• wethepeopleofhk

All is well! HK protesters positive steps uphold the Joint Declaration

The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP), their minions and CCP's propaganda machine is designed to instill shame and fear into the hearts of their targets - be they Mongolians, Tibetians, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers (HK), Canadians, Americans or anyone and everyone!

CCP's current noise is the pathetic whimper of a Chinese nationalist "paper tiger"!

The only way for the whole world to respond is to pushback against CCP's rule BY law using our democractic rule OF law!

"All is well" is taken from the Indian movie "3 idiots" and is meant to calm our hearts whenever we are stressed out about something.

Here are some uplifting very positive moves recently being made / suggested by HKers!

Head of Southern District Council Councillor Lo Kin-hei (RTHK)

Councillors seek court review over debate block

RTHK 14 September 2020.

[WTPOHK Introduction: HK District Councils after 24 November 2019 landslide victory 17 of 18 districts are now controlled by pro-democratic District Councillors who support HK protesters 5 demands and they are pushing back hard against CCP and HK government! Under the ICCPR and UDHR the only HK universal and equal suffrage elections are for District Councils - therefore District Councils represent the will of the people under UDHR! HK's Legislative Council (LegCo) does NOT have universal and equal suffrage elections and therefore LegCo must be closed and restructured before it can function].

The head of the Southern District Council has applied for a judicial review after a Home Affairs Department worker refused to facilitate discussion about police conduct surrounding the arrest of a man with autism.

The attempt by council chairman Lo Kin-hei again highlights the acrimonious relationship between the government and local councils dominated by pro-democracy politicians.

The legal bid is linked to a refusal by a Home Affairs Department worker to arrange a discussion after councillor Tiffany Yuen requested the council to consider the man's arrest in Causeway Bay June, during an anti-government protest.

The man's family have insisted he was not a protester and had merely got off a bus in the area when he was arrested.

Lo then agreed for the matter to be put on the agenda.

But the secretary to the council, Priscilla Yip, said the issue was not something for members to deal with. She didn't circulate any relevant papers in advance of the meeting or allocate discussion time for the matter.

On the day of the meeting last summer, all the government officials walked out as councillors began discussing the arrest.

In his application for a judicial review, Lo said the secretary had failed to perform her duty.

He said the matter was clearly relevant to Southern District Council, because the arrested man was from the area, and as policing is a public service, the council is entitled to pass its views on this to the government.

Lo also said Yip had sought to usurp or limit the council’s power by failing to carry out her duties, including recording the discussions.

Lo also wanted to know whether the secretary had made her own decisions over the matter, or whether she was told what to do by the government.

The police chief, Chris Tang, appeared in a number of district council meetings in the past year and was locked in fierce discussions with councillors over policing in the wake of the protests that began last year.

Heung Yee Kuk (Apple Daily)

Now is the best chance to reform the Heung Yee Kuk

Apple Daily 15 September 2020. Opinion by Alex Price

Imagine an organization run almost exclusively by men that can influence government policy-making, that colludes with gangsters to get its dirty work done, and which has a say in choosing the chief executive despite having fewer than 150 registered voters. An organization that is steadfastly against women being allowed to build village houses. An organization that has been led by a billionaire father and son dynasty for the past 40 years.

Welcome to the Heung Yee Kuk.

The kuk, as it’s known, was established in 1926 to represent the interests of indigenous villagers. It was later made a statutory advisory body, serving as a bridge between the government and rural communities. The original aims for the kuk were undoubtedly well-intentioned, but over the decades it has transformed into an empire of rural leaders: an old-boys' network of self-interests and money-making, with some distinctly dubious connections.

Here’s one example of how the emancipated, forward-looking kuk operates.

In 1898, Britain signed a 99-year lease on the New Territories, the extensive rural part of Hong Kong that borders mainland China. The British agreed that clan traditions would not be tampered with, and passed legislation barring women from inheriting land unless named in a will.

The situation remained unchallenged until 1994, when then-legislator Christine Loh moved a private member’s bill in an attempt to allow women villagers the same land-inheritance rights as men.

The Heung Yee Kuk protested vehemently, saying that granting women equal inheritance rights was interfering in rural issues. They even went so far as to send a 25-member delegation on a six-day visit to London to protest against the bill to the U.K. government – although who knows, maybe they just wanted to see the sights and have some jollies.

The bill was eventually passed with government backing however, much to the kuk’s chagrin.

But this is just one example of the kuk’s misogyny and selfishness. The Small House Policy, introduced in 1972, was created with – for the most part – good intentions. It was meant to improve housing standards in rural areas, and appease restless villagers following the 1967 riots.

The policy entitles descendants of indigenous people in the New Territories to build a [Ding] house of up to three storeys, with about 700 square feet per floor, without having to pay a land premium to the government. This means that by spending about USD700,000 to build it, you get a house worth around USD2.6 million – nice.

But it’s a men-only deal. Female villagers are not allowed to join in the fun. At this point alarm bells will be ringing for most reasonable people. In fact, this stunningly discriminatory piece of legislation is so, err, discriminatory, it has its own special exemption clause in the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.

And that’s not the only issue – remember the policy was intended to help villagers get a nice home for themselves. In reality, owners often sit on the land for five years, and then sell it at a profit to developers – an illegal process known as “flipping.”

Yet whenever the discriminatory and dodgy nature of the policy is raised, the kuk wrinkles up its face, spits out the dummy and wails about “interference in indigenous rights.”

And then there’s the matter of how the kuk is organised and operates. For 35 years it was led by the late Lau Wong-fat, who amassed a portfolio of over 700 plots of land and 40 buildings across the New Territories. He became a billionaire.

The words “interested”, “self” and “vested” spring to mind. When he stepped down in 2015 his seat was taken by his son Kenneth. If that’s not enough to get eyebrows raising, there have been endless allegations of under-the-table deals between the kuk and various administrations and officials, and of village leaders hiring triad thugs when they need some muscle. Indeed many see the distinction between the kuk and triads as being just shades of grey.

I would suggest the government now has a good opportunity to push for reform. Over the decades various administrations have looked to the kuk for support in rural areas, even as the organization frequently held the government to ransom for its own interests.

But the Carrie Lam administration has little to lose and plenty to gain. In the 2016 Legislative Council elections, two candidates won landslide victories by campaigning for land reform in the New Territories. Clearly the public are fed up with the kuk’s stranglehold on the matter, which prevents large-scale planned housing growth, adding to Hong Kong’s insanely high property prices.

Yes, the old boys will kick up a fuss, and will probably threaten to use their one seat in Legco as leverage against the government. But by pushing the kuk to change, the administration will win back some of the public faith it has lost in recent years. More importantly, it will address an organization that is over-ripe for transparency and reform, if indeed it is not already rotten.

(Alex Price is a journalist who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for over 30 years.)

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