Engineering firm Analogue Holdings is accused of collusion with a competitor on bidding for air-conditioning maintenance contracts. Interesting timing: it’s not exactly every day that Hong Kong takes action against cartels, and boss Otto von Poon is the husband of outgoing Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, whose performance has (some say) not totally pleased Beijing.
The stock plummets 10%. (I actually own a few shares in them, on account of the juicy dividends. Maybe not quite so juicy now.)
Some links for the weekend, starting with a legal theme…
Buried away in the statistics, a minor but telling example of the decline of Hong Kong in recent years: as of end-March, 35.4% of people being detained by the Correctional Services Dept were awaiting trial – supposedly innocent until proven guilty.
Incoming CE John Lee promises to promote Hong Kong’s legal system in the face of ‘self-interest political bad-mouthing in international politics and punditry’.
Beijing and the HKG … view the need for complete control as so overwhelming that they are employing a number of different tools to achieve their national security goals.
That’s why the government has effectively ruled out jury trials for NS cases; why only pre-selected judges can hear NS cases; why only a select few NS defendants are allowed bail; and why there are growing limits on legal aid for NS (and other) cases.
It’s overkill, for sure — no doubt the HKG could ease up on some of its procedural restrictions, and still get the outcomes they want from a sadly (thus far at least) too-compliant and insufficiently rights-protective judiciary.
Another report – somewhat broader in scope – from Hong Kong Human Rights Information Centre/ Hong Kong Rule of Law Monitor.
Expect some angry hyper-ventilated mouth-frothing official statements about interference in Hong Kong affairs.
Or, if you prefer, a former Chief Justice advises Hongkongers not to focus so much on their rights.
Three years ago yesterday, two million on the streets. Whatever the number was, the whole area, plus all transport connections, were crammed – there was literally no room for more.
Regina Ip gets a tatty consolation prize – ‘convener’ of the rubber-stamp Executive Council.
Plans to build lots more roads, especially nice expensive tunnels, in Lantau as part of a ‘fundamental change to the island’s function’. It will henceforth be a parking lot hub-zone.
From Atlantic, an account of returning to a newly repressive China…
China under Communist Party rule has always been an autocracy with overwhelming repressive capabilities. But in the era of Xi Jinping, the state has been empowered to tighten its grip on society and equipped with enhanced surveillance technology to make that possible. The pandemic has offered the state further rationale and opportunity to expand this power.
In Foreign Policy, a perhaps rather over-excited portrayal of China’s economy as toast.