Not just fragrant, but with storm clouds and a duck

Not a good end to the week for Hong Kong’s veteran icon of democracy Martin Lee, self-styled icon Anson Chan, the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Immigration Department.

The Martin-bashing in the South China Morning Post and the Anson-handbagging in China Daily don’t say anything new. After more than two decades, Lee’s complaints about Beijing denying Hong Kong universal suffrage have become stale, while Chan’s constant founding of grandiose committees of old buddies to ponder political reform is presumptuous. Both of them see the debate over the 2017 election as their last chance to make a difference, sadly oblivious to the possibility that the days when they might have had some clout are long past.

Martin, after wobbling a bit on what sort of nomination committee might be acceptable, is demanding everything now from a Beijing that stopped listening years back. Anson wants to reach out discreetly to the business community in the hope of producing some sort of election package satisfactory to the movers and shakers – all very 1990s.

Meanwhile, it is less fun than ever being in the ICAC. Opposition politicians claim that the independent investigation into ex-boss Timothy Tong’s expenses will be a whitewash. This is stating the obvious: the little group of poodles tasked with the job is almost a parody of a Hong Kong government inquiry with a predetermined outcome. Tong let his puffed-up rank go to his head, disgracing himself and humiliating his old colleagues who now can’t go anywhere without everyone cheekily demanding luxury cookies. The blame belongs to a system that, over decades, has smothered mediocre municipal employees in chauffeur-driven limos, bloated housing allowances and Gold Bauhinia Stars, and forced them to think they are rulers of empires.

Just when you thought ICAC mooncake-gate was bad… A judge grapples with Immigration Department discretionary decision-making at its finest. A Filipino woman was told she could stay in Hong Kong if her daughter – who has right of abode here – supported her. The snag? The daughter was four years old. I can imagine civil servants making this decision as a sort of prank, perhaps in honour of Joseph Heller, to relieve the monotony of checking identities and stamping passports. But they are devoted pen-pushers working at taxpayers’ expense, and they were serious. They are, right now, looking at each other in stunned shock, asking themselves what sort of drugs that crazy judge is on.

I know it’s not nice, but God, I wish this dog has been run over in Mongkok.

We can declare the weekend open on a bright note: it has been a good few days for Victoria Harbour, catching the attention of the world’s press not once but twice for looking – how can we describe it – unusual… 

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9 Responses to Not just fragrant, but with storm clouds and a duck

  1. Anson leads the outsiders’ board for CE 2017 with our punters – with vaseline on the lens and soft lighting. Here comes Power Gran. But she sure is hard to interview. Like a robot.

    Martin isn’t even on the board.

    – Why is the Hong Kong Government like a rubber duck?

    – They’re tight assed and everything bounces off them.

    Surely a floating Hello Kitty would have been more appropriate?

    2013: The propaganda is liberal. The slavery is digital.

  2. Dream Bear says:

    The Duck is a metaphor for the state of the pro-Democratics. Large colourful inflated opinions, drifting around with no obvious sense of direction. Meanwhile, the legs are paddling like hell below the water line and the whole thing is going nowhere.

  3. Sojourner says:

    The sad progression of Alex Lo down the well-worn road from journalistic integrity to the fecund oasis of “harmonisation” should be an object lesson to us all.

  4. MasterBlaster says:

    Funny that ICAC is in the mire just as CY, Donald, Henry, two senior officials from CY’s admin PLUS one of the most powerful families in HK – The Kwoks of SHKP and Rafael Hui are all being pursued by the ICAC…nah, it’s just a coincidence.

  5. maugrim says:

    No comment about that awful traveller and his tears at having to wait 2 hours for a bus? HK is really going to the ducks.

    BTW: who was this journalistic dullard I wonder?

    “Reporter: What about the question of whether Mr Tong should be relieved of his responsibilities while these matters are being handled?

    Chief Executive: Mr Tong is no longer with the ICAC.”

  6. Property Developer says:

    One of the first signs Alex Lo had been SCUMPised was a few months ago when he started hinting, in relatively subtle manner, that we are all Chinese.

    AL did make the point, though, in one of his columns that HK academics were totally spineless in their lack of analysis of public affairs, even claiming that an independent, knowledgeable viewpoint didn’t exist here: clearly he was too frightened (or censored?) to even allude to Hemlock’s existence.

    It was fairly obvious even a year or two back that the ICAC would be got at: indeed comments in this forum pointed out that it and the legal system were the last institutions with any integrity left, and so were the natural targets for the HK-haters. However, both Timothy and Simon are/were largely ignored by the staff nominally below them, who judge(d) them to be mere figureheads, parachuted by the polity.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    In all fairness, the ICAC had its fair share of controversies going back decades.

    … in 1993 their Deputy Director of Operations Alex Tsui Ka-kit was suddenly sacked by Governor Patten who stated that he had ‘lost confidence’ in Mr. Tsui – a euphemism that strong evidence of corruption or significant wrongdoing existed. The ‘Alex Tsui Affair’ caused a huge stir in the mid-1990s as Tsui did not go quietly. Indeed he made counter-allegations of misconduct within the ICAC, one of which was that Director of Operations Jim Buckle had ‘squashed’ an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by an officer called Michael Croft (who was later transferred and forced out of the service).

    A year later at Christmas 1995 an ICAC assistant director – a well known carouser – was arrested for drinking and driving. Following conviction he mysteriously avoided strong punishment and received only a ‘reprimand’ from the Commissioner of the ICAC.

  8. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Dream Bear : Wonderful words likening the duck to the pro-dems ! Love it !

    It’s even in the pro-dem’s yellow color , and is sort of plump and podgy in the mid-section – rather like Albert Ho ( was that his name? I mean the pro-dem leader who ran in vain for CE in 2012 )

    PS: I vote we nick- name the duck “Donald” . It’s a fitting memorial to our former CE and has the advantage that will last for only a suitably short time.

  9. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Given a choice between campaigning universal suffrage and getting a haircut, Anson will always make the sensible choice.

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