John Burns in HKFP on how an ex-cop’s rise to Chief Secretary goes with a decline in trust, accountability and the role of professional civil servants. And Steve Vines on Hong Kong’s transition to a police (or whatever you want to call it) state where the government has ‘abandoned cooperation and persuasion in favour of crackdowns and heavy punishment’. Benedict Rogers of HK Watch gives Security Secretary Chris Tang a serious mauling after the latter blames ‘those who incite violence and hatred against the country’ for the stabbing/suicide in Causeway Bay on July 1.
The laying of flowers outside Sogo was not about ’romanticizing a despicable act’, nor really even about honouring a stranger who could hardly have been of sound mind when he stabbed himself in the heart. Simple explanation: it’s a (now rare) opportunity for people to express their view of the NatSec regime as a whole, and of a police force now seen as an instrument of oppression.
The cops’ bullying of kids and bystanders in Causeway Bay earlier that day served no purpose other than to embitter the public. The intimidation of flower-bearers at Sogo the day after, or screaming at kids the day after that, etc, only accomplished the same. People are not like soymilk companies. (Warning: watching these items could make you ‘radicalised by myriad fake information’. You’d have thought the police PR people might realize that the whiny panty-wetting about ‘mourning the cold-blooded attacker’ is itself inciting more people to bring flowers – but no.)
As the articles at the top point out, Beijing’s Hong Kong officials could in theory ask how they created this mess, and break the cycle of brutality-alienation by returning to a more representative, rule-by-consent style of government. But in a system that relies on constant paranoia and insecurity, all they understand is a strategy to break the will of the population and force them into submission.
Sadly, the front-line cops don’t seem to realize – or mind – that this puts them in a position where they bear the brunt of public hostility. Meanwhile, their ex-boss-turned-Chief Secretary thinks he can heal the social divide…
…through “non-political activities” such as sports events and campaigns that encourage a healthy lifestyle among teenagers.
Better Red than expert!