the incident now revealed!

- (Speakout HK) According to Appendix A2 of the Aviation Authority report, Mrs. Leung 0:16 began walking towards the northern lobby at 00:16. Airport security guards, Cathay Pacific employees and Airport Authority workers followed her closely from behind because they were afraid that she might charge into the restricted zone. At 0:18, when reached the entrance, a Cathay Pacific employee took the hand-carry luggage into the restricted zone. So if Mrs. Leung was charging into the restricted zone, then where this Cathay Pacific employee appear from? Mrs. Leung's explanation is that she proceeded to the entrance in order to meet up with a Cathay Pacific employee who received instructions to meet Mrs. Leung there. Of course, there would be no need nor motive for Mrs. Leung to charge into the restricted zone. So what are we talking about now?

- (RTHK) April 26, 2016.

After the airport incident, Next Magazine sent two reporters to trail Leung Chung-yan on the Stanford University campus. One of them spoke Cantonese, the other spoke Putonghua. The two sat outside the classrooms. Chief Executive CY Leung said that Next Magazine should not be harassing his daughter and that the relevant actions are deplorable.

(Ming Pao) April 26, 2016.

Next Magazine issued a statement to emphasize that their two special correspondents did not harass Leung Chung-yan and any other persons at Stanford University. The reporters were carrying out their duties as reporters who report on matters that involve the public interest. Next Magazine said: "We are angry at CY Leung who said that he respects freedom of press but nevertheless suppress reporters in the line of duty."

- After Leung Chung-yan arrived at Stanford University, there is in fact nothing more to follow up on. The reason why Next Magazine dispatched two reporters to trail her is to harass her until she loses her composure. And that would be the news story!

- (HKG Pao) Legislative Council candidate and Civic Party member Jeremy Tam posted on Facebook said that he contacted US Transportation Security Administration officials who were inspecting the Hong Kong International Airport and informed them about the incident. He said that Leung Chung-yan was flying to San Francisco and therefore the flight has to comply with TSA regulations fully. "I have always questioned whether a third party bringing luggage through security screening is a violation of TSA regulations. Therefore I wrote to the TSA to get an answer."

According to the Airport Authority, the TSA people checks on airlines which fly to the United States each year with respect to traveler registration, boarding procedures, etc. However, these inspections do not check airport security screening. So these people will merely forward Jeremy Tam's inquiry to other departments. Furthermore, all flights to the United States are subject to a second inspection at the boarding gate in which the hand-carried luggage is inspected by hand in the presence of the passenger.

- There is in fact a bigger security risk that Carol Ng won't address -- the cabin crew (including pilots, stewards/stewardesses) are allow to board the airplane without going through the second round of security screening and they are also entitled to bring liquid with them. That is known as special privilege.

- (Apple Daily) April 28, 2016. On Commercial Radio, Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation secretary-general Carol Ng disclosed that there is a story circulated within the aviation industry that the ground crew gets depressed whenever the family of CY Leung travels, because their style is to "fold their arms like big bosses." They never carry their own luggage as they want the accompanying government workers and ground crew members to push the luggage carts to the boarding gate. Our newspaper checked this story with the Chief Executive's Office but has not gotten a reply by deadline.

- This is the definition of rumor mongering, with the entire story based upon "a story circulated within the aviation industry." No names, no sources please. This has led to a follow-up comments along the lines of "There is a story circulated within the aviation industry that Carol Ng blah blah blah (obscenities deleted) ..."

- I have taken Cathay Pacific many times before. I have seen the stewardesses fawn on westerners while pulling long faces on Hongkongers. They showed off their English language skills while pretending that they don't understand Cantonese. When they see a cute guy, they flirt. Frankly, I get depressed too whenever I fly Cathay Pacific.

- Well, when CY Leung folds his arms and act like the big boss, the ground crew gets depressed. Conversely, when Regina Leung took her daughter's luggage and ran around the airport herself, she is apply a great deal of pressure on the ground crew. To paraphrase Freud, what does the ground crew really want?

- After some effort, I have found the photographic evidence: CY Leung does not carry the luggage himself!!! Oh, but where are the depressed ground crew members!?

- By comparison, American president Barack Obama and his family always carry their own luggage and they never exercise special privileges. Here is the photographic evidence:

- At universities, journalism is taught either as 傳訊 (communication), 傳媒 (media) and/or 新聞 (news) . Apple Daily has synthesized the these into 傳聞, which happens to mean "rumors."

- (SCMP) Who in their right mind would want to be Hong Kongs next leader? By Yonden Lhatoo. April 28, 2016.

The more I look at our chief executives face on television or in newspapers these days, the more I want to ask him, in all sincerity: dude, is it really worth it?

I mean, seriously, Leung Chun-ying looks gaunter, greyer and grimmer than ever.

I remember how he bowed a lot that day in July 2012, when a small-circle election installed him as Hong Kongs top official. These days, all I see is an increasingly stooped version of our fearless leader scurrying past angry protesters wherever he goes.

Otherwise, its only pained smiles in the spotlight and foot in mouth when confronted by the media pack, which is armed to the teeth with awkward questions.

I neither want to attack nor defend Leung in this column. I just want to take a step back and look at the man weve seen so far in the context of what this town has become. And why he, or anyone else, would want his job.

It should have been good for Hong Kong when Leung defeated former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, who was a shoo-in for the top job back then until the massive illegal basement unearthed at his house buried his ambition. With Tang in charge, it would have been like the business-as-usual years under Leungs predecessor, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen cosy ties with big business, tycoons calling all the shots, and a total reluctance to rock a boat full of ailing policies.

It was different with Leung, but not enough to prevent the dark horse from morphing into the dark lord in the eyes of many Hongkongers. Doubts about his integrity as well as his loyalty to Hong Kong have never faded.

Faux-populist or not, Leung did start off with a people-before-profit approach, and he has made some bold moves to please Hongkongers at the risk of upsetting local billionaires and mainlanders.

Now hes the most divisive figure in the city, no matter how well meant his intentions. In a polarised society and politically poisonous atmosphere, he can never win. No matter what he brings to the table, somebody overturns it right away.

And its taking a toll on his family. Just look at the latest brouhaha over the matter of his younger daughter asking for her parents help when she left her baggage behind and they tried to have it delivered to her at the boarding gate.

Did the first couple abuse their power, bully airport staff and ride roughshod over security protocol? They say they didnt, but 2,000 or more people disagreed strongly enough to amplify their discontent, politicised or not, to a global arena at the citys airport.

Now the daughter has been tailed by reporters at her university overseas. Give them a break. The elder daughters run-ins with the media were bad enough. Involving these two young women in the constant abuse directed at their father is not transparency its shameful harassment and serves no public interest.

Which brings me back to the burning question: why in seven hells, after this kind of trauma, would Leung want to run for a second term? He hasnt confirmed he will, but it looks like he may.

Is he a sucker for punishment, numbed by ambition or under unrelenting pressure to continue from the people who put him in power? Hong Kongs first chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, quit the job when he couldnt handle it any more. If there was any shame in it, Tung got over it, and hes a respected elder statesman now.

Apart from Leung, why would anyone want his job? Look how ugly the public mood has become. The next chief executive is in for a whole new world of pain.

Sounds hopeless, doesnt it? Its like watching a train wreck that Id only wish upon Donald Trump.

- (Bastille Post) March 9, 2016.

This afternoon our reporter found Edward Leung and Ray Wong of Hong Kong Indigenous meeting for almost two hours with two individuals who are believed to be with the US Consulate in Hong Kong.

At around 3pm inside the Cova restaurant on the third floor of Pacific Place in Admiralty, five persons were meeting including one foreign male and one foreign female. Some of the conversation was conducted in putonghua.

Leung and Wong sat across each other. The foreign man sat next to Wong. The foreign woman sat next to Leung. The foreign man listened and also spoke. They talked for a long time, and left around 430pm. Leung, Wong and another woman left first. The two foreigners stayed to settle the bill. Afterwards our reporter trailed the two foreigners who left Pacific Place and walked to the US Consulate on Garden Road. The two were able to enter by showing identification. So they are likely to work at the US Consulate.

Our reporter called Ray Wong to ask if he met with US Consulate personnel and what they talked about. Wong said that it was personal business and he does not have to explain it to the public. Our reporter was unable to reach Edward Leung.

(China168.hk) April 18, 2016.

We recently received an email from a reader:

Hong Kong Indigenous members Ray Wong and Edward Leung were reported to have met with US Consulate officials on March 9. The details were not known. I am now disclosing the true facts behind this meeting.

Hong Kong Indigenous member Ray Wong went through a middleman to express his wish to meet with US Consulate personnel in order to present the political demands of Hong Kong Indigenous. The Americans expressed that they treat this seriously and arranged to meet with Ray Wong. However, it was improper to meet inside the consulate so the meeting was set up as a private meeting. On the afternoon of March 9, the meeting was arranged through Radio Free Asia reporter Chan Yuk-yan of Hong Kong Indigenous members Ray Wong and Edward Leung with consul Clare Orivs of the Economic Political Section and another male official known as Shawn in the Cova Ristorante & Caffe in Pacific Plaza.

Leung told Shaw that Hong Kong Indigenous was founded in 2014 around the time of Occupy Central. It has more than 60 members, with more than 20 in the frontlines. About 90% of the members are in their 20's. The group wants to gain Hong Kong independence in terms of culture, democracy and localism. He quoted Adolf Hitler who said that the way to destroy a nation is to destroy its culture first. Thus, the Chinese Communists wants to "suppress" Cantonese by Putonhua and traditional characters by simplified characters in order to destroy local Hong Kong culture. Hong Kong Indigenous advocates Hong Kong cultural independence and complete severance from China. They organized "resistance by force" and they will fight for Hong Kong freedom and democracy without abandoning the use of violence in order to save Hong Kong culture and its people. Wan Chin's City-State Sect and Hong Kong Indigenous are both Localists, but Wan Chin accepts that Hong Kong culture originated from Chinese culture and this compromise means that they do not represent the true voice of the people of Hong Kong.

Leung believes that the Hong Kong SAR government is a puppet regime controlled by the Chinese Communists. After the Mong Kok incident, Hong Kong Indigenous was severely suppressed by the Hong Kong government and its members were arrested for illegal assembly and incitement to riot. However, Hong Kong Indigenous received the support of large numbers of Hongkongers. Leung said that he was 90% confident that he will win the New Territories East Legislative Council by-election. Leung said that Hong Kong Indigenous was not only suppressed by the Hong Kong government, but the pan-democrats here also refused to support the violent method of resistance. Some pan-democrats even said that Leung's Localists are taking away their votes. Leung said that the fact is that his participation in the election brings in more voters for both the traditional pan-democrats and the localists to hurt the pro-establishment camp.

Ray Wong told Orvis that he came out to work as soon as he graduated from secondary school. Because he grew up as a grassroots member, he understands the hardship for itinerant vendors. During Occupy Central, Wong witnessed how the police applied violence against peaceful demonstrators. Therefore he did not think that democracy will just fall down from the skies; instead resistance by force is needed in order to force the government to take the demands of the people seriously.  He also thought that every young man has the responsibility to fight for democracy. Thus he founded Hong Kong Indigenous to fight for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.

Wong explained that there was no way to emerge from the numerous opposition parties unless one has the will and image to violently resist by force. However, it was inaccurate to say that Hong Kong Indigenous planned the Mong Kok incident or that the police was prepared beforehand. In truth, both sides were unprepared. Although the Hong Kong government has always restricted the vendors, they were going to ban all vendors from setting up in the streets. That was why Wong led Hong Kong Indigenous to support the vendors. This evolved into a confrontation and clash with the police which was quite unexpected.

Orvis asked whether Wong had contacts with other persons (in politics) after the Mong Kok incident. Wong said he did not take any direct action. However a "powerful Beijing department" contacted his family members twice and said that Beijing treats Wong very seriously and wants Wong to work for them. They showed a HK$5 million check and asked Wong to state his terms. However Wong refused. The two US Consulate officials said that Wong should inform them immediately if this happens again, because they can provide assistance.

The two US Consulate officials also expressed interest in the financial condition of Hong Kong Indigenous. Wong and Leung said that Hong Kong Indigenous is supported by donations from overseas supporters. At present they have HK$1.5 million in donations, mostly from Hongkongers living overseas, especially in Canada. Some people even donated $100,000 at a time. Most of the donors immigrated before 1997. At this time, they are seeing that there are Hong Kong-China conflicts, the Hong Kong government is unpopular, Hong Kong is eliminating traditional Chinese characters, national education is being imposed and so they feel guilty about abandoning Hong Kong. Therefore they donate money in order to leave something for themselves.

Shawn asked them whether the funding was sufficient. Leung said that it was far from enough, because many Hong Kong Indigenous members are being summoned or prosecuted for violent actions during the Mong Kok incident. The present funds won't be enough to pay for legal fees. In addition, the members are impoverished and so the organization is obliged to provide financial help. Furthermore, Leung said that he is going to enter the Legislative Council election and so he will need money. Shawn said that the US government cannot openly support violent resistance by young people due to diplomatic considerations. However, under the present circumstances, the US government expresses sympathy and understanding for Wong and Leung trying to gain freedom and democracy with violent methods. Shawn agreed to give consideration to financial aid to Hong Kong Indigenous members, but he needed them to provide more detailed facts to study.

Shawn continued by saying that he hopes Leung and others will report to the US Consulate when something like the Mong Kok riot happens so that the American government can understand the happenings on a timely basis, because "it is worrisome when the inexperienced resisters can be caught in bad situations." As for the request for funding, Hong Kong Indigenous should make a written request (including the list of persons to receive aid, the specific projects) and then the American government may contemplate helping Hong Kong Indigenous through the National Endowment for Democracy. The middlewoman Chan Yjk-yan asked Shawn if he had ever used violent methods to resist the American government, Shaw smiled and said: "Never." Before the meeting ended, Orvis exchanged contact information with Leung and Wong and said that they can contact each other directly thereafter. Leung asked Shaw for contact information. Shawn was cautious and said that he did not bring his business cards with him. Shawn did not leave any means of contact.

I used to be on good personal terms with Edward Leung and others. But I disapprove of Leung trying to use foreign powers for resistance. Hong Kong ahs been returned to China for almost 19 years. Certain people claiming that they support democratic self-determination have organized the illegal Occupy Central movement, the violent anti-parallel trade actions and the Mong Kok riot during the Lunar New Year. These actions have destroyed the rule-of-law which is a core value that the people of Hong Kong are proud of. Recently a major western ratings agency has downgraded its rating of Hong Kong, and Singapore has surpassed Hong Kong as the financial centre of Asia. These destructive actions have cost Hong Kong dearly in terms of economic livelihood. If I didn't disclose these facts, I would be letting the people of Hong Kong down. During the Mong Kok riot, Ray Wong was told people to valiantly resist. Afterwards he was a coward who sought protection everywhere. Hong Kong Indigenous should be a grassroots organization for which unity is critical. At this time, their members are looking for self-aggrandizement and they are fighting among themselves over the allocation of funds. They are neither united or democratic. How do you expect them to win democracy for Hong Kong?

(EJ Insight) April 7, 2016.

A new political party called Demosistō will be formed on Sunday, led by student activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, thestandnews.com reported Wednesday night. Wong was the convener of the now-defunct student group Scholarism, and Chow used to be its spokeswoman.

The invitation to Chinese media issued by Wong portrays the partys inauguration as a movie premiere under the tagline The Younger Games a play on the title of the hit film franchise The Hunger Games. In line with that theme, Chow, like the movies heroine, is pictured with a bow and arrow. 

Nathan Law Kwun-chung, a former secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, will be one of the founding members of the new party. Law said Wednesday night that the partys name suggests it will stand with the people in their quest to turn around the destiny of Hong Kong.

The name Demosistō is formed from the Greek work demos, meaning people, and the Latin word sisto, meaning I stand, Law said. While demos is a root word of democracy, sisto is a root of words such as insist, persist and resist. The partys name suggests it will stand by the people to resist suppression.

Some netizens, however, found the name difficult to pronounce, hard to remember and maybe grammatically incorrect. 

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 7, 2016.

Student activist Joshua Wongs new political party will be named Demosistō, after his group Scholarism suspended operations. Yet the rather surprising name has drawn questions and parodies.

The new party, which will be launched on Sunday, said its name was derived from the Greek word Demos people and the Latin word Sisto stand and that it will stand with the people to resist suppression.

Key well-known members of the party, other than Wong, include Oscar Lai Man-lok and Agnes Chow Ting formerly of Scholarism and Nathan Law Kwun-chung formerly of the Hong Kong Federation of Students.

The agenda of the party is unclear, but Wong has previously called for a referendum to decide on Hong Kongs future after 2047, when the One Country, Two Systems agreement expires. The party is also expected to run in the Legislative Council elections in September.

However, the new combination of words in its name may not have given the party a great start. The name is difficult, it is hard to pronounce, I accept the criticisms, I will reflect on it deeply, Nathan Law said on his Facebook page after the announcement. Joshua Wong had to send a voice recording to reporters on how to pronounce it.

Some pointed out that the name may not be grammatically correct, that sisto is a first person singular form of the word, meaning there is only one person standing or resisting. Demos means people, you should use third person plural form sistunt meaning they stand, a commentator posted on Joshua Wongs Facebook account. Common people would not be able to speak and remember the name, no matter how meaningful it is, it seems distant to people, another said.

At least eight Facebook pages using the partys name were set up after the announcement. Some even made websites such as demosisto.github.io and demosisto.com with messages to Gif a play on Joshua Wongs Chinese name Chi-fung. However, the party has not set up any official Facebook page or website, although Wong said they were ready to be rolled out.

The party also admitted that the groups Chinese name 香港眾志 with roughly the same meaning as the English one was only announced hours after the English name. Some foreign journalists suddenly told us they were coming to Hong Kong, we must respond immediately, we are sorry for the chaos due to the rush, Law added.

Hong Kong Language Studies, a group promoting Cantonese teaching, translated its name into Latin using the same style of graphic as the new party in response. But how to pronounce it in Latin is not the main point. In Hong Kong, Cantonese and traditional Chinese characters must come first, it said on its Facebook page.

The last two characters of the Chinese name are also the same as Chung Chi Tang, a building at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where there is a canteen famous for its HK$10 cheap meals. I didnt intend to, but my first impression was Chung Chi Tang at CUHK, Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, a former Scholarism member and CUHK student leader, posted on his Facebook account.

(EJ Insight) April 12, 2016.

After being rejected by HSBC in an attempt to open a joint account to receive donations, the new political party Demosistō has hit another banking hurdle.

Earlier this month, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, convener of the now defunct student activist group Scholarism and now secretary general of Demosistō, said HSBC rejected his applications to open a joint account with deputy secretary general Agnes Chow Ting and an individual account.

Demosisto then decided to use Chows personal account at Hang Seng Bank to receive donations from the public that would be monitored by a lawyer and an accountant.

However, Chow received notice from the bank Monday that, because her account wasnt being used for personal purposes, money could only be withdrawn from but not deposited into the account, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.

A representative of Hang Seng Bank said it had learned from newspaper reports that Chow was using her student banking account to collect public donations. The bank said it will keep an eye on whether the account is being used properly by the account holder.

Chow said it is extremely difficult to open a bank account, and supporters can now donate money to the party only through online payment system Paypal. She emphasized that all donations will be monitored by a lawyer and an accountant. Chow said earlier she is worried that the partys application for registration as a company might also be rejected.

- (SCMP) Good luck with the new political party, Joshua, but shame about the name. By Alex Lo. April 12, 2016.

In keeping with their tradition of picking the worst possible name for themselves, the young activists who previously formed Scholarism have now launched a political party called Demosisto.

Way back then, I thought scholarism was a neologism. No doubt its co-founder Joshua Wong Chi-fung, then a secondary school student, thought so too.

Its scholar followed by ism, something like a system of thought or belief that is scholarly and thoughtful, perhaps?

The word turned out to be just an ugly word that fell into disuse after the late 1980s. A 1989 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as pedantic learning. An earlier edition even offers a helpful example: the word means pedantic methods bordering on plagiarism to advance ones academic career.

Some recent editions no longer consider scholarism a proper word, recommending instead the word scholastic.

If there is one good thing about Scholarism being disbanded, it is that English writers can now put this non-word out of its misery.

Alas, young Joshua wouldnt let up and has come back with another made-up word.

I had no idea what Demosisto meant, so I looked it up.

A Wikipedia page, probably written by Wong and his friends, helpfully offers the following explanation, which I have not edited: The name is derived from the Greek demo (meaning people in which English word democracy derived from) and Latin sisto (meaning to stand in which English words such as insist, persist and resist derived from).

Wow, you need Greek and Latin to know what it means. So much for populism. Shouldnt the name of a political party be easy to say and remember, and be immediately identifiable as to its political agenda for its supporters and potential voters? I doubt many of them have had a Western classical education. The groups Chinese name is a little better. At least it has Hong Kong in it, and means, roughly, the peoples will.

While I dont share the politics of Wong and his gang, I wish them well. They have taken a more moderate stance than the radical localists who call for Hong Kongs independence, and accept that Hong Kong people may legitimately choose to remain part of China.

If only they would pick a more user-friendly name for themselves.

(EJ Insight) April 12, 2016.

Hang Seng Bank has frozen its deposit account.

Cybersquatters have occupied its domain name.

Its hastily organized news conference, held Sunday night in a subterranean auditorium, had all the trappings of a student council meeting: it started several hours late, and live streaming on YouTube was interrupted so many times that the number of viewers hovered around 300 and at times dropped below 20.

If that is any indication of the challenges facing Joshua Wong Chi-fungs new political party, then it is in for a bumpy road ahead.

Demosistō, the grown-up version of Scholarism which Wong founded four years ago to oppose Leung Chun-yings patriotic education plan is meant to help the 19-year-old and his posse shed their schoolboy image to better position themselves for a serious Legislative Council bid in September.

Wong is hoping that the new party with an intelligent-sounding name will wipe the slate clean and allow pro-democracy activists of all ages to join without looking like they are crashing a high school party.

For instance, 60-year-old filmmaker Shu Kei (real name Kenneth Ip Kin-hang), who was present at the news conference, would have looked oddly out of place if he were to be introduced as a new Scholarism recruit.

A lot of ink has been spilled over the high-profile rebranding, and so far there has been more criticism than praise.

The word Demosistō, a portmanteau created by Boy Wonder himself, combines the Greek word for the people (demos) and the Latin word for I stand (sistō).

No one other than Wong himself seems to like the new name. In fact, it isnt even grammatically correct: it loosely translates into I the people stand (sistō being the first person singular of the verb sistere).

Netizens have been quick to call the awkward appellation a public relations blunder, invoking the famous Cantonese proverb that to be given a bad name is worse than to be born with a bad fate.

One commentator joked that the name sounds like demolition, some sort of contraption invented by Wong to destroy the traditional pan-democratic parties.

Other people took issues with the partys logo, which was designed around the letter D, saying that it looks like a mobile phone SIM card.

Things have not gone smoothly for the partys official website either.

The domain name www.demosisto.com has been claimed by an anonymous party.

When clicked, the link goes to an empty page with a villainous taunt to Wong: U still [have] no site?

Outsmarted by their political opponents, Demosistians grudgingly settled for the next best thing: www.demosisto.hk.

A skeletal version of the site was launched hours before the news conference Sunday.

But thats not all.

Demosistōs fundraising efforts have been stunted by delays in the company registration process, as well as HSBCs refusal to open a bank account for the party to receive donations.

To date, every financial institution approached by Wong has told him to take his business somewhere else.

As a result, all donations had been funneled through deputy secretary general Agnes Chow Tings personal savings account, which presented audit and transparency issues.

Then Monday afternoon, Hang Seng Bank suddenly notified Chow that her account could no longer accept deposits, with immediate effect. The situation just went from bad to worse.

With the entire financial system stacked against the party, it remains unclear whether Demosistō will manage to meet its HK$2 million crowdfunding target in time for the Legco election campaign season that is set to begin as early as this summer.

The good news is that jokes about names and logos will eventually pass, and banking and other administrative issues will be sorted out or gotten around somehow.

The new party will gain traction, and voters will warm to it as long as it has a solid policy platform.

So far, however, Demosistō is long on ideology but short on actionable plans.

The partys website remains a work in progress the Policy tab displays a blank page with the words coming soon in Chinese.

It leaves open the question of where Demosistō stands with respect to policy issues from universal retirement protection to cross-border relations, to the partys willingness to engage CY Leungs government and even Beijing officials to break the current political impasse.

What we do know is that Demosistō will continue Wongs non-violent approach to the fight for universal suffrage and greater autonomy for the city.

He has called himself a centrist and placed his new party halfway between radical localists who call for Hong Kongs independence through any means possible and the pan-dems who do little more than shout slogans and issue strongly worded statements in response to bad government decisions.

Yet, the middle path can be fraught with peril.

A centrist party may wind up pleasing no one and alienating voters on both sides.

On one hand, moderate constituents who worry about the emergence of radical forces will find Demosistōs self-determination rhetoric too incendiary for comfort.

On the other hand, voters who buy into the localists take-no-prisoners tactics will dismiss Wong or any of his Demosistians as just another career politician climbing the greasy pole.

Whats more, now that the new party has officially thrown its hat into the ring for the upcoming elections, it has turned old allies into new rivals.

Once-friendly faces like Alan Leong Kah-kit and Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung may suddenly stop returning Wongs phone calls.

There will be no one to offer ground game advice or coordinate voting tickets to avoid siphoning votes from each other.

In the gladiatorial game that is local politics, it is every man for himself.

But there are worse things than a cold shoulder.

Like wild animals unleashed from underground dungeons, localist sympathizers wasted no time in their vicious attacks against the new kids on the block.

Social media trolling began within minutes after the Demosistō Facebook page was launched, replete with a liberal use of expletives and colorful epithets.

Still, Demosistōs biggest trouble may come from within.

Of the partys four core members, only chairman Nathan Law Kwun-chung and vice chairman Oscar Lai Man-lok are old enough to stand for election in September.

While the Occupy movement made both men household names, they are as much untested as they are saddled with political baggage.

Lai, the former spokesman for Scholarism and Wongs longtime sidekick, has been the butt of many jokes ever since he was found stalking the Civic Partys Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu and repeatedly photo-bombing the candidate during the Legco by-election two months ago.

Lai was given the nickname Magnet Man the Cantonese catchphrase for a camera hog for sidling up to the pan-dems for cheap media exposure.

His high-profile announcement that he was severing his ties to Scholarism and throwing his support behind Yeung just days before the by-election made Lai look mercenary and opportunistic.

If Lai comes off as a shameless attention-seeker, then Law has the opposite problem.

In front of the camera lens, the former Lingnan University student union president and Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) secretary general often appears demure and distant someone who would make a better academic than a firebrand politician.

Moreover, Law has been criticized for not taking responsibility for his ineffective leadership during Occupy, culminating in his disastrous call for protesters to besiege the government headquarters at Tamar, which hastened the demise of the movement.

That and subsequent missteps by the HKFS leadership eventually prompted half its member universities to leave the federation a year ago.

All that has made Demosistō a risky proposition for Joshua Wong.

He has put all his political eggs in one basket by making the bold move to disband Scholarism.

Forced to sit out the September elections, Wong can only campaign for Lai and Law without knowing how much of his aura and star power can be transferred to them.

It is a high-stakes gamble not only because the opposition vote will be split three ways among the pan-dems, the localists and his centrist party, but also because Wong has made himself the face and voice of Demosistō.

If his surrogates Lai and Law make a poor showing in the September elections, winning only a tiny fraction of the overall votes, it will call into question Wongs leadership and whether his prodigious fame will eventually flame out.

Nevertheless, if there is one thing we know about Wong, it is that the teenager is full of surprises the kind that have helped him reinvent himself each time critics were about to write him off as an overgrown child star.

This is a young man who combines the acumen to have put forward a proposal for civil nomination even before Occupy began and the foresight to urge the city to look beyond the current political wrangles and focus on life after 2047, the year when the Basic Law expires and one country, two systems ends.

Wong has a knack for knowing where to place his chips and how to make a winning bet for himself and the causes he fights for.

No matter how shaky things may look for Demosistō at the moment, he is not one to be written off just yet.

(EJ Insight) April 19, 2016.

The student leaders of the 2014 Occupy Movement are back in the limelight as they seek to pursue the democracy struggle by participating in the Legislative Council elections in September. However, the public appear lukewarm to their comeback after their reputation has somehow suffered as a result of their failure to achieve genuine universal suffrage for Hong Kong.

The outcome of the 79-day protests, which ended not with a bang but a whimper, may have convinced many of those who joined the campaign that its useless to pursue the old methods of struggle to force Beijing to listen to their demands.

Such feelings of frustration and fatigue have given rise to localism, which is now inching its way into the mainstream of political thoughts.

Given this situation, it could be quite difficult for these student leaders to win the votes of pan-democratic supporters in the September polls.

But these student leaders, while recognizing the difficulty of pursuing the struggle within the boundaries of their old associations, feel that the Legco elections present another opportunity for them to carry on the endeavor.

And so Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Oscar Lai have co-founded Demosisto with Law considering running for a seat in the Hong Kong Island constituency and Lai possibly joining the race in Kowloon East.

Alex Chow and Lester Shum, along with other campus comrades, have formed a new alliance with Shum deliberating on a crack at the Kowloon West seat.

But the lay of the land has changed since two years ago.

Demosisto appears to find it hard to win the support of the internet generation, who thinks the name of the new group is strange and uncool.

Some even accused the group of copying a Spanish design for its logo. And not a few raised a howl over its chaotic debut press conference and the wrong information provided in its press releases.

All this suggests that their ertswhile supporters no longer regard them with awe, and have developed a critical attitude towards their plans and programs.

Their young supporters, who remain bitter over Beijings arrogant responses to their demands, are now entertaining the idea that a more radical approach is needed to pursue the struggle.

Thats why when Demosisto broached the idea of a referendeum in 10 years time, the young activists insist that they should push for a vote in 2021 and work at a faster pace for a change of the political status of Hong Kong.

The young activists are also hesitant to support the student leaders who refuse to admit their errors during the 79-day campaign.

Looking back, they now view the Occupy campaign as a wasted opportunity because it lacked a clear direction and concrete goals, as exemplified by the lack of results from the meeting between the student representatives and government officials at the height of the protests.

The mass followers of the Occupy Movement seem to feel cheated because their struggle resulted in nothing while their leaders gained more political exposure and even global stature.

And so while Joshua Wong landed on the cover of Time magazine, the movement dragged on and ended in charges being filed against its leaders and followers.

And so while many of the young activists wallowed in frustration, the luminaries of the movement shed their status as student leaders and became politicians.

Thats probably a natural transformation, but now their supporters will have to look at them, not anymore as firebrands of a political movement, but as politicians whose main objective is the advancement of their political career.

The deluge of negative posts on social media about the emerging political parties suggests that the mass activists are unwilling to transfer their support from the movements leaders to the new politicians, even though the personalities involved are the same.

The rise of localism, along with the emerging ideas of Hong Kong independence and the use of violence as an option, does not necessarily marginalize the leaders of the Occupy campaign.

Rather, it indicates that the young generation wants new modes of struggle to pursue the fight for democracy. They want results, not just words.

This new thinking has found expression in the Mong Kok clashes in early February as well as the results of the Legco by-election in the New Territories East, where Edward Leung, a candidate of the radical Hong Kong Indigenous, won 15 percent of the vote.

And so while the localist groups, which are also joining the parliamentary struggle, is targeting first-time voters in the upcoming elections, the new parties of the former student leaders cant seem to decide what they are standing for.

Finding themselves the targets of the establishment in its efforts to get back at the Occupy organizers, the former student leaders are taking a conservative approach towards the Hong Kong independence issue.

The Occupy campaign is no doubt one of the most important milestones in Hong Kongs political history since the 1997 handover as hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people, mostly youngsters, occupied the streets to seek genuine universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election, inspired by the involvement of student leaders such as Wong, Chow and Shum.

But the failure of the campaign means its leaders can no longer ride on the protest movement to reach out to the people even as they are losing the support of the young generation.

As such, these student leaders should abandon the baggage of the Occupy Movement and shift their focus to the issue of Hong Kongs future.

Throwing the ball to the public, as what their proposal for a referendum in 10 years suggests, simply wont do.

Internet comments:

- (Wen Wei Po)

- The name Scholarism is the anglicized version of the Latin or German term Scholarismus. So I guess that they want to do something similar ... sisto is first person singular, so demo+sisto means The People, I stand alone. Now this is truly independent political party, because it is a political party for a single person standing alone.

- Another way of parsing the term is even more ominous: demos+isto means The People, That Person. But since isto is an ablative male, it means The Man Who Has Left The People.

- They wanted to convey a message like The People Stand Together. In the Chinese-language press release, they proclaimed that they are presenting a great work on the future of Hong Kong titled "眾志圍城" (The Will of the People lay siege to the City." But Stand (sistō) in Greek means "have or maintain an upright position supported by one's feet in a fixed location" and not "an attitude towards a particular issue or a position taken in an argument."

- No wonder they had to stop the Copyright Amendment Bill in spite of the wishes of the American Chamber of Commerce. Here is he rip-off version of The Hunger Games poster.

- A spoof on the poster changed "眾志圍城" into "I don't know how to read this."

- (Wen Wei Po) April 7 2016.

- Generally speaking, Hongkongers have trouble pronouncing English words with many syllables. Typically they map the English word into Chinese words and memorize those words. An easy-to-remember mnemonic for Demosistō is 地踎屎塔 (which literally means Toilet Used By Unemployed Coolies). Reference: How to Use a Squat Toilet in China.

- The invitation to attend the press conference took the form of a film premier. The poster is titled The Younger Games starring Agnes Chow, Joshua Wong, Oscar Lai and Nathan Law. So this is just democracy being sold as a computer games and/or a movie.

The director is Shu Kei, who may or may not be the person of the same name who is the Dean of Film and Television at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The names of the scriptwriter and the producer are pseudonyms.

How serious can these people be?

- The slogan on the poster says that on April 10, they will bring the city down with one arrow. Thanks a lot for shooting Hong Kong!

- Here is the exercise of the inalienable right to spoof.

DEMO: In Cantonese, this means Fuck Someone's Mother.
SISTO: In Cantonese, this means Fleeing After The Act.
So DEMOSISTO means fucking someone's mother and fleeing after the act.
"眾志圍城" is a homonym as "眾
圍城", which means that everyone who has hemorrhoids is laying siege to the city. By being destructive and non-constructive, Joshua Wong is indeed Hong Kong's hemorrhoid.

- On an RTHK radio talk show, Joshua Wong and Kaizer Lau were guests. After the show, they shook hands. A picture tells the story better than one thousand words. So what did you think happen? What does this have to say about family upbringing and self-cultivation? What kind of democracy will you have if you totally disrespect all dissidents?

- (SCMP) Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong must realise that banks have rules; By Alex Lo. April 7, 2016.

Its a good thing I am not a news editor. I wouldnt last a day in todays newsroom. I cant, for example, understand why political activist Joshua Wong Chi-fungs inability to open an account with HSBC was news, when it was reported in practically all the major local media outlets. Some pan-democrat lawmakers even demanded answers from Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung. I could have thought of more worthwhile things to ask in the legislature.

When I first became a reporter 20 years ago, the Bank of China wouldnt let me open a current account because, a branch manager told me, I earned too little to qualify to have my own cheque book. Later, they refused me a mortgage because they didnt think I was financially viable. I could have claimed political persecution because of my job. By the way, I was actually holding down a steady job with a stable, if very low, income.

So heres young Joshua, formerly of the student activist group Scholarism, screaming bloody murder because HSBC turned down his application to open an account. But even according to Wong, HSBC didnt simply say no. Its just that the bank asked for additional information, which he refused to supply. Worse, he wasnt entirely forthcoming about his purpose of opening a joint savings account with a fellow activist when asked by the bank.

He also tried to open a current account but was turned down. We were asked about the purpose of the joint account and we said it was for personal savings, Wong said.

But when interviewed by reporters, he admitted they needed the accounts to handle donations and other business dealings for a new political party they were setting up. It seems the fuss is because I am a politically sensitive person, Wong said. Political censorship seems to have been involved in [HSBCs] business considerations.

So heres a young guy with only a secondary school education, has never earned a cent in his life or never held down a steady job. When asked for more personal details, he declined to comply out of what he called privacy concerns.

Is it any wonder that HSBC, or any bank, would refuse to do business with such a person?

- (Oriental Daily) 50 reporters grumbling after not being allowed to attend the party launch press conference.

Q1a. Is the conflict between the government and the citizens serious?
66.5%: Serious
24.2%: In-between
6.6%: Not serious
2.8%: Don't know/hard to say

Q1b. Is the political wrangling in Hong Kong serious?
71.4%: Serious
21.8%: In-between
4.3%: Not serious
2.5%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2a. When struggling with the government to fight for our demands, we should always adhere to peaceful, rational and non-violent means.
69.5%: Agree
20.5%: In-between
8.1%: Disagree
2.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2b. Nowadays in Hong Kong, taking radical actions such as physical clashes or traffic blockage is the only way of making the government respond to people's demands.
15.9%: Agree
23.2%: In-between
57.8%: Disagree
3.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2c. Taking radical action is the only way to make the government respond to your demands.
9.1%: Agree
23.9%: In-between
63.6%: Disagree
3.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Q3. In fighting for public interests, you prefer to
22.3%: Stick to your principles and not compromise
66.9%: See both sides make concessions in order to co-exist
2.0%: Neither
8.8%: Don't know/hard to say

Q4. During a demonstration, are the following actions acceptable or not?

Physical clashes
18.6%: Acceptable
23.0%: In-between
56.9%: Unacceptable
1.5%: Don't know/hard to say

Throwing eggs at government officials
18.9%: Acceptable
17.6%: In-between
61.0%: Unacceptable
2.5%: Don't know/hard to say

Lie-down protests
41.7%: Acceptable
17.6%: In-between
37.2%: Unacceptable
3.5%: Don't know/hard to say

Traffic blockage
3.9%: Acceptable
10.9%: In-between
82.2%: Unacceptable
2.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Throwing hard objects at law enforcement officers
3.9%: Acceptable
10.9%: In-between
82.2%: Unacceptable
2.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Vandalism
2.9%: Acceptable
13.5%: In-between
81.0%: Unacceptable
2.5%: Don't know/hard to say

Burning tires or rubbish bins
3.9%: Acceptable
8.7%: In-between
84.6%: Unacceptable
2.8%: Don't know/hard to say

Q5. Do you expect social conflict to become more serious over the next three years?
45.5%: More serious
25.5%: About the same as now
13.2%: More moderate
16.0%: Don't know/hard to say

(Hong Kong Film Awards) 35th Hong Kong Film Awards

Best Film: Ten Years
Best Director: Tsui Hark (The Taking of Tiger Mountain)
Best Screenplay: Philip Yung Tsz Kwong (Port of Call)
Best Actor: Aaron Kwok (Port of Call)
Best Actress: Jessie Li (Port of Call)
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Ning (Port of Call)
Best Supporting Actress: Elaine Jin (Port of Call)
Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle (Port of Call)
Best New Performer: Michael Ning (Port of Call)

(YouTube) Ten Years trailer
(YouTube) Hong Kong Film Awards presentation of Best Film award

(BBC) Ten Years: Controversial Hong Kong film wins top Asia award. April 4, 2016.

A controversial film depicting a bleak future for Hong Kong under Beijing's control has won one of Asia's top film awards. The low-budget, independent movie Ten Years has packed screenings in Hong Kong, but is banned in mainland China. Set in 2025, it depicts political gangs and persecution of local people for speaking Cantonese not Mandarin. It comes amid increasing nervousness in Hong Kong about perceived Communist Party interference in its affairs.

Ten Years, which is made up of five vignettes, won the best film prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards held on Sunday. "Ten Years exposed the fear of Hong Kong people (towards China)," said one of the film's directors, Chow Kwun-wai.

Producer Andrew Choi told the BBC the award came as a surprise. "It's important for Hong Kong that a film that echoes so much of what people are feeling in their hearts has won." He said the film won after several rounds of voting by mainly Hong Kong filmmakers and praised the "integrity" of that process.

The film includes scenes such as children in uniform policing adults, reminiscent of the child Red Guards of China's violent 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, and an old woman setting herself alight in front of the British consulate.

In January, China's state-controlled Global Times ran an editorial describing the film as a "thought virus". Shortly after, many cinemas in Hong Kong stopped screening it, though independent screenings have continued to show the film. It is also expected to appear in limited release or at festivals in Taiwan, Singapore, the US and Italy. The film's makers have never sought distribution in mainland China, but the awards ceremony was not broadcast there, as it normally is. Censors in the mainland also blacked out the story when it appeared on BBC World News.

(Hong Kong Free Press) April 5, 2016.

Dystopian movie Ten Years won Best Film at the 2016 Hong Kong Film Awards held at the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.

Ten Years is a dark socio-political fantasy that imagines what Hong Kong may look like ten years on. Five directors produced five shorts exploring a city where shops are attacked by uniformed army cadets for selling banned materials, where Mandarin is the dominant language, and where an activist self-immolates in a fight for Hong Kongs independence.

Ng Ka-leung, one of the films directors, told reporters that he was not concerned by Beijings opinion: If you ask me what Beijing might feel towards us, I would say it doesnt really matter. The movie was made for Hong Kong people. We are open-minded to anyone who likes it or not. We just hope that Hong Kong people can share our feelings. We would like people to think about the future of Hong Kong.

The film was called a miracle, for its success despite a limited showing in cinema chains. Thousands of Hong Kongers flocked to see the movie at special screenings across the city of Friday. Despite being produced on a low budget of HK$500,000, it took over HK$6 million at cinemas according to latest figures at Box Office Mojo, a website owned by the international film site IMDB.

Earlier in late January, the films success caught the attention of the Chinese government. Chinas state newspaper Global Times criticised the film as ridiculous, saying that it was spreading desperation.

In February, Chinese state media broadcaster CCTV notified the Hong Kong Film Awards Association that it will not broadcast this years event on television. Tencent, the Chinese technology giant, also told the association that it will cease its broadcasting online.

As Sundays ceremony came to a close, news of the best film winner was omitted from reports in mainland China. On Saturday, state mouthpiece Global Times ran an article entitled: Hong Kong Film Awards fails to attract attention at home.

(EJ Insight) An independent Hong Kong? Stop dreaming. By Michael Chugani. April 14, 2016.

What will Hong Kong be like in the year 2025? The locally produced Cantonese movie Ten Years gives us an imagined glimpse.

It visualizes Hong Kong in 2025 being under the totalitarian thumb of communist China.

Putonghua is imposed on the population, the Peoples Liberation Army crushes protests, Youth Guards that resemble Red Guards are deployed to harass localists and Beijings Liaison Office foments fake terrorism to justify enactment of national security laws.

Bearing in mind that 2025 is just nine years away, is it really possible that the central government can impose such great political change on Hong Kong in so short a time?

Anything is possible, as the saying goes. Judging from what the makers of Ten Years said about the movie, it is apparent they did not consider the movie to be far-fetched fiction meant purely for entertainment.

The makers seemed to believe to a certain extent that a future Hong Kong could indeed be under the totalitarian thumb of communist China.

The movie, influenced by and made after the so-called Umbrella Movement, was a hit among those who took part in the movement.

This belief among many young people of a bleak and undemocratic future is rooted in the central governments hardline attitude towards so-called genuine democracy for Hong Kong.

As the old saying goes, a week is a long time in politics.

That means nine years is an eternity in politics terms. Anything can happen. But what political future is in store for us will be influenced very much by how Hong Kong people want Hong Kong to fit in as a part of China.

I do not believe that the central government will, for no reason, turn Hong Kong into what is depicted in the movie Ten Years.

What can Beijing possibly hope to gain by imposing Putonghua here, restricting freedoms, and using the PLA to crush protests just for the sake of it?

It did not use the PLA even during the 79-day Occupy movement and during the Mong Kok riots. On the contrary, Beijing risks losing a lot by doing what is depicted in the movie.

This doesnt mean Beijing will never use its iron fist on Hong Kong but I believe it will do so only as a last resort when it feels it has no other choice.

As we all know, the central government is obsessed with national security. It will do whatever is necessary to protect national security even if the methods it uses draw international condemnation.

We can see that in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Beijing often suspects the bogeyman of foreign interference in Hong Kong to undermine the nation even when there is none.

If a time ever comes when Beijing is fully convinced that national security is under threat by certain forces in Hong Kong, it will use its iron fist to deal with the threat even if that means damaging the foundations necessary for international confidence in Hong Kong.

National security always comes first for the central government.

Beijing is keenly aware that international confidence in Hong Kong is based on our civil rights, core values, rule of law, independent judiciary, free media, freedom of information and corrupt-free society. This is what separates us from the rest of China.

It is these core values to which Hong Kong owes its success as an Asian financial center and its status as an international city where numerous multi-national corporations have their Asian headquarters.

Take away these core values and Hong Kongs status will disappear overnight. If Beijing were to impose the harsh measures depicted in the movie, Hong Kongs role as an Asian financial hub and international city will be wiped out.

Hong Kong used to be the only goose that laid the golden eggs for a backward China. Now, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai are also laying golden eggs but Hong Kongs eggs still remain the best.

Thats why Beijing will think thrice before using its iron fist on us.

The problem with the movie Ten Years is that it visualizes the future with its mindset stuck in the present.

Mao Zedongs China was not Deng Xiaopings China. Deng Xiaopings China was not Xi Jinpings China.

What will be the China of Xi Jingpings successor?

China in 2025 could be even politically harsher than now or it could be less so. No one knows. But Ten Years depicts a future China to be exactly like the harsh regime it is now which will impose authoritarian rule in Hong Kong.

In fact, anything can happen between now and 2025, let alone between now and 2047 when the 50 years of no change under the 1997 agreement between China and Britain ends.

It is not unthinkable that the combination of the digital age, growing wealth, social media and increased capitalism will force future mainland leaders to become less authoritarian in governing the country.

It is not inconceivable that by 2047 Chinas one-party state is communist only in name or even that it is no longer a one-party state.

If the disintegration of the Soviet Union with the fall of the Berlin Wall can happen, a democratic China can also happen by 2047, which is still 31 years away.

Some Hong Kong people, including student groups, have recently said society should start discussing what kind of Hong Kong we should have when the 50 years of one country, two systems end in 2047.

Student groups want Hong Kong to be an independent city-state in 2047. Those calling for a public discussion to start now on the status of Hong Kong in 2047 are either not using their heads or have their heads buried in a cloud.

The central government has not even started focusing on who should be Hong Kongs next chief executive when Leung Chun-yings first term ends next year.

The country faces so many pressing issues that need immediate attention. Why would leaders want to consider dealing with an issue that wont arise for many years to come?

As far as mainland leaders are concerned, one country, two systems under the Basic Law is still working well and does not need immediate attention.

Those who say it is entirely up to Hong Kong people to decide what happens to Hong Kong in 2047, as some students have said, not only have their heads buried in a cloud, they are dreaming.

They were not born in the 1980s when Britain and China negotiated the future of Hong Kong and so may not even know about what was then called the three-legged stool.

Hong Kong legislators wanted Hong Kong to have a say in the British-China handover talks but Beijing firmly rejected a three-legged stool that included Hong Kong in the negotiations. It insisted the future of Hong Kong was a matter between China and Britain only.

Aside from national security, reunification is as equally important to China. Thats why it never shies from hinting it will even go to war to make sure Taiwan sticks to the one-China policy.

If it is willing to go to war to preserve the one-China policy, why would it allow Hong Kong people to decide on their own if they want independence in 2047 after having undergone such difficult negotiations with Britain to regain sovereignty over Hong Kong on the condition that there is one country, two systems?

It makes no logical sense.

Those who understand politics understand the importance of timing.

There is a good time to do something and a bad time. What may seem impossible at one time can become possible at another time.

It would have been impossible for Donald Trump to have become the Republican Partys top US presidential candidate four years ago when Barack Obama was running for a second term.

But it has become possible now. It is the worst timing for students and others to talk about independence, self-rule, or merely more autonomy now when mainland leaders have grown even more distrustful of Hong Kong after the Occupy movement and the Mong Kok riots.

How can any sensible thinking person expect the central government to engage in a public discussion about Hong Kongs status in 2047, including the status of independence, when Beijing has rejected even so-called true democracy that would allow a free choice of candidates to run in chief executive elections?

No one can even guess what Hong Kong or mainland China will be like in 2047. But if China is still a one-party communist state, then independence is totally out of the question. Mainland leaders would never even consider it.

But if China is no longer an authoritarian one-party state in 2047, then the push for Hong Kong to become independent from a communist regime becomes moot.

Internet comments:

- Ten Years was nominated in one category (Best Film) and won. Port of Call was nominated in ten categories including Best Film and swept most of the major awards (Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography) but it is not the Best Film. It is hard not to think that the voting was political.


35th Hong Kong Film Awards
Politics hijacks Art

- How extraordinary is this? Here are the results for the Best Film over the past 35 years. The first column of numbers is the number of nominated awards and the second column is the number won. The only film that won the Best Film Award without winning any other categories was Ann Hui's Ordinary Heroes (2000) about social activists. But even that film had 8 nominations in total, and it was also voted the Best Film at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Ten Years is the only Best Film ever to be nominated for Best Film only and failed to make the final nomination list on every other category.

- Ten Years is composed of five vignettes directed by five different teams. Therefore it could not be nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress or Best Cinematography. There is no need to politicize everything.

- If you have five stories to tell woven around a single theme ("Hong Kong ten years from now"), then you write a script that weaves those stories together. It is because your scripting skills are insufficient that you tell five separate stories instead.

- If you want to improve your story-telling skills, please read Dream of the Red Chamber, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Lord of he Rings, War and Peace, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Tereza Batista, etc. Correction: The first three titles are Chinese, so please remove them because Hong Kong is not China.

- (Apple Daily) Quotes from the Ten Years team: "Ten Years is more than a film. Production-wise, we are in many ways inadequate. This award tells us to continue to be humble. At the same time, it tells us that there is a great deal of possibilities for Hong Kong films. As long as you honestly make a film, there can be a lot of forces. Therefore I must thank every Hongkonger, because you are telling us that it is not too late for Hong Kong." "The emergence of Ten Years is somewhat peculiar, because it is not qualified to become Best Film in terms of film art and technique. But I am very grateful to the Film Awards judges, because they used their angle to affirm this film."


Last night a Hong Kong film Ten Years was selected as the Best Film. Is this movie so exceptional in its art and production? Does it really overpower the other nominees? Or was the key issue about Ten Years producing a terrifying and desperate image in the five vignettes of Hong Kong ten years later under One Country Two Systems. Ten Years is a totally fictional film intended to generate political fear. Look at the stories of the five vignettes:

(1) Floating Melon: Senior government officials plotted to assassinate a legislator during an assembly and used the resultant chaos to pass through the National Security Bill;

(2) Winter Cicada: Two genetic scientists turned themselves into preserved specimens because they cannot shake off their memories;
(3) Dialect: Taxi drivers must know putonghua in order to work; those who don't know putonghua struggle to make a living because their taxis are labeled "non-putonghua."

(4) Self-immolator: A social movement leader was sentenced to jail for violating Basic Law Article 23. A supporter sets himself on fire in front of the British Consulate in Hong Kong. The police attacked the senior citizens and students, and prevented the students from speaking about Hong Kong independence to an interviewer.

(5) Local egg: A farmer insist on producing and selling local eggs. His son joins the Youth Army and attacked local eggs.

Ten Years is made up of these five stories and became the Best Film. This is a low-budget black-and-white production whose directors, actors and actresses are all unknowns. Apart from political reasons and smearing One Country Two Systems, there is no justification for this film to be given the Best Film award.

At a time when the Hong Kong film industry is in the doldrums, what is the reason that the Hong Kong Film Awards organizers and the judges gave Ten Years the Best Film award? When Ten Years was nominated, the mainland Chinese television stations canceled their live broadcast of the Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony. What good does this do to cooperation and exchange between Hong Kong and mainland China?

Self-immolator: In 2025, Basic Law Article 23 was enacted in Hong Kong. 19-year-old Auyueng was arrested for breaching national security because he supported Hong Kong independence. He died from a hunger strike in jail. This caused a Hongkonger to set himself on fire in front of the British Consulate in order to express his dissatisfaction with the Communist Party. At the same time, non-violent resistance has proven to be ineffective and the people of Hong Kong must give up their times to fight for Hong Kong independence.

Dialect: Hong Kong is being invaded by putonghua. The government required that taxi drivers who have not passed the standard putonghua test to pick up passengers at the airport, piers and Central on pain of prosecution.

Floating Melon: In 2020, the Chinese Communist Party and the pro-establishment camp fabricated a terrorist attack against a political party party in order to successfully enact Basic Law Article 23. But the new immigrants and the South Asian who carried out the terrorist attack were shot and killed by the police.

Winter Cicada: The house of a Hongkonger was razed by bulldozer and the residents killed. A taxidermist couple was turning everything that the people of Hong Kong are losing into specimens. Finally, they found the burden too heavy and the husband chose to let his wife turn him into a specimen.

Local Egg: The Youth Army became a new version of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. They patrol and look for irregularities. The word "Local" is now banned in Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong are donating money to support a bookstore that sells banned books. Finally the last local farm was forced to migrate to Taiwan and "local eggs" disappear forever.

- (Ming Pao) Peter Lam Kin-ngok spoke as a film investor that it was unfortunate for the Hong Kong film industry to have Ten Years win the Best Film award. He said: "Although I respect the choice of the judges, I disagree with the result. I feel the same way as the Ten Years' executive Choi Lim-ming who admitted himself: 'Although the production is inadequate in many ways, this film showed that there is a great deal of possibilities for Hong Kong films.'"

Lam said that Ten Years was not nominated in any other category and it was not a top seller, and this shows that it is not the best film. He said that it was unfair to the film industry for Ten Years to win the Best Film. Politics ran roughshod over professionalism and the whole judging was politicized.

- (Wen Wei Po) Director Johnny To had this to say about Peter Lam and Wong Pak-ming saying that Ten Years is unfit for Best Film because it was not nominated in any other category: "What is the background of the person who is saying these things? Let's see if he's fair? Even if Peter Lam has been a wonderful boss, I have to speak out because this is about the dignity of the film industry."

Peter Lam responded: "I thank Johnny To for describing me as his good boss. I also think that he is a marvelous director. But I would like to make an analogy about what he said last evening. Suppose I invested in a restaurant. It is up to the cook to decided whether a dish tastes good or not? For example, Michelin gives various number of stars to restaurants based upon the judgment of various professional epicureans. According to information, the most professional Hong Kong Film Critics Society named Port of Call as Best Film and the Hong Kong Directors Association named The Taking of Tiger Mountain as Best Film. So I don't know what Johnny To was trying to say."

- (Ming Pao) Veteran filmmaker John Shum said that the judging should be based upon professionalism. While Ten Years should be praised for its spirit and youthfulness, "This is not what the Best Film award should be about." He said that Global Times criticized the film and the awards show was not broadcast in mainland China. This might have touched the nerves of certain judges and Hongkongers, because the film could not have drawn such a response otherwise. He said that he did not think that the judging was politicized; however, it may have been emotional.

- (Ming Pao) Motion Pictures Industry Association executive director Crucindo Hung Cho-sing said that he voted and Ten Years would not even be on the queue of choices. "It is risible that the standards of Hong Kong films should drop to this level." He said that when professional judges vote out of sympathy for films with the "right message," then it is unfair to all film producers and actors in Hong Kong. "In the history of the Hong Kong Film Awards, how many films won the Best Film while being nominated for only that category?" "When someone else puts in 100% effort to make their film, and you put in 15% effort, is it fair for you to win?" "Where is the art in Ten Years?" Hung said that he cannot believe that Ten Years would be better than Little Big Master, which is based up on a real-life story. He asked the judges to "examine their consciences to see why they voted for Ten Years."

- Legislative Councilor Leung Mei-fun wrote: "Derek Yee is the Hong Kong Film Awards Association chairman. At the awards ceremony, he spoke in praise of this pro-Hong Kong independence film. In order to divert attention, he spoke against my criticisms of this movie several months ago. He said that I shouldn't have articulated my thoughts about this film. I am astonished. I am not acquainted with Director Yee, although I have heard of his name before. I did not expect him to make some unreasonable accusations in this matter of utmost importance.

Ten Years is a film shown publicly in the cinemas with tickets being sold to the general public. If the film does not want to listen to dissident opinions, the producers should have held closed-door sessions for pro-Hong Kong independence people only. As a legislator, I have to denounce the flaws of a film that was selling Hong Kong independence and proposing ideas such as 'The reason why Hong Kong hasn't gotten democracy is that nobody has died yet.' During my eight years in politics, I have criticized many people. None of them won any awards for what they said or did. Director Yee ought to think about why such a film won the Best Film award at the association that he chairs instead of making pathetic digressions."

- (HKG Pao) Director John Woo had served five years as Hong Kong Film Awards Association chairman. He said that Ten Years should not have won Best Film. He speculated that a small number manipulated the process. "Because Ten Years drew certain critical comments beforehand, so certain people like to vote as contrarians. The more you don't like it, the more they will vote for it. When a small group of people vote this way, and the rest of the votes are objectively voted among other movies, Ten Years took the award. Not even the Hong Kong Film Awards Association can control this voting system."

- Pity the other four Best Film nominees: Little Big Master; The Taking of Tiger Mountain; Ip Man 3; and Port of Call. All the efforts that they put into their work meant nothing in the face of a political decision. Especially Port of Call, which was clearly the Best Film given that it swept most of the other major categories.

- Let me tell you the latest joke:

Once upon a time, the gay director Kenneth Ip (Shu Kei) encouraged a group of students to produce five student film exercises and used language to package this into a movie. At a famous film award, it was able to win the Best Film Award in spite of not being nominated in any of the professional categories. Isn't this a joke? Isn't this child's play?
It is even funnier when one of the young directors who went on stage to pick up the award admitted that he was technically unskilled.
The funniest part was that even the chairman of the film awards ceremony said that the small circle of judges were acting emotionally when they gave the award to this micro-movie.
If you should ever come across this Film Award show again,  you should remember how much it is like kindergarten.

- (Headline Daily) I admire the courage and bearing of the organizing committee of the Hong Kong Film Awards. When they let Ten Years become a nominee, they never considered the price including the revenue from the mainland Chinese broadcast rights, the presence of tens of millions of viewers and appearances from topline mainland directors and actors. Even many award-winning Hongkongers chose to be absent, so that the hosts had to present the awards and receive them at the same time.

I support the Hong Kong Film Awards for not bowing down to the power of money in order to protect the freedom of artistic creation. But if the judges know very well that Ten Years is not worthy to be Best Film but nevertheless voted for it, they are bowing to politics and therefore sacrificing art to. If the Hong Kong Film Award judges really thought that Ten Years should be praised for its boldness but inadequate in artistic quality, they should have given a special award instead. If they sacrificed the other deserving Best Film candidates just to make a political point, they have given up their own objectivity. Ultimately, this is the Hong Kong Film Awards and not the Hong Kong Politics Awards.

- (HKG Pao) Some people say that Ten Years was a serious film. But its simple linear narrative technique makes it no different from those micro-movies on RTHK television. If a television show can become Best Film, it only shows that Hong Kong movies have stooped to the level of television. Should people celebrate when the film industry retrogresses?

Film-making is an art but also a business. Without a market, there is no investment. Filmmakers can win major film awards by making anti-communist films, but in the end they have to put food into their hungry stomachs. How far can the Hong Kong film industry progress without investment? If independent short films continue to win the Best Film awards in future years, the Hong Kong Film Awards will be as useless as the Hong Kong film industry.

Ten Years is not a commercial film. It made about HKD $6 million at the box office. Of course, it also costs very little. Compared to movies that make a few billion, this type of film will find it had to attract investors. After the film finished its run, it was immediately arranged to be shown at the twelve tertiary institutions of education in conjunction with discussion forums. So this film was never intended to make money. Rather this is a model film to be used as a political brainwashing tool. Sustainable development of such films require commercially viable conditions. I can say that this film is not repeatable. Hereafter you can only have such micro-movies given away for free over the Internet.

- Who is in the small circle of voters? Here are the qualified voters (HKFAA):

HKFA voters must be Hong Kong residents at or over the age of 18, holding Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards, and fulfill one of the following criteria:

  1. Hong Kong film workers whose names have been listed in a Hong Kongs roller credits under the following position(s):
    Film Producer, Executive Producer, Production coordinator, Line Producer, Administrative Producer, Director, Deputy Director, First Assistant Director, Production Manager, Assistant Production Manager, Scriptwriter, Actor/Actress, Dubbing Artist, Cinematographer, Assistant Cinematographer, Gaffer, Film Editor, Assistant Film Editor, Art Director, Assistant Art Director, Costume Designer, Assistant Costume Designer, Action Choreographer, Assistant Action Choreographer, Audio-effect Designer, Sound-man, Post- Production recording and mixing technician in chief, Computer Effect Designer, Film Score Composer and Lyricist / Composer for film songs.
     
  2. Current members of the following associations who have participated in Hong Kong film productions (his/her name is stated in the roller credits list):
    Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild, Hong Kong Screenwriters' Guild, Hong Kong Stuntman Association, Society of Cinematographers (H.K.), Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild, Society of Film Editors (H.K.), Hong Kong Film Arts Association, Hong Kong Movie Production Executive Association, Hong Kong Cinematography Lighting Association, Association of Motion Picture Post Production Professionals , members of other film associations invited by the Hong Kong Film Awards Association or affiliated members referred by Society of Cinematographers (H.K.).
     
  3. Current film critics whose critiques have been published in Hong Kong printed media within the past year by the time application received.
     
  4. Any person invited by Hong Kong Film Awards Association whose profession is related to film culture/ education or be the executive of Artiste Management/ film association.
     
  5. Any person who has been working for film distribution or promotion for not less than 3 years or his/her name is included in roller credit list of a Hong Kong film.

- The Hong Kong Directors' Guild voted The Taking of Tiger Mountain its Best Film, while the Hong Kong Film Critics Society voted Port of Call its Best Film.

- (NOW TV) Two of the Ten Years directors said that the award was made through a democratic system and they won because they got more votes than the others. So they don't understand why people are saying that there was a political hijack. They also said that they are not worried that their careers will be impacted. They said that they are trying to get the film shown again, but they haven't gotten any response yet.

- The news reporting seems to suggest that Ten Years was a runaway hit at the box office at HK$ 6 million over 58 days. Furthermore, the film was pulled due to political intimidation of the exhibitors when it was still selling out every show .

Let's look at the reality.

During the 2015-2016, Ten Years made $6.07 million. Is that a lot? It is a lot when the cost to produce this student exercise was merely $500,000. It is not a lot when compared to the other Hong Kong movies at around the same time.

During 2016, the most popular Hong Kong movie was Stephen Chow's Mermaid at HK$57.48 million.

From Vegas to Macau 3 was subjected to a boycott called by Civic Party because the director Wong Jing is pro-China. The film grossed $27.25 million in Hong Kong.

Even a film that nobody has heard of: Anniversary starring Stephy Tang and Alex Fong grossed $20.64 million.

So you get the idea that anyone who puts out any movie will automatically get $10 million plus at the box office. So in that context, $6 million is worse than average.

It is not limited to Hong Kong films. Here is the list of recent Hollywood films: Deadpool $61.71 million; Batman vs Superman $30.83 million; The Revenant $22.65 million; Kung Fu Panda 3 $20.65; London Has Fallen $15.63 million; Zootopia $14.88 million; The Danish Girl $14.29 million; Gods of Egypt $14.06 million; ...

- Hong Kong films are not in the doldrums. In fact, they have never done better. During the 2016 Lunar New Year, three Hong Kong films dominated the mainland Chinese market. Together they accounted for more than a 90% market share. Here they are: Mermaid 3.29 billion RMB; The Monkey King 2 1.19 billion RMB; From Vegas to Macau III $1.11 billion RMB. Whatever you want to think, the reality is that Hong Kong films are doing great in mainland China. However, the brouhaha over Ten Years may cast a shadow. If Hong Kong film professionals voted a film like Ten Years as their best film of the year, it shows that they are suspect professionally and ideologically. Would you hire them for your next mainland Chinese film? Without work on mainland China, most Hong Kong film professionals won't make enough for a living.

- The Hong Kong film industry is doing fine. It is just that the Hong Kong Film Awards Association has just killed its own brand.

- (HKG Pao) For one moment, they had a moment of joy because they thought that they had given the middle finger to the Chinese Communists. But what next? By forsaking professionalism, this Best Film award is a watershed for the Hong Kong film industry. The industry will hereafter be divided into two parts. In terms of capital, technology, producers, directors and actors/actresses, only those who are "qualified" will be able to access the world's largest film market of mainland China. The rest of the politicized local film workers will only have Hong Kong left.

- The directors of Ten Years say that the Hong Kong Film Awards has a democratic system. Well, it is a small circle of voters. If you want to see the people of Hong Kong vote with their wallets, you can look at the box office receipts.

Here are the top 10 movies in Hong Kong in 2015.
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron -- $133,061,397
2. Jurassic World -- $96,295,976
3. Minions -- $78,404,191
4. Inside Out -- $66,016,979
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- $65,511,534
6. Fast and Furious 7 -- $59,634,515
7. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation -- $52,970,115
8. Ant-Man -- $50,719,129
9. Stand by Me: Doraemon -- $46,891,675
10. Little Big Master -- 46,729,492.
The most popular 2015 Hong Kong film is Little Big Master, as voted by the most democratic manner possible.

- Some people say that film-making is artistic creation, so why should China be upset about a film? Why don't you make <The Joys and Sorrows of Young Hitler> in Europe, or <The Life of Osama Bin Laden> in America, or <The Wives of the Prophet> in the Middle East?

- Visual Artists Guild: Congratulations to the film "Ten Years" for winning Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Award. Salute to the Hong Kong Film Award Association! You are one of the engines that will save Hong Kong. Standing up for the "One Country Two Systems" in refusing to succumb to Beijing's threats is what will bring global confidence in Hong Kong. One must recognize that when Moody's and Standard & Poor's downgraded Hong Kong's credit ratings from stable to negative last month, it shows that China's blatant kidnappings of the booksellers has affected Hong Kong's global economic status while the Umbrella movement in 2014 did not despite dire warnings from pro-Beijing entities.

- Chop suey is a Chinese American dish that originated in Taishan county, Guangdong province. At the end of the day, the farmers would stir-dry their unsold vegetables of the day into one dish. So you toss Ten Years, Moody's/S&P and kidnapped booksellers in the wok, stir-fry it and you get your dish of the day.

- (Oriental Daily) Hong Kong Film Awards Association chairman Derek Yee Tung-sing has these things to say. About the controversy over the nomination of Ten Years, "There is no much controversy within the Hong Kong Film Awards Associaiton. The whole program was designed to appeal to many young people who are not familiar with the award system. Next year, the number of voters will be increased to 1,200. Even if a controversial film is nominated, we'll just let it be ... This time, Ten Years may not meet the standards on stage this time. But the judges appreciate the film for its boldness. Or maybe this was a form of encouragement."

Was this award being given out of spite? "Actually this is not the first time, but I won't mention the name of the other film or else people will think that I don't approve. But we creative types are very emotional and can easily let others influence our emotions. I don't think that there is a problem with the system. But it is the people who have problems. This time, they voted according to their emotions and they need to be professionalized ... Some people will vote for a film that they haven't even seen. So  what is this except emotionalism? As chairman, I am here to reform matters."

Will this affect next year's awards? "No. Don't be so pessimistic. I am very sure that such movies cannot be shown, because there is a regulation said that films must not affect relations with our neighbors. But who dares to say now? I hope that the Hong Kong Film Awards won't change its nature. At the next meeting, I will call on everybody to stay rational. Actually, when the Ten Years team went up to receive their award, they admitted that they were not sufficiently professional. If even they can get the award, then what is this award worth?"

- What an amazing awards show with so many of the winners being absent! Of course, they all knew that Ten Years was rigged to become Ten Years so they chose to be absent. Of those present, very few applauded and many were expressionless and even contemptuous.

- When it came to the Best Film award, they showed a collection of clips including "Hatred does not keep the faith"; "Nothing to watch here because there wasn't a single bullet"; "Is it illegal to speak Cantonese?"; "Don't say it because others are saying it; don't do it because others are doing it"; "Over the past ten years, what we learn the most are conspiracy theories; what we lost the most was mutual trust." Tsk tsk tsk. Clearly these clips were selected to make fun of Ten Years.

- Famous words from Joshua Wong on a previous occasion:

It is a trend for politics to override professionalism.

- (EJ Insight) April 5, 2016.

Chinese moviegoers have no idea which movie topped the Hong Kong Film Award on Sunday night.

Not that they could care less but even if they did, they would not know that Ten Years, a dark foretelling of Hong Kongs not-too-distant future, was the judges pick for Best Movie.

Chinese censors scrubbed all news about the awards ceremony and the compliant state media was only too happy to oblige.

Ten Years is banned in China, so youd be hard-pressed to find anything remotely related to it in the Chinese press.

Not content with the news blackout, Beijings censors tried their best to pressure the Hong Kong Film Award (HKFA) board into freezing the movie out of this years ceremony.

Chairman Derek Yee can tell you how much pressure he had faced since Ten Years was nominated for the award in January.  

Someone told me we have to avoid mentioning the words ten and years due to their sensitivity, Yee said at the awards presentation.

Then he quoted US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (the only thing we have to fear is fear itself) and defiantly announced the winner.

Thanks to a voting panel of more than 100 industry professionals, politics lost out to the creative process make that freedom of expression.

A small-budget movie about Hong Kong with a predictable but gutsy theme showed up the powerful mandarins in Beijing.

But trust their Hong Kong allies to find a way to disparage it.

Hong Kong Tourism Board chairman Peter Lam, a movie investor, said the win was unfortunate because Ten Years flunked at the box office and was not nominated for any other category.

It was a joke, said Pegasus Motion Pictures boss Wong Pak-ming, adding any film with a political theme can win an award in Hong Kong.

And former HKFA chairman Crucindo Hung belittled its production values, saying a low-budget film like Ten Years could not possibly win Best Movie.

By contrast, young Hong Kong filmmakers gave the movie a lusty clap and a standing ovation.

That said, the jury is still out on what impact the award might have on ordinary moviegoers who have not exactly embraced it, judging by its showing at the box office.

Ten Years had a short general release and some cinemas refused to screen it.

In the run-up to its debut, state newspaper Global Times called it totally absurd and a virus of the mind. 

The withering attack is not so much about the movie itself but what it represents to the business of filmmaking.

Increasingly, Hong Kong movies are joint productions with mainland interests, more than the other way around.

The underlying unease over a production that angers the central government is exacerbating fears Beijing might pull the plug on these joint ventures.

Industry veterans, ever conscious of spiralling costs, are leading the pushback against politically charged productions.

But as Ten Years shows, you dont need a mainland backer to make an award-winning movie if you can work within your budget.

And we can all thank heaven we are in Hong Kong where freedom of thought and expression was alive last time I checked.

The movie painfully depicts an inconvenient truth that some day soon, our freedoms will be history.

Theres nothing about it we dont already know, which is perhaps why moviegoers have not been dying of suspense.

But remarkably, Ten Years is excellently timed.

Pick a time in recent months or years that the movie is not spot-on about Chinas increased tinkering with Hong Kong from the reinterpretation of one country, two systems, the attempts to introduce patriotic education and a national security law, the crackdown on pro-democracy activists, the failed election reform bill, police overreach in the hunt for dissidents, tighter grip on the local media, etc.

Give up?  

- Chris Wat Wing-yin

... I am not a film expert, so I can't judge. I will use common logic instead. An athlete who won the 100m sprint, the 110m hurdles, the long jump and the discus throw was not selected as the Best Athlete. Meanwhile another athlete who did not finish among the medals in any of the individual events was named Best Athlete. How is the public going to be convinced? Where is the fairness?

Not the Best Director, not the best screenplay, not the best actor/actress, not the best editing, not the best music ... not even the best art, the best clothes, the best newcomer, the best visual effect ... nothing whatsoever, and yet it became the best movie. It goes without say that politics had trumped ability and technique. Films are not for dreams anymore; they are for expressing political attitudes. You can try to deny and deny, but it is undeniable. We are in the midst of a Cultural Revolution.

One of the competitors is <The Taking of Tiger Mountain> directed by Tsui Hark. This story is based upon a model opera from the Cultural Revolution era. Tsui Hark removed the revolutionary aspects and turned it into a tightly scripted fictional story. That is drama.

I have seen both versions of <The Taking of Tiger Mountain>. It is a good adventure story in the manner of the Indiana Jones series, or else Tsui Hark would not have bothered to adapt the screenplay to make a movie. What was the old <The Taking of Tiger Mountain> no longer talked about now? Why couldn't it be a classic like the Hollywood adventure movies? Very simple -- it was a political tool and nobody considered it to be a film.

For the same reason, Hong Kong movies are being turned into political tools. When this particular film is made the Best Film, how can all those who put their hearts, souls and money into creating their works of art not be thoroughly despondent? How can the Hong Kong audience not be discouraged?

It took Chinese films 50 years to escape the political clutches of the Cultural Revolution. Meanwhile Hong Kong films have plunged headlong into the abyss of 50 years ago. I can only say: Stupid!

- Who was the best Track & Field athlete at the 2012 London Olympics? You would think that Usain Bolt would be the automatic choice with three gold medals (100m, 200m and 4x100m) won in dominating fashion? What if they decide to give the Best Athlete award to Tetyana Filonyuk (Ukraine) because the judges want to express solidarity with little Ukraine against hegemon Russia? How much respect would you accord this Best Athlete award?

- (Ming Pao) Earlier it was rumored that TVB has purchased the television rights for Ten Years. However, TVB issued a denial. More recently, Internet users report that a high-definition copy of Ten Years has been uploaded to YouTube for free viewing. The Ten Years team said that this unauthorized uploading was disrespectful to to the five directors and all those film workers who contributed to the film. "We are very disappointed. We will immediately ask YouTube to remove the video and follow through." They said that YouTube to deal with this, but it takes time. So far there has been no result. According to information, the five segments of Ten Years were uploaded separately this morning and so far there has been more than 28,000 viewings already.

- Well, you're the same guys who were celebrating the demise of the Copyright Bill Amendment earlier. What happened to the inalienable right of Internet users to view whatever they want whenever they want?

- (SCMP) Ten Years can be tedious but its theme about Hong Kongs paranoia is not far off the mark. By Alex Lo. April 8, 2016.

Movies with an overt political message that smack you in head to make sure you get it are typically tedious. To this end, Ten Years does not disappoint. Practically every scene is a display of some Hongkongers paranoid anti-mainland sentiment, from a taxi driver being forced to speak Putonghua to a store owner berated by children for advertising his eggs as local.

Its not really a movie with a clear narrative but a series of vignettes about what life would be like in 10 years as imagined by localists and separatists. It suffers from the humourless literalism of the unartistic.

But, despite all that, it fully deserves winning the top prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Its a perfect product of our time, capturing many peoples anxieties and fears about creeping mainland dominance, whether real or imagined.

It is, therefore, by definition, a serious movie. None of the other competing movies remotely approach Ten Years social relevance and political importance at this time.

So, its been a bit like watching the theatre of the absurd when so many of the industrys great and good come out to denounce the film winning the award.

Politics has kidnapped filmmaking: Media Asia head Peter Lam slams Ten Years win at Hong Kong Film Awards

The awards voting system has been criticised as irrational and unrepresentative by Crucindo Hung Cho-sing, chairman of the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association, and Daniel Lam Siu-ming, head of Universal International, a large film production company.

Tourism Board chairman and billionaire businessman Peter Lam Kin-ngok said: Politics has kidnapped the profession and politicised film awards.

Clearly the movie touches a raw nerve. But lets not bury our heads in the sand by denouncing a political movie for being political and dismissing the fears and concerns it depicts.

Its too bad that Ten Years has been reportedly banned on the mainland. Watching this movie will help mainlanders, or any foreigner, understand better the angst of a typical youngish person in Hong Kong.

Whatever Beijings real or supposed intentions towards Hong Kong, our paranoia and fears are real enough, and are increasingly being channelled into radical politics, even rioting. Clearly, things will only get worse before they get better. For that, Ten Years may even prove to be prescient.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) April 18, 2016.

The owner of a Hong Kong film company has criticised dystopian film Ten Years, after it was awarded best film at the 2016 Hong Kong Film Awards.

Tycoon Peter Lam Kin-ngok who is also chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board previously said the award given to the box office hit was unfortunate for the Hong Kong film industry. He then appeared on a Now TV programme on Sunday criticising the decision once again.

If I told you a wonton noodles shop is the best restaurant in Hong Kong, would you accept that? he questioned.

The first film by a new director  is that better than Tsui Hark? The best directors? Is that better than those they make? he said. It is a matter of opinion, but to me, I do not accept that.

Tsui Hark won the best director award for the film The Taking of Tiger Mountain at the film awards in early April. It was also nominated for best film.

Lam added that a film should not be rewarded for the attractiveness of its topic. It is necessary for the film awards to discuss whether to change its review mechanism, he said.

Lam is the chairman of Hong Kong listed conglomerate Lai Sun Group, and the owner of the Hong Kong-based Media Asia Film. He is also a member of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference.

Despite Lams comments, a wonton noodle restaurant was named in the 2016 Michelin Guide Hong Kong/Macau. The acclaimed Wing Wah Noodle Shop was also featured on the official website of the Tourism Board.

Local netizens were quick to criticise Lams comments over the weekend.

Are wonton noodles not good enough for you? Please try to make a wonton yourself, a commentator who shared the news on Facebook said.

If all high class restaurants lost to one selling wonton noodles, it should be those restaurants who need to reflect on themselves, said another.

(Oriental Daily with video) April 3, 2016.

Yesterday "Four-eyed Brother" Cheng Kam-mun published a Facebook post titled "The battle of the Hong Kong Public Library: spontaneously remove simplified character books from the shelves in order to resist brainwashing." Cheng said that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department had purchased 600,000 simplified characters, including many children books in praise of the Chinese Communist Party. Because library space is finite, they also removed certain traditional character books to make room for the simplified character books. Cheng said that this was brainwashing of the next generation. Cheng called on citizens to spontaneously remove the simplified character books.

Cheng uploaded a video to demonstrate tossing the simplified character books into trash bins, slipping them into cracks between books shelves, stuffing them into the fire hydrant boxes, etc.

Internet comments:

- Legislator Wong Kwok-hing said that Cheng Kam-mun is being selfish here. Just because Cheng didn't like simplified characters himself, he is depriving all other persons from reading those books. "If you destroy these library books, you will be legally responsible and not Cheng Kam-mun."

- Cheng Kam-mun says that he hails from the city of Chaozhou, Guangdong province. And now he wants to fight against China and oust all mainland Chinese (including himself?) from Hong Kong.

- Yet another boycott campaign by Civic Passion? The last time they called for the people of Hong Kong to boycott Wong Jing's film, <From Vegas to Macau III>, that movie raked in HKD 27 million in Hong Kong and RMB 1.1 billion in mainland China (see #448).

- I also remember the case when the rumor first surfaced that Yoshinoya was serving radiation-contaminated Fujishima rice. Yoshinoya clarified that the company uses rice from Heilongjiang province, China. Immediately the localists aid that they would rather eat radiation-contaminated Fujishima rice than Heilongjiang rice. That was a perfect supporting proof for the WWII Japanese belief that they can always count on the Chinese to kill each other first.

- Simplified character books are used for brainwashing? Here is a set of traditional character books that is much more so than any simplified character book: The Selected Works of Mao Zedong.

- Cheng Kam-mun is confusing the message and the medium. He thinks that the medium is everything. You can publish The Selected Works of Wan Chin in simplified characters and Cheng would think that this will brainwash youngsters to become Communists.

- Cheung Kam-mun and his friends is going to dump 600,000 into the trash bins of the public libraries in Hong Kong. If you have to stack 600,000 books, how tall is that? Let's assume that each book is 10 cm thick. 600,000 books will be 600,000 x 1cm = 6,000 meters. You need a very, very tall trash bin to hold those books.

- The reason why some Hongkongers like to go to the Shenzhen Book City to shop for books is very simple -- there is greater variety. In China, they publish several hundred thousand new book titles per year. All sorts of specialist books are published because the mainland market is big enough. These books will not get published in Hong Kong, because the market is too small.

- Most books on Chinese medicine are published in simplified characters in China. Does Hong Kong want to shut itself out from progress in Chinese medicine?

- (WSJ) Guide to Hong Kong Schools and Education

The Hong Kong education system, overseen by the Hong Kong Education Bureau, is divided into three types of schools: government schools, subsidized schools and private international schools. There are more than 1,100 schools in Hong Kong in total; as of 2010, more than 1,000 of them were local government schools. Primary and secondary education is mandatory for Hong Kong residents, but kindergarten is not.

Government schools are fully funded by the Hong Kong government and teach in Cantonese and English though it is up to each school to determine how much of each language is used as the medium of instruction. Government schools are open and free for all children. There is a short application process in which students can select their top school choices, but assignments are generally made based on residency zones.

The English Schools Foundation is subsidized by the Hong Kong government to provide an English-language education, with priority given to students who cannot speak Chinese. Starting in 2001, ESF schools started switching over to the International Baccalaureate system, after years of using the British curriculum. As of 2010, there were 20 ESF schools with about 12,000 students enrolled. The schools are delineated in geographical zones and only accept students who reside in their applicable zone. There is also an admissions process, which includes interviews and an application. Preference is given to non-Chinese speakers, students of alumni and siblings of students. ESF schools all have the same fee structure, which runs from HK$58,100 (with a $10,000 deposit) per year for primary school to HK$89,250 (with a $16,000 deposit) for secondary school.

Hong Kong also has private international schools, which vary in curriculum and teaching style. With a focus on sending their students to foreign universities, these schools can be very competitive wait lists can approach 70 students per grade. Most international schools use an English-based curriculum and tend to be separated into the British, American, Canadian and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.

Many schools identify with a particular country (such as Singapore, Canada or France) and offer separate English and foreign-language sections. There are also an increasing number of schools that emphasize a compulsory Mandarin Chinese component, reflecting Mandarins growing influence in Hong Kong.

Here is the gist of the matter: At the international schools, they teach putonghua/simplified characters and they don't teach Cantonese/traditional characters. If Civic Passion doesn't like this, they can protest at the international schools.

Why are the international schools doing this? Because they want their students to be useful internationally. Knowing Cantonese/traditional characters is not useful internationally; knowing putonghua/simplified characters is very useful internationally.

- Chris Wat Wing-yin wrote about the mentally retarded people who started the Hong Kong National Party, and the Equal Opportunities Commission received complaints about her insulting that particular class of people. So everybody lay off Cheng Kam-mun's intelligence!

- Based upon my personal observations of many hours spend at the public library, I can tell you that it is not efficient to dump the simplified character books into the trash bins or hide them in the cracks. It is more efficient to hide them in plain sight. My observation is that nobody ever uses the English-language section of the public library here and yet that section is sizeable. So all it takes is to move the simplified character books en masse into the English-language section. The books have not been stolen or vandalized. They have only been misplaced. And the readers will not never find it because nobody goes into the English-language section.

- (Wen Wei Po) April 4, 2016.

Pro:
"It was effective and fun! Well done!"
"I went down to the Tsuen Wan Public Library and slid some simplified character books into the cracks"
"Set fire to them"
"Use markers to deface the pages of the books"
"Tear pages out of the books"
"Swipe some feces inside the books"

Con:
"Why are you picking on books such as The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Exegesis of Dream of Red Chamber?"
"Many reference books exist only in simplified editions. Why are they being destroyed?"
"This is what the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty did -- he burned the books and put all the scholars to death."
"Once this catches on, it merely puts a burden on the cleaning lady who has to carefully go through the trash bins to retrieve the discarded books. I am sure that she is going to be very grateful to Cheng Kam-mun for keeping her employed."
"It means that the libraries will have to hire outside help to look for missing books."
"Civic Passion leader Wong Yeung-tat's own novel has a simplified character edition. These guys change their tunes so quickly that they can't even keep up with themselves."
"Well, I think that the Valiant Warriors can always borrow Deng Xiaoping's Black/White Cat Theory: It does not matter whether a book is printed in simplified or traditional characters; it only matters that the contents of the book have been vetted by the Valiant Warriors to be consistent with Hong Kong values as only they know."

- (Oriental Daily) April 6, 2016. Civic Passion said that a number of police officers went to Cheng Kam-mun's home this morning, but Cheng was not there. Cheng was later arrested at a Civic Passion street booth in Central. Cheng was taken down to the Chai Wan Police Station. Several Civic Passion members are outside the police station to voice their support of Cheng. It is believed that this was related to dishonest use of a computer to advocate certain actions at public libraries.

- Cheng Kam-mun was not telling people to deface simplified character books. He made it very, very clear that he was only posting certain information onto the Internet for reference's sake. How can that be "dishonest use of a computer"? He can't be held responsible for what persons unknown do after reading his reference materials. The Internet is already filled with reference materials on making bombs, committing suicide, etc.

- (Oriental Daily) The Baptist University Student Union held a referendum on scrapping putonghua competency as a graduation requirement. 89% of the students voted to scrap putonghua. The student who started the referendum said that the will of the students is very clear on this issue and he wants the school to eliminate the requirement as soon as possible. By the way, the total number of votes is 1,544 which represents 12.17% of the student body. The rest of the student body went on with their studies and ignored this farce.

- Contrast with this.

(The Standard) April 21, 2016.

An elite international school that has produced three Nobel laureates plans to accept applications from September, with parents and corporations paying between HK$800,000 and HK$3.5 million for nomination rights. The Hong Kong campus of Malvern College founded in Britain 150 years ago is located in Tai Po's Science Park. It will take in 380 students from five to 14 years old for Years One to Nine classes for the 2018-19 school year. The number of students is expected to increase gradually, with the full capacity up to Year 13 set at 960. Malvern College has produced three Nobel winners James Meade, economics, 1977; Frederick Sanger, chemistry, 1958; and Francis Aston, chemistry, 1922 as well as the renowned author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C S Lewis.

The school only offers the international baccalaureate curriculum with focus on science and mathematics. Putonghua classes will be mandatory.

Malvern College does not teach Cantonese, because it is not regarded an internationally spoken language. Putonghua is where the future is.

(EJ Insight) March 31, 2016.

Apple Daily has been forced to apologize after running an advertorial featuring a renowned Hong Kong-based Australian artist who disavowed it. The newspaper said none of its editorial staff was involved but held an employee from its classified ads department responsible after an internal investigation. The employee has been suspended, according to media reports.

The investigation followed a Facebook post by Gregory Charles Rivers (河國榮) in which the 50-year-old Australian performer complained about being used in an advertisement without his permission. Rivers said he was approached in February to do an interview with Apple Daily in Jini Bakery Cookies, a local bake shop, on March 7. He was to be paid HK$2,000 (US$258) for expenses. He went to the venue on the appointed day and was quickly made to pose inside the shop by a photographer. Rivers repeatedly asked the photographer if the photos were going to be used in an article or in an advertorial and was told these were for the interview, according to news website hk01.com.

The interview lasted five minutes but Rivers said he did not check the media credentials of the interviewer who asked just three questions. The photographer did not say whether they were from Apple Daily. On March 20, Apple Daily ran a full-page spread of Jini cookies with Riverss image and it was marked advertorial.

A day earlier, the bake shop published a photo of Rivers on its Facebook page, along with a note thanking him for dropping by. The post was subsequently removed.

Netizens flooded Jinis social media pages with angry comments and expressed their support for Rivers. Jini Bakery Cookies has been dismissed as a copycat version of Jenny Bakery, a popular pastry shop which operates in Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.

(Jini Bakery Cookies Facebook) March 31, 2016.

Last night Jini Bakery Cookies published "A Letter to Mr. Gregory Rivers" on its Facebook in which their boss Eric Chiang Yao-ming explained:

It all began when our company worked with Apple Daily on an advertisement ... I asked the Apple Daily Advertising Department worker Terry to see if you will take part. He contacted a woman named Apple who claimed to be the manager of Gregory Rivers. After Terry sent her the advertisement, she said that Gregory Rivers has seen it, sees no problems and will take place. The asking price was $14,000 (Terry said that the whole sum was for you and the other costs will be billed elsewhere). I agreed to the price and arranged for the photo session. On that day, I was away from Hong Kong, so I asked Terry with whom I have worked many times before to assume full responsibility.

During the session, Terry used whatsapp to inform me that Gregory Rivers believes that this event was an advertisement/spokesperson and wants to stop. I was obviously displeased because your reaction was completely different from what Apple said. But I can't force you, so I said to stop the session. However, I did not want Gregory Rivers to lose anything on account of this, so I offered to pay the $14,000. However Terry did not want my company to lose money so he offered to call Gregory River's manger to see if the session could be completed at a higher price. We finished our overseas telephone conversation. Afterwards, he called me and said that the session was successfully completed after negotiating an additional payment. Our company wired two sums of money into Terry's bank account, one for $14,000 and another for $4,000 in additional payment. Although Terry insists on paying the additional $4,000 because he said that it was his mistake, I stuck to my principles of not wanting anyone else to lose money so I made him take the additional sum.

After my carefully analysis of the incident and seeing your whatsapp screen captures over at HK01, I conclude that the woman named Apple is not your manger (Terry told me that she is your manager) and she only paid you $2,000! She deceived you into coming to our company for a photo session!

After this incident, our company's reputation has been completely ruined ... At this time, this woman Apple has deceived you, Terry (at Apple Daily) and my company. After consulting my lawyer, I believe that this is a case of commercial fraud. It is a criminal act. I don't know if you have to join my company's lawyer to file a police report, so that the police can pursue this matter.

Internet comments:

- (Apple Daily) January 27, 2015. Recently Jini Bakery Cookies took out a full-page newspaper ad to say that certain people are selling their cookies under other brand names in an improper manner. Jini Bakery says that they only have two official retail outlets, one in iSquare (Tsim Sha Tsui) and the other in Tsuen Wan Citywalk. In the ad, Jini Bakery did not name the other brands. However, many people believe that this must be Jenny Bakery which is founded earlier than Jini Bakery.

Our reporter went down to Jini Bakery in iSquare. The worker there said that everybody who visits Hong Kong will buy these "Little Bear" cookies. They line up to buy from us every day." However, the reporter did not find any other customer at the time. By contrast, Jenny Bakery located in the next block had more than 100 people queuing up outside. One mainland tourist waited for more than two hours to spend more than $1,000 to buy more than a dozen boxes of cookies as presents. Because of the popularity of Jenny Bakery Cookies, many other stores have risen to sell counterfeit products. Rather than producing their own counterfeit products, they are buying Jini Bakery cookies and selling them as Jenny Bakery cookies. This is a violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

- (Oriental Daily) For the second day in a row, Apple Daily has apologized to Gregory Rivers. On March 31, Apple Daily's entertainment real-time news published a news report titled "Gregory Rivers's homemade cookies, free music video for ATV." However, the cookies in the video were computer creations which don't exist in reality. The video caused people to misunderstand and make inquiries with Gregory Rivers.

- Gregory Rivers spent more than 20 years licking TVB's boots and got nowhere with his career. But he is suddenly popular with Yellow Ribbons because of his anti-TVB, anti-government comments.

- Don't be silly. Gregory Rivers is a veteran performer, so he will always saying things that are wishy-washy. For example, here is what he has to say about the Mong Kok riot:

I found last night's Mong Kok riot to be ridiculous. Real Hongkongers don't do this. Everyone who participated in the riot used masks to cover their faces, so they must be bad guys. I have some suspicion that somone paid these people to use the vendors' issue to cause trouble as Hongkongers.

I pray that each injured policeman, reporter and citizen will recover soon.

You are right. It was wrong to say: "Everyone who participated in the riot used masks to cover their faces, so they must be bad guys.:

P.S.

Vendors should have the right to make a living (I like the vendors).
People throwing bricks at the police is ridiculous.
The police firing shots is even more ridiculous.

In a while, I will delete this post. It is a radicalized subject!

Can you figure out which side he is on?

- Elephants can fly if Apple Daily writers can be trusted to tell the truth.

(Huaxi Dushibao) April 1, 2016.

On the morning of April 1 in Sanpu village, Buyao town, Zhaojiao county, Liangshan prefecture, villager Ma Weiha sensed that his chickens and sheep seemed to be scared by something. So he went out to check and he found a panda hiding in his courtyard. Ma said that the villagers keep about a dozen mountain hunting dogs, and he was concerned that the panda might be chased and injured by the dogs. So he immediately informed the community director. Meanwhile villagers heard that a panda had been found. So they rushed over because they were all concerned that the panda might be endandered. So they used ropes to tie up the panda and formed a human wall to protect it. They also called the Forestry Department immediately. The panda was eventually released back into the wilderness.

(Apple Daily) Panda appears, villagers forcibly press it on the ground for a group photo. April 1, 2016.

Zhaojiao country Liangzhou prefecture Sichuan province villagers found a 100-kilogram panda in the wilderness. Many villagers were excited and they pressed the panda on the ground in order to take photos with this "national treasure." This was the second time that a wild panda has been found here. The villagers found this panda very interesting. After the Forestry Department was apprised, they immediately placed the panda under protection, and they planned to send the panda into the Meigu Dafongting National Nature Preservation Area.

Internet comments:

- Apple Daily does not have any correspondents covering news in mainland China. They have dozens of writers sitting in a large room scouring the mainland websites. The writers look for stories which they rewrite with angles that are more aligned with the political inclinations of Apple Daily. This is the kind of journalism practiced in Hong Kong today. There is absolutely no reason to spend any time learning journalism at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at Hong Kong University.

- When Apple Daily says that everything in China is fake, we encounter a philosophical conundrum. If Apple Daily is lying some of the time, then is everything in China fake or not?

- This Apple Daily news story is as dumb as it gets. Everybody in China knows that it is a serious crime to trap a panda and hold it under captivity. Such being the case, would you pose for a group portrait to be widely distributed by a newspaper? Is there better evidence for a criminal conviction?

- All this was supposed to stop in 1998 as Jimmy Lai promised, but it has actually gotten worse. A lot worse.

(SCMP) October 30, 2016.

The husband of the woman who last week threw her two sons then herself to their deaths from a Sheung Shui building said yesterday he had been a victim of media trickery and his own greed.

Chan Kin-hong said that in the days after the deaths of his wife, Lam Man-fong, 41, and sons Ho-wai, six, and Ho-yin, 10, he accepted money from a newspaper, spending it on prostitutes in Dongguan. 'I was tricked into allowing the newspaper to photograph me with the women. I was greedy for the money,' Mr Chan said in a television interview last night. He has become a figure of hate since the media scrutiny of his sex life.

Yesterday, Mr Chan, 41, was attacked by four or five men as he burned offerings to his wife and sons, who were cremated on Wednesday. Mr Chan said he was afraid to travel to the mainland since the newspaper and television reports on him and his family.

'I was set up by a newspaper. I was greedy for $5,000 which was offered to me to have my picture taken in bed with two women. I did it as a floor show to get the press off my back,' Mr Chan said. 'I'm sorry for what I've done. I know I've wronged my wife and my two sons. I deeply regret that what I did in the past caused the deaths of my beloved wife and sons. I have been sacked from my job and I don't have any friends any more. All my relatives have been keeping away from me. I promise to turn over a new leaf. I have to find a job soon because I can't depend on the allowance from the Social Welfare Department.'

Yesterday's attack came as Mr Chan burned the offerings at the back door of an undertaker in Winslow Street, Hunghom, after staff refused to let him inside. Passersby abused him as TV cameras filmed and shortly afterwards a group of men appeared and kicked and beat him. Mr Chan suffered bruises and a cut lip, but told police he did not want to report it. Mr Chan urged reporters not to follow him and said he was contemplating legal action against two newspapers for calling him 'names', and ruining his reputation.

(SCMP) November 11, 1998.

The Apple Daily newspaper yesterday gave over its entire front page to an apology for its reports on controversial widower Chan Kin-hong. Owner Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, who signed the apology, said the incident had been handled improperly, although he insisted the paper had not, as alleged, paid $5,000 directly to Mr Chan. He described the reports as 'sensational' and pledged a review of the newspaper's practices. 'The inappropriate way of handling the stories made the readers and the public dissatisfied and led to strong criticism. I and the editorial management of the paper are uneasy and sorry about it,' he wrote.

Mr Chan, 41, drew media interest after his wife threw their two sons out of a window before leaping to her own death from their Sheung Shui home on October 19. She was reported to be upset about her husband's visits to mainland prostitutes. Soon afterwards, Apple Daily printed pictures of Mr Chan in bed with prostitutes in Dongguan. It said it had paid $5,000 to Mr Chan's associates.

(Oriental Daily) April 2, 2016.

Hoi Tin Tong filed a lawsuit against Apple Daily three years ago about a newspaper report in which Hoi Tin Tong was accused of selling rotten turtle jelly. During the civil trial, it was revealed that Hoi Tin Tong's former partner Choi Kwok-keung had provided the information to Apple Daily. The High Court ordered Apple Daily to turn over the unedited video to Hoi Tin Tong. However, Apple Daily appealed to the Court of Appeals.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals said that the courts will protect the confidentiality of sources for the sake of public interest. However if the newspaper had already disclosed the identities of the sources, then it can no longer use that as a reason. In this case, Apple Daily published a video in which Choi Kwok-keung was identified as the source who brought the reporter to Hoi Tin Tong to film how a female worker processed the rotten turtle jelly. The video also showed the name badge of that female worker. Choi Kwok-keung also admitted that he arranged for the Apple Daily reporter to meet with the female worker.

The Court of Appeals also said that the sworn statement by the Apple Daily reporter did not address anything about leaking the identifies of Choi Kwok-keung and the female worker. In considering this case, the courts noted that the sworn statements did not say that other sources have to be protected besides those who are already know. Therefore the court ruled the High Court was correct in ruling that Apple Daily must provide the original video to Hoi Tin Tong.

Internet comments:

- (YouTube) Apple Daily, September 12, 2013.

When the video began, the ID badge of the female worker was made fuzzy. The video was said to be taken by a hidden camera and the voice was distorted.

Once into the video, the protocol was tossed into the wind. For example, at 1:21, you can see the name of the female employee very clearly.

In a case like this, the stakes are very high because a company can be destroyed. Guilty or not, the company will file a lawsuit. Everything about this report should have been reviewed many times by the reporter, editors and lawyers. How can this sort of elementary mistake be missed? You get the sense that they don't care at all. This is because so far the advertising revenues have far outstrip the costs. For example, you can be fined for inaccurate reporting but the costs are less than one full-page advertisement for one day.

- (Wen Wei Po) April 1, 2016. Apple Daily was ordered to pay $100,000 in court fees.

- But that still pales in the wake of the HK$1,660.8 million in revenue.

(HKG Pao) April 22, 2016.

Last week Apple Daily published an article titled: "Winnie Tam: Leave the bootlicking to Junius Ho." In the interview, Bar Association chairperson Winnie Tam was quoted as saying: "There are many bootlickers. Look at Junius Ho. Leave it to him, right?" Last night Junius Ho disclosed on his Facebook that Winnie Tam has apologized to him. However, Tam said that the report title did not represent her views and she will ask Apple Daily to clarify and apologize.

Ho said that Tam was astonished by the report title. The interview had gone on for three hours, and she does not how Ho was mentioned and she does not recall what she said. But she clarified that she has always thought that Ho spoke sincerely and responsibly. She will ask Apple Daily to clarify and apologize.

Ho said that he and Tam were acquainted 31 years ago. They are good friends and he does not believe that Tam would deliberately hurt or smear him. He accepted Tam's apology and "felt at ease." Tam is overseas at this time, but they will have lunch together once she returns home. Ho said that the Apple Daily has hurt both of them, and they will discuss joint action.

(SCMP) March 29, 2016.

A new group appearing to be at the extreme end of the localism movement is setting up a party to turn Hong Kong into an independent republic, swiftly inviting scepticism across the political divide.

Calling itself the Hong Kong National Party, the group said it would not recognise the Basic Law, the citys mini-constitution, a stance that could have it mired in legal trouble.

Led by former Occupy Central activist Chan Ho-tin, the National Party will use whatever effective means available to push for independence, including fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September and co-ordinating with other pro-independence localist groups.

Staging marches or shouting slogans is obviously useless now. Regarding using violence, we would support it if it is effective to make us heard, said Chan at a press conference he conducted alone on Monday at a flat in a Tuen Mun factory building.

He claimed the party was funded entirely by the donations of its 50-plus members, mostly university students and young activists.

On the Hong Kong Nation:

1. What is the Hong Kong Nation?

Just holding values, culture and habits similar to Hongkongers isn't sufficient to become a member of the Hong Kong nation. The Hong Kong Nation are those who are dissatisfied with the colonial oppression of Hong Kong by China and want this oppression to stop or disappear.

2. The mainstream and the margins are all in the Hong Kong Nation.

It is an undeniable fact that Hongkongers are Chinese people from Guangdong and their descendants. But history tells us that regional culture is inseparable from unique national characteristics. The Guangdong Chinese who were born and raised in Hong Kong will be known and regarded by the mainstream Hongkongers as more "Hongkonger" than those who speak putonghua or are non-Chinese residents.

Of course, we agree that persons of any nationality, color or race can become Hongkongers. But we must admit that non-Guangdong Chinese people are more marginal, so that they will have to spend more effort before they can be regarded as Hongkongers in practice. This reality cannot be altered in the short run, but it shows that the Hong Kong Nation has its own language and race. This can be frequently found in other nations. We believe that the nation should be restricted by race, but we also agree that a nation cannot be formed without any racial factors. We welcome persons of any race to become a member of the Hong Kong Nation by their efforts.

3. Naturalization is one way to become the Hong Kong Nation

Presently the Hong Kong Communist colonial government is using the one-way-visas and the births of infants whose parents are not Hong Kong residents to cleanse the Hong Kong Nation through a large-scale racial genetic transformation. Before the Hong Kong Nation retakes its own sovereignty, any immigrant approved by the Hong Kong Communist colonial government is an immigrant tool of the Chinese Communists.

Hongkongers do not have sovereignty and therefore cannot screen the values and cultural levels of the immigrants. Presently they are unable to block the immigrants. But any newly arrived immigrant in Hong Kong must go through a naturalization process before that meet the conditions to become part of the Hong Kong Nation. New immigrants must melt into the Hong Kong community through learning Hong Kong values and culture before they can become a member of the Hong Kong Nation.

4. Opposing colonialism is a universal value

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights both have Articles that recognize the right of each nation for self-determination and that colonial imperialism is an evil act that isn't allowed by the international community. Every nation which was oppressed by colonialism, including Hong Kong, should have the right for self-determination. We support the Hong Kong Nation in order to let the world know that the Hong Kong Nation was to shrug off Chinese colonization and become independent and self-sufficient.

5. Hongkongers are not part of the Chinese Nation

The Chinese Nation is a deformed concept for nationhood. It is a political tool used by the Chinese colonists to rule. The Manchurian Empire used territorial boundaries to muddle up the definitions of nations, using economic and military invasions, religious and cultural infiltration to transform cultures and customs and destroying the sovereignty and uniqueness of the various nations and forcing them into submission. The Chinese Communists continued with the Manchurians' colonial policies to now. China used these excuses to invade and oppress the neighboring countries. Historically Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet and now Hong Kong today are the victims of the Chinese Nation.

The Chinese colonialists often used racial characteristics to distinguish among races, so that they came up with absurd ideas such as "all those with yellow skin and dark eyes are Chinese." Today in Hong Kong, some people still think that they are "Chinese" which showed that they lack consciousness of Hong Kong nationhood. In the 1980's, the Hong Kong Nation was misled by the Greater China advocates, and their "democratic return to China" actually deprived the Hong Kong Nation of the right for self-determination.

Video: Press conference about the establishment of the Hong Kong National Party. March 28, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beC4MK6j5Ac

(SCMP) March 30, 2016.

Beijings office in charge of Hong Kong affairs has slammed the establishment of a new political party advocating independence for the city as a serious violation of the countrys constitution, the Basic Law and a threat to national security.

The State Councils Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issued a strongly worded statement through the official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday, after the Hong Kong National Party announced its formation on Monday. It has yet to be registered. The party, led by former Occupy activist Chan Ho-tin, has pledged to push for independence by, for example, fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September.

The establishment of a pro-independence party by an extremely small group of people in Hong Kong has harmed the countrys sovereignty and security, as well as endangered the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, a spokesman for the office was quoted as saying. It has also harmed the interests of Hong Kong. It is firmly opposed by all Chinese nationals, including some seven million Hong Kong people. It is also a serious violation of the countrys constitution, Hong Kongs Basic Law and the relevant existing laws.

The office said the Hong Kong government would handle the matter according to the law. We are aware that the Hong Kong SAR government has already rejected the partys registration. It was a suitable action, the office was quoted as saying.

But the party was undeterred. It issued a statement on Wednesday saying a constitution is supposed to serve as a proclamation on how citizens are to be protected. It is ridiculous that the citizens are accused of violating the constitution, the party said. It also dismissed as ridiculous a warning on Tuesday by the Department of Justice that it might take legal action against the party. We will not be afraid of such draconian laws. Bring it on. We will push ahead with Hong Kong independence with Hong Kong people, the party said.

A government spokesman replied: Any suggestion that Hong Kong should be independent or any movement to advocate such independence is against the Basic Law, and will undermine the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and impair the interests of the general public. The SAR government will take action according to the law.

Political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said Beijings condemnation was unnecessary because pro-independence ideology had not gained support in the city. The statement would in fact drive more Hong Kong people to care about the issue of independence. They may not support it but they will think about it, Lau said.

Internet comments

- (NOW TV) The Hong Kong National Party says that they have 30 to 50 members at this time, half of them being university students. The convener Chan Ho-tin was the convener of the Polytechnic University Concern Group For Withdrawing From The Hong Kong Federation of Students. Chan said that the Hong Kong National Party will actively think about entering the Legislative Council elections. They do not exclude the possibility of working with other Localist groups.

- (Oriental Daily) How do you squeeze the toothpaste out of an empty tube? The press asked Chan Ho-tin how many members were in the Hong Kong National Party. Chan beat around the bush for a while. When finally pressed to the wall, he said that they have 30 to 50 members. What asked who these people are, he eventually said that half of them are students. But he won't say what the other half is. When asked where the money comes from (for example, to rent the office at which the press conference was being held), Chan said that all their members are funders.

- Chan Ho-tin graduated from Polytechnic University six months ago. He is working full-time on the Hong Kong National Party. Is there more money in political party building than a regular job?

- The Hong Kong National Party opposes Hong Kong Basic Law Article 1, which states that Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China. The reasoning is that Hong Kong began functioning as a port in 1841, which was before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

- When the Hong Kong Nation is founded, we must immediately start a racial cleansing campaign to get rid of all impure, inferior racial types such as new mainland Chinese immigrants and South Asians!

- After the Hong Kong Nation is founded, the new immigrants (=all those who came to Hong Kong after July 1, 1997) will not automatically become Hong Kong Nation citizens. Instead they will go through special screening and subject to re-education if they fail to meet the requirements.

- What requirements? Firstly, there is the language test on reading/writing traditional Chinese characters, and speaking/listening to Kong-style Cantonese. Secondly, there is the new Constitution and the revised history of the Hong Kong Nation where Year Zero is 1841

- Culture always starts with the cuisine. In the Hong Kong Nation, the national foods shall be curry fish balls, shumai, fried pork intestine, chicken feet, fake shark fin soup, rickshaw noodles, milk tea, pineapple bread, etc. All the foods of the Chinese colonizers will be banned, including Peking duck, Yangchow fried rice, Guangdong roast goose, Chung King hot pot, Wan Nam rice noodles, Shanghai stir fried thick noodles, Shan Tung dumplings, Sichuan wontons, Mongolian lamb, Lan Chow Beef Noodles, etc.

- But what should we do about French fries, French toast, Taiwanese beef noodles, American/Swiss cheese, American pie, Brussels sprouts, Norwegian/Scottish salmon, New York cheese cake, London broil, Hungarian goulash, etc?

- It is not necessary to ban all these traditional dishes. We only have to rename them. For example, Peking duck becomes Tsim Sha Tsui duck, Yangchow fried rice becomes Cheung Chau fried rice, etc. See Freedom Fries.

- (Wikipedia) The genuine indigenous Hong Kong people are the five families with the names, Tang, Hau, Pang, Liu and Man during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). These are the earliest recorded settlers of Hong Kong. It is still an open question whether the revised history of the Hong Kong Nation will begin with these aborigines or the British rule.

- Those who were born in mainland China but came before July 1 1997 are Communist infiltration agents. It is true that some of them may be genuine. But during a state of emergency, there won't be time to sort things out. About 30% to 40% of all Hong Kong residents were born in mainland China. The simple solution is to march them to the border or order to march to the other side. If they won't move, fire machine guns into the air. If they still won't move, fire machine guns at them. They will all be gone, one way or the other. Hong Kong will be a much better place to live in. Housing prices will plummet and everyone will have at least one apartment. Food and water will be easy to find. Jobs will be begging for workers and wages will go through the roof. Happy days will be here.

- About seven percent of those with right of abode are not of Chinese ancestry. Unfortunately, many of them can't pass the civic test on the language, history and culture. We will need the support of the United Nations Security Council members (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, etc) to recognize the Hong Kong Nation, so their citizens will be allowed to stay if they wish. But all others (such as Indians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Indonesians, etc) will be given a short period of time to pack up and go home where they belong. 

- Even if you were born in Hong Kong, you will still have to be screened based upon your personal history (e.g. schooling, your work, your family, your associates, etc). After all, CY Leung was born in Queen Mary Hospital and studied at King's College/Polytechnic University during the British colonial era. So if you attended the pro-China Pui Kiu Middle School, you will be on the list of excluded people; if you work as a policeman, you are excluded; if your retired father worked as a policeman, you are excluded; if your wife works for the Bank of China, you are excluded; etc).

- It is less important to define who is a Hong Kong Nation citizen. The important thing is to persuade others to join the Hong Kong Nation. But no exceptions should be given to anyone born in mainland China or whose parents were born in mainland China. These vermin belong to the hostile invasion forces sent down here by the Communists.

- The more important point is to get people to join the Hong Kong Nation. As for those who refuse to join the Hong Kong Nation, they will be judged by People's Court and declared to be Enemies of the People. It is expected that a state of emergency will exist during the first days of the Hong Kong Nation. All Enemies of the State will be interned, expelled or executed.

- After the Revolution takes place, it is likely that there will be a great deal of hardship due to the embargo by mainland China. If a referendum/plebiscite were held, it is likely that the Chinese Reunification Party will make a clean sweep. Therefore, Article 1 of the Constitution of the Hong Kong Nation must necessarily be: "Hong Kong is an inalienable part of the Hong Kong Nation."

- Basic Law Article 2 about the National People's Congress will be erased.

- Basic Law Article 3 about citizenship requirements shall replace "permanent residents" by "those born in Hong Kong, speak/write Cantonese and have passed the history/culture test."

- Basic Law Article 4 about "safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the citizens" shall be suspended indefinitely until as such time that all traitors and saboteurs are eradicated.

...

- (TVB) On March 28, 2016, the Immigration Department reported that more than 576,000 persons entered Hong Kong. Of these more than 170,000 entered via Lo Wu, more than 61,000 via Lok Ma Chau and another 90,000 plus through the airport. This is the reason why the people of Hong Kong are up in arms about! When the Hong Kong Nation is founded, all human traffic between borders will be halted pending studies to be performed by experts.

- Two types of people were entering Hong Kong at the end of this four-day Easter holiday. Firstly, they are mainland invaders. They obviously should not be allowed to come to Hong Kong and defecate/urinate in the streets/subways. Secondly, they are Hongkongers who spent their vacation in mainland China. They should not be allowed to spend their money over there. So sealing off the borders will be in the best interests of the Hong Kong Nation.

- When the inevitable collapse of China occurs and the Hong Kong Nation comes into existence, we must be prepared to immediately form a Committee of Public Security/Revolutionary Tribunal. All existing laws should be vacated. In the interregnum, there should be a Law of 22 Prairial, which will forbid persons to employ counsel for their defense, disallow the hearing of witnesses and make death the sole penalty.

- The assumption is often made that when the Hong Kong Nation comes into being, the first task is to immediately convert all the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) into embassies. At this time, there are 12 HKETOs outside the Greater China region (in Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Jakarta, London, New York City, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, and Washington DC). and eight in the Greater China Region (including one in Taiwan). Looking at this line up, it looks like we need to set up offices in Moscow, Paris, Sao Paulo, Mexico City Johannesburg, New Dehli, Rome, Madrid, Stockholm, etc pretty soon in order to cover all the majors.

- You can't declare your overseas offices as embassies on their own. You have to establish diplomatic ties with the home countries first. What makes you think that they will risk making enemies with China?

- There is so much preparation work that the Hong Kong National Party must perform in anticipation of Independence Day. Everything costs money (e.g. the rent for the office in the Tuen Mun industrial building), so it is time for all future Hong Kong Nation citizens to donate money to the Cause. Since they have neither corporate regisration nor bank account (because the name Hong Kong National Party contravenes the Basic Law), they will accept cash donations only.

- Of course, the reason why they have to field a candidate for the Legislative Council elections is that the job pays $93,000 per month plus another $100,000 for staffing. By comparison, the average starting salary for a recent university graduate is only $11,000.

- More evidence that there is plenty of money to be made in the Hong Kong independence industry:

These Civic Passion t-shirts are being sold at $380 per piece. It is for certain that these t-shirts are not made in Hong Kong. It is more likely that they produced in China for less than $10 apiece.

- The share of voters for the radical Localists is fixed. More and more organizations coming in means greater fragmentation of the fragments. From here to September, it will be Localists attacking other Localists.

- Here is the catalog of messages:

"Donate more money!"
"Democracy can solve all problems!"
"University students rule!"
"I am your savior!"
"Chicken soup of the soul!"
"Yes! Yap Yat-tze fucking said David Tang said fucking whatever!"
"You are the pig, not me!"
"Born in a time of chaos, I have to eat buffet!"
"It's all the fault of the government!"
"America/Japan are the best! We're the worst!"
"When big brother tells me to break the law, I do it immediately!"

- (SCMP) Independence party founders are both clowns and criminals and their poison is spreading. By Alex Lo. March 31, 2016.

Its just a matter of time. A new extreme localist group has been formed, calling itself the Hong Kong National Party. It repudiates the Basic Law, the citys mini-constitution, seeks to establish independence for the Republic of Hong Kong and will use any means, including inciting violence, to achieve its goal.

Co-founder and former Occupy Central activist Chan Ho-tin said his party would use whatever effective means available to push for independence, including fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September and coordinating with other pro-independence localist groups.

Staging marches or shouting slogans is obviously useless now. Regarding violence, we would support it if it is effective to make us heard, Chan said.

I am no lawyer but it all sounds illegal. If you dont recognise our constitution, how can you become a lawmaker? If you advocate violence, any number of local laws including the public order ordinance and the crimes ordinance will suffice to define a criminal offence.

But the question is, how should reasonable people respond to localist groups like this? Should they be treated like clowns or criminals?

They certainly deserve to be laughed off the stage. But as they say, it takes a village, that is, the whole community, to stop something like that.

Alas, too many people in Hong Kong nowadays are only too happy to make excuses for such inexcusable individuals, exploiting their misguided efforts to spite the government, Leung Chun-ying and Beijing.

The latter are blamed for pushing people in Hong Kong towards extremism. I am not sure its really so simple.

But for arguments sake, lets say Beijing and the Hong Kong government are entirely to blame. Does it follow we should fold our arms, shake our heads and let the localists and their independence movement run berserk? Its not in anyones interest to let such a movement take root in Hong Kong.

Since independence will never be a realistic option for Hong Kong, nothing good will come out of extreme localism. This is a poison that is spreading in our body politic. But unless we can figure out a way to channel the anger and idealism of young people into fighting for more viable political goals, localism will look appealing to many of them.

- (Chris Wat Wing-yin) When my daughter first posted a message to a forum about "a Hongkonger wants to seek pen pals," she got practically no response for the whole week. Then she added "China" to her profile. Suddenly, she got many requests from all over the world, including Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Poland and Tunisia. So in the eyes of the rest of the world, Hong Kong is nothing but everything changes when Hong Kong becomes Hong Kong (China). Why are these people interested in Hong Kong? What do they write to my daughter about? She said that it was mostly about daily life but many people also asked her about homework exercises. Say what? What kind of homework would a Polish girl need to ask my daughter about? "Chinese!" These are young people who are learning Chinese (putonghua/simplified character system) in school and that is why they seek out Chinese people to become their pen pals. In this world, many people in faraway places are learning Chinese. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, some people are proud that they don't know Chinese (putonghua/simplified character system). Good luck to the Hong Kong Nation! They don't know how insignificant they are in the world until Hong Kong leaves China. At 13 years old, my daughter found out just by posting a message to seek pen pals.

- (EJ Insight) March 31, 2016.

Beijing appears to be sufficiently alarmed by the formation of Hong Kong National Party, which is advocating the creation of an independent republic and the repudiation of the Basic Law.

The SAR government promptly rejected the groups application for registration, warning that calling for independence is a violation of the Basic Law, the citys mini-constitution.

However, official condemnation of the group has only made it well-known over a period of just a few days after its establishment was announced on Sunday.

In fact, attacks on the group have fueled discussions about Hong Kong independence, prompting many people to consider the concept of independence as an option for the city as China tightens its grip on the territory.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office strongly opposed any action related to Hong Kong independence, stressing that the Hong Kong SAR is part of the Peoples Republic of China under the Basic Law, and the principles of one country two systems and Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy.

In an interview with the state-owned Xinhua news agency, the spokesperson said an extremely small number of people have formed a pro-independence group, threatening the national sovereignty and safety, as well as Hong Kongs stability, prosperity and basic interest.

Such action, the spokesperson said, is firmly opposed by all Chinese nationals, including some seven million Hong Kong people.

It is also a serious violation of the countrys constitution, Hong Kongs Basic Law and the relevant existing laws.

The office said the SAR government would handle the matter according to the law, and praised it for refusing to register the group.

Also on Wednesday, the official Global Times dismissed the National Partys founders as mere attention-seekers who want overnight fame.

The paper said the idea of Hong Kong becoming independent is completely unrealistic, and called on Hong Kong people to simply ignore the group.

In a way, Beijings reaction was completely understandable and expected.

In a place where there is no freedom of expression, where people have long lived under authoritarian rule, any concept that goes beyond the official line is considered treason, an outright rebellion.

But for Hong Kong people, the discussion of a topic such as Hong Kong independence should be protected by our laws. Hong Kong, after all, highly values its freedom of expression and thought.

Thats why we find it quite strange for the administration of Leung Chun-ying to issue a statement echoing Beijings official stance on the issue, warning that it will take action according to the law.

However, the government did not say which law it is referring to.

Even local legislators said the government would be hard put to find an appropriate law to sue the National Partys members for advocating independence.

Beijing is correct in saying that Hong Kong National Party is only a small group.

Not only that, it is composed mostly of university students and other political neophytes, just like Youngspiration and Hong Kong Indigenous.

Though lacking in support from established politicians, these groups have proved their strong influence among the youth in the district council elections in November last year and the Legislative Council by-election for the New Territories East last month.

In the by-election, for example, Hong Kong Indigenous candidate Edward Leung was able to secure more than 15 percent of the votes.

What apparently worries Beijing and Hong Kong officials is the profile of his supporters, which could provide some insight into the possible outcome of the Legislative Council elections in September.

Data provided by the electoral office shows that Leungs votes mostly came from traditional public estates in Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po as well as the Northern District.

The top 10 polling stations where Leung secured the highest votes shared the same characteristic, which is the higher than average number of voters born after 1990.

For example, in the polling station of Sheung Tak Estate in Tseung Kwan O, voters born after 1990 accounted for 23.1 percent, while in other polling stations, they accounted for 12 percent.

That indicates that most of the supporters of radical democrats with independence leanings were first-time voters.

This means that most of the young voters have a tendency to support Hong Kong independence, and this is what Beijing authorities are most worried about.

However, Beijings hard-line stance on the issue could only encourage more youngsters to register to be able to cast their votes in the September elections.

Based on the Edward Leungs 15 percent vote benchmark, it cannot be ruled out that radical young democrats can secure seats in the five geographical constituencies in Hong Kong, or five seats in total.

Hong Kong National Party may just be an appetizer in the emerging campaign for Hong Kong independence.

There is also a political party being formed by Scholarism stalwarts Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Oscar Lai, which will be announced in mid-April.

The new party has identified Hong Kongs future after 2047 as its key advocacy, which is probably another way of saying that they will focus on the issue of Hong Kong independence.

The three Scholarism stalwarts have deep experience in political struggle and enjoy massive support from the youth, so it is expected that their new party will be at the forefront of the discussion on independence.

Its highly likely that Beijings stern warning against Hong Kong National Party is actually directed at Joshua Wong and his new party.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) March 31, 2016.

Talk of independence for Hong Kong could bring forward legislation to enact Article 23, the security law targeting subversion and sedition which was abandoned in the face of mass opposition in 2003, Hong Kong University law Professor Eric Cheung Tat-ming said on Thursday. He added that he was worried that such discussions could touch a nerve in the central government.

Regarding the newly-established, pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, Cheung said that their stance may not conform to the Constitution of China and the Basic Law, but the suggestion that it severely endangers the country is an exaggeration, according to a report by RTHK. Cheung said: Its the same as you suggesting that defeat the Communist Party is against the Constitution of China, but this does not mean that people who voiced this kind of opinion have broken the law. The Basic Law and Bill of Rights protect freedom of speech.

The Hong Kong National Party announced its establishment on Sunday, and said that they were denied registration at the Companies Registry. They said we could not register because of political reasons, said party convenor Chan Ho-tin.

With the party not being a society or a company, those advocating for independence could be charged with violation of the Societies Ordinance, Cheung told Apple Daily. However, Cheung said that a lot of concern groups and alliances are also not registered. The government cannot enforce the law selectively.

- (Commercial Radio) Hong Kong University Students Union president Althea Suen proposed to adopt Hong Kong independence as a common goal, to gain the support of the international community and to achieve Hong Kong independence ultimately overthrowing the existing government by revolution or force.

- Yippee! Let Althea Suen lead the way on the assault of the PLA garrison in Admiralty! Millions will join and thousand will die, but the commies will be drowned with our blood!

- Sorry that you miss the message from Occupy Central! In a revolution, there will always be a division of labor -- some people will charge headlong while others will stay behind to take care of command-control-communications, logistics, propaganda, media relations, etc. In Althea Suen's case, she will serve best as the spokesperson interviewed by BBC/CNN/VOA/Fox News instead of throwing bricks at PLA tanks. When the bullets start flying, someone has to be alive and speaking from the American consulate to tell the world that we are being slaughtered, so that our sacrifices will not go for nought.

- The Hong Kong National Party has promised that action will begin within one month. What action? No, it's not armed revolution. Instead, they will begin to pass out pamphlets in the street.

- (HKG Pao) April 5, 2016.

The Shue Yan University Student Union organized a forum titled "Paths of Resistance Methods and Outcomes -- the Debate between Peaceful Non-violence and Valiant Resistance." The school declined to lend its facility for the event. So the event was co-sponsored by the Academy of Performing Arts Student Union. However, that school also declined to lend its facility. The forum was ultimately moved to the APASU meeting room. Both Student Unions deplore their schools for obstructing the forum. However, the Shue Yan University administrator said that the title of the forum was different from that stated on the application and therefore the Student Union broke their promise. Meanwhile, the Academy of Performing Arts said that they never received a formal application from the students. The students said that they had sent a Whatsapp message to the school.

The forum speakers were Chan Ho-tin (convener of the Hong Kong Nationalist Party), Edward Leung (spokesperson for Hong Kong  Indigenous), Chan Wai-yip (People Power), and Au Nok-hin (Democratic Party). The four were seated behind a glass wall while the audience watched them speak in the goldfish bowl. The school used the broadcasting system and posters to ask people to leave this unauthorized event.

(Wen Wei Po) March 24, 2016.

The staff associations at the eight universities held a joint referendum over three days. Today, they announced the results. out of 26,332 qualified teachers and staff members, 4520 voted at a rate of 17.2%. On the motion to "abolish the powers of the Chief Executive to appoint the university trustees/council members", 92% voted for. On the motion to "increase the ratio of representation of popularly elected teachers, staff members, graduate students and undergraduate students in the board of trustees/councils, 94% voted for.

The organizers declared that the approval rates were more than 90% across all the universities. This proves that the opinions of the teachers and staff members are "clear and consistent" across the universities. They said that they intend to hold a press conference next Tuesday about these results.

The voting in this referendum can be done by one of two methods. Electronic voting requires the staff association to first send a invitation to which the staff member must provide staff ID and other personal information to confirm before registration is complete for voting. However, Hong Kong University declined to provide the email file to the staff association on privacy grounds. Therefore the HKU staff association had to use their own sources to send out the invitations. Individual staff members complained that they received these invitations without asking and have questions about where the senders obtained their email addresses from. The other voting method is to appear in person at the voting booth, present ID and cast the ballot.

(Hong Kong Economic Times) March 25, 2016.

Internet comments:

- 17.2% voted of which 92.0% voted for the motion. What is the headline? "92.0% voted for the motion."

- Most of the newspapers took dictation from the organizers' press release. For example, Hong Kong Economic Times' title is:
"Referendum on institutional autonomy": More than 90% of university teachers/staff members agreed to abolish the Chief Exeuctive's powers to make appointments.
- At least, HKET put "Referendum on institutional autonomy" in quotes to show some reservation.
- The two tables inside the HKET report conveniently leave out the base total. That is, you cannot deduce the voting turnout.

- And this is Ming Pao:

More than 4,000 university teachers voted
90% agree to eliminate Chief Executive as Chancellor.

- The Ming Pao person who wrote this must be still asleep at the time. The voters were teachers AND staff members who don't necessarily teach. The two motions do not include stopping the Chief Executive from becoming the Chancellor. Wake up, already!

- A 17.2% voting rate? That is an improvement over the 17.1% voting for the 2010 mini-referendum! Democracy is on the march to victory!

- Deep down inside, of course, everybody knows that the response is tepid. Even supporters are embarrassed by the organizers using such headlines in their press release. It also means that voter turnout will be even worse the next time. Just take a look at the referenda organized by the Hong Kong University Alumni Concern Group:

September 1, 2015: Hong Kong University Convocation Extraordinary General Meeting #1 (#314): 9,298 voted out of about 162,000 alumni for a 5.7% participation rate

November 28, 2015: Hong Kong University Convocation Extraordinary General Meeting #2 (#388): 4,454 out of 165,450 alumni voted for a 2.7% participation rate.

And they are not going to hold any more of these Extraordinary General Meeting because of the backlash over the waste of time and money.

- (Apple Daily) The organization of this referendum is inconsistent across the institutions. At Chinese University of Hong Kong, the staff association set up two street booths (at the train station and by the cafeteria) operating during 8:00am-9:30am, 12n-2pm and 5pm-7pm. Student volunteers handed out leaflets to promote the referendum. At University of Science and Technology, Institute of Education and Baptist University, there are no booths and all voting is done over the Internet. At Baptist University, the only promotion is through posters on Democracy Wall and email.

- When the campaigners are spiritless, the result will be dispiriting too.

- "Institutional autonomy" takes two steps. The first step is the negation of the status quo in which the Chief Executive can appoint a number of of trustees and council members. Once the Chief Executive is out of the picture, who becomes the Chancellor? Who appoints the trustees and council members? There is no constructive proposal from anyone so far on this second step, because everybody knows that all proposals will be shot down by somebody or the other.

- In society at large, it is commonsense to say that the universities receive huge amounts of public funding and therefore they must be subject to oversight from the outside. So it will never be allowed to have the university councils and trustee boards be dominated by teachers, staff members and students. What is left unresolved is how these outside council members and trustees come from.

- The students don't have any proposals, because they are less concerned about the means than the ends -- they don't care who is on the council as long as it votes according to what the students want.

- The students can't spell out what they want. Sometimes, they want Person X to be hired; other times they want Person Y not to be hired. Their goalposts are moving around all the time, so they can't spell out what they want.

- HKU Council chairman Arthur Li met with "elite" students and made the comment that while he does not oppose teachers and staff members being involved in politicking, he said that it was wrong to hold a press conference during the school week. Why? Because it means that that teachers and staff members are taking time off from their regular business to engage in extracurricular activities. He must be referring to next Tuesday's press conference ...

- Digression: How do you reconcile this photo of people trying to go from Hong Kong through the Futian Border Crossing into China with all the talk about the People of Hong Kong don't want China?

- Hongkongers go to mainland China because they know that:
(1) you can't buy anything because everything is fake
(2) you can't eat food or drink water because everything is poisoned
(3) you can't find any entertainment because the place and its people are so backward
(4) you may find your body organs stolen
(5) you have no freedom of speech
(6) you are monitored by the Public Security Bureau the whole time
(7) ...

- (Wen Wei Po) March 27, 2016. In February, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Student Union held a referendum on "the Chief Executive automatically becoming the Chancellor" and "increasing the representation ratio of staff/teachers/students on the board of directors". However the project was ruled invalid due to improper arrangements. Although 24% of the students voted, it was pointed out that the ballots were incorrectly printed and the voter identity was not recorded.

Recently the CUHK Student Union held another referendum. 17% of the students voted and that was more than the 16.66% (=2,816 votes) threshold so that all four motions were passed at approval rates between 54% to 97%.

However, the votes came about only because the student union pulled a number of tricks. On March 20, the Student Union said that they will have evening voting hours "at the request of certain members." Also the referendum was supposed to be held on nine days (March 11-23 minus Saturdays and Sundays) but they suddenly announced that voting will take place on March 24 too "so that more members can vote." On the evening of March 24, voting was extended 30 minutes past the stated deadline due to "technical problems." This kind of unscheduled "extra time" is even more amazing that the "Ferguson extra minutes" that are routinely given to Manchester United.

In truth, the record showed the voter turnout was only 6.75% by March 20; on March 24, almost 900 persons voted and pushed the total to several dozen votes past the threshold.

Waiting for a mistake. By Chris Wat Wing-yin

Are the Hong Kong media sick? Are the Hong Kong reporters losing their minds? Why else are they reiterating the same mumbo-jumbo every day?

Nowadays no matter where or whom, as you as you finish speaking, the reporters will fire rapid questions at you:

"What do you think of CY Leung's performance? Do you support a second term for him? Do you think that the Central Government supports a second term for him?"

"What you think about John Tsang as Chief Executive? Somebody says that the Central Government has anointed our Secretary for Finance? Have you heard that?"

"What about Jasper Tsang? What about Regina Ip Lau?"

"Recently some people are advocating Hong Kong independence? Do you approve or disapprove Hong Kong independence? Do you think that Hong Kong can become independent? But some people say that it is possible? ..."

"What is your view on young people today? What is your view on the Mong Kok riot? ..."

In Hong Kong, every time that CY Leung, John Tsang, Regina Ip Lau, Jasper Tsang, Starry Lee etc shows up, the reporters will ask them again; when Rita Fan, Tam Wai-chu, Elsie Leung, Chan Chi-shi, Ambrose Lee show up in Beijing, the reporters will ask them again; even the financial news about shareholders' meetings, Li Ka-shing, Li Siu-kei, Ng Kwong-ching, Chan Kai-chung show up and the reporters are still asking them these things.

Isn't this bothersome? Isn't this boring? Isn't this annoying? Is there really nothing new under the sun? Do these questions have to be repeated again and again day after day? Clearly the reporters are waiting for somebody to make a mistake, or for somebody to lose patient and blurt out something straight. That is what news is made of.

Whether someone supports CY Leung for a second term as Chief Executive or not, and whether they support Hong Kong independence of not share the same answer: It is a waste of time to talk about it.

CY Leung has given no indication that he is interested in a second term. He is like someone who hasn't entered the Miss Hong Kong pageant, but every day people are debating whether she is beautiful or not? Elegant or not? Composed or not? Suitable to be crowned Miss Hong Kong or not? Don't you think that this is absurd?

As for Hong Kong independence, it is summarized as: If they want to be idiotic, why do you have to be idiotic with them too? The Castle Peak Psychiatric Hospital patient wants Earth to become independent of the solar system. Are we going to seriously conduct a feasibility study?

When the sun rises up tomorrow, can we stop having these intangible matters that have not happened or cannot possibly happen? Please?

News coordinator Fung Wai-kwong recently said that Chief Executive CY Leung is facing "character assassination" by the opposition on a daily basis. Commentators made fun of this effort to protect his master. But here is an example of what this "character assassination" can be.

Previously CUHK vice-chancellor Joseph Sung spoke to Ta Kung Pao. Sung spoke about his feelings when he went down to the Occupy Central site in October 2014: "... at the time, our only thoughts is that these students are like our children. We don't want to see anyone hurt, even sacrificed ..."

An Internet media outlet immediately seized on this to come up with their exclusive report titled: "One word in Joseph Sung's interview disclosed that Chief Executive CY Leung wanted bloody suppression of Occupy Movement." Where is the evidence?

I checked with a politician who is familiar with Hong Kong as well as the mainland. He said that some media outlets reported during the Occupy Central period that the central government was going to send troops out to deal with it. They even spelled out that those PLA soldiers will be coming from the Guangzhou military district. However, this person heard a different version: At the time, CY Leung guaranteed that the Hong Kong Police can handle the matter and he asked the central government to wait patiently for the HK SAR government to deal with it. CY Leung had the trust of the central government, and no PLA troops were sent. In the end, events proved that the PLA never came and Occupy Central was dispersed peacefully.

With respect to the Joseph Sung interview, he did not spell out what "sacrifice" refers to. Does it mean "sacrificing their studies"? Sacrificing their time? Or sacrificing their lives? Even if it is the latter, how did the Internet media outlet deduce that CY Leung wanted to do so? Logically the deduction is untenable. But in so doing, the Internet media outlet is doing "character assassination" on CY Leung as well as Joseph SUng.

The politician said that the Internet media outlet is moronic. If CY Leung wanted a bloody suppression, he would not have to wait for 79 days. Because Occupy Central was dragging on, certain Hong Kong media complained that the government response was too weak and they demand clearance by use of force. If the Hong Kong people and the central government both want clearance and this Chief Executive wants to carry out a bloody suppression, he would not have to wait so long for the Occupy people to disperse on their own.

Oddly enough, the Occupy Central instigators and the other principals have not gotten their day in court as yet. Meanwhile someone is already making a scare story out of some demonstrably false old information. Could it be that some people needed to raise the level of "character assassination" against the Chief Executive because they are interested in entering the election too?

(Hong Kong Free Press) March 24, 2016.

Press freedom in Hong Kong has declined for the second year in a row, with both the public and journalists believing that it deteriorated in 2015, a study by the Hong Kong Journalist Association (HKJA) has found.

Although the survey only began in 2013, the index is currently at its lowest, dropping 1.4 points to 47.4 for the general public and 0.7 points to 38.2 for journalists compared to the previous year. A total of 54 percent of public respondents and 85 percent of journalists believed that it has declined.

According to HKJA Chairperson Sham Yee-lan, journalists are usually more sensitive towards such changes but, when the public rating also falls, it shows an increased awareness of the problem.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP), which interviewed a total of 1,021 Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong adults between January 14 and 19. Questionnaires were also received from 446 journalists.

It was also found that journalists and the general public are of the view that self-censorship has become more common, with both groups believing that media outlets are concerned about criticising the central government in Beijing.

Many also reacted negatively to the purchase of English-language daily The South China Morning Post by Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba with 88 percent of journalists and 57 percent of the public believing that the buy-out threatened press freedom.

An overwhelming 97.7 percent of journalists also believed that the failure to prosecute those who attacked reporters during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014 harmed press freedom, while over 97.1 percent said the governments release of information at inappropriate times or through inappropriate channels was detrimental.

More than 94 percent of journalists also believed not allowing online media to attend government press conferences was harmful to the freedom of the press.

Sham called for the government to introduce a Freedom of Information Act as soon as possible.

That existing laws are insufficient to allow journalists to obtain the information they needed for reporting also renders undesirable effects on press freedom. With 10 being very adequate and 0 being very inadequate, the average rate for the public is 5.7 and for journalists 4.4, further 0.1 and 0.2 down from 2014 respectively, the HKJA observed.

Sham said that press freedom was pillar of Hong Kongs success, but it had been eroded at its roots, and was an indication that fundamental rights enjoyed by the public were being encroached upon. She urged the government to do more to safeguard press freedom, a right guaranteed under the Basic Law.

(Hong Kong Free Press) March 23, 2016.

Journalism students from local universities have been rejected from TVB News summer internship programme. Staff from Baptist University, Shue Yan University and Chinese University confirmed with HK01 that their journalism students had not been accepted as interns.

Shue Yan University Head of Department of Journalism and Communication Leung Tin-wai told Apple Daily that their students did not even get an interview.

TVB said that the arrangement to split the eight intern places equally between Hong Kong and mainland university students is the usual practice. The company did not confirm the rejection of local journalism students to Apple Daily but said that the interview process for the internship had been partially completed.

Last year, TVB News took on four local students for its internship programme, but at least two of them were not journalism students, HK01 reported.

Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) Chairperson Sham Yee-lan told Apple Daily that news media had independent decision-making power, but should not forget Hong Kong students.

HKJA vice Chairperson Shirley Yam also said that local news media should allocate intern places for local journalism students. Do mainland students know Hong Kong better than Hong Kong students? she asked. She also said that it would be a very sad thing if local journalism students could not practise journalism in Hong Kong.

The news sparked much debate online, with one netizen saying, when TVB stops taking local students, the number of students applying to journalism will fall, or even plummet.

(Kinliu) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. March 26, 2016.

After being quiescent for a while, the Hong Kong Journalists Association has re-surfaced with a research report that gave a failing grade to freedom of press in Hong Kong.

Indeed, there is less and less space for freedom of press in Hong Kong. Why? Very simple. You're the problem! Don't you see that the news reports over the past several years are only about you people pushing Yellow Ribbon views. Those who throw bricks, assault police, imprison others, break windows, start riots, disrupt society, destroy order ... become heroes, saints and angels according to you in full-page interviews, cover stories and special issues.

Have you ever seen reporters interview the policeman who fired the shots during the riot? The injured policemen? Did you read about HKU Council members getting their clothes ripped up? No. Instead we get to see the criminals talking about meting out justice.

Using the power of the Fourth Estate, the media has raised the lawbreakers onto the moral high ground, protected the criminals, hurt the citizens and wronged society. Is there freedom of press? Yes, but it is in the hands of the opposition camp.

Common folks who don't side with the Yellow Ribbons found that their voices are silenced. They won't be heard on radio phone-in programs. They can only send the news around the Internet bit by bit. As for the government's responses, very little is reported. If there was an one-hour interview, then one sentence will be aired and that is the sentence that you misspoke. Freedom of press? For most citizens, it was lost long ago. We don't need the Journalists Association to tell us now.

Recently RTHK invited me to participate in a program for Grand Reconciliation. I declined. The reason is simple. While RTHK is funded by the taxpayers, it is the instigator of these social conflicts. If you listen to their phone-in programs or City Forums, they are never fair and balanced. The ratio of voices is 9:1, with 9 being the opposition camp and 1 being regular citizens. Now they want to know how to achieve a reconciliation? The problem is with you folks!

Earlier the new media outlet HK01 threw out a lot of money to hire more than 300 people mostly from Ming Pao and Apple Daily. With staff people like those, you can imagine how "fair and balanced" they might be. The mysterious financiers are very generous, and they hired all the university interns that TVB won't hire.

HK01 purchased advertisements on the MTR and television. Their slogan is: "When society is riven asunder, everybody loses. So it is time to change!" Yet the first issue of HK01 has a photo of Chan Kam-lam and his family, saying that Internet users are encouraging people to cause trouble at the ice cream store founded by Chan Kam-lam's son-in-law. Thus they are indirectly promoting that campaign. So this is HK01's idea of "change."

In Hong Kong, we have genuine freedom of press.

Internet comments:

- HKJA vice Chairperson Shirley Yam said that TVB is not just a commercial business because it is regulated by the CAP 562  Broadcasting Ordinance. Therefore every one of its decisions must convince the public.

Chinese University School of Journalism and Communication professor Clement So said that TVB reserved intern slots for CUHK journalism students every year, so he is perplexed by TVB's decision not to hire any Hong Kong university students.

Have these people ever thought of what is the consequence of full disclosure? Let me imagine how this could happen.

First, TVB issues a statement to the effect that it hire interns on the basis of the best talents from among the pool of applicants.

That statement won't satisfy the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the university journalism professors or the student unions. They demand FULL DISCLOSURE now!!!

So what if on the next day, TVB uploads the particulars of all candidates, plus the video interviews. Here are some samples that I made up:

Candidate #1:

Gender: Male
Age: 21
Residency: Born in Hong Kong
University: Chinese University of Hong Kong
Major: Journalism
Languages: Two languages (English and Chinese), three dialects (English, Cantonese and putonghua)

Video interview:

Q. Many others of your generation have chosen to study overseas (United States, England, Australia, etc). Why did you choose to stay in Hong Kong?
A. Because this is the place that I have known all my life. I love Hong Kong and I want to be here forever.

Q. You are a Hongkonger. Do you have a Home Visit Permit to visit China?
A. I don't have one. I have never applied for one because I have never thought about going there. But I am willing to apply for one if I get this internship.

Q. ... only if you get this internship?
A. Eh ... I am not sure. It depends.

Q. What is the difference between Qianhai and Hengqin?
A. Eh. I don't know. They may have something to do with places in Shenzhen. I don't know.

Q. What do think about the unlicensed cooked food vendors in Hong Kong? Should they be allowed to operate?
A. The cooked food vendors represent a way of life in Hong Kong and they must be allowed to operate without interference from those government bureaucrats.

Q. Do you have a personal Facebook page? What do you write about?
A. Of course, every Joe has a personal Facebook page. I love to write about what I eat. I post pictures of every dish at every meal that I eat. I want to make a total record of everything that I eat.

Q. Do you have a Weibo?
A. No, I don't.

Q. Why not?
A. Because I don't know anyone who uses Weibo. And I don't know how to read or write in simplified Chinese characters. Besides I hear that everything on Weibo are lies. Why should I bother?

Q. Do you use WeChat?
A. What for!? This is Hong Kong. Everybody uses Whatsapp.

Q. Would you feel comfortable interviewing someone in English?
A. Well ... I don't think that will come to pass. TVB Jade is a Cantonese-language station. There is no reason to interview in English. If it has to be, then I am confident that I can read off the questions in a script.

Q. (in English) And I decline to make any response to any further questions at this time as I feel that you are maligning my character.
A. Eh ... (in Cantonese) I think that it is totally unfair for you to spring some English on me like this.

Candidate #2:

Gender: Female
Age: 22
Residency: Born in Suzhou, China.
University: Chinese University of Hong Kong
Major: Journalism
Languages: Three languages (English, French and Chinese), five dialects (English, French, putonghua, Suzhou (father), Wenzhou (mother), Cantonese (four years in Hong Kong)).

Video interview:

Q. On your resum, you claim to know French. How did that come about?
A. My father is a university professor in linguistics. He told me that the French language sounds very much like the Suzhou dialect that I grew up with in my family. Therefore I decided to study French. It is always good to open up your eyes to look at the rest of the world.

Q. With your university entrance exam marks, you would have been accepted by all the top universities in China. Why did you choose to come to study in Hong Kong?
A. I had lived in China all my life. What is the point of more of the same? I wanted to see what the rest of the world was like and experience the lives of others. Hong Kong is a midway point, because it is still Chinese enough not to be completely exotic.

Q. Tell me about Yiwu. What, if anything, do you know?
A. Hmm. That's interesting. Yiwu is a medium-sized city in Zhejiang province, but it has assumed mythic status in China as the city of trades. I have not been there yet, but this is one of the places that I mark down as one that I must visit. If you haven't been to Yiwu, you can't understand China. 

Q. What do think about the unlicensed cooked food vendors in Hong Kong? Should they be allowed to operate?
A. Hmm. As an outsider with no detailed knowledge, I don't have any positions. On one hand, people should be allowed to make a living without unnecessary restrictions. On the other hand, the vendors seem to pose some threats to public health and safety. This is not a Hong Kong-only problem, as the situations exist all around the world, whether it is my hometown Suzhou or wherever else. In the end, it depends on the particular details.

Q. Do you have a Facebook account? If so, please describe what you typically post on?
A. Indeed I do. Every student at the university has a Facebook page, and we are all involved in various special interest groups. My personal Facebook is a collection of the big world news stories. I find that maintaining such a Facebook forces me to keep up with what is going around the world. Unlike my peers, I am not interesting in posting about myself.

Q. Do you have a Weibo? If so, what's it about?
A. Indeed I do. On my Weibo, I talk about my personal experiences as a mainland students in Hong Kong. I have a following of about 20,000 individuals at this time. I will only post what I believe is useful or interesting to others. People say that while my posts are infrequent, they appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Q. How do you communicate with your friends? Whatsapp? WeChat?
A. If I have to communicate with someone, I will use whatever suits them. I can use Whatsapp and I can use WeChat. Whatever they prefer. The communication medium is only a means. The message itself is the ends.

Q. Would you feel comfortable interviewing someone in English?
A. Why not? At my university, most of the journalism classes are taught by foreigners using English. Our students are all supposed to be multi-lingual.

Q. (in English) I have doubts whether you can understand my articulations on this particular issue as they involve certain complex considerations of socio-cultural issues.
A. (in English) I believe that your statement is a test of my grasp of the English language and my ability to respond in such situations. I assure you that this is totally unnecessary.

Now the point is not so much whether you would choose Candidate #1 over Candidate #2 or vice versa. The point is that the lives of both candidates will be ruined forever afterwards when the data dump at this level is done. This is a serious violation of the privacy of the candidates. You don't really want FULL DISCLOSURE, or else nobody is ever going to apply for internship again.

- This is the same issue with the case of Johannes Chan, an applicant for the pro vice-chancellor of academic staffing and resources. If the university made a full disclosure of his entire C.V. plus all the comments from the referees, many people will see their careers ruined. You must have confidentiality in order for people to speak their minds freely.

- TVB has several hundred people in its new department. They are hiring eight interns for the summer to assist their regular workers and to learn from that experience. Perhaps some day these interns might be hired after they graduate, or perhaps not. Get real!

- What is an intern? The TV news broadcast hostess says that she needs coffee and the intern rushes over to fetch her a cup. That intern isn't going to change the lead story on 6:30pm news. Please do not equate intern hiring with freedom of press.

- Regular workers obviously more important than the interns in turns of producing news. Why stop at full disclosure of the intern-hiring decisions? We want full disclosure on the hiring of all workers at all the media organizations in Hong Kong!

- I consider it a far worst suppression of freedom of press if TVB's decision to hire a summer intern has to be approved by Organization X.
- The Journalists Association is the perfect illustration of suppression of freedom of press.

- The Heritage Foundation ranked Hong Kong as the top 'country' in the world on its 2016 index of economic freedom. But what economic freedom is there if TVB's decision to hire a summer intern has to be approved by a special interest group, the Hong Kong Journalists Association? PLEASE!

- (HKG Pao) Each year TVB's news department hires mainland student interns. But these interns are not taking over the positions of local Hong Kong students, because the former will be with the putonghua news programs while the latter are with the Cantonese news programs. Generally speaking, local Hong Kong student interns won't be able to speak putonghua flawlessly. Furthermore, the putonghua audience are liable to call in to complain if the intern speaks atrocious putonghua!

(Silent Majority HK Facebook) March 23, 2016.

The Hong Kong University Student Union misused freedom to speech to promote Hong  Kong independence, giving the impression that all the students agree with their union. However, this occurs only because the students have to pay compulsory union membership dues of more than $100 each. This was what gave the union millions of dollars a year to spend on promoting Hong Kong independence.

Last month, the incoming union president Althea Suen publicly stated that she supports Hong Kong independence, and the Hong Kong University Student Union magazine Undergrad published an entire issue on that subject. Last month, the mainland students at Hong Kong University began an eggs-versus-high wall campaign to stop paying their union fees.

In the past, Yellow Ribbon media such as Apple Daily and Ming Pao love to quote Haruki Murakami:

If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals . . . We are all human beings, individuals, fragile eggs. We have no hope against the wall: it's too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us -- create who we are. It is we who created the system. (Jerusalem Prize acceptance speech, JERUSALEM POST, Feb. 15, 2009)

After the Mong Kok riot earlier this year, the Hong Kong University Student Union declared that they will not abandon the rioters: "We will always stand on the side of the resisters."

So now with millions of its own dollars at stake, will the Hong Kong University Student Union stand on the side of the resisters who don't want to pay their compulsory union dues? Will they join the mainland students to overturn the system of compulsory union membership? Or will they crush the eggs and make an omelette?

Internet comments:

- (BBC) By Li Zan. March 22, 2016. ... After Althea Suen stated on RTHK that she supports Hong Kong Independence, a February 21 essay <Concerning the HKUSU president's Hong Kong independence statements plus detailed methods for mainland students to refuse to pay union membership dues> began to be circulated among mainland students." The essay said: "No matter whether she was speaking for herself or for the student union, the fact that she is the HKUSU president means that what she says will carry weight in society and this is a severe blow to mainland studnets at HKU." The sub-title of this essay: "Nothing about matters of nationhood is too small to tolerate." On the same day, the Resist HKUSU Compulsory Membership Fee Facebook was established.

Later that day another essay <Student Union, give me a reason why I should pay membership dues> was circulated. The essay said that Althea Suen can say whatever she personally wants to say as a matter of freedom of speech. The student union is supposed to be there as the bridge between the students and the university. Yet the student union has made a lot of decisions without consulting the students, such as "Billy Fung leading the students to charge into the council meeting and leaking the confidential meeting details," "laying siege to university council chairman Arthur Li," etc. "The Student Union merely communicated with certain students. So why should the other students who were not consulted want to join this union?"

The writer asked: "Why should students whose voices aren't being heard join the union?" The writer said that the student union cannot and does not represent all the students. Usually, the student union cabinet are all Hongkongers. The current cabinet ran with a big "Hong Kong Priority" slogan, with certain xenophobic attitudes. By comparison, their platform for non-local students is a very vague: "We will attract non-local students to attend union activities and melt into the Hong Kong University community."

The essay said that the refusal to pay membership dues is not intended to start a polarized war between local and non-local students. The authors of these two essays declined to be interviewed. However, it is clear that just about every one of the 1,200 mainland students have seen these two essays.

"... I asked cabinet members for comments, but there have not been any substantive replies. Althea Suen said that she has no comments because this matter is not progressing any further. As a student union member, I sent emails to Althea Suen, Internal Affairs vice-president Lau Chi-hang and the Student Union official mailbox, but I got no response."

So perhaps the discontent of the mainland students with the student union election/communication system, the compulsory membership system and the political directions of the student union will die down after the new president's comments. But someday the same discontent will rise up again.

- The Hong Kong University Student Union is too busy with overturning the university ordinance whereby Hong Kong's Chief Executive automatically becomes the university chancellor.

- Oh, previously, they promised that they would try their best to stop the constitutional reform for the Chief Executive election. They even occupied Central for 79 days. The bill was vetoed in June 2015. What a victory for the students and the rest of the people of Hong Kong!!! The students and the pan-democratic politicians that they would immediately trigger a new bill with their preferred civil nomination of Chief Executive candidates. It is March 2016 now. Not a single thing has happened. They have moved on and now the hot topic is Hong Kong independence in 2047. Universal suffrage is just so "YESTERDAY".

What this means is that today they may be saying that they busily engaged in running these university referenda on the chancellor appointment. They promise to get back to you on the compulsory student union dues as soon as that is over. But they won't, especially when it means that you want to take a chunk of money out of their pockets.

- Unfortunately the students have already paid their union dues before school started last September. Therefore the students can't get their money back.

- A vote of no confidence in the cabinet is better. If the motion is passed, Althea Sun will have to leave with her tail between her legs.

- A referendum is the best solution. The Hong Kong University withdrew from the Hong Kong Federation of Students after such a referendum. In like manner, the students can collect signatures to hold a referendum to make the student union fees optional rather than compulsory. If there isn't enough money to run the student union, then those who want to pay can pay $1,000 per person. Hereafter, the student union can advocate Hong Kong independence or whatever else, and everybody knows that they represent only their small number of dues-paying members and not the entire student body. That would put an end to any future controversy.

- Althea Suen said that membership dues payment this year is about the same as previous years, so there is no reason to be concerned.

- Suen was referring to membership dues payment that were made before last September.

- The students are habitually saying that government officials are numb and indifferent to the voices of the People. How would you characterize the response of Althea Suen and the student union? How is it any different?

- Actually, it's only the mainland students who are unhappy. The other non-local students also feel alienated. Many of the HKUSU announcements and statements are in Chinese only, because the student union people aren't comfortable with using English.

(Oriental Daily with video) March 22, 2016.

Last night at around 10pm at the intersection of Nathan Road and Shan Tung Street, two men and two women were using a megaphone to do their Shopping Revolution thing. Three men about 40 to 50 years found them annoying and told them to quiet down. The two sides argued. The two men and two women were attacked with punches and an umbrella. The police were called.

By the time the police arrived, the three men had fled. A 60-year-old man named Koo and a 39-year-old woman named Cheung reported head injuries. 40-year-old man named Chan reported pain on his face. 56-year-old woman named China reported pain on the back of her arm. The four were sent to the hospital. The police are treating this case as common assault which caused actual bodily injuries.

Videos:

Resistance Live Media
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCAJx02azL8
At past 10pm on March 21, the Mong Kok Shopping Revolutionaries were marching along Nathan Road when a man wielding an umbrella attacked and injured four Shopping Revolutionaries. The man then fled into the Sun Hing Building. The Shopping Revolutionaries pursued the man to the building, but the security guards blocked them from entering the lobby.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyNvz8gi5fM The men tried to leave by taxi.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_HnKYtsuys The Shopping Revolutionaries marched down the Mong Kok Police Station to protest police misdeed (namely, not telling the complainants about the case number).

Internet comments:

- Why are they calling the police when attacked? Don't they always say that the police are black canines?

- I thank the three heroes for taking action. Finally someone saw to it that justice was done.

- Everybody else knows that this was inevitable except those Shopping Revolutionaries. Furthermore, this will continue to happen again and again.

- The man escaped into the Sun Hing building. Where else? The Shopping Revolutionaries quickly gave up, because they knew that if they made more noise, the bouncers are going to come downstairs ...

- Attacked by a man wielding an umbrella? So they finally admit that the umbrella is an assault weapon.

(Hong Kong Free Press) March 20, 2016.

Student group Scholarism has announced the suspension of its operations to make way for the formation of a new student group and a political party.

Scholarism, which was formed in May 2011, said that it had been thinking about its future position since the end of the pro-democracy occupy movement in 2014. It said that its model of supporting political movements and student movements simultaneously needed to be changed.

A highly political Scholarism made us hard to get into schools to educate and organise secondary school students; as a student group it is hard for Scholarism to handle a self-determination movement which will last for dozens of years, it said in a statement.

Convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung said that he was able to visit almost 30 schools to give talks during summer breaks before the occupy movement, but he only went to one afterwards. Protesters would target him outside school premises, causing others to cancel appointments, he said.

After deliberation between members, it was decided that the group will suspect its operations though not disband.

A new political party to be formed next month was previously announced by some ten members including Wong and former spokesperson Agnes Chow Ting. The group will push for a referendum on Hong Kongs future. Meanwhile, a new student group will also be formed in around six months time, headed by spokesperson Prince Wong Ji-yuet.

The new student group will not intentionally politicise itself, as we wish for a new image, to drop the burden of the past, and focus on works about students, Prince Wong said. But if there are any [political] educational issues coming, such as TSA tests and teaching Chinese in Mandarin, we will continue to follow up.

Of the 120 current members, 30 have expressed wishes to move to the new student group, though Scholarism has not consulted every member yet.

Joshua Wong denied that a split in political ideals led to the group being broken up into two new organisations.

Every issue is related to politics but the political party will focus on discussions on political reform and advocacy, while the student group will focus on educational issues or civic education, Joshua Wong said.

Of the HK$1.45 million currently held by the group, HK$700,000 will be transferred to the new student group and HK$750,000 will be transferred to a fund for legal assistance. None of Scholarisms current funds will be transferred to the new party.

Donations previously given to Scholarism were also agreeing to the same ideals, so we think it is suitable for the funds to be given to the new student group, Prince Wong said.

The Scholarism Fund for Legal Assistance will be managed by Tang, Wong & Chow Solicitors, for providing financial support to those in need, should they be arrested or charged due to political actions they participated in as Scholarism members.

The fund is entrusted to six Scholarism members including Joshua Wong, Prince Wong, Agnes Chow, Andrea Melody Chuh, Pauline Chan Po-ling and Chung Lai-him. They are responsible for the respective approval procedures, annual releases of audit reports and revealing the types of cases approved for the coming seven years. Remaining funds after seven years will be donated to human rights organisations.

Joshua Wong stressed that the fund would not be used in a judicial review he has filed.

(SCMP ) March 20, 2016.

Student activist group Scholarism, which played a leading role in the 2014 Occupy protests, suspended work yesterday before completely disbanding to form a new, less politicised group. The end was announced a month before the formation of the new political party to be led by the groups convenor, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, alongside a few core members.

The party is preparing to field at least two candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September, setting the stage for younger players to enter an arena dominated by ageing veterans. It is also planning a referendum in 10 years time for Hongkongers to decide their own future beyond 2047, the expiry date for Beijings 50-year promise to run the city under the one country, two systems formula.

Wong said the group he formed five years ago was now too heavily politicised in the wake of the 79-day pro-democracy sit-ins in 2014, making it difficult for them to reach out to schools. I managed to conduct sharing in some 30 schools after I finished the public exams, but after the umbrella movement I have been [invited] by only one or two schools, with one being besieged by Beijing-friendly protesters and the other cancelling the sharing session after the incident, Wong said on Sunday. Thats my first-hand experience.

Describing the break-up of Scholarism as a tough decision, Wong said it would help the group to reposition itself, with a new student body to be formed in six months focusing on student issues and civic education, while the party concentrated on elections and greater democracy.

Founded by Wong when he was a secondary school student, Scholarism made a name in leading a citywide campaign that forced the government to shelve a national education curriculum in 2012. It then shifted its focus from education policy to the citys democratic development, gaining international exposure during the Occupy protests.

What Scholarism does with the HK$1.45 million in donations it still possesses will be closely watched. The plan is to set aside HK$700,000 to form the new student group, while the remaining HK$750,000 will be pumped into Scholarisms fund for legal assistance managed by lawyers and entrusted to six core group members to offer financial support to group members who were arrested in previous protests. No money will be passed on to the new party. Any money in the legal assistance fund left over after seven years will be donated to human rights groups.

Prince Wong Ji-yuet, the Scholarism spokeswoman who will lead the new student body, said the financial arrangements would not go against the donors wishes as the new body would uphold the principles and philosophy advocated by the original group. She added the new student group would not be deliberately depoliticised, but would focus on promoting civic education.

(Oriental Daily) March 20, 2016.

After the dissolution of Scholarism, the whole world is interested in where the millions in assets are going. Joshua Wong said that the $1.45 million of Scholarism will be split into two pieces: $700,000 to establish and operate a new student organization, and another $750,000 for the legal defense fund of Scholarism members. Joshua Wong's new political party won't get a cent of the money.

However, this statement is contrary to a comment that Joshua Wong posted on his Facebook on March 14. The comment was titled "The last membership meeting of Scholarism." The recommendation was made to turn over $1.2 million of the Scholarism assets to the new political party to establish itself. This motion was passed on the meeting of March 6. This new political party will pay all the legal fees of the Scholarism members. Another $500,000 was allocated to establish the new student organization. Please note that the total assets amount to $1,200,000 + $500,000 = $1,700,000 at the time. But now Joshua Wong has declared that the total assets are only $1,450,000. Where is that missing $250,000?

On the Internet, people wondered that if the money was donated to Scholarism, by what right does this as-yet-unnamed student organization can take over the money? Some people are saying that they will form a Scholarism Victims' Alliance to get their money back.

Why wasn't Scholarism allowed to continue? What was it necessary to form a new brand student organization? One explanation was that if Scholarism is not dissolved, the money would not be dispensed. Furthermore, Scholarism has a constitution of some kind whereas a new student organization can be more malleable so as to make Joshua Wong the supreme regent to direct all matters in conjunction with the new political party. However, the leader of the new student organization Prince Wong said that Scholarism had been too politicized which makes it hard to push for civic education and therefore they wanted the new organization to focus for improving education. You can decide for yourself whether you believe this?

Videos

INT New Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9zSGHwxJVE Full press conference

Internet comments:

- (Wen Wei Po) When Scholarism was founded in 2011, they had only a single issue: to oppose national education. The members were all students with no political party background (note: Joshua Wong's parents were said to be Civic Party members later on). They gave the impression of being "very pure, very true." That was the time when Scholarism gained the most by way of aura.

Once national education was over, Scholarism had to go into the political arena in order to live on. During the July 1st march, they took in more in donations than the traditional pan-democratic political parties. During the Occupy Central "referendum", they proposed civil nomination of the Chief Executive candidates. Occupy Central also started in support of Joshua Wong.

Unfortunately, once they became highly politicized, the schools began to shut them out for that reason. Meanwhile as youngsters who are not adults yet, they cannot enter the adult world of politics. They don't know anything and yet they think that they are exceptional and brilliant. Are they too young, or too ignorant, or too narcissistic?

- (Wen Wei Po) March 22, 2016.

Yesterday morning, Joshua Wong was scheduled to appear on Commercial Radio at 8am along with Prince Wong. Prince Wong arrived on time, but Joshua Wong was not to be seen. The host sighed and said: "I have been a radio host for such a long time, and I am saddened by the sight that young guests are usually late. Within the same group, the women usually on time but the men are late. Why?" He said: "This is 8:22am now. Prince Wong is sitting by my side. Joshua Wong is late ... I hereby publicly denounce Joshua Wong for being late." Prince Wong sat and smiled in embarrassment.

Finally Joshua Wong showed up at 9am. The host said: "Every listener knows that we have been waiting for the arrival of former Scholarism convener Joshua Wong. He has finally shown up. Good morning." The host said that Joshua Wong is about to form a new political party: "If you have been telling the old farts that trustworthiness is the most important thing. Hey, you were late by one hour. As you take the first step into politics, can  you explain to us what you think about trustworthiness?"

Joshua Wong apologized to the hosts and the audience for his tardiness. But he said that being late once does not affect his "trustworthiness."

During the program, Joshua Wong said that they plan to feel candidates in Hong Kong Island and New Territories East for the 2016 Legislative Council elections in September. Based upon the experience of certain other political parties, each district will require $800,000 to $1,000,000 in election campaign funds. Therefore the new political party will need $2 million in funds.

- (Wen Wei Po) March 22, 2016. Earlier this month at a court hearing about the taking of Civic Plaza, Joshua Wong was late by half an hour. The magistrate ordered him to stand still and be lectured. The magistrate said: "People who want to carry out great things should reserve the time" and "being late is waste of other people's time." At the time, Joshua Wong said that he "totally understood." Less than three weeks later, Joshua Wong was an hour late for the Commercial Radio program. Does he "totally understand" that he was wasting other people's time?

- (Kinliu) On Monday, Joshua Wong went on radio to talk about his new political party. Afterwards, he went to the HSBC Bank to open a new account for his new political party. However, the bank determined that this organization does not meet their requirements and declined to open an account. HSBC Bank declined to comment to the media, saying that all client information is confidential.

According to information, the Scholarism account had about $1.45 million. Scholarism said that none of the money will be forwarded to the new political party, which therefore has nothing to operate with. No wonder Wong is anxious to establish a bank account for the new political party so that he can start another round of fund-raising.

- Joshua Wong has started fund-raising even before he got a bank account.

(Hong Kong Free Press) March 21, 2016.

Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong said that HK$2 million would be needed to field two candidates in the upcoming LegCo elections, after the student activist group announced its suspension of operations to focus on a political party and a student group.

At the moment, new political groups dont even have one dollar. In April, [we] have to start paying rent. Hence we are in immediate and dire straits, said Wong on Monday.

In the future, we will use a crowdfunding movement, hoping to raise funds, he said. If we are elected by citizens, we hope to receive their small donations, even if it was ten or eight dollars, or even 50 or 100 dollars.

- At $10 per person, Joshua Wong needs 200,000 suckers to raise $2 million. Alternately, Joshua Wong can travel to Kadoorie Hill to pay homage, and Jimmy Lai will give him a suitcase loaded with spanking new $1,000 bills.

- Wait, did he mention Viagra pills?

- For the final group photo of Scholarism, Joshua Wong told everybody to wear their black t-shirts. But he shows up in a bright orange t-shirt to match the orange banners in the background. This shows who is the superstar and who are the background props.

- (Headline Daily) Scholarism was founded by Joshua Wong, Queenie Chung and Ivan Lam. It began under the name "Scholarism-Anti-National Education Alliance." At the time, Joshua Wong promised that the organization will be disbanded if and when national education is vetoed. In 2012, Wong changed the name of the organization to "Scholarism" which began to deal with other political issues. Queenie Chung decided to quit because the nature of the organization had changed. She characterized the current Scholarism as over-expanding like a nouveau riche with volunteers of uneven quality. In the end, there are opinion differences which made it hard for students to focus on education issues.

Ivan Lam said that Scholarism had been facing up to internal dissension and public disappointment for some time. The dissolution after four years will be good for both members and supporers. He said: "Scholarism wanted people to unite together. But another way of looking at this is that they did not know how to deal with opinion differences."

- Whereas Scholarism began as a single-issue organization, it later began to engage in various political issues. This made it hard for schools to invite Scholarism speakers like Joshua Wong, Prince Wong, etc to address students because they have become an overtly political organization. In future, Scholarism members who are interested about education issues should be with the new student organization and those who are interested about political issues should be with the new political party. That is the stated reason for the split-up.

- Five years ago when Scholarism started, Joshua Wong, Oscar Lai, Queenie Chung, Ivan Lam, Prince Wong, Agnes Chow and others were secondary school students. Five years later, they aren't. So Scholarism has difficulty defining itself as an organization representing secondary school students. Some of these people have left secondary school and gone on to tertiary education. But their scholastic records were so terrible so as none of them managed to enroll in the top eight universities. For example, Joshua Wong was said to be in Open University. So it was clear that Scholarism had no future.

- On January 3, 2015, Joshua wong said: "I want to complete my four years of university first and then I will consider the future. At this time, I don't intend to follow a political party, enter politics or take part in any elections ..."

So much for that ...

- Scholarism always featured Joshua Wong in center stage and there is was no attempt to cultivate a new leader who is currently a secondary school student. As Joshua Wong and others got older, they can no longer be perceived as representing secondary school students. So it was a matter of time before demise.

If Scholarism is to continue with the same cast of characters, it has to abandon the student market and become a political party going after voters who were born in the 1990's. However, Scholarism is at an awkward stage because people like Joshua Wong are not yet old enough to run for the Legislative Council. But if they don't do anything before then, their support base will shrink severely. So they had to form a political party because they are marginalized and forgotten.

- After Occupy Central, the pan-democrats can see that Occupy tactics can't force the Chief Executive to quit or squeeze even a very small concession out of the government. Thus the new view is to engage in "valiant resistance by force" in the manner of the Localists. However, Scholarism's political narrative and methods follow those of the traditional pan-democrats, except that they have a few neatly packaged baby faces. Eventually, the faces of these young people will no longer be fresh. Therefore they will be facing an uphill battle. Will Joshua Wong still be remembered by the time that the 2020 Legislative Council elections come around?

- Civic Passion's Wong Yeung-tat said that the ideas of Scholarism and its convener Joshua Wong do not overlap with Civic Passion or the Localists. Civic Passion is more radical and Scholarism is more moderate and closer to the mainstream pan-democrats. However, other people say that Scholarism may be on speaking terms with the pan-democrats but their methods are more radical. Scholarism's main support base is young people, so when they will be competing with the Localists and the radical pan-democrats such as People Power and League of Social Democrats. This means all-out civil war in the September Legislative Council elections.

- (Strait Times) March 18, 2016.

Billionaire Li Ka Shing said yesterday that Hong Kong's economy is at its worst in 20 years, and warned that the city's stock market could fall by more than half if the financial hub does not get backing from mainland China.

Mr Li, who held court with reporters for over an hour at an earnings news conference, is the latest person to sound the alarm after Moody's downgraded Hong Kong's sovereign credit rating at the weekend, citing its links to China's economic slowdown.

"Today's Hong Kong is getting worse... the worst I've seen in 20 years," said Mr Li, 88, referring to the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. "Our home sales and retail now is worse than in the Sars period. During Sars, (the effect) was short-lived but now it is long," he said, in a reference to the severe acute respiratory syndrome that crippled the city in 2003.

Hong Kong retail sales, which suffered their worst decline in 13 years last year, have been hit by a slump in tourists from the mainland which has been blamed in part on increasing cross-border tensions.

"If we respect tourists, no matter where they're from, today our retail, hotels would not be this bad. So everyone has to reflect on themselves, there are a lot of issues the politicians need to reflect on how they can do better," Mr Li said.

A contrary opinion came from Joshua Wong: (Speakout HK @ YouTube)

0:07 Wong: I have not any large companies being affected because Occupy took place so as to carry out mass-scale layoffs. The Hong Kong stock market did not go down. So how was the economy affected?

- On radio this morning, Prince Wong said that she was happiest during Occupy Central and saddest when Occupy Central was over. So she is also a member of the "Don't Worry Be Happy" faction.

- Scholarism Victims Alliance Facebook

- Thievery:

Yesterday Scholarism said that they are disbanding. After all these years, they have $1.45 million left. Another $2.74 million is unaccounted for.

Previously Scholarism had given Ming Pao the following information:

2012 June - 2013 June Futak Building office rent = $1,000 x 12 = $12,000

2013 July - 2016 June Lai Chi Kok office rent = $21,000 x 36 = $756,000

Printing news and miscellaneous expenses = $250,000 per year x 4 years = $1,000,000.

So the total expenses over the past four years is $180,000. Where is the remaining $960,000? This does not include the donations from June 4th event, the Lunar New Year's event, online donations, etc. According to the above, the July 1st march raises at least $200,000 each year. So that is $600,000 for the three dates per year. For the two years, the total would be $1,200,000.

Added to the $960,000, this means that $2,160,000 is missing!

- (Bastille Post) Immediately after the New Territories East Legislative Council by-election, the Localists including Raymond Wong (Proletariat Political Institute), Wong Yeung-tat (Civic Passion) and Wan Chin (City-State) announced that they intend to field five candidates in five districts for the Legislative Council elections in September. Edward Leung (Hong Kong Indigenous) was not on their list.

Scholarism now says that they want to field two candidates, Oscar Lai in Kowloon East and Nathan Law in Hong Kong Island. Joshua Wong is only 19 years old and has not yet met the age requirement. Scholarism will be trying to take away the votes from both the mainstream pan-democrats and the radicals

In the 2012 Legislative Council Kowloon East elections, Wong Yeung-tat (Civic Passion) got 36,600 votes and Andrew To (League of Social Democrats) got 27,300 votes. The two split up the radical votes and enabled the pro-establishment Paul Tse to sneak into the final position at 38,500 votes. The entry of Oscar Lai means that the radical vote may be further divided.

In the 2012 Legislative Council Hong Kong Island elections, the Civic Party got 70,400 but they could only send one candidate into the Legislative Council. Labour Party's Cyd Ho got in with 31,500. In this case, Scholarism needs to take votes away from the Democratic Party, Civic Party and Labour Party.

Overall the situation is that the total votes for the pan-democratic and the pro-establishment camps will be about the same. However, the pan-democrats will be split up into (1) mainstream pan-democratic political parties; (2) mainstream radical political parties; and (3) Localists/Scholarisms.

(Headline Daily @  YouTube)

0:38 Mr. Li Ka-shing said earlier that the Hong Kong economy is the worst now over the past 20 years. He is right to say that it is the worst. Every sector is at its worst. How did this happen? It started from Occupy Central. This was not anything to do with political governance. It was a manmade disaster. It was caused by people. A group of people with no promise.

1:11 For example, Benny Tai. This inexperienced, rigid person. (applause) He walks around the street telling people to do this sort of thing. Of course, he was overtaken by others. He couldn't stop it, right or not? You teach at a school, but you tell people to go into the streets and break the law. I think that as a professor, you should be teaching people how to study.  But you teach people to stand in the streets. But other people took the wind out of your sail when it came to standing in the streets.

1:47 You let that ... what's his name? ... Wong what ... (laughter) He doesn't even look human, right or not? He couldn't stop things. How are you going how to deliver a lecture? When he failed, he looked as if he was going to cry. If you lose, you shouldn't be crying. You should just shut up. But now you come out again to start something else. Of course you are going to wind up with another failure.

2:18 I have previously spoken about the ill effects of Occupy Central. They shouldn't be very happy. First there are the ill effects of Occupy Central. Next there is anti-parallel trade. Now all the ill effects are showing themselves. The ill effects are becoming clearer and clearer now.

2:39 Firstly, your international image is bad. At the time, it was a lot of fun, a lot of fun. But you are hurting other people. You should not think that you are just hurting business people. You are hurting your friends and relatives, even your parents. Because if the economy is bad, they will cut wages and hire fewer people. Did you think about that? They haven't thought about that. There is a causal effect.

3:16 You should not think that if you cause trouble out there in Hong  Kong, it won't affect you. You will be hurting the people around you. Dozens of them. Hundreds of them. You don't know for sure.

3:50 So you go ahead to riot. I have never heard of collecting donations while rioting. Brand new money bills. I have never head of that. If you have to donate to them, you iron new money bills for them with Viagra inside, etc. This group of people are awesome. I don't know what they were up to.

4:23 So there is this one person named Leung. He says that he is a Localist. He is the king of liars. I was born in Hong Kong and I am a Localist. He was born in mainland China and he he says that he is also a Localist. That is deceiving people, that is conning people. Today there are many young kids who don't know better and they are willing to follow him to death because they think that he is such a hero. He calls other people "locusts" but he is also a "locust" himself. Why didn't he say so himself? He thought that he could just gloss over it.

4:58 Does Hong Kong have any chance to become independent? If he goes to Paradise, he may have a chance. Because Paradise is his world. Paradise. That is the Paradise that he created for himself.

5:20 Anyone with even a modicum of thought would know that there is no possibility for independence. He talks these about these sorts of things. Now I, Charles Ho, have traveled to the mainland for many times over many years. I frequently see those current affairs commentators talking about the mainland and then the United States. They are lousy.  I guarantee that I know one billion times more than they do.

5:58 Over the years, I have seen so many policies coming from the central government and I have met so many people. Nobody has ever said that they want to trample upon Hong Kong or otherwise not support Hong Kong. So you have to be fair according to your conscience.

6:15 So when these guys want to go independent, I don't know what they are up to. So when they say how bad the Communists are and the democrats are whatever ... all that I have observed and experienced over the years, none of the many government teams over have ever wanted Hong Kong's economy not to be good. That is why I say that the Hong Kong economy is bad today because it is a manmade disaster.

6:46 So why can't Hong Kong not be independent or become like those Middle Eastern countries? Please don't trust what the Americans say. Those revolutions. Today the Middle East have so many broken families and refugees. Please don't believe in this sort of thing. Therefore I sometimes say that Hong Kong is a lucky land.

7:17 Today the students like the one named Leung who graduated after studying so many years. Today you are studying there in those schools because we are giving you the money to enable you to study, because the government is subsidizing you. You have no idea how lucky you are. You should think about this. The structure of the government is tops among the world.

7:56 When the Civic Party first showed up more than a decade ago, I had some hopes. But I find that the Civic Party is becoming worse and worse as time goes by. When I heard that Leong ... what's his name ... oh, Alan Leong ... each time that I hear Alan Leong speak, I visualize him wearing a Chinese-style suit and speaking inside a funeral parlor. Do you think that is what he looks like? (laughter) He looks like a master of ceremony.

8:26 These people have no original ideas. They watch what others do and they repeat the same. They see Long Hair do something, they do the same. Brother, how educated is Long Hair? He is just a bum. But they follow Long Hair and act in the same lowly manner. So don't you think that the Civic Party people have damaged their brains with too much studying?

8:51 A colleague of mine told me that Joshua Wong may be going to study at Harvard. He was going to study overseas. I said that this punk won't go. He asked me why. Take a look at him and you know that he can't pass the SAT. Right or not? If he gets into Harvard, he can't even keep up with ABC. Right or not?

9:11 Today there is a very tragic situation in Hong Kong. When our university students graduate, their English skills are worse than the Hong Kong University students from thirty or forty years ago. You can find any Hong Kong University student from thirty years ago, forty years ago from Hong Kong University who graduated studying in English. There is no comparison. They are ten times better. The reason why you see so many people still working is that the quality of those coming from behind is so poor.

9:55 Over the years, Hong Kong education has been been a complete failure. There are two reasons for the failure. One of them is about using the mother tongue to teach. The other is is liberal studies. When I talk about education, many people don't want to listen. They came up with this before. But I have to speak out. Teaching in the mother tongue. I, Charles Ho, only found out three years ago that teaching in the mother tongue means teaching in Cantonese. If you want to learn, you should learn in Mandarin. At least you can get around in mainland China. Therefore English-language skills are getting worse.

More at Occupy Central Part 5


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+)

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