Some Hong Kong pro-democrats still like to imagine that, even under the Leninist principles of the NatSec Regime, the Legislative Council can be a representative body with at least a little political power. Maybe they will get real after reading that Beijing (via the local puppet government) will further rig the assembly’s membership by ramming through new laws to give Hongkongers living over the border a vote (while those elsewhere overseas do not, and nor can anyone use a postal ballot).
This will mobilize maybe another half million votes. This electorate will be in a place where only pro-Beijing parties’ workers may canvass (indeed, visit), and we can expect the location of polling stations to suit their needs too (with transport and lunchboxes thrown in). The CCP will also no doubt allocate pliable voters to the constituencies where their votes are most needed. If they want, they can easily just stuff ballot boxes.
This confirms that the CCP is determined to ensure LegCo plays a purely ceremonial rubber-stamp role – though it wants the process to continue to look like a genuine democratic one. It also shows that the pan-dems are wasting their time giving the body legitimacy by staying in it.
Some other things from the weekend…
A pressure group finds strong evidence that New Territories residents are illegally selling archaic ding rights – allowing indiginous males to build a house for personal use – to developers. And pro-Beijing lawyer Junius Ho is upset that his practitioner status in England is under threat. The link between the two stories: Ho does property paperwork in the New Territories.
A thread reporting on the on-line rally in support of the HK 12 held in the Mainland.
And HKFP on what the NatSec Regime means in practice as…
…a fascinating historical replay … of the old-style rectification campaign … after 1949 to dismantle all the old sources of authority and create a new revolutionary order.
Before their 1997 return to Chinese rule, Hongkongers had been promised they would not be subjected to those same kinds of disruptive upheavals. But since June 30, the old urge to try and remake society to Beijing’s liking is evident everywhere: in the language of official discourse, the demand for professions of loyalty from civil servants, the scrutiny of candidates for elective office based on past behaviour, and scrutiny based on behaviour while in office. The press, churches, schools, teachers, students – nothing is off limits, no one seems to be exempt. Labeling and targeting are the new norms.
And the independent judiciary is a major target. The key thing to bear in mind about the NatSec Law is that it is not a ‘law’, but an entire new CCP-run system of government.
What I find acutely depressing is that it does not much matter if the judiciary decides to take a stand for its own independence:
If Ma and his successors do fight the CCP on rule of law issues (vanishingly unlikely) then that is almost certain to be rewarded by an NPCSC interpretation.
If, on the other hand, Ma keeps on doing as he has done, and his successors follow in his footsteps, then the courts will end up eroding basically all of what remains of their autonomy – by themselves.
As with virtually every other aspect of society these days, I suppose you must pick your poison.
Not fair to Ma. He and the CFA judges have generally been good at holding the line. Worry about any successor, more likely to be chosen for their complaint love the motherland credentials than legal ability and judicial qualities.
Will be interesting to see if the arsonists on the loose over the weekend setting more than 80 fires that engulfed considerable tracts of wooded hillsides in NT will be tracked down with the same determination demonstrated in the prosecution of those involved in protest incidents.
That this annual ritual is tolerated and tax payers have to foot the bills for the costly GFS forays and remedial measures would indicate that deliberately setting fire to property is a. yet another, violation that is subject to selective enforcement.
The Pan Dems will continue to play the charades and give legitimacy to the illegitimate because most of them are a bunch of unemployable sad sacks who just aren’t ready to walk away from the money. Principles be damned. I would love to see the entire pan dem camp just walk away while the CCP and HKCCPSAR government continue to spend millions and jump through hoops just to elect one approved person on a ballot just so they can say they had an election.
Meanwhile the CCP and the American GOP pretty much using similar playbooks regarding voter suppression and various other shenanigans to further legitimize themselves while ensuring the other side stares hang jawed.
the real litmus test is the separation of powers row and Ma having done and said exactly nothing on that I don’t see how one can credit him with holding the line, other good qualities notwithstanding..
granted there is no way out for an independent judiciary either way
It’s to do with the Kuk, so it’s hands off. Same as the small house policy, same as the development of brownfield sites.
It häs to luk demokratik, böt ve vill keep ze reins in our handz!
Walter Ulbricht ca. 1950 ?
There is always the lingering suspicion that some of the fires are strategically ignited to clear the sites for future development on the excuse that there is no ecosystem left to disturb.
Latest HK groveling class “tycoons” trying to diversify and get their $$$ out of HK (and CCP grasp)?? Henderson Land buys Four Seasons resort in Honolulu…
The govt attempted to pull a similar ruse on the so-far-abortive Ex-Lamma Quarry Area development scheme.
At one of the angry public consultation meetings, the government’s environmental survey contractor pointed out that people shouldn’t worry too much about impacting nature, saying that it lacked any interesting ecosystem, which was “because it just hadn’t really been touched after it used to be a quarry.”
“It used to be a hill!” Was the loud and angry reply of a resident with a long memory. “The fact that it’s in a poor ecological state now is purely because the liars in the government didn’t bother rehabilitating it properly like they said they would when they proposed the quarry!”
Catcalls and jeering ensued.