Another weekend in Asia’s Small-Protest Hub

Hong Kong, city of tiny demonstrations, was busy over the weekend. A march organized by the hitherto unheard-of Caring Hong Kong Power opposing right of abode for foreign maids was intercepted by radicals, students and young post-80s activists denouncing racism. In the resulting clash (to use the Standard’s word), people moved and climbed over barriers and police pulled a League of Social Democrats member’s hair while arresting him.

Hong Kong is accustomed to parallel gatherings, like the (morning) pro-Beijing and (afternoon) July 1 events. And anti-government movements have occasionally prompted contrived Astroturf-style parades by supposedly average people demanding, say, passage of Article 23 security laws or construction of the underground high-speed rail link to Shenzhen. But – even if not exactly on a par with anti-Gaddafi rebels pouring into Tripoli – physical street confrontations between groups holding opposing views on particular political issues are a rarity.

Although they seemed concerned solely about brown-skinned people getting right of abode (at least there’s no word of their views on the thousands of whites who qualify) the Caring Hong Hong Power folk denied that they were racist. Perhaps this is so, because the main object of their ire, as is so often the case in this controversy, were the pale, fragrant and powdered-skinned Civic Party. The protestors showed a less ‘Caring’ side by stamping on effigies of the hapless CP members (who should be flattered – effigies are a sure sign that you have arrived).

The real-life CP members were off on another mini-demonstration, this one decrying police handling of Vice-Premier Li Keqiang’s visit last week, and specifically demanding that Chief Secretary Henry Tang apologize for calling criticism of the security measures ‘rubbish’. The Democratic Party mounted a rival mini-protest on the same subject, but this time demanding that Tang withdraw the remark. No violence between proponents of these two widely differing views was reported.

To sort out any confusion, our good friend senior current affairs commentator Joseph Yeung in China Daily reveals what the various critics of the above-averagely tight security arrangements are really doing…

“The people of Hong Kong,” he continued, “were particularly encouraged and excited by the boosts as well as the great incentives package from the central government.”

It’s the anti-police protestors’ fault that you didn’t notice.

On the subject of incentives packages, it’s not just gyms and central governments that hand them out: the Hong Kong authorities are finally ready to distribute the anxiously awaited free, no-commitment-necessary, special HK$6,000 Tedium Bonus, to be given to every (permanent) resident in recognition of their extreme patience and forbearance. My own building management’s communications committee – the pajama-clad spinster Ms Lam from the 3rd floor – usually sticks up any official-looking poster that arrives without question, but even she took an interest in the most recent one, taping it to the foyer wall with special care and relish.

If this doesn’t ease the mounting social pressure, what will? You’ve been messed around. You’ve put up with years and years of incompetence, buffoonery and general idiocy. You’ve been sorely tested. In view of which, you’ve been offered a little something to make you feel better, and maybe induce you to shut up, but at a date long ahead in the future while complex, Operation Overlord-style logistics are organized. Now, here is what you’ve been waiting for.

The elderly, out of deference to their potential for violence when there’s a freebie going, get served first.

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18 Responses to Another weekend in Asia’s Small-Protest Hub

  1. Sir Crispin says:

    Are these anti-abode protestors grandfathered into the system, or is it too late to protest they or their parents arrival from the mainland during Mao’s great ideas?

    “You want abode, ask the indigenous locals with their free land and illegal additions to their country houses? Get the hell out of here and take your (before the one-child policy) kids with you!”

    Maybe this city would still be around 1 million people and traffic wouldn’t be jammed up into the Central harbour tunnel if they hadn’t been allowed to stay. Hypocrites!

  2. Maugrim says:

    To be fair, locals are just as scathing if not more so, about mainland immigrants, particularly if they end up on CSSA benefits. Perhaps people are more tolerant of whities as they are more likely to be one of the few actually paying income tax. The ‘caring’ HK group would however be a lot more caring if by chance whitey or others had affected Chinese dignity on anything that might remotely have been linked to ‘racism’. The anniversary of the sad events in Manila last yaer will provide an interesting example.

    By the way, I didn’t quite catch what the nes said about some other, new protest group aimed at the middle class? Things are starting to get interesting to say the least.

  3. Stephen says:

    With regard to the “brown-skinned people getting right of abode” I tuned in last night to ATV’s Newsline to see (Host) Michael Chugani get absolutely thrashed, on his own show, by the (Guest) Liberal Party’s Selina.

    Come on Chugani, the bigoted reasoning that Selina spewed out left her there for the taking and by asking the right questions you could delivered the knock out blow.

    “Expatriate whitey” lives here for 7 years gets ROA, Mainlander Chinese lives here for 7 years gets ROA, Brown skinned person (who happens to be a domestic helper) lives here for 7 years does not get ROA. Which one is it Selena – skin colour or job ?

  4. Joe Blow says:

    Whitey -for one thing- pays tax. And when little brown sister -who never pays any tax- gets ROA and moves up from DH to sandwich lady at Pret-A-Manger, she still pays no tax. And when her extended family moves from the village in the Peens to Tuen Mun, it is whitey and all the other tax payers who have to pay for their up-keep.

  5. Real Tax Payer says:

    When and HOW will I ever get my HK$6 K ?

  6. chopped onions says:

    I would like BJ to explain to this dumb-assed tax paying kind of whitey exactly how I would be paying for little sisters family’s upkeep. Is it a different kind of up keep to the one I’m presumably paying for everyone else in similar financial circumstances?

  7. Sir Crispin says:

    Just marry a Filipina, cut out the middle man and support her extended family anyway! Now before people jump down my throat, I am married to one and I have helped put her younger sisters through nursing school. But I have ulterior motives…I expect them to provide care for me in my senior years!

  8. The Regulator says:

    Form S6K-1(E for Eligible) is the form one fills out to get HKD6,000.

    The eligibility date is 31 March 2012 for all those who hold or are entitled to hold, Hong Kong Permanent Resident Cards.

    This Court case by a Domestic Helper will run and run, well past that date; and even if it loses, the Government will save HKD6,000.

  9. darovia says:

    JB has fallen for the same dumb-assed cr*p that our policians are spewing. That situation would not arise. Our brown sister working on Pret wages would never be able to show to the Immigrastasi that she could support an extended family in HKG. Therefore they would not get permission to enter as dependents. QED.

  10. Real Tax Payer says:

    Well, here’s one “Whitey” who pays tax ( and LOT of tax) so I have the right to speak

    I earned my ROA by doing my 7 years “hard time” here , working and paying LOTS OF TAX . Heck .. I was working for a QUANGO so no way to avoid paying my due amount of tax

    But then , when I finally applied for my ROA, I dicovered that I in fact had automatic ROA via my Chinese native-born HK wife whom I met and married in the West from the day I landed !

    Has no-one yet learned of the “fake marriage” deal, which is how goodness knows how many Mainland girls get their ROA

    And maybe also Mainland guys ?

    The going price is about HK$50 K for a fake marriage

    Pre – 1997 anyone who knew anything about HK could have predicted a huge rise in immigration from the Mainland via the fake marriage scam ( rougly half a million over the next 10 years after 1997 , which did not include another half million of Mainland immigrants via real marriages )

    But is that a bad thing ?

    I say NO ! REPEAT NO !

    Because anyone from the Mainland – or from ANYWHERE -with the guts and gumption to save up HK$50 K and the determination to last out the 5 – 7 years needed to finally get her/ his ROA / PID , during which time she/he cannot work, is one day going to make a BIG POSITIVE difference to our HK society, just as did the huge wave of immigrants in the early 50’s, and even the II’s in the 60’s under the touch-base policy when they had to swim here

    I personally know one guy who swam here with one other guy who is now a top media big-wig, and who is making a big (positive) difference to our society ( and paying his taxes)

    HK is an IMMIGRANT society, and IMMIGRANTS make the difference , just as Asian ( mostly Chinese, or Vietnamese) are now making the difference in the USA, UK, Europe, or whatever country

    I do not care what colour skin anyone has

    If my hard-working , totally honest, dedicated Indonesian Maid (“Amah” ) can earn the right to live here, then she also will one day make a difference – a huge POSITIVE DIFFERENCE – to our basically immigrant society.

    I just bought a pizza from the new Piaosona’s pizza place by Wanchai MTR and found out that almost all the empoyees are Nepalese ! GREAT ! They make great pizzas and they MAKE THE DIFFERENCE to HK

    But just for the dirty secrets record : there was a scam going on in the 1990’s ( and probably still now ) : the financial bigwigs , property developers, whatever would pay for a really beautiful Mainland girl to come to HK . They would set her up in a really beautiful apartment and every guy could enjoy her “sexual company” individually as and when “booked”.

    At the end of a fixed period ( I assume it was the time for her to earn her ROA/ PID) any one of the big wigs could bid for the right to maintain her as his permanent mistress, kept in seclusion

    The big wigs in this scam include many members of REDA , who now, suddenly ! ( suprise suprise) find that that they have a huge PR problem …. very negative

    So that is a very sad reflection on who actually runs HK these days

    Give me a few more Mainlanders, or Amahs, or whatever (Russian bar girls ? ) with the guts and gumption to get here by hook or by crook , regardless of their skin color

    Racism is a NO NO . Guts and gumption are are BIG YES

  11. David Duke says:

    You make a good point about your hard-working, dedicated Indonesian helper. No doubt your confidence in her will persist right up to the day you discover she has added her menstrual blood to your scrambled eggs in order to ward off evil spirits.

  12. Baldleon says:

    @ Stephen:

    “Expatriate whitey” lives here for 7 years gets ROA, Mainlander Chinese lives here for 7 years gets ROA, Brown skinned person (who happens to be a domestic helper) lives here for 7 years does not get ROA. Which one is it Selena – skin colour or job ?

    neither – the issue is “only place of residence”

    “expat whitey” – either famiily is in hk or just self… hk is only place of rez
    mainlander chinese comes here – joins existing family in hk or just self… hk is only place of rez
    domestic helper (whether brown, pink, green) – remits portion of money to immediate family back home (i.e. outside hk)… retains family links outside hk

  13. Real Tax Payer says:

    Baldleon : You have good point and I must admit it had not occured to me .

    Yes, I came here 30 years ago thinking that I might eventually stay here all my life till my dying day, and be buried here. And on the way, pay my taxes, pay my rates and sues, and make my (tiny) contribution to society here

    So what say I ?

    Give it to the guts and gumption as I wrote before . If my Indonesian Maid has the guts and gumption to earn the right of PID by whatever means , fair or foul, by hook or by croock, she will make a positive difference here in little HK .

    We live in “interesting times” and the upcoming court case will be an eye-opener , I am sure

    I am free of any racial bias

    But I can one day ( not soon, but it will surely come) when the world’s poor and impoverished will be seeking to find a way to move to and live in China as a way to enrich their lives

    My company ( employer) has over 100 staff who are in the Mainland, and they all distain to live in HK because life is so good ( and so cheap ) in China

    That’s why, despite what ever human rights abuses there are in the PRC, it is now really becoming THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA , truly, and guys who run the Communist Party have a helluva lot more commonsense that the idiots running most of the rest of the world

    Which is why I may – if I am ever eligble – apply for admission to the Chinese Communist Party as a “whitey” : not because they are “Communist” in the Karl Marx sense (because of course they are totally capitalist by now ) , but because they know what is really good for China in the very … VERY.. long term , and THAT is THE greatest GOOD

    LONG LIVE CHINA ! THE PRC ! TO WHOM, NOW AS THE HK-SAR WE FOR EVER MUST BELONG

  14. Stephen says:

    Baldleon,

    Please compare;

    “domestic helper (whether brown, pink, green) – remits portion of money to immediate family back home (i.e. outside hk)… retains family links outside hk”

    “Expat whitey” (let’s call him Stephen) – remits portion of money outside HK (investment) … retains family links (Mother, Brother etc) outside HK.

    “Expat whitey” gets ROA Domestic helper does not. WHY? The answer is of course the immigration ordinance.

    But as a first world city should we not be looking to correct this legal anomily?

  15. Sir Crispin says:

    And I quote the movie Bulworth…’Procreative racial deconstruction…let’s bang each other until we are all the same colour.” Good idea, let’s get started.

  16. Baldleon says:

    @ Stephen:

    My understanding is that “immediate family” equals spouse and dependant children and excludes parents or siblings.

    My understanding also is that most domestic helpers will have such “immediate family members” back home and thus they are retaining their residential ties with the home country.

    On the other hand, my understanding is that most expat packages allow the spouses to join the expat in HK and provides a stipend for the dependant kids to go to school in HK. Hence the immediate family is in HK.

    If the spouse of the domestic helper comes to HK along with the kids as part of the package then perhaps there is an argument for establishing HK as a permanent place of residency. I am not aware that such packages are common.

  17. Real Tax Payer says:

    Well…. if anyone is still following this thread, about 90% of all top civil sevants use the govt allaowances to educate their kids in the west, and many ( most ?) of those kids never come back here to work ( and pay tax)

    So who has the most ROA in HK ?

    The whole govt are hyporites

    (bigLYCHEE : pleace can you put a spell-check in the blog? )

  18. Probably says:

    How does one define an immigrant as opposed to a resident? Is it migrants from China into HK since 1949, Europeans to the USA since 1776 or Normans into England after 1066? Suffice to say it is all one world and economic migration will occur whenever or wherever it is possible and there is sufficeint willingness on the part of the emigree. Hence sensible governments impose “controlled immigration” measures in order to allow the most meritocratous applicants the better opportunity based on ability not skin colour.

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