Carrie’s latest struggle – to outperform CY

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam admits to feeling hopeless (in sense 1, not 2). Clutching her pearls in desperation, she tells RTHK that she wants to bring a divided society together, but controversies get in the way.

What she doesn’t mention is that these controversies are policies that Beijing is ordering her to implement as part of its strategy to Mainlandize Hong Kong – force the city to become more like part of a Communist one-party state.

They include: disqualifying elected opposition lawmakers; reducing the Legislative Council’s (already weak) powers to obstruct the Executive; the imprisonment of high-profile protest organizers; politically correct Chinese History classes in schools; and the forthcoming Compulsory Standing Up Solemnly for the National Anthem Law. There’s also the stationing of Mainland officials at the Kowloon High-Speed Rail Station – a more technical issue, but clearly arising from a Mainlandization-inspired infrastructure project.

The transition from CY Leung to Carrie is a switch from someone who visibly enjoyed implementing Mainlandization to someone who finds it agonizing and nerve-racking – but the course of Mainlandization itself must continue unaffected either way.

If this is the Chinese Communist Party’s idea of sugaring the pill, it doesn’t seem to be working. The soccer fans seem no less keen to mock the national anthem. And Carrie can’t even do the basic stuff.

Despite his Communist-psycho-billionaire background, CY did noodles-with-grassroots photo ops with ease and implemented a few populist measures. Carrie is a colder, more aloof and out-of-touch figure who seems to find people in general perplexing or just distasteful. After her clumsy reaction to the Gay Games, her administration is now talking about easing rules against cross-border trafficking of infant formula – a move that panders to a handful of retailers and landlords while needlessly angering everyone else.

While CY was deliberately obnoxious and provocative, Carrie does it accidentally and without even realizing it. Still, it’s just style – the substance of Mainlandization will grind on.

I declare the weekend open with the thought that Carrie is not alone in being out-of-touch: the older mainstream pro-democrats also inhabit another world. Lawmaker James To accuses Carrie of wanting to turn the Legislative Council into a Mainland-style rubber stamp. He is wrong – this is 100% a Beijing decision, and Carrie is just the hapless minion carrying out instructions. It’s a critical distinction, and it’s stupid to blame the wrong person. Why can’t/won’t the Democratic Party accept that the high-autonomy, one-country-two-systems thing is over?



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7 Responses to Carrie’s latest struggle – to outperform CY

  1. Revolution says:

    Well, on the basis of what I saw last night, Hong Kong football fans were actually a bit less keen to mock the anthem. The fan groups/ultras who populated the North Stand and can be seen in pictures taken last night behaved as usual, but in other areas of the ground there was much less disobedience than usual. I immediately sat down on hearing the anthem, and at recent games a sizeable number of others around me have done the same. Last night, a lot more people remained standing. Maybe all this sabre rattling is having an effect.

    Another observation: as well as press photographers – easy to spot as they were wearing HKFA bibs – there were about 10 or so locals taking photos and filming those disrespecting the anthem in the North Stand. They all left the ground as the game was starting. I wonder who paid them to do that?

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    Q: Why can’t/won’t the Democratic Party not accept that the high-autonomy, one-country-two-systems thing is over?

    A: Because they’re infants.

    I’ll take Alex Chow, Nathan Law & Joshua Wong over these old farts any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  3. Q. Why can’t/won’t the Democratic Party not accept that the high-autonomy, one-country-two-systems thing is over?

    A. Because the only two practical alternatives are selling out to the nasties or sinking into despair. Booing the anthem and shouting about independence may provide some temporary alleviation on the one hand, as may fantasising about a “middle way” on the other, but neither of them is going to win us a livable future.

  4. Des Espoir says:

    Why are people getting so steamed up over the National Anthem Law… it will probably never be enforced…. We have heaps of laws which PC Plod is too idle (or too sensible to enforce).
    Why are NT and Lantau villagers never pulled over for cycling without lights?
    – Because there are too many of them doing it…
    Why are Alphards in Central never booked for illegal parking or waiting?
    -Because there are too many of them..
    Why is no-one ever booked for the offence of ‘using the horn while stationary’?
    -Because there are too many doing it..~

  5. John Paul says:

    Carrie is conflicted by her adherence to the dogma of the Catholic Church, with its evil tenets against women and gays. Like all blind followers of dogma, she doesn’t like having her world-view challenged. She is serving two masters … one in Rome and the other in Beijing.

  6. George Ringo says:

    Carrie is conflicted by her adherence to the dogma of the HK civil service (‘don’t rock the boat and collect your inflated salary’), with its evil tenets against normal HK people (‘shut up and obey’). Like all blind followers of dogma, she doesn’t like having her world-view challenged. She is serving two masters … one in Admiralty and the other: the civil service and HK Government perks which have served her so well for decades and provided a solid foundation for her sense of entitlement, which is baked into every senior HK civil servant.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Des Espoir: I beg to differ… the anthem law is a low hanging fruit for every “law enforcement officer” t0 act upon and show his/her overlords what a great officer for future potential promotion and accolades by vigorously enforcing the law and cuffing children/seniors/defiant young punks/etc (and maybe even some adventurous mainlanders eager to give free speech a go in the SAR whilst on holiday)!

    You can’t fine Alphtard illegal parking or horn blowing because those are the TRUE “constituents” the government serves.

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