The government is planning another round of clunkily-distributed HK$5,000 cash handouts to help compensate for the economic damage it has inflicted through its Covid measures. But it will try to exclude anyone planning to emigrate…
…Financial Secretary Paul Chan said that the government would determine whether residents have left or intend to leave the city permanently …
Those who have applied to withdraw their Mandatory Provident Fund early due to permanent departure from the city would also be seen as ineligible for the second phase of consumption vouchers. The government will also look at other evidence.
So petty it hardly counts as vindictive. But it suggests someone is more frustrated at the ongoing exodus than officials publicly admit. It also has a slightly sinister Minority Report thing about it. Will they employ mind-readers to determine whether people are thinking of leaving town? As a Standard editorial puts it:
…it is ill conceived to extend this policy to those who are still in Hong Kong just because someone in the government “thinks” they are making plans to leave the city.
…They are Hong Kong citizens and, therefore, have the same rights as anyone else.
Mind you – with so many families packing their bags, this could save billions.
Liberal Studies have been scrapped in Hong Kong schools after the subject supposedly fed kids warped political brainwashing. Thoroughly non-biased and objective replacement textbooks describe the 2019 protests as ‘violent terrorist attacks’. They also push a pedantic/desperate argument that Hong Kong was never a British colony. (If they catch you thinking otherwise, you won’t get your HK$5,000.)
VOA describes journalists as an endangered species in Hong Kong…
[A] journalist, who covers politics for an online European outlet, said he has considered leaving because of threats online, criticism from pro-Beijing media, and abuse on social media.
“It seems that this is a well-orchestrated pro-government attack against Western media. And even though it’s not official, for me on the ground it feels the message is quite clear,” he said. “Certain reporting is no longer welcome in Hong Kong.”
It is a stark change from when that journalist first moved to Hong Kong. “There were almost no restrictions at all, so there was nothing to worry about,” he said.
(On a related note… I’ve always allowed pretty much anything in the comments section of this site, save for the ravings of the odd sociopath. But people are currently in jail for writing or publishing opinions, such as calling for overseas governments to sanction Hong Kong officials. So, for reasons of plain everyday cowardly paranoia, comments are now moderated – self-censored, whatever you want to call it – accordingly. Sorry.)