Tomorrow is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s 18th birthday. Which means it is old enough to vote!
To mark the anniversary… Genius financial regulators in China are calmly devoting grandpa’s pension to propping up the stock market; civilization is coming to an end because, Horror of Horrors, consumers are paying less for stuff; and a big tough burly Hong Kong police inspector tragically (nearly) dies of post-traumatic stress disorder after being viciously assaulted with a mammary gland, weapon of choice among hardened localist brutes.
We need a holiday. I declare the delightful ad-hoc mid-week mini-weekend open with a special tribute to the chocolate-coloured poodle, Hong Kong’s most ubiquitous breed of pooch…
These creatures owe their distinctive fur pigmentation to a genetic mutation, and are all descended from one ancestor born several decades ago at a New Territories puppy farm. They became popular in this city because they matched pet lovers’ dyed hair.
Until recently, they were the one breed of dog in Hong Kong still allowed to use their legs. But the canine-worshiping authorities recently ordered owners to treat these hounds like other members of the species, and confine them to wheeled transportation. This practice reduces the beasts’ temptation to grab items from the lower shelves near the entrances to 7-Elevens, while making it easier for them to bite schoolchildren’s tiny delicate fingers. Most of all, it spares the precious little treasures the health-sapping hardships of walking. At least something is right with the world.
If only the pooch’s poop stays in the carrier…
Eighteen years since the handover. Shock reminder.
Happy holiday to our blogger and all
“Hong Kong police officer say protester assaulted him with her breast”. The Post’s reporter was clearly so shocked by the idea of female body parts that he (or even possibly she) completely forgot the basic rules of English grammar.
Hemlock and all, Have a nice holiday!
Many of the villages up near the border have packs of wild dogs, surreptitiously fed at strategic intersections by the old crones, thus creating no-go areas in their hinterlands.
Total mayhem when a yappy lapdog snarls at them from a suitably safe spot.
…consumers are paying less for stuff…
I am not so sure. This morning, under the scorching sun, there was an around-the-block queue in CWB of youngsters, hundreds and hundreds of them, lining up to buy something. I was curious so I followed the trail which ended at a small-ish Nike store (not the big one in Parcival Street). Right in front there was the usual crew of Pak scalpers who had probably spent the nite, hoping to buy something indispensable from Nike, but made in China, that they are hoping to sell at a mark-up price. Maybe Jeremy Lin has something to do with it.
Outside Influence, I see your ‘assault with breast’ and raise you ‘swallows diamonds while sleeping’. The best defence of thievery ever.
Happy SARS to everyone…. Hold on thats not right… Happy SARs day to everyone…there thats better.
There can’t be anyone who is entirely happy with the way HKSAR has turned out now its reached 18. This will be best illustrated tomorrow by the great and the good smiling inanely at the flag raising ceremony in the morning whilst the great unwashed will march in the afternoon.
So let’s tick off some of the highlights, now that we’ve reached adulthood, MPF, SARS, WTO Riots, Corruption, Rising Social Inequality, Rising Mainlandisation (this has many features), Ludicrous Property Prices, Social Disorder, Police Brutality and Political Regression. I share the blame equally between the CCP and the pathetic local Government.
Enjoy the holiday !
There were no “riots” connected with the WTO.. I went on the march at the beginning, and the one at the end. Neither Long Hair pushing (and being pepper sprayed in reply) nor Koreans jumping in the harbour constitues a riot. HK has, certainly since the mid 80’s when I first came, been an incredibly peaceful city, and remains such. It only panders to to the paranoid “pro establishment” or figures like our ex commissioner of police, who wish to clamp down , to refer to (none existent) riots, however tongue in cheek.
In the past 18 years, the Civil Service has successfully defended its salary package for everyone who signed up before year 2000. The cost, today, runs to 3/4 of a TRILLION dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. There is no plan to fund the liabilities.It expects that it will be paid for a generation that can’t afford housing. The Civil Service sees nothing strange about this.
It took 18 years, but the Civil Service has just twigged that their MPF scheme for the younger post-2000 generation of the Civil Service, doesn’t deliver a living pension. So they have forced MPF fees to be reduced; but that still doesn’t deliver a pension either.
Did you see Mr Pringles’ handshake with Papa Bear Xi ?
That’s it then: come Christmas, Mr Pringles sits on the big chair and we are all drinking coffee and watching French soft-porn ‘art’ movies.
Lexus will be Finance Secretary.
689 will be left hung out to dry. Carrie to the UK. Liaison Office guy promoted to embassy in Zimbabwe.
@Dimuendo: I call BS.
I like dogs and own two of them. Both can walk themselves.
But I’m no fan of the drivel that the Standard keeps publishing by Georgina Noyce, equestrian judge and author of canine fan fiction.
Is decent copy that hard to come by? Can’t the Standard copywriters just cut and paste something civilised from Reuters or AP?
From RTHK: “Mr Tsang Yok-sing admitted that his assistant detected a bug in his office at the Council building three years ago but the signal disappeared a few days later. He said he was not worried as no message or conversation had been leaked.”
Mr Tsang said he was not worried that his bathroom had been bugged as he was only seen cleaning his teeth, not relieving himself or having a shower.
Mr Tsang said he was not worried that his bedroom had been bugged as he and his wife were only seen talking, not kissing or having sex.
Mr Tsang said that he was not worried that his computer had been bugged, as he was only seen visiting the South China Morning Post, not Big Lychee.
Not seen before and not aware of when on either march. There were on police figs 400 Koreans. Those in your shot are Korean. What you show is disorder from a limited number of people. Not riot. My point remains.
Most of the WTO disorder was not in the marches (which were quite orderly).
It was on the evening of either the Friday or Saturday, when groups of protestors (mainly the Koreans, from memory) broke away from the main march and went to the convention centre. Many other activists went with them, as they weren’t sure what was happening but wanted to be where the action was.
The police then cordoned the Koreans and activists in the area in front of the Convention Centre.
I was on the main marches, but not in the cordon. However, I did get first hand accounts of the action in the cordon from an Australian activist who was in middle of the cordon and came home very late to sleep on my couch. The Koreans were pretty organised, as you’d expect from people who had been through compulsory military training, reinforced by somewhat hardcore unions.
Was it a riot? I wouldn’t call it that. But the notoriously right wing bastion of conservatism, the Guardian, did use the headline “Global trade riots rock Hong Kong”: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/dec/18/china.wto
Public Order Ord., Cap. 245, s 19:
(1) When any person taking part in an assembly which is an unlawful assembly by virtue of section 18(1) commits a breach of the peace, the assembly is a riot and the persons assembled are riotously assembled. (Amended 31 of 1970 s. 12)
(2) Any person who takes part in a riot shall be guilty of the offence of riot and shall be liable-
(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for 10 years; and
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 5 years.
It was a riot.
Back to the present.
” viciously assaulted with a mammary gland”
The 32 and 33 are handy little weapons in this part of the world. They can be padded up to give a useful appearance of size, but if the padding is stripped away their relative smallness is revealed. However, the top end of the range, for example the 33C, may be surprisingly effective.
The 34 and 35 are the preferred weapons in East Asia. They are sometimes mechanically upgraded; these upgrades are safe and effective, but the holder will not always acknowledge that the procedure has taken place. With the passage of years, a 34 may naturally upgrade to a 35 or 36, but there is no corresponding increase in effectiveness.
Sizes 36 and above are the weapons of choice in the west. Some opponents may be overcome by the mere sight of a classic 38. Larger sizes are also found, but the 39 and 40 are sometimes unwieldy, and this is much discussed.
@C.Law – so let’s say I’m taking part in a peaceful protest and some other participant commits a violent act which I neither expect nor condone, that can make me a rioter? That doesn’t sound like justice to me.
245 PDF Title: PUBLIC ORDER ORDINANCE Gazette Number: E.R. 1 of 2013
Section: 18 Heading: Unlawful assembly Version Date: 25/04/2013
(1) When 3 or more persons, assembled together, conduct themselves in a disorderly, intimidating, insulting or provocative manner intended or likely to cause any person reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace, or will by such conduct provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace, they are an unlawful assembly. (Amended 31 of 1970 s. 11)
(2) It is immaterial that the original assembly was lawful if being assembled, they conduct themselves in such a manner as aforesaid.
(3) Any person who takes part in an assembly which is an unlawful assembly by virtue of subsection (1) shall be guilty of the offence of unlawful assembly and shall be liable- (Amended 31 of 1970 s. 11)
(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for 5 years; and
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 3 years.
(Amended E.R. 1 of 2013)
To be able to cut and paste as per above is still a marvel to people like me who trained on electric typewriters.
Tiu Fu Fong
I not in cordon (or kettle to use modern parlance) but thought it marvellous, on completely none political basis, that the traffic on Gloucester Raod had been halted for the first time ever (this obviously before Occupy).
The cordon was peaceful and people were contained (detained) by the police so , so far , we are limited to the incident that Laguna supplies.
I note the citation and have added in section 18 to put in a slightly more detailed picture. With powers like sections 18 and 19 one wonders why the government or police apparently seek or need article 23 legislation?
I am not a criminal lawyer and would welcome commnets from one as to the legislation.
But to stick with Outside Influence’s question, if I had taken part in yesterday’s march, and near me, but unconnected with me, half a dozen or a dozen people had started chanting unpleasant insulting things about C Y Leung and urging people to occupy government house, is that a breach of the peace or provoking others to breach the peace? If so, it becomes an unlwful assembly? For just those chanting? For those near them and connected with them but not chanting? For me, completely not connected with them? For others on the march but hundreds of yards away?
If so, for any category, then there is a riot (section 19)!
I in the middle, near but not connected with the breach of the peace chanters. am a rioter?
Why should anybody who chants and even throws a stuffed toy be a rioter?
Is recent smashing of one pane of galss at Legco a “riot”? Maybe by definition. In reality?
Seems I have to correct my original post to Stephen. However basic point remains. HK is incredibly peaceful, in general living, on marches, even on demonstrations that might legally be a “riot”. To keep refering to WTO “riots” does not help .
Yes it can, as pointed out by Dimuendo, above. You should realise that legislation to control public order and/or national security is usually pretty severe in all countries, no matter what their political structure.
Glad to see you, too, can find BLIS and cut and paste.
I could have added s18, but a detailed explanation would have been overlong and was really not necessary.
To answer your questions, a straightforward reading of ss.18 and 19 shows that the answer in each case is yes. Why would you think that the smashing of the glass window in Legco was not riotous? It was certainly violent behaviour and a lot of effort went into it – did you not see the news clips? It took place in the context of a public assembly. The fact that a riot occurs does not mean that all of the participants would be charged with an offence, that would depend on the nature of their participation and would be a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with under the prosecution guidelines – which are available on the Dept of Justice website.
I do agree with your point that HK is incredibly peaceful and that protests are generally also peaceful.
The marches you were on at the WTO were in the main peaceful, but there was a large and well-organised group of Koreans who did behave in a violent manner, such as that shown in the clip referred to by Laguna Lurker above. Most laymen would consider that to be a riot (never mind the legal definition), even if it were not a big one on the scale of London or LA in the recent past. Not all riots have to be big. As you note in S18 of the POO, three persons are enough!
There is also a potential in HK for violent behaviour in connection with demonstrations in HK, sometimes conducted by the demonstrators themselves, sometimes by others taking advantage of the situation for their own agendas, political or criminal. Examples of these from the 1980’s include incendiary devices being used against Japanese businesses, Japanese cars being damaged etc. during protests against amendments to the Japanese school curriculum to whitewash atrocities in the 30’s and 40’s, the “taxi riots” and also the riots which took place following the last night of the protests following June 4 1989. We cannot just assume that the current peaceful attitude will prevail, though one earnestly hopes so.
The POO, as its title shows, relates to public order, Article 23 of the Basic Law refers to National Security, which is a different matter entirely.
Thank you for your considered response. If the effect of sections 18 and 19 of the POO are, as you contend, namely to put everybody on a demonstaration at risk of a riot charge, then the legislstion should be amended. “guidelines” are not always adhered to and can be changed without much difficulty.
As to clause 23 being “national security” it is a means of control and potential suppression. Just look at some instances as to what the mainland apparently regards as sedition or subversion. Similarly sections 18 and 19, if having the effect you say, are simply a means of control (as to the none involved participant).
I think you have to look at the law from the point of view of the drafters and the legislature. As I indicated to Outside Influence above, Public Order Legislation is pretty draconian in jurisdictions around the world, whatever their political structure. This is because the effects of public disorder are so dire: one only has to look at the situation here in 1967 and at the recent unrest in the UK and the USA, not to mention the relatively minor stuff which appears on our TV news frequently from around the world. The HK legislation is based on English law and is similar in nature. You will not get any amendment, you would not get it in any other jurisdiction. No state would leave itself without the ablity to deal severely with the perpetrators of such violence.
The vast majority of people are not aware of this type of legislation simply because as law abiding citizens in relatively peaceful places they do not see it being used.
I agree with you that guidelines can be changed. That is why the nature of the government and political system is so important. Democracy is not just turning up to vote on polling day. It covers the whole range of life, from whether the economy is biased towards tycoons through how we deal with the vulnerable and the “different” in society, how we educate our children to how we deal with people who commit criminal offences. It must reflect the overall view of society, hopefully a view that values equality of treatment and opportunity for all. I once saw it put as being when something happens and the great majority of the population instinctively say “You can’t do THAT!”.
HK people do have such an awareness and showed it by the massive turnout against the proposals for Article 23 legislation last put forward by Regina IP on behalf of the Tung administration. The Govt also learnt a lesson and have not tried to put it forward again.
It is a pity that our pan-democrat politicians have been unable to articulate this as well as Hemlock here on these pages.