China Daily reports a Bauhinia Institute (who?) survey showing that 80% of Hong Kong people find the CE ‘election’ satisfactory, 69.4% think the housing shortage will be relieved in five years, and 73.9% believe John Lee ‘can help the city begin a new chapter, from chaos to order and prosperity’. (Story by one Shadow Li.)
Back in the real world, the week’s NatSec horrors start to stack up. Jimmy Lai and six others are committed to trial for conspiracy to commit collusion with foreign forces (maximum penalty: life) and conspiracy to print seditious publications. Ta Kung Pao picks its next target: taxi drivers displaying ‘yellow’ symbols in their cabs. The ‘Privacy’ (anti-political doxxing) Commissioner might ban the Telegram app. And a Hong Kong court has ruled that…
…prosecutors could label organisers of the city’s annual Tiananmen vigil “foreign agents” without having to reveal who the group is accused of working for.
Good luck defending yourselves.
If you worry that this sort of thing might harm the reputation of Hong Kong’s legal system – relax. Incoming Chief Executive John Lee will create a new Deputy Secretary for Justice post, saying…
“I want the secretary for justice and the deputy to go out to explain in full the legal system in Hong Kong, and the rule of law, and the independent judiciary in Hong Kong, so as to let people know the true picture of Hong Kong, particularly when we have been badmouthed by some politicians for political reasons, criticising unfairly the system that is being practised in Hong Kong.”
(Standard story here.)
The reshuffling of the bureaucracy (set in train by Carrie Lam) will involve the creation of 13 additional political appointees and 57 more civil service posts – costing a mere HK$95 million in salary per year. The deputy bureau chiefs will get HK$360,000 a month.
The bloat extends to bureaus’ titles. Home Affairs (where we put the token DAB dimwit) becomes Home and Youth Affairs, Environment becomes Environment and Ecology, and Innovation and Technology becomes Innovation, Technology and Industry (raising the possibility that the bureau might actually now have something to do).
In fairness – if someone can convince the world that Hong Kong rule of law is in perfect shape, HK$360,000 a month sounds like a bargain.