Hong Kong Free Press is on a roll at the moment, scoring an interview with former Governor Chris Patten, gaining accreditation from the government, apparently finding new office space – and keeping the stories coming. And now it gets the ultimate compliment: creepy letters from a deluded individual trying to sound threatening…
The epistolary forensics freak in me can’t help but go through the menacing missives. On the face of it…
In terms of style, the writer has native or near-native English ability, down to the typos. The few distinguishers reflect British usage. The writer has carefully used restrained and deliberate language. The voice is female or at least ‘effeminate’/’maternal’.
As for substance, the writer identifies as Chinese and pro-Beijing and expresses xenophobic feelings – but is also fervently Christian.
This isn’t a contradiction among some local cultural conservatives who manage to combine loyalty to PRC with Biblical fundamentalism. Such people typically have Mainland or ‘establishment-style’ material/business interests (earthly success being a sign of God’s blessing), and distrust of activists, gays, feminists (both un-Chinese and un-Godly). The author here quotes from: the judges in the sentencing of Joshua Wong et al (“unhealthy trend…”); the Basic Law (nationalistic intro and Article 23); and an astoundingly putrid hymn by one John Rutter (who has recently appeared in Hong Kong, and is in fact an agnostic).
The genuinely creepy part is that the writer writes directly to and mentions HKFP staff’s family members – which would have involved finding home addresses and other details. Such calculation and awareness of how to cause alarm could mean that the ‘racist Christian’ persona is a deliberate façade. But why go to the trouble of faking this sort of religious earnestness? More likely this is an actual racist Christian who is also sinister and malevolent.
The writer offers a link to an English-speaking Evangelical church in North Point. Given the anonymity in the rest of the materials, this does look like an attempt to mislead.
My tentative conclusion is that the perpetrator is a Western-educated Hongkonger or a locally resident Singaporean or Malaysian Chinese, consciously pro-establishment in terms of business and politics, a devout (probably convert) fundamentalist Christian, possibly with enemies at Island Evangelical Community Church. By ‘tentative’, I mean ‘probably BS’. Definitely pitiful.
I declare the weekend open with the hope that it’s not a certain person I know who – in total seriousness – prays to God for extra help when her secretary can’t book her desired table at a restaurant.