“We have no intention of putting pressure on local courts or judges,” proclaims Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, as he points a gun to the judiciary’s head and tells them to choose between defying strongly held and emotionally charged popular opinion or further shredding the principle of rule of law in this city.
The Mainland and Hong Kong worthies who painstakingly drafted the Basic Law did a fairly admirable job of keeping the Big Lychee’s post-1997 constitution short and succinct. Unfortunately, the government is now wishing they had put a bit more detail in the bit about immigration and right of abode. Specifically, they wish two clauses of Article 24, listing who has right of abode, were subject to the following italicized amendments:
(1) Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region except where neither parent already has right of abode here.
(4) Persons not of Chinese nationality who have entered Hong Kong with valid travel documents, have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years and have taken Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence before or after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region except those with brown skin who wash dishes.
Two possibilities come to mind. One is to just live with the law and accept the fact that Mainland mothers’ offspring and the longer-serving overseas maids can live here. Given that we are supposed to be wetting ourselves about the dreaded looming disaster that is the ‘aging population’, this option could in theory be a ‘win-win’. The alternative is to accept that Mainlanders and poor yet irritatingly cheerful Southeast Asians are unacceptable as fellow citizens to Hongkongers who are already feeling shoved to the margins of their own city by what seems like a billion tourists, and amend the law.
However, this is Chinese, not Hong Kong, law, and for some reason Beijing does not do amendments, at least not to the Basic Law. It could be that Mainland officials fear a loss of face if they admit that the original drafting was inadequate, but more likely is a general distaste for the idea that the meaning of laws must correlate with their actual wording rather than with the executive’s mood at any given time.
Every time we go through the process of ‘interpretation’ – a summary declaration of a new meaning to a legal clause, notionally by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress – rule of law in Hong Kong get that bit more tarnished. Beijing’s right to overturn Hong Kong courts is an inevitable requirement of the one-party system, but it has usually been exercised where some sort of ‘national’ interest is at stake; local immigration is essentially a domestic matter for Hong Kong. Right of Abode is of course a hot topic, and it would be highly expedient for Hong Kong officials to use this route as a de-facto amendment. However, it is hard to escape the feeling that Mainland officials and sympathizers like former Justice Secretary Elsie Leung like an occasional ‘interpretation’ as a way to gradually and cumulatively tame the wild, uncontrollable and alien common law.
The administration of Chief Executive CY Leung has a baser political motive to toss this at the courts right now. The people who will denounce ‘interpretation’ and argue, in effect, for allowing millions of starving brown hordes to invade Hong Kong are the same people leading the attack on CY over the illegal structures saga. Rimsky Yuen’s actions are no doubt part of a long drawn-out independent process, but it’s certainly a convenient time to get the government’s most outspoken opponents to damage their own public standing.
Flicking over the page of the newspaper, the mood darkens further…
Two obvious sexual deviants, probably on the run from the forces of law and order, are for unknown reasons sitting on a roof. The older one is some sort of psychopath and capable of the most horrific acts of cruelty and evil – and indeed fantasizing about one right now. The younger one is mildly retarded and easily manipulated. Below the picture is the name ‘JM Weston’. The ‘o’ in Weston is leaning to the right, hugely enhancing the importance and meaningfulness of the eerie scene in ways too numerous and profound to describe. Barely pausing to declare the weekend open, I am mysteriously impelled to buy shoes.
You can always tell the level of racism in a society by looking at the naturalisation laws. Japan and Switzerland are very sticky. In Samoa
you can have a passport but no right to live there. China is just plain racist. Hong Kong is such a racist society too. Just follow an Indian around for ten minutes or watch people holding their noses on the MTR. Ah cha, ah cha.
The most racist society still chugging along is of course Australia. The blacks are beaten, called child molesters in order to grab their mineral rights and most die with in 72 hours of incarceration.
They have shipped their asylum seekers processing off to mosquito-infested tents on Christmas Island.
Walking around with a Chinese woman outside Sydney nearly causes a riot.
But thanks for waving me through the customs check whilst all the Asians and Blacks had their suitcases emptied! I should have protested but was too tired.
Good on yer, mate!
It’s the storm of unprecedented ferocity we were warned about, under cover of which the flowerpots marking the international boundary will creep inwards when no-one’s looking.
Incidentally the Chinese constitution is abolished about every quarter-century, and often tinkered with. Remember the law is designed to confirm reality, rather than have any deterrent effect on people’s behaviour (no “shall” in Chinese), since the emperor doesn’t visit very often. And of course all the reinterpretations are deliberate moves to kill the monkey to frighten the chickens.
Your interpretation of the photo is interesting, to say the least. If I were a psychologist, I would be salivating. But enough about me.
You are so wrong about those fine gentlemen on the roof. The old geezer on the right is a HK property owner, sitting on his very own UBW, thinking by himself, rather desperately (look at the eyes), “how did I get into this mess ?”.
The younger man on the left just wandered into/onto the UBW by chance -they don’t know each other- scouting for a suitable spot on the roof to jump from.
O dear Hong Kong at its very best !
Wonder if the Pro-Dems will notice or are they too busy with the “impossible” CY must resign campaign ?
The weekend has opened …
Lois, I gather your knowledge of remote Aboriginal communities and the problems that are faced are based on personal experience? After all wouldn’t assuming that ‘blacks’ weren’t capable of such behaviour be a little ‘racist’?
I think Lois nailed it today. Racism is a part of life, like taxes and hangovers.
“The UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, James Anaya, yesterday gave a damning assessment of entrenched racism that persisted in Australia, specifying measures in the Northern Territory intervention.”
Don’t believe me. Read the article!
We will not mistreat the abos. If there’s anyone’s watching!
Hemlock, you are hilarious in your own ‘interpretation’ of fashion shoots.
For the purpose of re-education, please frequent the Armani Bar when they
have Model Bartender nights. (Just don’t expect anything too complex. One
spectacular Russian bartender only knows one mix – vodka + orange)
The ad is genius – aimed at fashionable liberals with its subliminal climate-change message.
Except it’s on a 7th floor left-bank Parisian tenement, looking up at a 10-floor all-glass building at dusk.
On the subject of the domestic helpers residency issue, it does seem to me to be a reasonable practical issue (Should we allow another group of people in?), distorted by overt racism and the canard of hordes descending as the ex-helpers families queue up to come to the paradise that is the Big Lychee.
A moment’s thought (a scarce commodity in Hong Kong) would show that – racism apart – this is nonsense:
1. Only a portion of helpers qualify, i.e. have been here seven years. It would not take a mathematical genius at Immigration to establish this figure precisely and to also estimate how many helpers stay that long anyway – most don’t – to project forward. After all, Hong Kong is noted for the accuracy of its projections – budget, population – so surely someone can get the abacus out and come up with that figure?
2. Those helpers that do qualify may not want to stay. Most that I talk to have no desire to stay here any longer than necessary, which means that they’re here for financial reasons. Isn’t it dreadful that people should do that in an altruistic society like Hong Kong?
3. Of those that would stay, how would they survive? $3850 wouldn’t go very far if you’re living out and having no food provided. So would the generous Hong Kong public double their helpers’ salaries – I don’t think so!
4. And why/how would the families come? Since my sons would not be allowed to come to Hong Kong, why would a helper’s family? And – see 3 above – why would they want to? I can’t see my wife’s sisters and brothers panting to come here and sign their kids up for the ESF schools.
So we come back to racism – OK for them to come here, as long as we can underpay them, abuse them and kick them out in 14 days if they step out of line – but apart from that, no thanks!
So why doe we need Beijing’s help to sort this out?
Rant over – my wife needs help cooking the rendang.
What’s wrong with racism ? Is there a law that says that we have to love all people of all races, colors and annoying degrees of cheerfulness ? The Bible does not say anything about except ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. (btw, it does NOT say: luv your neighbor more than yourself).
There is something very similar to racism but nobody ever gives it a thought or a mention: being prejudiced in favor of people from your own country. The British are very good at it, for some bizarre reason. Continentals and North Americans don’t seem to suffer from it, but Indians do.
Anyone cares to explain.
A few more Filipinos and Indus voting might help to dilute the vote of the property magnates if we ever achieve one man ( one amah) one vote
But can you imagine LKS’s amah having the same vote power as LKS? Never !