(v4.0)

[This website collects certain news and commentary on Hong Kong politics, society and culture. English-news sources exist in abundance, such as South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press, Reddit on Occupy Central, etc). This websites provides transcriptions/translations from Chinese-language sources, including both mainstream media (Hong Kong newspapers, television and radio) and social media (Facebook, YouTube, blogs, discussion forums).]

Democratic Party Facebook


"Voicing support for the incarcerated resisters" assembly
Date: August 18, 2017
Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Outside Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, 5 Butterfly Valley Road, Kowloon

"Political oppression is shameful; voicing support for the incarcerated resisters" demonstration march
Date: August 20, 2017
Time: 3:00pm
Assembly point: Southorn Playground, Luard Road, Wan Chai district, Hong Kong Island
Finish: Court of Final Appeal, Central district, Hong Kong Island

- What!? No mention of collecting donations to help those in prison to file appeals?

- What!? Diverting public attention away from the case of Lam Tsz-kin?

- If and when Lam Tsz-kin gets sent to prison for filing a false police report, will the Democratic Party regard him as an "incarcerate resister"?

- Voicing support? How much support? How about the Democratic Party legislators leading the masses to crash into the prison and rescue the prisoners?

- (Oriental Daily) August 18, 2017. A massive turnout of about 100 persons (including reporters) showed up outside the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre to chant "Politically motivated judicial review is shameful." They called out the names of the North East New Territories 13 and the Civic Plaza 3 and demanded that they be released immediately. Then they sang Chinese/English versions of the Happy Birthday song for Alex Chow.

Chow Ting (Demosisto) said that the jailing of Joshua Wong and Nathan Law will not destroy Demosisto. Instead Demosisto will become stronger when the two get out of jail.

League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng said that his party will not vanish because "jailing one person means that ten more will join from the outside."

Federation of Students former deputy secretary-general said that he will take the three out for eat-all-you-can buffet when they get out. He said that those who are in jail will not abandon "civil disobedience: "If one gets arrested, more people will stand up and be counted."

- Eh, none of the Democratic Party bigwigs showed up -- Martin Lee, Albert Ho, Wu Chi-wai, Emily Lau, Helena Wong, Lam Cheuk-ting, Hui Chi-fung, Kwong Chun-yu. Maybe they were worried that if they appear in public, they will be asked about the Lam Tsz-kin affair.

- The Happy Birthday song in Chinese wishes you to have the same as today for every future birthday to come. That sounds very mean. Are these Blue Ribbons?

Gene Bond's Facebook

I visited Joshua Wong. Everything is fine with him so you won't have to worry (except for his crew cut which is very hard to get used to). He expects to get out of jail on December 17, 2017. He will also appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

Joshua Wong asked me to forward these calls:

1. He hopes that no matter whether you are a pan-democrat, a self-determination faction member or a localist, you must attend the Sunday Peace/Reason/Non-Violence demonstration march (especially hoping that the localists would not stay away just because it is Peace/Reason/Non-Violence). He hopes that when he watches the news from prison on Monday, he will see that the demonstration march number reaches a post-Umbrella Revolution high.

2. He thanks the Department of Justice lawyer who exposed how shameless Rimsky Yuen is.

3. He hopes that the Hong Kong public will learn to understand the judges and rule-of-law again as a result of this ruling.

4. Hang on, Hong Kong Demosisto comrades!

5. Scholarism friends should not have to worry.

He will a reading the major newspapers and watching TVB news. He hopes to see in the daily news that people are working hard to develop democracy in Hong Kong. Go, everybody!

Previous: #476: The Taking Of Civic Plaza 123 (2016/03/03)

(SCMP) August 9, 2017.

Prosecutors have asked an appeal court to jail student activists convicted of storming government headquarters two days before the start of the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014, saying the original lenient sentencing sent the wrong message.

It is the second time prosecutors have asked courts to jail Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary general of political party Demosisto, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, a disqualifed legislator of the same party, and former student union chief Alex Chow Yong-kang, who were convicted last year.

Wong and Chow were found guilty of one count of illegal assembly. Wong was sentenced to community service and Chow received a suspended three-week jail term. Law, who was recently stripped of his seat on the Legislative Council for insincerely taking his oath last year, was convicted of inciting others to assemble illegally and also given community service.

The appeal could have implications for future cases as prosecutors called for a deterrent sentence for cases of illegal assembly involving violence.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions David Leung Cheuk-yin attacked the decision by then Eastern Court magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan to adopt a more understanding approach to sentencing young protesters. This is rather dangerous, Leung said, arguing that it sent the wrong message to young people.

Leung said there was no way the trio did not foresee that their storming would lead to clashes with police and security guards when they and other protesters entered the east wing forecourt of the government headquarters. He added that 10 security guards were injured. Urging the Court of Appeal to jail the three, he said the offence was serious because it was well planned.

But barrister Edwin Choy Wai-bond, for Chow, described the students as 20-odd-year-old kiddos yelling slogans. Choy urged the judges not to impose a deterrent sentence, saying the same effect could be achieved if they specifically warned people not to flout laws. He said the seriousness of the illegal assembly offence had already been reflected in the legislation, which stipulates a jail term of up to five years.

Court of Appeal vice-president Mr Justice Wally Yeung Chun-kuen and Justices of Appeal Derek Pang Wai-cheong and Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor will hand down their judgment on August 17.

(Oriental Daily) August 9, 2017.

According to Senior Counsel Randy Shek, the ingredients in an unlawful gathering is "disruption of order; threatening, insulting or provocative action." As such this covers a wide spectrum of behaviors, including jumping a queue, standing in the middle of the road, cursing with foul language, etc. In this particular instance, the defendants did not resort to violence.

Judge Poon said that while the defendants did not use violence, should they be held responsible if they misjudged whether others will use violence? Shek said that it is possible that the defendants made honest misjudgments.

Judge Poon said that the defendants knew that the police have rejected their application to enter Civic Plaza and that there were security guards and police stationed there. So can they really think that there would be no violence if they enter by force?

Shek said that Joshua Wong did not object to the description of his actions at the trial. Wong has also apologized to the security guards who were injured, and expressed his willingness to accept the court's judgment and sentence. This proves that he is remorseful.

But Judge Yeung and Judge Pang wondered if Wong is remorseful when he says that he did not think that his actions were wrong. Judge Poon said that the three defendants are student leaders, and their actions will lead other young people to form wrong ideas about the risks involved in being involved in physical clashes, getting arrested and being punished. So should the court increase their sentences?

Shek said that this case was a lot milder than the political clashes that took place later. Although the three defendants are student leaders, most of the other arrestees are adult university students or adult non-students, so the court can treat them as persons capable of having independent thinking and making their own decisions. Nathan Law had told the demonstrators about the legal risks that night too.

(Sing Tao) August 9, 2017.

With respect to pre-meditated violence, Counsel Randy Shek for Joshua Wong said that there could be some physical contact, but the defendants did not anticipate any violence. Judge Poon said that when the three met to discuss the re-taking of Civic Plaza, they said that they would not assault people, but that doesn't mean that when they wouldn't use force to push ahead. Poon wondered why Shek wanted to assess the possibility of violence from the viewpoint of the three defendants rather than that of ordinary people. Shek said that the worst case scenario would be for the demonstrators to charge ahead and encounter resistance. However, they did not plan any violent assault and they did not anticipate that anyone would get injured. Jude Poon asked: "How so?" Shek said that it is possible that they misjudged.

Shek said that even though the community service order did not say that the defendant was sorry for what he did, but his behavior during the trial (including his apology to the injured persons) showed that he is sorry. But Judge Yeung said that they were not sorry about their crimes. "If they don't think that they did anything wrong, then how can they be sorry?" This was like not being sorry about robbing a bank, but apologizing for taking the money. Yeung said that he has never seen such kinds of 'sincere' apologies.

Barrister Edwin Choy Wai-bond on behalf of Alex Chow agreed that disturbing social peace is a serious crime. However, there are different degrees of severity. Although more than 100 persons charged into Civic Plaza, it only went on for ten minutes or so. The degree of violence or force was much less than the precedent cases presented by the prosecutor.

Choy said that the demonstrators were mostly people in their 20's wanting to hold a dialogue with the government but they failed. Judge Poon asked: "Charging into Civic Plaza will get you a dialogue?" Choy said: "It is possible that they thought so." He said that they may have made the decision without understanding the plan, but they have received punishment already. In particular, Alex Chow's suspended sentence will reach its end next week.

Choy said that Alex Chow is 20-something-years old and has a lot of ideals about the student movement. If Chow is spared and allowed to obtain a doctorate, his legal viewpoints may be very different. However, Chow had not graduated at the time of the incident. Judge Poon said that everybody has to obey the law, "and even non-university graduates know that." Choy said that as the prosecutor said, the most likely people to be injured in their action are themselves. Judge Poon asked if just because they acted dangerously for themselves means that they should be treated leniently?

(Oriental Daily) August 17, 2017.

At some time after 1030pm last night, Joshua Wong's lawyer Randy Shek faxed a letter to the court to for consideration. Shek asked the court for a postponement to receive instruction. Judge Yeung said that the letter should be handled in open court. The court went into recess for 10 minutes.

When the court resumed, Shek said that he no longer wishes the court to consider the letter so as to delay the ruling. Judge Yeung was disappointed and called the defense irresponsible for asking the court to consider the letter last night and now saying otherwise. He said that postponement or not should not be the decisive factor. If the issue was important, it should be brought out in open court in order to give the Department of Justice a chance to respond. The court should not have been informed in a private letter.

The court went into recess again for Shek to take instructions from his client. Wong said that he wants to withdraw the letter. Yeung said that this was improper and also vexing to the court. But now that Wong has withdrawn the letter, the court will not disclose the contents of that letter. The court then decided to issued its ruling at 4pm.

(SCMP) August 17, 2017.

The first three student leaders convicted over the storming of government buildings which triggered the pro-democracy Occupy protests in Hong Kong three years ago were jailed for up to eight months on Thursday, as the government won its bid for stronger punishments.

Those prison terms replaced the community service orders initially meted out to Demosisto leaders Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, as well as the suspended three-week jail sentence for former student union chief Alex Chow Yong-kang.

Wong was sentenced to six months, Law to eight and Chow to seven.

Speaking at court before he heard the ruling, and clearly expecting to go to jail, Wong said he wanted to see a hopeful Hong Kong when I am out [of prison] next year, while Law declared he had no regrets about his activism.

Internet comments:

- Hours before the Hong Kong Court of Appeal issued its ruling, Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan posted on his Facebook:

The Chinese Council of the United States of America issued a statement that it would be a political force to stifle freedom of speech, and that the United States should examine the special relationship of Hong Kong under United States law. .

References: Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act; The US Congressional Hearing on Hong Kong

- (Hong Kong Free Press) August 17, 2017.

Representative Smith said the sentences were another severe blow to Hong Kongs reputation as a city governed by the rule of law.Beijing is actively trying to decimate the pro-democracy movement using Hong Kongs courts and prosecutors to further its political agenda. How can one fully trust a legal system that nullifies legitimate Legislative Council elections and resentences Umbrella Movement leaders who have already served their terms? The Hong Kong government may say these are deterrent sentences, but to the rest of the world it looks like political prosecutions intended to curtail freedom of expression. The United States must show unwavering support for freedom and the rule of law, but if the Chinese government will no longer abide by the promises made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, U.S. policy must adapt and reassess whether Hong Kong warrants special status under U.S. law.

- The "resentencing of these young people" was made by a Court of Appeal panel of three judges. Is "Beijing's heavy hand on display for all to see"? So is the Hong Kong judiciary infiltrated by Chinese Communist stooges? Should these three judges be impeached immediately and replaced by pro-democracy ones selected by the United States Consulate General?

- Here are the relevant provisions of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act:

--- "Require the President to identify persons responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention, or forced confessions of certain booksellers and journalists in Hong Kong, and other actions suppressing basic freedoms, and to freeze their U.S.-based assets and deny them entry into the U.S."

So who is going to be identified, have their US-based assets freezed and denied entry into the U.S.? Ex-chief executive CY Leung when the invasion of Civic Plaza took place? Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen who asked for a tougher sentence? Current Chief Executive Carrie Lam who is not responsible for either the appeal or the outcome? The three Justices of the Court of Appeal?

--- "Make clear that visa applicants who resided in Hong Kong in 2014 shall not be denied visas on the basis of the applicant's arrest, detention or other adverse government action taken as a result of their participation in the nonviolent protest activities related to Hong Kong's electoral process."

The invasion of Civic Plaza ended with 10 security guards sustaining injuries. Was it violent then? Yes. And did it have anything to do with the electoral process? No.

- Just because 10 security guards were injured does not imply any violence. The perpetrators never intended violence. The security guards would not have been injured if they had not stood in the way of the non-violent freedom fighters. By their actions, they begged for violence and got what they deserved. Long live freedom! Long live democracy!

- (Hong Kong Free Press) US politicians warn Hong Kongs special status may be axed amid political prosecution of democracy figures.

- So in order to save Hong Kong's economy, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam must immediately order Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow released immediately? I can't even count the number of principles cherished by the pan-democrats would be broken --
A high degree of autonomy? Check.
One Country Two Systems? Check.
Separation of powers? Check.
Rule of law? Check.
The Joint Sino-British Declaration? Check ...

- Marco Rubio was elected to the US Senate in 2016 by 4,835,191 registered voters in the state of Florida. That is why Hong Kong must obey his wishes.

- Dear Senator Rubio, if you have too much time on hand, I would suggest that you work with your President to deal with Cville first.

- The comparable thing is for three Occupy Wall Street leaders to lead a group of protestors to scale the White House wall and take over the front lawn. They are arrested. Do you think that they will be set free in the United States of America?

(New York Times) A Nobel Prize for Hong Kongs Democrats. August 17, 2017.

Heres a suggestion for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, which opens its nominating season next month: Look to the three young men who earlier today became Hong Kongs first prisoners of conscience.

In 2014, the courageous trio helped lead what become known as the Umbrella Movement an enormous political protest defending Hong Kongs freedoms from an increasingly aggressive Beijing. Like Andrei Sakharov, Vaclav Havel, Aung San Suu Kyi and so many dissidents that came before them, the men were hit with a bogus charge (unlawful assembly), were found guilty and served out their punishments last year.

But today, Hong Kongs Department of Justice decided that those penalties were too lenient.

Joshua Wong, who burst onto the citys political scene at 14 years old and is the public face of its democracy movement, was sentenced to six months. Nathan Law and Alex Chow were sentenced to seven and eight months, respectively. All three had budding political careers, but these new sentences bar them from running for public office for the next five years.

As Mr. Wong put it to a reporter from The New York Times before his sentencing: The government wanted to stop us from running in elections and directly suppress our movement. He added: Theres no longer rule of law in Hong Kong. Its rule by law. Just so.

The implications of their imprisonment are monumental. Since Britain handed over jurisdiction of its former colony to China 20 years ago, the city has operated under the notion of one country, two systems. That increasingly appears to be an empty slogan. The outcome isnt just a travesty for these three peaceful pro-democracy activists or free speech its also a painfully clear sign that Beijings political dictates are eating away at Hong Kongs judiciary, an institution essential to the territorys autonomy, Sophie Richardson, the China director of Human Rights Watch, told me.

Derek Lam, Mr. Wongs best friend and a key activist in the movement, put it even more bluntly in a call from Hong Kong: The court of Hong Kong is a slave of the Chinese government. He added: The judge doesnt acknowledge that democracy, freedom and human rights are the reasons Joshua is doing this. He just kept insisting that they were inciting violence.

Mr. Lam, who aspires to become a pastor, could soon be accused of the same: Next month he faces sentencing for his role in a 2016 protest.

I am heartbroken. All my friends went to jail today. I might join them next month, he told me. But we will never regret what we have done. What we are doing is correct. It is the truth. And we will persist. That relentless spirit was echoed by Mr. Law, Mr. Chow and Mr. Wong today. As Mr. Wong, just 20 years old, put it on Twitter before he was jailed: You can lock up our bodies, but not our minds! We want democracy in Hong Kong. And we will not give up.

The battle these young people are waging is far bigger than their futures or even than Hong Kong itself. They are among some of the most prominent leaders pushing an authoritarian China to honor its international and political commitments. Can a handful of Davids hold a Goliath to account? The imprimatur of a Nobel Prize would help.

- At first, I thought that I must be reading some kind of parody. I had to verify the link before accepting that this is the New York Times.

- Let me make an alternate nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee -- I nominate Lam Tsz-kin who represents all the millions of victims of tyrannical regimes around the world.  Awarding the Prize to Lam would be just as bizarre as to Wong-Law-Chow.

- Awarding the Prize to Wong-Law-Chow would make the 10 injured security guards very happy, because they will know that their suffering was not in vain.

- (Reuters) August 17, 2017.

Britain said it was vital Hong Kong's young people had a voice in politics and it hoped the sentencing would not discourage legitimate protest in future.

"The UK remains a staunch supporter of the right to peaceful protest and we believe it is vital that Hong Kong's young people have a voice in politics. Hong Kong's way of life is underpinned by its rule of law," a spokeswoman for Britain's Foreign Office said in a statement.

- It is useless for the UK to say anything. It is even more useless when the UK is saying useless things.

- On one hand, the person is your mother; on the other hand, the other person is your father. So whose side are you on? You refuse to say.

- Here is the perfect example of an unequivocal statement: (Hong Kong Free Press) Taiwans top policymaking body on China, the Mainland Affairs Council, expressed its deep regret over their imprisonment. The council reiterates the governments long-standing stance to support Hong Kong people to pursue democracy, freedom, the rule of law and human rights, it said in a statement. It added the verdict had prompted concerns in Hong Kong and the international community over what some see as a politicised judiciary that would damage the citys judicial independence and affect its investment environment.

- What the hell is "deep regret"? Does it mean that the Taiwan government will cut of all political and economic ties with Hong Kong? No. If you can't put your money where your mouth is, then it's just bullshit.

- (Reuters) August 18, 2017.

Chris Patten, the last governor of former British colony Hong Kong, has criticized the jailing of three leaders of the Chinese-ruled city's pro-democracy movement saying the men should be a source of pride.

Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and other Umbrella Movement protesters were sentenced to six to eight months in prison on Thursday for unlawful assembly, a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage.

"I think they will be remembered, and their names will be remembered, long after nobody can remember who I was, and perhaps nobody can remember who President Xi Jinping was," Patten told an audience at the Edinburgh Book Festival, according to its official bulletin.

"We should be proud of what those kids are doing."

- (Department of Justice) August 17, 2017.

The above-named three defendants in this case were convicted not because they exercised their civil liberties, but because their conduct during the protest contravened the law. The HKSAR courts have all along handled cases (including public order event cases) independently, justly and professionally. The court found the three defendants guilty on the basis of evidence presented during a fair trial as well as the applicable law.

...

DoJ notices that certain people in the community allege that the prosecution in this case was politically motived, or that this case is a case of political persecution. Such kind of allegations are utterly groundless, and choose to ignore the existence of objective evidence. In all criminal cases (including this one), DoJ deals with them in accordance with the Prosecution Code, the applicable law and relevant evidence. Further, the state of judicial independence in the HKSAR cannot be doubted. It can be seen from the reasoning contained in the Judgment that the Court of Appeal dealt with this case solely from the legal perspective, and that there cannot be any suggestion of political motivation whatsoever.

- Joshua Wong got 6 months, Alex Chow got 7 months and Nathan Law got 8 months. 678. It would have been sweeter revenge for CY Leung if Wong got 6, Chow got 8 and Law got 9. 689.

- If all three got 7 months apiece, Carrie Lam would be snickering aside. 777.

- 678. 6 + 7 + 8 = 21. Black Jack!

- According to the rules of Three Card Baccarat, this is the second smallest possible hand.

- (SCMP) August 18, 2017.

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal which sent three young Occupy leaders to jail warned against what one judge called the unhealthy trend of advocating civil disobedience, while observers feared the ruling would intimidate people into staying away from future pro-democracy drives.

While the citys democracy activists pledged to maintain their campaigns even if allies were jailed, a criminal lawyer said the lower courts, which used to value young defendants ideals, would have to follow the Court of Appeals deterrence principle in handing down future sentences.

The ruling which sees Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Alex Chow Yong-kang and Nathan Law Kwun-chung sent to jail for six to eight months was the governments second successful attempt in a week to seek tougher sentences for protesting activists.

Court of Appeal vice-president Wally Yeung Chun-kuen slammed the unhealthy trend in which intellectuals advocated the idea of civil disobedience.

These people openly despise the rule of law. Not only do they refuse to admit their law-breaking behaviour is wrong, they even see their acts as something to be proud of, Yeung wrote.

This arrogant and self-righteous thinking will unfortunately affect some of our young people and result in attempts to disrupt public order ... during rallies, marches and protests.

Criminal lawyer Stephen Hung Wan-shun said the ruling handed down by the Court of Appeal would have far-reaching implications for similar cases in future.

In the past, the principle was that jail terms should be the final resort for young defendants, especially those under 21 years of age ... but now the Court of Appeals guideline is that they should be jailed, he said.

Hung dismissed concerns that peoples freedoms had been narrowed by the ruling, but he believed there would be no room for any use of violence at future rallies.

Chinese University political scientist Dr Ma Ngok said the two rulings would inevitably exert pressure on Hongkongers and prompt them to think twice before joining protests.

Behaviour which they thought would only lead to community service might now end them up behind bars, he said.

- (SCMP) August 18, 2017. Lester Shum, one of the Occupy student leaders, said they had decided to participate in civil disobedience after exhausting different means to achieve universal suffrage in Hong Kong, and it was neither a rash decision nor a result of brainwashing.

- Exhausting the means to achieve universal suffrage in Hong Kong?

- Legislative Council filibustering? Didn't work.
- Demonstration march? Didn't work.
- Petition signature drive? Didn't work.
- Petition China Liaison Office? Didn't work.
- Petition Central Government? Didn't work.
- Hunger strike? Didn't work.
- International pressure? Didn't work.
- General labor/business strike? Didn't work.
- General school strike? Didn't work.
- Taxpayers refusing to pay taxes? Didn't work.

What is the record so far on civil disobedience insofar as achieving anything on universal suffrage?

- Occupy? Didn't work.
- Assaulting the Legislative Council? Didn't work.
- Mong Kok riot? Didn't work.

If civil disobedience doesn't work either, why keep doing it? Why will the next round yield a different outcome? Why not look for a different means with lower costs for the participants?

- There are plenty of Don't Drop The Soap prison jokes. A yellow banner is obligatory:

- Alex Chow and Nathan Law were sent to the Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institution while Joshua Wong was sent to the Pik Up Correctional Institution for juvenile prisoners. Wong can look forward to an exciting six months ahead.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 13, 2017.

On Tuesday, Ming Pao published interviews with three former prisoners who claimed that they were forced to undergo up to seven hours of physical training every day, including three hours of squatting, which left them with knee injuries months after release.

Prisoners would sometimes be denied the opportunity to relieve themselves in the bathroom. One said he witnessed another being forced to lick his own urine off from the floor after he could not stop urinating.

As a practice, prisoners must place their bowls on top of their heads to prove that they have finished their meals. However, all three interviewees said they were sometimes asked to finish boiling porridge within one minute or even 10 seconds some suffered burns to their heads as a result of turning filled bowls upside down.

- What happens next? The standard suite of actions consists of (1) a rally of 500 persons (reported as 80,000) in support of the Civic Plaza Three; (2) a fund-raising campaign to raise even more money to file an appeal at the Court of Final Appeal. Meanwhile the three will not be able to run in any District Council or Legislative Council elections for the next five years.

- Headline Daily, August 18, 2017.

According to Hong Kong University School of Law Senior Lecturer Eric Cheung Tat-ming, the security guards at Government Headquarters could only advise the demonstrators not to enter Civic Plaza but they won't physically stop them. Therefore one cannot assume that Wong-Law-Chow could have anticipated that these security guards will actually try to stop them. In addition, Cheung said that while Wong-Law-Chow indeed climbed the wall and entered Civic Plaza, one cannot prove that the actions of the others are connected to them. Therefore he believes that the Court of Appeal was making new assessments of the facts (which is not the role of the Court of Appeal).

Cheung said that he agrees with the Court of Appeal that civil disobedience requires the participants to bear legal responsibility and that there is nothing wrong with the court issuing a ruling in accordance with the law. In the present case, violence occurred and there should be legal responsibility. But he said that Wong-Law-Chow said not to use violence beforehand and the reason why they climbed the wall was precisely to avoid clashing at the gate. Therefore he does not think that Wong-Law-Chow were involved in any violence.

Hong Kong Federation of Students former deputy secretary-general Lester Shum said that the defendants in both the North East New Territories case and the Civic Plaza case intend to appeal. The lawyers are studying the rulings at this time.

- The Court of Final Appeal will hear any new legal arguments. They will not hear listen to a haggle about the lengths of jail sentences.

- (RTHK) Hong Kong University School of Law associate professor Benny Tai said on radio that the Court of Appeal did not consider the motives of the three defendants. He said that a certain British judge had stated clearly that the motives of the participants in a civil disobedience case must be considered in the ruling. The present ruling did not give any indication of such.

- The initial ruling by magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan found that the motives of the defendants were noble and therefore community service was imposed. This led to a public outcry which forced the Department of Justice to appeal the sentences.

Why was the public so upset? Because they don't see any consensus on the objective standards on the nobility of motives, and they don't want a system of rule-of-man over rule-of-law. The most often cited example is the ISIS suicide bomber, who thinks that he is doing it for the most noble of purposes. If the bomb fails to detonate and he is arrested, what will you do about him?

- If you accept this argument, then will you accept an even better argument here?

(SCMP) June 9, 2017.

Hong Kong courts have no jurisdiction to try a retired policeman accused of striking a bystander with a baton during the 2014 Occupy protests, according to defence lawyers citing an argument raised for the first time in 131 years.

The defence emerged at former superintendent Frankly Chus pretrial review on Friday. His case is set for November, three years after the incident during the pro-democracy sit-in.

Chus counsel Peter Pannu said provisions in the Public Order Ordinance stipulated that any person who uses force necessary for any purpose in accordance with the ordinance shall not be liable in criminal proceedings even if such use of force kills a person.

Pannu, a former police officer who went on to become a barrister, argued such wordings suggested the courts had no jurisdiction to try his client.

He cited another clause stating that no person acting in good faith under the ordinances provision shall be held liable for any acts in the exercise of his duty, or for public safety, or the defence of Hong Kong.

This means the defendant is not liable to be found guilty ... as long as the defendant is acting in good faith, Pannu told magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan at the West Kowloon Court.

Yes, it is the same magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan.

- Here is the list of the heroes/heroines/martyrs of the Umbrella/Fishball Revolutions so far this year. They have either been sent off to jail or awaiting trial.

1. 葉寶琳(反新界東北,入獄2星期)
2. 張漢賢(反新界東北,入獄1星期)
3. 黃根源(反新界東北,入獄3星期)
4. 梁曉暘(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
5. 黃浩銘(反新界東北,入獄13個月;雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中;928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
6. 劉國樑(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
7. 梁穎禮(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
8. 林朗彥(反新界東北,入獄13個月;反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
9. 朱偉聰(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
10. 何潔泓(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
11. 周豁然(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
12. 嚴敏華(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
13. 招顯聰(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
14. 郭耀昌(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
15. 陳白山(反新界東北,入獄13個月)
16. 黃之鋒(926公民廣場案,入獄6個月;雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
17. 周永康(926公民廣場案,入獄7個月)
18. 羅冠聰(926公民廣場案,入獄8個月)
19. 戴耀廷(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
20. 陳健民(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
21. 朱耀明(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
22. 陳淑莊(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
23. 邵家臻(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
24. 張秀賢(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
25. 鍾耀華(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
26. 李永達(928公眾妨擾案,審訊中)
27. 曾健超(襲警及拒捕,入獄5星期)
28. 鄭錦滿(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,入獄3個月)
29. 歐煜鈞(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,入獄1個月,緩刑1年)
30. 岑敖暉(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
31. 司徒子朗(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
32. 朱緯圇(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
33. 周蘊瑩(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
34. 蔡達誠(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
35. 張啟康(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
36. 馬寶鈞(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
37. 黃麗蘊(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
38. 楊浩華(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
39. 張啟昕(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
40. 陳寶瑩(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
41. 朱佩欣(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
42. 郭陽煜(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
43. 趙志深(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
44. 麥盈湘(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
45. 關兆宏(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
46. 馮啟禧(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
47. 熊卓倫(雨傘旺角清場刑事藐視法庭案,審訊中)
48. 陳耀成(蠔涌炸彈案,審訊中)
49. 鄭偉成(蠔涌炸彈案,審訊中)
50. 彭艾烈(蠔涌炸彈案,審訊中)
51. 胡啟賦(蠔涌炸彈案,審訊中)
52. 文廷洛(蠔涌炸彈案,審訊中)
53. 楊逸朗(立會火燒垃圾桶案,監禁2年)
54. 葉卓賢(立會火燒垃圾桶案,被判入勞教中心)
55. 馮敬恩(圍堵港大校委會案,已被定罪,9月判刑)
56. 李峰琦(圍堵港大校委會案,已被定罪,9月判刑)
57. 許嘉琪(旺角初一衝突,監禁3年)
58. 麥子晞(旺角初一衝突,監禁3年)
59. 薛達榮(旺角初一衝突,監禁3年)
60. 莫嘉濤(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
61. 李倩怡(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
62. 鍾志華(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
63. 何錦森(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
64. 霍廷昊(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
65. 陳和祥(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
66. 鄧敬宗(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
67. 李卓軒(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
68. 林永旺(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
69. 葉梓豐(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
70. 吳挺愷(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
71. 楊子軒(旺角初一衝突,被判入教導所)
72. 羅浩彥(旺角初一衝突,監禁3年)
73. 連潤發(旺角初一衝突,監禁3年)
74. 黃台仰(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
75. 梁天琦(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
76. 容偉業(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
77. 李諾文(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
78. 盧建民(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
79. 袁智駒(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
80. 林傲軒(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
81. 黃家駒(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
82. 李東昇(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
83. 林倫慶(旺角初一衝突,審訊中)
84. 吳文遠(披露受廉署調查人士身分案,審訊中;三文治擲梁振英案,審訊中;反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
85. 梁國雄(公職人員失當案,無罪釋放;藐視立法會案,審訊中;星島日報辯論比賽案,監禁7日)
86. 鄭松泰(倒轉國旗案,審訊中)
87. 林淳軒(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
88. 周嘉發(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
89. 葉志衍(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
90. 陳文威(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
91. 盧德昌(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
92. 鄭沛倫(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
93. 周樹榮(反釋法遊行案,審訊中)
94. 梁頌恆(立會非法集結案,審訊中)
95. 游蕙禎(立會非法集結案,審訊中)
96. 鍾雪瑩(立會非法集結案,審訊中)
97. 楊禮康(立會非法集結案,審訊中)
98. 張子龍(立會非法集結案,審訊中)

With so many pro-democracy Occupy activists in jail and many more soon to join them, Benny Tai has now announced:


"Occupy Prison has officially commenced!"

- There will be a mini-Hong Kong inside the prisons: Chief Executive (Donald Tsang), Chief Secretary (Rafael Hui), legislative councilors (Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law), lawyers (Martin Lee, Albert Ho, Alvin Yeung, Tanya Chan), law professor (Benny Tai), university students (Alex Chow, Joshua Wong), feng shui master (Chan Chi-chung, real estate tycoons (the Kwok brothers), media tycoon (Jimmy Lai), police officers (the Seven Evil Cops), neurotic unfaithful murderer wife (Nancy Kissel), rioters (Yeung Ka-lun), beach lifesaver (Kwok Siu-kit), social worker (Ken Tsang), Catholic archbishop (Joseph Zen), pastor (Chu Yiu-ming), singer (Denise Ho), actor (Gregory Wong), IT network administrator (Chan Pak-shan), interior decorator (Ray Wong), waiter (Billy Chiu), etc. Every conceivable service will be available.

- (HKG Pao) Civic Party chief Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu has this piece of sage advice for the North East New Territories 13 and the Civic Plaza 3: "Your criminal records make your lives more colorful." This drew the immediate question: "Will the Honorable Alvin Yeung please make your own life more colorful?"

- (Ming Pao) Editorial: On the rulings handed down to young activists.

13 protesters opposing the develop-ment plan of North East New Territories had originally been sentenced to community service for assaulting the Legco building. The Department of Justice, arguing that the punishment was too lenient, filed for sentences review. The Court of Appeal overturned the original sentence and sent the protesters to eight to thirteen months' immediate imprisonment.

Many activists and politicians, who are unhappy with the ruling, have repeatedly talked about things like "political persecution", "judicial violence" and "white terror". However, it is the behaviour of those who seek political publicity in complete disregard of legal viewpoints and making absurd accusations of "the judiciary being politicised" that is politicising the judiciary. The DOJ argued that at the time when the incident happened, more than one hundred people gathered illegally and they attacked the Legco building. They prised open the gate with bamboo and metallic objects, and destroyed the stone wall of the Legco building. In an instant, the incident escalated to a critical point of riot.

According to a legal precedent set in the UK in 1970, it is not easy to distinguish between unlawful assembly and violent assembly. The threat of using violence is not much better than the actual use of violence. Given the gravity of the case, any punishment other than immediate imprisonment would not be appropriate.

That good people have broken the law and been sent to prison is unfortunate. But that does not mean that they should escape punishment. If they think that the punishment handed down by the Court of Appeal is too harsh, they should appeal the ruling. Other people should not try to politicise it. It is those who politicise everything, employ double standards, take delight in seeing rulings that are compatible with their political stances and rail against the so-called political persecution by the "dependent judiciary" and the "cooperation of the three powers" who are insulting judicial independence.

The protesters and their supporters said that they had stood on the side of the disadvantaged not because they wanted to cause injuries. "Why should we end up this way just because we wanted to stop the violence of the establishment?" they asked. These young people are passionate about ideas and theories. But this could make them become bigoted and think that they understand the truth and justice. They could even be misled by dubious arguments and become trapped by the myth that "I am justice".

Take the so-called "violence of the establishment" as an example. Any place with social organisations, a power structure or a machinery of government has its own suppression and yoke of the establishment. But we do not see "tit for tat" as the only way to counter the violence of the establishment. To challenge the powerful and vested interests does not mean that one has to resort to sabotage. Early this year, when the 13 protesters appealed the ruling, the High Court already pointed out that the appellants' glib assertions that "a tyranny is coming into existence" and that "people have the right to rise against tyranny" could easily become an excuse for violence and as such were unacceptable.

The danger of the "I am justice" myth is that they believe that they are equivalent to justice and that justice will not prevail unless they prevail. This could easily result in they acting recklessly and trying to achieve the "big things" by employing any means. History books tell us that social activism mostly ends in failure. It takes generations and generations of hard work to advance social progress. The "I am justice" ideology, the belief that "no battle can be lost" and the unscrupulous use of violence actually impede the promulgation of their beliefs. Protests need to be conducted in good ways. One can test the boundaries, but they should not overstep the boundaries rashly. Nathan law, who is from Demosistō, says that the protesters in the case were forced to employ means that "the public might find repugnant" in order to fight for justice. This shows exactly what is wrong with the tactics of the protesters.

- Apple Daily


The New York Times editorial said that it will be a watershed in Hong Kong history should the three student leaders be the first group of political prisoners ...

- These three guys are the first group of political prisoners? Yeung Ka-lun was sentenced to 4 years 9 months in prison earlier this year. They refuse to mention a single word about him. History is written with certain selected heroes who fit the main theme and all other miscellaneous characters are cast into the trash bin.

- Yeung Ka-lun is definitely disposable because he is a nobody with zero propaganda value. More ambiguous will be the cases of Edward Leung and Ray Wong for participation in and incitement of rioting, because they have received considerable western media coverage already. Where will Senator Rubio, the UK Foreign Office and the New York Times stand?

- (Oriental Daily) August 18, 2017. A few days ago, the North East New Territories 13 had their sentences increased from community service to 13 months in prison. Yesterday, the Civic Plaza 3 were sentenced to an average of 7 months. Although these are about different subjects (North East New Territories urban development versus public access to Civic Plaza), their common nature is that they involved violent clashes and disruption of social order, and their common defense is that the principals were acting because they care about Hong Kong.

In terms of social influence, Joshua Wong (as former leader of Scholarism and current secretary-general of Demosisto), Nathan Law (as former Federation of Students vice-president and former Legislative Councilor) and Alex Chow (as former Federation of Students secretary-general) were far more important than the North East New Territories 13. But the 3 were sentenced to 6 to 8 months in prison versus the average 13 months for the 13.

And when the 3 were due to be sentenced, along come American senators and the New York Times to sing praises and issue threats. By contrast, they don't give a rat's ass about the 13. Could this be what is in Animal Farm: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others?"

- In Cantonese, the expression for exploiting a situation for personal gain is called "drawing water." For example, a cactus is chopped down and you siphon off the water. It is expected that politicians should exploit the case of Civic Plaza 3 to advance their own political interests. But, as with the case of Lam Tsz-kin, inappropriate handling can lead to blowbacks. In Cantonese, the expression becomes "drawing firewater (=kerosene)". So you try to siphon water but you drew kerosene instead, setting yourself on fire. Here is Yau Wai-Ching (HKG Pao):

<At a time when darkness hovers over our heads, we must be even firmer>: The existing judicial system is sending every single Hongkonger interested in improving our society to prison. They use every means possible to ruthlessly silence us. We are heartbroken to see the North East New Territories 13 and the Civic Plaza 3 gong to prison, because we know that they have always wanted to give their best to Hong Kong and instead they are so cruelly treated ... at a time when our companions and martyrs are being send to prison one by one, we have nowhere to retreat to. I sincerely ask everyone not to abandon the martyrs nor every Hongkonger who is still trying hard to persist."

- "Why don't you also get into street protests yourself?  You can start a riot! You can lead the way to charge into the People's Liberation Army barracks!  Do you expect to be an opposition member without shedding a drop of blood?"

- "The only thing that you are good at is telling other people to charge and die!"

- "You better give the money back to the Legislative Council! The money belongs to the People!"

- "Wait! You forgot to post your paypal account information so that people can donate more money for you to continue your valiant resistance!"

- Joint Statement of The Hong Kong Bar Association and The Law Society of Hong Kong in Response to Criticisms of Judicial Independence in Hong Kong

1. The Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong note with great concern editorial comments and other opinions reported in some international and local media in respect of the Hong Kong Court of Appeals recent decisions in relation to applications for reviews of sentences in cases of unlawful assembly.

2. It is not the practice of the Hong Kong Bar Association or the Law Society of Hong Kong to comment on the merits of individual cases, which may be the subject of appeal, nor is it appropriate to do so.

3. We would, however, point out that the decisions by the Hong Kong Courts are made solely according to law upon applications by one party or the other. We see no indication otherwise in respect of the recent cases which have generated widespread comment. Whatever opinion one may hold about the appropriateness or otherwise of the sentences imposed, the individuals concerned were convicted and sentenced for crimes committed after having been accorded due process through the courts with proper access to legal representation.

4. Open and rational debate on the issues raised in individual cases is to be encouraged in a civil society.

5. However, unfounded comments that judicial decisions were made or influenced by political considerations originating outside Hong Kong are unjustified and damaging to our legal system, and to Hong Kong as a whole.

6. We repeat what the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong said on previous occasions:

one must be careful and cautious when commenting on a court judgment and has to take into account the impact of such comment on the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. The bedrock to the rule of law in Hong Kong is the trust and confidence of the public and the international community towards our judges and the judicial system. Any inappropriate comment could fuel baseless and unnecessary suspicion on judicial independence, and may undermine the confidence of the public and the international community in the rule of law in Hong Kong....

We are fully confident that all judges in Hong Kong are capable of and will continue to abide by their judicial oath to uphold the Basic Law, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China, serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full accordance with the law, honestly and with integrity, safeguard the law and administer justice without fear or favour, self-interest or deceit. We will do our utmost to safeguard judicial independence in Hong Kong.(extracted from a statement issued by the Hong Kong Bar Association in February 2016 in response to statements that our courts passed unduly lenient sentences in public order cases)

The Rule of Law, as well as an independence and professional Judiciary, are widely respected by the Hong Kong community. These are also regarded highly by the international community to be the cornerstone for economic success of Hong Kong. This high level of respect and the confidence in the Hong Kong judicial system are instilled through long judicial history, hard earned tradition and constitutional entrenchment, as well as the continual efforts of the distinguished and professional judges. This should not and can never be undermined or compromised or be dragged into the political arena.(extracted from a statement issued by the Law Society of Hong Kong in September 2015)

The sentiments expressed in the above comments then apply equally now.

- (SCMP) Those who are leading our youth into lawbreaking should take a look in the mirror. By Alex Ho. August 19, 2017.

Its always painful to watch idealistic young people being sent to jail for their beliefs. But this does not mean they dont deserve their punishment or that they are being persecuted. Opposition groups and some overseas commentators have called the jailing of Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Alex Chow Yong-kang and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, a suppression of dissent. The New York Times editorialists have called the trio prisoners of conscience.

They are nothing of the sort. Free societies routinely jail protesters whose actions result in violence. The three spearheaded the storming of the government headquarters at Tamar which triggered the 79-day Occupy protests of 2014. If nothing else, their actions caused injuries to 10 security guards.

Though they were asked to impose tougher sentences than the community services the three were originally ordered to complete by a lower court, the High Court judges have been lenient in jailing them for six to eight months. The maximum sentence could have been up to five years.

The opposition has been quick to denounce the rulings as persecution. In a statement of breathtaking irresponsibility, disqualified lawmaker Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung claimed the court was effectively cooperating with the executive branch to root out dissent. In a similar vein, an editorial in The New York Times claims Hong Kong is in danger of losing its status as a free haven within China. Tellingly, as further evidence to its claim, the Times cites the alleged kidnapping and torture of Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin, completely oblivious to the fact that he has been charged for fabricating his story.

Its clear that many opposition politicians and activists only respect the rule of law and an independent court when rulings turn their way. Some foreign commentators are only too happy to parrot their claims, however specious.

Long column inches have been devoted to the recent jailing of activists. But perhaps the wisest commentary is from the latest judgment: There can be no excuse for those committing unlawful acts in the name of exercising those very freedoms they claim they are fighting for. Pursuing what activists think are noble ideals is not a free pass for undermining social order and public safety.

Who has led, or rather misled, our young idealists to jail? Its not the public prosecutors. Its those educated people who, as the judges wrote, recklessly encouraged others to break the law while claiming the moral high ground.

Those people know who they are.

Previous: #775: The Case of Lam Tsz-kin

(SCMP) August 15, 2017.

Instead of being pushed into a van and kidnapped by two Putonghua-speaking men, Hong Kong activist Howard Lam Tsz-kin got on a minibus in Mong Kok headed for Sai Kung, according to a police source close to the investigation, casting further doubt on his claims.

The latest revelation came after a police spokeswoman said investigators had found significant discrepancies between Lams account of his alleged kidnapping and his actual activities on the day.

At a press briefing early Tuesday morning, superintendent Cheng Lai-ki of the Kowloon West regional crime unit said police believed Lam had given officers false information.

She disclosed that the Democratic Party member had left Mong Kok alone safely by public transport on the day in question.

Our information did not show that he was pushed into a car as he claimed ... and his whereabouts were not like what he has said. We believe his information was false, Cheng said.

She said looking into the motives for Lams fabrications would be one of the directions taken by the investigation.

The injuries on his thighs, which Lam had shown reporters as evidence of abuse by his captors, would be examined by forensic experts.

Serious doubts about Lams story were earlier raised by FactWire news agency, which published a report on Monday night directly contradicting his version of events.

FactWire cited multiple video clips taken by CCTV cameras from Yau Ma Tei to discredit Lams claim that he was abducted and drugged by Putonghua-speaking men on Thursday at around 4pm after he bought a soccer shirt from a shop and was on his way to the MTR station on Pitt Street.

Lam claimed he was forced into a van on Portland Street and taken to a building in an unknown location where he was tortured by his abductors who punched staples into his legs, which he later showed the media and had removed surgically in a hospital.

He said he found himself dumped at a beach in Sai Kung between 1 and 2am, from where he took a taxi home. He held a press conference, backed by his party, to tell his story at 11am, before reporting the case to police.

FactWire reported that it had collected and put together nine pieces of footage to reconstruct the incident. They showed the activist leaving Portland Street at around 5pm.

Alone and unscathed, Lam put on a cap, surgical mask and sunglasses before walking back towards Hamilton Street and then towards Nathan Road. No suspicious persons mentioned by Lam were seen during the three-minute walk, the agency reported.

Lam appeared to be alone the whole time. A review of CCTV footage also found no suspicious persons or the alleged kidnappers.

FactWire also contacted Lam at his Ma On Shan home, where he first refused to comment, but was later persuaded to watch the footage and respond.

The Democrat denied he was the masked man in the footage, saying: It is horrible. I dont know whether someone wanted to do something behind my back ... people in my attire that day can be found anywhere. If someone wants to put me into trouble, they could have arranged a body double.

(YouTube) Closed circuit television videos obtained by FactWire

(Hong Kong Free Press) August 15, 2017.

Multiple CCTV clips obtained by FactWire appear to contradict democracy activist Howard Lam Tsz-kins own version of events in his alleged kidnapping by Chinese agents.

Last Friday, the Democratic Party member told reporters that he was snatched and drugged by two Putonghua-speaking men last Thursday at around 4pm, moments after buying a football shirt from a shop in Yau Ma Tei and on his way to the MTR station on Pitt Street.

Lam said he was then tortured and interrogated over his plan to send a signed photo of footballer Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. The incident allegedly occurred over a few hours at an unknown location, before he was released at a beach.

However, FactWire can reveal that multiple CCTV clips appear to show Lam leaving Portland Street, where he was allegedly abducted and forced into a car, at around 5pm. Alone and unscathed, Lam put on a cap, surgical mask and sunglasses before walking back towards Hamilton Street and then towards Nathan Road. No suspicious persons mentioned by Lam were seen during the three-minute walk.

To reconstruct the incident, FactWire collected nine items of CCTV footage from six shops on Portland Street near Hamilton Street and Pitt Street, showing various locations between 3pm to 7pm on the day of the incident. Lam appears in seven of the nine clips.

One clip captured by a shop camera on the corner of Portland Street and Hamilton Street, which points at the store from which Lam bought the shirt, shows him emerging from the shop at 5:41pm.

Lam is wearing a black t-shirt, dark blue shorts, white-rimmed black trainers and a dark-coloured watch on his left hand, and he is carrying a dark-coloured backpack. He then turns right and walks along Portland Street towards Pitt Street. Both of his feet point inwards as he walks.

The second and third clip, each pointing in the direction of Hamilton Street and Pitt Street respectively, were filmed by two cameras in a noodle restaurant located 50 metres from the first CCTV camera.

One camera caught a man emerging at 5:43pm from the direction of Hamilton Street. Already with a cap and sunglasses on, he is then captured putting on a surgical mask and putting his left hand through the left strap of his backpack as he moves from one side of the pavement near the road to the other near the wall.

Although the camera could not capture the face of the man, his outfit, build and walking posture match Lams in previous footage. The shops second camera pointing the opposite direction also caught him, back against the camera, walking towards the direction of Pitt Street.

Hamilton Street cuts through Portland Street, and the two shops mentioned above are located on each side. From the store at the junction of Hamilton Street, one would pass by Hamilton Street Rest Garden, two vacant shops, then a coffin shop and an electrical appliances store before reaching the noodle restaurant.

No security cameras were installed at the above locations, while the only camera installed at a building next to the garden also points in another direction.

According to a fourth camera set in a shop 20 metres away, near the corner of Portland Street and Pitt Street, the same man then walks across Portland Street to the other side of the road at around 5:43pm.

Two other clips obtained from a restaurant along the same pavement then show that he starts walking back towards Hamilton Street at 5:44pm. With his head down, the man keeps on walking and eventually turns right onto Nathan Road.

The CCTV camera at a shop next to the restaurant also caught him walking back towards the direction of Hamilton Street along Portland Street.

The seven clips are coherent. It took three minutes in total for Lam to leave the football store on Portland Street, cross Hamilton Street towards the junction with Pitt Street, before walking to the opposite pavement and heading back to Hamilton Street. He was out of CCTV coverage as turned right onto Nathan Road.

Lam appeared to be alone the whole time. A review of CCTV footage also found no suspicious persons or the alleged kidnappers.

FactWire reporters have completed the same route on foot in two and a half minutes at a normal pace.

When told by FactWire reporters at his home in Ma On Shan that he was captured leaving Portland Street safely, Lam initially refuse to provide a response or watch the footage.

As he gave in and agreed to watch the clips, Lam said the masked man was not him and stressed that he did not put on a surgical mask or cap on that day.

Lam said that the whole thing was bizarre. He said: It is horrible. I dont know whether someone wanted to do something behind my back people in my attire that day can be found anywhere. If someone wants to get me into trouble, they could have arranged a body double.

Lam stated that the police requested shop owners not to hand CCTV footage to reporters. He also questioned the source and credibility of the footage due to the time differences as marked on the screens, adding that it should have been the police instead of reporters to confront him on the matter.

(Ming Pao) August 15, 2017.

FactWire said that after they published the videos, the public raised more doubts. Their reporters were accused of being fed information to coordinate with the police. Therefore FactWire is disclosing the process of their investigation.

One hour after the Democratic Party press conference, FactWire sent out reporters to the scene to gather information. Some of the businesses furnished their surveillance videos. So on the first day, they had already procured three of the videos.

At about 4pm that day, a large number of police officers were sent to the scene to gather evidence. The next day, FactWire revisited the businesses and obtained the first video showing Lam Tsz-kin leaving the sports jersey store. By the night of August 13 (Sunday), FactWire had procured 8 videos from 5 businesses. FactWire then decided to contact Lam Tsz-kin for comments.

At first, Lam Tsz-kin declined to be interviewed. Even though the reporter said that they had procured videos, Lam refused to look at them. The reporter interviews Lam Cheuk-ting who happened to be there. Then Lam Tsz-kin agreed to be interviewed. Afterwards Lam said that it was very "bizarre."

FactWire re-emphasized that they went out with the simple intention of ferreting out the facts and reconstruct the event. They emphasized that their reporters have never contacted any law enforcement agency.

- Shooting the messenger: Sigmund Freud considered shooting the messenger a "marginal case of this kind of defense...of fending off what is distressing or unbearable", citing the example of "the famous lament of the Spanish Moors Ay de mi Alhama, which tells how King Boabdil received the news of the fall of his city of Alhama. He feels that this loss means the end of his rule. But he will not 'let it be true....He threw the letters in the fire and killed the messenger'". Freud added that "a further determinant of this behaviour of the king was his need to combat a feeling of powerlessness. By burning the letters and having the messenger killed he was still trying to show his absolute power."

- (Silent Majority For HK) August 17, 2017. In discussing the case, Civic Party chairman Alan Leong said on radio that he is not a friend of Lam Tsz-kin and is now knowledgeable about Lam's mental state. Therefore Leong finds it inappropriate to comment on why Lam chose to hold a press conference before going to the police.

However, Leong suspects that the Hong Kong Police leaked the progress of their investigation to FactWire. Appearing on the same radio program, legislator Paul Tse said that there was no reason why the police would do so, because this will only interfere with their investigation.

Alan Leong said that his original comments was based up the situation and information available at the time. But at this stage, everybody should shut up until the police has finished their investigation.

(TVB) August 15, 2017.

TVB has obtained another video which showed that a similarly dressed (black shirt, dark blue pants, black top white bottom sneakers, pigeon toe walking style) man showed up alone about 10 minutes later in a back lane between Dundas Street and Hamilton Street.

According to information, the police determined that Lam Tsz-kin went to a fast food restaurant on Nathan Road first. At around 6pm, he used a back lane to get to Dundas Street where he took a minibus to Sai Kung. He later went to the beach at Tai Mong Tsai Road.

(Oriental Daily) August 16, 2017.

According to our canvassing of the stores around the Sai Kung minibus terminal, many of the BBQ restaurants and hotels have provided their surveillance videos to the police. The Shum Tsai Kee noodle shop provided the videos from two cameras to the police. According to employee Mr. Shen, the individual in the video wore a baseball cap, sunglasses and surgical mask, it is likely to be Lam Tsz-kin. Shen said that Lam is not a celebrity, so why would anyone bother to find a body double in order to kidnap him? Besides, "where are you going to find someone of the same physique to walk around the same place at the same time?"

The Tung Chun Toy Store next door also provided videos to the police and the media. Owner Ms. Ching said that Lam had been inconsistent with his multiple versions of stories. The surveillance videos show that Lam is unlikely to have been kidnapped. "I tend not to believe him. It is highly improbable."

(Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017.

[4:50am] Police detectives took Lam Tsz-kin back to his home at Kam Huan House, Kam Fung Estate, Ma On Shan district and conducted a search. They took a number of items as evidence, including three mobile phones, one computer, one iPad, one pair of sunglasses and one eyeglass case. Lam was taken to the Ma On Shan Police Station and stayed there for about 5 minutes. He was then taken back to the Hung Hom Police Station and held overnight.

According to the police, Lam Tsz-kin was arrested at 12:30am in Tai Kok Tsui on suspicion of making a false report to mislead police officers. The police have checked the surveillance videos taken by nearby shops and interviewed the businesses. Their findings were at odds with what Lam Tsz-kin said. The preliminary findings are that he left Mong Kok by vehicle safely on his own and not pushed onto a vehicle. Furthermore his trail was not as described, as he had not gone near some of the places that he said.

(Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017.

The police have spread their search and found more surveillance videos. Lam Tsz-kin was seen to have boarded a red minibus from Dundas Street to Sai Kung city centre. This minibus departs from the Kwong Wah Hospital Outpatient building, goes through Nathan Road, Waterloo Road, Prince Edward East, Clearwater Bay Road, Sai Kung Road to the minibus terminal at Sai Kung Pier Wai Man Road.

(HK01) August 15, 2017.

Along Fuk Man Road from the Sai Kung Promenade towards the Sai Kung city centre, a number of businesses said that the police have asked them on August 13 (Sunday) evening whether they had seen Lam Tsz-kin. Some of the businesses (Tak Hing Noodles and the Filipino grocery store M2M Store) said that the police took their surveillance videos. The businesses said that they didn't notice Lam Tsz-kin. On Po Tung Road, the Hoi Shing Restaurant and Cava spanish restaurant also said that the police came and took their surveillance videos, but they don't recall seeing Lam Tsz-kin.

(Ming Pao) August 17, 2017.

According to information, the police have a surveillance video which showed the man with the baseball cap, mask and sunglasses walking alone by a BBQ field on Wai Man Road, Sai Kung district at about 7pm. They also have another video showing this man walking alone before sundown on Tai Mong Tsai Road to the rocky beach opposite Luna House. However, there is a gap between 7pm and 2am when. Then at 2am, Lam Tsz-kin was recorded in the lobby of his apartment building in Ma On Shan and by nearby convenience stores. But the police could not detect any signs of sand or mud on his body.

(Hong Kong Free Press) August 17, 2017.

Democratic Party member Howard Lam appeared in court on Thursday on charges of misleading police officers. He was released on HK$5,000 bail and is not allowed to leave Hong Kong until his next court hearing on September 14. The case was heard at the Kowloon City Magistrates Courts. Lam was initially set to be absent from the hearing as he was hospitalised, but the police said his doctors believed he could be discharged and attend.

Comments:

- CAP 232 Police Force Ordinance

Article 64. Offence of making false report of commission of offence, etc.

Any person who knowingly

(a) makes or causes to be made to any police officer a false report of the commission of any offence; or

(b) misleads any police officer by giving false information or by making false statements or accusations,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1,000 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

- Collateral damages:

Democratic Party:

- (TVB) August 15, 2017. Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai showed up after being in deep cover for so long to declare that the Democratic Party will make a solemn accounting after the truth of the Lam Tsz-kin affair comes out. Wu said that the Democratic Party called for a press conference based upon the information that Lam Tsz-kin provided to Martin Lee, Albert Ho and Lam Cheuk-ting as well as the  physical wounds. The publicity would provide protection for Lam Tsz-kin's personal safety. Wu said that since the investigation is still ongoing, it was inappropriate for the Democratic Party to comment.

- (Silent Majority HK) August 15, 2017. HK01 tried to call up Democratic Party members to ask them if "someone was dressed up as Lam Tsz-kin to frame him"? Everybody (Martin Lee, Albert Ho, Lee Wing-tat, Lam Cheuk-ting) avoided this like the plague except for one. Legislator Helena Wong (Democratic Party) had been quiet while this was going. But she came out after Lam Tsz-kin was arrested and told HK01 that she questioned whether the media found the same videos as the police did. Clearly Wong is sticking to her nickname of "Cloud-head" and being deliberately contrarian.

- Of course, the media did not get the same videos as the police. The noodle shop may have been willing to share the video with the FactWire reporter and the police, but the MTR will only give their videos to the police but not the media. So the police will have even more videos.

- (HKG Pao) August 15, 2017. Democratic Party ex-chairman Albert Ho said that he was surprised by how the crime victim Lam Tsz-kin has been turned into a suspected criminal. He said that he will not "easily suspect the victim." He urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation.

- (Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017. Democratic Party ex-chairman Albert Ho said that there is still uncertainty about whether the man with the baseball cap, surgical mask and sunglasses is Lam Tsz-kin. Besides he thinks that the police must explain how Lam Tsz-kin left Mong Kok that day. Right now, we cannot assume that Lam Tsz-kin is a liar and we cannot assume that the police have sufficient evidence. Will the Democratic Party apologize if Lam Tsz-kin did mislead the police? Albert Ho said that he does not answer hypothetical questions.

- (Ming Pao) August 15, 2017. Democratic Party ex-chairman Albert Ho said on Commercial Radio: "All the facts have been placed in front of everybody. You can all think about them. I am not going to comment."

- (Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017. Our reporter called up Martin Lee for comment. He said simply "The Democratic Party has issued a statement." He said that he will not comment anymore on this incident. Then he hung the phone quickly. Other attendees at the press conference such as Ng Wing-fai (Democratic Party Central Committee member), Lee Wing-tat (Democratic Party former legislator) and Lee Cheuk-yan (Labour Party former legislator) did not pick up their phones.

- (HKG Pao) August 15, 2017. Previously Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting had said on radio that it was wrong for Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu to say that there is no evidence to support Lam Tsz-kin's story. Lam Cheuk-ting said that the staples are the physical evidence and Lam Tsz-kin is the eyewitness.

- (Ming Pao) August 15, 2017. On radio, Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting said that he was having dinner at Lam Tsz-kin's home last night when the FactWire came to ask for comments on the videos. Lam Tsz-kin refused to view the videos, but Lam Cheuk-ting saw them first. Afterwards, Lam Cheuk-ting convinced Lam Tsz-kin to view them too. Lam Cheuk-ting agreed that the man who wore the baseball cap, surgical mask and sunglasses resembled Lam Tsz-kin in physical appearance, but he cannot be totally sure. But Lam Cheuk-ting said that Lam Tsz-kin told him personally that this was not him. Lam Cheuk-ting wants the police to disclose their information as quickly as possible and get to the truth.

- Fuck! Is this the same guy who said that the police must not be allowed to utter a single word about the case? Now he wants to divulge everything as quickly as possible?

- (Silent Majority HK) August 15, 2017. Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting said that it would be unfair to comment at this time and they need more confirmed evidence. He hoped the public understands that the Democratic Party is not an investigative agency and is not authorized to conduct detailed investigation.

- Fuck! The lack of an investigation never stopped you guys from concluding that Lam Tsz-kin was kidnapped by a "mainland powerful department" and tortured.

- (Oriental Daily) According to information, Martin Lee, Albert Ho and Lam Cheuk-ting did not notify the Central Committee before the press conference. Afterwards, one Central Committee member wrote to the group saying that the party should be prepared for various contingencies. This was a rational analysis that caused certain long-standing party members to remind him that fellow party members must be trusted. But as more evidence (including the surveillance videos) surfaced, the Central Committee members were stunned. They called a meeting this morning to discuss their strategies. One person expressed skepticism about the credibility of Lam Tsz-kin and called for a rational analysis. But someone else said that they must always trust a party member who seek their help. Due to the inability to reach consensus, the Central Committee decided not to severe themselves from Lam Tsz-kin. Instead they will wait until Lam is released before re-convening.

Others

- Democratic Party Facebook

Summary: 22 pro-democracy legislators write to Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu to demand a meeting as soon as possible to discuss mainland agents crossing the border to commit crimes. They cited the case of Poon Wai-hei being kidnapped and imprisoned in 2013 to the case of Lee Bo and now the case of Lam Tsz-kin. All these cases showed that mainland agents come to Hong Kong to carry out missions, kidnapping Hong Kong citizens and even using torture. "We cannot tolerate this situation. The Lam Tsz-kin affair is not an isolated incident. Therefore we demand that you and representatives of the Hong Kong Police to meet with us as quickly as possible to discuss whether the Hong Kong Police can effectively protect the safety of the citizens of Hong Kong when mainland agents come to Hong Kong to carry out their missions." Signed: Lam Cheuk-ting, Wu Chi-wai, Andrew Wan, Helena Wong, Roy Kwong, Hui Chi-fung, James To, Alvin Yeung, Jeremy Tam, Tanya Chan, Kwok Ka-ki, Chan Chi-chuen, Leung Yiu-chung, Leung Kai-cheung, Charles Mok, Siu Ka-chun, Lee Kwok-lun, Eddie Chu, Fernando Cheung, Claudia Mo, Dennis Kwok, Yip Kin-yuen.

- (Civic Party legislator Alvin Yeung's Facebook) August 11, 2017. "Democratic Party member Lam Tsz-kin appears to have been kidnapped by four to five mainland law enforcement agents in the middle of bustling Mong Kok, detained, assaulted, tortured and even "given some stapled crosses" on his thighs because Lam is Christian. They also told him: "This is a state affair; it is useless for you to tell the police." At a time when there is turmoil over mainland law in Hong Kong under the co-location arrangement for the High Speed Rail, a mainland department has come out and showed us how to enforce the law across the border. After Hong Kong cedes land to the Express Rail Link to enforce mainland laws, will these cases be more frequently? Will Hong Kong still be Hong Kong?"

- (Joshua Wong's Facebook)

Democratic Party's Lam Tsz-kin appeared to have been kidnapped by mainland powerful department agents and tortured. He was imprisoned and his highs were stapled in cross shapes. I was just interviewed live on BBC and I express my strong condemnation of this type of brutal torture.

Using this global live broadcast, I re-emphasized that nobody should receive violent treatment no matter what his political stance is. The concern of the people of Hong Kong for Mr. Liu Xiaobo will be vanish just because of the violence.

In the past, there have been many instances in which mainland powerful departments have kidnapped dissidents in Hong Kong. I am very worried that as such cross-border crimes become more common, the people of Hong Kong will be worried and One Country Two Systems will be severely damaged.

The people of Hong Kong must unite together to defend our basic rights in the face of the intrusion of the Chinese government against democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.

- (Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017. Previously Lam Tsz-kin told the media that he listened to his wife to bathe and then soak his clothes and shoes in water, thus destroying any physical evidence. Lam Tsz-kin was arrested early this morning. This morning at 8am and 11am, our reporter went to knock on the door of the Lam home in the company of security guards. Nobody answered. So his wife may be staying elsewhere to avoid the storm.

- Mrs. Lam is an eyewitness to a crime. So she was probably down at the police station assisting in the investigation.

- Co-location Concern Group Facebook



Another cross-border torture!
Lam Wing-kee/Lam Tsz-kin
They are the best reasons for opposing Co-location

Last year Causeway Bay Books owner Lam Wing-kee was taken by a "powerful department" back to mainland China and incarcerated. Today Democratic Party Lam Tsz-kin revealed that suspected national security personnel illegally kidnapped him and even tortured him by stapling his thighs.

Even before Co-location is implemented, the situation is already so grim. Once the Chinese Public Security Bureau comes to West Kowloon to enforce mainland laws, who knows how many more shocking acts of oppression and persecution will take place in Hong Kong ...

Opposing Co-location begins by signing your name: goo.gl/LTcDmP

- (Ming Pao) August 16, 2017. Civic Party chairman Alan Leong said that the Democratic Party had the right attitude. He said that forming a conclusion at this time is to disrespect the police who have more information than the Democratic Party. As an outsider, Leong said that he cannot tell what should the normal or appropriate response be, but he thinks that the Democratic Party can have its own judgment.

- Yes, he wants to drop a rock on top of the Democratic Party which is stuck in the bottom of the well.

- (HKG Pao) August 16, 2017. Western media coverage -- they won't even run a follow-up, much less a correction.

The New York Times Hong Kong Democracy Activist Says He Was Stapled by Chinese Agents
NY Daily News Hong Kong activist says Chinese tortured him for Messi photo
New Jersey Herald Hong Kong activist says Chinese tortured him for Messi photo
USA News Hong Kong activist says Chinese agent drove staples into his legs over message to footballer lionel messi
Remezcla Hong Kong Dissident Claims He Was Tortured After Requesting a Signed Photo of Lionel Messi
Reuters Hong Kong democracy activist says he was stapled by Chinese agents
BBC Hong Kong activist abducted by Chinese agents
Mirror Horrific injuries of activist kidnapped and tortured by Chinese agents with stapler then dumped on beach
The Guardian Hong Kong activist says he was stapled over Lionel Messi photo
Business Insider UK A Hong Kong pro-democracy supporter says he was abducted by Chinese agents
Daily Mail Hong Kong democracy activist is STAPLED 21 times by Chinese agents for giving a signed Lionel Messi photo to dissidents widow
Belfast Telegraph Hong Kong activist says Chinese tortured him for Messi photo
Radio Free Asia Hong Kong Democracy Party Member Abducted, Tortured
Taipei Times HK politician says stapled by Chinese agents
Nikkei Asian Review Beijings hand suspected in kidnapping of Hong Kong democrat
Aljazeera Hong Kong politician stapled by Chinese agents
Asia Times HK activist kidnapped, warned against Liu Xia contact
Borneo Bulletin HK pro-democracy supporter says abducted by agents
Christians in Pakistan Hong Kong police investigate Protestant politician claim he was kidnapped and tortured by mainland China agents
UCAnews Hong Kong Protestant tortured for showing concern for Liu Xia
Macau Daily Times HONG KONG ACTIVIST SAYS SECURITY AGENTS TORTURED HIM
The Star Online Hong Kong activist claims Chinese agents attacked him
Stuff Hong Kong activist says Chinese tortured him for Lionel Messi photo
SBS Howard Lam is stapled 21 times by Chinese agents for giving a signed Lionel Messi photo to dissidents widow
The Sydney Morning Herald Hong Kong democrat Howard Lam arrested for misleading police after abduction claims

- (Bastille Post) August 15, 2017.

... Why did so many senior leaders of the Democratic Party join the party with Lam Tsz-kin? At the press conference last Friday, Lam Tsz-kin was accompanied by party founding chairman and Senior Counsel Martin Lee, ex-party chairman and solicitor Albert Ho and current legislative councilor and former ICAC investigator Lam Cheuk-ting?

Even this morning after Lam Tsz-kin has been arrested and the surveillance videos were published, Albert Ho still continued to support Lam Tsz-kin. Ho said that he called Lam and Lam is that he was not the person in the videos. So Ho is still raising questions about identification. He said that if Lam Tsz-kin wanted to elude surveillance, wouldn't he have changed his clothes?

Ever since the story came to light on Friday, Internet users have raised many, many doubts. But the senior leaders of the Democratic Party chose to believe Lam Tsz-kin and they end up with a disaster on hand. In communication theory, these people are guilty of selective exposure.

Everybody has his own biases. People will tend to seek out things that are consistent with those biases for the sake of reinforcement. This is called confirmation bias. Lam Tsz-kin said that members from a mainland powerful department kidnapped and tortured him. Since Martin Lee and Albert Ho have believfed that "the Communist Party is evil" and "it is like this on mainland" over all these years, they accepted what Lam said in spite of the numerous inconsistencies and improbabilities.

- (Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017. Did another person dress up as Lam Tsz-kin in order to frame him? Indeed Albert Ho insisted that the FactWire videos are not conclusive. There is no doubt that the person in the first video is Lam Tsz-kin. The time was 5:41pm. Lam was walking down Portland Street in the direction of Pitt Street. He wore black clothes, dark blue shorts, sneakers with black top and white bottom, dark-colored wristwatch on the left hand, wearing a black backpack. He also walked in pigeon toe style. In the second video which was taken 2 minutes later at the intersection of Portland Street and Pitt Street, the man was now seen wearing a cap and sunglasses. As he got near the surveillance camera, he also put on a white surgical mask. This man had the same physique, clothes, shorts, sneakers, wristwatch, backpack and even pigeon toe walking style.

The remaining videos showed this man walking towards Pitt Street, crossing Portland Street, switching back towards Hamilton Street and finally leaving towards Nathan Road. He was on his own, and there was no sign of any suspicious kidnappers.

- (The Stand News) The problem with the FactWire videos is that they assume that the individual who began to show up in and after the second video must be Lam Tsz-kin. This person wore a baseball cap and a surgical mask. He may have looked like Lam in clothing and physique. I cannot see his face, so I cannot be sure if this was a body double.

Lam Tsz-kin said that he was kidnapped in the section between Hamilton Road and Pitt Street. This is somewhere between the first and third videos. The first video confirmed that he was on Hamilton Street. But there are 50 meters of space between the first and second videos. There are no surveillance cameras in that section. What happened there? Is the person who showed up in the second video a body double? We must pay attention to this when we discuss the videos.

- Lam Kay's Facebook

Even if Lam Tsz-kin is eventually proven to have lied, FactWire has still committed a "very bold" supposition.

That is to say, there is no direct evidence between the first and second cameras to prove that the two individuals are the same person. Although this is highly likely, this is still not direct evidence. Yet FactWire wrote: "The closed circuit television saw Lam Tsz-kin leave Portland Street safely." Even if the clothes are the same, this is not proof that he "departed safely"? Where is the evidence. This is especially so when the accusation is directed against the victim of a crime and not some government or organization.

Therefore they must choose more neural worlds. It was unnecessary to lose public trust over this.

- Various businesses gave their surveillance videos to FactWire. According to Guidance on CCTV Surveillance and Use of Drones,

On the use of personal data, DPP3 stipulates that personal data shall only be used for the purposes for which it was collected or a directly related purpose. Unless the data subject gives prescribed consent (which means express consent given voluntarily) or if any applicable exemptions under the Ordinance apply, personal data should not be used for a new purpose.

When a data user (e.g. building management company) is asked to provide copies of CCTV records to a law enforcement agency (e.g. the police) for criminal investigation purpose, the exemption provided under section 58(2) of the Ordinance7 may apply. The data user, however, is under no general obligation to supply the personal data as requested. Before the exemption is invoked, the data user must be reasonably satisfied that failure to supply the data would likely prejudice the investigation.

So Lam Tsz-kin should sue those businesses for violating his data personal privacy.

- The people's right to know the truth supersedes any stupid law that protects criminals.

- The Hong Kong Police Facebook has a public service announcement: Always keep a safe distance between vehicles and allow for a two-second stop.

- Explanation: On the Hong Kong Internet, there is a saying about "following the vehicle ahead too closely and getting caught in an accident." This is an alert not to jump in with bold comments when the facts are still not known. For the Hong Kong Police to post this public service announcement at this particular time is, of course, dark humor.

- If you denounce the Hong Kong Police for engaging in politics, then you are following the vehicle ahead too closely.

More from the Hong Kong Police Facebook about what a crime victim should do:

- Derivative Art for the Hong Kong Correctional Services:
Attention!
All officers on duty should be careful to remove the following objects in case some stupid dick uses them on himself and blame you for it!
--- LAN cable wires
--- Bed sheets
--- Staplers
--- ... and all other objects (because who knows what they can do!)
At most, you can leave them two filet-of-fish burgers.

- (The Stand News) August 15, 2017.

Let us suppose that Lam Tsz-kin made up the whole thing (for whatever reason). Two things won't change:

(1) There is a genuine risk that Chinese law enforcement agents or their surrogates will carry on their business of arresting people here. This is not reduced just because Lam Tsz-kin lied.

(2) Co-location is ceding land to enforce mainland laws, and this will make cross-border law enforcement even easier.

The high efficiency of the Hong Kong Police in solving this case points out several things:

(i) the closed circuit television coverage in Hong Kong is very high
(ii) the Hong Kong Police is very efficient in gathering evidence (if they want to)
(iii) the Hong Kong Police will strike back if you file a false complaint with them

In the case of Lam Wing-kee, he claimed to have been escorted back to Hong Kong by mainland law enforcement agents but he decided to contact Albert Ho for help. He made a police report. Based upon what happened in the Lam Tsz-kin case, there must have been plenty of surveillance videos of Lam Wing-kee in Hong Kong. But that case is unsolved after more than one year. Nobody is saying that Lam Wing-kee was lying, no closed circuit videos have been released and Lam Wing-kee has not been charged with filing a false report. You should know what the differential treatment means.

- McDonald's was the biggest winner in the Lam Tsz-kin. Here is a man who was drugged, tied up, assaulted and stapled 21 times. He was dumped on a rocky beach in the middle of the night. What does he do when he came to? He flagged down a taxi to take him to a McDonald's where he ate two filet-o-fish burgers. I bet you didn't know that filet-o-fish burgers work as pain-killers!

Headline Daily featured the FactWire videos as their front page headline story. On the same page, McDonald's is offering two hamburgers for $10 today for Hongkongers to celebrate. This can't just be a coincidence, right?

Derivative art: Lam Tsz-kin as spokesperson for McDonald's filet-o-fish.

- Derivative Video Art to the tune of Jingle Bells.

- Derivative Art: the stapler is the most powerful of the top ten weapons deployed by the "powerful department"

- Derivative Art: Kim Il Jong has immediately ordered the mass production of the latest breakthrough in weapons of mass destruction:

- Derivative Art: Democratic Party flyer for a day trip


Director/actor: Lam Tsz-kin
Mong Kok -> Sai Kung day trip
A meticulously designed mysterious tour to explore the secrets of the relationship among geography, human nature and patriotism.
Date: August 10, 2017
Time: 4pm
Assemble in Yau Ma Ti -> Pick up by special mystery vehicle -> Sai Kung Beach -> Return home on your home in the early hours -> Must hold press conference
Reward: Two filet-o-fish burgers at the end

- The Shum Tsai Kee noodle restaurant provided their surveillance videos to the police and the media. In so doing, they are cooperating with the Chinese Communist regimes in Hong Kong and mainland China. Shum Tsai Kee had better worry about being harassed by pro-democracy activists.

- I firmly believe that videos of the masked man was staged by the police the next day with an actor. Shum Tsai Kee's original surveillance video did not contain no sign of him. Shum Tsai Kee colluded with the police to take the video the next day and provide the recording. Brother Shum will go to jail for fabricating evidence.

- Derivative Art: The mainland powerful department has achieved a scientific breakthrough in replicant technology.


Top panel: "I am innocent. That wasn't me!"
Bottom left panel: Needle marks showing that DNA had been extracted
Bottom right panel: A failed replicant along the way

- This was clearly a case of religious persecution: Lam Tsz-kin said that they stapled him in the shape of crosses because he is a Christian. He said that he intends to attend Yale University in September to obtain a doctorate in theology. He has even purchased the airplane ticket already. He is also known to speak on behalf of the Falun in support of the 43 million brave people who have resigned from the Chinese Communist Party:

- (Headline Daily) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. August 15, 2017.

On the night before yesterday, the TVB serial drama <Legal Maverick> included a story of the blind hero being stabbed several times and left on a Sai Kung beach. This was supposed to be a nerve-racking development, but I cannot help but giggle when I remembered the stapled guy also found on this Sai Kung beach.

The last few days have been very exciting on the Internet. We were getting so many derivative art spoofs. But these were only coming from the pro-establishment camp. Meanwhile the Yellow Ribbon media, the umbrella soldiers and the pro-independence camp were quieter than a library. Whereas James To, Alan Leong, Tanya Chan and Claudia Mo used to pounce out at the drop of a hat, they were in total hiding now.

Yellow Ribbon media such as Apple Daily, Ming Pao, RTHK, Stand News, HK01 ... used to hype up on every minor issue day and night, but now they are giving the story of the stapled guy the cold  treatment. Even more amazing is the fact that nobody organized a demonstration march and/or fundraising campaign this Sunday in support of the stapled guy. This is definitely not Yellow Ribbon style.

Even more astonishing was the reaction of the stapled guy himself. At the press conference, he was running ahead in the full steam and thinking that he will become the next Lam Wing-kee with his photo appearing in an MTR ad as the new God of Democracy. But things are turning out like what happened at the Park n Shop incident that he led against the real property hegemony. At first, he thought that it would be cool; instead the critical opinion against him was unanimous. So after the many self-contradictions that emerged, our stapled guy hid at home and uploaded a video in which he proclaimed himself to be a "coward."

This "coward" supposedly said that he had a headache and/or stomach ache and refused to go down to the police station to give his statement. Instead, he went on a RTHK radio program to courageously answer questions. Having placed media exposure over rule-of-law, the shaky brand of the Democratic Party has been buried by this courageous coward.

- (EJ Insight) Is Howard Lam lying through his teeth? By SC Yeung. August 15, 2017.

The case of the alleged abduction of Democratic Party member Howard Lam has failed to draw the same public attention as the case of Causeway Bay Bookstores Li Bo early last year.

Does it mean that Hong Kong people dont feel much concerned about the latest incident of supposed mainland law enforcement in our territory, or is it that they simply dont buy the pro-democracy activists tale?

Lam links his alleged abduction and torture to his plan to send an autographed photo of Argentine football star Lionel Messi to Liu Xiaobos widow Liu Xia, but his narrative, from the time he said he was abducted in Yau Ma Tei on Thursday to the time he found himself on a beach in Sai Kung on Friday, raises more questions than answers.

Why mainland agents would seize, drug and torture him for a photo of a soccer star, or even for trying to contact the widow of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is hard to fathom.

Such a puzzle has enabled the pro-Beijing camp to cast doubts on Lams allegations and accuse him of fabricating the story to throw mud at Beijings reputation and raise fears among the public about the dangers of the co-location arrangement for the Express Rail Link.

Lam, the supposed victim, has quickly turned into a villain. With the public opinion going against him, Lam turned his resentment to the Hong Kong police, and accused the force of trying to discredit him by being selective in disclosing information about the case.

Before the Hong Kong public make their own judgement on the case, they should carefully evaluate the facts.

Accoding to Lam, the incident happened at around 4 p.m. on Thursday, shortly after he bought a football shirt from a shop in Yau Ma Tei. He said he was on his way to the MTR station on Pitt Street when he was snatched and drugged by two Putonghua-speaking men, whom he suspected of being Chinese national security officers.

However, CCTV footage seen by FactWire news agency on Monday afternoon appears to belie Lams story. The video clips appear to show him wearing a cap, sunglasses and a face mask, alone and apparently unharmed, as he was walking from Portland Street at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, or an hour after he was supposed to have been abducted. No suspicious-looking persons were seen near him during the three-minute walk.

Hours after the FactWire report was published, police arrested Lam on Tuesday morning on suspicion of misleading them about his kidnapping claims.

Police said Lams story does not match the findings of their investigation. Thus, they suspect the Democratic Party member was providing false information to mislead the police.

The question, however, is, why did the police immediately conclude that Lam fabricated his story and arrested him right away?

Why did the police immediately conclude that the man on the CCTV footage was actually Lam? Did they review the CCTV footage or just relied on FactWires report? Police did not explain exactly how Lam misled the police. And if Lam was lying, did he injure himself by applying a stapler to his legs?

No doubt, the CCTV footage is creating doubts on the credibility of Lam and even his esteemed colleagues at the Democratic Party, including founder Martin Lee and former chairman Albert Ho, who helped him in bringing out the matter to the public via a press conference last Friday.

Ho has been quoted as saying that he still believes Lams allegations and that the CCTV footage may not be telling the whole story.

But as far as the public is concerned, the entire party is now under the shadow and may be a willing party to a conspiracy of disinformation and perjury.

This could give the pro-establishment camp an opportunity to accuse the opposition of misleading the public on cross-border law enforcement.

The government of Carrie Lam should remain neutral on the issue until the police finally decide whether to file charges against Lam, or if new evidence surfaces to support his allegations.

- Lam Tsz-kin was reported to have boarded from Mong Kok to Sai Kung that night. This movie poster is a spool on the movie <The Midnight After>, which has a long Chinese title of <Early morning that night, I boarded the red van from Mong Kok to Tai Po>. This latest re-make is titled <That afternoon, Mr. Lam boarded the red van from Mong Kok to Sai Kung>.

- If taking a minibus means being kidnapped by a "mainland powerful department", then I get kidnapped every day by a "mainland powerful department."

- We have photographic proof that Lam Tsz-kin was taken away against his will by two Chinese putonghua-speaking "powerful department" agents.

By the way, the two men are Hong Kong Police officers who took Lam Tsz-kin back to this home at Kam Huan House, Kam Fung Estate, Ma On Shan district to search for evidence. Indeed, the Hong Kong Police is a "powerful department" and their officers speak putonghua to some degree.

- Damn it! I was having so much fun watching the 'pro-democracy camp' digging ever deeper holes for themselves. But suddenly FactWire came around and burst the bubble. Damn it! If they had waited one more week, we would have seen entertaining scenes such as

- (HKG Pao) August 15, 2017.

According to a person familiar with police procedures, the police would normally gather more evidence if they suspect that Lam Tsz-kin filed a false police report and delay the arrest until later. But once FactWire published their videos, the police had to move immediately because their suspect may begin to destroy the evidence (clothes, shoes, baseball cap, backpack, Octopus card, etc).

- (iCable) August 16, 2017. When the police took Lam Tsz-kin home, they found and took away several mobile phone, a laptop, a computer, a pair of sunglasses and a cap.

- FactWire has limited resources, so they concentrated on the scene of the alleged kidnapping (MTR exit A1). The police had mobilized 300 person-shifts on this investigation, so they already knew that Lam Tsz-kin had taken the minibus to Sai Kung. On August 13 (Sunday), the police were canvassing the Sai Kung businesses and obtaining their surveillance videos. The media were not aware yet.

- (Silent Majority HK) August 15, 2017.

On August 11 (Friday), the day of the Democratic Party press conference, HK01 carried 25 reports. The treatment began to cool down gradually. By yesterday there was only 3 reports. But after Lam Tsz-kin got arrested, HK01 rebooted in earnest. By 530pm this afternoon, they already have 13 reports for the day. Furthermore, they have renamed their series from <The kidnapping of Lam Tsz-kin> to the <The arrest of Lam Tsz-kin>. At a time when Stand News is still fighting the lost batlle, HK01 is turning directions and still leading the pack.

Publication August 11 August 12 August 13 August 14 August 15
HK01 25 8 3 3 13
Apple Daily NA 9 8 2 2
Ming Pao NA 9 3 2 3
The Stand News 8 4 3 4 12
HKG Pao 3 7 9 10 8
Silent Majority HK 2 9 6 8 7
Speakout HK 2 1 4 9 14

- (EJ Insight) Worrying questions surround the Howard Lam saga. By Stephen Vines. August 18, 2017.

Democratic Party member Howard Lams claims of having been abducted and tortured by mainland officials appear shakier by the day but subsequent police action and his arrest for misleading the police also raise a great number of worrying questions.

First, how come the police have devoted such enormous resources to investigating Lam for a crime that hardly rates as being among the most serious?

Secondly, how come the police, who are usually very tight-lipped about the arrest of suspects, have suddenly sprung leaks in every part of their enquiry?

Indeed, when a staggering total of some 50 officers were mobilized to search a Sai Kung beach for evidence in connection with Mr. Lams charge, the media were there in full force to record their every action.

Thirdly, how come the police, who have yet to reveal the findings of their investigation of the five Causeway Bay booksellers two years ago, have moved so rapidly and conclusively in this case?

The same question surrounds police action following the abduction of businessman Xiao Jianhua from the Four Seasons Hotel in Central. This investigation has been shrouded in total secrecy, assuming that is that any serious investigation was ever made.

Mr. Lam has yet to be proven guilty of the charges laid so the possibility remains that his story is true. However, if it is not, why did he produce such a lurid tale when there was a high possibility of the truth being uncovered?

Who benefits from raising allegations of this kind and then having them so publicly demolished?

Given that it is hardly difficult to find real and disturbing evidence of mainland official meddling in Hong Kong, why make up a story, unless the aim of so doing was to discredit genuine accusations of meddling?

Of course, another explanation of all this runs on the lines of the cock-up theory of history a very useful tool for analyzing why things happen. This theory holds that stupidity, mistakes and unintended actions produce remarkable outcomes. This may well explain whats happening here.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are wetting themselves in glee over this affair, rushing to proclaim that it signifies the death of credibility for the democrats. They sagely nod their heads and even pretend to be somewhat saddened that the days of democrat popularity are now over.

Strangely, however, these same people who have reached this conclusion had absolutely nothing to say earlier in the month when a prominent rural leader, government supporter and District Councilor, Tang Lai-tung, was arrested during a widespread anti-Triad operation involving a range of criminal activity.

It seems that when pro-government personalities wander across the line of integrity this does not reflect badly on the pro-government camp as a whole.

Cynics will say, well, thats politics for you, and indeed it is so. People do stupid things, politicians are often first in line when it comes to stupidity and yes, it is a dirty old business.

However, what is most disturbing here is not the actions of politicians but of the police force who appears to be increasingly used for political ends and whose reputation for integrity is greatly undermined as a result.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong pan-democrats dig themselves into deep hole over Howard Lam kidnap claim. By Michael Chugani. August 15, 2017.

There I was, minding my own business in Mong Kok, a district teeming with mainland tourists, sex workers and shady bars when Putonghua-speaking goons shoved me into a vehicle in broad daylight and took me to goodness knows where.

When I came to, I had been stripped down to my underpants. My abductors taunted me about not loving the motherland, then punched staples into my thighs. Does that pass as torture? The terrorists holed up at Guantanamo will know.

Hours later, I found myself fully clothed lying on a beach in pitch darkness. Was I even in Hong Kong? My muddied backpack containing my switched-off mobile was next to me. I didnt think of switching it on to check where I was or to call for help. Instead, I felt hunger pangs. That can be more painful than 21 staples punched into thighs.

Even though it was dark I somehow knew I was in Sai Kung. I stumbled upon a road where a passing taxi took me back to civilisation. I downed two buns. Forget the staples, food comes first. Then I went home. My mother moaned about my clothes and backpack stinking of seawater. Instead of preserving them as evidence I soaked them. Then I had a nice shower, staples still in thighs.

- (SCMP) Its now for the court of public opinion to judge the pan-dems. By Alex Lo. August 16, 2017.

Now that Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin has been arrested for making false statements about his alleged abduction and torture by mainland agents, its a case for the legal authorities.

But those grandaddies of the pan-democratic movement who have been directly responsible for creating this media circus must be held accountable in the court of public opinion.

Against all common sense and simple decency, Martin Lee Chu-ming, Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lee Cheuk-yan and others organised a press conference and put Lam in front of the cameras instead of alerting the police. At the very least, they could have obtained more reliable information from Lam before going public. Lee, SC, who is at the very top of the barristers list in terms of seniority, later complained that Lam was foolish and legally ignorant for not preserving evidence of his ordeal because he had washed his clothes and bag.

The irresponsibility and amateurism of such veteran politicians simply defies belief; their motives can only be guessed at. Its not lost on people that the incident comes at a time when pan-democrats and localist radicals have been agitating for the public to oppose a plan to put mainland customs and immigration officers inside the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus. Yet, despite wild exaggerations and fearmongering about the end of one country two systems and rogue agents detaining travellers in the heart of the city, their campaign has so far failed to gain traction.

Lams claims, if true, would have been a godsend and helped to turn public opinion. Localists such as Joshua Wong Chi-fung of the political group Demosisto have been quick to draw such a connection about the dangers of co-locating mainland officers in West Kowloon. Before Lams arrest, no less than 21 opposition lawmakers wrote to security secretary John Lee Ka-chiu to demand a meeting and complain about the official handing of the case. Clearly, they were hoping to squeeze as much mileage out of the incident as possible and raise public suspicion against the central and Hong Kong governments.

Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, who had warned that people should be afraid of even walking near the future West Kowloon terminus if co-location went ahead, rightly said the fight against it was a fight over public opinion. But thanks to the furore over Lam, opposition politicians now learn that public opinion can be a double-edged sword.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong pan-democrats dig themselves into deep hole over Howard Lam kidnap claim. By Michael Chugani. August 16, 2017.

There I was, minding my own business in Mong Kok, a district teeming with mainland tourists, sex workers and shady bars when Putonghua-speaking goons shoved me into a vehicle in broad daylight and took me to goodness knows where.

When I came to, I had been stripped down to my underpants. My abductors taunted me about not loving the motherland, then punched staples into my thighs. Does that pass as torture? The terrorists holed up at Guantanamo will know.

Hours later, I found myself fully clothed lying on a beach in pitch darkness. Was I even in Hong Kong? My muddied backpack containing my switched-off mobile was next to me. I didnt think of switching it on to check where I was or to call for help. Instead, I felt hunger pangs. That can be more painful than 21 staples punched into thighs.

Even though it was dark I somehow knew I was in Sai Kung. I stumbled upon a road where a passing taxi took me back to civilisation. I downed two buns. Forget the staples, food comes first. Then I went home. My mother moaned about my clothes and backpack stinking of seawater. Instead of preserving them as evidence I soaked them. Then I had a nice shower, staples still in thighs.

Refreshed, I called my mates who persuaded my family that I should call a press conference to show off my bruised thighs before calling the cops.

When I heard Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin tell his tale on Chinese-language radio stations accompanied by party colleagues, I sensed his story smelt fishier than his clothes.

Evidence collected so far has led police to conclude Lams story is full of holes. But the biggest hole is the one the opposition has dug for itself. In its haste to embrace Lams story as definitive proof Beijing thinks nothing of trampling on us, the opposition has also exposed its obsession to smear the Communist Party whenever it can.

If it turns out Lam told a tall tale, I cant see how the opposition can extricate itself from the hole of its own making without a tarnished reputation. It used Lams alleged abduction to stoke fear against having mainland officials at the West Kowloon express railway terminus.

That strategy is now in the same hole as the opposition. The loyalists must be smirking with glee.

- (SCMP) Are Hong Kongs pan-democrats finished? Staplegate is a sign of the times. By Yonden Lhatoo. August 17, 2017.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy, a wise man once wrote.

Is that the story of Hong Kongs pan-democrats?

There used to be a time when they were seen as a meaningful opposition force to counter some of the shoeshiners, sycophants and rubber stampers in the pro-establishment camp that has always dominated the citys legislature. Not any more.

Not only are they becoming more irrelevant and ineffectual by the day, they seem to be plumbing new depths of political farce and buffoonery. Just look at the circus that has been dubbed Staplegate.

Im talking about the way they handled the case of Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin, who shocked the city with his sensational story about being kidnapped and tortured by mainland agents operating outside their jurisdiction.

Lam claimed he was snatched by Putonghua-speaking men from a busy street in broad daylight, bundled into a van and taken to an unknown location where they punched staples into his legs before dumping him on a beach last week.

It was, according to him, punishment for planning to send a signed photograph of soccer star Lionel Messi to the wife of the late mainland dissident, Liu Xiaobo.

Lam has been charged with misleading police after his story unravelled during their investigation and the case is now in court, so the less said about it, the better, until a judge determines whether he made it all up.

What is definitely worth talking about is how it has left the pan-democrats with egg on their faces and their credibility in tatters.

They threw common sense and caution to the wind in their eagerness to maximise the political mileage they saw in Lams story, starting with the Democratic Party holding a press conference to parade him staples and all in front of the media cameras before even reporting the case to police.

The luminaries of the pan-democratic leadership, including heavyweight lawyers, were quick to jump to conclusions about a further erosion of Hong Kongs autonomy and a death knell for the one country, two systems policy.

Some of them made quantum leaps into ludicrous conspiracy theories, linking Lams case to the co-location controversy.

Thats the other ongoing political circus over plans to set up a joint immigration and customs checkpoint at the West Kowloon terminus for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.

While this sort of arrangement is perfectly normal the world over when it comes to facilitating cross-border travel, the mere thought of their mainland compatriots exercising any sort of jurisdiction on the Hong Kong side, even in a closed zone officially leased to them, unhinges our doughty pan-democrats.

Their ranks in the Legislative Council have been decimated by the disqualification of colleagues who mangled or distorted their lawmakers oaths and have only themselves to blame for misguided political grandstanding.

Instead of strategising to regain lost ground and win back the vacant seats through impending by-elections, theyre busy crying wolf and complaining about Communist Party monsters under their beds.

People are tired of the same old narrative and negativity. Just look at the dwindling turnouts at pro-democracy rallies that once used to draw massive crowds.

We need a credible and competent opposition camp in Hong Kong, to keep a check on the government and its cronies. Not this hysterical bunch stapling themselves in the foot.

- (Ming Pao) Editorial : Pro-democracy figures must act responsibly. August 17, 2017.

THE CASE of the alleged abduction of Howard Lam (a Democrat) has taken an abrupt turn. The accuser has become an accused and got arrested on suspicion of misleading police officers. The Democratic Party's credibility is now faced with blows. Democratic-Party and Civic-Party legislators have reacted cautiously, saying that they hope the whole truth will come out soon and that it is inadvisable now to come to any conclusion. Their attitude is totally different from that some pro-democracy figures adopted when the affair first came to light. Those people could not wait to allege people belonging to "forceful agencies" of the mainland had crossed the border to kidnap a man unlawfully. They even dragged checkpoint co-location in. The case, which has to do with whether any person has falsely reported an instance of false imprisonment with a view to panicking society, is of great significance. The police ought to look into it impartially.

The way the case has unfolded shows the Democratic Party may have made a grievous political mistake when it came to its judgement. For that it may have to pay a hefty political price. How some pan-democratic legislators have conduct themselves is not commendable either. Seeing a fellow member's body covered with staples, Democrats may not have been as calm as they should have been. They may therefore have failed to make well-judged moves. That is perhaps understandable. However, some pro-democracy legislators hastened to link the affair to checkpoint co-location, saying, "It isn't democrats that have caused fear, but fear has proved real.... None of the three steps towards checkpoint co-location should ever be taken." Clearly, they have played the matter up politically and seized the opportunity to fan the flames.

In relation to Lam's arrest, Civic-Party legislator Tanya Chan has said her statement that the case corroborated the fact that citizens' worry of checkpoint co-location was not exaggerated was made on the basis of the information she then had, adding it is inadvisable to come to any conclusion at the present stage. However, some legislators have just told the electronic media they will not make any comments for the time being. Legislators ought to act responsibly. Those who vigorously capitalised on the affair then and dodge and hedge now can hardly be called frank and open-hearted. If it is established that Lam has made a false report, those legislators must give the public an explanation must not just mention it casually as if nothing had happened. The Lam case arose when the co-location public-opinion battle went on. The pan-democrats are unlikely to win the legality battle, and they are at a disadvantage in the public-opinion battle. If Lam is found to have made a false report, the pan-democrats' credibility will inevitably be damaged, and it will be even harder for them to win the public-opinion battle.

Lam has been arrested for making a false report. It rests with the police to find out whether the case has to do with a ruse of self-injury or only with persecutory delusion. It is unfair to hazard any unfounded judgement. However, if any person who is against checkpoint co-location does what may harm "one country, two systems" and cause society to panic, one may call him more than malicious and so unscrupulous as to stop at nothing. Any person may pursue what he thinks just. However, chaos will certainly reign in the world if all believe that, to do so, one may use fair means or foul, resort to violence and tell lies. Linked together, unscrupulousness, double standards and "I embodying justice" form a "trinity of rashness in action". A person troubled with it does not distinguish between good and evil or between right and wrong. As he thinks he is justice itself and justice will not be done unless he prevails, he may go to any lengths to achieve his objective. The horrible "trinity" may cause people to take leave of their senses, glibly use sophistries and push society towards danger. Such people must be closely watched out for.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) August 16, 2017. While undergoing police questioning on Tuesday night, Lam reportedly told the officer on duty that he was experiencing acid reflux and headaches at 11:44pm, according to Ming Pao. He asked to see a doctor, and the authorities immediately arranged for him to be sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in an ambulance.

- The police can detain him for 48 hours without charge. He was unresponsive during the questioning. By faking illness, he stalls for more hours. Soon the time will be up and he can walk free and go to study theology at Yale University at the end of the month.

(InMediaHK @YouTube) June 13, 2014 at the Legislative Council
(InMediaHK @ YouTube) June 13, 2014 at the Legislative Council

(SCMP) August 15, 2017.

Thirteen Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters convicted of unlawful assembly were jailed for between eight and 13 months on Tuesday after prosecutors launched a successful bid to obtain a harsher punishment from the court.

The 13, part of a wider group who in 2014 stormed the Legislative Council over a controversial government development project, were originally given community service by a lower court in 2015.

In sentencing, Magistrate Jason Wan Siu-man had taken into account that the activists had held a noble cause of speaking up for the ignored when they took part in the protest on June 13, 2014 against the development project in Hong Kongs northeastern New Territories. Critics said the project would leave people homeless.

But the prosecutors returned to the Court of Appeal on Monday in a session to review the sentence, arguing that their crime was serious because the group had teamed up with others to storm the legislature despite being aware of a police presence. They asked the court to jail the 13 as a deterrent.

A panel of three justices Court of Appeal vice-president Wally Yeung Chun-kuen and Justices of Appeal Derek Pang Wai-cheong and Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor on Tuesday agreed with the prosecutors, saying that community service was manifestly inadequate.

Sentencing young defendants with an aspiration is not something the court is happy to do, the judges said. But they said there was a need to hand down a deterrent sentence for the sake of social order.

During the proceedings, which lasted a day and half a morning, the protesters were allowed to observe from the public gallery. But they were told to enter the dock just minutes before the judges handed down their ruling.

The 13 are: Leung Hiu-yeung, Lau Kwok-leung, Leung Wing-lai, Ivan Lam Long-yin, Chu Wai-chung, Ho Kit-wang, Wong Kan-yuen, Kole Chow Koot-yin, Yim Man-wa, Billy Chiu Hin-chung, Kwok Yiu-cheong, Chan Pak-shan, and Raphael Wong Ho-ming, vice-chairman of League of Social Democrats.

All were sentenced to 13 months in jail except Wong Kan-yuen, who will serve eight months because he pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors failed to locate Chiu for the hearing. The judges on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for him.

(Hong Kong Free Press) August 15, 2017.

The Court of Appeal has given jail sentences to 13 activists who stormed the Legislative Council in 2014, following a successful legal challenge by the Department of Justice.

The demonstrations were in response to Finance Committee chair Ng Leung-sing forcing a vote on the HK$340 million funding plan for a controversial northeast New Territories development proposal. The vote took place whilst pan-democrats were out of their seats.

The protesters were earlier convicted of unlawful assembly and sentenced to community service over the clashes.

The Department of Justice applied for a review of the sentence on Monday, arguing that the defendants actions bordered on rioting, Oriental Daily reported.

On Tuesday, the judges sentenced 12 of the defendants to 13 months in jail. The last defendant, Wong Kan-yuen, had pleaded guilty and was given an eight-month jail term.

The court said it took into account the level of violence involved, the consequences of the incident and attitudes of the defendants. Judge Wally Yeung said that the court did not take pleasure in jailing young people with aspirations, but the sentencing should have a deterrent effect and uphold the public interest, In-media reported.

The court reduced their jail terms from the starting point of 15 months, since the defendants had already finished serving their community service sentences, and three years had passed since the incident.

Demosisto said in a statement following the ruling that they severely condemn the authoritarian practices of the HKSAR government. This is a serious degradation of the citizens call to protect their own terrain and their pursuit for more democratic urban planning in the city, they said.

Among those jailed is League of Social Democrats Vice-chairperson Raphael Wong, who shouted The land belongs to the people as he was taken away from the court.

(Oriental Daily) August 15, 2017.

A police patrol in Hung Hom Plaza recognized Billy Chiu Hin-chung and arrested him.

(EJ Insight) HK court takes stiffer approach towards young activists. By SC Yeung. August 16, 2017.

It was a sad day again for Hong Kongs young activists on Tuesday as the Court of Appeal increased the punishment for 13 activists, who stormed the Legislative Council complex in June 2014, to jail terms of up to 13 months following a successful appeal by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ sought the heavier punishment for unlawful assembly relating to a protest against the governments plan for the development of Northeast New Territories.

Arguing that the protest nearly turned into a riot, the DOJ sought to put the activists behind bars, and the court agreed that deterrent sentences were needed after hearing how the group had attempted to storm the Legco building using objects to try to force the doors open.

Tuesdays judgment is no doubt a victory for the government and the pro-Beijing camp. Both sides believe that young activists are destroying social harmony by opposing all proposals from the government. That can explain why the DOJ filed an appeal to send the 13 activists to jail as a form of warning.

In fact, the courts have been tougher on social activists in recent years. They have showed no tolerance for people who challenge the public order. For example, in the case of the February 2016 MongKok riot, five young people were sentenced to three-year jail terms this year, with the court saying deterrent sentences were necessary to send a message to the public. The judge said the court cannot condone such violent behavior.

Outside court, disqualified lawmaker Nathan Law was seen crying after a meeting with supporters. He told a press conference after the court judgment that the legal action would damage the dream of the young generation to achieve change by way of mass action. He said all of them are good people and that they just wanted to show their concern for Hong Kong, and they did not deserve such a serious punishment.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal will hand down its decision for a sentence review filed by the DOJ for activists Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Law. The trio were earlier found guilty over the Civic Square clash that sparked the 2014 pro-democracy protests. They were sentenced to community service and have completed the order.

It seems that the DOJ is relying on the Court of Appeal to overturn the judgment of the Court of First Instance, which showed leniency and sympathy to the young activists.

The judge initially agreed that the activists were only expressing their concern for Hong Kong and had no intention to disrupt social order. The DOJ argued that the defendants were dangerous and could incite rioting and urged the court to implement a harsher punishment to send a warning to others. The Court of Appeal accepted the DOJ argument

During a 2008 visit to Hong Kong, Chinese President Xi Jinping said there should be mutual understanding and support among the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The Court of Appeal judge accepted the DOJs plea for a heavier punishment to give the public the impression that Xis remarks nine years ago were being proved correct. Still, the public should ask whether the defendants got a fair hearing.

The Hong Kong government once again stands on the opposite side of the next generation. While the initial ruling of community service is sufficient, the Court of Appeal can threaten all young activists not to join any mass action with the prospect of a criminal record and a jail term.

This is something young people cannot afford. Their criminal records will curtail any chance of studying abroad and render them ineligible to take part in elections.

Such a scenario will force future social activists to stay away from protests and turn them into armchair warriors while Hong Kong turns in the direction they fear.

Most Hong Kong people believe that the courts have defended their independence despite increasing pressure from the government, but the fact is that they have taken a more severe approach towards social activists. They are becoming a tool to suppress dissent.

Benny Tai's Facebook

From the revised heavy sentences given in the North East New Territories case, it can be seen that severe sentencing will be used to suppress the resistance. In the days to come, this will be standard. We must adjust our psychological state of mind and discard any illusions, in order not be scared or despondent over the temporary hardships and oppressions. We must become prepared for long-term resistance and wait for the balance of power within the Chinese Communist Party to undergo big changes. Until then, we must enhance the self-awareness of Hongkongers as a people and turn the Hong Kong democracy movement into a Hong Kong people's movement.

- Short summary: The urgent task for the Hong Kong democracy movement is to sit on our hands and wait for the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party.

- (Wen Wei Po) August 17, 2017.

Civic Passion vice-chairman Cheng Kam-mun uploaded a photo of Vice-president Justice of the Court of Appeal Wally Yueng Chun-kuen together with excerpts from his rulings on the case of the Seven Policemen, the case of the 13 defendants in the 2014 clash at the Legislative Council over North East New Territories development, the case of the taking of Civic Plaza in 2014 and the case of former Shu Yan University student union president Joe Yeung.

Although Cheng did not comment himself, other Internet users naturally came in to comment on Yeung. Shirley Yeung: "May your whole family be cripled." Orange Tam: "May you live to one hundred years while being plagued with a hundred illnesses." Arthur Kwok: "I will recognize Yeung Chun-kuen."

- (Oriental Daily) August 17, 2017.

A mobilization call was made to demonstrate outside the east wing of Government Headquarters to support the 13 defendants in the North East New Territories case. By eye, more than 700 persons attended.

Legislator Chan Chi-chuen said that the demonstrators did so because the government won't listen to them. He said that the ruling will not stop them from resisting. Instead, they will find for every single dollar in the future.

Legislator Eddie Chu Hoi Dick said that the government is trying to finish the democracy movement while it is ebbing. He said that the 13 defendants are going to jail on behalf of land justice, and that Hong Kong cannot have democracy without land justice.

- Seven hundred people including reporters and police? If the pan-democratic legislators sent in their aides, that would be more than 300 already.

(SCMP) August 13, 2017.

Hongkongers should stop pursuing democracy under the framework laid down by the citys mini-constitution, or the Basic Law, Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting urged, warning also of a long period of struggle and suppression for the democracy movement.

At the same seminar on Saturday, localist leader Edward Leung Tin-kei also highlighted fears that the opposition camp would pay a bigger price now after Beijing took on a hardline stance against the movement.

In a rare show of solidarity, the two and other democracy leaders of varying ideologies came together at the event to brainstorm ways to defend against what they claimed would be a period of all-out suppression in the future.

Other familiar faces included student activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Alex Chow Yong-Kang and Billy Fung Jing-en, as well as recently disqualified lawmaker Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung.

Their joint appearance could be seen as a sign of the pan-democratic camp mending its internal rift, which stemmed from their differences in approach ranging from moderate to radical in pursuing democracy.

Edward Leung, the Hong Kong Indigenous leader who once called for the city to break away from Chinese rule to achieve independence, now urged fellow activists to set aside their differences.

I dont even know where I will be next year ... Will I end up in Stanley prison? he said, referring to a pending riot trial over his role in last years Mong Kok unrest.

He also admitted that he had not come up with any specific strategy, but said that more dialogue was needed between leaders of the democracy movement.

Wong, meanwhile, warned that those who participate in the movement must be prepared for harsher consequences under an authoritarian approach.

Last year, Wong and Chow were ordered to perform community service after a Hong Kong court found the pair guilty of illegal assembly over their roles in the lead-up to the 2014 Occupy movement.

Prosecutors then applied for an appeal, seeking a jail term instead. A decision is expected on Thursday.

The decision will greatly impact future court rulings on other Occupy activists ... the new situation seems to be one of receiving months-long jail terms, instead of weeks, Wong said.

(The Stand News) August 13, 2017.

This conference speakers included ex-legislator Leung Kwok-hung (League of Social Democrats), Edward Leung (Hong Kong Indigenous), Joshua Wong (Demosisto), commentator Sang Pu, Hong Kong University School of Law associate professor Benny Tai, former Hong Kong Federation of Students secretary-general Alex Chow, former Hong Kong University Student Union president Billy Fung, and Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Ngok-hin. The hostess was Ho Chi-kawn.

Many of the speakers spoke about the recent case of Lam Tsz-kin being kidnapped and assaulted by "mainland powerful department" agents as well as the Co-location controversy. Benny Tai said that the Lam Tsz-kin incident showed that One Country Two Systems and the Basic Law is being less and less able to protect the people of Hong Kong from the freedom not to live in fear or the freedom not to be tortured.

Many of the speakers said that the situation for the opposition is grim. Alex Chow said that many different proposals have been advanced after the Umbrella Revolution, but more often they have encountered retaliations that make them discouraged and powerless. He believes that the authorities want to divide the opposition in to different sects and then smash them one by one. Therefore the opposition must build a communication platform to discuss the strategies of the democracy movement with respect to various issues.

Edward Leung said that Hong Kong is slowly heading towards totalitarianism. In the past, the democracy movement could still believe in the principle of rule-of-law and demand the government to set a roadmap/timeline for democratization. But today the framework is based upon the principle of patriotism instead.

Joshua Wong said that the various court cases against demonstrators show that the judiciary has grown sterner with longer prison sentences. In the past, the anti-Express Rail Link penalties were typically several weeks in jail. Today, it is several months in jail, or even several years. He said that the people of Hong Kong must make a new assessment of the Department of Justice in the face of the increasing costs of protests.

Leung Kwok-hung said that Hong Kong has moved from rule-by-law to a worse rule-by-degree era. He also mentioned the many recent cases against demonstrators. He hopes that the defendants can choose to testify in court and deliver political speeches to provide a moral basis for the democracy movement.

Au Ngok-hin said that the best example of the post-Umbrella democracy movement is found in the November 2016 protests against the interpretation of Basic Law Article 104 by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. The protestors were divided into two major strands: Yellow Ribbons and Valiant Resisters. Joshua Wong agreed, and recalled that he saw a group of people surrounding Ray Wong (Hong Kong Indigenous) and accusing him of 'exploitation' and 'trouble-making.' Wong said that he could not understand why they want to condemn a fellow traveler. He said that the current divergences are due not to the lack of formal communication or principles, but instead it was a problem of mindset.

Billy Fung said that the heart of the matter is the divergence in how the groups view the China factor. He said that this issue is irresolvable because it is an identity issue. But even so, the various groups should learn to respect each other.

Sang Pu said that the Hong Kong democracy movement cannot afford to be fragmented. He said that a problem in the democracy movement is that the various groups distrust each other and suspect the others of being 'moles'. He called for everybody to expand civic society and cultivate one's own garden.

A question was raised whether the fragmentation of the opposition was caused by the people or the political leaders. Leung Kwok-hung and Edward Leung both said that the people have the power to make their political leaders change. Edwad Leung said that he used to be afraid to attend this kind of discussion forum, because his supporters will take that he had switched sides by associating with 'leftist retards.' But he said that if people still mind under the prevailing circumstances, then they are more concerned about their own selfish political calculations rather for Hong Kong.

Benny Tai said that the August 31st resolution will be a long-term policy for Hong Kong. Furthermore, the suppression of the opposition will persist. So the people of Hong Kong should not think that the Basic Law framework will allow them to get the kind of democracy that they want. He said that the opposition must make the psychological adjustment of not just focusing on the immediate issues, but to be prepared for 15 or 20 years of resistance. Benny Tai said that the democracy movement in Hong Kong must be re-defined as a movement by the people of Hong Kong with an awareness of Hong Kong identity.

Should the non-establishment legislators resign collectively to express their opposition to the disqualification of six legislators? Billy Fung said that this matter should be left to the remaining legislators to think about. He hopes that the democrats will have the moral courage to advance a bill to express their dissatisfaction with the government as well as show that they won't be a compliant opposition.

Edward Leung said that the Legislative Council is an important resource for the democracy movement. Unless the scorched earth approach is genuine effective, they should still run for election and not give up resistance inside the Legislative Council.

Many of the speakers emphasized that the restructuring of the Hong Kong democracy movements requires everybody to do more. Alex Chow said that Hong Kong needs everybody to mediate persons with different views and promote the ideas and awareness of the democracy movement.

(Oriental Daily) August 13, 2017.

Benny Tai, Joshua Wong, Edward Leung, Alex Chow and others gathered yesterday to discuss strategies for the democracy movement in the face of total suppression. After lots of hot air, the conclusion was that "resisting the Communists" used to "relative comfortable with relatively low costs" with jail terms counted in weeks. Today, the jail terms are counted in years and the costs have become larger and larger. They called for citizens to engage in total resistance of the Communists or else rule-of-law will be dead.

In short, as the saying goes: "又要威,又要戴頭盔" (they want to look cool, but they are scared and wear helmets).

Why don't we rewind the tape to view an interview with the late Liu Xiaobo. He said frankly that in the opposition movement, "it is part of the job to face off against the police and to go to jail." He genuinely went to jail until he passed away. What about the Hong Kong opposition? They want to be heroes, but they are afraid of pain and suffering. When they get hit by a police baton, they break into tears. When they are hauled into court, they fight with every excuse possible. Now they want a People's Total Resistance Against The Communists to drag the whole world in? Are they over-estimating their popularity and leadership? Are they under-estimating the wisdom of the people? Maybe Cheng Chung-tai's famous saying 'the public are idiots' reflect their thinking too?

Three years ago, the opposition brought people out to occupy Central. Three years later now, they do everything possible and they couldn't get anyone out there to protest against Co-location. What caused this? The opposition blamed the stalling of the democracy movement on political suppression. They refused to reflect on how many disappointments they have caused. They refused to reflect on their internal schisms against each other. They were as ugly as they can get. The citizens ought to thank the 'political suppressions' that revealed their true selves.

(Oriental Daily) August 13, 2017.

Last year there was a riot in Mong Kok. Many participants were sent to jail after being convicted of rioting. Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong said at a discussion forum yesterday that the jail terms for rioting amount to years, whereas the jail terms for non-violent resistance in the past amounted to months. Thus the various political parties need to adjust to the new situation.

Joshua Wong is speaking boldly because he has been caught up yet. So far the convicted persons during the 2014 Occupy Central or the 2016 Mong Kok riot have been foot soldiers. The organizers have not yet been held to account.

Joshua Wong began by enumerating the cases in which he is personally involved. He said that the prison terms for protesting against the Express Rail Link or the government budget amounted to weeks. But at this time, the Department of Justice has involved riot statutes so that even non-violent protests can incur several months in prison. He said that Hong Kong has moved into an authoritarian regime. As a result, civic society is wary from the battles of the non-violent civil disobedience to the disqualification of legislators and now to the "mainland powerful departments". It is not to survive in the frontlines of the battlefield. Of the eight executive committee members of Demosisto, three of them will likely go to jail for their involvement in the New Territories East development protests and the taking of Civic Plaza.

Billy Fung said that Hong Kong must enter into total anti-Communist resistance in order to stave off the Chinese Communists. He said that everyone in the resistance movement must expect to be pressured and suppressed. It is impossible to do this in a relaxed and comfortable manner. Inside the Legislative Council, the opposition must have the moral courage instead of just being safe and comfortable.

Edward Leung said that his own Mong Kok riot trial will take place next January, and he does not think that he can enter the Legco by-elections. Leung believed that he will lose the court case. The next Legco election takes place in 2016. If he is sentenced to jail, he may not be freed until 2020. So the next open date will be 2024, when Basic Law Article 23 may be enacted already.

As for Benny Tai, he does not believe that Hong Kong will have self-determination under the Basic Law after the August 31st resolution of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. He said that we must be psychologically prepared for long-term resistance/suppression. We said that the political resources should be pooled together. We should also think about how to gain more resources from outside China. Does that mean that he want to hook up with foreign forces to cause trouble in Hong Kong? Why do these people seem to have protective umbrellas so that they are never held accountable under the law? This is demonstrated with this discussion forum at which a bunch of lawless people sat around and spout all sorts of nonsense.

(Oriental Daily) August 13, 2017.

Yesterday at a discussion forum, some young people were advocating Hong Kong independence. Martin Lee said that young people blamed his generation for not having fought for revolution in support of independence, but they never considered the costs. "Are you willing to pay with your life?" Are you willing to be the first to die?" He added: "Some people advocate independence and revolution, but you don't see them do anything."

Martin Lee said that he does not advocate Hong Kong independence. But he also said that Hong Kong can become independent in thirty years because China may be a democracy by then already. So he is being self-contradictory.

Actually Martin Lee is already 79 years old. Where is he going to be in 30 years time? Will he be that person "who advocate independence and revolution but cannot be found"?

(Ta Kung Pao) August 13, 2017.

Alex Chow spoke first at the discussion forum. He said that the opposition camp is fragmented, and they should seek accommodation with each other. Thus, he is suggesting that the mainstream pan-democrats should reconcile with the pro-independence elements. Benny Tai said that the traditional opposition should ally with Hong Kong independence and and form alliances in various districts in order to coordinate future election campaigns to win seats and acquire resources. He also advocate the opposition to seek political resources from outside Hong Kong.

Joshua Wong acted as the peacemaker to stem the internal struggles with the Hong Kong independence camp. He said that Hong Kong Demosisto had cooperated with Hong Kong Indigenous in the November 2016 protest outside the China Liaison Office against the interpretation of Basic Law Article 104 by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. He apologized for Ray Wong (Hong Kong Indigenous) being surrounded and berated by Yellow Ribbons on occasion.

Leung Kwok-hung began his speech by deploring the organizers for admitting the media to the forum, because he said that their strategies should not be reported by the media to the public. Leung also said that he tried to help Hong Kong independence elements who were in legal trouble, but they thought that he wanted to show off and exploit their situations. Leung said that the mainstream opposition and the Hong Kong independence elements should reconcile under the present circumstances.

Edward Leung added: "If my supporters see me on the same stage as 'leftist retards', they are bound to curse me out." Leung said that he won't be able to run in elections in the near future, and therefore he has nothing to worry about by attending this forum. Leung said that there are only two-and-a-half pro-independence individuals on stage: himself, Billy Fung and the half-half Sang Pu.

When Billy Fung spoke, he said clearly: "Hong Kong can only have hope by full out to fight the Communists." He also said that the opposite legislators should have the moral courage to filibuster instead of just being an obliging opposition.

Sang Pu used the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan as the example. He said that the various groups in the opposition can forge an alliance even if they advocate different things. He said that the Hong Kong independence movement should form a new Opposition Alliance with the other opposition groups. Sang Pu said: "Hong Kong independence is not untouchable. If the idea of Hong Kong independence does not receive sufficient support, then we can find a Big Factor that the people of Hong Kong can accept as their common goal, such as 'fighting the Communists'."

There was nobody to represent the Democratic Party and the Civic Party at this discussion forum. Democratic Party member Au Ngok-hin was present in his capacity as the convener of the Civil Human Rights Front. Civic Party member Margaret Ng made a comment from the audience at the end.

(Silent Majority HK) August 13, 2017.

Edward Leung said that the localists and the democrats should have more dialogue under the current oppressiveness. He said that he had no solution to resolve the conflicts within the opposition. He asked if people can put up with those who have different ideas and methods.

So far, the supporters in the various parts of the opposition spectrum have been calling each other "leftist retards", "xenophobic fascists" and so on. His own supporters will be upset that he showed up at the same event as the "leftist retards." He said that this discussion forum is a platform for everybody to explain their views clearly: "Why do I object to you? Why do you object to me? What do we agree upon in common?"

This particular discussion forum was called to achieve The Great Reconciliation. But Edward Leung has actually come out and said that the purpose of the discussion forum is to point out explicitly that certain differences are irreconcilable.

While these armchair revolutionaries discuss their great reconciliation, their grand alliance and assorted revolutionary strategies, here is what the soldiers are actually doing:

(Wen Wei Po) August 13, 2017.

Two Passion Times male program hosts, Lee Hok-nin and Hung Man-hei entered a women's restroom inside a shopping centre and aired a live video broadcast. The Hong Kong Crazy Guy Power Facebook began a campaign to condemn this behavior.

Yesterday, the Hong Kong Nuts Power Facebook went after the Passion Times female program host. She was revealed to be a Cathay Pacific stewardess. Question: "Does Cathay Pacific encourage its employees to behave this way? If you have questions about Cathay Pacific policies, they welcome us to inquire."

Many Internet users said that they will lodge complaints with Cathay Pacific. "This female program host used foul language throughout the program. She is very fluent too. If she turns out to be a stewardess, then I think it is bad for Cathay Pacific's image." "We need to ask if the middle-aged female janitor at Cathay Pacific can hold a part-time job elsewhere, because Passion Times program hosts are paid." "Don't forget how the Civic Passion hotdogs went after the D100 program host Keiko Myth Or who supported Hong Kong Indigenous spokesperson Edward Leung."

The Passion Times female program host Joey Tse made a public apology later. She said: "We were at the shopping centre. When I went into the restroom, I saw a lot of cockroaches. I was scared and I went out and looked for another restroom. At the time, Lee Hok-nin (Ah Nin) and Hung Man-wei (Ah A) said that they would come with me. We came across a shopping centre workers who told us that this was after hours and only one restroom was open ... They saw how scared I was, so they offered to accompany me to chase away the cockroaches. They thought that it be fun to have a live broadcast of the cockroaches. They did not intend to do anything unbecoming in the women's restroom. At the time, I knew that there was nobody else in the womens' restroom.

Of course, the Hong Kong Nuts Power Facebook will not stop: "The Hot Dogs (nickname Civic Passion) is counting on nobody filing a police report against the unlawful acts of the Passion Times program hosts. They said that even if you file a complaint, the police won't do anything. But if many of us file complaints to the police, and we inform the media, the district councilors, the Discover Park shopping centre management, and we tell all the Tsuen Wan community organizations to tell everybody not to go to Discovery Park because there are perverts  hanging around the restrooms, we will see ..."

One Internet user actually went to Mong Kok Police Station to lodge a complaint. He said that the police sergeant told him: "The police are already working on the case of Big Nin entering a women's restroom. I don't know if the police sergeant was truthful or not. But if you want an update, you can go to the Tsuen Wan Police Station.

(EJ  Insight) July 26, 2017.

Football star Lionel Messi is said to have sent an autographed picture in a bid to cheer up Liu Xiaobo when the Chinese rights activist was ailing in a mainland hospital before his death earlier this month.

The Argentine soccer player sent the picture to Howard Lam Tsz-kin, a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong, hoping that the latter would arrange for the picture to be delivered to Liu, according to a Facebook post Tuesday from Lam.

Lam wrote on the social media platform that he wrote to Messis club, FC Barcelona, in early July and sought an autographed picture of the world famous footballer so that it can be forwarded to Liu, who was lodged in a hospital in late June after years in a Chinese prison.

Chinese authorities had released Liu on parole after the renowned political dissident and democracy campaigner was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer.

After learning of Lius critical condition, Lam thought he could try to lift the spirits of the rights activist by providing him an autographed picture of Messi.

The idea came as it was well-known that Liu was a big football fan and a passionate follower of Messi.

Lam wanted to send Liu the picture when the latter was undergoing treatment in a Shenyang hospital, but unfortunately he received the parcel too late.

Although Lam had received a quick response from FC Barcelona that the request would be honored, the signed picture of Messi only arrived Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The reason for the delayed dispatch, according to the Spanish football club, is that Messi was not in the club the past few weeks.

Although disappointed that he couldnt fulfill his aim of delivering the signed Messi picture to Liu, Lam said he is grateful to the professional football player and his Spanish club for honoring his request.

Lam said he will write an email to express his thanks and to inform them that he will now try his best to have the picture delivered to Lius wife, Liu Xia.

He said he hopes the souvenir can offer some comfort for Lius family.

Lam praised FC Barcelona and Messi for their gesture, describing it as an exemplary display of humanity.

The soccer star and his club paid a tribute to Liu despite being aware that their action could anger Beijing and lead to potential sanctions, he said.

The touching gesture sends a message to political dissidents that they are not alone, Lam added.

(Hong Kong Free Press) August 11, 2017.

A Democratic Party member has claimed that mainland law enforcement agents put 21 staples into his legs for being unpatriotic after they abducted him on Thursday. A lawmaker has called the incident unacceptable and outrageous.

The party told reporters on Friday that Howard Lam was accosted by Mandarin-speaking men at a sports merchandise store on Portland Street in Kowloon on Thursday. Lam said he was then taken away in a van, knocked out with a substance he was made to inhale, beaten and interrogated. He awoke the next day on a beach in Sai Kung.

Prior to the incident, Lam said he received a call warning him not to send a signed photo of footballer Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, widow of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The late Nobel Laureate was a fan of Messi, according to his friends. Lam added that only his wife and a few friends knew that he was heading to the sports shop on Thursday. Of course I have no idea how [the men] knew where I was going.

Lam also said that he believed the incident occurred to warn him not to give anything to Liu Xia, and to send a warning to others that if they did not love the Chinese government what happened to him might happen to them as well. He said his tormentors told him the staples inserted into his legs were in the form of crosses, as Lam was a Christian. I dont think Hong Kong still has freedom. If the Hong Kong government cannot let us know what happened in this case, I think [many] people will be afraid [of] this government.

A store manager of SFALO, where Lam was allegedly abducted, told HKFP on Friday that he did not see the incident take place. There were four staff members at the store at 4pm on Thursday, and he said he believed none of them would have seen the incident either. I heard that the incident happened outside the store, and not inside, he said.

(SCMP) August 11, 2017.

A Hong Kong political activist has claimed he was abducted in the city on Thursday and then blindfolded, beaten and tortured, with staples punched into his legs, before being released on a beach by people he said were mainland agents.

Howard Lam Tsz-kin, a member of the Democratic Party, the largest opposition party in Hong Kongs legislature, said he believed the reason for the kidnapping was that he had received a signed postcard from Barcelona football star Lionel Messi last month which he intended to pass on to Liu Xia, the widow of late Chinese dissident and Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Lam said he had received a phone call from a mainland friend on Monday, warning him not to try to give Liu the postcard.

He told me in Putonghua ... that Id pay if I ignored the warning, Lam said.

The activist said that on Thursday, after he had bought a football jersey in Yau Ma Tei at about 4pm, two strangers spoke to him in Putonghua and pushed him into a van.

I was punched in the vehicle ... and I later woke up when someone hit me with a hard object, he said. At that time, I was only wearing my underwear, I was blindfolded and my limbs were tied up.

He said he believed there were four to five people in the room when he was tortured. They at no point showed him any documents or identified themselves.

A man asked if I knew Liu Xia, and why I was doing all these things ... He said I didnt know how to love the country, Lam said. The man also said: Are you a Christian? Do you know how to love the country and the religion? ... Ill give you some crosses, he said, and then he stapled my legs.

Lam showed the media about 20 marks from staples on his legs on Friday.

I passed out again, and when I woke up I found myself dumped on a beach and it was about 1am ... I later discovered I was in Sai Kung.

Asked if he would seek police protection after the incident, Lam said he did not trust the Hong Kong police and authorities on the matter. He said he had been too tired to report it to police after returning home early on Friday morning. After receiving advice from the Democratic Partys former chairmen Martin Lee Chu-ming and Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lam decided he would host a press conference on Friday and go to hospital before making a police report.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said the incident was a serious violation of Hong Kongs mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and the one country, two systems principle, which guarantees the city a high degree of autonomy under Chinese Communist Party rule. He said colleagues would take the activist to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam before reporting the incident to the local police on Friday.

A source with the Hong Kong police said officers would interview the victim and check security camera footage to gather evidence on the case. Detectives from the Kowloon West regional crime unit would investigate, the source said.

Liu Xia, a 56-year-old poet, painter and photographer, was married to Chinas most famous pro-democracy dissident Liu Xiaobo, who died in police custody on July 13. She had been under house arrest since 2010 but her whereabouts arecurrently unknown.

(The Guardian) August 11, 2017.

A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist says he was beaten and had his legs stapled by Chinese agents because he was planning to send a signed photo of Lionel Messi to a dissidents widow.

Howard Lam, a member of Hong Kongs Democratic party, said he was snatched on the street on Thursday, forced into a car and made to smell something that caused him to lose consciousness.

When he came to after being hit with a hard object, he was wearing only his underwear and a blindfold, Lam told reporters on Friday.

He said he was interrogated about his intention to send a picture of the Barcelona footballer Messi to Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

A man asked if I knew Liu Xia, and why I was doing all these things, Lam said, according to the South China Post.

The man also said: Are you a Christian? Do you know how to love the country and the religion? Ill give you some crosses, he said, and then he stapled my legs.

Lam showed reporters cross marks he said had been made by the staples. He said his abductors spoke Mandarin, Chinas national language but rare in Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong.

Before he died of cancer while in custody last month, Liu Xiaobo wrote to Barcelona to ask for a signed photo of Messi because he thought it would cheer him up.

Lam said he had previously received a call from a Chinese person claiming to be part of the mainland intelligence service and warning him not to give the picture to Liu Xiaobos widow, the artist and poet Liu Xia.

He said his ordeal lasted nine hours before he eventually found himself dumped on a beach in Hong Kongs remote Sai Kung district at 1am on Friday.

The Democratic party has railed against what it says is meddling in Hong Kongs affairs by Communist party rulers in Beijing. The city state became a special administrative region of China in 1997, since when it has been governed under a one country, two systems formula that guarantees a range of freedoms not enjoyed in China.

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, swore in Hong Kongs new leader last month with a stark warning that Beijing would not tolerate any challenge to its authority in the city as it marked the 20th anniversary of its return from Britain to China.

Hong Kongs police commissioner, Lau Wai-chung, told media he was taking Lams accusations seriously and officers were attaching great importance to investigating the case.

The Hong Kong and Macau affairs office of Chinas state council did not comment.

Liu Xia has lived in the Chinese capital under virtual house arrest since her husband won the Nobel peace prize in December 2010. Her whereabouts since his death are a mystery and the couples US lawyer has claimed the Chinese authorities are behind what he says is her enforced disappearance.

(SCMP) Who is the man at centre of Hong Kongs bizarre allegation of torture, staples and kidnap in broad daylight? August 16, 2017.

Howard Lam Tsz-kin is not on the whos who list of democracy activists in Hong Kong but over the past week, all everyone can talk about is the man at the centre of a bizarre case of kidnapping, torture, a beach dropoff and staples.

When he first revealed he had been shoved into a van in Mong Kok by two Mandarin Chinese-speaking men, blindfolded and had staples punched in cross-shaped fashion on his large thighs, people were aghast. As he hitched his shorts at a press conference last week to show his wounds, he and Democratic Party elders claimed the cruel acts were the handiwork of mainland agents.

But on Tuesday as the story came undone, questions surfaced on Lams credentials. Who is Lam and how did he succeed in persuading party veterans to back his case wholeheartedly, in the words of founder Albert Ho Chun-yan? What was his standing that he could be such a threat to mainland agents if all he wanted to do was to mail a postcard to Liu Xia, the widow of the late dissident Liu Xiaobo? In any event, no one knew how to reach her, so what danger did Lam pose to anyone? What was his real game plan?

There have been few answers thus far. But within the party, Lam remains a controversial figure.

The show of support for Lam has to do with a shared history. He joined the organisers behind the Tiananmen Square vigil in 1989 when he was in his early teens. In 1994, he became a founding member of the Democratic Party at the age of 18. By then, he had marched alongside democracy icon the late Szeto-Wah, the partys founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming and Albert Ho, all of whom he regarded as mentors.

But sometime in the early 2000s, Lam became a figure of suspicion among the party rank-and-file. Such was his unpopularity that despite strong backing, Lam tried and failed to win a vice-chairman post in last years internal elections.

The secret loathing dated back to 2005 during the height of a rift within the party between reformists and traditionalists that led to a split eventually.

In an interview with online website Stand News last year, Lam claimed he was assigned by Szeto and Ho to be a spy in the reformist group, which had been lobbing criticism at the leadership.

Szeto had suspected the reformist faction had been infiltrated by Chinese Communist Party members, Lam said, and had asked him to stick to them.

Leaked internal emails revealed the depth of the factionalism. An internal investigation was ordered. A report issued then concluded the party faced serious risk of infiltration and chastised reformist Raymond Luk Yiu-man for frequently contacting mainland middlemen without declaring to the party.

The group of reformists, including former lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai, eventually quit the party in 2010 in the wake of the political reform controversy.

Lam stayed with the party.

Many party members do not trust Lam since the saga as they believe he was with the reformists, even though Ho has defended him in an internal meeting in 2014, said a party source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In 2014, Lam made a bid to be on the Democrats central committee the decision-making body of the party and won Hos endorsement.

In that annual meeting, Ho defended Lams loyalty to the party and explained his role in the rift.

What [Lam] did back then was to report what he knew to [Szeto] and me so we could be aware of it, said Ho. What he did was for the partys good... I owe him for not clarifying for him publicly and let the misunderstanding [against] him linger for years.

In the 2016 interview, Lam said he was caught by the two blocs. In the end, he became the sacrificial lamb.

The party elders took care of him, by giving him an online radio site to run, sponsored by party funds. But in recent years, the 41-year-old who suffered thyroid cancers last year began focusing more on the pro-democracy campaign within Christian circles.

In 2011, he spearheaded a campaign against the Hong Kong Christian Councils plan to change the way their 300,000 members select delegates to the Election Committee, which picks the citys chief executive.

Last year, he had been calling for the 10 Christians seats on the Election Committee to be vacated as a way to protest against the lack of a direct election for the chief executive in Hong Kong, and even went on a hunger strike.

Tam Tak-chi, who knew Lam in 2006 when they both studied theology in Chinese University, believed his ally was an honest man.

Lam had suffered from depression in the past and had emotional problems, said Tam.

But he believed Lam was getting better and in the midst of making plans to study for a doctorate in theology at Yale University in the United States.

I dont think it was a story of lies and deception. Maybe Lam has hidden something, but I do believe he was tortured by someone, Tam said. He was not crazy enough to staple his own legs.

Democratic Party vice-chairman Lo Kin-hei brushed off speculation Lam was paid to concoct lies and tarnish the party. I would not believe he would betray Albert Ho and Martin Lee given their years of relationship.

(SCMP) Let police investigate Democrat Howard Lams torture claims. By Alex Ho. August 14, 2017.

Extraordinary allegations require extraordinary evidence. Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin claimed he was abducted in broad daylight and tortured by mainland agents. If true, its not only an outright criminal act but also a direct challenge to the one country two systems formula that governs Hong Kong.

But its difficult for people to know what to make of his very serious allegations because the case has been deliberately politicised. After Lam was let go, he didnt call police or go to a hospital for help. Instead, he phoned his party elders, Albert Ho Chun-yan and Martin Lee Chu-ming, who then organised a news conference to publicise his ordeal and showcase his wounds with staples still inside that were allegedly inflicted by his tormentors. Lam said his Putonghua-speaking abductors were warning him against sending an autographed postcard from Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, widow of the late Nobel laureate and political activist Liu Xiaobo, who was a soccer fan.

Lee subsequently called Lam foolish and legally ignorant for washing his clothes and bag, thus failing to preserve physical evidence. Of course, Lee was the one who, instead of sending Lam to the police, put him in front of the cameras so police only learned about the case from television.

If Lam had gone to the police at the first opportunity, the evidence would have been preserved. Or if it were not, we would know the police were either incompetent or in league with their mainland counterparts.

An editorial in the state-run Ta Kung Pao dismissed Lam as a manic-depressive who might have inflicted harm on himself, and advised him to seek psychiatric help. A government-friendly lawmaker said Lams performance was entertaining and laughable. Others have cast doubt on his allegations.

Meanwhile, pan-democrats and their media allies have been quick to seize on the incident as further proof of mainland maleficence. The political party Demosisto has linked it to the dangers of co-location the proposed arrangement of allowing mainland customs and immigration officers to operate inside the future high-speed rail terminus in West Kowloon. Their warnings conjured up images of rogue Chinese agents detaining and threatening travellers with staplers.

What a sad state we are in that we see everything through an ideological lens. The rational thing to do is, of course, neither believe nor disbelieve Lam, but let police do their job and hopefully get to the bottom of it.

Internet comments:

(YouTube) Democratic Party press conference on August 11, 2017.

(YouTube) Democratic Party press conference on August 11, 2017.

- If you were kidnapped by agents from the "mainland powerful department" and physically assaulted, you would probably look more like the Chinese tourist Zhao Yan:

[(SCMP) August 9, 2017. A federal judge has ruled in favour of a Chinese businesswoman who sued the US government after being injured during a 2004 confrontation with American border agents at Niagara Falls. Following a non-jury trial in Rochester, New York, Judge Elizabeth Wolford awarded Zhao Yan US$461,000 for false arrest, medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost earnings. Her 2006 civil rights lawsuit sought US$10 million in damages. Wolfords ruling Monday found the government liable for US Customs and Border Protection Officer Robert Rhodes assault and battery and false arrest of Zhao at the Rainbow Bridge US-Canada border crossing in Niagara Falls. The judge found she was entitled to recover US$385,000 for past and future pain and suffering, US$64,000 in past medical expenses, US$1,800 in lost earnings and US$10,000 for false arrest. She was never charged with anything.]

- This press conference is bound to evoke memories of the other famous press conference by the late Alex Ho (ex-Democratic Party member).

- (SCMP comment):

Wow, the Pan Dems knew they are losing the battle with the government regarding co-location of the West Kowloon Station. Someone has decided to fake his own kidnapping to blame the Chinese Govt to make the general public scare of China.

I just spoke with a former policeman, I ask him what are the tell-tale signs of a fake kidnapping, he said

1. The first major clue is to look at injuries inflicted (if any). Self-inflicted injuries tends to be minor. Someone is unlikely to chop his own arm or leg off to fake injury.

2. The second clue, this guy has suffer hardly any bruised mark on the face or body.. There is no black-eye, no bruised mark, no-nothing! Just put yourself in the position that you want to kidnap someone and teach him a lesson. Would you let him go without seriously beating him up to teach him a lesson? Highly unlikely.

3. The reason for kidnapping. If a friend told you, he just got kidnapped by some gangs who threaten you not to give the autograph of Ironman or Batman or Superman to another person. Would you believe him?

4. The last sign - look at the guy's pair of eye glasses. It was in perfect condition, it wasn't bent, broken and not damaged.

I am horrified how low IQ's the Pan Dems have demonstrated to have. Do they think we are two-year old babies?

- (HKG Pao) The Democratic Party press conference was scheduled for 11am. It actually at 1115am. But at 10:38am, online media outlet HK01 had already posted the story. That is to say, the Democratic Party gave them a head start. Apple Daily and The Stand News must be very jealous. Meanwhile it is also clear that the Hong Kong Police are in fact among the last to know about a major crime! In the future, people should call their favorite media outlet to report a crime, not the Hong Kong Police.

- On the first day, this story was censored on the TVB news broadcasts in mainland China. After the second day, this story is no longer censored. This is a clear sign as to where this story is heading.

- How would a rational person handle the situation?

You received a whatapp call 3 days ago, in which a putonghua-speaking national security person whom you hadc ontact with previously warned you not to forward Lionel Messi's autograph picture to Liu Xia, who is Liu Xiaobo's widow. You immediately inform Democratic Party former chairmen Martin Lee and Albert Ho. They told you to do nothing, perhaps because they did not take it seriously.

You are kidnapped in the middle of busy Mong Kok between 4pm and 7pm, taken to an unknown location in a suburb and physically assaulted until you passed out. You wake up at 1am on Sai Kung beach with many staples on your body. You start walking and eventually found a taxi. You should tell the taxi driver to call the police immediately. The police will take you to the hospital and get treatment for the injuries, as well as take down your statement and obtain the physical evidence (fingerprints, DNA, fabric, human tissue, hair, soil, etc) in order to begin an investigation immediately and round up the perpetrators as quickly as possible. At the hospital, photos will be taken as evidence in the presence of the eyewitness doctors. Then you can go and hold your press conference.

But what did Lam Tsz-kin actually do?

He said that he was kidnapped in the middle of busy Mong Kok between 4pm and 7pm, taken to an unknown location in a suburb and physically assaulted until he passed out. He woke up at 1am somewhere with many staples on his body. He still has mobile phone with him but he does not use it. He started walking and eventually flagged down a taxi. As the taxi proceeded, the road signs told him that he had been taken to Sai Kung Beach.

Once he got on the taxi, he told the taxi driver to take him home. Once he arrived home, he went to have dinner at a local restaurant. He said that he was tired and tense. He took a bath and he washed his clothes, so now there are no DNA, fingerprints, drugs, human tissue, fabric or soil samples to analyze. Then he called former Democratic Party chairmen Martin Lee and Albert Ho. Should he go to the hospital to have his injuries treated? No, they decided after conferring. Should he call the police and tell them about the kidnapping by "mainland powerful department" agents in what is likely to go down as the "darkest day in Hong Kong democracy"? No. They decided against that too. So what was the first and foremost task for them? The Democratic Party will hold an emergency press conference at 11am the next day. At the press conference, Lam Tsz-kin told what happened and showed his wounds for the press to take photos.

Then and only then did Lam Tsz-kin proceed to the hospital at 2pm to get treatment for the injuries. The police came to the hospital to take his statement until 6pm. Then he had the staples removed under local anesthesia at 7pm. Since the press reports have gone out already, the perpetrators have read about it and are long gone by now.

Does it make sense? Well, let's grant that this was completely true. You have to question the decision-making of Martin Lee and Albert Ho? What are their priorities? Lam Tsz-kin's welfare is definitely not high on their priority.

- When a case has so many logical flaws, it is most likely to be the truth. When there are no logical flaws whatsoever, then the case was most likely artificially assembled. Alternately, when you have a bunch of fools putting a case together, he will leave behind a trail of logical flaws.

- (ETnet) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. August 14, 2017.

1. Suppose a person was tortured, passed and then came to. There was sand everywhere, and he cannot tell where he was. Fortunately, his mobile phone and wallet were still with him. He could use the mobile phone to open Google Map and find his exact location via the GPS function. Then he can call the police and tell them where to find him.

2. This was 2am in the middle of nowhere in Sai Kung. You got back to the road. One red taxi when by but didn't stop when you flagged it. Another red taxi came, stopped and picked  you up. You could have told him what happened and he would take you directly to the police station. As a victim, if you said that you were hungry, the police would immediately fetch you some food (even though it may not be fish filet burger).

3. Even in a rape case, you must not wash your clothes or body. Forensic science is very advanced today, so that even one hair or one tissue can lead to the perpetrator. TV shows such as <Sherlock> or <CSI> deal with this all the time.

4. Mainlanders are not the only people in the world who speak putonghua. Just because you speak Arabic does not make you Al Qaeda. Nobody is going to leave you a business card to say that he is with the National Security Department. Normally, Hongkongers pretend to be Japanese when caught in embarrassment and the Sun Yee On gangsters claim to be Wo Hop To after they chop someone. Everybody knows how to misdirect.

5. No matter whether you want to become famous or frame someone else, you should always remember that we now live in a world filled with surveillance cameras. In this world, it is a crime to kidnap/imprison someone, but it is also a crime to file false reports to the police.

Therefore I call on the taxi driver who took on a passenger with staples on his body, and the workers and customers at the McDonald's in Chung On Shopping Centre, Ma On Shan who noticed a customer with staples on his body to be good citizens and immediately contact the police with your information. We want this comedy to end as soon as possible.

- (Ming Pao) Lam Tsz-fung was asked why his hands showed no scratches even though he said that they were tied behind his back. Lam said that he was not tied up "powerfully" and that the did not struggle "because I was just meat on the cutting board already."

Lam Tsz-fung was also asked why he didn't have the staples removed from his thighs immediately but instead held a press conference first. "Is this normal behavior?" Lam said that this was the decision of Democratic Party former chairmen Martin Lee and Albert Ho to hold a press conference first. "Do you want the evidence shown to the world first?" Lam said yes.

- Who the hell is Howard Lam Tsz-kin anyway? What has he ever done in his life?

Insofar as the Democratic Party goes, he ran for vice-chairman last time and lost.

Insofar as Hong Kong activism goes, Lam achieved immortal fame in Hong Kong Internet history in 2011 (East Week):

A group of angry young people organized an Anti-Real Estate Hegemony action. At a Park n Shop supermarket in Hung Hom, they used a large number of coins to pay for their purchases to overwhelm the cashiers and paralyze operation. The customer line extended so long that the police were summoned. Afterwards, the group posted a video on YouTube and boasted their victory. Instead, they were met with ridicule and condemnation. Even the League of Social Democrats denounced them as being brainless.

The organizer of the action was Democratic Party Central Committee Standing Committee member and Kowloon West branch chairman Howard Lam Tsz-kin. Once the storm blew in, the Democratic Party called for a disciplinary hearing over actions that were detrimental to the reputation of the party. Lam Tsz-kin immediately denied any involvement and declined to comment to the media.

- With respect to this episode, Lam Tsz-kin said that people can have their criticisms and speculations, but he doesn't want to comment anymore.

- (Bastille Post) August 17, 2017.

In 2006, an individual using the nickname "Democratic Party true brother" began to blog about internal emails among the reformist faction of the Democratic Party. These emails attacked the mainstream faction within the party. At the time, people believed that the Chinese Communists had either hacked the email system of the Democratic Party or used underground to join the Democratic Party and steal these emails for publication.

On June 21, 2006, Lam Tsz-kin said in an interview that his computer began to have problems in April and May, and his emails were often read by others before himself and forwarded to others. After being elected into the Democratic Party Central Committee, his telephone was eavesdropped. Lam said that he cannot exclude the possibility that the Chinese Communists are doing this. At the time, the Democratic Party was fragile and the Chinese Communists obviously want to destroy them while they are fragile.

Ten years later in 2016, Lam Tsz-kin said in an interview that the whole 2006 affair was planned by Democratic Party leader Szeto Wah. At the time, the reformists had been critical of Szeto Wah, who suspected that they must have been infiltrated by the Chinese Communists. Szeto Wah trusted Lam Tsz-kin enough to send him over to the reformists to gather information. So Lam took the reformists' emails and sent them over to Szeto Wah at the Professional Teachers Union for the True Brother blog. Eventually the Democratic Party formed an investigative team to investigate the Young Turks faction. The team report said that reformists Chan King-ming and Luk Yiu-man had contacted Central Government departments multiple times without informing the Democratic Party and also said that these people were 'seeding' members in the party. Eventually the named individuals resigned from the party.

The episode was an internal struggle between the mainstream and reformist factions of the Democratic Party. But Lam Tsz-kin acted as a mole and his data became the basis of a sensationalistic story about Chinese Communist infiltration into their email system. The blaming on the Chinese Communists is similar to the current blaming on the mainland powerful department for the kidnapping and torture of Lam Tsz-kin. Did Lam Tsz-kin think that he can pull this off again?

- (Oriental Daily) August 11, 2017. According to information, the police have reviewed all the surveillance videos taken in the vicinity of the SFALO sports store on Portland Street. So far they have seen only Lam Tsz-kin and no other suspicious persons. The police will continue their investigation.

- (Ming Pao) August 12, 2017. Martin Lee said that the incident could have taken place in a blind spot for the surveillance cameras. So unless the police saw that Lam Tsz-kin left on his own via minibus or some other transportation method, the investigation should continue all the way.

- (Apple Daily) August 11, 2017. According to Lam Tsz-kin, he found himself at a beach when he came to at 1pm. He found a small path and walked about 10 minutes to flag down a red taxi to return to his Ma On Shan home. The police are looking for the taxi driver who took him home. There are at least 7 surveillance camera at Lam's housing estate so the police should be able to locate the taxi driver soon.

In addition, Lam said that it cost him about $100 for the taxi ride. Based upon the elapsed time and the taxi fare, the police estimated that Lam would have been held near the Tai Mong Tsai campsite in Sai Kung. Tonight at 10pm, the Major Crime Unit detectives went out to Tai Mong Tsai to search for evidence, including the torture instruments (such as staplers) and surveillance videos in the neighborhood. Our reporter saw the detectives scour the beach using flashlights, opening garbage bins and examining the contents. They did not appear to find anything. They left at 1130pm.

- A staple in the sand is even harder to find than a needle in a haystack?

- (HK01) August 12, 2017.

Earlier this morning, our reporter tried to find the rocky beach. Previously Lam Tsz-kin had said that he walked for about 10 minutes before he found a taxi. On the way home, he saw a large "Sai (something)" sign on a roundabout. His taxi fare was just under $100.

Our reporter took a taxi from Tai Mong Tsai Road to the Ma On Shan housing estate where Lam Tsz-kin lives. There was a road sign saying Sai Kung at a roundabout. The taxi fare was $125. So this was not right.

Our reporter then took a taxi back from Ma On Shan to Sai Sah Road in Sai Kung leading to Yung Shue O. The taxi fare was $75. So this was not right either. Our reporter spoke to a security guard and he said that Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai further down has a rocky beach during ebb tide. The walk from the rock beach to Sai Sah Road took about 10 minutes. An injured person would have taken more time.

Later on today, Lam Tsz-kin went with our reporter to try to find the beach where he found himself. Based upon a big rock on the roadside, he believed that the location was opposite Luna House, Tai Mong Tsai road, Sai Kung district. Our reporter deduced that the taxi fare from Luna House to Lam Tsz-kin's housing state is about $95.2, which was about what Lam had claimed.

- (Cable News) Former Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho expressed astonishment at the incident. Ho thought that the contents of the warnings that the other party gave to Lam Tsz-kin was disproportional to the assault. Based upon his experience, this does not appear to be connected to Beijing. In any case, the whole incident is unfathomable to him. However, Ho said that this may been done by a "mainland powerful department"? Or it may not be ...

- (RTHK) Previously Lam Tsz-kin had said that the decision to hold the press conference before calling the police was made after conferring with Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee and ex-chairman Albert Ho. Today, Martin Lee said that Lam Tsz-kin sent some photos of his injuries via whatsapp at 330am. Martin Lee saw those photos when he woke up at 630am. Afterwards Lee spoke with Albert Ho. They decided that this must be disclosed to the public, and they decided to hold the press conference first. Lee said that he does not know who is behind this, and he cannot say that it was some "powerful department." He said that Lam Tsz-kin did not have the legal knowledge to preserve the evidence. He said that it was stupid to take a bath and wash the clothes.

- Well, it looks like both Martin Lee and Albert Ho are hedging their bets rather than go all-in.

- Please, will somone explain just what the hell a "mainland powerful department" is?

- Hong Kong people believe that when someone speaks to you in putonghuas, then that person must be a "mainland powerful department" agent. Because Hong Kong people are so gullible, many of them become victims of telephone fraud.

- Clearly, they are talking about the staple gun which is more powerful than the regular office stapler.

- Weapons of deadly assault

- And what are the other red marks (including holes) on his body?

- Spoof poster based on the hit movie Wolf Warrior starring Wu Jing:


The most vicious weapon of the powerful department

- Spoof of 007 James Bond holding a stapler

- (YouTube) Widely circulated now is this video that shows how to staple your body.

- If the "mainland powerful department" agents can rampage at will at this time, then why do you care about the customs/immigration/quarantine co-location at West Kowloon in 2018? What's the difference?

- The "mainland powerful department" agents torture Lam Tsz-kin by stapling crosses on his upper torso and thighs. If they wanted to scare him, then there are much more powerful techniques available to them. For example, waterboarding: Waterboarding can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage, and death. Adverse physical consequences can manifest themselves months after the event, while psychological effects can last for years.

Furthermore, using staples leave clear marks for the torture target to go to the police and tell the press. Even Hong Kong movies, when the police beat the arrestees, they never punch or kick directly. Instead they hold a thick phone book against the arrestee's chest and punch the book. This way, there are no bruises are left on the arrestee's body.

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

Kwaidan
The staples were so neatly arranged. Did he struggle at the time? Did he resist? Why were they left there for half a day? Did he feel pain?

- A cloud of doubts:


1. With his vast experience in resistance, why did Lam Tsz-kin turn into a tamed sheep when kidnapped in the bustling city in the afternoon. The police could not find the suspects in the surveillance videos.

2. Lam Tsz-kin had no signs of injuries on his hands which had been tied behind his back.

3. After taking off his clothes to apply the staples, the perpetrators put his pants back on. Wasn't the whole action meant to intimidate/humiliate him?

4. Lam Tsz-kin said that he heard the sound of cicadas while he was held prisoner. It is the fall season already. How there still cicada around?

5. When he woke up on a beach in Sai Kung, he said that it was raining but he could see the moon.

6. He did not lose any money or property. He still had his mobile phone with him. His immediate action was not to use the phone to summon help. Instead he took a taxi home and then he took out his mobile to make calls. He did not call the police immediately. Instead he bathed, washed his clothes and slept.

7. When he saw the taxi, why did he not ask the driver to help him immediately. Instead he had zero exchange with the driver. He did not even ask the driver about the location. He could not remember any details of the taxi which could have been used as evidence.

8. The staples were applied to thighs. He walked for more than ten minutes, he got on the taxi, he arrived home, he took a bathe and then he went to the press conference. Throughout all this, he left the staples in place. This is incomprehensible.

9. Lam Tsz-kin's case coincide with the pan-democrats anti-Co-location campaign. Even Wan China suspects that this was a staged show.

- Who does Lam Tsz-kin live with? What did his family think when he came back dripping wet at 2am with staples on his thighs? What, if anything, did he tell them?

- (Oriental Daily) August 12, 2017. According to information, when the taxi deposited Lam Tsz-kin at his home, the first thing that he did was to go to a restaurant and eat. Then he went home. Because his clothes were soiled, he soaked and washed them. Lam does not remember when he got off the taxi, so the taxi has not been located yet. At noon today, the police expanded their search area from Portland Street to a section of Nathan Road near Pitt Street plus a section of Waterloo Road. They canvassed the local stores and obtained surveillance videos in this area.

- Ricky Chan Ka-wai's Facebook

(Revised) How many "inexplicables" can you come up with?

1. Inexplicably, the "mainland powerful department" knew that Lam Tsz-kin was trying to contact Liu Xia.
2. Inexplicably, someone believes that Hong Kong Democratic Party member Lam Tsz-kin knows where Liu Xia is.
3. Inexplicably, someone took heavy action over a Lionel Messi autograph that was intended for Liu Xia.
4. Inexplicably, unarmed persons took 200-pound Lam Tsz-kin onto a light van without resistance in bustling Mong Kok.
5. Inexplicably, nobody saw the kidnapping and no surveillance cameras caught it either.
6. Inexplicably, there are no marks on Lam Tsz-kin's hands which were tied behind his back while they assaulted him.
7. Inexplicably, ll the staple marks on Lam's thighs were straight crosses with no sign of struggling or recoiling.
8. Inexplicably, after torturing him until he passed out, the perpetrators pulled Lam's long pants back on. Lam's wallet was left in the long pants.
9. Inexplicably, the "mainland powerful department" agents did not remove Lam's mobile phone.
10. Inexplicably, the "mainland powerful department" did not take away the Messi autograph picture.
11. Inexplicably, Lam walked more than 10 minutes to find a taxi. When he got on the taxi, he did not ask the driver just where they were. He just gave a destination.
12. Inexplicably, Lam did not use his mobile phone to call the police.
13. Inexplicably, Lam did not think about going to a hospital to get the staples removed.
14. Inexplicably, with 20 staples still in his body, he went to eat at a restaurant.
15. Inexplicably, Lam called his Democratic Party elders Martin Lee and Albert Ho and he took pain killers to last until the press conference the next day.
16. Inexplicably, Lam Tsz-kin began to fold his legs during the press conference, putting one thigh on top of the staples on the other thigh. Quickly his colleague Lam Cheuk-ting stopped him.
17. Inexplicably, Lam Tsz-kin's staple marks looked very recent because the very mild redness reflects the presence of reddish iron in the blood that was rushed over in reaction against foreign objects. By comparison, an injury that took place 12 to 24 hours should show mild swelling with the color being blue or purple.

- How did Lionel Messi end up in this mess? Here is (EJ  Insight) on July 26, 2017.

Football star Lionel Messi is said to have sent an autographed picture in a bid to cheer up Liu Xiaobo when the Chinese rights activist was ailing in a mainland hospital before his death earlier this month.

The Argentine soccer player sent the picture to Howard Lam Tsz-kin, a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong, hoping that the latter would arrange for the picture to be delivered to Liu, according to a Facebook post Tuesday from Lam.

Lam wrote on the social media platform that he wrote to Messis club, FC Barcelona, in early July and sought an autographed picture of the world famous footballer so that it can be forwarded to Liu, who was lodged in a hospital in late June after years in a Chinese prison.

So far nobody is saying that Lionel Messi sent an autographed picture to Liu Xiaobo on his own initiative. Messi probably has no idea who Liu Xiaobo is. What happened was that Lam Tsz-kin knew that Liu Xiaobo was a Messi fan, and an autographed picture of Messi would cheer Liu up. Therefore Lam wrote to Messi's club FC Barcelona and sought an autographed photo of Messi to be sent to Liu Xiaobo c/o Tsz Kin Howard Lam in Hong Kong.

Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer on this planet. His job is to play football, not to engage in politics or even sign autographs. Messi is not going to see Lam's request nor tens of thousands of other similar requests from all over the world. The request is handled by a clerk at FC Barcelona, sending back an autographed picture of Lionel Messi to the addressee. Did Messi sign? You would be naive to think that it was anything other than an autopen. If Messi truly regarded this as a personal project, it would have been a personalized autograph such as "Dear Xiabo, long live freedom and democracy!"

About two weeks ago, Lam Tsz-kin went public on his Facebook with news about Messi's autographed picture sent to Mr. Liu Xiaobo c/o Tsz Kin Howard Lam. Then what? Liu Xiaobo has passed away; he was cremated and his ashes scattered into the sea. There is no way for Lam to send the picture to him. Liu Xiaobo's wife Liu Xia has been out of contact to all persons since then. There is no way for Lam to send the picture to her. So there was nothing that Lam could make out of that autographed picture. That is, until now.

- The reason why Lionel Messi got into this mess is that this was a false flag operation from Real Madrid. This is a sure way to make sure that Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona won't get invited to play the high-paying exhibition games in China.

- Will Lionel Messi be so stupid as to actually come out now to say that he did send the autographed picture on own initiative and thus get himself and FC Barcelona barred from China? Real Madrid would be ecstatic.

- Why are these four or five "mainland powerful department" agents so obsessed about Lam's picture reaching Liu Xia? She has been out of contact for almost a month already. Lam has no means to sending anything to her.

- At Taobao, Lionel Messi's autograph pictures are available for less than HK$100.

- FC Barcelona states on its official Weibo:

FC Barcelona
August 11
Statement: FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi have not sent a Messi autograph to any organization or individual in Hong Kong (China) recently. If any organization or individual wants to use a Messi autograph for hyping, FC Barcelona reserves the right to seek legal redress.

- This is a big slap in the face of Lam Tsz-kin, because FC Barcelona (representing Lionel Messi as well) is saying that either the autograph picture is fake or else it was obtained under false pretense.

- (HKG Pao) Assorted Internet comments:

- Why the hell did the "mainland powerful department" agents bother with a nobody? If they have to kidnap and assault someone, wouldn't it be Jimmy Lai, Martin Lee, Lee Cheuk-yan, Joseph Zen, Alan Leong, Joshua Wong or the Occupy Central Trio?

- The only explanation is Psychotic Disorder! People with psychotic disorders lose contact with reality and experience a range of extreme symptoms that usually includes: (1) Hallucinations -- hearing or seeing things that are not real, such as voices in the head; (2) Delusions -- believing things that are not true.

- If you sick, you should see a doctor.

- But it is useless just to see the doctor. You must remember to take the medicine that the doctor prescribes to you!

- This is so implausible! You should find another scriptwriter.

- This story is not going to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, because nobody can suspend their disbelief that far.

- Please don't drag Mr. Liu Xiaobo and his wife into this.

- This is a tall tale! The Hong Kong Police must pursue this case all the way until the whole truth is found and revealed to the public!

-  There are plenty of surveillance cameras in Mong Kong. The police will get down to the truth.

- Even the Democratic Party's office has quite a few staplers.

- Do they think that this stupid gimmick is going to stop Co-location?

- Medical advice: National Health Services United Kingdom: Tetanus shot

Tetanus bacteria can enter the body through a wound, quickly multiply and release a toxin that affects the nerves, causing symptoms such as muscle stiffness and spasms. The bacteria can get into your body through cuts and scrape, or tears or splits in the skin. Left untreated, the symptoms can get worse over the following hours and days. Visit a doctor immediately, particular if you have a deep wound. If you have tetanus, you will need to be admitted to a hospital intensive care unit, where you may be given tetanus immunoglobulin, antibiotics and medication to relieve muscle stiffness and spasms.

- Three days ago, a Mr. Hui with Central Government connections called Lam Tsz-kin to threaten him over the Lionel Messi autograph picture for Liu Xia. Lam has forwarded the telephone number to the Hong Kong Police. That turned out to be a prepaid phone card, which means that there is no way to trace the owner.

- The pan-democrats oppose Co-location in West Kowloon because mainland law enforcement agents may pounce out from their area and snatch dissidents back to mainland China through the High Speed Rail. Previously, their best case is Lam Wing-kee. Unfortunately, that case is flawed -- Lam Wing-kee was not snatched in Hong Kong and taken to mainland China. He was arrested after he crossed into mainland China on his own and arrested for violating mainland Chinese law. Lam Wing-kee does not use himself as the illustrative case. Instead Lam cites Lee Bo's case. But Lee Bo does not say that he was kidnapped by any "mainland powerful department" and taken to mainland China.

Along comes Lam Tsz-kin. Does that prove that we should be afraid of cross-border law enforcement? I think that the opposite is the case. Right now we don't have co-location. Therefore all these cited cases occur without co-location. So what has co-location got to do with any of this?

- (RTHK) August 12, 2017. Lam Tsz-kin stayed at the hospital overnight and checked out this morning. He said that he is weary mentally and physically and he wants the matter over and done with as quickly as possible. He said that he will not ask for police protection. He said that he will be going to the United States to study at the end of this month. He said that this incident is connected to mainland Chinese politics, but there is no proof. He said that everybody wants to know the truth, but he does not hold out too much hope for the truth to come out.

- Lam Tsz-kin wants the matter over and done with as quickly as possible. Hong Kong Internet users only want to know who applied the staples.

- (Reference) Movies, Films and Flix: The Seven Best Usages of Staples/Staplers in Cinema History The stapler is a very important tool. It keeps paper together, works as a weapon and when an alien is surgically removed from your stomach staples are used to close your belly back up. It is an underrated tool that has played a part in some fantastic cinematic scenes.

- (Reference) Alien abduction. The terms alien abduction or abduction phenomenon describe "subjectively real memories of being taken secretly against one's will by apparently nonhuman entities and subjected to complex physical and psychological procedures". Due to a lack of objective physical evidence, most scientists and mental health professionals dismiss the phenomenon as "deception, suggestibility (fantasy-proneness, hypnotizability, false memory syndrome), personality, sleep paralysis, psychopathology, psychodynamics [and] environmental factors".

- (Oriental Daily) August 12, 2017.

On August 11, Lam Tsz-kin told the police that he purchased football jerseys at the SFALO sports merchandise store on Portland Street between Dundas Street and Hamilton Street. Lam then walked down to Exit A1 of the Yau Ma Ti MTR station at the intersection of Pitt Street and Portland Street. There he was kidnapped by two putonghua-speaking men and taken onto a dark-colored light van. He passed out after being drugged. At noon today, the police were out canvassing the stores around Pitt Street, Nathan Road and Waterloo Road and gathering the surveillance videos in this area. So far the surveillance videos only show Lam Tsz-kin but not the suspects.

On August 12, Lam Tsz-kin changed his testimony to the police to say that he was kidnapped on Nathan Road opposite Sino Centre. This is three blocks north in the opposite direction from SFALO. The two locations are five minutes on foot from each other. So the police will have to canvass this latest area.

- Nathan Road opposite Sino Centre? There are thousands of pedestrians on that section between 4pm and 7pm. How are you going to kidnap someone? Also that section of Nathan Road is a no parking/stopping zone for private vehicles.

- (HKG Pao) August 12, 2017. Today Lam Tsz-kin amended the statement on his whereabouts as follows: First, I went to a fast food restaurant on Nathan Road across from Sino Centre to use the restroom. Then I walked until I came near a certain sports jersey store on Hamilton Street.

- Is anyone still keeping tabs of his whereabouts?

- Failing to find any evidence of the incident as described by Lam Tsz-kin, the police have asked him to come down to police station to clarify certain things. Lam said that he has a headache and declined to go. Instead, he went on Facebook to do live broadcasts to explain certain misunderstandings by the police and media.

- (Ming Pao) August 13, 2017. Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu said that the police have done a large amount of work, including reviewing surveillance videos, etc. "So far, there is no indication of the episode as described by the principal." Lee urged that crime victims should report to the police as quickly as possible because this will help the police to gather evidence and arrest the suspects. If injured, the crime victims should seek medical treatment as quickly as possible because the wounds may deteriorate.

Lee was asked whether the incident involves cross-border law enforcement and challenging rule-of-law in Hong Kong. Lee said that law enforcement here is solely for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to carry out. But the police will need more time to find out about the nature of the crime and the backgrounds of the alleged criminals.

- (Ming Pao) August 14, 2017. Lam Tsz-kin found Secretary for Security John Lee's comments to be regrettable. Lee had said that the police were unable to find any evidence. Lam said that the 21 staples are physical evidence enough, and there is also eyewitness testimony (namely, from himself). Therefore it was irresponsible for Lee to suggest that the incident did not take place. Lam said that the police should not be commenting on an ongoing investigation.

- The police had to disclose certain details (such as time and location) in order to get information from the public (such as the taxi driver who took Lam home, or the spot where Lam was snatched). If there was a relevant surveillance video, then the police wouldn't need to go public.

- If Lam Tsz-kin and Lam Cheuk-ting said that it was unfair for John Lee to say that there is no evidence when the investigation is still ongoing, then it is equally unfair for Lam Tsz-kin and Lam Cheuk-ting to go around saying that the kidnapping was carried out by a "mainland powerful department." In both cases, we have not come to any definitive conclusions as  yet. The proper thing is for Lam Tsz-kin to speak to the police and provide more details so that the truth can come out.

- (Oriental Daily with video) August 13, 2017. On Facebook, Lam Tsz-kin said that he has not changed his testimony. Rather there are some communication problems among himself, the police and the media. He said that he arrived at the Mong Kok Bank Centre some time between 1pm and 2pm. He walked around the area, including going to some upper-floor football jersey shops. He said that he did not go near the scene of the kidnapping. He said that he used the restroom at the Cafe de Coral fast food restaurant across Sino Centre.

As for what happened after got back from the beach, Lam said that he usually takes two meals a day. After being kidnapped, he felt hungry. So he told the taxi driver to drop him off near a fast food restaurant where he bought two fish filet burgers. Then he went home.

As soon as he got home, he took off his clothes and sat down on the sofa. He said that his clothes smelt of salt water and a stinky odor and also carried sand particles. After sitting in a sofa for a while, he listened to his wife's advice to wash his clothes and take a bath.

He said that he did not call the police immediately. Instead he thought about Democratic Party founder Martin Lee and Democratic Party ex-chairman Albert Ho because he believed that this was a political incident. He said that he planned to visit a private doctor to remove the staples. His family also opposed reporting to the police and holding a press conference. But Lee and Ho persuaded him to hold a press conference. He said that his family also opposed him disclosing the photos that he sent Lee and Ho.

- Why kind of person is Lam Tsz-kin's wife? Her husband comes home, takes off his clothes, slumps down on the sofa with 21 staples on his thighs. How does she react? Does she insist that he gets immediate medical treatment in case of infection? Does she call the police? No. She says "Your clothes stink! You better wash them now because I don't want the house to stink! And you stink too!  You better take a bath!"

- I don't understand why his wife didn't order him to see a doctor immediately. If they sleep in the same bed, then he may roll over and prick her with the staples.

- Lam Tsz-kin is now saying that he does not want to turn the incident into a major story. However, it was Martin Lee and Albert Ho who insisted that he did. Meanwhile, Martin Lee said that Lam was stupid in destroying the evidence while Albert Ho is saying that the whole incident is unfathomable. Dogs biting dogs?

- Meanwhile Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai is completely missing in action, because he wants no part of this mess.

- Wu is missing because he is upset at the obvious slight -- the first persons to come to Lam Tsz-kin's mind were ex-chairmen Martin Lee and Albert Ho, and not the current chairman Wu Chi-wai! Wu is going to wait for the participants to implode before riding in to save the day.

- Meanwhile Civic Party chairman Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu is going full blast against cross-border enforcement and co-location. He is insulated against damage here, because he can blame any misinformation on the Democratic Party. And if the Democratic Party gets damaged later, it will the Civic Party's gain.

- If his wife is obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness being next to Godliness, then why would she permit him to crawl into bed with 21 staples still on his thighs?

- Lam's wife and mother are now eyewitnesses in a potential case of filing a false report to the police. They should be invited down to the police station to meet with the major crimes unit detectives to assist in the investigation.

- Lam Tsz-kin said that he was overpowered by a certain "powerful department." This is true, and the "powerful department" is his wife plus his mother. He does whatever they order him to do.

- (Ming Pao) August 14, 2017. On radio today, Lam Tsz-kin said that his mother was very worried about him because her own parents were persecuted by the Chinese Communists. Lam has decided that he will "shut up" about the incident out of consideration for his family after today, and he will no longer participate in party politics.

- (The Standard) August 14, 2017.

A Democratic Party member who claims to have been abducted and tortured by mainland agents has slammed the police, alleging that the force is trying to discredit him through the media.

"Im very unhappy about the police, they always mention my case to the reporters, that is very unprofessional and make me afraid, said Howard Lam Tsz-kin (pictured).

"Because the police must keep the secret and protect me. But they share something with the reporters, I think this is to try to discredit me and to create some stories, he added.

On Friday, Lam told the media that he was kidnapped from Mong Kok by some Mandarin-speaking men and tortured over his plan to send a picture of footballer Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel laureate Liu Xiabao who died last month. Liu Xia has not been seen in public since her husband's funeral.

Lam also hit back at suggestions that he may have mental problems. An editorial in the pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao newspaper had said he was a manic-depressive who needs help.

But Lam said there's nothing wrong with his mental health; he doesn't do drugs or even drink; and he doesn't gamble or owe anyone money.

Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting also said comments on the case by Secretary for Security John Lee are both disappointing and unfair.

"I think the comment of Mr Lee is unfair, because he only said that theres no evidence to prove Mr Howard Lam was kidnapped in the area concerned. But Mr Lee failed to disclose another very important information that theres no information or evidence to disprove Mr Lams allegation, he said.

The lawmaker also called it ridiculous that some people are questioning whether the alleged abduction took place at all, and whether the Democratic Party had made up the whole affair to undermine the proposed co-located border plan for the Express Rail.

Lam told RTHKs Janice Wong that this is just a case of a Hong Kong resident being kidnapped and the focus should remain on that.

(Ming Pao) August 8, 2017.

Ming Pao commissioned the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme to conduct a telephone survey. 517 persons age 18 or over were interviewed by telephone on July 2-3.

The results showed that 52.7% supported the Co-location proposal from the government, including allocating a certain area inside the West Kowloon High Speed Rail station as mainland Chinese port to enforce mainland laws. 33.9% were  opposed.

With the Co-location arrangement, 11.4% said that they have more confidence in One Country Two Systems, 48.2% have the same confidence and 34.8% have less confidence.

Chinese University of Hong Kong Government and Public Administration senior lecturer Ivan Choy Chi-keung said that most citizens are looking at the issue in a pragmatic manner. In order to win over citizens, the  pan-democrats cannot just use slogans such as "ceding land." "There is no going back on the already built High Speed Rail. Chanting slogans doesn't mean that there is another viable solution to solve the problems."

(Wen Wei Po) August 7, 2017.

On July 25, Hong Kong Economic Times and Sky Post held an online poll with the subject: "The High Speed Rail co-location proposal has just been disclosed. There will be a mainland post inside the West Kowloon terminus for mainland personnel to enforce the law. Do you support this proposal?"

As of 10:30pm last night, 25,193 persons have voted. Of these 91% said that they support the proposal and 9% opposed.

- The Co-location Concern Group's Leung Kwok-hung said that he would like to organize a campaign to collect 300,000 signature to oppose co-location. That instrument will probably be consist of a single statement: "I demand the government withdraw the co-location proposal and initiate public consultations" and you sign accordingly. Unlike the Hong Kong Economic Times/Sky Post poll, there there won't be options to indicate "Support" or "Do not support" because the risk is more people will support co-location than not.

(Wen Wei Po) August 4, 2017.

The Liberal Party interviewed 1,071 persons by telephone. 71% agreed that co-location is important to the efficiency of High Speed Rail, and 61.6% supported a Shenzhen Bay-like arrangement that will allow mainland law enforcement personnel to carry out immigration, customs, quarantine and law enforcement in a mainland border crossing area.

(Oriental Daily) August 8, 2017.

The Liberal Party interviewed 1,071 persons by telephone in late July and then another 1,262 persons in early August. 43% agreed that the Co-location proposal has negative impact on One Country Two Systems and 43% disagreed. But among those who think that there is negative impact, 35% said that the would accept Co-location. In addition, 59% approved Co-location for the High Speed Rail because it will bring new opportunities to Hong Kong for economic development.

(HKG Pao) August 7, 2017.

Hong Kong Discussion Forum hosted a poll on Co-location. Out of 1,650 who voted so far, 97.2% supported Co-location while 2.8% opposed.

(Wen Wei Po) August 11, 2017.

On Ming Pao, Ng Chi-sum wrote that he was the subject of an automated telephone interview from the DAB. But when he said that he disagreed with Co-location at West Kowloon, the recording said that "there was an error in your response" and the call was terminated. He said that this was not an isolated incident.

DAB legislator Chan Hang-pan checked out the YouTube and found that their surveys do not ask this sort of question, nor could their surveys be terminated on the basis of some "error." Chan does not exclude the possibility that someone is running fake surveys to in order to smear the DAB.

(HK01) August 6, 2017.

The pan-democrats have established a Co-location Concern Group, and they have begun to propagandize on social media and local communities. This surely reminds people of the Anti-National Education campaign five years ago. However, it is unlikely that the anti-Co-location campaign will be as successful.

There are three reasons.

(I) Civic Party executive committee member and New Territories West party vice-chairman Sin Ho-fai manned an anti-Co-location street booth in Tsing Yee district. He said frankly that citizens do not feel that co-location affects their vital interests, and therefore their responses have been somewhat cool. He said that the co-location issue is complicated. Most citizens will require long explanations before they understand the appreciate the technical details. So it will take a lot of cultivation before they can digest the reasons why co-location must be opposed. He said that the major stakeholders are people who travel frequently to/from mainland China. These people tend to believe that Co-location is more convenient, and it will be hard to convert them. So the Co-location will need to find a trigger point so that citizens will know that the Co-location proposal is dangerous.

Civic Party district director Mak Tsz-kin participated as a student in the anti-National Education campaign. Today the pan-democrats are pushing "political viewpoints" against Co-location, emphasizing the damage to One Country Two Systems. Back then during the Anti-National Education campaign, they were able to make citizens feel personally threatened: "Brainwashing will affect the maturation of children, so parents were bound to come out."

(II) According to former Scholarism members, the Co-location campaign cannot match what was happening back then. Scholarism began propagandizing against National Education in 2011. 15-year-old Joshua Wong's interview went viral on the Internet. He also clashed with pro-establishment figures on RTHK Forum. By 2012, more than 100,000 citizens were involved in the campaign. By contrast, the Co-location campaign began with elders such as Alan Leong and Margaret Ng. Once the Co-location Concern Group was formed, the leaders were traditional pan-democratic legislators such as Tanya Chan. The scholar Leung Kai-chi may be a somewhat new face, but he is no match for Joshua Wong.

(III) Scholarism members also think that large-scale mass actions such as the Umbrella movement have created fatigue. In recent years, the social activists and pan-democrats would indiscriminately issue calls for mass mobilization on every single issue, large or small. People have become numb. So if the current issue does not seem to affect people's personal interests, it would be hard to mobilize large numbers of people. When Xi Jinping came to Hong Kong in late June, the League of Social Democrats and Demosisto rushed at the Golden Bauhinia, and they called on citizens to stay with them. In the end, more than a dozen key demonstrators stayed and were detained overnight.

The government's internal assessment is that they hold the upper hand in the public opinion battle over Co-location. Critical voices seem muted. The pan-democrats issue criticisms, but they are unable to produce a substitute proposal that is persuasive, or even just feasible. Informed sources think that as long as the government plays it safe and avoid committing mistakes, it will work in their favor.

Compared to five years ago, the government is now responding on Facebook to the viewpoints of the pan-democrats on Co-location. If the pan-democrats continue in the same mode and attempt to reproduce their success in the Anti-National Education campaign, they may well lose this Co-location public opinion battle.


The Democratic Party will oppose Co-location in the District Councils

-

On one hand, North District Council member Chan Wai-tat (Neo Democrats) is actively opposing the High Speed Rail. On the other hand, he is offering a special 5-day trip to Zhangjiajie his constituents on December 23-27. The travelers will reach their destination by taking the High Speed Rail from Shenzhen North station to Hengyang East station. This is yet another case of split personality. How does Chan Wai-tat convince his constituents that the Hong Kong Express Rail Link should be dismantled? Or that co-location will be bad for them compared to what they had to go through this trip in order to get on the High Speed Rail?

- (Facebook) Is Co-location good or bad? I rarely touch politics on Facebook. This post isn't about politics; it is about my personal experience.

A large group of about 100 of us went to Chaozhou on July 30, 2017. We live in various parts of Hong Kong, so we allowed for three assembly points. We could meet first at 700am at Prince Edward Station. From there, the group proceeded by bus to the Shenzhen Bay border crossing. The second meeting point is therefore Shenzhen Bay at 800am where some more people joined us. From there, the group took the Shenzhen Metro to Shenzhen North station. The third meeting point is therefore Shenzhen North at 845am. The 100 or so people then took the D-1057 train. But we had to spend more than two hours in Shenzhen North station before we got on the train, because we had to queue up with the rest of the mass of passengers. Ultimately we arrived in Chaozhou at 1315pm.

Now, if Hong Kong has Co-location for the High Speed Train, we could assemble at West Kowloon at 1000am and be in Chaozhou at 1315pm.

Right now, our self-appointed people's representatives are opposing Co-location because they want to wear "Vindicate June 4th" t-shirts or read pornography. Have you ever given a thought to us senior citizens who have contributed so much to Hong Kong? We could use the time to sleep a couple more hours!

- (Ta Kung Pao)  August 7, 2017.

Between July 28 and August 2, about 22,000 people board the trains each day at the Shenzhen North station. Of these, about 1,300 are Hongkongers who have to pick up their train tickets at the windows.

Mr. Sun frequently travels to mainland on China. In Hong Kong, if he has sufficient notice, he can obtain the tickets from the China Travel Service 24 hours ahead of time. But he receives an emergency assignment, he will have to pick up his ticket in Shenzhen. The Futian station does not have automatic machines that allow Hongkongers to print their tickets, so he has to get on line and wait for the windows. This is extremely inconvenient, and he has missed the train before because there were too many people on line. With co-location, he will be able to print his ticket on automatic machines in West Kowloon, get cleared by both Hong Kong and mainland China on immigration/customs/quarantine and board directly onto the train.

Mr. Woo works in Panyu even though his family stays in Hong Kong. Previously, he has to travel to the Guangzhou East station to take the direct train to Hong Kong. "Once the High Speed Rail works, I can take it directly from Panyu to Hong Kong." Mr. Woo says that he comes back late at night on Fridays now. The High Speed Rail takes only 48 minutes from Guangzhou South to West Kowloon. Even if he comes back on Saturday morning, he will have ample time to have early tea with his family.

How do you convince Mr. Sun and Mr. Woo that co-location will be bad for them?

The High Speed Rail is going to be more convenient for Mr. Sun and Mr. Woo. There can be no doubt. Mr. Sun travels to mainland China regularly and Mr. Woo even works there. They are not afraid of being arrested by the public security bureau. So you have to give other reasons which will trump convenience.

Are you going to ask them to give up the convenience in order that Claudia Mo don't have to be so anxious about being snatched by mainland agents while having high tea at Elements or people eating dog meat inside the West Kowloon terminal?

Or are you going to tell them that they have to make some personal sacrifices so that the Basic Law won't be destroyed? They may just respond that it is time to change the law in order to make people's lives better.

- (Apple Daily) August 8, 2017.

Legislator Jeremy Tam (Civic Party) personally tested the High Speed Rail going to Guangzhou.

First, he stood in line for 30 minutes at Futian station (Shenzhen) to purchase a train ticket. He was only able to get a second class standing room ticket to Shenzhen North. From there, he took a train to Guangzhou South station. That took 49 minutes. But Guangzhou South is far away from the city centre. So Tam took the Guangzhou Metro to get from Guangzhou South to Guangzhou East. The subway train made 19 stops and took 46 minutes. In total, Tam spent 1 hour 50 minutes to get from Futian to Guangzhou East, not counting the 14 minutes it took to cross from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.

Afterwards, Tam took the "Separate Location" Through Train from Guangzhou East to return to Hong Kong. It took only 1 hour 18 minutes, which was more than half an hour faster than the Co-location-based High Speed Rail.

- Stand 30 minutes in line to get a ticket at Futian? Hasn't he heard of online reservations (12306.cn with alipay) with ticket pick-ups from self-service machines at the station?

- Stand 30 minutes in line to get a ticket at Futian? Weren't they saying that the High Speed Rail is a failed project with no customers? Now you tell me that there is mob scene fighting for tickets? If so, then why can't you let Hongkongers take the High Speed Rail comfortably from West Kowloon? Why must you insist that they trek across the border and fight the mainlanders for tickets and seats?

- According to Travel China Guide, there are direct trains from Futian Station to Guangzhou South with duration times  as low as 39 minutes. Why did Jeremy Tam break that trip into two parts (Futian-> Shenzhen North) and (Shenzhen North to Guangzhou South)?

- If your intention is to go from Hong Kong to Guangzhou East, you should be taking either the Through Train from Hung Hom (Kowloon), or the bullet train from Luohu (Shenzhen). There was no reason for all the motions of going from Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau to Futian to Shenzhen North to Guangzhou South to Guangzhou East. You are simply making life complicated for yourself.

- The purpose of the High Speed Rail system is not only for people to go from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. It is for people to reach destinations all over China. Do you want to make them go through the living hell of Futian->Shenzhen North->Guangzhou South as you have clearly demonstrated through your own experience? Or will you let them just take the train directly from West Kowloon with pre-clearance?

- By defining the task as reaching Guangzhou East from Hong Kong, you've rigged it so that the Through Train will win because it goes there directly. This would be like comparing bus service to train service from mainland China to Hong Kong. It takes 45 minutes to get from Luohu to Hung Hom on MTR East rail and 60 minutes by bus from Futian to Prince Edward. But if I define the task as reaching Wan Chai, then there is a direct bus but the train traveler will have to switch from East Rail to the Kwun Tong line to the Chai Wan line.

- According to the MTR, the Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train takes about 1 hour 55 minutes. However, Jeremy Tam was able to find one that took only 1 hour 18 minutes. He should teach us that trick!

- (China Train Guide) Clearly Jeremy Tam was referring to the train from Guangzhou East to Shenzhen (mainland China side). The C-trains take about 1 hour 18 minutes.

However the newspaper was written as if he took the Through Train from Guangzhou all the way to Hung Hom (Kowloon).

- Jeremy Tam is a pilot and he plans to show that the government has been lying about how the High Speed Rail is faster than flying. So he is going to fly from Hong Kong to Guangzhou with the media in tow.

- (Ctrip) Cathay Dragon KA 782 (7:55am) takes only 60 minutes to go from Hong Kong to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport for only HK$ 1,339. (Guangzhou Baiyun Airport) Metro Line 3 takes about 30 minutes to arrive at Guangzhou East Railway station. [Footnote: Do not do this if you are traveling with lots of luggage during 7:30am to 9:00am or 5:00pm to 7:00pm] So Jeremy Tam is counting on a sure win for himself.

Alert-list: Will Jeremy Tam count the travel time to the Hong Kong International Airport, being present at the airport two hours before the flight, any unscheduled delays, the time for baggage claim, the time taken for immigration/clearance/quarantine in Guangzhou and the time to walk to the metro station?
P.S. Is Jeremy Tam going to proceed to the airport and queue up to buy a ticket? Or will he buy a ticket online ahead of time?

- Former Legislative Councilor Margaret Ng (Civic Party) said that she could get arrested just by going near the West Kowloon station. Current Legislative Councilor Jeremy Tam (Civic Party) gets on the High Speed Rail to make a critical documentary of High Speed Rail unmolested. Has Tam just demonstrated that Ng is worrying too much?

- (Apple Daily) August 9, 2017. 17 hours after Jeremy Tam posted his video, the Transport and Housing Bureau posted on its own Facebook. They constructed a hypothetical example in which the intended destination is the Park Front station at the intersection of the Beijing Pedestrian Mall and Zhongshan Road. This is historically considered the center of the city of Guangzhou.

On one hand, it takes 48 minutes from West Kowloon to Guanghzou South and another 29 minutes by subway to the destination. Total elapsed time is 77 minutes.

On the other hand, the Through Train takes 117 minutes from Hung Hom to Guangzhou East and another 17 minutes by subway to the destination. Total elapsed time is 134 minutes.

- The Co-location Concern Group needs to find a spokesperson to deal with the operational aspects. This person should be able to say that he/she has taken trains (High Speed Rail and other services) many many times all over China, and is familiar with the layouts in Futian, Shenzhen North, Guangzhou South and other stations.

This person must not be Tanya Chan, who refused to go on a MTR tour of the West Kowloon station because she needs to see a floor plan first, because no government officials took part and because the MTR did not extend the invitation through the Legislative Council secretariat. This person must not be Roy Tam, who states that he does not go to mainland China and does not intend to ever go there, but he will continue to write his diatribes against the High Speed Rail based upon surfing the Internet. This person must not be Jeremy Tam who does not even know how to book a train ticket online.

So where is that person?

- Sorry. If such a person exists, then that person is likely to be pro-Co-location.

(YouTube) Legislator Tanya Chan (Civic Party) gets on radio:

0:01 Tanya Chan: Public consultation ... public consultation ... public consultation ... public consultation ... public consultation ... why not hold public consultation?

0:16 Host: You just emphasized the importance of public opinion, and you want to hold public consultations. I would like to ask: What if the situation arises that more people support Co-location than not, will you revise your thinking?

0:25 Tanya Chan: I feel ... then ... why not ... wait until it happens.

0:34 Executive Council member Cheung Kwok-kwun: You said to wait until it happens. So you have not made an answer at all. I want to know you answer. I am not going to interfere with your decision. If the citizens support ...

0:44 Tanya Chan: I can continue to oppose.

- Even if more than 90% of the public support Co-location, the Co-location Concern Group will continue to oppose. They don't have to follow the opinion of a brainwashed majority, because they know right from wrong.

-

Tanya Chan will blindly oppose Co-location no matter what public opinion is
Tanya Chan: "So what if many people support Co-location? We will continue to oppose it."


Panel 1: Public consultations ... public consultations ... we must hold public consultations.
Panel 2: What if public opinion supports co-location?
Panel 3: If the citizens support it, they support it. But I can continue to oppose.

- Mirror images: If the Co-Location Concern Group's Leung Kwok-hung announces their intention to collect three hundred thousand signatures to demand the withdrawal of the Co-location proposal, then you can be sure that Robert Chow's group will collect one million signatures to support the Co-location proposal to nullify the impact. But it is even funnier than that -- if the opposition forms a Co-location Concern Group with 94 organizations, then we have just seen the formation of a pro-Co-location group named the Co-location Concern Alliance with 20 industry/commerce, professional and youth organizations. [Reference: Life of Brian - The People's Front of Judea.]

(Express Rail Link)

The Express Rail Link's design allows for a frequency of one train every three minutes.

It is estimated that during the first year upon the opening of the line for passenger service, there will be 109,200 passengers per day travelling between Hong Kong and the Mainland by the Express Rail Link. The number includes about 23,100 passengers travelling to Humen and Guangzhou, including business travelers visiting their businesses and attending meetings in the two cities, and passengers who will interchange to the Pearl River Delta area or other major cities in the Mainland.

Patronage Forecast of the Express Rail Link:

Shuttle Service: 90,600 passengers

West Kowloon to Shenzhen: 67,500 passengers
West Kowloon to Guangzhou: 23,100 passengers

Long Haul Service: 18,600 passengers

Total: 109,200 passengers

There will be 33 daily pairs of long-haul train to 16 major Mainland cities. There will be an average 15-minute headway to Shenzhen North. There will be an average 30-minute headway to Guangzhou South.

(Headline Daily) (SilentMajorityHK) By Francis Lui.

In 2014, about 600,000 traveled between Hong Kong and mainland China every day. The government estimated that at first about one-sixth of them (about 100,000) will use the High Speed Rail. By 2031, this number will increase to 150,000.

The High Speed Rail is more expensive than the regular trains, so their passengers are likely to have higher incomes. Let us suppose that they make HK$100 per hour (compared to the minimum wage of $34.50).

If there is co-location of immigration/customs/quarantine checkpoints, the High Speed Rail train will proceed to the destination directly with scheduled brief stops in a small number of intermediary cities.

If immigration/customs/quarantine have to be conducted separately in Hong Kong and Futian, then all passengers will have to disembark in Futian with luggage and children, clear mainland immigration/customs/quarantine, search for another train that will be going to the destination. Based upon my personal experience, this could take as much as one hour.

If 100,000 persons wastes 1 hour that day at $100/hour, the total waste per annum will be (100,000 persons per day) x ($100 per day) x (365 days per year) = $3,650,000,000 (= $3.65 billion).

(Wen Wei Po) August 6, 2017.

Prof Terence Chong Tai-leung is associate professor of Economics and Executive Director of Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance, Dean of Students of New Asia College and Co-Director of Global Economics and Finance Program, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. On RTHK yesterday, Chong first discussed his personal experience on taking the High Speed Rail: "I taught at Nanjing University for two months. I frequently took the High Speed Rail to meet with friends and students in Shanghai. Nanjing is 300 kilometers away from Shanghai. If I were to drive by car, it would take 3 to 4 hours. But it was only about an hour by High Speed Rail. I can take the train from Nanjing to Shanghai in the morning, have lunch and come back to Nanjing in the afternoon. It is about the same amount of time to go from Sha Tin (Chinese University of Hong Kong campus) to Central in Hong Kong. With the High Speed Rail, one's life circle can be expanded by a lot."

What are the economic benefits of the High Speed Rail? "The biggest benefits are convenience and time-saving. The government report said that co-location can save 39 million hours. How did they come up with this number: If 100,000 persons take the High Speed Rail every day and they save one hour on clearing immigration/customs and transferring trains, they they can save 30 something million hours a year."

In money terms, "If a Hong Kong person makes $20,000 a month, his hourly wage will be about $100. If you multiply 39 million hours by $100 per hour discounted to 70%, you can save $2.7 billion per year and $135 billion over 50 years. The social value of co-location far exceeds the $80 billion cost of the High Speed Rail.

Chong said that if it takes only 50 minutes or so to travel between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, then the entire Pearl River Delta is reachable within one hour. "You can get on the High Speed Rail at noon on Friday and reach Hangzhou or Wuhan at night to spend a weekend there. I believe that after the High Speed Rail begins running, all the south China tour groups will travel by High Speed Rail. If you don't mind sitting longer, you can even go to Beijing or northeastern China. We will be able to experience so many things that were previously unimaginable. It will change the lives of the people of Hong Kong."

(Wen Wei Po) August 6, 2017.

Prof Terence Chong Tai-leung is associate professor of Economics and Executive Director of Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance, Dean of Students of New Asia College and Co-Director of Global Economics and Finance Program, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. On RTHK today, Chogn said: "If young people thinking housing prices are too expensive in Hong Kong, they should consider buying/renting along the High Speed Rail line. It takes only 14 minutes to go from Kowloon West to Futian; this is faster than going to Sha Tin. Mainland housing prices are cheaper than Hong Kong."

(Strait Times) May 14, 2017.

As property prices spiral upwards in Hong Kong, the race is on to build smaller and smaller homes. Dubbed "nano" flats by the Hong Kong media, these homes are less than 200 sq ft, cost about HK$4 million on average, and are popular with young couples. These small flats have made it possible for young couples to own homes in a central area, such as Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island.

Professor Edward Yiu, an urban studies expert and member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, said that while nano flats affect living standards, imposing rules on flat sizes will mean many people will be unable to own a flat. The downsizing of flats comes amid a continued rise in property prices in the city, which has made it increasingly difficult for young people to own a home.

Frustration over home prices was among the reasons thousands of young people joined the 2014 student-led Occupy movement, which pushed for universal suffrage in electing the city's leader.

Single working professionals like bank executive Josephine Law, 29, welcomed the option of nano flats. If not for these tiny homes, Ms Law, who earns a monthly salary of HK$30,000, said she would have to work for more than 20 years to buy a flat, given rising property prices.

(Numbeo) Price per square meter to buy apartment in Dongguan city centre = 17,176 RMB per square meter = HK$ 2,073 per square ft. So if you have HK$ 4 million on hand, you can buy a 2,000 sq ft apartment in Dongguan instead of a 200 square ft apartment in Hong Kong. Conversely, if you are satisfied with a 200 square ft apartment, you can buy one for HK$ 400,000 in Dongguan.

- Better yet, if you have HK$4 million on hand, you can buy ten 200 square ft apartments in Dongguan and wait for prices to soar. Remember that the Humen station is only 33 minutes away from West Kowloon whereas Shatin (Hong Kong) is 25 minutes by MTR to West Kowloon with one transfer at Hung Hom.

Roy Tam's Facebook

If you look at the map, you will realize that the trains to Xiamen, Hangzhou and Shanghai all go through Shenzhen North and then head east.

But at Shenzhen North, the trains from Futian and Hong Kong have to turn around there. According to the published timetables, such trains will have to pause at the station for 16 minutes to effect the turnaround.

Wait! Doesn't the government promise that Co-location will help passengers save about that amount of time? It turns out that the passengers will have to sit on the train and wait?!

Therefore, the long-distance trains to Shanghai-Hangzhou-Xiamen can actually be cleared in Shenzhen North and not necessarily in West Kowloon.

In High Speed Rail timetables, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to turn the train around. So why is it that the timetables for the Hong Kong trains can break the custom?

The most disgusting thing about the government is that they keep talking about how convenient it will be to go to Shanghai, but they won't say that passengers have to wait more than 10 minutes at Shenzhen North ...

Conclusion: There is no difference in the time required for co-location in West Kowloon versus separate clearances in West Kowloon and Shenzhen North for trains going to costal cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen and Ningbo.

(Wen Wei Po) August 5, 2017.

According to Shenzhen Metro deputy commander Zhao Peng-lin, the 'turnaround' involves only the train driver walking from the front of the train to the back, and then completing safety checks. The passengers are not required to get off their seats. This process takes just over 10 minutes.

However, if immigration/customs/quarantine inspection takes place, all several hundred passengers will have to get off with all their belongings (luggage, baby carriage, etc), march to the inspection posts and then come back to have their tickets checked and then reboard. While the passengers are off, the trains will be checked for hidden contrabands.

Zhao Peng-lin said that the Shenzhen Futian and Shenzhen North stations were designed to have West Kowloon as the terminus. So their tracks and platforms  Until West Kowloon starts to operate, Shenzhen North is temporarily serving as the terminus and therefore trains are required to turn around.

- Here is the route for the Shanghai-Guangzhou High Speed Rail

At this time, the HSR terminates at Guangzhou South and turns around. When West Kowloon opens up, this becomes the Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Shanghai line and the train will terminate in West Kowloon. There will be no turnaround in Guangzhou South.

- Roy Tam is a lazy bum. He got on the Ctrip website and got a schedule of trains from Shenzhen North to Shanghai. But all the listed trains are D-series trains which run along the coast (Shenzhen North -> Chaoshan -> Xiamen -> Fuzhou -> Wenzhou -> Hangzhou -> Shanghai -> Suzhou -> Nanjing. The slower D-trains take 11 hours to make the trip. If he had looked for Guangzhou South to Shanghai, he would have found the faster G-trains which take 8 hours to make the trip using a different route (Changsha -> Nanchang -> Hangzhou -> Shanghai). It just shows that Roy Tam has never actually taken the High Speed Rail.

(Wen Wei Po) August 5, 2017.

An alternate proposal is to have Co-location in Futian (Shenzhen). This means that the passengers will to get off with their belongings (luggage, baby carriage, etc), march to the Hong Kong immigration post, get cleared, march to the mainland immigration/customs/quarantine post, get cleared, return to the platform, have their tickets checked and re-embark.

Consider the situation of traveling from Hong Kong to Beijing.

Suppose a passenger purchases a direct ticket from Hong Kong to Beijing. Due to the uncertainty in the time taken to complete co-location in Futian, the service will have to make a choice between (1) waiting for every single passenger to re-embark before departing or (2) departing on time even though some passengers will be left behind.

If (1), then the service will be subject to widespread criticisms for systemic delays.  There are many reasons for passengers not to be there, including (i) the passenger lost his way in his first time around in a huge station building; (ii) the passenger decided not to go to Beijing and has left the station already; (iii) the passenger is held up on some immigration/customs/quarantine problem that needs to be cleared up; etc.

If (1), then the train is delayed and will continue to sit on the track and prevent the ensuing trains from coming into the station. The congestion in this one station will eventually be propagated as disruptions across the entire High Speed Rail network.

If (2), then the stranded passengers may be trapped. What if there are no more trains that day to the same destination? Or there are no seats available for the same destination for at least three more days?

- The reputation of the High Speed Rail in China so far is that they are almost always on time. So (2) will happen. What happens to the stranded passengers? Martin Lee, Margaret Ng and Tanya Chan don't give a damn, because the future of the Hong Kong Basic Law is more important.

Suppose a passenger purchases a ticket from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and another ticket from Shenzhen to Beijing. Then the passenger will have to weigh his choice of trains. If the trains are spaced too closely (e.g. 15 minutes apart), then he may miss his connection due to unforeseen circumstances. If the trains are spaced further apart (e.g. 120 minutes), then he is wasting some of that time.

- What do people believe that it takes only 16 minutes to clear co-location in Futian (Shenzhen)? Here are some interviews (YouTube) with some travelers at Shenzhen Bay which employs co-location of immigration/customs/quarantine on the mainland Chinese side.

0:17 It is faster to go through the Shenzhen Bay border crossing. It is faster.

0:22 I used to use the Luohu border crossing. But Shenzhen Bay is more convenient. You just walk straight down.

0:27 It is faster. If you count the time needed to walk, it is faster to cross via Shenzhen Bay.

0:31 This is more convenient by a lot. You go straight ahead. Both sides use e-passages. If you walk straight ahead, you will be done in 5 minutes.

0:37 It is more convenient to cross at Shenzhen Bay. You can get through in 5 to 10 minutes.

0:46 It is more convenient here because of the co-location arrangement.

At Shenzhen Bay, people come and go by car or bus. There is no train service. This means that a bus drops off several dozens of passengers at a time, and they walk through the two checkpoints in a relatively uncrowded situation. When they come out on the other side, they will take the next bus that leaves. They were not booked on a specific seat in a specific bus, unlike the High Speed Rail.

- But don't count on Shenzhen Bay being quiet all the time. (The Nanfang) January 23, 2015.

A record-high 157,600 people passed through the Shenzhen Bay exit-entry port on December 20, the fifth time this year the border crossing has set a new record.

Mainlanders are apparently flooding into Hong Kong because of the Christmas sales, with 94,000 crossing into the special administrative region on Saturday alone. The previous record was set just a week before on December 14 when 147,000 people passed through the checkpoint. So if you want to head to Hong Kong, what time should you go to avoid crowds? Statistics say the only time of the day that didnt experience a surge of travelers was between 1pm and 3pm. Outside of that, expect huge crowds. With Christmas and the New Year holiday coming up, it might make more sense to stay home.

If co-location of immigration/customs/quarantine checkpoints is to be based in Futian (Shenzhen), then every three minutes a train from Hong Kong is going to deposit several hundred passengers onto the platform. The passengers will take their luggage and proceed from the platform to the hall where the Hong Kong checkpoints are.

Let us say that this takes 2 minutes.

[Running clock = 2 minutes]

The train will be checked to make sure that everybody and everything is off. West Kowloon says that they will have a hundred booths, so let us say that the same number will be available in Futian.

The long haul High Speed Rail train has 16 carriages with 85 passengers per carriage, which adds up to 1,360 passengers if the train is full. For this discussion, we assume that there are only 800 passengers.

Passengers are divided into two categories: (1) Hong Kong residents who will be directed to e-passages which validate their identities with fingerprint-matching technology in about 10 seconds (2) all other persons will be scrutinized by immigration officers on their passports, visit permits, visas, birth certificates, identities, usually in less than a minute.

If you assume that there are 500 Category 1 passengers, then they will take a total of 500 x 10 = 5,000 seconds. If there are 10 e-passages, then they will take 5,000 seconds / 10 = 500 seconds = 8.3 minutes in elapsed time to process all 500 of them.

If you assume that there are 300 Category 2 passengers who average 2 minutes per person, then they will take a total of 300 x 2 = 600 minutes. If there are 100 booths, then it will take 600 / 100 = 6 minutes in elapsed time to process all 300 of them.

[(SCMP) August 5, 2017. Statistics provided by the Immigration Department showed 13,871 people in the region were denied entry in 2016. Some 11,667 were rejected over a doubtful purpose of visit, 2,147 did not have the proper documentation, including visas, and 57 held forged travel documents. These 13,871 people represented 30 per cent of the 53,499 turned away last year in total. The Immigration Department did not provide any country-based breakdown of its figures, except for mainland China, which was the largest source of people refused entry, at 37,959.]

[Running clock = 2 + 8 = 10 minutes]

There are no customs or quarantine inspections on the Hong Kong side.

The passengers will march down the corridor to cross a line demarcating the Hong Kong-mainland China boundary. Because the space before and after the line, there can be no doubt that this line separates Hong Kong from mainland China. The distance may be shorter than 100 meters and will take a minute to cover.

[Running clock = 10 + 1 = 11 minutes]

Let us assume that there will be another 100 immigration booths on the mainland side.

Passengers are divided into three categories: (1) mainland Chinese residents will be directed to e-passages which validate their identities with facial recognition technology in a matter of seconds; (2) Hong Kong residents will have separate e-passages which read their Home Visit Permits and validate their identities with facial recognition technology in a matter of seconds; (3) holders of foreign passports who will be scrutinized by immigration officers on their passports, visas, birth certificates, identities, etc in a varying amount of time as the case may be.

If there are 200 Category 1 passengers, then they will take a total of 200 x 5 = 1,000 seconds. If there are 10 e-passages, then they will take 1,000 / 10 = 100 seconds = 1 minute 40 seconds in elapsed time to process all 200 of them.

If there are 500 Category 2 passengers, then they will take a total of 500 x 10 = 5,000 seconds. If there are 10 e-passages, then they will take 5,000 / 10 = 500 seconds = 8.3 minutes in elapsed time to process all 500 of them.

If there are 100 Category 3 passengers, then they will take a total of 100 x 3 = 300 minutes. If there are 100 booths, then it will take 300 / 100 = 3 minutes in elapsed time to process all 100 of them.

[Running clock = 11 + 3 = 14 minutes]

After the passengers pass through immigration, they go through the mainland Chinese customs/quarantine checkpoint. Most passengers will go through the GREEN "Nothing to declare" door. Some law-abiding passengers go through the RED "Declarations" door. A small number of passengers will be pulled aside for inspection. This either occurs at random or because the passenger matches the profile of a smuggler. These passengers will have to open their luggage for the inspectors.

So let us most people will take only 1 minutes to walk through the customs gate.

[Running clock = 14 + 1 = 15 minutes]

Once the passengers are officially admitted into China, they have to look for the platform for the train that will take them to their destination. If several hundred people walk to a platform inside the station (which is reported to be the largest underground station in Asia and second largest in the world exceeded only in size by New York City's Grand Central Terminal), form a queue, get their tickets checked, find their carriage, board the train and find their seats, can we say 5 minutes?

[Running clock = 15 + 5 = 20 minutes]

Is all this going to happen inside 16 minutes? I don't think so. Perhaps most people will, but some won't. What happens to the latter then? Wait for them and the whole system is disrupted. Leave them behind and they are stranded.

- If co-location takes place in West Kowloon, then the passengers arrive separately rather than one thousand at the same time. The passengers control their own timing based upon past experiences and risk-tolerance. Some will prefer to be one hour ahead of time, some will play it tight at 30 minutes ahead of time and so on. There is even a mobile app that gives you approximate waiting times at the various border crossings.

- Legislative Council Paper No. CB(2)1966/16-17(01)

(6) Separate-location arrangement

19. The traditional separate-location arrangement, adopted in the existing Intercity Through Train service between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, allows passengers to undergo clearance procedures of Hong Kong and the Mainland at the point of embarkation and disembarkation respectively.

20. The HKSAR Government and the relevant central authorities had considered the option of separate-location arrangement. However, the biggest problem of the separate-location arrangement is that passengers are limited to disembarking at Mainland stations equipped with control points only. As a matter of fact, not all Mainland high-speed rail stations accessible to Hong Kong could or would provide CIQ facilities: the establishment of control points would involve significant costs with considerable spatial requirements and provision of human resources at the stations. It would neither be practicable nor economical to set up control points in multiple Mainland high-speed rail stations specifically for northbound/southbound passengers departing from/travelling to the WKS.

21. Should control point(s) be established only in one or a few Mainland high-speed rail station(s) near Hong Kong with higher patronage, such station(s) will become hub station(s) at which passengers must alight midway for conducting Mainland clearance procedures before continuing their journeys. This would cause great inconvenience to passengers. In such circumstances, the Hong Kong Section of the XRL could no longer offer convenient access to different cities across the country, but merely become an intercity rail shuttle between Hong Kong and hub station(s) in the Mainland.

22. The separate-location arrangement would also increase the complexity in railway operation. Should the arrangement be implemented, it would be necessary to implement closed-off management measures both on the trains and platforms of Mainland stations by separating northbound or southbound passengers from those who only travel along the Mainland Section. Otherwise, northbound or southbound passengers might incur criminal liabilities for illegal entry into or departure from the Mainland without having undergone Mainland clearance procedures.

23. If outbound trains from Hong Kong could not take passengers to Mainland high-speed rail stations which do not have CIQ facilities, the separate-location arrangement would limit the number of Mainland cities to which Hong Kong could provide direct access. As a consequence, the patronage of relevant railway lines would be lowered given that passengers choice has been constrained. This would drastically reduce the benefits of the XRL. The implementation of the separate-location arrangement is clearly undesirable in terms of passenger experience, transport benefits and financial performance of the railway. Therefore, both the HKSAR Government and the relevant central authorities disagree with the separate-location arrangement.

Roy Tam's Facebook

As everybody knows, I oppose the High Speed Rail and I also opposed the Third Runway.

I am mad as well to watch the government go into turbo mode to push for the High Speed Rail.

A few years ago, the Airport Authority pushed for the Third Runway. We wondered if they are competing against themselves on the High Speed Railway. They said that the High Speed Rail is uncompetitive in terms of going to Beijing or Shanghai, so the Third Runway must be built. The government officials thus supported the Third Runway.

So now they want to push for the High Speed Rail. These same people are coming out to say that it is "quick, nice and convenient to take the High Speed Rail to Beijing and Shanghai!"

Everybody can see that these government officials will promote whatever they are supposed to promote and their so-called analyses are just "ramblings."

Is anything more shameless!!!

Slide for the Airport Authority presentation

Cities for which HSR is faster than airplanes: Shantou, Changsha, Nanning, Xiamen, Wuhan, Nanjing
Cities for which airplanes are faster than HSR: Nanchang, Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou
Cities for which the HSR is uncompetitive: Xian, Kunming, Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu

- Since the Express Rail is not yet running in Hong Kong, let's compare airplane versus train from Guangzhou to Beijing:

According to BeijingChina.Net.cn,

Flight time from Guangzhou to Beijing is 3 hours and a one-way China Southern Airlines discounted economy ticket is 1485 RMB.

According to Seat61,

High Speed Rail time from Guangzhou South to Beijing is 8 hours, and a one-way 2nd class ticket is 862 RMB.

So what does it mean to say some service is "better" than "another service." You need to define your metric. If your metric is time, then flying is quicker. If your metric is cost, then the train costs less. You have to trade time against cost according to your preferences for these factors. None of this should be new, because examples abound in all walks of life. For example, consider the case of renting an apartment in which you have to consider floor area versus rent value -- you want the larger unit but it is going to cost more.

- Here is piece of pro-train propaganda: (elektor magazine) May 26, 2017.

The European high speed train network is steadily growing and aiming to become serious competition for aviation. I was curious how these two compare so I did a little research. Long range trips are still obviously much faster by plane, while on relative short trips the train is the transport of choice. It is the mid range trips where things get interesting. A very common route travelled in Europe is Amsterdam - Paris, let's take a closer look.

A new track has been put into use not too long ago, reducing the total travel time from four hours and nine minutes to three hours and eighteen minutes. When flying the skies it becomes a bit more difficult to estimate total traveling time. Let's assume a check-in takes about one hour, a flight thirty minutes and checking out no more than thirty minutes. That leaves us with with two hours. However, since airports are mostly located outside the city centre (they are in Amsterdam and Paris) it is fair to add at least another hour for traveling from and to the airport. These times could differ in practice due to various causes, but the estimates are quite close so I call a draw. Flying will take you three hours.

Next thing to check was the cost for a ticket. These prizes vary depending on when you book, but the train was mostly cheaper at around 55,- for a return ticket. A plane ticket would cost you no more than 90,- including taxes.

Last but not least, CO2 emissions. Not surprisingly, the train wins big time here. It produces around 26 kg CO2 per passenger compared to 50 kg pp on the plane. Of course these estimates depend on how well the train and plane are filled and so could vary slightly.

Decisive results I think. Other advantages of traveling by train: cell phones allowed, internet available, more room/comfort, more seats available on shorter notice. So next time you're visiting Paris (or Amsterdam), travel by train!

There are many metrics: time of travel; monetary cost; on-time performance; comfort; services (telecommunications, food & beverage, entertainment, etc); accident rates; effect of climatic conditions; carbon footprints; infrastructure investment; etc. Pick your metrics and make your assessment. Do not formulate your conclusion first and then look for the metrics to support that conclusion.

(Ta Kung Pao) August 7, 2017.

This reporter set off at 10:30am on August 4 from Kowloon Tong station. She took the MTR East Rail to Lok Ma Chau. More trains travel to Lo Wu than Lok Ma Chau, so she waited seven minutes before the train came. Although this was not peak time, the train was packed with people. She stood on the way to Sheung Shui, and she got a seat when the majority of the passengers got off.

When she got to the Lok Ma Chau station, she took the e-passage to exit Hong Kong. In total, the elapsed time was 51 minutes already. She then walked the 240 meter pedestrian bridge to the Futian border post to enter mainland China. Because she had not applied for automated passage, she had to wait for an immigration officer at the booths to pass her. Only a few booths were operational at the time. The process took 21 minutes.

In order to reach Shenzhen North station, she had to take the Shenzhen Metro. There are nine metro stops between Futian and Shenzhen North. She queued up in front of the vending machines to purchase a metro ticket. It took her three minutes. Due to the absence of clear signs, it took some time before she found the Longhua line station. She arrived at Shenzhen North station in 34 minutes. From there she walked towards the High Speed Rail hub to mainland. As soon as she got there, she saw a large crowd walking forward. She followed the crowd. After 7 minutes, she arrived at the High Speed Rail ticket windows. In total, she had taken 113 minute.

Later the same reporter started again from the Kowloon Tong MTR station. This time, she took the subway to Kowloon Station. The trip took 26 minutes. She walked 5 more minutes to arrive at the future West Kowloon High Speed Rail terminus. In total, she had taken 30 minutes.

Previously, the MTR had arranged for legislative councilors to inspect the West Kowloon station. The time taken from the entrance to the Hong Kong border post through the mainland post to the train platform is 9 minutes. According to the official figures, it takes 23 minutes for the train to get from West Kowloon to Shenzhen North. In total, the time taken from Kowloon Tong to Shenzhen North is 63 minutes, which is almost one hour faster than right now. As the saying goes, "time is money."

(TVB) August 8, 2017.

Legislator Andrew Wan (Democratic Party) proposed that co-location can take place in Futian following the Shenzhen Bay model. Why? Because there would not be any restrictions due to the Hong Kong Basic Law.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said: "You are asking them to dismantle their already constructed facility in order to satisfy Hong Kong's needs. This is an unreasonable demand anywhere in the world. I think Legislator Wan should be more practical and tell us about a proposal that is feasible."

- So far, the pan-democrats have characterized the proposed co-location arrangement in Hong Kong as "suicide," "self-mutilation," "self-castration," "rape", etc. They would rather not experience these things, so they are going to make Shenzhen take over these things. You know, it's all about ME! And fuck YOU!

- If you don't like something that you're stuck with, you don't yell to the world "It sucks!" and then expect this sucker to take it over from you. You should say that "It's really wonderful but I have too many commitments to keep at this time, so I am forced to give it up most reluctantly."

- Procedurally, co-location in Futian means the following:

Go to West Kowloon station and take the High Speed Rail to Futian. It takes all of 14 minutes. All passengers (up to as many as 1,300 plus) get off with their luggage, baby carriages, wheelchairs, etc. They go through the Hong Kong check (built on land leased by Hong Kong from Shenzhen) to clear immigration exit. They walk down a short corridor to the mainland side. They clear immigration/customs/quarantine there. They go to the platforms to find their respective trains.

The time taken to clear immigration/customs/quarantine is uncertain. You cannot say that all the passengers will be cleared in 15 minutes, because some of them may take more time (e.g. torn passports, expired visas, animals, etc). The High Speed Rail train is not going to wait for every single passengers to be seated.

Therefore the best arrangement is to turn the West Kowloon-Futian section into a shuttle ferry service. So a shuttle train will leave every three minutes from West Kowloon to Futian. Passengers will take the next train available, with all trains traveling only to Futian. If you anticipate that you will take some time (e.g. quarantine papers for your dog, etc), you can take an earlier train; if you travel light and have no worries, you can take a later train. After clearing Hong Kong and mainland, passengers will look for the respective trains that bring them to their destinations. In effect, Futian becomes the terminus and Hong Kong is a side trip that is not part of the High Speed Rail network in China.

- In theory, it is possible to take the MTR East Rail to Lok Ma Chau, clear the Hong Kong checkpoint, walk across a footbridge and arrive at the Futian checkpoint. Unfortunately, you must not be deceived into thinking that the Futian Checkpoint is the same as the Futian Railway Station.

(Apple Daily) It takes 45 minutes by foot to walk from the Futian checkpoint to reach the Futian railway station platform. Specifically, you come out of the Futian checkpoint and you take the Shenzhen Metro Line 4 to Civic Centre. You transfer to Shenzhen Metro Line 2 to arrive at the Futian Raiway Station. After getting off the subway, you walk about 10 minutes to reach the ticketing lobby. Then it is another 10 minutes to reach the security screening area. Then it is another 5 minutes to reach the platform. Total elapsed time is 45 minutes.

This means that the West Kowloon-Futian shuttle ferry cannot be dismantled. If it were not there, it would be very hard to take the High Speed Rail from Hong Kong. But if you keep the shuttle ferry running, it will lose a lot of money because none of the speed advantages of a high speed rail train are realized during a 14-minute journey (the train would begin decelerating before it reaches top speed), nor will any High Speed Rail revenues flow to Hong Kong.

Q1. What do think the demonstration/clashes will become over the next 5 years?
10.2%: More serious
36.9%: About the same
40.4%: More moderate
12.6%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2. Is the conflict between citizens and government serious?
49.1%: Serious
33.3%: So-so
13.6%: Not serious
4.3%: Don't know/hard to say

Q3. Is political dispute serious in Hong Kong?
66.7%: Serious
23.7%: So-so
6.4%: Not serious
3.2%: Don't know/hard to say

Q4. Do you agree that you must insist on peace, reason and non-violence in pressing your demands?
73.4%: Agree
17.1%: So-so
5.8%: Disagree
3.7%: Don't know/hard to say

Q5. Only more violent means will make the government respond to your demands?
15.0%: Agree
22.1%: So-so
59.1%: Disagree
3.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Q6. Do you personally agree that only more violent means will make the government respond to your demands?
6.3%: Agree
21.3%: So-so
66.0%: Disagree
6.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Q7. What should the principle be when it comes to fighting for public interest?
20.7%: Stick to your principle and never back off
69.5%: Both side should take a step back and accommodate each other
2.5%: Neither
7.4%: Don't know/hard to say

In order to explain the truth about co-location of ICQ (immigration/customs/quarantine) of the High Speed Rail at West Kowloon, the Hong Kong Democratic Party has made a video using scenes from the South Korean zombie action film <Train To Busan>.


The Democratic Party
What will happen after the grand High Speed Rail begins service?
We will help you imagine this ...

Internet comments:

-  (Bastille Post) Synopsis:

A father and his daughter go to the West Kowloon station to take the High Speed Rail. He tells her: "It costs $100 billion to build this. It has co-location of immigration/customs/quarantine checkpoints. Mainland China is already in Kowloon."

A weird voice announces: "The train to Beijing is about to depart. Please get on board quickly."

The train departs. A female passenger falls down. The train conductor informs her that she must pay first before she can get help because this is mainland China. Call 999 for emergency service? No, it's 110 in mainland China.

The father gets on the phone and tells a friend to buy numbers 89 and 64 on the stock market. He explained that 8964 is easy to remember. The train conductor overhears, hollers that someone wants to vindicate June 4th and calls for the Public Security Bureau and/or Urban Management Bureau to come and make an arrest.

Next, the train passengers say that they cannot access Facebook. Instead, they can only get on Baidu.

Next the train pulls in a station and stops. The passengers get off. A mob of zombies see them and rush over, screaming "We are the People's Liberation Army", "See if you want to vindicate June 4th," "See if you want to access Google," "See if you want genuine universal suffrage," "See if you want the release of pro-democracy activists", etc. They chomp on the passengers while screaming, "Die, Hongkongers!" and "We'll bite you to death!" Several passengers cross back over the border to Hong Kong but the zombies give chase and yell: "Don't think that you are safe once you cross back because the PLA will not let you go!" "You will be sent to labor correction camp when we catch you." The father flees while saying: "If I knew that this was going to happen, I wouldn't be taking the High Speed Rail!"

The film ends with the little girl standing helplessly in front of a horde of zombies.

- (Wen Wei Po) July 30, 2017.

- There were 81 million crossings by Hong Kong citizens between Hong Kong and mainland China last year, or more than 220,000 per day. These people crossed by airplane, train, boat, bus, car or by foot. Have they all been bitten by zombies and turned rabid too?

- In the real world, the Lok Ma Chau crossing is clogged with people coming and going every day of the year. How many of them were 'bitten' (=arrested) by mainland public security agents? Why is High Speed Rail more dangerous?

- If you have been in mainland China and taken the High Speed Rail, the local subways or even buses, you know that your worries are unfounded. Do you actually believe that there are police spies on every train or bus to watch what citizens are doing all the time?

- In the final analysis, co-location is infinitely more convenient for travelers. Only those who don't take the High Speed Rail or who never go to mainland China will oppose, precisely because  it doesn't cause them any personal inconvenience.

- Oh my god, I watched the video and I am really scared. If this is what is going on north of the border, it is a matter of time before the zombies breach the border and invade Hong Kong! What kind of response plan does the Democratic Party have to protect us!?

- They want to oppose co-location but they don't have any good reasons. So they make a spoof based upon a popular movie. How is this going to win people over to their side? Sad!

- What is missing from the Democratic Party in this video? Firstly, they haven't told us about the reasons why we should oppose co-location. To say that we will be bitten and become rabid is cartoonish. Secondly, they haven't told us what we can do to stop it -- such as the WHERE/WHEN for the next mass demonstration led by the Democratic Party.

- You need to convert people into believers of your cause. You also need to arm them with the weapons to win more converts. How can you do this with a cartoonish spoof video? Your believers would be laughed at if they tell others that the whole explanation is in this video.

- There is a co-location arrangement on the mainland side of Shenzhen Bay. Here are some interviews (YouTube) with some travelers.

0:17 It is faster to go through the Shenzhen Bay border crossing. It is faster.

0:22 I used to use the Luohu border crossing. But Shenzhen Bay is more convenient. You just walk straight down.

0:27 It is faster. If you count the time needed to walk, it is faster to cross via Shenzhen Bay.

0:31 This is more convenient by a lot. You go straight ahead. Both sides use e-passages. If you walk straight ahead, you will be done in 5 minutes.

0:37 It is more convenient to cross at Shenzhen Bay. You can get through in 5 to 10 minutes.

0:46 It is more convenient here because of the co-location arrangement.

Q: Are you aware of the High Speed Rail section at West Kowloon? It will have a co-location arrangement. Do you support it?

0:58 I support the co-location arrangement. There is no problem. It is happening here. Actually we should be equal.

1:07 Just like Shenzhen Bay here? It's okay. It think that it will be convenient for everybody.

1:10 What is so good about co-location? It is convenient to cross. There is no need to get on a bus and then get off the bus. You walk straight through two checkpoints in one time.

1:22 Surely co-location is very convenient. Some Hong Kong legislators are trouble and they love to cause trouble.

1:29 They filibuster and they don't pass the bills. It is highly problematic. They are not living to their responsibility to the people of Hong Kong.

1:36 At the very least, our High Speed Rail won't become Wasted Iron.

For these people, none of the scary talk of being snatched by mainland secret agents mean anything. After all, they are going back and forth regularly right now. They are not doing anything unlawful, so why should they be scared?

The people of Hong Kong are angry and upset at the Central Government stealing their land. A mobilization call was issued today for a massive demonstration at Government Headquarters against co-location. Here are the media reports:

(Oriental Daily) July 28, 2017.

Several dozen people showed up tonight. According to convener Han Linshan, they are worried that co-location will enable the mainland police to arrest people in Hong Kong. According to Kwai Ching district council, the protestors will stay for two nights until Sunday. Ex-legislators Leung Kwok-hung and Lau Siu-lai made appearances too.

(Apple Daily) July 28, 2017.

About 80 citizens answered the call to attend the demonstration.

According to convener ex-legislator Gary Fan Kwok-wai (Neo Democrats), the lives of the people of Hong Kong have been falling behind since the handover as the Hong Kong and Central Governments take away their civil rights bit by bit. He said that the Legislative Council began debate on the High Speed Rail in 2009, but the government kept the details secret until now. After more than $100 billion money was spent on this White Elephant project, the government have finally shown their true faces to have co-location of checkpoints and destroy One Country Two Systems plus Basic Law Article 18. "This is ridiculous. It is unacceptable."

According to the other convener Claudia Mo, it is infuriating to see Hong Kong cede land in order to have co-location. Furthermore, the Hong Kong government is authorized by the National People's Congress Standing Committee to do so. Thus, the decision is above the Basic Law. Even if a judicial review finds differently, the court will be over-ruled. But she says that the people of Hong Kong should not become discouraged. "We have to be responsible to history. We have to be responsible to the next generation."

According to housewife Mrs. So, the High Speed Rail is "useless." "If you live in Kowloon East or Hong Kong Island East, why would you go to West Kowloon to take the train? You would go to Hung Hom to take the MTR Intercity Through Train, or the through bu service. That is faster." Furthermore, the High Speed Rail project has exceeded budget many times, so that the citizens have to foot the bill. "They are swindling the people of Hong Kong and taking money away from the grassroots." Although not many people were present today, she was not disappointed. "Everyone has to do his share to fight to the end."

According to convener Chow Wai-fung, there were about 200 people at the peak. This was better than the 20-30 that they were expecting.

(HKG Pao) July 28, 2017.

My arithmetic is not very good, but my calculation is that 0.001% of the people of Hong Kong are opposed to co-location of ICQ (immigration/customs/quarantine) checkpoints at West Kowloon. Even the 'authoritative statistic' from Apple Daily was only 60. The meeting was convened by a grand total of 18 persons, including legislators Claudia Mo and Fernando Cheung, ex-legislator Gary Fan, district councilor Chow Wai-fung and pastor Fung Chi-wood. Considering that the two legislators have about 10 or so aides/advisors each, this is truly pathetic.

- 30 or more people without police approval constitutes an unlawful assembly. This one is at no risk to become unlawful.

- Mrs. So is another one of those critics who have no idea what the High Speed Rail is. The issue is not the quickest way to get to Luohu (Shenzhen) or even Guangzhou. The issue is about integrating Hong Kong into the national High Speed Rail network. I'll leave it for you to figure out how complicated this is right now.

(Oriental Daily) July 29, 2017.

More than 10 people of the Genuine Universal Suffrage Grand Alliance to Save Hong Kong marched from Central to Government House to denounce the co-location proposal for High Speed Rail. They said that this was "ceding territory," violating the Basic Law, destroying the integrity of rule-of-law in Hong Kong and depriving citizens of their rights and protection. They demanded the government to withdraw this proposal.

(Wen Wei Po) July 30, 2017.

Ko Chi-sum's Facebook: A feast of fools (RTHK reports even on a demonstration march with ten or so people, so they are going to very busy from now on)

Lee Lik-chi's Facebook: 80 people ... ?%#&@
My social gathering has more than 80 people everything single night! How come nobody writes about it?? Why?

On Friday night, there were only 60 people at the rally near Lennon Wall, Government House. So a daytime demonstration march was organized for Saturday afternoon with the expectation of better attendance when people don't have to work. At 3pm, the ten or so people (including Han Linshan and Claudia Mo) set off accompanied by 10 police officers. The group marched to Government House, whereupon Han read off a declaration and handed the paper to a representative of Government House with the promise that it will be delivered to Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

On Saturday night, about 10 or so people gathered again outside Government Households with yellow protest banners. They called on passersby to participate in the so-called People's Assembly, but nobody seemed to care.

(EJ Insight) August 1, 2017.

The government appears to be having a hard time winning over the public a week after it announced the co-location arrangement for the Express Rail Link.

Officials obviously underestimated the publics anger to its proposal to cede part of the West Kowloon terminus to mainland control, which would allow the central government to enforce national laws on the station platforms and trains.

The government, along with the pro-establishment media, accused the opposition of politicizing the co-location plan and focused instead on the cross-border railway systems economic benefits to lure public support.

Meanwhile, several civic organizations took to the streets and social media to disseminate the facts about the arrangement, which they insist would hurt Hong Kongs autonomy.

Student activist Yuen Kin-yan said he and his friends set up a counter in Wan Chai on Sunday to tell the public about the dangers of the governments co-location proposal.

They have come up with small hand bills explaining how the government is misleading the public in the co-location debate.

With just eight people manning the counter, Yuens team might not be able to reach a lot of people, but they seem enthusiastic in carrying out their mission, which is to educate the public about the insidious implications of the co-location plan.

An old man came to the counter and told the team: Its no use. If shouting slogans work, then the Communist Party should have fallen a long time ago.

The old mans words ring true as many Hong Kong people are getting tired of fighting government policies that damage the citys uniqueness; the government pursues those policies despite the widespread opposition.

But it is important for Hong Kongs youth to voice out their concerns about issues that affect their city and their future. If Scholarism did not stand up and fight against the patriotic education curriculum, our educational system would be producing an army of uncritical and brainwashed citizens.

Hong Kong people, of course, dont believe that everything is bad about the Express Rail Link project, but they want their government to be sincere and straightforward about everything about the hugely expensive project.

For example, the government, in promoting the benefits of the cross-border rail express on social media, said it would only take 48 minutes to travel from the West Kowloon terminus to the Guangzhou South station.

This is almost magical in speed, when compared to the travel time by means of airplane, through-train or cross-border bus, which would take from 60 to 210 minutes.

But the 48-minute journey, as the government admits in its social media post, will only happen if the train is non-stop.

The post drew more than 200 angry emoticons from netizens who accused the government of misleading the public about the journey time.

One netizen pointed out that Guanzhou South is not exactly the city center, which is 17 kilometers away.

Others said flights to Guangzhou are mainly for transit passengers and therefore should not be compared to the travel time using the Express Rail Link.

Some even threatened to file a complaint against the government to the customs department for violating the Trade Description Ordinance.

All in all, the governments marketing campaign has failed to win over critics of the high-speed rail system. And if the government insists on the 48-minute journey pitch, it may soon find itself facing a public relations crisis.

But the government and its allies are keen on stopping all negative comments about the Express Rail Link in a bid to facilitate the publics acceptance of the co-location arrangement.

Unfortunately, MTR Corp. chairman Frederick Ma poured gasoline on fire when he warned over the weekend that the Express Rail Link could burn HK$80 million a day if there was no co-location arrangement in place when the train service starts commercial operation in September next year.

Mas warning only gave an opening for the opposition camp to further attack the project. They said the project had been over the budget and the projected return on investment was as low as 4 percent.

They estimated that the government would be wasting over HK$100 billion on a project with such a low return rate. So thats where Mas warning about wastage came from.

The government is obviously playing the numbers game to convince the public to accept the co-location arrangement, calling it the fastest link to Guangzhou South and warning about the loss of HK$80 million a day if there is no such arrangement.

After keeping herself scarce to the media recently, our Chief Executive Carrie Lam joined the co-location debate on Sunday and asked the opposition camp not to demonize and politicize the Express Rail Link and the co-location arrangement.

She even said people who do not approve of the arrangement can simply avoid using the service by traveling to the mainland by other means.

Or they may decided not to go to the mainland at all, she added.

The opposition camp should work closely with the civic community to educate the public about the Express Rail Link and co-location arrangement.

In the discussions and debates, they should stress the real impact of the project on Hong Kong, which is the loss of its autonomy to protect its own border under the framework of the Basic Law.

While government is trying to shift the debate to the numbers game, the opposition should bring it back to the basic issue, which is the need to preserve the rule of law and protect our citys uniqueness.

(Wen Wei Po) July 25, 2017.

The Federation For A Democratic China is holding the "2017 China-Hong Kong-Taiwan political evolution and Japan's China policy symposium" in Japan on July 23-26, 2027. Various anti-China leaders and radicals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Canada were invited to participate. The meeting is being held in a resort area in Miura city, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Particpants from Hong Kong included Hong Kong University School of Law associate professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Youngspiration ex-legislators Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming, Occupy Central core member and hedge fund manager Edward Chin, Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Feminism founder Ho Chi-kwan, Canada-Hong Kong Link persident Gloria Fung, current affairs commentator Ching Cheong, etc. According to information, this anti-China symposium has the largest number of Hong Kong opposition members in history.

On July 23, Benny Tai delivered the keynote speech. On this PPT, he deliberately inserted "and" between "One Country" and "Two Systems" such that One Country refers to Hong Kong which has equal standing with other countries such as China and Japan. He said that in order to study Two Systems, one must know the future of this One Country. He said that since China is going to be fragmented with certainty, "then Hong Kong can only head towards independence irregardless."

Benny Tai said that when China collapses, One Country Two Systems won't exist anymore. When China collapses into fragments, national sovereignty becomes problematic. That is when Hong Kong can become independent. Even after Hong Kong becomes an independent nation, it can still join the Federation of China but as an independent nation.

As for "no change in 50 years" in the Hong Kong Basic Law, Benny Tai said that the collapse of China will occur before 2047. "Hong Kong society should continually educate the public about 'self-rule' through continuous resistance at this time." During the meeting, someone asked Benny Tai whether he is saying that China will not develop positively in the future. Tai said that he personally thinks that there is a low probability of China developing positively, and that is why he has not explored that situation in depth. Tai insists that he does not have a fixed position himself, and he is only bringing up various possibilities for discussion purposes. Nevertheless his various so-called viewpoints all seem to lead to the same conclusion: "China will collapse and Hong Kong will become independent."

On July 24, the Youngspiration duo Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching enumerated a list of persecutions as well as bad conditions in Hong Kong. This seems to contradict Benny Tai's description of Hong Kong as still being relatively free. The audience seemed to find this perplexing. Leung Chung-hang used very bad putonghua to speak, and this caused the audience even more perplexed.

Video:

(Day 1 Benny Tai Yiu-ting) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtaD2436Ozg
(Day 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgwHKOPNBU

(Day 2 morning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xA9UERR7AQ
(Day 2 afternoon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMVQphlYTFI

(Day 3 morning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGrSOUxAndM
(Day 3 afternoon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtxNydBQejE

Internet comments:

- Benny Tai says that China will collapse with certainty. How certain are we about this modern-day oracle? I remember that Benny Tai said that if 10,000 people came out to occupy Central for two days, the government will surrender. That didn't quite work out, did it?

- Given Benny Tai's public statements, what if some student were to yell: "Don't let Benny Tai leave! Kill him! Kill him!"?

- Hong Kong wants to become an independent nation recognized by the United States and then join the Federation of China? My brain is exploding ...

- What does this symposium matter anyhow? This is just a chance to get together to eat some wagyu beef, sashimi and sushi. None of the talks will lead to anything. Afterwards, they will all come back to Hong Kong to begin another round of solicitation for even more donations to pay for the legal fees.

- Look, Benny Tai is merely listing some hypothetical situations and exploring possible consequences. This is protected under freedom of academic research. It is no different from astrophysicists studying the possibility of a comet hitting Earth. If and when it happens, we will grateful that someone has given thought to the matter already.

- Look, it is possible that I will win the next Mark 6 lottery first prize. That is why I spend so much time and effort on planning how to spend the winnings ...

- (Oriental Daily) July 25, 2017.

With respect to One Country Two Systems, Benny Tai said that you must study China first because Two Systems don't exist without that One Country. He quoted scholars who discussed the future of China. When China collapses, there are many possibilities, including warlords taking over various regions, fragmentization and anarchy. He said that the chances of China heading towards a federation are low.

As for the future of Hong Kong, Benny Tai said that there are five options: (1) One Country Two Systems; (2) One Country over Two Systems; (3) One Country first, Two Systems next; (4) One Country One System; (5) self-termination/independence. If there are no problems with Chinese national sovereignty, Hong Kong is in no position to gain independence. If China heads towards constitutional rule, Hong Kong may accept it and forego independence.

- The Japanese have a market for the Collapse of China. This has been running for more than 30 years. Each year, they bet on China collapse that year. Each year they lose. When they first got started, China's GDP was 1/4 that of Japan. Today, China's GDP is 3 times that of Japan. But they will keep betting on China collapse. It will have at least one brigade of the Second Artillery Corpos armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. This is like betting on odd/even at the roulette table. You keep betting odd and the outcome keeps being even. But you persist, because you believe that sooner or later you will win once and then you can justify yourself.

- If China collapses and becomes fragmentized, Hong Kong will immediately come under martial law imposed by whoever controls the 200,000 PLA soldiers in the Southern Theater Command with headquarters in Guangzhou. Do not imagine for one moment that Hong Kong can slip through to become independent. If Hong Kong want to become independent under the circumstances, it better build a few nuclear warheads beforehand.

- Benny Tai points out that it will be a time of chaos if and when China collapses in 2030. We are dependent on China for so many things (food, water, electricity, etc). So we must be prepared for all the contingencies. For example, we will need desalination plants when the Dongjiang River water is cut off. We will also need a 90-day fuel supply the electricity generation plants when the Daya Nuclear Power Station electricity is cut off. We will need a 30-day food supply before the Seventh Fleet arrive. These are large-scale mega-projects that will require money and space to implement, and the current puppet government will never carry out. So each Hong Kong citizen must contribute his/own share. I for one will go into the neighborhood park tonight and start digging out a basement to store dried noodles. What will you do?

- The conference attendees will be taken to tour a Japanese Self-Defense Force military base on the last day. Will they get to visit a Japanese aircraft carrier that will defend Hong Kong against the Liaoning?

- Current members of the Japanese Self-Defense Force are attending this conference. If there is to be a honest and useful exchange, why didn't someone asked them about their coming war with China? What are the prospects? Can Japan stop the nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles coming at them?

DotDotNews Facebook

Chau Sze Tat (nickname "Invincible Godly Horse") and Civic Passion (nickname "Hot Dogs") continued to bite each other, but this time the victim was the Ming Pao Publishing House. At the Hong Kong Book Fair, Chau sang a song to denigrate Civic Passion in the Ming Pao Publishing House stall at the Hong Kong Book Fair to promote his new book. One verse of the song allegedly denigrate the Chinese people. So the "Hot Dogs" lodged complaints against Chau for inflaming hatred between Hongkongers and mainlanders. The Ming Pao Publishing House defended its author Chau Sze Tat, saying that he is restrained in "conduct, speech and action" and no slur was involved. As a result, the "Hot Dogs" directed their wrath against Ming Pao Publishing House for espousing Hong Kong independence.

The battle among the pro-Hong Kong independence factions has been getting more and more extreme. In the song <Popularity chart of sons-of-bitches>, Chau Sze Tat included lyrics such as: "Passion Times is lying when they falsely claim an audience of more than 10,000", "Wan Chin lead his evil minions to harm people; "Hot Dogs" will not be tolerated by the heavens" and then "Once you make enough money, you ignore the 'Chee-na' people." The "Hot Dogs" flooded the Ming Pao Publishing House Facebook and demanded to know whether the Ming Pao Publishing House supports Chau's anti-Chinese stance.

This is quite hilarious since Civic Passion gained fame by fanning hatred of mainlanders, but Chau's words were clearly beyond the pale. The Ming Pao Publishing House administrators responded to the complaints: "Each year, our company hosts events at the Hong Kong Book Fair. The purpose is to provide an environment for different authors to promote their books to readers. We firmly believe that each and every author will act in a restrained manner at our stall, and behave in terms of conduct, speech and acts. There are no issue of any insults.

This drew the ire of the "Hot Dogs" who turned their attention to Ming Pao Publishing House instead. Sam Wrong wrote this complaint: "During the course of the 2017 Hong Kong Book Fair, the Ming Pao Publishing House author Chau Sze Tat used cheap and vulgar methods to use singing and live broadcasts to attack, harass and interfere with other exhibitors in the course of their cultural activities, including sayings that insulted the Chinese. This is extremely immoral, repelling and against business ethics.

Here is the video of Chau Sze Tat singing his song (YouTube).

Internet comments:

- Chau Sze Tat's Facebook

That bitch Chan Sau-wai is the one who insulted the Chinese people. I have nothing to do with it. If my saying "Chee-ma" is twisted into "Chee-na", we have to avoid saying "Sesame Street", "sesame oil", "sesame soup", "sesame oil" etc in the future, because Civic Passion and the bitch Chan Sau-wai will say that you said "Chee-na." I clarify here that I did not any song that insulted the Chinese. That song was clearly intended to make fun of Civic Passion and that bitch Chan Sau-wai. Instead, it is clear that the bitch Chan Sau-wai wanted to insult the Chinese by turning "Chee-ma" into "Chee-na". She was also trying to suppress freedom of publication and kill off dissidence. She will not be tolerated by Heaven and Earth.

- Chau Sze Tat's defense is that he did not sing:

"Once you make enough money, you ignore the 'Chee-na' people (支那人)."

Instead he sang:

"Once you make enough money, you ignore the 'Chee-ma' people (芝麻人)."

But what the hell is a 'Chee-ma' person? Literally, it means a "Sesame Person". What is that? It would be a stretch to say that he meant "Sesame Street character" or "sesame farmers.'

- Chau Sze Tat clearly meant to say 'Chee-na' according to the context of the song. However, this would cause problems with the general public. So he changed the tone a little bit by saying 'Chee-ma' in order to have deniability. If the shit hits the fan, he will issue a non-apology: "I am sorry for you if you misheard and thus misunderstood what I sang."

- Chan Ka-ho's Facebook

There is even a YouTube video for the song <Popularity chart of sons-of-bitches>, with the subtitle saying "Chee-na" ...

- (YouTube) (YouTube) Another battle took place when Chau Sze Tat showed up at the Passion Times stall munching a hot dog as Chan Sau-wai (Mrs. Wong Yeung-tat) came up to curse him out.

- Blue Phoenix's Facebook

Partial transcript:

Chan: Chau Sze Tat is going to get what is coming. I am not you, so you shouldn't worry. I am not afraid of you. I am telling you. I am cursing you to your face right now. I am not like you peole..

Chau: I am only curse you to your face. What are you afraid of?

Chan: I won't use obscene language. Must you use obscene language every other sentence. What have you said other than obscene language?

Chau: Take a look at yourself going berserk, Sister Sau.

Chan: Not the case. I am telling you. What you said is inaccurate. You are smearing.

Chau: It is all about comeuppance. Are you talking about comeuppance? Nobody is around.

Chan: I am telling you. You are here. Is that what you want? You are not having fun. Do you know our numbers? Fools who don't understand will never understand. A Chinese major who doesn't know IT wants to talk IT with people.

Chau: So I am completely wrong, Sister Sau.

Chan: I am telling you! Right now I am cursing you to your face. I am not just coming over to wag my finger! I am telling you! I have the guts to curse you out to your face! If you have the courage, you would have walked over right there! You are filming over here! You are wasting your time! Why don't you go back to Ming Pao? What don't you publish your books using 'red' capital?

Chau: What don't you go back to dig up more dirt to target people!

Chan: Everybody is saying bad things about you. It is a waste of time!

Chau: ... Alright, let us eat hot dogs ...

- As expected, both sides claimed total victories over the other side on their respective Facebooks as reinforced by their respective followers.

- Here is a photo of Chau Sze Tat promoting his new books at the Ming Pao Publishing House stall:

On June 28th, Chau Sze Tat wrote about Xi Jinping's visit to Hong Kong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover: "There are banners saying 'warmly celebrate' in white letters on red background everywhere. This is vulgar and disgusting just like the black letters on yellow background of Civic Passion." The fact is that Chau Sze Tat's own book has black letters on  yellow background, and the Ming Pao Publishing House stall has white letters on red background. But is this vulgar and disgusting?

- How to protest against Civic Passion:

Ronald Leung's Facebook


I recommend a standard action for all those who go to the Hong Kong Book Fair: Eat a hot dog outside the Passion Times stall!

How Wong Yeung-tat stopped the protest with a counter protest: Show your support for Passion Times by eating a hot dog outside their stall!

- After reading all this, may I quote Yau Wai-ching as my thought?

- Of course, you should care! This is the state of the current Hong Kong independence/self-determination movement. Instead of fighting to destroy the Chinese Communist Party/People's Liberation Army, the Valiant Warriors of the Hong Kong Republic are turning on each other. We need to unify under a charismatic leader (such as Yau Wai-ching) to lead us in the coming battle between Good and Evil.

(SCMP) July 21, 2017.

Hong Kong is expected to lease space inside the future high-speed rail terminus at West Kowloon to mainland Chinese authorities to implement a plan for a joint immigration checkpoint, under a deal to be announced as early as next week. The proposal will likely see mainland laws enforced on Hong Kong soil within the leased area, where mainland border control facilities will be installed, according to two lawmakers familiar with the arrangement.

Mainland officers would man the facilities and Hong Kong law enforcers would only venture into the area in the case of an emergency such as an accident or fire.

The Executive Council, an advisory body to Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, is scheduled to be briefed on the details on Monday, and the arrangement will be announced as early as the following day after the formal approval of the council is given at its regular meeting.

A bill on setting up a mainland port area inside the rail station is expected to be tabled to Hong Kongs legislature in October, with the aim of having it passed by early next year.

The bill will provide for the application of mainland laws to the designated area, as well as specify the arrangements that will allow mainland customs and immigration facilities to be co-located with those for Hong Kong at the terminal.

It will be administered as a restricted area according to mainland laws, as is the case at other land border control points between Hong Kong and the mainland.

Article 18 of the Basic Law Hong Kongs mini-constitution states that national laws shall not be applied in Hong Kong except for those outside the limits of the autonomy of [Hong Kong]. Article 22 states that offices set up by mainland authorities in Hong Kong and the personnel of these offices shall abide by Hong Kong laws.

The West Kowloon station arrangement will be similar to that for the existing Shenzhen Bay port. Hong Kong and Shenzhen struck a deal in 2007 to implement a joint checkpoint arrangement there the first of its kind.

Internet comments:

- The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

Article 7

The land and natural resources within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be State property. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for their management, use and development and for their lease or grant to individuals, legal persons or organizations for use or development. The revenues derived therefrom shall be exclusively at the disposal of the government of the Region.

Article 18

The laws in force in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be this Law, the laws previously in force in Hong Kong as provided for in Article 8 of this Law, and the laws enacted by the legislature of the Region. National laws shall not be applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region except for those listed in Annex III to this Law. The laws listed therein shall be applied locally by way of promulgation or legislation by the Region.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress may add to or delete from the list of laws in Annex III after consulting its Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the government of the Region. Laws listed in Annex III to this Law shall be confined to those relating to defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the Region as specified by this Law.

In the event that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decides to declare a state of war or, by reason of turmoil within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which endangers national unity or security and is beyond the control of the government of the Region, decides that the Region is in a state of emergency, the Central People's Government may issue an order applying the relevant national laws in the Region.

Article 22 
No department of the Central People's Government and no province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this Law. 

If there is a need for departments of the Central Government, or for provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government to set up offices in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, they must obtain the consent of the government of the Region and the approval of the Central People's Government.

All offices set up in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by departments of the Central Government, or by provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government, and the personnel of these offices shall abide by the laws of the Region.

Article 118 
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall provide an economic and legal environment for encouraging investments, technological progress and the development of new industries. 

Article 119 
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall formulate appropriate policies to promote and co-ordinate the development of various trades such as manufacturing, commerce, tourism, real estate, transport, public utilities, services, agriculture and fisheries, and pay regard to the protection of the environment. 

- When it suits their purpose, the opposition cite verse and chapter from the Hong Kong Basic Law to support their position.

When it does not suit their purpose, the opposition set fire to the Hong Kong Basic Law.

Please make up your minds, one way or the other.

- Other examples of customs/immigration controls:

- Shenzhen Bay Control Point

Shenzhen Bay Control Point (Chinese: 深圳灣管制站) is a Hong Kong immigration control point on its border with mainland China. It is housed in the same building with its mainland Chinese counterpart, the Shenzhen Bay Port.

Located geographically in Dongjiaotou, Shekou on the southwestern corner of the city of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province of mainland China, the Shenzhen Bay Control Point is the only border control point where co-location clearance is practised. The Hong Kong portion of the building and its adjacent open area, together with the northern third of the Western Corridor Bridge, are leased to Hong Kong and made within Hong Kong's jurisdiction for an initial period until 30 June 2047. As such, Hong Kong laws apply, instead of PRC laws.

The co-location of immigration and customs facilities with the mainland counterpart, the Shenzhen Bay Port, allows passengers and vehicles for departure and arrival clearance to take place within a short distance.

The control point is surrounded by mainland China and the closed area without being contiguously attached to another part of Hong Kong, except the bridge. Because it is a leased territory, it is legally part of Guangdong Province and thus not an exclave of Hong Kong. However, it is administered as a part of Hong Kong SAR and the Hong Kong Government exercises full jurisdiction within the area.

- How to take the Eurostar train from Paris to London:

Train service: Eurostar
Departure: Gare du Nord station, Paris, France
Arrival: St Pancras station, London, England

Check-in for the Eurostar is through a special level of Gare du Nord separate from the rest of the station. All Eurostar travelers must pass through both French and British passport control before boarding the train. Then you will need to pass a security screening where your bags are scanned and  you walk through a metal detector. Finally you'll arrive in the Eurostar waiting lounge.

After arrival, youll make your way towards the atrium area with its gigantic clock on the center of the wall. Youll descend down a moving walkway towards the customs area where you will pass British customs officers randomly screening passengers.

- Toronto Pearson International Airport Departure Guide

For the majority of U.S. flights, passengers leaving Toronto will go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Toronto. This means you arrive in the United States as a domestic passenger.

Checking in for a U.S.-bound Flight

Terminal 1 and Terminal 3

  1. Check in online or use an airport kiosk. [Proceed to the airline check-in counter if you have to check a bag or require additional assistance.]
  2. Proceed to the automated bag drop for checked and oversized baggage.  
  3. Proceed to the pre-board security screening area.  
  4. Proceed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection hall
  5. Head to your gate

- The reason why Hong Kong can lease land for its Shenzhen Bay Control Point in mainland China is that there is no equivalent of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 22 in the People's Republic of China constitution. Since Hong Kong has a Basic Law Article 22, there cannot be a co-located mainland checkpoint in Hong Kong.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France do not have the equivalent of the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 22 in their respective constitutions either. And that is why they can have co-located customs/immigration control points.

Therefore, in order to defend the Hong Kong Basic Law, we must have separate checkpoints in Hong Kong and mainland China. The future of Freedom, Democracy and A High Degree of Autonomy depends on it.

- (United States Customs and Border Protection)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) air Preclearance operations is the strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. Through Preclearance, CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the United States before departure from foreign airports.

Today, CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 air Preclearance locations in 6 countries: Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada. CBP also staffs a Pre-inspection facility for passenger/vehicle ferry traffic to the U.S. in Victoria, Canada.

In Fiscal Year 2016, CBP personnel stationed abroad precleared 18 million travelers, representing over 15 percent of all commercial air travelers to the United States.

- If there is a proposal for United States Customs and Border Protection preclearance in Hong Kong, what would the non-establishment camp say? Will they argue that police brutality in the United States is an urban legend? Or that only a few Okinawan women had been murdered and/or raped by American soldiers?

- (Wikipedia) Law enforcement in the United Kingdom

The Police aux Frontires or PAF (French Border Police), a division of the Police Nationale, is permitted to operate in regard to Eurostar rail services through the Channel Tunnel. This includes on Eurostar trains to London, within the international terminal at St Pancras Station, at Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International railway stations, and at the Cheriton Parc Le Shuttle terminal (alongside French Customs officials). The PAF also operate at Dover Ferry terminals.

This arrangement is reciprocated to the British Transport Police, UK Border Agency, and UK Customs Officers on Paris bound trains and within the terminal at Paris Gare du Nord, Coquelles (Le Shuttle), Gare de Lille-Europe, Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid and the Calais, Dunkerque, and Boulogne ferry terminals.[

- (Bastille Post) July 21, 2017.

When the government disclosed that the proposal for joint immigration checkpoint in West Kowloon, the non-establishment camp was ecstatic. Recently, they were upset by the case of the DQ4 but they could not vent their ire by filibustering too much on livelihood issues. So here is a good opportunity.

For most citizens, the key question is convenience of travel. For the non-establishment legislators, the focus is on legal concepts. This is especially true for the Civic Party. Civic Party chairman Alan Leong said on radio that the joint immigration checkpoint will imperil the people of Hong Kong. Civic Party head Alvin Yeung said that mainland China is leading Hong Kong land to establish a beachhead in the manner of the 1898 lease of New Territories to the United Kingdom. Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said that the joint immigration checkpiont is not consistent with Basic Law Article 22, and that if the National People's Congress Standing Committee forces the plan through a State Council order, it would be the same as Hong Kong ceding land to the mainland.

- Roy Tam's Facebook

One way or the other, joint immigration checkpoint will be a violation of the Basic Law.

Whether the land is ceded or leased, it is against Basic Law Article 18 to have mainland laws on Hong Kong land.

Over the years, I have said that the High Speed Rail won't work because the joint immigration checkpoint can't work. The people of Hong Kong have put in $100 billion already, to attract more individual travelers from mainland. The main public security will now even be in the city center (West Kowloon). They won't have to smuggle themselves in anymore ...

There will be more problems such as those listed below:

(1) On the Express Rail inside Hong Kong, a baby is born. Is this a Hongkonger or mainlander?
(2) I yell "Vindicate June 4th" and "End one-party rule" inside a train within Hong Kong border, will I be arrested? (I am on Hong Kong soil)
(3) Hongkongers get into fights with mainlanders on the train on Hong Kong soil. Then what?

Anyway, there are lots of problems with the Express Rail Link.

- Duh, here are the answers:

(1) Plenty of babies are delivered on airplanes. What is the nationality of the baby?

(Telegraph)

There are several different factors to take into account when a child is born on a flight, says Vaibhav Tanwar, a senior immigration caseworker at Visa and Migration, an immigration and nationality law specialists.

Firstly, if the flight is from a country signed to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness agreement, then the child will be a national of where the airplane is registered.

If the country is not part of the agreement, then the location of the airplane within international airspace will be the childs nationality. For example, if a child is born with USA airspace they would become an American national. However, if that country doesnt allow the child born in the country to become a citizen, it will then adopt the nationality of either the mother or father.

The same rules apply to babies born on cruise ships. Births tend to be more common at sea, due to the duration of journey.

The issue is broadly split between two principles - jus sanguinis and jus soli, right of blood and right of soil, respectively. The former means citizenship is determined not by place of birth but by the nationality of the parents, while the latter is the reverse.

(2) I yell "Vindicate June 4th" and "End one-party rule" inside a MTR train on the Hong Kong Island line. Will I be arrested? Yes, if the train was crowded and if the other passengers are upset by your primal screams, you can be arrested for disturbing the peace.

In the case of Roy Tam, he can yell "I want genuine universal suffrage" inside his Hong Kong home and nobody will mind. But if he "occupies" Admiralty and stop all vehicular traffic for 79 days so that he can yell "I want genuine universal suffrage", he will be charged with creating a public nuisance with a maximum sentence of 7 years in jail (or something).

(3) Hongkongers get into fights with mainlanders on the train on Hong Kong soil? They already do plenty of fighting on airplanes:

(ChinaSMACK) December 17, 2014.

At 9am, on Air China Flight CA433 from Chongqing to Hong Kong, a dispute occurred between passengers on-board. The cause involved two female passengers in one row being upset with a child behind them being too noisy, with the passenger in the row behind blaming the front passengers seat for affecting them. These several passengers got into a physical fight on the plane over this, with the plane nearly turning back as a result. After arriving in Hong Kong, Hong Kong police immediately intervened to handle the dispute.

Fighting in public is handled by the police at the next stop. If the train was heading to China, the crew will radio ahead and the Chinese public security bureau will be waiting at the next stop. Vice versa if the train was heading to Hong Kong. You would be facing a full-scale riot by all passengers if you insist that the train be turned back to the origin.

- (Bastille Post) July 21, 2017.

I read some newspaper headlines this morning that High Speed Rail will be using a "mobile border" so that mainland law applies as soon as you board the train. This seems quite scary.

First of all, what do we do now if we want to go to Shanghai by train? We take the MTR to Luohu, pass through the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese immigration checkpoints located in the Luohu Customs Building and take the High Speed Rail train to our destination.

The proposal for the High Speed Rail is to have the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese immigration checkpoints co-located in West Kowloon, and the High Speed Rail train will head directly to the destination. At the destination as well as intermediate stops, passengers can disembark and enter the city immediately with no further customs/immigration checks.

In either case, we as passengers choose to go to mainland China by leaving through the Hong Kong immigration checkpoint and entering a mainland Chinese immigration checkpoint. If you are scared of going to mainland China, you should not be going at all. Just stay in Hong Kong, and mainland laws cannot take away your freedom and democracy.

A traveler to mainland China is going to have to go through Hong Kong and mainland Chinese immigration checkpoints. The only difference is whether the checkpoints are located in West Kowloon or Shenzhen. As soon as you arrive in mainland China, mainland laws apply.

Conversely, if you don't co-locate the immigration checkpoints, the traveler will clear Hong Kong immigration control in West Kowloon, get on the train and travel to Shenzhen, disembark with all luggage to go through the mainland immigration/customs checkpoint and re-board the train.

For the traveler, the West Kowloon mainland immigration checkpoint won't take away your freedom. If there are restrictions on your freedom, you should know about them before you set off to mainland China.

At this time, many non-establishment legislators are localists and radical pan-democrats. They and even the large traditional pan-democratic parties are saying that co-location is unacceptable and they will filibuster the relevant legislation.

How about letting the people of Hong Kong decide. Do they want ...?

(1) Have co-located Hong Kong/mainland checkpoints in West Kowloon without further inspection after crossing the border

or

(2) Have only a Hong Kong immigration checkpoint at West Kowloon and then all passengers will be forced to disembark with their luggage to be inspected in Shenzhen first before re-embarking on the journey

This is a simple choice, and I believe that most Hongkongers will choose (1) but the pan-democratic legislators will oppose (1).

Politicians like to turn nothing into something, because this is how they derive existential meaning.

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

The direct London-Paris train has a joint immigration checkpoint in London. I have taken the train before. So the French were enforcing French laws on British soil. This has been the case for many years without any problems. Now Hong Kong is a part of China. So why can this be so wrong? The non-establishment camp is looking to make something out of nothing. What do they hope to achieve? Another interpretation of the Basic Law from the National People's Congress Standing Committee? Or make a bundle of money from the legal fees for judicial reviews?

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

(expanded)

At this time, it is obvious that some people think that having a joint immigration checkpoint is most convenient for their travels, but other people are afraid that they might lose their freedom and democracy.

So let me propose a solution that will please both sides.

At the West Kowloon Station, there will be two entrances.

Entrance A is for those who prefer to have a joint immigration checkpoint. They will go through the Hong Kong and mainland immigration checkpoints, clear customs and board pre-designated cars on the train (say, front of the train).

Entrance B is for those who prefer to have separate immigration checkpoints. They will go through the Hong Kong immigration checkpoints and board other pre-designated cars on the train (say, back of the train).

The train will make a brief 2-minute stop at Futian station in Shenzhen.

All those in the front of the train will stay on and travel to their respective destinations on the same train.

All those in the back of the train will disembark with their luggage. They will walk to the mainland immigration checkpoint, clear customs and then they head to the waiting room to wait for the next trains that goes to their ultimate destinations.

What happens if a person taking Entrance B forgets to disembark at Futian? When the person arrives at the destination (say, Beijing), he/she will be detained by the public security bureau. Since there is no immigration checkpoint there, he/she will be sent back to Futian for immigration clearance. He/she will pay for his/her own one-way train fare, plus the round-trip fare for the two public security officers who escort him/her.

Thus, the people of Hong Kong will be offered total freedom of choice. If they want freedom and democracy, they can take Entrance B. If they want totalitarianism and Communism, they can take Entrance A.

Of course, they can choose not to go to mainland China altogether, and take their vacations in Taiwan/Japan/South Korea/Thailand.

After one year of testing, the numbers will tell us what the people really want. The body is more honest than the mouth.

- (Ta Kung Pao) July 25, 2017.

Yesterday Apple Daily posted a situation in which they say that a person may be arrested in the carriage of a High Speed Rail train while still in Hong Kong for seditious speech such as commemorating somebody or the other.

This is lousy film script. The carriage of a High Speed Rail train is a public area. It is not a funeral parlor hall in which people can raise banners, carry coffins, pay respects, burn joss sticks, etc. If you see someone doing that in a train, you should be upset and you should be calling the police (whether the mainland public security or the Hong Kong Police).

More importantly, why do you have to do this in a High Speed Rail train of all places? There are plenty of places for you to do so. For example, people hold candlelight vigils for the thousands of students who were murdered by the People's Liberation Army at Tiananmen Square on June 4th 1989. Have the Hong Kong Police ever arrested anyone for doing so?

The reason why you want to hold a commemorative service in a High Speed Rail train carriage is that you want to provoke the mainland security bureau. If you provoke them, you deserve what is coming to you.

The fact is that co-location of immigration checkpoints is inevitable. If you obey mainland laws in those areas where mainland laws (immigration, customs, security) are in effect, nobody will bother you. You have nothing to worry about. Each day, two hundred thousand Hongkongers travel back and forth to mainland China, by airplane, train, bus and boat. How many of them are arrested for no reason?

- (SpeakoutHK @YouTube)

Claudia Mo: This is ceding land. This is practically ceding land.

Ma Yan-kwok: Hong Kong is not a sovereign nation, so it does not have its own territory. The sovereignty and ownership of the land of Hong Kong belong to the People's Republic of China. So Hong Kong cannot be ceding West Kowloon station to mainland China. This is completely wrong. Claudia Mo is speaking as if Hong Kong is an independent nation. Perhaps she wants to advance Hong Kong independence.

Kwok Ka-ki: A joint immigration checkpoint will be a blow to One Country Two Systems.

Ma Yan-kwok: If China wants to take back One Country Two Systems and go with One Country One System, a simple decision by the National People's Congress to get rid of the Basic Law will do it. But China hopes to and has promised to carry out One Country Two Systems. For twenty years after the handover, China has not gotten rid of One Country Two Systems. Instead she is even more determined to do so. There is no worry that Kowloon or Mong Kok will become a place under mainland Chinese rule. This has to do with the High Speed Rail.

Dennis Kwok: Letting mainland officials come to enforce mainland law is setting the precedent for destroying One Country Two Systems.

Ma Yan-kwok: The opposition is best at using the name of democracy to fight against the Chinese Communists. They will resist anything coming from mainland China. Whether it is good or bad. Whether a solution exists or not. They will use various reasons, such as legal arguments, or people's fears to fight the Chinese Communists. West Kowloon is an area where resources are expensive. A lot of time and work has been done there. If you end up an ineffective transportation service, you will have wasted a lot of taxpayer money and let the people of Hong Kong down. I wish the non-establishment camp would stop thinking that their goal is to fight the Chinese Communists, and not think that their voter base come from opposing national development. No matter what you think about mainland China, the developments in mainland China are out there for the world to see. Hong Kong is such a small place. If you want to oppose national development, you will imperil the interests of the citizens of Hong Kong.

- (SpeakoutHK) July 24, 2017.

Civic Party head Alvin Yeung said that "Co-location is the same as ceding land ..."

Ming Pao's editorial said that this is a fake issue. According to Hong Kong Basic Law Article 7:

The land and natural resources within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be State property. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for their management, use and development and for their lease or grant to individuals, legal persons or organizations for use or development. The revenues derived therefrom shall be exclusively at the disposal of the government of the Region.

As to whether having mainland Chinese personnel in Hong Kong will work, please refer to Basic Law Article 14:

The Central People's Government shall be responsible for the defence of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for the maintenance of public order in the Region.

Military forces stationed by the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for defence shall not interfere in the local affairs of the Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may, when necessary, ask the Central People's Government for assistance from the garrison in the maintenance of public order and in disaster relief.

In addition to abiding by national laws, members of the garrison shall abide by the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

It has been 20 years since the handover. There is enough experience to say that it works.

- (SCMP) July 25, 2017.

The central government intends to let the local government pass a law and finalise the deal, but will act on its own if that does not work out, according to Tian Feilong, a member of the Chinese Association on Hong Kong and Macau Studies, a semi-official think tank.

This is to respect the high degree of autonomy guaranteed for the people of Hong Kong, Tian, a Basic Law academic at Beijings Beihang University, said. However, if Hong Kong lawmakers fail to legislate within a reasonable time, the central government will have to take the initiative, he added. It will no longer be a model for a land lease, but legal redesignation of land use.

Tian said there were two options for getting such a redesignation: one was for the National Peoples Congress Standing Committee to pass a resolution giving mainland law enforcement agencies power to operate in the station; the other was for the State Council to issue a directive upon the citys chief executive to that effect.

- (Bastille Post) July 25, 2017.

Secretary Rimsky Yuen said that it was the idea of the Hong Kong government to build the High Speed Rail in Hong Kong, as opposed to an order from the Central Government. The High Speed Rail was not going to pass through Hong Kong to reach some other city, so it does not matter whether the High Speed Rail terminates in Shenzhen or Hong Kong.

At the time of the 1997 handover, Hong Kong as well as China were hit by the Asian financial crisis. According to a Shenzhen deputy mayor, his city was in bad shape and wanted to break out. He came to Hong Kong to observe how the Hong Kong Productivity Council was helping small- and medium-sized technology companies to innovate. He went back to Shenzhen and reproduced the program, but scaled up by a lot more. More than a decade later, Shenzhen is hugely successful. It goes to show that at the time of the handover, Hong Kong was actually more advanced than Guangdong province.

When Tung Chee-hwa became Hong Kong Chief Executive, he proposed to Guangdong to issue multi-trip individual visas for their citizens to visit Hong Kong in order to stimulate tourism and spending. The Guangdong government counter-proposed a Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge to improve logistics into mainland China. This showed that Guangdong province was still largely dependent upon Hong Kong logistics.

The discussions went on for several years. In the end, Guangdong province had a 180 degree change in attitude. They were now no longer interested in a Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. In 2001, China joined the World Trade Organisation, and imports/exports soared. Guangdong province was more interested in developing its own airports and logistics industry. They did not want to hand the business over to Hong Kong by building the bridge.

It was the Central Government which stepped in. In 2003, the Hong Kong economy was devastated by SARS. So the Central Government ordered Guangdong province to issue individual visit permits. In 2007, the agreement was reached to build the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.

At the time of the handover, mainland China wanted to copy Hong Kong or cooperate with it. Ten years later, they want to do it themselves and have nothing to do with Hong Kong. Cooperating with Hong Kong means that people, materials and capital will flow there. The world has changed by then.

In 2015, Ma Xingrui became Shenzhen city Communist Party secretary. In 2016, the Shenzhen MTR asked for bids, and the Hong Kong MTR was one of the bidders. Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung went to see Ma Xingrui to lobby for the Hong Kong MTR. In the end, the Hong Kong MTR did not get the bid.

If I were Ma Xingrui, I would not award the contract to the Hong Kong MTR. Hong Kong is Shenzhen's competitor. Unless the Central Government favors Hong Kong, it would be best to maintain a distance. Today Ma Xingrui is the governor of Guangdong province.

So from the viewpoint of Shenzhen, it is a good thing if the High Speed Rail service stops in Shenzhen for immigration/customs control. Less business for Hong Kong means more business for Shenzhen.

The world has changed. Hong Kong cannot afford to sit around and wait for business to come. It will have to go to get business. We cannot sit around and debate the co-location of immigration checkpoints. We should be thinking about how to use Hong Kong's High Speed Rail to get more business. That would be much more constructive.

- Oh my God! We are going to have gun-toting outside military/para-military forces in Hong Kong! We're all going to die! Or something ...

- Oh, wait, are you talking about the American marines stationed inside the US Consulate on Garden Road? Or are you talking about the People's Liberation Army soldiers in Tamar?

- (Hong Kong Economic Journal) July 27, 2017.

On Tuesday the government finally unveiled details of the arrangement for co-location of customs and immigration facilities at the Hong Kong terminal of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Under the plan, the Hong Kong government will rent out a designated area within the West Kowloon terminal to mainland authorities where they will be allowed to exercise their jurisdiction.

In other words, in the future, once a traveler has passed the mainland immigration counter and set foot in the Mainland Port Area inside the terminal, he or she will be considered having entered Chinese soil and be subject to mainland laws.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said the administration will adopt a 3-step approach to implementing the co-location arrangement: 1. The Hong Kong SAR government will conclude an agreement with the central authorities; 2. The National Peoples Congress Standing Committee will scrutinize and approve the agreement, and; 3. The SAR administration will table the bill to Legco.

Secretary Yuen reiterated that there is absolutely no question of ceding land to the mainland, and that the co-location arrangement is a bilateral agreement between Hong Kong and the mainland that would create a win-win situation, and that it is not a political order forced upon our city by Beijing.

The idea of leasing a part of Hong Kongs territory to the mainland indefinitely might sound outrageous or even humiliating to some people, and could make a good rallying point for the pan-democrats to mobilize public opinion against the entire proposal.

However, the truth is, Hong Kong has never been given any unfair shake by Beijing when it comes to territory. People whining about loss of territory to the mainland are either being fussy or forgetful.

It is because, compared to the 41 hectares of land ceded by Shenzhen to Hong Kong in order to establish our immigration control areas at the Shenzhen Bay Port 10 years ago as well as another 87 hectares ceded by Shenzhen at the Lok Ma Chau Loop, the tiny indoor area within the West Kowloon terminal which Beijing has annexed is just peanuts.

As everyone should know, the controversy surrounding the entire co-location arrangement stems not from any concern about territorial integrity, but rather, the fear that Hong Kong citizens might fall victim to potential abuse of the powers of arrest by mainland law enforcement within the terminal in the future.

Therefore, at the end of the day, what is truly standing in the way of the co-location arrangement is the confidence issue rather than legal or economic concerns.

As expected, the co-location arrangement has immediately drawn intense fire from the pan-democrats, who have strongly criticized the government for compromising one country, two systems.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun said the proposal couldnt be more ridiculous, suggesting that the pan-democrats would fight against the bill with all their means.

It is because, on one hand, the lawmaker said, Legco has no constitutional power to pass any law that would allow mainland law enforcement to exercise their jurisdiction within Hong Kong since it constitutes a direct violation of Article 18 of the Basic Law.

And on the other, he said, there are widespread concerns among people that under the co-location arrangement, it is likely that in the future, any Hong Kong citizen who travels by the rail link may run the risk of being arrested and detained by mainland law enforcement either within the West Kowloon terminal or inside the train compartment for actions that would otherwise be deemed totally legal in our city such as chanting the Charter 08″ drafted by Liu Xiaobo.

As we can see, as far as the governments 3-step approach is concerned, the last step, i.e. pushing the bill on co-location through Legco, may prove the hardest, as the opposition will certainly go to great lengths to try to block it.

Even Chief Executive Carrie Lam has admitted that she didnt expect the task to be easy, and said that all she can do is to try her best to allay public concerns by reasoning with them.

True, the key to the successful implementation of the co-location arrangement is definitely enhancing public confidence in the proposal. In order to do that, the government not only has to go head to head with the pan-democrats in the legislature, it also has to win the public opinion war simultaneously.

- (SCMP) Fuss over joint checkpoint is much ado about nothing. By Alex Lo. July 26, 2017.

Call me naive, but I dont understand why there is all this fuss over a joint checkpoint at the West Kowloon terminus of the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou. Hong Kong has done something similar before, and so has Macau. This is not to mention many other comparable arrangements exist between countries around the world.

There are three main issues: trust, legality and common sense.

I get it. Many Hong Kong people dont trust mainland authorities, especially when they are given powers to enforce mainland laws on Hong Kong soil. But, this is what I dont get. You are boarding an express train to the mainland anyway. If you are afraid of being caught by mainland agents, for whatever reason, maybe you shouldnt get on the train in the first place.

Secondly, is this so-called co-location legal or constitutional? Well, I am no expert on the Basic Law. But I am glad that Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, the Civic Party legislator, wrote that the core legal concepts involved in the so-called co-location arrangement just cant be simpler and ... even a layman who hasnt gone through any legal training can instantly understand.

Kwok and his party colleagues, many of them barristers, think co-location breaches the Basic Law. Well, maybe, who knows? But then, Albert Chen Hung-yee, a member of the Basic Law Committee and a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, thinks its perfectly workable and legal. Senior counsel Alan Hoo, chairman of the Basic Law Institute, thinks likewise.

Suffice it to say that our legal experts dont agree among themselves and that their positions depend more on their political backgrounds. Therefore, the constitutionality of co-location is by no means obvious one way or another.

Lastly, common sense. Hong Kong immigration and customs officers have been operating at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point for more than a decade, and no one makes a big deal of it. Why? Because its convenient and saves time. If we can do it in Shenzhen, why cant they do it in Hong Kong?

Since 2013, Macau has effectively expanded its jurisdiction into the mainland when University of Macau students were allowed to attend classes, access uncensored internet, use patacas and be liable to Macau law on its campus on Zhuhais Hengqin island.

If two jurisdictions mutually agree on such extraterritorial arrangements to make life easier for their people, I dont see a reasonable objection.

- (SCMP) Opposition to joint checkpoint is about discrediting Carrie Lam. By Alex Lo. July 27, 2017.

As the opposition tells it, the plan for a joint customs and immigration checkpoint at the West Kowloon terminus of the cross-border, high-speed railway line will be the end of Hong Kong. Or, at the very least, it will spell the end of one country, two systems under the Basic Law as we know it.

They are setting it up as the biggest battle for the soul of Hong Kong, yet they will be fighting from a weaker position than they have in years. I am not sure whether this is nobility, or just MAD (mutually assured destruction). If nothing else, they can go a long way towards discrediting the new administration of Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is still on a political honeymoon with the public.

Pan-democratic heavyweights have come out in unison to denounce the plan. Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee has called it a smokescreen in order to allow mainland security agents to operate in Hong Kong. Martin Lee Chu-ming said the effect of this so-called co-location arrangement on Hong Kongs autonomy would be worse than an interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress. It would mean the disappearance of the Basic Law, he said.

Other opposition figures have used even stronger language, such as auto-castration and self-partition. Essentially, they are setting up the proposed co-location arrangement as an existential crisis for Hong Kong.

Reasonable people may agree or disagree with them. But just how do they plan to win a battle they claim to be so important when they are weaker than ever?

Six opposition lawmakers have been disqualified, and more may face the same fate. The government-friendly camp has therefore gained a super-majority in the functional and geographical constituencies in the legislature. And, instead of fighting the highly unpopular former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, they are facing the far more people-friendly Lam.

But there is logic to their all-out opposition. Instead of arguing for better safeguards and improving the cross-border arrangements, they will portray co-location in the worst possible light. The point is not to make it work, but to use it to discredit Lam.

(EJ Insight) Express railway puts one country, two systems at a crossroads. By Michael Chugani. July 27, 2017.

It took over HK$84 billion and 20 years for Hong Kong to find out in the most painful way yet that one country, two systems is a formula full of thorns. Simply described, one country, two systems means Hong Kong is a part of China but retains its colonial-era political and economic systems.

Not even the late Deng Xiaoping, who created one country, two systems in the 1980s, could have imagined that three decades down the road it would become a legal time bomb for something as innocent as a high-speed railway that connects Hong Kong to the rest of the country and vice versa.

On paper, the $84 billion express railway linking Hong Kong to Guangzhou and other key mainland cities is a travelers dream. It almost halves traveling time and offers a cheaper and convenient alternative to air travel. But officials on both sides of the border are now finding out that in reality it is a nightmare trapped in a legal black hole as a consequence of one country, two systems.

The legal black hole, of course, lies in having joint immigration control at the express railways West Kowloon Terminus. This co-location is intended to provide speed and convenience to travelers, enabling them to complete both Hong Kong and mainland immigration clearances at West Kowloon instead of having to do one part at each end. But such an arrangement necessitates stationing mainland immigration and other law-enforcement officials at West Kowloon.

Outsiders unfamiliar with Hong Kong would likely wonder why this is such a time bomb when Hong Kong is, after all, a part of China. International travelers are used to joint immigration control in Europe and North America.

I have flown from Hong Kong to Vancouver where I cleared both Canadian and US immigration before flying on to Seattle where I had no more need to go through immigration and customs. If even different countries allow joint immigration on each others soil, why cant there be joint immigration in Hong Kong, which is, after all, still Chinese soil?

The answer to that question lies deep in trust rather than legal territory. Former transport and housing secretary Anthony Cheung Bing-leung hit the nail on the head last week. Deep in their hearts, many Hongkongers are uncomfortable with joint immigration at West Kowloon not because they believe it violates the Basic Law but that they fear having mainland law enforcement officials on Hong Kong soil.

This fear in itself is a paradox. Many of the same Hongkongers spooked by mainland officials enforcing mainland law at West Kowloon have no qualms about traveling to the mainland for business or leisure where they would be subject to the full force of mainland law. Every day tens of thousands of Hongkongers cross the border at Lowu and other checkpoints.

At Lowu they are subject to Hong Kong law until they use the e-channel to exit. They have then technically left Hong Kong into a gray area of duty-free shops before going through mainland immigration, after which they have legally entered the mainland. This process does not make them uncomfortable.

So why does having mainland officials at West Kowloon make them uncomfortable? Why cant they simply treat the parts of the West Kowloon terminus controlled by mainland officials after exiting Hong Kong in the same way as they treat the parts of the Lowu checkpoint controlled by mainland officials after exiting Hong Kong?

Its a psychological issue. When Hongkongers exit Hong Kong through the e-channels at Lowu they know they have physically entered the mainland. But when they clear the e-channels at West Kowloon they know in their minds they are still physically in Hong Kong. As such, they are psychologically unable to subject themselves to mainland law.

People have asked what would happen if, for example, they wore a June 4 T-shirt at the West Kowloon terminus checkpoint. The root of that question is again psychological. Hongkongers know very well that if they wore a June 4 T-shirt when traveling to Shenzhen from Lowu, nothing would happen right up to the e-channels on the Hong Kong side but they could be refused entry at the mainland checkpoint or arrested after being allowed to enter.

Their treatment would be no different at West Kowloon. People who travel to the mainland at existing checkpoints are sensible enough not to wear June 4 T-shirts. But they just cant seem to psychologically accept that they must have the same common sense at West Kowloon. They feel that even after technically entering the mainland at the West Kowloon checkpoint they are still physically in Hong Kong and should be subject to local laws.

The proposed co-location at West Kowloon doesnt bother me because I wont do something silly such as staging protests after clearing immigration nor would I travel to the mainland either at existing checkpoints or the future West Kowloon checkpoint if I feel officials there have reason to arrest me.

What does bother is internet access after Ive cleared mainland immigration at West Kowloon.

The mainlands internet firewall stops me from using Google or Gmail once I cross into Shenzhen at Lowu and other border crossings. Ive come to accept that as a price I must pay for traveling to the mainland. But I would find it not only unacceptable but also ominous for mainland authorities to extend their internet firewall to the parts of the West Kowloon terminus under their control. Also, if they did extend the firewall, how would they ensure it doesnt spill into the parts under Hong Kong control?

The opposition has said it finds the co-location proposal unacceptable but has not suggested an alternative. It has a duty to propose an equally convenient and speedy border checkpoint plan if it intends to oppose the governments proposal.

If it tries to derail the governments plan but doesnt offer a better one, the $84billion express railway would become half a white elephant.

- You want a better solution from the pan-democrats. The standard riposte is: "We are the opposition. We are not here to propose solutions. It is the job of the government to make proposals and our job is to shoot them down."

- Some alternate solutions from the brilliant minds:

(1) Clearance on board the train between West Kowloon and Futian (Shenzhen) (even though this is still within Hong Kong territory):

(SCMP) July 27, 2017. The government said the journey time between the terminus and the first mainland station in Futian would be only around 14 minutes, meaning that on-board clearance was not feasible.

(Express Rail Link) Expected daily number of passengers (109,200 total, being 67,500 to Shenzhen, 23,100 to Guangzhou and 18,600 on long-haul service).

The Express Rail Link will run one train every three minutes. There will be a train to Shenzhen every 15 minutes, and a train to Guangzhou every 30 minutes.

If the Express Rail Link runs 18 hours a day (6am-12m), there will be 4 x 18 = 72 Shenzhen train a day with an average 65,700 / 72 = 912 passengers per train. The travel time is 14 minutes. If a Chinese mainland immigration/customs inspector takes 3 minutes to inspect each passenger (entering the mainland ID/Hong Kong home return permit/foreign passport information for checking (e.g. expired ID's, INTERPOL warrants?) and randomly opening baggage for inspection), then each inspector can handle 5 cases during the 14 minutes. If there are 912 passengers in total, then 912 / 5 = 182 inspectors will be needed on the average to complete the process on time.

In any case, this arrangement will set the Guinness World Record for the most number of immigration/customs inspectors on a train.

Since the inspectors are working, they will be standing and clogging in the aisles. Without that 10 feet yellow line, your answers to the inspector's questions (e.g. Is this your wife? What is this pack of rhinoceros horn medicine?) will be heard by everyone around you.

(2) Clearance on board the train after crossing the Shenzhen border:

For those who get off at Shenzhen, they will go through the mainland Chinese immigration/customs checkpoints the same way as do right now at the other border crossings (Luohu, Huanggang, Lok Ma Chau, Shenzhen Bay, etc).

For those who are traveling non-stop to Guangzhou, the travel time to Guangzhou South Railway Station is 48 minutes. There will be 2 x 18 = 36 trains a day with an average of 23,100 / 36 = 641 passengers per train. During the 48 minutes, an immigration/customs inspector can process 16 passengers. So only 641 / 16 = 40 inspectors will be needed on the train on the average. More will be needed during peak hours.

For those who are traveling to points beyond Guangzhou, the travel time will be longer and therefore fewer immigration/customs inspectors will be required.

(3) Clearance after disembarking the train at the final destination:

For example, the train to Beijing makes stops at 16 intermediary cities. Each and every of these cities will have to host its own immigration/customs checkpoints. Every time that the High Speed Rail expands to a new mainland Chinese city, that city must have its own immigration/customs checkpoint. There may be only one train a day stopping at Shijiazhuang, but they will still have to have an immigration/customs checkpoint. The future of the Hong Kong Basic Law depends on it, thus spake Martin Lee and Margaret Ng.

The alternative is this: All trains from Hong Kong travel non-stop to their ultimate destinations (Beijing, Shanghai, etc). Trains to Hong Kong will stop at intermediary stations. So if you want to go from Hong Kong to Shijiazhuang, you take the train from Hong Kong to Beijing. Once there, you clear immigration/customs and then you take the train to Hong Kong back stopping at Shijiazhuang. It is a waste of your time and money, but the future of the Hong Kong Basic Law depends on it, thus spake Martin Lee and Margaret Ng.

- (HKG Pao) At 8:00pm on July 24 2017, Apple Daily published an article about mainland security being allowed to carry guns in the High Speed Rail station for security purposes. At 11:30pm, HKG Pao published an article to call for people to vote on co-location of immigration checkpoints. After 12 hours, Apple Daily has 1,845 votes with 1,394 being ANGRY. After 12 hours, HKG Pao has 3,512 votes with 3,466 LIKE's.

- The King of Judicial Reviews Kwok Cheuk-kin has filed a judicial review for the court to issue an injunction to ban Chief Executive Carrie Lam/Executive Council from allowing mainland Chinese public security agents to enforce mainland Chinese laws inside the West Kowloon High Speed Rail terminal. Kwok said that if the mainland public security agents can make arrests in West Kowloon, then they can do the same in Central district because "Hong Kong is part of China." Therefore Kwok demands a judicial review in order to find that this is against the Hong Kong Basic Law.

- Calling the Castle Peak Psychiatric Hospital! One of your patients has escaped ...

- (Oriental Daily) August 9, 2017. Kwok Cheuk-kin filed additional papers for his judicial review, including a copy of the Basic Law Encyclopedia. Kwok admitted that he had no legal basis to review the Co-location decision, but he said that he had a very good chance of winning. As for legal aid, he said that his application is being processed. "Even if I don't get legal aid, I will continue. We Hongkongers have nowhere else to retreat. If we retreat any further, we will fall into the ocean."

- (HKG Pao) July 29, 2017.

Here is a summary of the comments by celebrity pan-democrats:

Alvin Yeung: Co-location cannot possibly be acceptable under the Basic Law

Tanya Chan: Co-location is the same as 'self-castration'

Jeremy Tam: The High Speed Rail and Co-location: If the first one is dirty, then adding a second one makes it just as dirty

Kenneth Kwok: Co-location sets up a dangerous precedent

Kwok Ka-ki: Co-location is a huge blow against One Country Two Systems and the Basic Law

Alan Leong: Ceding land for co-location puts the people of Hong Kong in danger

Claudia Mo: Co-location is an arrangement to cede land (to China)

Eddie Chu: I would rather not have co-location

Benny Tai: Co-location can be said to be the end of rule-of-law in Hgon Kong

Martin Lee: If there should be another Occupy Central, the mainland authorities can ask to lease the Occupy areas in Hong Kong and enforce mainland laws there to clear the sites.

James To: Co-location costs Hong Kong to lose self-rule, thus contravening One Country Two Systems and the Basic Law ...

Charles Mok: As I reviewed the Nazi persecution of the Jewish people, I am thinking of the Communists ...

- (HK01) Why is the response thus far from the pan-democrats so lame?

(1) The issue involves some subtle and complicated legal concepts. "Our slogan is that .the High Speed Rail is ceding Hong Kong territory for the co-location and destroying the Basic Law.' But how is this supposed to destroy the Basic Law? We call the press conference 10 minutes after the government announced its proposal, and it was hard for us to give a clear explanation." They would like to form a Concern Group, but that will take time to organize. Meanwhile their press conference is leaving the impression that they don't have much ammunition.

(2) Carrie Lam's administration brought the proposal out during the summer recess of the Legislative Council. Many legislators are away for vacation, and it is hard to get enough people to come together to discuss strategies and make decisions.

(3) The public response to this issue has been tepid. "People are tired, and society is quieter than expected." But this is an important matter of principle, so the fight must continue. They will have to keep fighting no matter how hard it is. They will develop their strategy as they go on.

(4) The pan-democrats have not discussed this issue in depth, because far too many things have been going on recently -- Carrie Lam becoming Chief Executive; Xi Jinping visiting Hong Kong; the death of Liu Xiaobo; the case of the DQ4 legislators; the battle at the Legco Finance Committee; etc. So they could not focus on the not-yet-announced High Speed Rail co-location.

- Ceding land? According to Basic Law Article 7, "The land and natural resources within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be State property." The State is leasing land to itself here.

- Ceding land? If you think about it, this is absurd. In recent Chinese history, foreign nations invaded, gained military victories and extracted concessions. An example was China ceding Hong Kong to Great Britain. In 1997, Great Britain handed Hong Kong back to China. If land is being ceded in Hong Kong, it can only be ceded to a foreign power. China does not cede its own land to itself.

Thus, the implied meaning behind the idea of 'ceding land' is that Hong Kong is an independent nation and not part of China. The current situation becomes one of Hong Kong being forced to cede land to the foreign power known as China. So if you advocate this absurd notion of "ceding land," you are clearly a pro-independence agitator. You are fighting co-location because you want to smuggle in your pro-independence ideas and you don't want Hong Kong to become closer to China through High Speed Rail, One Belt One Way, One Country Two Systems, etc.

- The pan-democrats need to answer some simple questions:

Q1. Why is co-clearance a widely accepted international practice, but not to be allowed in Hong Kong?

Q2. Why can Shenzhen lease a part of Shenzhen Bay to Hong Kong for co-location of immigration/customs checkpoints, but not vice versa?

Q3. Why can foreign consulates run their own national laws within their consulates, but mainland China cannot run mainland laws within their leased area?

Q4. The People's Liberation of Army is posted in 16 locations inside Hong Kong ever since the handover. Has One Country Two Systems/A High Degree of Autonomy been destroyed?

Q5. Could the Hong Kong/Central government be building an Express Rail Link purely in order to  destroy One Country Two Systems/A High Degree of Autonomy? Isn't this kind of expensive? Are there more cost-effective ways?

These are simple questions that ordinary citizens can grasp. They have been hearing these questions and getting answers from the pan-democrats such as:

A1. Foreign countries do not have a Basic Law. For example, the United States Constitution has nothing to say about co-location of immigration checkpoints. Therefore, co-clearance is acceptable internationally. But Hong Kong has a Basic Law, so co-clearance must not be allowed in Hong Kong.

- Margaret Ng said that Hong Kong law being enforced outside Hong Kong is completely different from mainland Chinese law being enforced in Hong Kong.

A2. Hong Kong has a Basic Law, but mainland China does not. The People's Republic of China Constitution has nothing to say about co-location of immigration checkpoints. Therefore, this can only work one way but not in reverse.

- Margaret Ng has chimed in saying that the Shenzhen Bay arrangement was a previous plot by the Chinese Communist regime to lure the people of Hong Kong into accepting co-location in mainland China. Today that 2006 action is being used to justify co-location in Hong Kong today.

A3. Foreign embassies/consulates are protected under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. A West Kowloon checkpoint is not a foreign embassy/consulate, so there is no comparison.

A4. The People's Liberation Army follow Hong Kong law in Hong Kong. However mainland law will be enforced in the West Kowloon leased area.

For example, there is no restriction on the amount of currency a visitor can carry in Hong Kong. But a visitor cannot carry more than US$5,000 equivalent of foreign currency and 20,000 yuan of local currency. So a person carrying 50,000 yuan can enter/leave Hong Kong but can be arrested in the West Kowloon leased area. We believe that this person should be arrested only when he crosses the border.

A5. Quote Winston Churchill on fighting all the way: "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

- The government's approach is to focus on convenience for High Speed Rail travelers. This is self-evident, and the direct counter-arguments appear to come from people who have never taken the High Speed Rail or have not even gone to mainland China in years. The indirect counter-arguments are political ones, but some of those are causing mirth (e.g. the Hong Kong government will be leasing Central to the Central government to enforce mainland laws against Occupy Central demonstrators).

- (Ming Pao) July 26, 2017.

On radio, Martin Lee (Democratic Party) said that the intention of Article 20 of the Basic Law is to give Hong Kong the power to improve its 'high degree of autonomy.' In order to attain One Country Two Systems, Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy, the Central Government must restrain itself. He said that the co-location proposal will damage the rule-of-law even more severely than an interpretation of of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, because it is equivalent to killing off all of Basic Law.

- I am fully agreed with Martin Lee's viewpoint. So let the people of Hong Kong take the slow train to Futian (Shenzhen), get off the train for mainland Chinese immigration/customs inspection, reboard and continue. This is a sacrifice that the people of Hong Kong will have to make in order to save their cherished Basic Law.  Every time every Hong Kong citizen makes this trip this way, he/she will remember that Martin Lee brought it to them in order to save the Basic Law.

 (Bastille Post) July 28, 2017.

Martin Lee got on an RTHK program to declare that since most High Speed Rail travelers are retirees, they have plenty of time on hand and therefore do not need to hurry.

Martin Lee has really not been to mainland China for a long time. He has no idea what the border crossing process is. For example, if he were to cross over at Huanggang today, he would be taking a bus. Once arriving there on the Hong Kong side, he will have to move his luggage down and go through the Hong Kong immigration checkpoint. After coming out, he will take the yellow shuttle bus to take him down the road to the mainland Chinese checkpoint. Once he goes through, he will have to find his bus and move his luggage back in. Of course, he won't be the only one, because he will be fighting with thousands of other travelers.

The best thing about co-location in West Kowloon is that once you clear the checkpoints, you get on the High Speed Rail and you stay on until you reach your destination.

I am not asking Martin Lee to visit China. I am not asking Martin Lee to take the High Speed Rail. I am just asking Martin Lee to find out what hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers have to put up with when they go to mainland China. Many of them may be senior citizens with time on hand, but there is no reason why they should spend their time on hauling luggage and standing in queues.

- Let the retirees haul their luggage around in Shenzhen looking for their connecting trains because they have too much time on hand! Is this a Marie Antoinette "Let them eat cake" movement for Senior Counsel Martin Lee?

- The descriptive term for Martin Lee is egghead:

In the American English slang, egghead is an anti-intellectual epithet used to refer to intellectuals or people considered too out-of-touch with ordinary people and too lacking in realism, common sense, sexual interests, etc. on account of their intellectual interests.

...

Egghead: A person of spurious intellectual pretensions, often a professor or the protg of a professor. Essentially confused in thought and immersed in mixture of sentimentality and violent evangelism. A doctrinaire supporter of Middle-European socialism as opposed to Greco-French-American ideas of democracy and liberalism. Subject to the old-fashioned philosophical morality of Nietzsche which frequently leads him into jail or disgrace. A self-conscious prig, so given to examining all sides of a question that he becomes thoroughly addled while remaining always in the same spot. An anemic bleeding heart.

- Martin Lee got on radio and inflicted even more damage on himself. He argued that since the United States poked its nose in before the 1997 handover, it should also be asked to intercede now on this important matter of an immigrant/customs/quarantine checkpoint for a domestic train service. Asking a foreign power to intercede is a way to defend One Country Two Systems, Hong Kong Ruled by Hongkongers and A High Degree of Autonomy!?

- The United States entering the fray?
One Country Two Systems -> Two Countries Three Systems
Hong Kong Ruled by Hongkongers -> Hong Kong ruled by Americans
A High Degree of Autonomy -> A High Degree of Colonialism

- Why is the government doing this? Because they know that the pan-democrats will automatically oppose this proposal and hence expose themselves as eggheads ("out-of-touch with ordinary people and lacking in common sense").

- (Ming Pao) Hong Kong University School of Law senior lecturer Eric Cheung tat-ming said that data showed that 80% of High Speed Rail train's Hong Kong passengers intend to get off at Futian anyway, so there will be little or no impact on them. Long-trip passengers will find it more convenient to have co-located checkpoints, but he does not believe that ten minutes of extra time will affect them.

- Eric Cheung Tat-ming is an egghead. Even before the High Speed Rail service is running in Hong Kong, he already has passenger data. And he thinks that it will only take 10 minutes to clear immigration/customs at Futian. This is typical of people who have never taken a High Speed Rail train, or even visited China in the last thirty years.

- It takes 10 minutes for one person to complete immigration/customs checking. But when the train pulls into the station, there are 960 passengers. They don't have 960 immigration/customs agents to wait on the passengers. They have maybe 10 or 20, so it may be one hour or two to clear the whole train.

- Amazingly, so far nobody has resurrected the objection that the People's Liberation Army will be using the High Speed Rail to transport soldiers quickly to Hong  Kong to suppress freedom and democracy (see #479).

- The most frequently asked question seems to be this: Can I access Facebook on the High Speed Rail train while still in Hong Kong? If you use the train's Wifi to access the Internet, Facebook will be filtered. If you use Mobile Data on your own phone, you can access Facebook or anything else you want. Nobody is going to watch over your shoulder to monitor your activity.

- Freedom fighters are upset at the fact that there should be public WiFi access points in Hong Kong where Facebook is blocked. The solution is exceedingly simple: No public WiFi service will be available once you enter the mainland Chinese lease areas of West Kowloon and on the trains. Public WiFi service will be turned on as soon as the trains pass the border.

- Legislator Claudia Mo says that she is very scared of ever going near the West Kowloon Station, or even the nearby Elements shopping mall, because mainland public security bureau agents may come out of their restricted area, snatch her and send her away to labor camp.

Isn't she a little bit full of herself? Does she think that the mainland authorities are actually concerned about what she says and does to the point of needing to snatch her?

- How many times have the mainland authorities snatch Hong Kong citizens for political reasons? Lam Wing-kee said that Lee Bo was kidnapped by mainland agents, but Lee Bo has not said so to this day.

There are many cases of Hong Kong citizens approaching the mainland immigration/customs checkpoints and attempt to provoke incidents.

(Oriental Daily) July 29, 2017.

In 2014, legislator Leung Kwok-hung went on a Legco trip to Shanghai. At the Shanghai International Airport, customs agents found a bunch of June 4th materials. They asked him to discard the materials, but he refused. He was sent back to Hong Kong.

Also in 2014, legislator Leung Kwok-hung went on a Legco trip to Shenzhen. He wore a t-shirt with the words "Don't forget June 4th; civil nomination; Occupy Central." At the Huanggang checkpoint, mainland Chinese immigration/customs agents asked him to remove his shirt. He refused and was sent back to Hong Kong.

In November 2014, the Hong Kong Federation of Students sent Alex Chow, Eason Chung and Nathan Law to go to Beijing to speak to the Central Government leaders. The three were told at the airline check-in counter that their home visit cards have been canceled and therefore they cannot travel to mainland China.

In July 19, 2017, social worker Hendrick Lui Chi-hang stood on Luohu Bridge to read out Liu Xiaobo's <I have no enemies> and <Charter 08> aloud. He was taken away by mainland Chinese public security and made to write a letter of contrition four times until they were satisfied.

According to past practice, the mainland authorities are not interested in holding Hongkongers into custody and feeding them for the next 10 or 20 years. They are satisfied with sending you back.

- Why do these people do these things? Do they actually think that it work? Will chanting "End one-party tyranny!" actually destroy the Chinese Communist Party?

Of course, nobody believes that, not the least those who actually do it. They do it not because they think it will work, but because they think that suckers will donate more money more frequently to them.

- (HK01) Why is the response thus far from the pan-democrats so lame?

(1) The issue involves some subtle and complicated legal concepts. "Our slogan is that the High Speed Rail is ceding Hong Kong territory for the co-location and destroying the Basic Law.' But how is this supposed to destroy the Basic Law? We call the press conference 10 minutes after the government announced its proposal, and it was hard for us to give a clear explanation." They would like to form a Concern Group, but that will take time to organize. Meanwhile their press conference is leaving the impression that they don't have much ammunition.

(2) Carrie Lam's administration brought the proposal out during the summer recess of the Legislative Council. Many legislators are away for vacation, and it is hard to get enough people to come together to discuss strategies and make decisions.

(3) The public response to this issue has been tepid. "People are tired, and society is quieter than expected." But this is an important matter of principle, so the fight must continue. They will have to keep fighting no matter how hard it is. They will develop their strategy as they go on.

(4) The pan-democrats have not discussed this issue in depth, because far too many things have been going on recently -- Carrie Lam becoming Chief Executive; Xi Jinping visiting Hong Kong; the death of Liu Xiaobo; the case of the DQ4 legislators; the battle at the Legco Finance Committee; etc. So they could not focus on the not-yet-announced High Speed Rail co-location.

- The pan-democrats need to answer some simple questions:

Q1. Why is co-clearance a widely accepted international practice, but not to be allowed in Hong Kong?

Q2. Why can Shenzhen lease a part of Shenzhen Bay to Hong Kong for co-location of immigration/customs checkpoints, but not vice versa?

Q3. Why can foreign consulates run their own national laws within their consulates, but mainland China cannot run mainland laws within their leased area?

Q4. The People's Liberation of Army is posted in 16 locations inside Hong Kong ever since the handover. Has One Country Two Systems/A High Degree of Autonomy been destroyed?

Q5. The High Speed Rail is a conspiracy to destroy One Country Two Systems/A High Degree of Autonomy? Isn't this somewhat expensive? Are there more cost-effective ways than spend 4,000,000,000,000 (trillion) yuan?

These are simple questions that ordinary citizens can grasp. They have been hearing these questions and getting answers from the pan-democrats such as:

A1. Foreign countries do not have a Basic Law. For example, the United States Constitution has nothing to say about co-location of immigration checkpoints. Therefore, co-clearance is acceptable internationally. But Hong Kong has a Basic Law, so co-clearance must not be allowed in Hong Kong.

A2. Hong Kong has a Basic Law, but mainland China does not. The People's Republic of China Constitution has nothing to say about co-location of immigration checkpoints. Therefore, this can only work one way but not in reverse.

A3. Foreign embassies/consulates are protected under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. A West Kowloon checkpoint is not a foreign embassy/consulate, so there is no comparison.

A4. The People's Liberation Army follow Hong Kong law in Hong Kong. However mainland law will be enforced in the West Kowloon leased area.

For example, there is no restriction on the amount of currency a visitor can carry in Hong Kong. But a visitor cannot carry more than US$5,000 equivalent of foreign currency and 20,000 yuan of local currency. So a person carrying 50,000 yuan can enter/leave Hong Kong but can be arrested in the West Kowloon leased area. We believe that this person should be arrested only when he crosses the border.

A5. Quote Winston Churchill on fighting all the way: "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

- (Ming Pao) July 26, 2017.

On radio, Martin Lee (Democratic Party) said that the intention of Article 20 of the Basic Law is to give Hong Kong the power to improve its 'high degree of autonomy.' In order to attain One Country Two Systems, Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy, the Central Government must restrain itself. He said that the co-location proposal will damage the rule-of-law even more severely than an interpretation of of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, because it is equivalent to killing off all of Basic Law.

- I am fully agreed with Martin Lee's viewpoint. So let the people of Hong Kong take the slow train to Futian (Shenzhen), get off the train for mainland Chinese immigration/customs inspection, reboard and continue. This is a sacrifice that the people of Hong Kong will have to make in order to save their cherished Basic Law.  Every time every Hong Kong citizen makes this trip this way, he/she will remember that Martin Lee brought it to them in order to save the Basic Law.

- On RTHK, Martin Lee is expressing his concern is that if there is another Occupy Central, the mainland authorities may ask for a short-term lease for the Occupy area and then apply mainland laws there.

- Yes, I can see the dangers here, so we must immediately scrap the $84 billion High Speed Rail now. Or else we all die. Or something.

- Why bother with something so complicated as leasing Central? Why not just invoke Basic Law Article 18?

In the event that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decides to declare a state of war or, by reason of turmoil within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which endangers national unity or security and is beyond the control of the government of the Region, decides that the Region is in a state of emergency, the Central People's Government may issue an order applying the relevant national laws in the Region.

They can save rent payment this way. Actually, it is with Article 18 hanging over their heads that the Occupy Central participants behaved like patsies. If they had burnt down Government Headquarters or attacked the People's Liberation Army barracks, Article 18 could be invoked.

- The descriptive term for Martin Lee is egghead:

In the American English slang, egghead is an anti-intellectual epithet used to refer to intellectuals or people considered too out-of-touch with ordinary people and too lacking in realism, common sense, sexual interests, etc. on account of their intellectual interests.

...

Egghead: A person of spurious intellectual pretensions, often a professor or the protg of a professor. Essentially confused in thought and immersed in mixture of sentimentality and violent evangelism. A doctrinaire supporter of Middle-European socialism as opposed to Greco-French-American ideas of democracy and liberalism. Subject to the old-fashioned philosophical morality of Nietzsche which frequently leads him into jail or disgrace. A self-conscious prig, so given to examining all sides of a question that he becomes thoroughly addled while remaining always in the same spot. An anemic bleeding heart.

- Why is the government doing this? Because they know that the pan-democrats will automatically oppose this proposal and hence expose themselves as eggheads ("out-of-touch with ordinary people and lacking in common sense").

- Martin Lee got on radio and inflicted even more damage on himself. He argued that since the United States poked its nose in before the 1997 handover, it should also be asked to intercede now on this important matter of an immigrant/customs/quarantine checkpoint for a train service inside the borders of China. Asking a foreign power to intercede is a way to defend One Country Two Systems, Hong Kong Ruled by Hongkongers and A High Degree of Autonomy!?

- The United States entering the fray? This will mean:
One Country Two Systems -> Two Countries Three Systems
Hong Kong Ruled by Hongkongers -> Hong Kong ruled by Americans
A High Degree of Autonomy -> A High Degree of Colonialism

- (Ming Pao) Hong Kong University School of Law senior lecturer Eric Cheung tat-ming said that data showed that 80% of High Speed Rail train's Hong Kong passengers intend to get off at Futian anyway, so there will be little or no impact on them. Long-trip passengers will find it more convenient to have co-located checkpoints, but he does not believe that ten minutes of extra time will affect them.

- Eric Cheung Tat-ming is an egghead. Even before the High Speed Rail service is running in Hong Kong, he already has passenger data. And he thinks that it will only take 10 minutes to clear immigration/customs at Futian. This is typical of people who have never taken a High Speed Rail train, or even visited China in the last thirty years.

- It takes 10 minutes for one person to complete immigration/customs checking. But when the train pulls into the station, there are 960 passengers. They don't have 960 immigration/customs agents to wait on the passengers. They have maybe 10 or 20, so it may be one hour or two to clear the whole train.

- Let me put this even more clearly -- co-location at Futian will mean that the train schedules are off. You cannot catch the 10:00am direct train from West Kowloon to Beijing. There will be no such train service for you. Instead there will be a 10:00am train from Futian to Beijing leaving on time. If you want to take that train, you will have to buy a ticket for a West Kowloon-to-Futian train. You can take the 9:00am train that will arrive in Futian at 9:14am. You will get off with your luggage, get cleared by Hong Kong immigration, walk down the passageway and get cleared by mainland Chinese immigration/customs/quarantine. The process will take you not more than 15 minutes under normal circumstances, but possibly up to 30 minutes. You will wait 15 minutes for the 10:00am train to Beijing.

There won't be a direct train from West Kowloon to Beijing. Such a train can take you to Futian and then head to Beijing after a 5 minute pause. But you won't be on it, because you need more time than that to go through the co-located checkpoints.

- Amazingly, so far nobody has resurrected the objection that the People's Liberation Army will be using the High Speed Rail to transport soldiers quickly to Hong Kong to suppress freedom and democracy (see #479).

- The most frequently asked question seems to be this: Can I access Facebook on the High Speed Rail train while still in Hong Kong? If you use the train's Wifi to access the Internet, Facebook will be filtered. If you use Mobile Data on your own phone, you can access Facebook or anything else you want. Nobody is going to watch over your shoulder to monitor your activity.

- Freedom fighters are upset at the fact that there should be public WiFi access points in Hong Kong where Facebook is blocked. The solution is exceedingly simple: No public WiFi service will be available once you enter the mainland Chinese lease areas of West Kowloon and on the trains. Public WiFi service will be turned on as soon as the trains pass the border.

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

This is utter nonsense!
When I am in mainland China doing films or theater, I use Facebook everyday. At this moment, I am in Longgang (Shenzhen) directing The Golden Cangue, and I am reading/posting on Facebook.
(Your Hong Kong telephone account has a roaming plan with which you can read Apple Daily/RTHK/Ming Pao as much as you like)
Please don't listen to the lies from other people. Trust me! If you believe them, you will have been tricked.

- Legislator Claudia Mo says that she is very scared of ever going near the West Kowloon Station, or even the nearby Elements shopping mall, because mainland public security bureau agents may come out of their restricted area, snatch her and send her away to labor camp.

Isn't she a little bit full of herself? Does she think that the mainland authorities are actually concerned about what she says and does to the point of needing to snatch her?

- Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that even a veteran legal professional is peddling conspiracy theories and demonizing the proposal. She did not name that individual. However, ex-legislator Margaret Ng has come out and said, "What is the point of making fun of Margaret Ng?" She said that even persons not in the legal field such as Causeway Bay Books owner Lam Wing-kee have said that they will not go near West Kowloon. Therefore it is not paranoia for Hongkongers to worry.

- How many times have the mainland authorities snatched Hong Kong citizens for political reasons? Lam Wing-kee said that Lee Bo was kidnapped by mainland agents, but Lee Bo has not said so to this day.

There are many cases of Hong Kong citizens approaching the mainland immigration/customs checkpoints and attempting to provoke incidents.

(Oriental Daily) July 29, 2017.

In 2014, legislator Leung Kwok-hung went on a Legco trip to Shanghai. At the Shanghai International Airport, customs agents found a bunch of June 4th materials. They asked him to discard the materials, but he refused. He was sent back to Hong Kong.

Also in 2014, legislator Leung Kwok-hung went on a Legco trip to Shenzhen. He wore a t-shirt with the words "Don't forget June 4th; civil nomination; Occupy Central." At the Huanggang checkpoint, mainland Chinese immigration/customs agents asked him to remove his shirt. He refused and was sent back to Hong Kong.

In November 2014, the Hong Kong Federation of Students sent Alex Chow, Eason Chung and Nathan Law to go to Beijing to speak to the Central Government leaders. The three were told at the airline check-in counter that their home visit cards have been canceled and therefore they cannot travel to mainland China.

In July 19, 2017, social worker Hendrick Lui Chi-hang stood on Luohu Bridge to read out Liu Xiaobo's <I have no enemies> and <Charter 08> aloud. He was taken away by mainland Chinese public security and made to write a letter of contrition four times until they were satisfied.

According to past practice, the mainland authorities are not interested in holding Hongkongers into custody and feeding them for the next 10 or 20 years. They are satisfied with sending them back.

- Why do these people do these things? Do they actually think that it work? Will chanting "End one-party tyranny!" actually destroy the Chinese Communist Party?

Of course, nobody believes that, not the least those who actually do it. They do it not because they think it will work, but because they think that suckers will donate more money more frequently to them to repeat the same apparently low-risk high-profit actions.

- The coverage area for potential snatching is expanding by the day.

At first, it is about the mainland Chinese section in West Kowloon itself. For example, will INTERPOL red list fugitive Guo Wengui be arrested upon presenting his ID to the mainland Chinese immigration agent?

Of course, "snatch" is defined as a sudden effort to seize something. Guo Wengui would have to purchase a train ticket in order to enter the restricted zone and clear Hong Kong exit procedures before he can reach the mainland Chinese section. So Guo cannot be said to have wandered unknowingly into the mainland Chinese section and be surprised.

Next, it is about having high tea at Le Salon de Th de Jol Robuchon (Elements) and getting snatched by mainland Chinese agents and taken into the mainland Chinese section of the West Kowloon station. To get there, those agents would have to buy you a train ticket and help you clear Hong Kong exit procedures first. Couldn't you ask for help?

Now, if they can do it in West Kowloon, they will be able to do it in Central too! So you shouldn't think that you are safe as long as you don't come within a mile of West Kowloon.

- If a bunch of mainland Chinese spies have you surrounded and want to take you to China on the High Speed Rail, they have to bring you through the Hong Kong immigration/customs checkpoint. When you come to the X-ray scanner, you are standing by yourself. Just tell the security guards that you have been kidnapped.

- Can they drug you unconscious and take you away? Well, have you ever seen an unconscious person being taken through an X-ray scanner on a stretcher?

- But if they can snatch you anytime anywhere in Hong Kong at this very minute, then what do you care about the West Kowloon High Speed Rail station? What will change?

- If they can snatch y ou anytime anywhere in Hong Kong at this very minute, it is far easier and unobtrusive to put you on a speed boat that will reach mainland waters in minutes.

- Ronny Tong Ka-wah's Facebook

The Executive Council members went to inspect the West Kowloon Station. We found out that at this so-called enclosed underground site, a Hongkonger must first purchase a train ticket, go through the security inspection area, go downstairs to the departure call, complete all exit procedures and walk though an enclosed corridor before arriving at the mainland Chinese checkpoint. According to information, there are no shops or vending machines in that area. So it is unthinkable that someone should come to West Kowloon and unknowingly wandered into the mainland Chinese checkpoint and be arrested and sent to jail.

- (Oriental Daily) August 1, 2017. The MTR arranged for a tour by legislators of the West Kowloon Station tomorrow so that they understand the operations including the co-location setup. The pan-democratic legislators met today and decided to boycott the tour. They said that it is pointless to learn about operations before all the legal issues have been settled.

- If someone is bent on pretending to be asleep, there is no way that you can 'wake' him.

- (SpeakoutHK) August 2, 2017. On morning radio, Margaret Ng said that the West Kowloon station has so many layers of entrance that an innocent person who wandered inside accidentally and get "arrested voluntarily." By so saying, Margaret Ng is saying that the Hong Kong Police (who are responsible for security screening) and the Hong Kong Immigration Department will be negligent in letting innocent people walk through their areas to reach the mainland section. If she bothered to use her brain, she would know that this is impossible. She is bringing up this fictional situation because she wants to scare unthinking people.

- (Apple Daily) July 27, 2017.

Mr and Mrs Yu live in Shanghai, and they normally fly to Shenzhen and then travel over land to Hong Kong. Mr. Yu said that he will consider taking the High Speed Rail in future: "If I set off in the morning, I can be here in Hong Kong in the afternoon. That's very good." Mr. Yu said that he thinks co-location of immigration/customs checkpoints is inconvenient. Instead he preferred to have immigration/customs checkpoints at the points of origin and destination. "That would be better. I am familiar with Shanghai. I don't want to go through immigration/customs checkpoints that I am not familiar with."

- The total population of Shanghai is 20 million. You can surely find one Shanghai citizen to say whatever you want.

- Ahem, Mr and Mrs Yu are our esteemed guests, so we should respect their wishes. This means that if Mr and Mrs Yu wish to defecate/urinate in the streets of Hong Kong, we should respect their wishes too ...

- The Apple Daily reporter cleverly avoided telling the Yu family that the alternative to co-location is not having separate checkpoints in Hong Kong and Shanghai like they do for airplanes. There are several intermediate stops along the route and they may not have immigration/customs posts. So the real alternative is to clear Hong Kong in West Kowloon, disembark with all luggage in Futian (Shenzhen), clear mainland China and board another train with luggage to Shanghai. Mr and Mrs Yu won't find this convenient at all.

- How is the Shanghai checkpoint more/less convenient than the as-yet-unconstructed Hong Kong-mainland checkpoint? How can such a question even be asked?

- (The Stand News) July 29, 2017. On RTHK, Co-location Concern Group member Leung Kai-chi said that the Hong Kong government insists on the current proposal because it is efficient. "In the eyes of the government, speed is the only value. But we know that the people of Hong Kong want many more other things. The 90-something-year-old grandmother who was displaced from her ancestral farmland to make way for the High Speed Rail wanted sentiments, not speed. Today, Hong Kong is better than mainland China because it does not want speed but it wants rule-of-law, rules and principles. In our society, there are many more precious things other than speed."

- (Apple Daily) July 30, 2017.

On TVB, the female host said that there has not been a lot of reactions to the co-location proposal. Co-location Concern Group member Leung Ka-chi said that this was because the government is exaggerating the situation and misleading people. He said that if this precedent creates an opening with the government giving up its rights, then the government may proceed to give up other rights such as letting the Central Government taking care of Article 23 (National Security). He criticized the government for addressing only efficiency issues and never addressing the "costs" in the form of challenges to the judicial system.

He said that if the focus is on efficiency, then why not look for maximum efficiency? "Why not eliminate the mainland-Hong Kong border? Why not let mainlanders come down to Hong Kong at will, so that each High Speed Rail train will be packed full? But that would not be acceptable to the people of Hong Kong. In other words, there are some bottom lines that must be defended. There are some bottom lines that we will not cross." He said that the people of Hong Kong is "looking at a government proposal that appears to have crossed a bottom line."

He recommended that 5 to 10 immigration/customs/quarantine checkpoints be set up in the mainland High Speed Rail network. He said that the Hong Kong and Central Government ought to be willing to work together on this.

- (Wikipedia) Beijing-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail

The major railway stations along this route are Beijing West, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou East, Wuhan, Changsha South, Lechang East, Guangzhou South, Shenzhen North and West Kowloon. There are 37 minor stops along the way.

Here is the projected High Speed Rail network by year 2020:

Where are those 5 to 10 major checkpoints along the way? There are almost 30 places in the map. How do you get to the places that don't have checkpoints?

- Suppose the 5 checkpoints are in Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chongqing, Shanghai and Beijing. If you want to go to Shijiazhuang, you will have to take the train to Beijing, get cleared and take another train back to Shijiazhuang. The extra time and money that you waste are worth it, because the future of the Hong Kong Basic Law depends on it, thus spake Leung Kai-chi.

- (Apple Daily) July 30, 2017.

Leung Kai-chi also said that the Hong Kong government is misrepresenting the examples of co-location elsewhere. For example, the US Customs/Border Patrol agents in Canada are not authorized to arrest anyone in accordance with American laws. Passengers can turn around and leave if they are not satisfied with anything. Such guarantees are not present in the proposed West Kowloon version.

- If the US Customs/Border Patrol finds an electric stun gun and two kilograms of cocaine in my luggage at Toronto Pearson, I can just turn around and leave.  This is a very useful piece of information to know.

- If they randomly pick 1% of passengers for baggage inspection, all I have to do is send 100 mules to carry drugs. 99 will go through uninspected. 1 will be inspected but can turn around and leave. This is a no-risk business.

- (CCTV) August 1, 2017. On the 90th birthday of the People's Liberation Army, Xi Jinping gave a speech. When he came to stating that no person, organization, political party or group will be permitted to take any piece of land away from China, the audience burst into loud applause.

- This statement is directed to those who think that Hong Kong land belongs to the Hong Kong Nation and must never be ceded to the foreign occupation power known as China (Chee-na).

- (SCMP) Fearmongering over mainland officials in West Kowloon terminus kicks off hot, silly summer. By Michael Chugani. August 1, 2017.

Its going to be a long, hot and emotionally draining summer of taking sides. Which are you on?

The loyalist side which trusts that mainland officials will only perform routine immigration duties in areas they control at the West Kowloon express railway terminus? Or the side that fears Beijing has far more ominous intentions by enforcing mainland law in the heart of our city?

Where you stand depends on whether you are a patriot who believes the motherland wants only good for the city or a cynic convinced our communist masters aim to swallow freedom-loving Hong Kong bit by bit.

I dont know whether to fear mainland laws enforced on Hong Kong soil. The opposition must convince me it isnt painting Beijing as a bogeyman ahead of a by-election necessitated by the ousting of six of its legislators.

Former legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yees warning that mainland officials could nab Hongkongers if they go near the terminus smacks of fearmongering.

But I also find far-fetched the governments assertion the mainland must enforce all its laws, not just immigration, customs and quarantine, in West Kowloon to stop bad guys from fleeing to seek sanctuary here.

Some efforts to sway public opinion have been downright silly. Martin Lee Chu-ming, a Basic Law drafter, claimed that if Beijing can lease part of West Kowloon it can lease a chunk of Central to enforce mainland laws against future Occupy uprisings.

It takes a huge leap of the imagination to take that seriously. But lets suppose it happens.

Who would enforce mainland law in Central occupied by thousands of protesters? The PLA garrison here? If protesters refuse to budge, would soldiers open fire like they did during the Tiananmen crackdown?

Even if they arrest protesters, how would they transport them to face trial on the mainland? Force them onto trains or ships while a stunned media records it for a global audience?

Its going to be a long summer. And also a silly one.


- Hong Kong University School of Law professor Johannes Chan said that when the government disclosed the co-location arrangement, it misled people by using the analogy of owner-renter. When you rent out a place, you do not rent out your management rights. He also said that no place in the world would cut off a section of the city center as boundary.

- If a landlord rents out a property to someone, he wouldn't be renting out the management rights? What does that mean?

Does the landlord dictate where the bed and sofas shall be placed?
Does the landlord dictate when the television set must be turned off and which channels can be watched?
Does the landlord dictate when lights go out at night?
Does the landlord dictate what foods can be cooked?
Does the landlord dictate what you are allowed to do in bed?
...

- Question: What place in the world cut off a section of the city center as boundary?

Answer: Hong Kong. And I am not talking about West Kowloon!

Explanation: The section of Hong Kong that was cut out was the Kowloon Walled City, a 2.6 hectare China-owned enclave in the middle of British-leased New Territories.

More at Occupy Central Part 8


More at:

Occupy Central Part 1 (001-100)
Occupy Central Part 2 (101-200)
Occupy Central Part 3 (201-300)
Occupy Central Part 4 (301-400)
Occupy Central Part 5 (401-500)
Occupy Central Part 6 (501-600)
Occupy Central Part 7 (601-700)

Occupy Central Part 8 (701-)

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