Even parts of the Hong Kong establishment are nervous after what we can call the New Year Purge, until we have a better name for it. The SCMP worries about the fate of the 53 arrested in an analysis piece and an editorial reflecting what we all know – that there is nothing to convict them for.
Of course, the NatSec Regime is more interested in crushing the individuals publicly with dawn raids, searches of premises, arrests, seizing of passports and freezing of assets. And if the courts throw the cases out, it will provide the CCP with a pretext to ‘reform’ the judiciary. That would further tarnish Hong Kong’s legal system, and the city generally. And in a way, Benny Tai’s laam chau plan will indeed be carried out.
The HK government begs to differ with skeptics, issuing one of its over-long, over-whiny tantrum-statements in response to overseas criticism of the Purge. Among the official panty-wetting is a claim that the pan-dems’ plan to win and exploit a majority in LegCo would have ‘undermined’ the government’s performance. Like we would notice.
Has the HKChronicles website been blocked? It seems there’s some other sort of problem. But we can expect the NatSec Regime to start on a local Great Firewall – before the year’s end. Seems a pretty safe bet.
On the New Year Purge: Human Rights Watch; Asia Sentinel’s column (linked to yesterday); a Bloomberg op-ed foresees long- rather than short-term decline for Hong Kong as Beijing slowly suffocates the place; and in the Spectator, the Hong Kong Watch director asks how the UK should respond.
For light relief, Transit Jam on the Alphard menace…
…there’s now an incredible 218,000 7-seaters in Hong Kong, 50 times more than the number of public minibuses, yet carrying a fraction of the 1.7 million daily minibus passengers.
The author proposes several remedies, none of them – sadly – involving streetside garrotings or explosives.
There is no need to get convictions if you can get them on police bail until their death (no prescription).
the Alphard menace
Has anyone else noticed just how many expensive, civilian-registered, 7-seaters and other cars the police are using these days? All used by scruffily-dressed “detectives”.
@WMJP: Surely the coppers are driving what are considered civil forfeiture vehicles that were employed in the commission of a crime at some time. Right?
Today is one of those mythical winter days of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong doesn’t have civil forfeiture, it only has criminal forfeiture which has a higher burden of proof though I am sure NSL has changed that a lot.
@ Chinese Netizen
One I saw being used in the mass purge had an XO registration which has to be remarkably new to be involved in the commission of a crime. I suspect they are trying hard to spend the bonus Chef Chan gave them in the last budget.
Ummmm, do they get to take the ches, and their names are legion, home for the weekend? Without the AM plates there is no way to spot off duty ‘perks’.
I’m waiting for the VSOP reg plates 😉
@Casira – the boss of RTHK has reportedly warned his journalists not to interview any of the 53 while their cases are in progress. The idea may be to shut them up indefinitely.
HK is crap. I want to live in a democracy. Then these things might happen.