When Lam is in a jam she mince's her words
Most people would agree that effective politicians need to be good communicators in order to communicate their intentions, to rally support for the plans and ambitions they wish to enact on behalf of their electors. At least in a democracy this is how it generally works. It's about creating and nurturing the necessary narrative, that respectfully responds to critics, that earns respect, and overcomes barriers. A leader who cannot lead, who does not reassure and inspire trust in the majority of people will most certainly face growing difficulty in office, votes of no confidence and even being voted out of government!
In HK, however, the government's COVID-19 response is being seen by many to amount to mass surveillance, data privacy breeches & human rights violations. The city's legislators are finding that HK people are no longer giving their consent to be ruled over by CCP and their minions the HK elites!
It's well known that Hong Kong (HK) Chief Executive (CE) Carrie Lam has very low public opinion ratings, and the latest news is they have dropped another 5 percent. Despite being a puppet for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) she clearly is not being given good advice about either WHAT to say, or WHEN to say it (see our blog: Propping up Leader Lam). Her and a few of the Executive Council (ExCo) need to learn about the virtues of keeping their mouth shut. It's not clear whether her ratings would improve if she had more positive things to say, or whether speaking with sincerity would in itself improve the situation.
We should remember that in March 2017 Carrie Lam was selected as the next Chief Executive by a 'selection committee' comprised of just 1,194 HK people all hand picked and approved by CCP. Lam won 777 'selection' votes - which equates to roughly 0.1% of HK people!
WTPOHK believe that continually parrotting obviously false CCP narratives and supporting their fabrication ad infinitum, will never earn these politicians the respect or support they hope for from the majority of Hongkongers living in the SAR. Similarly, such behaviour does not inspire goodwill, faith and confidence from many other people and businesses who remain its stakeholders despite being considered "outsiders" and "foreign forces" meddling in the city's affairs.
This week we had wildly arrogant comments from Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng stating that the people of HK must listen to her 'perpetual truths', making the suggestion that ordinary people do not know how to respect the law. Well, perhaps it's true they don't wish to respect it? Is it their fault that it's so often been worded so vaguely, applied so absurdly, and that the National Security Legislation (NSL) has been foist upon them by central government without any of the due consultation? What's to respect?
At the end of November 2020, when the CE gave her annual policy address she announced plans to proceed with HK's most expensive infrastructure project to date: building a large artificial island off Lantau at an estimated cost of at least $624 billion HK dollars (US$80,51 billion, €67,61 billion). Lam has been reported to have said "the territory will push forward" with the 'Lantau Tomorrow Vision' development project (LTV). This attempt to address an apparent shortage of land was announced despite long held environmental and cost concerns, that have been previously voiced in LegCo and elsewhere.
Did the CE mean that it was "a government" collective decision, one made by ExCo, one made unilaterally by herself, or a decision handed down from on high by a superior power? Certainly the public were not recently consulted afresh on the matter - they already turned the project down in consultations held a couple of years back!
WTPOHK are not the only ones wondering who is pulling the strings here? Several commentators have noted Beijing's entanglement in the city's infrastructure and development plans. Neither are our queries something new, as the murky overlap of HK's urban planning intiatives and those of CCP for the greater Pearl Delta become more obvious!
What is most interesting to this observer is the CE's obfuscation in defending what is clearly a questionable budget initiative. She made her attitude towards democratic procedures so unclear, that we are rightly suspicious of her authority and wisdom in pushing such a huge and long term financial undertaking for the SAR. Alarmingly, there are even some critics who say the LTV is entirely unnecessary!
"Of course, as for every government initiative, we want to proceed with consensus. But, unfortunately, in every place, particularly in Hong Kong, it is quite a luxury to ask for a complete consensus," she said. "if you ask me, I would say the Lantau Tomorrow Vision is wonderful for Hong Kong."
Who is to decide whether HK can afford 'a luxury' or not?
What if the majority of HK people want 'complete consensus' in government? Is the CE right to deny the public of HK things that go hand in hand with 'consensus', such as discussion, negotiation or agreement?
If we are not to have "a complete consensus" what are we being given instead? A partial consensus??? Is there such a thing??
Why are so many of HK's democratic processes lacking substance and failing under pressure?
Clearly the CE has chosen to ignore public opinion, and move her government further along an unpopular path. She minces words and expects to get away with it! In reality a lack of consensus by dictionary definition either means there is NOT A MAJORITY in favour, or there remains in the city widespread indecision and conflict about this crucial issue.
People must understand that it's NOT as if the CE has a problem with using English correctly, or that as a second (or foreign) language speaker we are to forgive her for grammatical incorrectness, or poor choice of words. No! Her obfuscation, is akin to such tools of twisted and sinister regimes as propaganda, censorship, fake mythology, terror and threats, coercion, gaslighting, assasination, computer hacking, systemic violence, suppression, incarceration, torture and genocide.
The CE's choice of words are all part of a scheming deliberate evasion of the truth!
Carrie Lam is a stubborn leader, and Hong Kong has a broken system. We recommend this QUARTZ article by Mary Hui & Dan Kopf for greater insight into HK's evolving projection of state power through the use of language.
If the people of HK are not to be consulted, if their opinions and grievances are not to be considered or heard in a legitimate fashion, then the best solution is to vote the beligerent government out. Therein lies the problem!
Under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 21.3. "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
In case you are wondering why LegCo legislators have not removed the CE by a vote of no confidence, one only has to look at events in December 2019 when a motion to unseat the CE was unsuccessful. Getting a majority vote in both the FUNCTIONAL and GEOGRAPHIC constituencies in the house has thus far proven impossible as the former is stacked with so called 'elites' - pro-business, pro-Beijing, pro-CCP legislators. It's a historical legacy that is past its 'use-by date', that continues to hobble democratic progress and process in the SAR. (For more detail on this, read our blog: Hong Kong is being throttled).
Further, Carrie Lam defies HK legislation with 'No universal suffrage until HK gets politics right'. She has assumed an authoritarian mantle that dictates there will be no change or progress in the SAR until it's agreeable - presumably to her and CCP!
"Right to participate in public life
Every permanent resident shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of
the distinctions mentioned in article 1(1) and without unreasonable restrictions-
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen
(b) to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by
universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing
the free expression of the will of the electors;
(c) to have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in Hong
Lam has NOT, despite HK legislation HKBORO article 21, recognised the legitimate rights of HK people to vote using universal and equal suffrage.
On 24 November 2019 District Council elections, were held and these were won in a landslide by pro-democrats, reflecting very clearly the will of the people of the SAR. It is notable that these are the only HK elections currently carried out by universal and equal suffrage and that the CE is yet to recognize and accept the results! There are continuing conflicts between the councils, the elected representatives and the HK government which remain unresolved.
Furthermore, Lam postponed 6 September 2020 Legislative Council elections (which are not universal and equal suffrage). At Lam's request the CCP's National Peoples Congress intervened to remove 4 pro-democratic lawmakers which resulted in all pro-democratic lawmakers resigning from the Legislative Council.
The people of HK are done with being patient with their incompetent and underhand CE.
The more CE Lam and her government, and its agencies like the HK Police show disrespect and contempt for the people of the city, the more that will eventually have to be done to mend the damage they inflict. This assumes, of course, that HK never falls into that mire of becoming a lost cause. History will tell, as we now witness, that Lam and her cohort will never be known for good, only for their tyranny.
RTHK 17 December 2020 'We are blessed to have Xi Jinping: Tung Chee-hwa'
RTHK 17 December 2020 'Public must hear my perpetual truths: Teresa Cheng'
Hong Kong Free Press 12 November 2020 'Explainer: How – and why – Hong Kong’s legislative opposition ground to a halt'
Quartz 16 December 2020 'This is the year Hong Kong began speaking the Communist Party’s authoritarian language'