Of course we’re going to do it – just not yet

The Hong Kong Bar Association has slammed the government for planning changes to the immigration law that would enable it to bar individuals from leaving the city. (Reports here and here.)

The government gets in an almighty righteous huff, claiming with a straight face that it would never infringe the Basic Law or Bill of Rights. (Report here.) But of course we have already been told that the NatSec Law overrides those two documents – so obviously the government is lying again, right?

But here’s another angle, drawing on an earlier government explanation to LegCo, and concluding that if the proposal has any political purpose it would be more to ‘deny entry to HK at the point of departure, instead of when they arrive’. 

Maybe critics have indeed misunderstood the government’s intentions and wrongly assumed the worst – exit bans on dissidents – when the planned amendment is in fact only about inbound refugee-seekers.

But (leaving sloppy official wording aside) why shouldn’t people believe a report about new powers to prevent critics from fleeing?  It sounds exactly like what the CCP’s NatSec Regime would do next, straight after imposing NatSec brainwashing on kids and just before tighter Internet censorship or whatever they have lined up for next week. As the 10% take-up rate of the pandemic contact-tracing app shows, the government has long gone past the stage when the public has any trust in it.

Update: much more on all this from Aaron Mc Nicholas.

In case you missed the HKFP‘s recent run of recommendable features… A 1967-era Leftist protester meets a young 2019 pro-dem one, and, despite many differences, both loath Carrie Lam. An interview with the annoyingly reasonable-sounding guy behind the biggest blue-ribbon Facebook group (a scion of pro-Beijing Macau elites who runs a company investing in Xinjiang). Op-eds on: the proposed fake-news law; the difference the NatSec Law – exemplified by the Jimmy Lai case – has made to the Hong Kong legal system; and fatalism vs change in Hong Kong. Some profiles of Hongkongers moving to the UK. Hotel quarantine artwork. And how people imprisoned after the 2019 uprising are keeping friends on the outside up to date by writing letters that are posted online. Apparently…

Prisoners may write and send as many letters as they wish to any person…

Why do I get the feeling the vindictive NatSec Regime will want to tighten up this relatively liberal rule before long? (You can write to them – be a penpal – too, including via email.) 

A message from Regina Ip.

And a thread on the annual fortune- disaster-stick draw at Che Kung Temple.

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7 Responses to Of course we’re going to do it – just not yet

  1. Just another Ho for the CCP says:

    From the Adrian Ho of “Savehk Facebook group” interview on why a millionaire with a business in Xinjiang and CCP relatives including the Macau CE created his FB group:
    ‘News and social media was “very much one-sided,” Ho said. “Cyberbullying became a fashionable thing to do for the opposite camp.”
    “Anybody who tried to express a different opinion than them, on the internet, would be attacked and judged, immensely,” he said.’

    But Adrian, that’s projection, isn’t it? After all the very much one-sided news was on the CCP’s side, and the NSL has been introduced to “attack and judge immensely” and then imprison anyone who tries to express a different opinion than the CCP on or off the internet.

  2. where's my jet plane says:

    If the administration had any sense (faint hope), the addition of the word “inbound” before passenger would clarify matters – if, of course, they really do mean the amendment not to relate to departing pax.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    If that Vagina photo and message isn’t the most desperate and pathetic attempt at “Look! I’m AVAILABLE, approachable and still comely!!” then…well…fucking hell…

    (who does a Valentine’s greeting SINGLE???)

  4. Ho Ma Fan says:

    In response to the government’s “righteous huff”, the following is taken directly from the ICAO website:
    The stipulations ICAO standards contain never supersede the primacy of national regulatory requirements. It is always the local, national regulations which are enforced in, and by, sovereign states, and which must be legally adhered to by air operators making use of applicable airspace and airports.
    So HK gov saying they have to do it because ICAO is utter horse shit.

  5. Casira says:

    @Chinese Netizen: Well in Japan, Valentine’s day is mostly a single’s affair for instance (but then again the majority of the youth is single there).

  6. Stephen says:

    Changes to the immigration law hot on the heels of the failed flee to Taiwan maritime episode and a prominent (ex) Lawmaker now residing in the United Kingdom minus his HSBC bank balance. Coincidence ?

  7. so says:

    Why is the Bar Association complaining about a proposed law preventing travel when their members, year in and year out, apply for Prohibition Orders in debtor and divorce cases?

    The Inland Revenue Department regularly stops people from leaving if their tax bills aren’t settled.

    If Regulations exceed the Bill of Rights, they will be challenged.

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