Liaison Office gets subtle

Maybe there is a method to the Liaison Office’s obsessive micro-tweaking of opposition candidates’ access to the Hong Kong Legislative Council by-election ballot. Or they are making it up as they go along. Either way, Edward Yiu passes the ideological screening test that Agnes Chow for some reason failed.

Awkwardly ‘moderate’ Pro-Beijing lawyer Ronny Tong explains that there are technical differences between the two cases. We might also point out that Beijing has a particular phobia about the Demosisto group, whose youthful and photogenic Agnes, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law are – by Hong Kong politician standards – internationally-known trendy glam heroes.

Most likely, Beijing’s officials balked at dumping too much of their stomach-churning wretchedness on Hong Kong at one time. It would have been easier if they hadn’t already debased the local government’s limited remaining credibility by making Teresa Cheng Justice Secretary. As it is, the newly appointed scandal-tainted legal chief struggles to answer lawmakers’ questions on either her own or Agnes Chow’s plights. Perhaps, in an uncharacteristic fit of lucidity, the apparatchiks realized that destroying their puppet administration’s ability to command any respect undermines their mission of bringing Hong Kong under control.

Even loyalists are uncomfortable. Pro-Beijing lawmakers and others dislike having to endorse an illegal-structure-laden, stamp-duty-minimizing, PR disaster of a new Justice Secretary. The Standard, which is supposed to shoe-shine the government, expresses bewilderment about the Agnes/Edward case in its editorial.

Here on Hong Kong Island, the Liaison Office has decided that one Judy Chan of Regina Ip’s New People’s Party will represent the pro-Beijing camp in the March by-election. (Middle-class image, none of the uncouth proletarian Leftist thing, as befits the constituency. Sports fetching, modern, clean-designed crimson and white banners.) She previously said that she would prefer Agnes not to be barred. Don’t blame her. What are the chances that the Liaison Office’s meddling provokes a bigger pro-dem turnout for Agnes’s replacement, Au Nok-hin? (Bearing in mind that we’d never heard of Judy before, either.)


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4 Responses to Liaison Office gets subtle

  1. My eyes once more fall on a phrase in your report today.

    “Obsessive micro-tweaking.”

    This is a bit clunky as a blog title but could at a pinch replace Big Lychee, surely?

    Pip, pip!

  2. LRE says:

    It’s really not all that weird or mysterious.

    The by-elections are basically a lost cause for the pan-kleptocrats’ United Front. Without their dodgy special PR list system, their 10%-20% following of the elderly-on-a-day-release-junket and the profoundly hard-of-thinking won’t get them anywhere.

    By letting Yiu run in West Kowloon, the Liaison Wonks let the Pan Dems waste the favourite for the contested Architectural Rotten Borough in a district that they’d probably win even if they ran a dead horse as the candidate. This leaves the Architectural Rotten Borough and its far more bribable electorate in a much more contestable state for the pan-kleptocrats.

    The Beijing Kleptocracy is petrified of both talk of independence in any of its colonies (even the ones it hasn’t even managed to actually colonise yet) and the youth of Hong Kong and China (qv ban on rap music & tats) ever since that unpleasantness with the tanks in ’89. They also instinctively don’t trust anyone popular enough to get elected fairly — not the CPC’s sort of people at all. Even Vagina Ip was too popular, attractive, clever and independent for them, so that’s a very tolerance indeed.

    All of that adds up to Agnes being doomed from the moment she filled in the form.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Looks like ‘last call’ for Hooters. First Lan Kwai Fong descends into eternal gloom and now our favorite family restaurant too. What a great loss to our international financial Asian world co-prosperity sphere hub. Will it ever be the same again ?

  4. Jason says:

    I agree: In the mindset of the higher ranking officials inside the Liaison Office young, independent minded candidats have to be banned at all costs.
    And didn’t they show their compassion in letting Edward Yiu stand for election?
    Concerning our dashing Secretary for Justice: I think her chances to stay in the job until the end of the year are far less than 50%. There is -almost- no support for her in the comment sections of online media. The silence of free-lance Wumao and professional commentators from Sai Wan is defeaning.
    Wouln’t it be a clever act, if Judy Chan, or another United Front hopeful, declares on March 9 that she convinced the “relevant authorities” Teresa Cheng had to go? On March 10, Cheng resigns, citing “health reasons”, followed by Ronnie Tong.

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