As state media demand more law-enforcement investigation into the disbanded Professional Teachers Union, the Civil Human Rights Front prepares to wind up. It looks like the purge of non-CCP-approved civil society will move on to the pro-democracy Confederation of Trade Unions.
Then it will be the turn of the HK Journalists Association. Other groups, like the HK Society of Bird Watchers, the Chess Association and the Photography Club can’t be far behind. (Sounds crazy? In the Mainland, all such groups come under state bodies.)
Signs of a few problems the NatSec regime is facing: Mainland thin-tanker Tian Feilong says proposals for election boycotts are equivalent to sabotaging the ‘improved’ elections and creating an impression that Hong Kong does not now have true democracy; and a government circular urges NGO-type institutions including the Jockey Club not to hire Administrative Officers who have quit the civil service. (In Ming Pao, in Chinese, here and here.)
Official fears of an election boycott look well-grounded given that many voters will be offered only candidates they dislike thanks to elaborate measures to bar independents from the ballot (‘…a long-winded way of saying active support of one-party rule is a must’).
It would be terrible if someone started a rumour that the government will also be checking cast ballots to see how everyone voted: it would strike many citizens as credible, and further decrease the turnout. Let’s hope no-one starts spreading such a scurrilous idea.