The week’s NatSec horrors… 

Koo Sze-yiu is convicted of ‘attempted sedition’ – painting slogans on a mock coffin ahead of a planned protest (it never took place) against the Olympics. He gets nine months in prison.

The principle magistrate ruled that the offence Koo committed amounted to endangering national security, saying that the phrases he painted on the prop coffin and fabric were not “pure criticism,” but had an ultimate purpose of changing or even overthrowing China’s constitutional position.

Koo has created such protest props for decades, is a veteran Diaoyu agitator, and is now 76 and has terminal cancer. 

A former district council member is jailed for 15 months for inciting others to take part in an illegal assembly back in 2020 (note how the Standard wedges the Koo story in at the bottom).

And former student union head Owen Au is arrested by the valiant sleuths of the ICAC – theoretically graft-busters – for sharing a Facebook post by Ted Hui calling for the casting of blank votes at last year’s (widely boycotted) LegCo election. 

Then there’s the ongoing trial of speech therapists for producing sheep cartoon books for kids. Which of these cases is the most pitiful? Could you rank them in order of sheer absurdity?

Next week’s headlines to include: ‘Man arrested for teaching parrot to say Heung Gong ga yau’, ‘Nine-year-old released after cartoon sheep book she was suspected of possessing is not found’, ‘Judge jails parrot after ruling it had ultimate purpose of changing or overthrowing China’s constitutional position’.

More weirdness – Chow Hang-tung tries to get a magistrate to lift reporting restrictions on her subversion case committal proceedings. Even a NatSec judge is skeptical about the prosecution’s/magistrate’s stance.

The government gets predictably whiny about the outgoing US consul-general’s comments on Hong Kong’s declining freedoms…

…a government spokesman said democracy in the SAR has taken “a quantum leap forward” since 1997, and the electoral system has been improved to make the Legislative Council and Election Committee more representative. 

The pan-democrats have been jailed or otherwise barred from running, and the assembly now comprises wall-to-wall Beijing supporters after only loyalists were permitted on the ballot and only 30% of voters turned out – and that’s ‘more representative’?

Not surprising that the government also has a credibility problem in trying to convince the public that its new health code will not be used for non-health surveillance or control purposes. The new system is described as a ‘balancing act’, although Singapore – with an identical public-health challenge – dispenses with any ‘balance’. 

In Macau, the ‘balance’ is such that police are now arresting people for jogging and cycling.

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12 Responses to The week’s NatSec horrors… 

  1. Natasha Fatale says:

    If John Lee says it, it must be true.

  2. Paul says:

    A magistrate with principles? Rare these days. (Not your fault, HKFP has always had a problem distinguishing principals and principles.)

  3. Penny says:

    HK Standard’s editorial writer, Mary Ma – whoever she/he may be – not at all impressed with the new Health Secretary and his plan to implement Covid colour codes:
    “It seems that the doctor-turned-politician still has much to master in delivering sensitive information. And it has nothing to do with whether one is a nurse or a doctor – the job of public administration demands more than medical skills.”
    https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/17/243572/Words-must-be-colored-with-care

  4. Red Dragon says:

    What’s a “principle magistrate”?

    I thought magistrates had to leave their principles at the door.

  5. Low Profile says:

    All absurd of course, but I think Owen Au’s case (and Ted Hui’s) tops the ridiculousness scale. “Mr Au, you stand accused of inciting others to act legally. How do you plead?”

  6. Big Al says:

    For once, a government spokesman has said something accurate when describing how democracy has moved forward since 1997: A quantum is the smallest discrete unit of a phenomenon. For example, a quantum of light is a photon, and a quantum of electricity is an electron. Thus, contrary to popular usage, a “quantum leap” is the absolutely smallest, sub-atomic, move that can be made. Hence, the unwitting accuracy of the government’s statement!

  7. subversive judice says:

    @ Paul & Red Dragon:

    A further typo in the HKFP article:
    “Senior counsel Johnny Ma, representing the secretary for justice, argued in court on Tuesday that … lifting reporting restrictions might pose risks to a fair trial”

    Obviously it should be “might pose risks of a fair trial”.

  8. wmjp says:

    how democracy has moved forward since 1997

    A long way in a rear-facing direction

  9. subversive judice says:

    @Big Al
    Nice physics catch, but only correct up until 2020 — after that democracy here took more of a giant tachyonic leap backwards. From “ersatz” to “inconsequential mummery”.

  10. Mark Bradley says:

    “Nice physics catch, but only correct up until 2020”

    Even that is up for debate because the most democratic election was the 1995 Legco election. It was a great leap backwards since the handover with a tiny baby step improvements until 2020 when our democratic development went far deeper backwards than the 1997 handover setback.

    And damn these muppets are hatable cretins with their misuse of the term “quantum leap”, and to top it all off they’re lying through their teeth. Why can’t they get it through their thick skulls that this is the reason why nobody trusts them domestically and internationally?

    The newspeak bullshit gaslighting is at North Korean levels now here even if the repression hasn’t caught up yet.

  11. Guest says:

    “In Macau, the ‘balance’ is such that police are now arresting people for jogging and cycling.”

    Kind of reminds me of a Larry Feign cartoon showing a newspaper of a post-handover Hong Kong, one of whose smaller headlines stated that a man was executed for jaywalking.

    We’re moving in that direction.

  12. Natasha Fatale says:

    We are one small step away from being arrested for objectionable breathing.

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