Carrie Lam is shocked to find that the NatSec Law has harmed Hong Kong’s image. External forces and media, she says, refuse to believe our version of the story and insist that the Law reduces human rights and freedoms. The government must explain its work better.
Meanwhile, almost as if he is taking instructions from someone other than the official head of the executive branch, the Security Secretary is threatening to arrest and prosecute disciplined services officers who allegedly mocked the death of a police officer in the line of duty. There is plainly no law against bad taste, but PK Tang says: ‘…there are other laws in place that can deal with “inappropriate information” and sedition’.
Small wonder that ‘external forces’ are watching and commenting. The latest example is Georgetown Law’s comparative analysis of the Tong Ying-kit NatSec flag-waving/’terrorism’ trial. Go to page 28 for the relatively pithy conclusion.
The NatSec regime invites ridicule. Look at the expert testimony given by a pro-Beijing professor at the trial of ‘Fast Beat’ Tam Tak-chi for allegedly uttering seditious words (reports here and here)…
Lingnan University Professor Lau Chi-pang on Monday told the District Court that “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times” or “Hongkongers, add oil” were capable of inciting others to break the law depending on the circumstances of their use. The latter phrase is a Cantonese expression of encouragement.
…The professor maintained that expressions such as “Hongkongers, add oil” and “no rioters but tyranny” – a reference to the government’s classification of certain 2019 protests as riots – could have breached the law if they were used during the chaos outside the liaison office.
The NatSec Law does not apply to everyone. Huang Xiang-mo colluded with Australian politicians, and now turns up on Hong Kong’s ‘Election Committee’ as a representative of ‘grassroots’ – which is quite an achievement for a billionaire property developer. As it says here…
Jeremy Tam was denied bail because the US consulate in Hong Kong emailed him about a coffee. He didn’t respond. Claudia Mo was denied bail because she texted reporters. Huang delivered bags of cash to foreign politicians but is a good patriot.
From the same author, Atlantic on the hypocrisy of Hong Kong’s shoe-shiner/quisling milieu…
These officials, politicians, and commentators employ a combination of historical revisionism, double standards, gaslighting, and whataboutisms … The messages they push, delivered straight-faced, beggar belief: A less representative election is actually more democratic; Hong Kong has never been as safe and stable, but the threat of terrorism has never been more dire; even as organization after organization is forced to close, civil society is as vibrant as ever.
There are the cheerleaders for patriotic state education who send their own children to international private schools and sit on the boards of universities overseas, and the elites whose family members reside in the same countries that they allege meddle in Hong Kong’s affairs. And there are the law-enforcement leaders who claim that the U.S. is trying to destroy Hong Kong but know the enemy well, many having studied there or even trained with the FBI.
My one quibble would be describing these shoe-shiners as a ‘ruling class’. Most have no more political power than the rest of the population, though they often hold symbolic titles and positions.
The article touches on the reasons why formerly decent liberal-minded people have become apologists for an authoritarian regime. As it says, for many (including businessmen, obviously), becoming an instant-noodle patriot loyalist is the only choice if you want your company or job to be safe. It’s also the default option for bores who simply crave the social status of ceremonial positions like Executive Council (‘government advisor’ to the gullible). But there must also be some who are essentially being blackmailed.
Speaking of the NatSec regime being easy to ridicule – and for fans of goose-step marching – HKFP’s op-ed on the Prussian-Nazi-Soviet-PLA foot drill (from 2018, when the idea of Mainland officials telling the Hong Kong police how to march seemed disturbingly intrusive).