China’s President Hu Jintao visits Hong Kong this weekend to swear in trellis-wolf-man CY Leung as new Chief Executive and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the city’s return to the motherland. He comes in the midst of an opportunistic and somewhat unhinged backlash against the new leader. Pan-democrats determined to oppose anything and everything on principal demand CY’s head for having a clutch of decidedly lame unauthorized building works on his property. CY himself criticized rival Henry Tang for having an illegal basement; therefore, the logic goes, he is guilty of some sort of crime. If he knew his house/garden additions were illicit – which is impossible to believe – the offense would be hypocrisy by a politician whilst campaigning.
Meanwhile, legislative business is coming to a halt as lawmakers fail to turn up to the chamber. As well as wandering off just as a quorum is needed, legislators have been resorting to filibustering. As a result of such obstructive tactics, CY’s reorganization of government departments will probably have to be postponed until later in the year. Complaints that this is all the fault of reckless pro-democrats and radicals are misleading; pro-establishment figures are also discreetly enjoying the tormenting of CY. As a forecast on the forthcoming Leung administration asked (p.36): “Will the democrats and the commercial functional constituency legislators form an unholy alliance of sorts?”
That CLSA report has a stab at predicting the sort of policies we can expect in the next five years. Upgrading the Hong Kong fishing fleet to ocean-going status is one possibility (the agriculture and fisheries sector were among the first to nominate CY). Help for organic farming – quite a trendy activity in some patriotic/Buddhist-type circles – is another. The fact is that although he previously said some interesting things about Hongkongers’ homes being half the size of Shenzhenites’, CY toned down the radicalism and populism massively in the lead-up to the quasi-election, so we don’t know what he really plans, let alone whether legislators, bureaucrats and vested interests will let him do it. Still, CLSA rate most of the mainstream developers’ stocks as ‘sell’ or ‘under-perform’…
With less than a week to go, we still don’t officially know who CY’s ministers and other Executive Council members will be, though there are plenty of rumours. One reason is probably that someone (presumably CY himself, or maybe Beijing) is insisting on really, really, serious vetting of everyone’s background. This sort of thing is standard in the US and the UK, but a novelty here. The police Personnel Wing have been giving potential office-holders two- or three-hour (but friendly) interviews about their gambling habits, debts and finances, secret illegitimate children, past/present extra-marital escapades, embarrassing family members and much, much more. Oh – and illegal structures!
The excellent politically incorrect Cantonese has some food for thought. He has an illegal basement? Prima facie truth elements as well.
Thanks Maugrim and thanks bad canto for a pretty damning piece. So CY Leung will start the 4th SAR goverment will his approval ratings in the toilet something even the Hapless Tung and Greedy Donald weren’t able to achieve at the start of their respective tenures.
But CY will muddle on then produce some watered down political reforms in a few years, so mis-governance, can continue and that’s when things could get interesting.
Wasn’t there a book called “We deserve better” a few years back. Still hold true and a perhaps a follow up should be written ???
I recall from Day One back in ’97 we were making dire forecasts of rampant corruption from China eroding any semblance of legitimate govt in Hong Kong. It only took em 15 odd years, BUT! China wins. Good on you China. You’ve completely wrecked Hong Kong’s govt. Let the Bribes Begin! Can’t wait till all those money-laden Commie cadres start settling into London, Paris, LA, NY and bringing their ill-gotten gains and cronyist ways with them. Good times. Now to establish exactly what sorts of bribes will pay for what sorts of services in our Sinofied Civil Curvice.
@Will They’re already doing it. I recently heard a wonderful story of a former cadre with incredible wealth of dubious provenance BUYING a seat on the Thames as part of the Flotilla to celebrate Her Majesty’s jubilee! This person had absolutely no connection or reason to be in the Flotilla other than to snap a few choice pics for their office wall. They quite easily greased the right palms and he/she now counts Prince Philip as a ‘close personal friend’
I may be naive, but I still live in hope of CY making TBL a better place….
Not perfect by any means, but “better”
Where “better” means ” not worse” , and I’m damn sure that under the ‘orrible ‘orse things would have got a lot worse PDQ.
HK would have very quickly have become a super animal farm where the rule would be 4-legs-good, 2-legs-better, and wine and dine and cosy up to the property developers and the rich and the evil is THE BEST
Somehow, at heart, I think Hemmers did get it right yesterday (what , at least what he wrote sure generated a LOT of feedback, both positive and negative)
Let’s wait and see. If one week is a long time in politics, 5 years is a millennium
CY : if you are reading this, count me still as a friend .
But don’t , repeat DON’T fuck up again so stupidly
Let’s hope for the best. CY has not started yet. Besides, it was either CY or Tang. I prefer CY.
@RTP. I also pinned my hopes on CY. Unfortunately, he is behaving just like the other clowns who have managed to get their hands on the controls. When the solids hits the aircon over TANG’s property and it’s illegal structures, CY should have stepped forward and admitted he was guilty also. My guess is the public would have seen the honesty in his actions and embraced him. Instead he either opted to remain silent, decided not bother checking or believed he was above the law. Eitherway he looks culpable and is damaged before he even takes office.
All of which is bad for Hong Kong. We deserve better!
I finally see grassroots democracy in action. Can you imagine seeing those crane-trucks in Singapore ?
I am rather enjoying this spectacle, no matter the outcome.
Perhaps in some parallel universe, a conversation not unlike this actually happened between CYL & Zhongnanhai pre-election/redesignation…
CYL: Take it you guys unleashed the dogs on Tang-Tang?
ZNH: We might not have. We might have. Why ask?
CYL: Well. Hmmm. Might have a few of my own… just thinking full disclosure would be wise?
ZNH: Don’t be so silly! No-no do full disclosure!
CYL: You guys sure?
ZNH: YES! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.
CYL: Hrrmph. *crosses fingers, toes, et cetera*
It’s late, and I have downed a few more beers than I should have had done
Things are NOT looking good for us under CY, I must admit , and very sad to say ( Jonathan Stanley may be much closer to the truth than he realizes)
But surely ANYTHING is better than big posters going up in these days before 1 July showing The Dear Leader Kim Ill Tang with his photo-shop smile , and hearing his calming ( but high pitched *) voice over the airwaves saying :
“Don’t worry my dear beloved HK children… I pledge to keep things going exactly as they were in the past (because that’s all I know how to do ) ”
* CY at least has a deep voice. How can anyone with such a deep voice be a “bad thing” ( to quote 1066 and all that ) ?
I’m so sick of all this catty, bitter attitude that’s becoming the new Hong Kong…I just wanted to stay away these days…
here’s a suggestion..why not just beg the British to take back HK…start a rally, get into the international headline that HKers will pay the Brits to send us a new governor, just any white man.
HKers will shut the hell up and immediately wag our little tails welcoming back our British master. Pan-Democrats and the Pro-Beijing faction will reunite as obedient whores…everything will be peaceful again….
There is no sarcasm in all of this…fact is fact…If 6 illegal strutures can put our government to a halt and people spend more time talking about them than our current issues, then give me 100 new CEs, it won’t make a difference….
RTP: You’re not being naive…but you’re the few above average smart MAN left in HK who can see further than their nose…why? Because just think about who will come after CY if he were to step down…certainly a successor to Henry from the pro-BJ camp…..and this time, there will be no outsider will no adultery or illegal structure to take this candidate down…
whether CY is a liar or a saint,
We’re living in HK,..it’s not like we have basket of good ones to choose from…
@ Kan et al
This is beginning to sound like an old joke from the Mao era
Updated it would run like this….
Three guys meet in a Wanchai pub during next sundays 1 July march to get a cooling pint of beer before re-joining the demonstration and go on to Govt house.
They ask each other why they each of them are marching .
One says “I’m marching for CY ”
The second says ” I marching against CY”
The third says ” I am CY ”
the movie Dance with the Wolf is shown every day in H K from July 1st 2012. Guess who is the dancer and who is the wolf.