I can’t remember the last time I got the knowing but strained look and the barely audible whisper, ‘NOOUD!’ ‘Not one of us, dear’ (or ‘darling’, depending on the company). But there it is, pretty much, in the Standard’s irresistibly nasty Mary Ma column’s comment that poor old former Executive Council convenor CY Leung “has failed to fit into the higher echelons of society.”
The Hong Kong media are reporting the outcome of the 2011 Election Committee Subsector Elections as news, maybe even big news – maybe a shock. Known or suspected supporters of CY Leung for Chief Executive won fewer seats in the electoral college than pro-democrats, let alone those who back former ex-Chief Secretary Henry Tang. And the silent, spineless and obedient undeclared majority are simply waiting to learn for sure who Beijing has decided will win the quasi-election next March, so they can cast their make-believe vote accordingly. In other words, barring a miracle, CY can’t even get enough nominations to be on the ballot.
But it’s not really news: it’s all part of the script. Presumably, headline writers have to join in the pretense that it’s not all rigged from start to finish and a one-party state might leave something to chance.
Scripts can of course be tossed away at short notice. Folks with long memories will recall a day in March 2005 when it became known that Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa was standing down and would be replaced, after a CE ‘election’ of course, by none other than Chief Secretary Donald Tsang, fresh from his belittling but triumphant urban hygiene project Team Clean. The pro-Beijing loyalists were reduced to tears (literally, in at least one case) to see their beloved Communist Party elevating a running dog of the British colonialists over their heads. But the most morose face that day, when Sir Bow-Tie was seen strolling into the office smirking and whistling the Chinese national anthem, was Henry’s.
The chances of seeing that twice in a lifetime are tragically slim. (Henry is like the Euro: common sense tells you it is a disaster and will inevitably fail; cynicism and experience tell you the people making the decisions regard the alternative as unthinkable, and so common sense must and will be denied, whatever the cost.)
Sunday’s strange little election – with its low turnout, partly non-human electorate and curiously concentrated blocs of votes seemingly orchestrated by a hidden hand – leaves CY Leung with few alternatives. He will carry on for a while, perhaps angling for broad public approval in the face of a growing number of tycoons, stars and fading bureaucrats coming out as Henry supporters. Maybe even come up with a platform (now there’s an idea).
Maybe he will go down fighting like a man, failing to get enough nominations but occupying the moral high ground in the public ratings. Or perhaps, encouraged by a tap on the shoulder, he will save face and side with Henry for the sake of harmony in a time of economic uncertainty, maybe even accepting a position in the new administration. Scripts can be flexible. You can even have a happy ending where the cheeky but loveable underdog ends up being accepted into the higher echelons of society.
NOOUD does exist in HK’s Chinese community, usually those in business related circles. Strange, given that some of those who would express such a sentiment have come from humble beginnings themselves, all airbrushed according to how much cash they presently have. Amusing when viewing the table manners and ghastly sense of fashion that some have.
Yes there were hidden hands involved in this weekends little charade and it is difficult to not to conclude that a higher being was involved (CCP). So done deal the Horseman wins but still a few interesting sub plots;
CY Leung’s poll ratings higher yet Horseman still wins will no doubt make for an agitated HK, especially if the economy goes south.
Jimmy Lai puts the Horseman’s illegitimate son and further details of his time on the stud farm in print to the horror of the born again’s (Donald, Ambrose, Stephen, Thomas / Raymond etc) and further erodes the Horseman’s approval ratings.
I forecast 5 years of utter incompetence in HK Governance that Beijing may come to rue.
Given his narcissistic predisposition, I think there is also option D: He will desperately reinvent himself as a pro-democracy candidate and go all out against the government (hoping that people will forget about the fact that he has been part of government for the past 14 years). Chameleon anyone?
I once came eye to eye with CY. He was stepping in (or out) of his expensive car, somewhere near the Government offices, and I was struck by the arrogant look I got from him. And I thought by myself: whatever you are, dude, you are not “a man of the people”.
I’m not a snob but I do detest my intellectual and social inferiors. Problem is in Hong Kong that they are all that way. Even the educated classes pick their noses behind the wheels of their Mercedes and never know how to dress. And a view of the decoration of their flats and houses is a positive pain. I try to stay in.
I’m just wondering whether the “coincidental” collapse of CY’s business empire was engineereed by Beijing somehow – just the sort of underhand thing they’d do. Another Lehman Brothers-like protest aimed at CY by those with zero value in their DTZ shares, thereby causing his ratings to fall below Henry’s. Result: Henry becomes the most popular candidate and the CE of choice by both the 1,200 AND the riff-raff. Beijing can thus claim the new CE puppet is supported by all Hong Kong people. Now, that’s what I call cunning!
Joe Public knows just what to make of these two candidates:
Henry Tang Ying Yen = “Hey ninny, get angry!”
Leung Chun Ying = Hugely cunning.
Sorry for my bad French but : Shit Fuck Bugger
If that daft smirking ‘enery gets in then we can all look forward to a disastrous 5 years, presided by the ‘orse and I guarantee that starting 2013 we are faced with a major economic downturn, both in China as well as HK ( look back at every post-dragon year 2-3 year period , except post 1976 when Mao died, and when things went up under Deng Xiao Ping – my REAL hero and some more )
Sorry to be so frank ( French) and late to check in : I am now in China so hard to get internet acess
But to repeat : SHIT FUCK BUGGER
I’m just getting increasingly annoyed by the stupidity of the pan-democrats in HK. Just like awhile ago when the Citizens Party squandered good political capital by taking on the case with fighting for perm residency status rights for domestic helpers. There are battles that should be fought and there are battles that should be avoided.
If you wanna make a point about how the system is rigged, drop your useless candidates this round because we tried this shit 5 years ago and switch your votes to CY. That way it’ll reflect how the CE “vote” is not reflective of the public opinion polls.
I met CY in a lift a few months back, started chatting to him and found him very friendly and personable.