So will someone explain why people are leaving?

The number of students in Hong Kong primary and secondary schools fell by 28,000 last year. Based on some figures breaking that down by age group (in Ming Pao, I think), that looks like a 5% drop – so one in 20 kids. HKFP reports …

Asked during his weekly Tuesday press conference about how he viewed the drop in student enrolment, [CE John] Lee said the fall was a “structural problem” related to population flow.

“Hong Kong often sees people coming and going. Although there are forecasts that this trend will continue, I believe the worst has passed,” Lee said.

The worst of what – the coming or the going? Still, as the Standard editorial points out, this is the first time the CE has publicly acknowledged that emigration is an issue. Meanwhile, Canada announces measures to open the door to more Hongkongers.

He added that the city had a low birth rate compared to other cities, and that he was “considering ways to encourage citizens to give birth to enrich the population.”

What will these be? If natalist policies elsewhere in the world are any guide, we can be fairly sure that they won’t work. More likely, officials will rely on various immigration schemes like the Top Talent Pass to top up (sorry – enrich) the population with overseas (mostly Mainland) arrivals. 

The US Dept of Justice issues an indictment on one Gal Luft for acting as an unregistered foreign agent lobbying for China and ‘allegedly engaging in multiple international criminal schemes’. One of these is arms trafficking. He also writes for the SCMP’s dismal op-ed page – which is arguably just as bad…

If you have any information about Luft’s whereabouts, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Tips can be reported anonymously and can also be reported online at

Perhaps of interest to some Hong Kong officials discussing the overseas wanted eight – a little reminder at the end of the DoJ press release…

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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40 Responses to So will someone explain why people are leaving?

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    The other half of the Gal Luft story, as reported by the NY Post:

    “Luft said that in 2019 he provided evidence to the DoJ and FBI officials on Hunter Biden’s shady dealings, and now the DoJ has indicted him to prevent him from testifying before Congress about the Bidens’ corruption.

    “Luft had claimed that the state-controlled energy company China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) paid Hunter Biden $100,000 a month and $65,000 to first brother Jim Biden. In exchange, the company got the Bidens’ FBI connections and used the family name to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) across the globe.”

    It would be nice to know the truth or falsity of the bribery allegations.

  2. Hangdog John says:

    Er, ah…we still have that rule of law and, uhh…yes, that “independent” judiciary going for us.

    Whew! Thank goodness we don’t have that silly “right to a speedy trial” those Yanks purport to have in their so-called constitution.

  3. Comrade Nury Vibbrachi says:

    Peking would love everyone to leave Hong Kong and fill it with Mainland Philistines. and retired cadres, some of who may well not be all that Philistine.

    You can be too nice when considering Communist motivation.

    Stalin deported whole populations and ethnic groups. Just to be on the safe side.

    He liquidated his top military commanders in the 30s because well, who knows, they might have guns and want to use them against him. At the start of the War with Germany there were hardly any capable commanders left in the Soviet Union. That’s why they lost for so long.

    Communists aren’t micro. They’re very macro.

    That’s why you have to think in macro terms to combat them. And get rid of all of them.

    Every last one.


  4. Ping Che says:

    We must ensure a 100% conviction rate:

    Legco gives DOJ more power to challenge NSL acquittals

    Secretary for Justice Paul Lam told Legco that prosecutors will not abuse their new appeal powers.

    “The amendments will not affect the existing rights of the defendant, nor undermine the opportunity to a fair trial and presumption of innocence,” he said.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    As reported by Rupert’s NY Post.

    But yes, some clarity on what Luft claims is in order. Also holding my breath for the “tough on crime” republican party to start a deep dive on Jared Kushner’s MBF investment of $2bil.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Huw Edwards would also like some clarity from Rupert’s other paper as well.

  7. reductio says:

    What with having seven letter an’ all, did anyone else feel the need to find as many words from GAL LUFT’s name as possible? I got 13 (but is ‘ALT’ a proper word?)

  8. Low Profile says:

    @Stanley Lieber – I may be wrong, but I don’t believe that being under indictment – or even convicted – prevents someone from testifying before Congress.

  9. Stanford Hong Kong says:

    Well that is awkward timing. Or is it one of the methods Pikachu is considering “to encourage citizens to give birth to enrich the population”?

    Another good Hong Kong story of patriots being patriots.

  10. Mot justice department says:

    “Gal Luft’s” -> flag slut
    Which is apropos for a US-Israeli arms dealer pimping for the CCP, and Iran.

  11. Reader says:

    Nice spot @Reductio.

    From GAL LUFT, I hit 20 solid words (not including ALT or some questionable friends: FAG, LAT, GAT).

  12. Reader says:

    And reluctantly omitting FLAUT, which is surely what a FLAUTIST does.

  13. reductio says:


    20? Damn. Perhaps that explains why I’m always losing at Scrabble. Anyway, a big call out to Gal for giving us a lot of pleasure today.

  14. HK-Cynic says:

    “the population with overseas (mostly Mainland) arrivals. ”

    95% from the Mainland, to be specific….most probably choosing to do so in order to obtain a much lower tax rate in the future….

  15. Stanley Leiber says:

    @Low Profile

    True, but entering the country in order to testify before Congress and thus be subject to immediate arrest amounts to the same thing.

    Is no one listening to what RFK jr. is saying, or is he just another right-wing conspiracy nut job, too?

  16. steve says:

    Luft fits the profile of all of the Republican party’s alleged “whistleblowers” (in quotes because none of them fit the legal definition) in that he’s trying to wriggle out of big personal trouble by telling the right wing Congresscritters what they want to hear. His story simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

    The Hunter Biden story is that of a substance addict with a powerful Dad who rather clumsily and obviously attempted to use that connection as a ticket to extra income–it’s sleazy, but it’s not exactly an unfamiliar story. Biden recently pled guilty to a few fairly minor offenses that were substantially the product of avarice and addiction-impaired judgment. That should be the end of it, but the son is still perceived as a club with which to beat the father.

    Despite the efforts of Republicans and right wing news outlets to gin something up, there is absolutely nothing that implicates Joe Biden in any criminal activity. The christofascists’ attempts to sell the idea of the “Biden Crime Family” is both ridiculous and a serious case of projection, given the exhaustively documented criminal activities over a lifetime by their fuhrer Trump.

  17. steve says:

    I taught at a Hong Kong university for 20 years. Over the last three years, the number of former colleagues and students who’ve emigrated (a couple of them because they quite legitimately feared arrest) has been sobering. Not a mass exodus, but a steady stream–learned of the most recent just yesterday. There are others with short to medium term plans to leave.

  18. Chinese Netizen says:

    Stanford Hong Kong said: “Well that is awkward timing. Or is it one of the methods Pikachu is considering “to encourage citizens to give birth to enrich the population”?

    Takes me back to the April 1990 issue of “National Lampoon”, a long ago demised humor magazine that, back then, allowed for a lot of very non “PC” articles. The article your comment reminded me of was headlined: “Pro Life Death Squads Honored By Republicans”

  19. Low Profile says:

    @Stanley Lieber – I don’t know much about RFK Jr, but the anti-vaccination views he propounds often go with other symptoms of nutjobbery – as indeed they apparently do in his case. Members of his family, and even his wife, have disowned some of his views. His main support comes from Republicans who hope he can dilute voter support for Joe Biden..

  20. @Steve says:

    @Steve got some serious retard going on

    He soynds like he worked in Community Journalism or something dreadful like that.

  21. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Low Profile

    You’re right, you don’t know much about RFK Jr.

  22. Stanley Lieber says:

    Here’s RFK Jr. with Piers Morgan. He seems like a reasonable bloke.

  23. cautious cynic says:


    You think somebody who appears
    A on Fox News
    B on a show “presented”by Piers Morgan
    is reasonable?

    Let us just say his (Junior’s) views are as unusual (and unattractive) as his voice.

  24. steve says:

    Is there a pro-RFKJr contingent in these regions? Is there some crossover with the but-his-laptop crowd?

    If so, y’all don’t know shit.

  25. steve says:

    @ Stanley Lieber

    I trust your voice is dripping with irony. Doughty’s decision was ghostwritten for him by QAnon. All Junior does in this interview is confirm his fashion choice of the latest in tinfoil hats. And Piers Morgan? There’s a responsible interlocutor.

  26. Stanley Lieber says:

    @cautious & steve,

    Wow. Just wow.

    Have a nice weekend!

  27. Paul Serfaty says:

    I’m amazed that S Lieber thinks RFK Jr is remotely normal.
    Watch almost any of his public statements and far rom being ‘reasonable’ he comes across as semi deranged.
    One small story about how he thinks.
    Definitely NOT!

  28. HKJC Irregular says:

    @Stanley Lieber – Hope your man-crush on RFK Jr is ageing well. Here he is coming across as an absolute disaster, stating Covid was engineered to spare Jews…

  29. Stanley Lieber says:

    To mock a person for suffering from a neurological disease that affects his vocal cords is idiotic and cruel. It is operating at the level of a child. Try to get beyond that.

    Nitpicking the man in the arena is also child’s play. Nobody’s perfect.

    RFK Jr. is an independent person offering important criticisms of powerful corporate and governmental systems of control that impair civic freedoms and fuel international conflict. His voice and others like it are needed in a vibrant democratic society.

    I do not share RFK Jr.’s opinions on numerous public policy issues, but I’d still gladly take him over the incumbent president or his predecessor.

    Wouldn’t you?

  30. cautious cynic says:


    If your jibe as to supposed mockery of Junior’s voice is aimed at me, it is misplaced. My comment as to his voice being unusual was simply that, a comment (of fact). I know nothing of any neurological condition nor how his voice may be influenced thereby.

    The USA picks poor Presidents and others not so poor (in sense of inept or simply barmy). But no, I would take Biden (who is way too old) over Junior.

    As for Junior against Trump, Junior must be pretty bad (in every sense) if he is not better than Trump.

  31. Stanley Leiber says:

    From ‘Dysphonia International’

    “The sound of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s voice has been in the news with his recent entry into the 2024 Presidential race. He has been public about being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia.

    “Spasmodic dysphonia is a chronic neurological voice disorder and a focal laryngeal dystonia. It results in involuntary spasms of the muscles that open or close the vocal folds, causing a voice that presents with breaks and strained/strangled quality or breathy quality.”

    That’s enough on RFK Jr. – ed.

  32. HKJC Irregular says:

    @Stanley Laborious: Congrats for making Biden look better than RFKJr.
    Yes, we must not deride the afflicted, but nutty Kennedy said what he said about the virus regardless of his ailment. Batty as the proverbial fruitcake.

  33. Oh, Brother! says:

    If Fox News’ Piers Morgan gets you on the show and lets you speak instead of shouting you down, it’s because what you’re saying is of benefit to Rupert Murdoch. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a nutter — you might just be evil or a useful idiot.

    But when your little sister the human rights lawyer is publicly disowning you on Twitter as a total nutter, frantically trying to distance your Dad’s (identical) name on the family foundation from you, it’s probably time to make the “evil or idiot, you’re definitely a nutter” call.

    “I STRONGLY condemn my brother’s deplorable and untruthful remarks last week about Covid being engineered for ethnic targeting.” — Kerry Kennedy

  34. Stanley Leiber says:

    @Oh, Brother!

    Yes, if Kerry Kennedy says it, it must be true.

    “New audio reveals Kerry Kennedy praising Harry and Meghan as ‘heroic’ for standing up to ‘structural racism’ within the Royal Family which he now says he never accused them of.

    “In December, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were honored at the glitzy RFK Ripple of Hope gala in New York City. They were recognized for their ‘their work on racial justice, mental health, and other social impact initiatives through their Archewell Foundation’.”

    She’s not a nutter at all.

  35. Cautious cynic says:


    Can we compromise that the Kenndy siblings (or family) are nutters?

    As Brother postulated Junior is a nutter or evil or an idiot, or a combination thereof.

  36. Low Profile says:

    @Stanley Lieber – no, I certainly wouldn’t choose him over Biden, though almost anyone would be preferable to Trump:

  37. Stanley Leiber says:

    @Cautious cynic

    I hope that we can agree that free speech is a good thing, that questioning excessive concentrations of power in a civil manner benefits society and that giving dissenting opinions like RFK Jr’s a fair hearing without attacking the person is a worthwhile endeavour.

  38. HKJC Irregular says:

    Never thought I’d see the over-maligned Harry and Meghan further eviscerated in the hallowed threads of Big Lyhcee. Standards, Stan, standards.

  39. Natasha Fatale says:


    Here’s RFK Jr explaining himself a lot better than you do.

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