When old dogs should be put down
MANY of the controversial pronouncements and actions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Hong Kong (HK) government in recent years have NOT been based on THE LAW, SCIENCE, TRUTH, SOUND REASONING and CONSULTATION with HK people.
CCP spins its own falsehoods and uses them to justify authoritarian legislation and executive action. On top of this, lawmakers in HK's Legislative Council (LegCo), some of whom whose only mandate to be in the role came by virtue of wonky electoral laws, have postured without a real understanding of the issues, or of how their voting and actions or inaction would impact ordinary HK people.
I was somewhat taken aback and more than a little miffed by recent pronouncements on electoral 'reform' in HK. Who exactly has been the driver of the suggested changes, who has propped up and supported the mooted 'reform'? Key amongst those vocal politicists has been 66year old Former Chief Executive (CE) of HK, C Y Leung.
I am not saying that there is not a need for electoral reform - I am obviously in favour of measures that strengthen the SAR's promised autonomy, and that grant equal and universal suffrage to its citizens. I am not the first person to state that the 'reforms' put forth by CCP are nothing short of REGRESSION - a backward step for the SAR, rather than measures that will improve democracy in the city.
There are many in HK who were rather glad to be rid of CY Leung as the city's third Chief Executive when his first term in office ended in 2017. At that time he was given a role in the CCP's United Front and later moved on to other party roles.
HK people have had to swallow bitter pills one CE after another since the handover!
Mr Leung may affectionately be referred to as 'CY', but there is not really much affection for him in the SAR at all. There was quite a scandal surrounding him at the time he left the role of CE, concerning the failure to declare a conflict of interest over a payment he had received from investment company UGL. It is notable that the Department of Justice at the time was caught in the crosshairs of criticism by the HK Bar Association for not seeking outside legal advice and making its own decision not to prosecute Mr Leung.
Well, time passed and the odour of rat did eventually dissipate! But not too quickly as Mr Leung was soon embroiled in other potential conflict of interest matters after joining newly established companies involved in CCP Belt and Road initiatives!!
CCP may have thought it was wise getting rid of its current bunch of ineffectual kow-towing HK lawmakers who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, but it has made a grave mistake of recruiting support from and listening instead to the harpings of its old spent croneys. These include Henry Tang, Maria Tam, Tung Chee-hwa and man of the moment, CY Leung. (See some of their public comments with links listed below) The charade of governance that involves priming the public with early media statements, then backing the eventual policy announcement up with further reinforcements to make it all a fait accompli is abundantly clear.
Hong Kong isn’t a copy of anyone’: ex-leader CY Leung says city’s unique system crafted by Beijing, should be respected (Yahoo! News/SCMP, 4 March 2021)
Mr Leung may well be liked and admired by mainland Chinese who have been 'brain-washed' and misled by CCP propaganda about the 2019 protests, what caused it, who led it, and how violent and disruptive the pre-Covid protests were. He famously offered a bounty of up to HK$1million for anyone who provides clues that aid the arrest of "national security law offenders", or to those who have information on "anyone who has fled the city". (RTHK, 30 June 2020).
WTPOHK is yet to find any reports stating WHERE that money came from (perhaps a source outside HK?), or how much of the reward has been paid out. Perhaps it has just been paid directly into the very needy HK Police Welfare Fund?
Mr Leung also took up the mantle of warrior for CCP to attack schools, teachers and principals in response to the 2019-2020 protests:
"This week, former city leader C.Y. Leung published personal information on 18 teachers allegedly charged for offenses related to the protests in a Facebook post – including their names, ages, and respective institutions – arguing that public interest overrides privacy concerns. Weeks before, Leung took the education authorities to court for failing to publicize the identities of teachers prosecuted for misconduct. The legal challenge has been criticized by education-sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, who likened it to Cultural Revolution-esque “political persecution” designed to weaponize the law against teachers, Apple Daily reports."
"Former Chief Executive CY Leung on Tuesday appeared to compare young Hongkongers taking part in anti-government protests to Islamic terrorists, suggesting they could be brainwashed to the extent that they would be willing to slaughter people in the streets....In an exclusive interview with RTHK, Leung said it couldn't be normal that hundreds of under 18s had been arrested during the territory's recent social unrest, and he believes teachers have been "radicalising" them."
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I thought it was ironic that Mr Leung stated his intention of reforming the HK electoral system to screen out "puppets of foreign governments" (RTHK, 12 March 2021) Why stop there? Shouldn't we weed out ALL puppets that are blindly obedient, unthinking, rubber-stamping, lawmakers that don't for a minute represent the people of HK? For a start, CE Carrie Lam must go as she has been a puppet for CCP from her first day in office.
We often hear about the dreaded foreign influence apparently poisoning the SAR, but it's just one of those rather silly CCP narratives that has been repeated and taken out of context. There was a time when HK was considered "Asia's world city" and even now the SAR works because of its international connections. Mr Leung, apparently, is impervious to any "foreign" infiltration though he clearly has some foreign connections.
Mr Leung has been making noises about a possible return to the role as Chief Executive for another term in office. (CNA, 3 March 2021) Whether this is all part of a genuine campaign for a political comeback is difficult to judge. He remains intensely unpopular with HK people, no matter how much those in Beijing might wish to give him the nod.
Perhaps these moves and speeches are all just a subtle political ruse to make the current CE Carrie Lam or some other CCP protege seem more palatable to electors? Is HK destined to have a 'patriotic' mainlander as its next CE? Certainly, many commentators say the knives are out for CE Carrie Lam whose time left in the post is relatively short! (HKFP, 27 February, 2021)
There are various claims that C Y Leung himself gave support to Carrie Lam's nomination as candidate for the position as HK Chief Executive, though he supposedly did so surreptitiously so as not to poison her public perception.
It's much to CCP's shame that while every effort is being made to stamp out voices of dissent in HK, nothing is being done to stem backroom politics and cronyism....the old boys' network whereupon politicos win favour with unquestionable loyalty, showing patriotism - not to the nation and its people, BUT to the CCP who grants them favours.
Getting rid of HK's so-called 'kingmakers', the city's tycoons who have since the handover influenced the outcome of both elections and resulting LegCo decision-making, does not go far enough. It goes without saying that reformed politics must be lawful and encompass universal and equal suffrage. Under the law no one person can have more influence than others. Politics ought to be about professionalism and leadership, discussion and debate, negotiation and concession, inspiration and motivation, intelligence and truth, not seniority nor favouritism.
CCP is merely installing its own totalitarian brand of governance in HK, and this is hardly likely to improve matters in the city.
Forget elephants and dogs! This is the REAL ANIMAL in the room that should be put down for good, to protect us all.
Pronouncements on HK electoral reform made by the OLD GUARD:
Tam Yiu-chung ...
HK electoral reform inevitable, Tam says, (China Daily, 16 January 2021)
Reform in line with Basic Law: Tam Yiu-chung, (RTHK, 5 March 2021)
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai ...
Former LegCo chief says electoral reform brings HK back from brink of collapse as West-defined democracy turned into power of destruction, (Global Times, 11 March 2021)
Henry Tang ...
Henry Tang: Beijing wants bigger, 'diverse' Legco (RTHK, 6 March 2021)
(Two sessions) Henry Tang: reforms on HK’s electoral systems won’t eliminate all pan-dems, (The Standard, 6 March 2021)
Andrew Leung ...
Pro-Beijing members hail planned election changes, (RTHK, 5 March 2021)
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We give our thanks to the many journalists who provide the evidence we draw upon to back up our opinion and experience of life in Hong Kong.
Other NEWS POINTS:
Nine articles outline sweeping electoral reforms (The Standard, 11 March 2021)