Former Health Secretary Margaret Chan supposedly wants to be CE, with backing from the Better Hong Kong Foundation. Looks like a desperate attempt by the tycoons to get a buddy into the job to help deflect or dilute Beijing-ordered measures to tackle the housing issue. Obviously the shoe-shiners didn’t get the memo saying that decades of having the middle class’s wealth handed to them on a plate are over. And if the CCP wants a new figurehead to replace Carrie Lam, it won’t go for a genteel 74-year-old ex-WHO matron – the Leninist project needs cold-blooded hatchet-wielders.
On cue, Chief Secretary John Lee issues yet another whiny response to an international publication – this time the Economist for an editorial bad-mouthing the new ‘improved’ election system. The really hip and cool way to handle such criticism would be to ignore it rather than publicize it, but with Beijing’s officials mouth-frothing down your neck, subtlety is not an option.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam addresses the new all-patriots-some-in-quarantine Legislative Council. She indulges in one of the few things that really get her hot and sticky – a restructuring of government bureaucracies. (But will the rearranged departments still be headed by the same old incompetents? We wait with bated breath.)
She also announces more NatSec crimes, courtesy of a somewhat overdue ‘Article 23’ law.
No details, obviously, but if we recall the first attempt at Article 23 nearly 20 years ago, replacing colonial-era sedition laws was a key feature. At the time, it was because the offenses were archaic and had fallen into disuse. Now, it will be because they have sprung back to life but carry woefully insufficient British-style namby-pamby sentences of two years. (Will we be revisiting ‘misprision of treason’ too?)