LegCo to be more pointless, more expensive

Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng jumps to agree with a People’s Daily op-ed warning that Hong Kong’s legal bodies should not get ‘involved with politics’. 

What does ‘politics’ mean here? The Beijing-backed paper specifically advises the Law Society not to embrace ‘anti-China’ activities or become another ‘street rat’ like the Bar Association. So ‘politics’ essentially means issuing press statements expressing concern at government measures that might infringe human rights or threaten the integrity of the legal system. When a foreign government does it it’s called ‘interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs’. If a Hong Kong person does it by communicating with an overseas politician, it’s called ‘collusion with foreign forces’. In short: shut up (as the Bar seems to have done).  

Beijing’s ‘improvements’ to Hong Kong’s elections – announced some six months back – remove opposition and indeed most popular representative elements from what was already a rigged and weak system. Among much of the inexplicable overkill is an increase in the number of Legislative Council seats through the addition of 20 (essentially appointed) lawmakers. 

The whole election/assembly will be a charade but it will be interesting to see what sort of shoe-shining/patriotic dregs fill these seats and who or what they will claim to represent. They could even, in theory, be slightly amusing.

Until you find out how much the extra office space will cost taxpayers: HK$1.17 billion

…the project is expected to get underway in mid-2022 and should be finished by mid-2025. Four storeys will be added to the existing building and a 10-storey-high structure will be built in the garden.

Because, hey – that’s what gardens are for, right?

And let’s not forget the salaries and expenses. According to this, we’re looking at a monthly salary (plus gratuity) of around HK$115,000, plus some HK$3 million a year in office and other expenses – around HK$4.4 million a year per lawmaker. (Much of the office expenses pay staffers and other hangers-on – indeed, I am among the countless thousands of people over the years who have received a monthly cheque from LegCo.)  

So that’s another HK$88 million a year for 20 people (with lots of bright young assistants) with no obvious function, given that the other electoral ‘improvements’ already make LegCo into a rubber stamp anyway. I guess LegCo will also need to hire more ushers, security guards, researchers, interpreters, canteen staff, etc, etc. You would have thought an essentially ceremonial body with no legitimacy or credibility could be more economical.

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8 Responses to LegCo to be more pointless, more expensive

  1. Mark Bradley says:

    So instead of actually coherently and logically explaining what the HK Bar Association did that was so terribly “illegal” it’s just called a “street rat” because the truth hurts and that’s a crime in post NSL HK if it offends CCP. What a fucking loveable bunch these unsophisticated Leninist knuckle draggers are. They’re the real street rats that are projecting their degeneracy onto a lawful association that I am sure will soon be dissolved.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Let me fine tune that headline at no cost: “HK’s Justice Sec. Warns Society To Steer Clear Of Politics After Chinese State Media Blasts Barristers”

    You’re welcome.

  3. Whoever says:

    “You would have thought an essentially ceremonial body with no legitimacy or credibility could be more economical.”

    No. It’s precisely because Lecgo serves no useful purpose that it needs all the pomp and ceremony. Look at royal families everywhere.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    “Look at royal families everywhere.”

    Even the Royal Families are more useful than Legco. At least it attracts tourists (and tabloid gossip). But overall very good point.

  5. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Another step in diving Hong Kong into:

    Winners =
    Sycophants, shoe-shiners, patriots, and generally pliable and obeying ROBOTS running on XJP software.
    They get the pork!
    For free!!

    Losers =
    Democrats, liberals, global citizens, and generally educated and thinking individuals.
    They must not only get defeated and silenced, they must be exterminated!

    Likely from the books of Lee Kum Yee School of Policing the Public

  6. justsayin says:

    HK$88 million a year buys a bit of co-option which is probably the point

  7. DregsCo says:

    “… around HK$4.4 million a year per lawmaker.”
    Given that LegCo doesn’t actually make the laws, and the salary etc that they get for essentially doing absolutely nothing, referring to them as “lawmakers” seems somewhat wide of the mark. Let’s agree to refer to them — more accurately — as “pisstakers”.

  8. Mary Melville says:

    Your calculations are understated, these are just the disbursements from the Leggers purse. How much is the tax payer also forced to underwrite, like paying top dollars at CITIC for 3 floors of offices for 45 of them for years while the ‘garden’ is being displaced.
    Bear in mind that a number of the newbies are captains of industry and others members of various layers of the Central system and will spend much of their time in Beijing. A reasonable arrangement would be a contract for the ‘outliers’ at a shared office space.
    In addition we have yet to learn about the location and cost of offices for the 1,500 Election Committee members.
    Expect announcements on reductions in public services to balance the books.

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