Security chiefs need to learn art of lying

One of the sad/strange/amusing things about senior Hong Kong cops making public statements (even after they graduate into ministerial positions) is the clunkily delusional nature of their fibs. Presumably, in the police force, if a top officer shouts ‘one and one are three’, the ranks snap to attention and say ‘yes sir!’ without a thought. But it doesn’t work that way with the rest of us. 

Security Secretary Chris Tang announces that three top officials from his branch, including the Immigration and Customs bosses, ‘sacrificed family time’ to attend that hotpot dinner with Mainland developer Evergrande at an exclusive club as part of their duty to ‘meet all walks and ranks to know what society is thinking’, at which they broke social-distancing rules, which came to light (you know how these things do) as part of, um, a rape investigation. Unlike an actual politician who lies bare-faced as a formality (they know we know they’re lying), PK seems to seriously imagine that we must and will all accept it without question. 

This reflects an extreme inability not just to read the public mind, but to realize the public actually have minds. It explains the obvious frustration displayed by senior cops when the public don’t think their way (as with flowers outside Sogo, mockery of ‘terrorist plot’ stories, etc).  

(In fairness to law-enforcement professionals, this guilelessness is apparent in some of the other more out-of-their-depth bureaucrats who have found themselves promoted to bureau-heading quasi-politician positions.)That said – has someone had a word with Tang about wild claims of imminent terrorist attacks?

He now seems to be downplaying the idea, admitting that if a real threat was detected we would have constant airport-style searches and checks everywhere. Maybe Consulum, the disappearing public-relations agency, managed to get this point across before they joined the hordes leaving town.

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21 Responses to Security chiefs need to learn art of lying

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Pretty obvious it was all about Evergrande having the need for a chat (mere formalities) with the immigration and security officials to expedite the paperwork for the inevitable hordes of Mando-Mainland employees with pre-approved loyalty and no baggage such as growing up in a mostly open, free society or emotional ties to their new place of residence/work.

  2. donkeyinred says:

    I laugh out loud at your diagnosis, Hemlock. It’s not an inability. It’s willfully refusing to do so.
    After all, to present oneself to the public as open to ideas is really to present one’s belly to the daggers of the rabble. And if one does that, then the CCP and all forms of authority and control are vulnerable.
    They don’t lack an ability to think critically. It’s a defense mechanism that is so thoroughly entrenched in their psyches that what they are unable to do is realise that they have used it as a defense mechanism.
    Of course, therein lies their weakness. This is the same troubling frustration that opened up the Berlin wall or led to Chernobyl’s meltdown.
    Refusing to think critically and refusing to accept that one might be wrong, and refusing to allow others to right your wrongs. It leads to the chaos that ends the party.
    It’s coming. I am sure of it.

  3. Mr Smith says:

    I don’t think anyone should be condoning lunatics cowardly stabbing police in the back.

    I agree they should be stamping out any support for this atrocious behavior, or what’s next, the looney’s just randomly stab anyone who doesn’t agree with supporting their idea of democracy and freedom. They appear to dislike China due to lack of rule of law, but think murdering policeman is perfectly acceptable. The mind boggles

  4. Chris H says:

    @Mr Smith,

    I don’t think anyone here will argue with you on ethical and moral grounds. However what is occurring is the authorities using a terrible situation (and, for now, a one-off, due to a complete lunatic) to further erode one’s basic rights of freedom of thought and expression. Morality and ethics aside, there should be no crime in saying in a personal capacity that you are sad or are grieving for someone who is dead, even if that person was a killer or murderer. That’s perhaps the difference between what we have here, and what the rest of the world expects in a “free” and “open” society.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    What is lost in the discussion is that people are effectively mourning the circumstances that led to the tragedy. The same goes for Prince Edward. when one bows their head passing the station entrance it is in recognition that the events of the night of 31 August 2019 left an indelible impact on the community.

  6. so says:

    Property developer China Evergrande (3333 on the Hang Seng Index), Asia’s largest issuer of junk bonds and the world’s most-encumbered real estate firm, has earned no small dose of scrutiny. Higher-ups at China’s Financial Stability and Development Committee recently “urged” Evergrande founder and chairman Hui Ka Yan to “solve his company’s debt problems as quickly as possible,” according to Bloomberg last week.

  7. Mark Bradley says:


    “It’s coming. I am sure of it.”

    I hope you’re right, but I’m not super optimistic since CCP has a stranglehold in China.

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    “They appear to dislike China due to lack of rule of law, but think murdering policeman is perfectly acceptable. The mind boggles”

    This acceptance of violence started when our kids were shot by rubber bullets simply because they used their bodies to block brain dead lawmakers from entering the legislature and trying to pass a bill nobody but CCP wanted. This cycle of violence worsened after the Yuen Long triad attack where police obviously turned a blind eye. It’s not mind boggling at all. The police deserve what they are getting.

  9. The Irony Curtain descends says:

    @Mr Smith
    Unfortunately, it’s now more or less illegal not to condone the lunatics cowardly stabbing police in the back: word from on high is that all must swear to support the CCP and HKSARG.

  10. where's my jet plane says:

    O/T but She Who Must Obey demonstrates her command of logic whyen retracting her commitment to making the CE subject to the bribery laws:

    Lam said the chief executive was above the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, while being accountable to the central government as well as the SAR government.
    Given that the judiciary, the executive and the legislature are collectively the SAR government it would be instructive if she could explain how she is simultaneously above and yet answerable to them.
    I am that I am
    The great Carrie Lam
    Nothing and nobody in HK
    Shall be above me

    Which suggests another question. How does she stand in relation to the Liaison Office and Party Secretary?

  11. steve says:

    Mr. Smith: You appear to have fallen for the HKPF’s false narrative that citizens are “condoning” the police stabbing. In fact, although it would be understandable if people actually did so, given the routinized brownshirt thuggery of the city’s finest these days, they didn’t. The popular response was actually more nuanced, taking into account both the horror of this rather random act of violence while also recognizing that the poisoning of civil society by forces of authority created the circumstances under which deranged acts become almost inevitable.

    So what’s your “idea of democracy and freedom”?

  12. HotPotGate: I would be interested to know if the present heads of Immigration and C&E have spent their entire careers in those departments, or might they be Administrative Officers parked there temporarily ?
    IF they are AOs, it might be fun to see where they were a few years ago – Housing ? Planning ? Lands ?

  13. Red Dragon says:

    Mr. Smith.

    You express yourself obscurely and somewhat illogically, but your observation does contain a modicum with which I might be inclined to agree. This, despite a nagging suspicion that on most issues you and I would probably not agree at all.

    A few points, if I may.

    First, I think you would concede that this act – the stabbing followed by the subsequent (consequent?) suicide – was perpetrated by a person who was highly unlikely to have been of sound mind, a “lunatic” as you quaintly put it. While I and most other people would stop short of “condoning” such an act, it is probably the case that a little more leeway would generally be given to a perpetrator not entirely in command of his faculties than to one who is.

    Secondly, the “support” which you claim has been lent to the perpetrator, and which you wish to see “stamped out” (language, l would suggest, indicative of an authoritarian mindset) is quite perplexing, but merely reflects the depths to which the reputation of the Hong Kong Police has sunk in the eyes of many, if not most, citizens. It is salutory to reflect that not so many years ago, public sympathy would have been shown without question to the wounded policeman.

    Thirdly, I have to say that the response you provide to your rhetorical “what’s next” is really rather silly insofar as “looney’s” (sic) are far more likely to stab people randomly than the rest of us are, and for a wide range of “reasons” which may or may not relate to their political opinions. As such, any “support” which said “looney’s” (sic) may or may not garner (particularly posthumously) is unlikely to sway their irrational behaviour one way or the other so that there really is no “what’s next” about it. In other words, your comment is a non-sequitur.

    Finally, your penulitmate sentence really doesn’t really make much sense to me. By “they”, do you mean “looney’s” (sic), the people who (according to you) support them, or the people of Hong Kong in general?

    You will doubtless be aware that many Hong Kong people dislike mainland China for a variety of reasons amongst which, no doubt, is the newly imposed communist interpretation of “rule of law”, an interpretation which differs so completely from that to which they had, until comparatively recently, been used. To associate this, however, with the false claim that Hong Kong people find “murdering policeman (sic)…perfectly acceptable” is an example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy at its most egregious, and in any case, a policeman was not murdered in this incident.

    But then again, you may not have been talking about the general public or the small number of people who sought to lay flowers outside Sogo, but merely about “looney’s”, in which case my mind boggles as much as yours.

  14. WolfLikeMe says:

    @Red Dragon needs an editor. Probably a journo. Maybe something good in there, I have no idea.

  15. Low Profile says:

    TVB Pearl is currently showing the Harry Potter movies. You may recall the unpleasant character Dolores Umbridge, who in the name of “order” beautifies acts of repression and cruelty, while often punctuating her speech with inappropriate little giggles. Now who does that remind me of, I wonder?

  16. Toph says:

    Do not forget that not only were mourners threatened with being arrested for terrorism, so were the university professors who dared to suggest that mourners were not terrorist sympathizers. That is where we are now.

  17. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Smith” is just cut from the same cloth as those that slavishly throw “Back The Blue” and “Blue Lives Matter” back at anyone that might say “Black Lives Matter” without truly understanding WHY the term came about and all the socio-economic-political circumstances that started it all and KEEP it in effect despite window dressing.

    NO reasonable citizen is against police or law & order, per se. People, however, ARE against corruption by authority, abuse of power, unchecked abuse and justifying it all under the guise of “law”.

    I’m sure “Smith” is of comfortable economic means, not a native son and likely has an “escape pod” should the shit truly hit the fan in HK (think brown shirts rounding up disagreeables daily and destroying businesses of those that don’t kow tow unquestioningly – actually that has already started) so the fact that an average HKer’s entire life and understanding of the order of the universe has been upended since 2019 has not bothered him at all.

    Next time it may not be “Looney’s” but rather the truly desperate.

  18. Pope Innocent says:

    @ Mr Smith: Yes! Yes! And yes again! Your reward for uncritical obsequiousness to authority is sure to be yours in the next life. As is that of the police force – of course, theirs is waiting in the place below, where I have it on good authority they will hang from their ankles for eternity while demons beat them with their own batons until their bones turn to dust (well, technically mush as they will be mixed with their pureed flesh, but one doesn’t like to nit-pick when the prince of darkness waxes poetic).

    Of course, if the good citizens of the fragrant harbour themselves grew a pair and started disappearing lone plods off the streets and leaving their pulped remains hanging upside-down from lamp posts as a warning to other sociopaths thinking of donning a uniform and oppressing their fellow human beings, aforementioned demons would have a lot less unpaid overtime to put in. But I fear we trained you too well.

  19. Low Profile says:

    Another aspect of Dolores Umbridge which has echoes here: her elastic relationship with the truth; specifically, denying that something has happened even when others have witnessed it with their own eyes.

  20. HKJC Regular says:

    @WolflikeMe – Nah, it appears to me Red Dragon writes like a lawyer – and prised apart Smiffy’s contribution. Or do you mean RD needs an editor, probably a journalist? Isn’t an editor a journalist anyway in teh non-academic publishing sense?
    (I’ve suddenly had a feeling the old bill are monitoring these threads and contributing occasionally, while trying not to come across as Desk Sgt Cowie or RTHK Toby).

  21. Red Dragon says:


    I think you might have a point. I’ve just noticed one “really” too many in the line beginning “Finally…”.

    Should you be interested in becoming my editorial assistant, please drop me a line together with your full CV.

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