Normality returns

I leave this city for a few days and all hell breaks loose as people who should know better indulge in blatant stupidity.

First, lawmaker Regina Ip feels a need to wade into a subject no-one really wants to think (or cares) about: adulterous goings-on between employers and staff. But not just any such hanky-panky. Specifically, the aspiring Chief Executive pronounces on white married guys in Discovery Bay being bedded by nubile gold-digging Filipino maids.

Why? Why write a newspaper column – in a Chinese-language paper – about such an icky, obscure, banal non-issue? Does she imagine that Hong Kong people will read her warnings about this evil in our midst (or in Disco Bay, at least), and vote for her? Regina for CE – she’ll get tough on expat guys having sex with Southeast Asian women, because that’s Hong Kong’s biggest problem.

Considering they are the most helpless, vulnerable and victimized members of our community, migrant domestic workers and their supporters do a pretty good job of mercilessly bludgeoning and humiliating anyone suspected of mistreating or simply dissing them. And sure enough, Regina is getting the full treatment, complete with placards portraying her as Hitler. She is now mewling about how it’s a ‘misunderstanding’ – the classic euphemism for deliberate but now sorely regretted idiocy.

What this tells us about Regina is that she is a bit cut off from real life. There must be a dozen divorce lawyers in town making a living just off the Cathay Pacific pilots who dump SCMP-Helperstheir wives for the amah. I hate to think how she would react if she learned what the other 6.999 million of us already know about the philandering of some of our tycoons.

Second, some Deputy Assistant Vice Sub-Supremo at Hong Kong University announces the sort of marketing gimmick popular among educational institutions today: come to HKU and we throw in a ‘China experience’ that you can put on your resume. Pretty standard stuff, you might think. It’s a wonder they hadn’t done it before.

But no. Apparently unaware of anything happening since last August in Hong Kong outside the ivy-clad ivory towers of Pokfulam, the university manages to present the brand-enhancing promo as a Compulsory Communist Brainwashing Mainlandization Doom Course, complete with a breathtakingly clueless challenge along the lines of “If you don’t want to be subjected to Mao-thought propaganda struggle-sessions, go to one of the 10,000 other universities in the world desperate for your tuition fees.”

The professors and chancellors and pro-vice whatevers could argue that their innocent announcement of the university’s Special Offer was twisted into a horror story by Hong Kong’s shallow and alarmist media. But these people are supposed to be brainy, and capable of anticipating obvious and predictable things, which is presumably why they are just backtracking and groveling and claiming that in fact they meant the exact opposite of what they said.

To the extent that anyone cares about self-absorbed seats of learning, we are left with the unfortunate impression that HKU panicked about pro-Beijing criticism of its academics’ pro-democracy activities and imagined that introducing a lame Mainland exchange requirement for undergrads would put things right. Obviously, with their PhDs and everything, they can’t be that simple-minded. (They have an author of brilliant books up there called Frank Dikotter who could tell them all they need to know about how the Communist Party works.)

At a time when the press and judiciary as well as academia are under fire from malevolent pro-Beijing forces, HKU should be self-confident and assertive in their message management rather than going for the pitiful pre-emptive kowtow by awkwardly grinning gwailos mesmerized by the China Thing. For example – to pluck an idea out of thin air – they could quietly drop hints of contingency plans to relocate to Taiwan if Communist tyrants come anywhere near their liberal values and academic freedom.

Which bring us rather neatly to the renegade province, where I spent a wonderful few days, apart from being hurled (slightly) across my hotel room by an earthquake…


I declare the weekend open with a tribute to the museum in Tamsui dedicated to a 19th Century Christian missionary from Canada who wandered around the savage regions of Formosa pulling the aboriginal people’s teeth out…


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13 Responses to Normality returns

  1. Joe Blow says:

    That duck wouldn’t last 5 seconds in HK.

  2. Cassowary says:

    I don’t think Regina Ip wanted the government to get tough on expat men cheating on their wives. She wanted the government to get tough on Southeast Asian succubi seducing innocent husbands. Or else, she didn’t want the government to do anything about the systemic abuse of domestic helpers because, gasp, some of them might be sluts.

    Which tells you everything you need to know about Regina’s logic, or more accurately lack thereof. The world according to Regina:
    1. Moral panic is a winning political strategy
    2. Policy should be made based on judgments of a group’s supposed sexual virtue
    3. Some people shouldn’t be helped because other people have been bad

  3. Stephen says:

    Living in DB, and infrequently seeing Vagina with her Gweilo fella, I can assure you it’s a huge problem and she’s hit the nail on the head. Only last week I recall a disturbing incident when I had to fight off my maid, Dolly, with her own mop when she puckered up, pinned me in the kitchen, clearly forgetting my wife had changed her roster and was due home at any minute! Another friend told me how he was having his usual morning massage from his maid, Lolita, where his happy ending was completely ruined by something those venal Pro-Dems had written in a newspaper.

    Thank god I can soon “pocket it now, make it happen, jetso” and vote for this visionary in 2017.

  4. Oneleggoalie says:

    Welcome back from Taiwan…where…one hears…the hair salons have shampooists giving top notch Hand Jobs…and a Blow Dry…is…well…self-explanatory.
    We trust you had a “haircut”…wink wink.

    Oneleg is so disappointed with Regina…Now that she’s brought the matter to public attention…Where are ugly broke white guys going to score some action?…not to mention retired old white bachelors going to find sex?

    She can be so selfish…perhaps we could start importing shampooists from Taiwan.

  5. reductio says:

    @Joe Blow

    Unless it was a lame duck.

  6. Probably says:

    Is the HKU ‘compulsory mainland trip’ not akin to the Cultural Revolution practice whereby students had to go and work with the peasant farmers?

  7. Maugrim says:

    I’m not sure which is more distasteful, her comments or the obliviousness demonstrated when rightly accused of racism. One can imagine the cries that would have arisen had such an article been written in a western city, about say, Chinese people. Regina wants to talk about the ‘truth’. I suppose there is an element of truth, just as Portland St and Shenzhen are simply places to get an old fashioned remedial massage, cough. What I don’t get is that the Government ignores far wider, more obvious truths, eg, smuggling and picks this one. As they say in the classics, “chee seen”

  8. PCC says:

    There have been no “amah dramas” in my household because I have been scrupulous in refraining from having sex with any of the domestic helpers in my employ.

    Well, none of the older ones, anyway.

  9. Scotty Dotty says:

    Regina did not make a “misunderstanding”, she just made (yet another) “miscalculation”.

    Shit, she will be saying at least until Tuesday, sensible people actually read the Chinese press.

  10. AHW says:

    You left out Arthur Li!

  11. JD says:

    Methinks Regina’s timing is suspiciously calculated to gain CCP points at the expense of people here without a voting voice. See the Philippines/Vietnam team-up for the ongoing maritime disputes and note how many anti-Aquino stories are popping up in the SCMP.

  12. Joe Blow says:

    Vagina is the ultimate troll. She will do and say anything to draw attention to herself and suck up to Beijing.

  13. FOARP says:

    @Cassowary – Regina Ip was aiming primarily at moral outrage, she was aiming for what must has seemed to her to be a sweet-spot subject which allowed her to:

    1) Hate on expats with their “open” lifestyle, thus appealling to the more xenophobic amongst HKers.

    2) Hate on the foreign media for not reporting the “scandal” of expats having affairs with the hired help, thus appealing to Beijing and its acolytes.

    3) Hate on domestic servants recruited from overseas, thus appealling to the working class HKers whose jobs have been taken by immigrants.

    When you understand that this piece, and in fact most of what HK government politicians say, is aimed at appealing to Beijing by opposing their enemies du jour, whilst simultaneously still trying to appeal to the HK people in some way, it all makes sense.

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