The pre-Cost Overrun Cost Overrun

HKFP on the rising cost estimate for the expansion of the Legislative Council’s facilities – from HK$1.17 billion to HK$1.56 billion. Under the ‘improved’ patriots-only election system, the body has expanded from 70 to 90 seats, and the project involves adding floors to an existing building, as with Shamshuipo illegal structures, except with a bigger budget.

The weirdest part is that the legislature is now devoid of any genuinely representative members – popular candidates being barred if not jailed. It serves a purely rubber-stamp function, so could easily be reduced in size. Just half a dozen people gathering for an hour a week in a rooftop hut could do the job.

And here we go…

“I wouldn’t say it’s a cost overrun as construction hasn’t even started.”

Quite right: the actual, genuine cost overruns will come once the contractors start work.

Over at China Daily, a ‘veteran journalist’ (says the bio) claims young Hong Kong ‘citizen journalists’ are working for a CIA front by ‘propagating anti-government information’ as part of a plan for ‘world domination’. The evidence is a US$75,000 NED budget item. You might think this is an almost insultingly small amount for an ‘infiltration and subversion’ operation – but the NED delivers amazing bang for the buck, having ‘supported, financed or instigated’…

…the Velvet Revolution in Serbia in 2000, the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, and, of course, the Arab Spring involving Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Syria, Libya, etc, in 2011 [which] toppled governments and caused civil unrest in the countries they targeted.

Nothing to do with millions of people in those countries making their own minds up about their corrupt and oppressive governments, obviously. The CIA also organized the French Revolution in 1789, don’t you know? (Does this guy actually believe what he is writing?)

Expect to hear more about ‘citizen journalists’ and ‘false news’ before long as the NatSec system grows into its mission. Also keep an eye out for the Hong Kong Federation of Journalists. Founded in 1996, it claims to safeguard press freedom, but is rather obviously a United Front creation. As well as organizing Belt and Road study tours and issuing statements supporting the NatSec Law, the group seems likely to play a bigger Ta Kung Pao-type role in cheerleading persecution of independent media like Stand News.

In case you blinked and missed it – regional head of major global law firm agrees to appear at a NatSec Law conference, then extricates himself when the backlash comes. Another little lesson in the dilemma of shoeshining Beijing to guarantee corporate profits while trying to maintain your international integrity. 

HK Post releases stamps to mark the 25th anniversary of the handover. The drab designs reflect, at best, a determined effort to play safe; at worst, an extreme absence of enthusiasm – except for patriotic Photoshop work.

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8 Responses to The pre-Cost Overrun Cost Overrun

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    re Davis Polk: These high powered, over compensated, over educated, shrewd and cunning legal eagles just jump into a conference – optics be damned – volunteering to “speak” as a useful idiot (most overused two words in the last few years), thinking they’ll score brownie points with the northern waxworks to smooth future business opportunities without, for one micro second, considering the implications once their peers or the free press in the “free” world of their home office finds out?? As IF any “talk” about “procedural challenges” in the NSL would matter a whit to how the government WANTS the direction of a case to steer once they’ve deemed an individual GUILTY.

    And to top it off, in a conference labeled as: “THRIVE WITH SECURITY”

    Fucking hell….

  2. Chris Maden says:

    Ah, the old NED chestnut. Nury is a fan of that one, which I shot that down in a column for HKFP, but never let the facts stand in the way of a good conspiracy theory…

    @Chinese Netizen: Totally agree. I hope these people who think that sticking their heads so far up the CCP’s arse that they can see daylight end up in Xinjiang. Granville Cross being first amongst them.

  3. Mary Melville says:

    Instead of inviting the lawyer, a far more effective contribution to our community would be a presentation from some accountants at NED on how to get bang for our bucks.
    The Legco extension could be accommodated in a marque over the garden area.
    Grand Harbourview Hotel in Hung Hom having operated an unapproved ‘extension’ on its rooftop for years could supply the blueprint.
    The Leggers garden used to be used for interviews with members but anonymity is now the standard. Despite their term being now over 6-months old, apart from the few old faces like Regina who still enjoy their 5-mins in the spotlight, most of the current legislature are unknown to the community.
    This in a city where previously members were household names you could bump into on the street or MTR and strike up a chat with.

  4. justsayin says:

    25 years since the handover… I remember it like it was yesterday… blazing hot summer that year and fireworks all over the motherland to celebrate the return…I think several days off of work as well… wonder what we will be celebrating on 1 July this year?

  5. Life is.... says:

    just saying

    But very heavy rain.on the evening itself.

    Locals I know spoke of tears of the gods (while still pleased with the “reversion”)

  6. steve says:

    Chris Maden–Can you point us toward your NED article? Thanks!

  7. odaiwai says:

    justayin: “blazing hot summer that year”

    It rained for most of July 1997, as I recall.

  8. justsayin says:

    I was in north China at the time. It was hoooottt

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