While we’re waiting for something interesting to happen…

Although it is publishing only a ‘holiday edition’ with limited coverage of the Mainland during the National Day period, today’s Hong Kong edition of China Daily offers an embarrassment of anti-Civic Party and anti-Court of First Instance commentary. For an at-a-glance summary, take the editorial cartoon…

‘ROA’ here means right of abode; ‘FDH’ means foreign domestic helpers. The battering ram perhaps has a sharp, pencil-like point in order to convey the futility of the maids’ quest for permanent residency, or perhaps because the artist doesn’t know how a battering ram works. (I sympathize with his problem drawing shoes – they’re tricky.) By China Daily standards this is a side-splittingly funny example of the genre. 

Anyone in doubt about the party line need look no further than the report on former Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung’s comments about the court’s failure in considering “only the literal meaning of the term ‘ordinary residence’ without referring to the legislative intent of the Basic Law”. Echoing her insistence that the matter be referred to Beijing for interpretation is the mouth-frothing Lau Nai-keung, who bemoans the court’s simplistic pursuit of “common law logic”. For reasons best known to themselves, it seems, the (mostly Mainland) drafters of the Basic Law intended Hong Kong’s constitution to mean something different from or additional to what they put in the text, but you only find out after a court ruling that upsets the government. 

At the bottom of the paper’s daily round-up of the Communist Party- and tycoon-controlled press comes a piece from Da Kung Pao on the plot by former Chief Secretary Anson Chan and her Civic Party running dogs to sabotage the Hong Kong government by dismissing former Constitutional Affairs Secretary Stephan Lam’s capabilities as a replacement for Henry Tang as CS. To quote the writer: “…if it’s true as the opposition parties say, that Lam is ‘incompetent’, then they should be happy about it.” Which of course they are. Proof that there are some things we can all agree on.

It is tempting to read something into Chief Executive Donald Tsang’s decision to replace outgoing Executive Council Convenor CY Leung – offering himself as the next CE – with the administration’s omniscient, all-purpose pliable appointee, Ronald Arculli. It could be seen as a slap in the face to CY, as if to say “we have so little regard for you that we’re giving your former title to this old guy who already holds 723 other pointless government positions.” But it’s probably a seniority thing. The Precedence List doesn’t give a clue, though I’m shocked – indeed horrified – that as of 10am this morning the Protocol Office still hadn’t updated the Exco Convenor’s name, even though CY’s resignation took effect yesterday.

They have updated the Exco membership web page, and what a depressing sight it is.

We have here, the non-officials: two (not overly fanatical) pro-Beijing loyalists (one a pro-democrat turncoat); one distinctly non-honourable New Territories godfather; three very tame pro-democrat/independent types; no fewer than five out-and-out shoe-shining, mutually idolizing Friends of Donald, including Ron Arculli; just one former wife of Dickson Poon (a statistical fluke – you would expect more in a random sample of three middle-aged Hong Kong women); and one fund manager best known for eating just one meal a day (that’s V Nee down at the bottom). Can you name them all, boys and girls? There are schools in Hong Kong that require kids to learn them off by heart for Civics class. 

And these are the flattering photos…

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20 Responses to While we’re waiting for something interesting to happen…

  1. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    If CE was determined by ear size length alone, Che Hung Leong and Wong Far Lau would be the two front runners. I’d give it to Lau – sorry, Leong, but the Dr in your title doesn’t get you ahead.

    That said, Anna Wu could be the dark horse in that sort of competition. Who knows what sort of lobes she’s packing under there?

    Of course, ear sizing is no way to determine the ruling class unless you live on Easter Island. Rather, CE should go to Exco member who most resembles a chipmunk. Kong Wah Lau or Anthony Cheung? Tough choice.

  2. Revolution says:

    I wonder how many people who are frothing at the mouth about the Maids judgment have actually read it?

    It’s worth a look, actually, if only for the section at the beginning which is a polite two fingers up to those who were lobbying for a particular decision in the media.

  3. Iffy says:

    Johnson Lam’s judgment was outstanding, an example of the very best our legal system has to offer. That cartoon, in contrast, is bad on so many levels that I don’t know where to start.

  4. stephen says:

    That list is too depressing to comment on.

    Found myself watching the Pearl Report (I know I know) last night. Nice little piece about the upcoming CE “selection”

    One little piece I did not know is The Horseman is heavily rumoured to have been playing away (from Mrs Horse).

    Now remembering my bible, but not half as well as Weasel, The Kwok’s et al, isn’t that a no and in a political sense (except France) isn’t this also a no. I do hope the press will be lustfully reporting this when The Horseman declares his candidacy.

  5. maugrim says:

    Stephen. Its not so unusual for a stallion to stray into an adjacent paddock in HK, but its considered to be poor form only if caught. After the fuss dies down its business as usual.

  6. Revolution says:

    It has been rumoured that Henry has been carrying on with Shirley whats-her-name, his former assistant who has been appointed as head of the Chamber of Commerce (as Hemlock pointed out, it would appear that actual commercial experience is not necessary to head such a body).

    The profile of the CE candidates in the SCMP last weekend actually mentioned this rumoured affair, which was a bit mischevious for them.

  7. maugrim says:

    I suddenly realise that I need a JP. Perhaps its all part of a cunning plan to make the horse seem well, less nerdy? After all, with Leong Che Hung and other trendsters as friends he may need all the help he can get.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    Those are not shoes: they are flip-flops.

  9. Crabapple says:

    Despite the presence of one or two not-certifiably-vomit-inducing toadies, that is about as inbred a bunch of HK elites as one could possibly assemble. Oh, the horror! The horror!

  10. Big Al says:

    Oh, I don’t know, Crabapple. Marjorie looks like a bit of a babe to me, but then again, she’s not up against much competition – Laura and Anna have clearly become ExCo Members upon reaching a certain weight. As for the blokes, LEONG Che-hung looks embalmed, CHEUNG Bing-leung has one of those smug faces you wouldn’t get tired of punching (Like St Stephen) and LAU Kong-wah looks like his image has been created using one of those face-distorting Photobooth options on the iMac – surely he doesn’t really look like that?

  11. The Regulator says:

    It is possible and normal for the human mind to hold two conflicting opinions at once: the FDH case judgment says that it is not about discrimination but that every sovereign state has the right to exclude foreign nationals.

  12. Iffy says:

    Big Al: a google image search for Marjorie Yang will put a swift and brutal end to such optimistic appraisals…

  13. paul says:

    The Chiba Daily piece by Lau Nai-keung raises troubling issues.
    1. If he is, as claimed, a member of the Commission for Strategic Development he seems to have little understanding of Hong Kong legal principles.
    2. One moment he appears to accept the Basic Law can be changed then warns the “Dissidents” of the dangers. Who are these Dissidents? He is a closet supporter of the FDH’s?
    3. He seems to not have read the judgement, which was an excellent statement of relevant principles.
    4. What facts/principles is it suggested the hacks in Beijing take into account when overturning the judgement?

  14. Real Tax Payer says:

    I am now in China ( homeplace of the “awful” CCCCCCCCCCCP)’ where life runs along at it’s own happy pace and oblivious to the SCANDALS

  15. Real Tax Payer says:

    Sorry – my just-bought-today local -made Chinese keyboard misbehaved..

    I was saying …

    Back here in China where life seems to chug along quite happily despite ” despotic” leadership, I feel somewhat divorced from the problelms of HK

    But when I looked at the EXCO currentl line-up I got a real shock ! Are these the bafoons who run the place these days ?

    No wonder we have such f – [censored] awful decisions coming out recently, “fully endorsed” I assume by EXCO who must bear collective responibility for their executive – govt colleages’ decsions eg 2011 budget ( now that’s a bigger farce than the CEelction)

    I’m just waiting for Don-the-U-turn to renage on his decision re weasel Lam to complete the charade

  16. Pete says:

    “I am now in China … where life runs along at it’s own happy pace and oblivious to the SCANDALS”

    You say that as if it’s a good thing to be kept in the dark. It sounds like the plot of The Fat Years.

  17. Joe Blow says:

    what’s the big deal about The Horse and Mr. Lam ? No brains, no vision, no competence = no danger they will inflict any real damage, this way or that.

    It’s not like they can start wars or anything, like George W. Bush.

  18. r lloyd says:

    I propose from now on we refer to the Horse as “the adulterer Henry Tang” in all circumstances

  19. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Joe Blow:

    Too true ! Too true !

    PS : Is Hemlock on-line today ? Henry’s extra-maritial affairs are juicy stuff .

  20. John Wright says:

    If things continue to go wrong for the Government in the FDH case, perhaps China Daily will resort to the Ching Dynasty era cartoon portraying a pig faced foreigner tied to a post being pierced with arrows from bows wielded by Middle Kingdom patriotic heroes.

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