Hong Kong’s NatSec Regime takes a break from putting dissidents in jails and mental hospitals to exercise its censorship muscles.
With the Broadcasting Authority bending over backwards to entertain ‘complaints’ about the station committing such heinous acts as suggesting Taiwan might be a country, RTHK is scrapping so many shows you have to wonder what they’ll fill the empty space with. The head of the board of advisors Lam Tai-fai is heaping praise on Patrick Li, the civil servant recently put in charge of the station.
Meanwhile, Henry Tang, the tycoon-scion figurehead for the West Kowloon Cultural Hub-Zone, confirms that Ai Weiwei’s finger-photo will not appear at the new M+ museum, and says the the NatSec Police art-criticism unit will decide whether works break the NatSec Law.
(Trivia question: what is the connection between Lam Tai-fai and Henry Tang?)
For the first time since 1969, no Hong Kong broadcasters will carry the Oscars. Not because it is one of the most tedious and ignorable televised events imaginable, but because Mainland media are criticizing and boycotting it because a nominated documentary Do Not Split is about the 2019 uprising. (Interest in the film suddenly grows 10-fold.) As Jerome Cohen points out, this will send a NatSec Regime message to the masses that Ai’s photo won’t.
This year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival’s opening feature – the world premiere of Where the Wind Blows – is cancelled by its owner, presumably to conform with the Mainland’s banning of the cops-and-triads picture.
So far, things are being banned because of the messages they contain. It won’t be long before they are banned for the messages – the patriotic sort – that they don’t have.
The World Press Photo Exhibition is finally going ahead at a space in Admiralty, after HK Baptist U chickened out of hosting the award-winning photos from around the world (including some from Hong Kong).
Not censorship exactly, but a move obviously aimed at curbing the press: details of corporate officers’ residential addresses and full ID numbers in the Companies Registry are to be, in practice, off-limits to the public, including the media. Officially, this is to ‘address concerns over misuse of information’. In reality, it will hinder due-diligence checks, and no doubt make ownership of all sorts of assets – and CCP elites’ families’ money-laundering – harder to investigate.
(The answer to today’s trivia question is here.)