Scumbag/Astroturf/Cornered Rat updates

SCMP-HuiGivenSecretAnd the non-stop jollity continues… Hong Kong’s former Chief Secretary Rafael Hui says he got HK$11 million from a top Mainland official (the Chinese government, in other words), apparently to help him overcome his excessive spending and encourage him to stay in office. He did neither, but received/took (blew) the money anyway, while, according to prosecutors, acquiring yet more in bribes from property tycoons. At least, this is so far as I can tell from the South China Morning Post report, which puts the chronology of events through a blender. It’s hard to get worked up about the details in a story that is basically Overpaid Scumbag In Unfathomable Murk, but you have to wonder whether he left Beijing officials feeling short-changed, and – if so – whether this contributed to his current predicament.

What we can be sure of is that Beijing’s micro-meddling is behind the emergence of yet another supposedly popular but pitiful-looking group trying to sound reasonable in opposing the pro-democracy movement. This one’s called the Protect Central Working Group. I think. (Grabbed a pic of the front page from the office’s batch of free unsolicited China Dailys before the cleaner came to take them away to be pulped for toilet paper read avidly. Otherwise coverage is a bit thin. A valiant news editor at RTHK managed a few mind-numbing lines before dozing off.) The vaguely interesting angle here is that the United Front is getting into the business of rebranding. Robert Chow’s tawdry Astroturf for Peace and Democracy gimmick backfired with paid-for demonstrators and a creepy phone hotline to inform on schools involved in the pro-dem boycott. This substitute purports to be all professional and serious and businesslike, inviting us to feel grief-stricken for the retail sector. Yes, really.

The pro-democracy Occupy Central civil disobedience sit-in love-and-peace fest looks set to go ahead under the banner of a ‘banquet’ on October 1, the National Day holiday. With the following day being a grave-sweeping festival, that means the action will take place when the central business district is pretty empty and the prospects of damaging the precious retail sector – landlords’ profits, in plain English – are tragically reduced. The decision to go for a low-inconvenience sit-in followed Beijing’s heavy-handed final word on the political reform package for 2016-17. The Chinese government obviously hadn’t heard that they were supposed to get bogged down in a long drawn-out struggle over the structures and mechanisms of universal suffrage with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists.

Nonetheless, Beijing can’t stop itself from encouraging support for the Occupy Central camp. On top of news of financial aid to Rafael and the formation of another lame, fake anti-dem movement, we have been treated to the ridiculous sight of dozens of Hong Kong’s richest tycoons shoe-shining and kowtowing to China’s leaders. What a bunch. Average age, what – 65, at least? Gender: not one woman, so far as I could see. Entrepreneurs or innovators? You must be kidding. To say they’re unrepresentative of Hong Kong is beside the point: they’re not remotely representative of Hong Kong business.

And finally, a perfectly timed reminder of the nature of the Communist regime, in the form of Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti’s life sentence. His crime was to point out that China could consolidate and guarantee its rule over a stable Xinjiang by treating the people there decently. The totalitarian structure becomes a cornered rat when confronted by such dangerous truth. Presumably, if he had said “1 plus 1 equal 2” they would have shot him on the spot.

It is unlikely anyone needs to manage Occupy Central’s expectations any more now, but this should dispel any lingering illusion that they are facing a force that is rational, reasonable, confident, flexible, image-conscious, sensitive to overseas opinion, capable of being shamed, or bluffing as part of some negotiating tactic.

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13 Responses to Scumbag/Astroturf/Cornered Rat updates

  1. Gooddog says:

    Ok – so in your mind resistance is hopeless. So what do we do? Smirk and snipe from the sidelines?

  2. Oneleggoalie says:

    oneleg hopes to get the contract to whack Raffy when he’s in jail…now that he’s not adhering to Omerta…

    and the “torture” equipment China exports should be put to good use by our police…when they arrest a few protesters…

    this is better than playoff baseball…

  3. MonkeyFish says:

    so will our fine Director Public Prosecution be issuing summons and arrest warrants to a few of our patriotic Liaison Officers for bribery of sitting public officials?

    that would be an interesting development… and one wonders what legal contortions would be needed to demonstrate that HKG law doesn’t apply to mainland officials who work or live here… next one might expect to see no dogs and no hong kong chinese signs in the shopping malls lol

  4. The Borg says:


  5. Stephen says:


    Yes and then leave.

    Until China out grows the CCP there will be no change. At least with the passing of the baton to the students they may live to see the day that happens.

    The CCP giving a former Chief Secretary $11M ? What did they ask in return, afterall he had already left his post by the time he got his grubby hands on the cash?

  6. PD says:

    Apologies in advance for asking a naive and simplistic question, but how can we be sure the $11 m “originated” in Peking, given that much of Raffie’s other pocket money came via circuitous routes?

    True, he himself had the distinct impression that it did, and for some reason much of the hot money flows out of the Celestial Empire, rather than in, but would it stand up in a court of law?

    Occupy Central may indeed fold if the standard of accommodation falls below expectations or it starts drizzling, but at least they’re trying, as are the dems, whether socialist or reactionary, rich or poor.

    The alternative, as Gooddog astutely points out, is to objectively support, by not getting involved, the nexus that tortures and/or imprisons for life lawyers, writers, scholars — anyone, however peaceful or “patriotic”, who has bad thoughts.

  7. PHT says:

    It seems that detailing his extravagant spending habits, his mistress, and now his gift from Mainland officials is part of Hui’s defence. Can someone please explain this strategy to me? It seems rather bizarre and self-defeating to me.

  8. Wan Chai Wanderer says:

    Occupy Central surely is a noble fight and should be supported wholeheartedly. But the question is why has the movement not drawn in more — the grassroots, the middle class, the cynical, the pragmatic… It’s noble, it’s idealistic, yet maybe too much so. It’s not something everyone can dearly relate to and echo with. Many people, like me, will think ‘Ok. That sounds nice. Good luck and hope it works’, but will not feel the impulsion to join in.

    As Hemlock and many others have pointed out repeatedly, no one in the movement has ever told us what changes can the fight bring. The focus of these ‘civic lectures’ should not be about how noble and correct fighting for human values or international standard is, but how we’ve all been ripped off by the current twisted system, how, if we boycott the tycoons really hard, Beijing might just see its favor in the super-rich is the very cause of HK’s instability, and what kind of a new system can the pro-democracy movement promise us (if they have any plan in mind). These things cannot just be mentioned once. They need to shout these out loud again and again so people can have a clear picture of what the future has for them if they fight or give up.

    But so far, what I see ahead is plain murkiness. I know almost for certain OC will not succeed, but that’s not the reason why I don’t feel excited about the fight. I don’t feel the passion because I can’t feel that OC and other pro-democrats care about our mundane, day-to-day issues.

    Meanwhile, pro-dems should really start to plan secretly how they can get a better deal (if not perfect) or how they can make the best of the given deal if OC doesn’t work — and when and how they are going to acknowledge this.

  9. Scotty Dotty says:

    At the end of the day the same party which killed tens of millions in the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution is still on the hot seat.

    It’s surreal.

  10. Joe Blow says:

    China is sitting on 5000 years of civilization, or so they say (never mind the peeing-in-the-MTR-tourists). Each and every Imperial dynasty, over the course of 5 millennia, has crumbled under its own weight of corruption and incompetence.

    You think this time is going to be different ? Just ask the Soviets.

    No serious: why hasn’t Christine Loh resigned yet ?

  11. Andy Coulson says:

    I was under the impression that people appointed to the government underwent vetting and background checks to guard against them being potential risks in terms of debts … etc. I trust the public will be told what happened in this instance, as it’s already evident Mr. HUI was in debt. So many questions about who allowed this to happen.

  12. PCC says:

    The pro-dem’s tactics, especially without a charismatic leader or an overriding strategy are, as usual, appalling. So far, shoe shining cronies of every stripe pay no price for their traitorous behaviour towards HK people. Yellow ribbons are a joke. A more direct approach, such as everyone turning one’s back in silent protest in the present of such people, or blowing on shrill toy whistles whilst pointing at the offending official whenever they appear, or something similar, would at least bring home to the rhino-hided Quislings the personal cost of being cowardly sell-outs.

  13. anon says:

    I suspect/predict: OC fellows, if successful, would metamorphose into NEW LANDLORDS of HK.

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