Leninist control freaks now in your pockets

arepillars

The United Front takes a few minutes to rearrange a humble panel discussion. As always, the omniscient Communist blob acts unseen and silently, yet unmistakably. Prominent pro-Beijing politician Tsang Yok-sing awkwardly backs out of a Project Citizens Foundation forum delicately titled ‘Governance in Hong Kong: Are the Pillars Crumbling?’ He thus avoids appearing on the same stage as former Governor Chris Patten, whose non-acceptability to Mainland Chinese officials now presumably extends to the Hong Kong establishment.

The Foundation has various free-thinking and opposition connections, from former colonial number-two Anson Chan to HK University law faculty to independent media boss Tony Tsoi. This may account for the rather lackluster selection of panel members, with local officials and establishment figures shying away, leaving only old white guys like businessman Simon Murray and HKU head Peter Mathieson willing to take part. But Patten is the Big Untouchable at this event.

scmp-exlegco

Tsang’s submission to the United Front’s invisible and non-attributable bullying is at least reported in the English press – partly because Patten is still slightly newsworthy, but mainly because the papers try to conjure up an angle with the supposed possibility that he could be the next Chief Executive (Tsang, that is, ha ha). In truth, it’s simply a phobia about giving any sort of face to the non-person ex-governor. It will be interesting to see whether the good folk of Hong Kong come to pay nostalgic homage to the Brit, as they have in the past.

The curious case of the Hong Kong Army Cadets Association gets less coverage. The uniformed youth group, which mysteriously materialized out of nowhere in the wake of the Occupy/Umbrella movement in early 2015, is getting valuable premises and dollops of cash from the government, while other organizations go without. That’s your tax dollars.

Some commentators go for the superficial and facile angle – that this is favoritism for Chief Executive CY Leung’s wife Regina Tong, who is the improbable Commander in Chief, or a conflict of interest for Home Affairs Secretary Lau Kong-wah. We can reasonably presume that neither of these individuals could give a damn about the HKACA or stand to benefit in a material sense from these handouts.

What is really happening is an upgrade to the contrived and embarrassing youth group, no doubt in response to the growth of localist (separatist, pro-independence) sentiment among Hong Kong’s young people. (The same goes for recent rumblings about boosting Chinese History classes in schools.) The HKACA seems to have been launched largely as a PR stunt aimed at assuring Beijing; the government is now trying to normalize a ‘patriotic’ version of the traditional Boy Scouts to indoctrinate the city’s wayward youth.

hkacaOther youth groups in Hong Kong have developed organically over many (colonial-era) decades and are part of the local hybrid culture and civic identity. The HKACA is basically fake, and its nationalistic/pro-Communist agenda and PLA influence – however well downplayed – is alien to most local people. (It has a website, though the simplified Chinese and English versions aren’t there. More ranks than members!) It’s an uphill struggle. Meanwhile, teen hero Joshua Wong goes to Washington DC to get evil foreign powers to interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs.

When not pressuring people to keep away from Fatty Patten or getting the media to downplay handouts for the HK Red Guards, the United Front uses every trick in the Leninist book to squish non-conformists and warn and intimidate others. It got cosmetics cowards Lancome to ditch singer Denise Ho. Then the BBC ruins it all by putting her in a women-of-the-year list, and the idiot Standard goes rogue and reports it. The spiteful and vicious yet infantile and obsessive work is never done.

And this just in. More of same…

A plug: a couple of the above links were chosen because Hong Kong Free Press covers subjects that other English outlets downplay or avoid. They are having a fund-raising drive – go to it here.

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10 Responses to Leninist control freaks now in your pockets

  1. HillnotPeak says:

    Mrs Leung looks very….butch?
    Will make a nice couple with Regina in the local SM scene. Not for the faint hearted.

  2. Red Dragon says:

    Hemmers,

    What did poor old Franz Ferdinand do to warrent inclusion in that row of bloodthirsty tyrants?

    After all, the only things he ever slaughtered in any number were dumb animals.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Bunny next to Idi ? I think you owe Idi an apology.

  4. LRE says:

    The whole HKACA thing just reminds me of the old Fry & Laurie sketch about joining the SAS:
    “The SAS was originally founded to be a crack, secret, elite, secret and crack assault force to work behind enemy lines during World War II. Now… our role has changed substantially since that time: now we are here to act primarily as a masturbatory aid to various backbench MPs.”
    “I see.”
    “Yes, I’m afraid so. You see, it seems a lot of today’s parliamentarians are quite unable to achieve sexual gratification without fantasising about the SAS, you see. So we have to go about being crack, secret and assaulting and secret and crack all the time and as elite as possible just so these people can keep their marriages intact.”

  5. Reader says:

    Referring to ‘this just in’, interesting that Bunny Chan who founded the improperly overfunded Hong Kong Association of Youth Development is also chairman of the improperly overfunded Hong Kong Army Cadets Association (among a string of government bestowed positions, such as chair of Kwun Tong DC). Not cuddly.

  6. Mary Melville says:

    The most intriguing thing about Bunny Chan is that his only claim to fame is that he is chairman of Prospectful Holdings, a company with no record of any activity. Would appear that he was indeed pulled out of a hat.
    His other links are more recent. Cayman Islands registration stuff, de rigueur for a paid up party member.
    However the scouts hand out pales in comparison to the windfall reaped by Chicago Booth.
    Not only was this commercial education scam, $1,200,000 for a 16 week MBA course that probably carries as much gravitas as a local associate degree, given a large heritage site to trash for the princely sum of $1,000, the ex-Victoria Detention Centre at Mount Davis, today we learn that the construction will be funded to the tune of $234 million by none other than the Jockey Club Charities Trust!
    According to the JC website this largesse, accumulated via a monopoly on gambling revenue is intended for :
    ‘Working with Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community partners, the Trust is committed to improving the quality of life of the people of Hong Kong, and providing immediate relief to those most in need. As a philanthropic organisation in its own right, the Trust also proactively identifies and initiates projects that anticipate future community and social needs.”
    No mention of funding blatantly commercial, non essential services affordable only to the top 5%.
    Lurking in the background is that master deal maker Francis Yuen, ex PCCW, who knows a thing or three about cutting lucrative deals with our naïve civil servants. Chicago Booth currently operates at Cyberport, so join the dots.
    Makes Bunny and his scouts look like small potatoes.

  7. LRE says:

    @Mary
    You’ll be pleased to know that according to Webbsite, Bunny is also a voting member of the Jockey Club.
    Busy, busy, busy, as Bokonon would say.

  8. WTF says:

    He, Bunny, is a friend of Eddie Ng too. To be Eddie’s friend is easy for the right people, people with deep pockets. You just throw money at him, but you have to do it off-shore.

  9. Laguna Lurker says:

    Citizen jounalism in HK grows apace. Hemmers, you must start a membership facebook group. It could prove very interesting.

  10. Joe Blow says:

    Laguna has a point. I could tell some VERY interesting tales + details about some of 689’s cabinet/ inner circle, if you twisted my arm and stuffed that envelope just so.

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