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.