Auditors due for rectification

The HK Immigration Dept has a mini-tantrum over their non-uniformed and unarmed colleagues in the Audit Commission, who uncovered suspected fraudulent marriage cases that date back over a decade. As RTHK notes, the passport-stampers had a panty-wetting fit a few months ago over… RTHK. 

Oddly, the Audit report records the Immigration Dept officially replying in the standard contrite tone. This suggests the whiny freak-out is partly for the benefit of Immigration staff, whose public standing and morale have no doubt declined sharply since the Security Bureau took a more ‘patriotic’ turn under CCP supervision over the last 18 months or so.

The Audit people issue a statement of their own, smugly quoting an official circular saying that departments caught being crap should shut up until the public accounts committee holds its regular hearings into the latest audits. Fun for all! Even so, the days when the Audit Commission provided an often-entertaining washing of bureaucrats’ dirty linen are probably numbered: there’s no place for independent scrutiny and transparency in the NatSec Regime, where everything the government does is wonderful.

The CCP knows how to deal with auditors.

On the subject of arrogant, thin-skinned disciplined services, former government official Liz Bosher writes to the SCMP protesting Police Commissioner Chris Tang’s attitude problem…

When reasoned and justifiable concerns are voiced by members of the public or the press, he and his staff should be prepared to address them fair and square, instead of falling back on patronising clichés which are frankly beginning to sound like thinly disguised threats.

In short, a little more humility would not go amiss Mr Tang, together with a heap more respect for the intelligence, common sense and passionate commitment to the freedoms of the people you are paid to serve.

For a taste of the North Korean future, see the new (possibly not yet vetted) textbook for the school course formerly known as Liberal Studies – now cleansed of critical-thinking content. This illustration will teach Hong Kong kids about Disney characters and McDonalds invading foreign countries to impose evil capitalist American culture, complete with WWII fighter aircraft dropping hamburger-bombs. 

This screams of someone trying desperately to appease the CCP and do the patriotic correct thing. Not just desperately, but badly. As others have noted, Hong Kong Disneyland is partly government-owned, and McDonalds here is partnered with state conglomerate CITIC. And of course the cartoon is copied: scroll down the thread to see the original and far superior artwork by – oh the irony – American Andy Singer.

(Update: the book is ‘transitional’ and not yet cleared by the relevant organs. But it’ll be all over the news now, anyway.)

Meanwhile, a genuinely talented cartoonist is being purged as unfit to teach.

A big choice of links for the days ahead…

The Hong Kong Uprising in song – protesters’ greatest hits.

In the Wilson Quarterly, a comparison of China’s Covid cover-ups and censorship and the equivalent phenomena in the US. The equivalences are obviously nowhere near exact, and the whole exercise feels slightly contrived – but still interesting.

Ten questions to Chinese officials on the origins of Covid-19.

An interview with Scott Rozelle, an expert on ‘low-income China’. Otherwise known as ‘Is China the next Mexico?’ – low education standards, low productivity, middle-income trap, etc.

Andrew Batson on how an aging population will – or won’t – change Chinese officials’ mindset on economic policy. Beijing’s planners instinctively prefer a high savings/investment model, out of deep-rooted mercantilism/nationalism, and also because the CCP can control it. They fear a low savings/high consumption model, even though the demographics demand it. A sample of official thinking…

…we must recognize that consumption is never a source of growth. We must understand that it is easy to go from frugality to extravagance, but difficult to go from extravagance to frugality. The high consumption rate of developed economies has historical reasons; once you switch, there’s no going back, so we should not take them as an example to learn from. 

Carl Minzner on Beijing’s all-male leadership’s about-turn from a one-child to a lots-of-kids policy…

…China’s once-revolutionary Communist Party is increasingly wrapping itself in faux-Confucian ideological robes and topping it off with a heavy dose of male chauvinism.

In China Heritage, translations of Lee Yee’s biting analysis of the nature of the CCP’s regime and its effects on Hong Kong – On Reaching 85 and The Sweet Sorrow of Parting (on quitting his Apple Daily column). Coins the phrase ‘collective patriotic afflatus’. 

…a country that boasts about its crowds of ‘patriotic masses’ is but a pitiable place and a most unfortunate nation!

Michael Cole on how the CCP’s rewriting of the past – notably the Cultural Revolution – increases the chances of history repeating itself. 

Extract from a book about how Australian Financial Review correspondent Michael Smith fled China after the Ministry for State Security came for him.

From Vicea bio of a politician in a real democracy: Taiwan’s 29-year-old cosplaying legislator Lai Pin-yu. In the words of one voter: “I find her more authentic than other politicians.” 

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7 Responses to Auditors due for rectification

  1. where's my jet plane says:

    a little more humility would not go amiss Mr Tang

    Fat chance!

  2. Knownot says:

    Stultitia Longa, Ars Brevis

    (Folly is long, art is short.)

    I wandered all along
    The lanes serene,
    Fresh and green,
    Of Kwun Tong,
    And found the dappled glade
    Where the fountain played.
    And though I knew
    I dreamed,
    It seemed
    So sweet and true.

    Then a figure
    Like a gnome,
    But bigger,
    Told me, smirking,
    “Stay at home,
    It isn’t working.”
    I cried, “But why?”
    “The sound is mute,
    The pipes are dry.
    The thing’s kaput.”

    The fountain, like performance art,
    Like youth,
    And truth,
    Is fated to depart.
    And after millions spent,
    It went.
    A lesson might remain
    As water gurgles
    Down the drain,
    And Hong Kong struggles
    To be itself again,
    A lesson here for each Hongkonger:
    Ars brevis, Stultitia longa.

    – – – – – –

    [My Latin is probably not correct, but never mind.]

  3. pd says:

    Is it just me, or do natsec and natsoc bear a family resemblance?

  4. Hamantha says:

    Damn, that interview with Scott Rozelle was fascinating — tons of rural kids dropping out of middle school, and facing no decent job prospects, does not a good combination make.

    That one aside, the blog today boasted an incredible number of super interesting reads.

    BigLychee is #1!

  5. Justsayin says:

    ‘Continenti ite domum’ , now write it 100 times on the wall before the CCP disappear you

  6. DikMik says:

    The Taiwan’s author Bo Yang’s book ‘The ugly Chinaman’ had this notable quote. “Standing in the mud, boasting and shouting”. Damn that person who stole my copy. Once the cultural revolution era has been rinsed clean by those up north, we will see the Big Pig lauded as it’s savour and super hero. He’s about the right age to have been a leader of those teenage red guard gangs that ravaged, pillaged and destroyed the country on Mao’s behest.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Hamantha: +1 definitely!

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