Police take slang term ‘cooler’ literally

A man in police custody died of pneumonia as a result of ‘inadequate clothing’. Perhaps the most surprising part is that the IPCC police complaints agency vaguely gave a slight damn (though the suspect was detained on suspicion of possessing drugs, not for shouting slogans about Hong Kong independence). The case prompts American lawyer Samuel Bickett to share disturbing detail of torture-by-freezing in police custody.

In theory, Justices of the Peace are supposed to drop by police stations and prisons to check on detainees’ treatment, but even in pre-NatSec days the title of JP was a reward for shoe-shiners who see the colonial-era (indeed, 1360s-era) office as a mark of social status. Long gone are the days when pro-democrat lawmakers like Emily Lau would exercise their right as JPs to visit prisons.

(Reminds me of a story from happier times, when an establishment stalwart who was a JP had been imprisoned for taking a bribe from a wannabe member of the HK Club. When the Correctional Services officer asked inmates one day if anyone wanted to talk to a visiting JP, they pointed to him and said they had one already.)  

The results of the latest Gratuitously Brown-nosing Shoe-shiner of the Week Award are in. In second place comes Nury Vittachi, who explains in a video how and why Amnesty International are not being forced out of Hong Kong. An ever-so earnest delivery sadly let down by rather predictable tankie undertones. And the winner is a newcomer, with a surprisingly strong performance: a China Daily op-ed lavishly praising Carrie Lam’s policy address, by a physics professor and boss of the HKU ‘Space Research Laboratory’ – almost as if his contract is up for renewal or something. Have a sick bag ready.

The Guardian on Hong Kong’s Covid policy

The changes push Hong Kong further into a life dictated by China’s strategy as the rest of the world is opening up… It adds to already record levels of population loss as Hongkongers fled the national security crackdown.

From Bitter Winter, more on the replacement of ‘Tibet’ by ‘Xizang’. (This effort will surely just attract more international attention to Tibet’s plight. I recall one of Beijing’s English-language mouthpieces referring to the then-CE as ‘Tsang Yam-kuen’ in order to avoid the alien ‘Donald’, but dropping the idea after a while, presumably because it merely confused readers. Another snag with ‘Xizang’ is that much of the intended overseas audience will also probably be unable to pronounce it.)

Another sign that the global public are finding the CCP’s China increasingly annoying – a new take on Winnie the Pooh from US artist Alex Solis.

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22 Responses to Police take slang term ‘cooler’ literally

  1. Greater 悲 Area says:

    First time commenting and what finally encouraged me was to emphasize how much I despise Nury Vittachi. I bought his so-called book and have yet to finish it given it causes actual physical pain.

  2. Q-Anon says:

    A few years ago I was asked by an acquaintance from the UK to show his friend (can’t remember for sure, but he was possibly from the University of Edinburgh) around HKU and to introduce him to some of the low level management. Prof. Parker unfortunately was put on the agenda. When the 3 of us met, he went on and on about the great opportunities available to him in the Greater Bay Area. The visitor had no idea what he was talking about and finally asked Parker what “bay” he was referring to. Parker droned on and when the visitor who had some knowledge of HK figured out what Parker was describing, he shouted out Pearl River Delta. I almost fell out of my chair and made a snide comment that this was a typical Chinese thing and that the Chinese government feels free to redefine English words to suit its purposes. Parker was not happy, and fortunately for me those were the last words we ever exchanged. Don’t know anything about his background beyond the facts that he has been here for 8-10 years and is originally from Australia, but I do believe that he is a true believer.

  3. Corrianderphilanderer says:

    Quentin Parker, the astronomy professor at HK, is one creepy bootlicker. Here he is on the science faculty’s YouTube channel rambling about recovery of lost Chinese antiquities.


    Not particularly relevant to his job. But I guess when the university wants to close down your single digit cohort BSc program, one has to ingratiate himself to his masters however one can.

  4. Hammy says:


    Which Professor Parker are you talking about? I can’t seem to find any such person related to today’s blog, and thus I’m confused as to why you bring this up.

  5. A Poor Man says:

    So it seems that the po po don’t hand out large rubbish bags anymore when detainees complain about being cold. I guess they realized that PVC is quite good at keeping body heat and moisture from escaping. If you punch holes in them for your head and arms, and wear them over your body, they can keep you quite warm.

  6. Load Toad says:

    @ Greater Area

    Don’t call him NV, use the full title, The Wanker from Sri Lanka

  7. Des Espoir says:

    I think Hemmers is incorrect in ascribing that prison JP story to someone locked up for taking a bribe from a wannabee member of the HK Club… It was in fact the Jockey Club…

  8. HKJC Irregular says:

    @Hammy – Sometimes you just have to click the links to find out….

  9. Red Dragon says:


    Regarding Uncle Tom Parker, just google him. It all becomes clear.

    I was, however, rather curious about this link:


    Shome mishtake, shurely.

  10. donkey says:

    On the one hand Hong Kong proletariat politicians talk endlessly about Hong Kong’s unique profile and situation, and then turn around and completely make decisions not based on what China wants them to do but on what they think China wants them to do. Which — and this is the maddening part — ends up not really being what the Chinese mainland wants them to do. Fucking ham-fisted moronic management.

  11. tim hamlett says:

    Hammy: Parker is the author of the China Daily piece mentioned in the blog. Follow the link.

  12. Hammy says:

    @ HKJC Irregular
    @ Tim Hamlett

    My apologies! Albeit in my defense, I avoid the China Daily like the Wuhan Flu, even if our learned Hemlock provides links to them.

  13. Nury Vittankie says:

    Don’t call Nury a brown noser, he gets very upset and screams racism. Load Toad’s description seems (even) more fitting. Strange that he seems so exercised about any hint of American funding. Wonder which country his sugar daddy is a citizen of?

  14. Joe Blow says:

    Steve Vines and l’il Nury were once hand-in-glove. Each times Vines started a newspaper or a magazine he would drag Nury by the hair (haha) into the venture to write a humorous column involving misspelled menu items, and such.

    Steve Vines has recently fled Hong Kong under the cover of darkness after receiving personal threats from the United Front goons. While Nury has re-invented himself as a little brown “super patriot”, not unlike Vagina Ip, Christine Loh or “Patriot Paul” Zimmerman.

    I wonder if Vines and Nury are still on speaking terms.

  15. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Joe Blow – To be fair to Mr Zimmerman (aka Zimmerframe), he’s far more nuanced in his approach than the company you associate him with. I would call him “pragmatic Paul” instead.

  16. Red Dragon says:

    Ho Ma Fan

    There’s a very fine line between pragmatism and cynicism.

    Has “Oom Paul” crossed it, would you say?

  17. Low Profile says:

    The constipated expression on Pooh’s face makes him look even more like the person who is said to resemble him.

  18. donkeydoctor says:

    I don’t understand how someone can die of pneumonia because of exposure.

    Pneumonia is bacterial, viral or mechanical. It’s not something you get because you are cold. Unless I am missing something from science classes when I was in high school. From the Mayo Clinic website:
    “Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.”

  19. Toph says:

    I personally don’t blame anyone for trying to stay under the radar and out of prison. I do blame them if they start shilling.

  20. AHW says:

    Joe Blow – was Vittachi at the Eastern Express? I don’t recall him being there.

  21. Virgil Hilts says:

    Pneumonia can be brought on by extreme hypothermia.
    “Complications during recovery can include pneumonia, heart arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest, and death.”

    As a mechanism, I’m guessing (hopefully educatedly): freezing people for prolonged periods causes stress and depression which suppresses the immune system. Then the bacteria, fungus or virus can get to work much better.

    There’s evidence that prolonged psychological stress alone will do it:

  22. Mary Melville says:

    The victim, RIP, could have been an addict who was a courier or some such with a weakened immune system and suffering withdrawal symptoms. Can anyone remember when was the last time a ‘Drug Lord’ was incarcerated here???????
    The arrests are almost always callow youths or grass roots trying to make a buck to get by. They go down for years while DL is roaring up a street near you in his Lamborghini on his way to his pad on The Peak.

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