The Mongkok Mayhem is the inevitable outcome of Beijing’s orchestrated United Front campaign to demonize and marginalize the Occupy Central movement. According to the script, public opinion turns so overwhelmingly against the foreign-funded, economy-wrecking radicals that the people take out their own court injunctions, which the police then dutifully and heroically help enforce.
Back in the comfort of Beijing officials’ totalitarian home turf, where the government writes all the news and there’s no Twitter, the population would mostly buy into the narrative (any who beg to differ can always be ‘disappeared’). In pluralist Hong Kong, it doesn’t work that way. For every man in the street who sincerely thinks the students deserve a good thumping, there’s an unconvincing patriotic stooge with a blue ribbon, and an underdog-backing, tycoon-hating student or granny whose response is to get up there and help rebuild barricades.
On the subject of tycoons, their Bauhinia Foundation ‘think-tank’ chooses this moment to present its solution to all Hong Kong’s problems. Kids are angry about unaffordable housing? Easy – pack them into subsidized hostels to give them a few extra years to save the deposit they’ll need to chain them for life to a mortgage on a tiny overpriced hovel. Also, give them a bit of job training so they’ll be able to rise up the career ladder in the tourism-retail sector that squeezed everything else out of the economy. (They say the timing of this condescending pile of putrid Band-Aids is a coincidence. I can only quote Roseanne Barr: “I smell fear. I like that smell.”)
In its heyday under Chief Executive Donald Tsang, the tycoon-bureaucrat establishment often resorted to the all-purpose front-man Ronald Arculli to smile and hold the booklet up for the cameras. If they wanted to reach out to the masses, they might be daring and go for Jackie Chan. To attract the young folk, they might wheel out the youthful, groovy, trendy Allen Zeman. But now, it seems, they’re stuck with Plumpish Nondescript Spectacles Guy and Thin Close-cropped Dimwit Kid.
Dr Donald Li Kwok-tung SBS is a sort of Arculli-lite establishment clone, sitting on a bunch of the less glamorous poodle-packed advisory boards. He’s from an obscure branch of the Bank of East Asia Li clan – but so are thousands of others. The Standard quotes him as saying that ‘young people have a long-term impact’, which I suppose is so amazingly profound unarguable. The lank boy Lau Ming-wai is perhaps more amusing. He is the son of property tycoon and secretary-impregnator Joseph Lau, who was found guilty of graft and sentenced to five years in Macau’s grimy, rat-infested prison – a sentence he is tragically avoiding by staying put in Hong Kong, which obviously does not have an extradition arrangement with a city one whole hour away in the same country.
So, yes – this 33-year-old got to take over daddy’s grubby second-tier player in our property cartel, and now he can make our young people’s housing, career and family dreams come true, in such a way that, of course, will leave the basic cartel-crony system intact. Enough to make you laugh, cry, vomit or build barricades?
I am looking forward to other brilliant ideas from this bunch. Such as:
1. Bring the cage home sector upscale by granting planning permission for Japanese-style coin-operated capsule hotels.
2. Name milk powder one of Hong Kong’s 37 new Pillar Industries in next policy address.
3. Declare Tung Chee Hwa’s gammy leg a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
4. Create new associate’s degree programme in botox injections, thereby solving both youth unemployment and unlicensed cosmetic surgery in one fell swoop.
5. Encourage elderly poor to self-deport. Applicants receive $629,417, a case of instant noodles, and a one-way ticket to Shenzhen.
6. New National Education curriculum, starting with gold spray-painted macaroni portraits of Xi Jinping in kindergarten.
One of the things I love about this blog – digging up all the background dirt on these ‘pillars of society’ both established (Liz Quat and Rita) and up & coming (this Lau chap). I thought he looked just a little too PLA haircutish, despite his US educated accent, to be there on genuine merit. And gosh how it grated listening to him being interviewed on RTHK3 last night – the over use of dale carnegie’s tip on throwing the interviewer’s first name into the mix repeatedly…yuk, yuk, yuk
I see that useless report took a year of thinking. A year! That’s an F right there.
And the content? What on earth goes through their brains? Who can really think shunting youth into purpose built mass hovels will ever happen, or ever be any use if it did. It’s just so… useless…. childish…. cretinous
The only concrete thing (geddit?) you can be sure of is that young brat is already positioning his property scavenging operation for the contract to build the mythical worker bee hostels. Mmmm, more concrete to pour, more rents to squeeze… mmmm
Cunningly altered, I think Cassowary’s first point could be a winner. Forget saving for 14.4 years for the deposit for a 40m2 flat. Forget spending 40% of your income on mortgage repayments for the next 30 years. Simply allow our tycoons to build 4m2 coin-operated luxury capsule home-ettes. Genius! No deposit! No mortgage! Simply pay-as-you-live. Public Hourly Rental Housing!
I mean, how much space do you really need? Each luxury capsule home-ette comes complete with mind-altering drugs (via the ventilation system) and a Virtual Reality headset in which you can pretend you’re living in one of the mansions of our noble tycoons. A box of wet-wipes and a vacuum hose attachment should take care of hygiene/bodily functions and who cooks at home anyway?
Of course, when you run out of coins, then you get kicked out. But then, if you can’t afford to live in Hong Kong, even on an hourly basis, nobody gives a shit about you, so it’s not really a problem!
Lau Ming-wai has a PhD from King’s College London, and has a book published by Oxford University Press. He has the potential to be different from other tycoons. But will he?
Barricades it is.
In a city where small potatoes live in fear of ICAC investigations about conflict of interest, it’s refreshing to see a scion from the property sector advising about property based solutions
Reminds me of Sasoon writing about another group who hid behind their connections until it was time to profit from blood in the street. Perhaps Andy’s men will post this one in the break room at Kowloon Police HQ.
You bragged how once your men in savage mood
Butchered some Saxon prisoners. That was good!
I trust you felt no pity when they stood
Patient and cowed and scared, as prisoners should.
How did you kill them? Speak, and don’t be shy.
You know I love to hear how Germans die
Downstairs in dug-outs. ‘Camerad’, they cry;
and squeal like stoats when bombs begin to fly.
I’m proud of you. Perhaps you’ll feel as brave
Alone in no man’s land, when none can shield or save
you from the horror of the night.
There’s blood upon your hands. Go out and fight.
I hope those Huns will haunt you with their screams,
and make you gulp their blood in ghoulish dreams.
You’re great at murder; tell me: can you fight?
The more I read this blog and other news sources about the plight of the people of modern HK, the more I’m reminded of the split between the underground dwellers and the elite that party on in Yoshiwara in the film “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang.
Today’s news of this “think tank’s” solution of building hostels (re-purpose Chungking Mansions?) so slaves can save to possibly buy one day was laughable and so sad in that these minted clowns were SERIOUS.
As a former President of the HK College of Family Physicians, Dr Donald Li should be asking publicly why we can afford white elephant construction projects cash up front but can’t afford cancer screening or Government funded primary care.
Well, the fact that he’s associated with this crock answers your question. My solution to the housing problem is to build tent cities in areas of high population density such as Mong Kok, Causeway and Central where these young folk can live …oh hold on.
Just in time for X-mas!
PRACTICAL SKUNK RAISING.
A BOOK OF INFORMATION CONCERNING THE RAISING OF SKUNKS FOR PROFIT.
By the Great China Corruption Party and Bauhinia Fermentation,
Co-authors Lufsig , Donald The Duck Tsang, Unfloatable Shipping Tung
9. Young people are in the streets because they have no jobs. Infrastructure projects need cheap construction workers. Therefore, arrest all the young people and sentence them to hard physical labour on construction sites.
I noticed that since the demonstrations the police doesn’t carry out any speed checks anymore.
Normally they are active on Waterloo Road in Kowloon Tong on Sunday morning and on afternoons on Island Road at Deep Water Bay.
Are they afraid for confrontation with the public?
More like Traffic cops are working overtime to establish “their contribution” to defeating the unpatriotic masses. Speed ticketing is so last year.
On a related note, I would say that since Occupy the taxis have become awful. Won’t stop if they don’t fancy it, red light on or not, screen their passengers journeys, in short are brazenly illegal. Remember how it was.. illegal not to stop, they have to take any passenger regardless… that’s gone, in my view.
Imagine for a second that we weren’t pegged to the US dollar with a zero interest rate, property wasn’t by far the most lucrative investment in the entire city, and everybody wasn’t flipping shoeboxes as though their lives depended on it. And as a result, people were able to afford to rent, if not buy apartments slightly larger than two plastic buckets duct taped together. Like they were back in 2006.
Would Occupy still have happened? Is it all just about the housing?
Here is another think tank solution, from the Joe Blow Think Tank: instead of building hostels just build affordable housing.
I thought about that for 1 year.
If you all have time, go to Mongkok tonite and show your support for the revolution. Together we stand strong.
Trying to fight the people in Mongkok is like trying to fight the Vietcong in the Mekong Delta. The pigs are about to find out.
Asia’s Finest ?
I nominate the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
And this is really happening in our town?
Oh; we are fucked.
Joshua Wong, a skinny 18 year old kid, was taken into custody by the pigs and beaten up while under their control. (according to his lawyer)
Aren’t we all BURSTING with pride in regard to our fine law-abiding police force ?
Re: Joshua – There was not a little muttering at times from the Occupy streets on both sides of the harbour about Joshua and some of the other Scholarism people who got arrested before the initial tear gassing not being quite up to par with those who had lived through the violence.
There’s also been much more vocal disdain from the Mongkok camp in the direction of the more middle class Admiralty camp.
Joshua’s arrest on the front lines in Mongkok may do some positive things for promoting a little more unity in the two camps … well, really one camp for now that Mongkok has been (temporarily?) cleared. But too early to tell.
Maybe it’s meant to be a step towards the mainland factory housing. You know, the ones with the suicide fencing.
Nah, CY Leung should adapt these new ideas
1. Bring the closet home sector upscale by granting planning permission for Japanese-style closet warehouse apartments. each unit about 30 ft2 and shared bathroom. Rent is cheap and could be built like towers….
2. Name milk powder, yogurt, and ramen three of Hong Kong’s 37 new Pillar Industries in next policy address.
3. Declare Donald Tsang’s bowtie and John Tsang french movie collection a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
4. Create new associate’s degree programme in thuggery and triad studies, thereby solving both youth unemployment and unlicensed private security and social stability in one fell swoop.
5. Encourage elderly poor to self-vaporize. Applicants receive $629,417, a case of instant noodles, and a combination shot of Sodium thiopental, Pancuronium bromide and potassim chloride.
6. New National Education curriculum, starting with gold spray-painted macaroni portraits of Xi Jinping, KS Li, CY Leung in kindergarten.
8. Lots of Profit!