With Snake Year – like all years – bound to continue and end as it begins, this is the time for us to get our lives and affairs in order. Home owners will give their properties their annual clean-up and overhaul, hence the Hong Kong government’s recent publicity campaign on window-inspection. Debtors will do whatever it takes to repay their loans. Enemies will try to put the past behind them and become friends. Aging statesman Sir David Akers-Jones will release a pamphlet called The Legislative Council: What’s Gone Wrong to remind us of his unceasing sprightliness*. Come February 10, everything will be set for 12 months of happiness, prosperity and safety.
But not for pro-Beijing businessman and politician Lew (normally rendered ‘Lau’) Mon-hung. He is ending the Year of the Water Dragon under Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation, and on a PR crusade against Chief Executive CY Leung, whom he accuses of lying about having professionals examine his home for illegal structures. Media lacking empathy for the CE – which is to say most of the press – are especially relishing the trellis side of the story. The Standard has all the dirt here, here and here, and suggests that Lew is telling CY “Let’s die together.”
It’s a mess. Lew (or ‘Dr Lew’ to you), an earthy, self-made type with a bit of maverick about him, stuck his neck out by supporting CY when obedient patriots assumed they were supposed to be backing Henry Tang as the new CE. He says he subsequently expected a reward in the form of an Executive Council seat or at least appointment to the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference talking shop, but ended up with CY not answering his calls. He and another director of his Pearl Oriental Oil were arrested and released on bail by the ICAC a few weeks back; the company’s auditors resigned citing ‘professional risk associated with the audit’. Then he starts making the accusations about CY fabricating the story about three experts conducting a trellis hunt – a claim Leung’s buddy Barry Cheung strongly denies.
If you change the order in which the above happened, you get a story where Lew threatens to reveal CY as a liar, CY turns the ICAC on him, and Lew spills the beans in self-defence. But not even the fiercest enemies of the Wolf suggest such a thing. What we have here is a gruff, opportunistic, auditor-repelling operator finding the shit hitting the fan, and his supposed friends don’t want to know, so he loses it. Not that anyone’s paying attention, but the pan-democrats further damage both Lew and themselves by basically siding with him.
Mainland emissaries in the Liaison Office must be wondering what they have done to deserve the job of monitoring and guiding people who, at best, act like teenage schoolgirls massacring each other on Facebook, and at worst threaten civic chaos and mayhem where we’re supposed to have all that lovey-dovey harmony and cooperation. This goes right to the heart of the whole United Front system. The Communist Party is institutionally paranoid. China doesn’t trust most Hongkongers. It would be easier to be nicer, more open and more trusting, and attract support from a broader base of normal and decent local people, but clearly that’s not how the Leninist mind works. In order to build up influence and networks, Beijing sometimes resorts to unreliable and even shady characters, including the erratic, friendless and desperate.
Not a great way for Lew, CY, Beijing et al to start a new year, but an intriguing note on which to declare the weekend open.
* Probably not available at all good bookstores. The little treatise, which quotes Sir SY Chung** in the second paragraph, notes the plethora of candidates and parties at last September’s election and recommends more, “smaller, but not too small” constituencies, broadened (but presumably not too broadened) functional constituencies and a proportional representation system called the Single Transferable Vote, which is explained in rivetting detail. Having completed that last sentence, you may consider yourself to have read the pamphlet.
** Whaddya mean “Who?”
As I posted on Farcebewk:
‘So, IF we are to believe Lew Mon-hung, (a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; god give me strength) CY lied about his ‘illegal structure’ but Lew was more than happy to lie about CY lying whilst there was the option of a cushy an influential job from CY – but as soon as there wasn’t Lew decided to stop lying and rat on CY for lying. And Lew is under investigation by the ICAC. And he has the lack of shame and audacity to be asked to be taken seriously.
I’m struggling to find an adequate swear word to sum up this inveterate twat.’
Is there just one that isn’t a corrupt bastard….?
Pleased you see the entertaining possibilities of all this. They never escape me. Hong Kong is the comedy capital of the world. And it all seems to come down to signature songs. I just called CY, told them I was Lew Mon-hong and I heard:
What a performance tonight
Should I react or turn off the light?
Looks like you’re picking a fight
In a blurring of wrong and right
But how your mood changes
You’re a devil, now an angel
Suddenly subtle and solemn and silent as a monk
You only tell me you love me when you’re drunk
Then they put on the next track of the same album:
Brother, don’t matter
Sister, don’t worry
Say what you like
I’ll do what you want me to do
You’re a vampire
I’m a vampire too
What’s going on?
Maybe CY did promise him a place at the table, but then had to withdraw the offer once the vetting revealed his nefarious activities. Not unlike Chris Patton promising wanted criminals, that perhaps, the authorities would look the other way if their journal supported his agenda. Only to have honest law enforcers spoil the game by insisting the law is the law.
Sir David Akers-Jones. Who he?
With friends like Dr Loo, who needs enemies ?
(Hey – I supported CY as well, but I didn’t ask for a seat on LEGCO. But maybe that’s why the ICAC is not pounding on my door ! )
BTW : When are the kwoks and rafael due for trial ? I’d love to sit on that jury if I had 2 years of free time “GUILTY AS CHARGED ! Off with their heads !”
Let’s hope (probably forlorn) that the Pro-Dems drop the good Dr despite him funding a couple of their recent Diaoyu adventures.
Can anyone answer what is the point of Sir David Aching Bones ? The British position (albeit belatedly) was and is that HK should have “democracy” Yet this British relic from a bygone age is an impediment – from his undermining of Patten, to serving on the Provisional Lego and his periodic epistles. Sadly he’s listened too.
He should do the honourable thing which is do what all well paid, excellent pension ex-colonial Civil Servants did and feck off to a cottage in Dorset.
Will anyone cowrite a new show with me:
CY LEUNG: THE MUSICAL
1. Opening number: ‘I Beg Your Pardon,I Never Promised You A Rose Garden’ CY solo
2. ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’ Henry Tang and female trio
There’s millions to be made!
Why is it that HK’s political/business (inseparable) landscape is so heavily populated with buffoons and bastards? It’s a laughing stock.
Although the anticipated Beijing endorsed partial democracy may thin out some of the buffoons, sadly, the bastards are here to stay.
There’s never a dull day in Asia’s World City.
The three professionals who looked at one of CY’s homes were in fact two professionals and a lawyer, as the Standard nicely puts it. They may not have been specifically looking for illegal structures, but, for instance, valuing it, or studying whether a mortgage could be offered, or doing a structural survey, in any case normal due diligence before a house is bought. In sum, CY may not have necessarily employed them all himself, and may not even know their names.
The ICAC would hardly exist in its present form but for spiteful, revenge-driven sneaks — indeed most government departments couldn’t begin to operate without them. We need more civic-minded people lile Lew, as tit-for-tat is the only way of making the lowlife crawl out of the woodwork (with acknowledgements to Bela and Hemlock for the expression).
3. ExCo choir: “Send in the clowns”.
Dr Loo reminds me of the Bus Uncle.