Policy Address slightly weirder than average

LeungWarnsAnarchy

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung’s 2015 Policy Address is, like its predecessors over the ages, an incoherent mess of half-baked ideas, free lunches for vested interests and pointless gestures.

One surprise was that CY pretty much started his speech by attacking barely heard-of student publications Undergrad and HK Nationalism by name for their supposed separatism. Presumably, such a high-profile assault on obscure dissident material is for the benefit of Beijing’s officials. Some PolicyAddress2015observers will see an attempt to intimidate youthful supporters of self-rule, though Hong Kong has no pro-independence movement to speak of – just a joke-meme useful for pressing some of the Chinese Communist Party’s most sensitive buttons.

A sinister and disturbing interpretation would be that totalitarian forces want to provoke more serious pro-autonomy sentiment in order to justify a crackdown when the time is, as they say, ripe. They are certainly inviting a plethora of ‘HK nationhood’ graffiti. A cheerier view is that this could be CY’s attempt to encourage the critical thinking/young people/creative industry/blah-blah that every Policy Address features. These works by up-and-coming writers would have gone unnoticed in a crowded and commercialized market with little time for start-ups – but after receiving such a massive plug from the CE, crowds have inundated bookstores, and the book may be reprinted.

The Policy Address contains at least one interesting little idea: converting multi-storey car parks into commercial premises. This hints at the stupidity of accommodating cars downtown at all. Some 85% of us get around the city using up only the space we walk, stand or sit in. The other 15% insist on surrounding themselves with a big metal box of at least 12ft by 6ft, moving (much of the time) more slowly, and making the air unbreathable – and they get priority for space over everyone else.

Banish cars from urban areas, and you suddenly have more, and nicer, space for everything. This isn’t even lateral, out-of-the-box thinking. It’s obvious, child-level logic: if you have too much stuff crammed into too small a space, remove some of the stuff.

Which bring us neatly to another way to free up our environment and lower rents and allow a flowering of new businesses and other activities: eradicating the Mainland Shopper and broader Visitor Cult that is otherwise known as the tourism sector. Sadly, the Policy Address has none of it. Instead, we get baloney about yet another convention centre. In other words, let’s have even more clueless-looking guys in suits getting in everyone’s way looking for their hotel. How many millions of these people do we really need clogging up the city? What is the purpose? In fairness to CY, he is a slimy and untrustworthy reptile with no loyalty other than to the Communist Party, and in the finest comradely tradition, he may be promising goodies to tourism-sector shoe-shiners while fully intending to kick them in the teeth when they are of no further use later on.

No Policy Address is complete without some sort of hand-wringing about population. In particular, the need for ‘quality’ humans – as opposed to, well, no need to get specific or personal. After all the gimmicks and point systems, and passport-for-sale scams (and a continuous, hefty flow of Mainland immigrants), we still seem to have a problem: the economic production units commonly known as ‘people’ mysteriously remain crap. By which we mean ‘not as good as Policy Address drafters think they should be’.

The only other bit I bothered reading bright idea this year is ‘attracting the second-generation of Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated overseas to return to Hong Kong’.

Where do we start? It’s tempting to ask what he means by ‘emigrated overseas’ – presumably, this is to exclude scum who emigrated to Shatin. And why say ‘return’, when these are people whose parents left, and who know only Canada or somewhere as home? We might also wonder why the word ‘Chinese’ is necessary here. Non-Chinese second-generation Hong Kong emigres do exist in small numbers; is there something undesirable about them? (Rhetorical question.)

Essentially, what is so special about this particular classification of person? The answer is that it’s one that the bureaucrats hadn’t thought of yet, and it sounds vaguely do-able, and has a family-reunion/apple-pie emotional warmth to it.

Rather than define arbitrary selective categories of ‘talent’, ‘quality’, ‘investor’ or whatever as target migrants, why not just make Hong Kong a nice place to live and work in? A Policy Address in three points:

  • Keep all the nice civilized infrastructure, institutions, services, low taxes, countryside, freedom and fun that we already have;
  • Scrap the cartels and the ‘cram more people and stuff in’ mentality to ease up on rents, prices, space, traffic and air;
  • Don’t screw it all up with paranoid Communist witch-hunts, United Front intimidation, and attacks on the press and rule of law.

…and they will come, and everything will take care of itself.

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21 Responses to Policy Address slightly weirder than average

  1. PCC says:

    Good summary at the end. Good luck.

    It’s “emigrate from, immigrate to”.

    Reminder to self: Get a life.

  2. FunB3 says:

    If there are serious concerns about obeying the law, why are the Kuk allowed free reign in the NT?

  3. Cassowary says:

    I was half expecting him to propose deporting all the existing students and replacing them with the returnee children of Canadian/Australian emigres. Having grown up in actual democracies, they would be completely politically apathetic and care about little more than beer and the next episode of Game of Thrones. They would be so much more pliant.

    How about an emigration scheme for the Dangerously Wrong Youth? Present a copy of Hong Kong Nationalism, and you will be issued a visa and a one way ticket to Toronto.

  4. reductio says:

    Brilliant as (nearly) always Hemmers.

    @ FunB3: Here are 5 reasons that spring to mind

    1. The Kuk are a nice voting bloc for the government.

    2. Lack of balls on our esteemed government heads (so to speak), especially Lands and Planning.

    3. Some civil servants are doing very nicely out of the lack of rule enforcement in the NT. E.g. ALLEGEDLY Paul Chan and missus. Ok not allegedly, he’s bent (allegedly).

    4. Lack of balls.

    5. Lack of balls.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    Actually, a lot of the children of émigrés DO come back to HK…to pick up their welfare distribution check, have some dim sum and laugh at their friends stuck in 香港市 with no way out…

  6. reductio says:

    @Cassowary

    Game of thrones? Death, mayhem, betrayal, lust, backscratching, dysfunctional families, and other assorted goings on.

    Yup, it’s HK.

  7. PD says:

    A number of foreign HK people already come back (briefly) to claim their inheritance: the right to sell the right to build a massive great house in pristine countryside.

    I suppose we should be grateful that CY implicitly admits that not all HK people are Chinese — although this is in blatant contradiction with official government policy, according to which everyone — brown, white and yellow, schoolchildren, teachers and teacher trainers — must chant in unison “We are all Chinese”.

    I forget the details, but non-Chinese permanent residents who emigrate (and indeed those who live here) do not have the same rights as the rest. Do their children inherit any rights at all?

    One of these days, I’m going to write a short story where a non-Chinese: inherits a ding and stands for the Kuk; wants to emigrate to the mainland, join the army and then the diplomatic corps; tries to publish a book in Chinese on China.

  8. Maugrim says:

    Leung disgusts me. Evil foreigners, only Chinese can play a role in HK blah blah when we all know that when he eventually steps down he will live in the UK. Hypocrite.

  9. Stephen says:

    OK let’s play this out – UCLA Grad, Theodore Wong is sipping a de-cafe in his Mom’s condo in Santa Monica. He’s been channel surfing Fox for the last 3 hours and suddenly comes across an obscure channel where a wolf like man is beckoning him to the Orient. Does he go because Pop’s was born there and had instilled in him the Hong Kong dream that you can be the next Li Ka Shing! His childhood bronchitis had not got any better and Mom often reminisced about the clean air and swimming in Deep Bay. Their Condo was only 2,000 Sq.ft and Theodore was sure that the Wolf like man would provide larger digs.

    Does Theodore (Ted to his College Buds) Go or Not ? Next on Fox is a rerun of recent event in ‘Red’ China showing the Cops gassing, peppering and batoning freshmen ?

  10. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Stephen 2:33 – You forgot to mention Ted has a pretty cute white fiancee named Brianne who just started a gig at PWC and got her parents to help her out with a lease on a new BMW. She and Ted enjoy the beach and going to museums and fine dining. When winter comes around, they hop into the car and drive to Big Bear for weekends skiing.
    Ted remembers why his grandfather left Nanjing for HK…because the CCP stripped him of everything his family owned and beat them for being capitalist pigs.

  11. Cassowary says:

    Not all returnees are yuppie finance types. If you haven’t got the qualifications or inclination to work in finance and your Chinese skills are a bit rubbish on account of having grown in a place where you were one of three Chinese kids in the whole school, you will probably end up teaching English in one of those tutorial centres or working in a call centre. There are obscure English language call centres dotted around Hong Kong staffed by returnee kids with every imaginable accent from Irish to Jamaican.

  12. Scotty Dotty says:

    Great summary of the Policy Address. Yet another useless CY achievement.

    Hemlock might have dibs on CY’s gravestone with this line: “A slimy and untrustworthy reptile with no loyalty other than to the Communist Party.” I think CY would be very proud at that description

    @ reductio and FunB3

    In fairness to the current shower running Hong Kong, lawlessness in the NT is long established. By the time the British got the New Terriotries in 1898 they’d already had Kowloon for thirty years and Hong Kong island for fifty years, and made them successes. There was an element of not being arsed to make it three-from-three successes as the NT were, really until World War Two, viewed as a mere buffer zone between Hong Kong and the great unwashed. If the natives wanted to keep it like China, whatever.

  13. FunB3 says:

    Reductio

    If some bright sparks from OC build a website using & start logging & reporting the illegal sites, the Govt would have to show that they have taken action & not favouring the Kuk .

    I would love to see the Govt try & explain why the law only applies to OC participants.

  14. reductio says:

    @ Scotty Dotty

    Hadn’t thought of it like that. Still, with half of HK’s population now living up here you’d think various departments (and cops) would pull-their respective fingers out. Maybe the NT is a foretaste of what HK will become in general – rule of law lite.

  15. Joe Blow says:

    I am really surprised that nobody is saying the obvious, after hearing or reading the 2014 and 2015 Policy Address, and the person/ reptile/ puppet who is reading it: Hong Kong is now directly ruled by Beijing. They have found the perfect puppet-on-a-string to do or say whatever they want “it” to do or say. The guy is a robot.

    Hong Kong is now governed by a Quisling regime with a 24-hour hotline to the Liaison Office that spells out the details.

    If I were a middle class Chinese family man I would make a phone call to my brother in Vancouver / LA / Dallas / Brisbane and start making arrangements.

  16. Cassowary says:

    Funny you should mention that, there is a website/app where you can report illegal building sites and suchlike in country parks. http://trailwatch.hk/

  17. Monkey Reborn says:

    @reductio @ Scotty Dotty @FunB3

    Having grown up and lived in the NT for a considerable portion of my life, I attest the village people are a breed apart. Always been tremendously bolshoi and itching for a fight; to them all Chinese Hong Kongers are regarded as unwelcome immigrants, tolerated insofar as they are willing to accept the innate superiority and entitlements of the “true locals”, and for economic benefit as well (for example, my last landlord would happily lecture me for hours about the hundreds of years his family had been living in SKM village, even though him and his Fukkienese Hakka wife currently reside near Hamburg, living it large European-stylee on the rental income from their village properties). I think they even prefer gweilohs because they are seen as temporary interlopers compared to the “local HK Chinese”, and are more economically exploitable.

    I recommend walking from Sai Kung town to the boundary in the country park, via hiking trails and the farming cum commuter villagers… certain villages were very pro-communist in revolutionary times (red stars on old village buildings) and remain pro-CCP to this day; other villages have old, small dilapidated missionary Churches, where the white mans creed was preached to the heathen and cottage industries provided sustenance (and goods and materials to local Hongs).

    Needless to say internecine village conflict was common, and as told by my grandfather (HKG police from c. 1947) the Brits were happy to let them do their own thing as long as the ruckus was kept to a minimum (especially after WWII when NT villagers helped smuggle VIP escapees from Stanley prison through the village networks all the way up to Nationalist Sichuan, before being flown over the Tibetan hump to Nepal and India).

    Per my understanding, the Kuk and the triads are very closely interlinked, almost inseparable, and both have been pragmatically allied with the CCP since the 90s. Deng, IMHO, exhibited remarkable political astuteness and strategic foresight when he brought them onboard in relation to the transition and the handover, despite what would usually be considered a “Five Black Hands” status according to CCP ideology.

    The tycoons are a bunch of spineless kowtowing onanists in comparison to this lot, many of whom enjoy a good fight just for the fuck of it. Expect no serious government intervention in NT affairs; as the coalition crumbles, the CCP will go after the tycoons first – and with a degree of public fanfare. Marxism as a political philosophy is driven by dialecticism and the concept of historical inevitability; as such the CCP strategists are fervent students of both modern and ancient Chinese history. They will be very cognizant of the role of the triads and the Guangdong villagers in the 1911 revolution (and in other dynastic changes and political transformations in the last few thousand years). Within this context the kowtowing of the HKG gov to the Kuk, implicitly on behalf of the CCP, makes a lot of sense, and is likely to continue.

  18. Grassy Knoll says:

    Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you when we need you ?

  19. Cassowary says:

    If the govt is going to keep pandering to the Kuk, then they’re probably also going to keep pandering to the triads. Which means HK will continue to be used as a hub to smuggle meth from Guangdong labs into Indonesia. A richer, more powerful country using HK as a base for peddling drugs to a poorer, less powerful country. Why does that sound familiar?

  20. Scotty Dotty says:

    @Monkey Reborn (and reductio and FunB3)

    A great post, and very informative. Thank you.

    I agree this government are never going to confront the Kuk et al, so indeed, as reductio astutely says, you have half the Hong Kong population living under “Law & Order Light” (and ever lighter).

    It would be an interesting exercise over a beer, had the British concessions worked the other way around, and they had acquired the NT first in the 1840s, and invested most energy there, and instead Hong Kong island came later. Probably the Kuk and the corruption would have emigrated from the NT and concentrated on the island…

  21. Laguna Lurker says:

    Now why would CY be alarmed by the prospect of anarchy? Anarchists are also communistic (note small C).

    Anarchists seek to dismantle the state as an illegitimate source of power—an instrument of class-rule used to uphold the existing capitalist economic system. The state therefore cannot be used to change society, but should be abolished along with capitalism in favour of a cooperative society of freely-associated individuals.

    The ultimate aim of big-C Communists—those of the Marxist, Leninist or Maoist stripe—is to create a proletarian utopia that will eventually render the state redundant so that it will wither away. Unfortunately, they seem to be taking their time about it and, having tasted power, are very reluctant to relinquish control and the perks it affords.

    Anarchists are (at least in theory) your fellow travellers, CY, but unlike you they eschew violence against the person. (Destruction of property is not considered to be violence.)

    P.S. Hemmers, you insult reptiles by comparing them to HK’s Chief Executive. Their skins are smooth, slightly clammy or scaly, but not slimy—unlike CY himself.

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