Still enough of the week left to squeeze in a few more NatSec horrors…
The HK Alliance deletes its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram material on orders from the police.
The government rejects seven pan-dem district council members for making ‘invalid’ loyalty oaths. The affected pan-dems say they don’t know why they are being ejected, but the government says they do too so there yah boo.
That person sitting opposite you on the MTR might look like a nobody, but did you know anyone could turn out to be a designated NatSec judge – even prosecutors don’t know who is one…
During a District Court hearing for a sedition case, the prosecution asked that the proceedings be transferred to a judge designated to hear national security cases.
Presiding judge Kwok Wai-kin then announced that he himself was designated and had the right to hear the case.
In news-you-probably-didn’t-miss-but-here-it-is-anyway: Macau reports a record low 42% turnout at its little legislative quasi-election. Mainland immigrants account for around half the Macau population versus maybe 15% of Hongkongers (forget the exact figures – but it’s roughly like that), and the place never had more than a small democracy movement. Plenty of scope for Hong Kong to deliver an even more decisively and impressively underwhelming turnout in December.
HK Free Press visits Hong Kong’s latest attempt at heritage conservation and rather politely declares it a ‘gentrified mess’.
I can think of two things to say in the project’s defence. First, it’s brighter, airier and much better-smelling than it was when it was an actual market (I used to buy veggies there, back in the days when were poor but happy). Second, it is so tacky that you save valuable time in your busy day – and get some exercise – by rushing through it in your haste to enter the relatively authentic and traditional ambience of IFC Mall. Otherwise – yes, it’s nasty.
Antiquary types are complaining loudly about the hand-rails bolted onto the original stone ones on the stairs, which are indeed weird (why not put new stairs on the stairs too?). But the really sad thing about this renovation is that the bureaucrats could easily have created a great indoor park-cum-food court themed zone, with just tons of no-frills seating, whatever potted plants the public dumped, stalls selling curried squid balls, a kids play area, and basic stores like newsstands, book shops, groceries, whatever). Indeed, with the Mid-Levels Escalator on one side and major ferry/bus terminals on the other, it would – ironically – be an ideal location for a plain old food market where commuters could buy fresh produce on the way home after work.
Instead, the Make Everything Shit Dept has to do this almost-pastiche oh-so high-class exclusive luxury sophisticated thing, probably designed by a developer’s daughter, where the outlets are not merely pretentious and pricy, but selling carefully selected crap nobody wants – ugly or boring fashion stuff, peculiar glitzy household goods no-one needs, artisanal herbal aromatic blah-blah, trendy hand-crafted trinkets and so on. As I say, I hurry through to avoid looking at it.
And then, of course, there’s the barrier tape. They spend zillions on making the place shiny and perfect – and then put red tape everywhere to keep the humans in line…