Candidate-selection shocks judge

I forgot that candidate-nomination in the District Council elections had been the subject of a judicial review. But voila. The judge…

…expressed surprise that most direct election contenders in the upcoming race also sit on the committees which decide who can stand as candidates.

…[The] submission argued that the government’s requirement was designed to override residents’ right to vote, and that the committees could effectively bar candidates who were popular among constituents from running.

…[Counsel Anson] Wong told the court that some three-quarters of candidates sat on the three committees responsible for deciding who could stand, making it hard for non-committee members to get nominated.

The government’s lawyer says the plaintiff has no evidence to prove how many members of the pro-democracy camp had failed to obtain nominations, or the reasons for this – not a great argument considering quite a few hopefuls (pan-dem and others) complained about their inability to get approved. He also says there’s no rush, and the court can and should take its time. The SCMP report (lost the link) suggests that the action has come too late for the court to deal with, anyway, but some sort of decision is expected today.

Straits Times reports on John Lee’s rising approval ratings…

Veteran political commentator Chris Yeung said there has been more publicity in recent months about what Mr Lee has been doing and less negative news about his government.

“John Lee has not yet been able to impress people with charm, wisdom or competence. He is not likely to be a highly popular leader. On the other hand, he has not made any serious mistakes either, so he is also not likely to be a very unpopular leader,” Mr Yeung said.

Associate Professor Alfred Wu, from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, said he would take Mr Lee’s all-time-high approval rating with a pinch of salt.

“The socio-political conditions in today’s Hong Kong under John Lee are very different compared with those faced by the city’s other chief executives,” Prof Wu said.

“John Lee already has the best base in the polls as some 300,000 residents – likely those who would have disliked him and his government – have already left Hong Kong.”

One way to do it!

A US House of Representatives move to possibly sanction Hong Kong’s Economic and Trade Offices gets the angry-statement treatment for…

…its complete disregard of the status of the HKSAR under “one country, two systems”, its malicious slander against the just and legitimate objective of the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) and the fact that human rights and the rule of law are properly protected in accordance with the law by the HKSAR Government, and its gross interference in the affairs of Hong Kong.

SCMP reporter (formerly at Apple Daily) Minnie Chan went to Beijing to cover a security forum four weeks ago. Now she’s missing.

For our local Bonnae Gokson Fan Club – the legendary colonial-era socialite is still indeed a thing – to the extent that she is, well, shutting down her renowned restaurant that we’ve never heard of. Pavva? Savva? Something.

Some other things…

China’s Internet regulators issue new rules against online ‘regional prejudice’, ‘gender antagonism’, and (not very Marxist-Leninist, surely?) ‘class antagonism’. CMP explains what the phrases mean. ‘Gender antagonism’ is feminism, and as for the class thing…

…the word used … in the CAC notice is not the jieji (階級) of Mao’s class struggle but rather jieceng (階層), which can also be translated as “strata.” Although largely interchangeable in everyday usage, the two differ significantly in sociological theory. While jieji relates to Marx’s notion that there are only two classes — the proletariat and bourgeoisie — jieceng invokes the work of Max Weber, who saw class as a more complex outcome determined by both economic and non-economic factors such as social prestige and political power.

…How else do you reconcile the official CCP line that they have eliminated meaningful class distinctions with the reality of a highly unequal society with the highest Gini coefficient in the region?

(Also from CMP, in case you missed it a few months ago, all you need to know about the suddenly-topical phrase ‘old friend of China’.)

At the Council on Foreign Relations, Carl Minzner asks whether the delay in the CCP’s annual plenum is a sign of institutional decay.

Marketwatch on the fall in foreign direct investment in China…

U.S.-China tensions are partly to blame, making investors more cautious.

But Beijing has also closed foreign consultancy and due-diligence firms, which are vital for potential investors and foreign companies to understand risk and other corporate and policy factors before making investment decisions.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Candidate-selection shocks judge

  1. Knownot says:

    The phrase “risk of infiltration by a state-backed hacker”
    was used in an FT report quoted by Big Lychee on November 28.

    Hard Times

    Risk of infiltration by a state-backed hacker,
    Undignified submission to an airport frisk,
    Loss of independence to a phone hijacker;
    A sudden sharp dismissal by a ruthless boss.

    Fear of prices melting in a manic market;
    Intuition warns a bigger bang is coming near.
    A cache at home of dollar bills but where to park it?
    A sudden sharp dismissal in a great big crash.

    Power of a cyber-spy, a ghost behind the screen;
    Listens in the bedroom at the midnight hour,
    Sees the journal words that no-one else has seen.
    The doorbell rings at dawn. A voice says, “Open, please.”

  2. Concerned Follower says:

    The Minnie Chan story is very worrying. Of course, the SCMP says nothing. More obsessed with the Louis Vuitton show than the safety of its staff judging by the stories they’re promoting.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    Re sanctioning of HK Economic and Trade Offices (in my best 1940s Hollywood fast talking guy voice): “They’re doomed to fail…doomed to FAIL, I tell you!”

  4. MC says:

    “Pavva? Savva? Something.”

    I genuinely thought it had closed ages ago. I suspect the demise was caused by the decline in new expat arrivals. It was the sort of place you went to look at the view and say ‘wow’ in your first months, but the lure of plastic cups, high prices and indifferent service soon fades.

  5. Pollsters R Us says:

    It is a bit rich for Singapore, with its rich history of plural and diverse politics, to be commenting on John Lee’s ratings. Or is it…?

  6. Wolflikeme says:

    SCMP prioritizing good stories.

  7. D3SH says:

    Word is Sevva was pushed out because Landmark thinks they need something younger and more hip than Ms B to complement what’s going on at Forty-Five in Gloucester Tower.

  8. seedy tabloid journo Mike Lowse says:

    Sevva is going to close? Who said that the social protests of 2019 had no effect?

  9. Joe Blow says:

    So now Bonnae, patron saint of tai-tais all over Central and Le Pique, has thrown the Gucci towel in the ring. As chairman-emeritus of the Bonnae Fan Club I was overcome by shock and disbelief: first we had to deal with the departure of her BFF Kimmy Robinson from Hong Kong and now this. Hold me, I am going to faint. Where is my white flower oil, dahling?

  10. steve says:

    From now on, we’ll be getting evaluations of Hong Kong’s leaders from academics ensconced at a relatively safe remove in places like Singapore. It used to be a local cottage industry, but those days are over.

  11. Eggs n Ham says:


    Yes, indeed – there already seems to be a thriving cottage industry of folks who ‘used to live in Hong Kong so let me tell you all the latest’. Some have a credible track record, some are trying, and some are charlatans. We’ll all need to develop familiarity to know the difference.

  12. Stanley Lieber says:

    @steve and @Eggs n Ham,

    Right on.

  13. Mark Bradley says:

    So Judge Coleman claims an unelected and impossible to contact nominators does not violate article 26 of the basic law which states every permanent resident has the right to vote and stand for election in accordance to law.

    This is despite him expressing surprise that 75% of the nominators had nominated themselves and noted that they should not do that!

    Is it just me or is the learnt judge going through mental gymnastics to rule something that is blatantly unconstitutional as constitutional?

    “In accordance to law” paired with Basic Law Article 39 (BLArt 39: ICCPR binding to HK and ICCPR article 25 says citizens have the right to vote and stand for election without unreasonable restriction) only allows reasonable restriction such as the kind of nominating procedures we had before 2020 for universal suffrage elections.

    Having an unelected and impossible contact nominators is an unreasonable restriction and the Judge himself notes the system is unfair but somehow not unconstitutional because it “was not sufficient to conclude that it was only because of an unfairness in the nomination system that the pro-democracy politicians did not secure enough nominations.”

    That is some of the most flimsy defence of an unconstitutional institution like this non-Chinese judge doesn’t want to stick his neck out to defend the rights of a permanent residents.

    And stating the unilaterally imposed nomination requirement “not manifestly without reasonable foundation.” is just a slap in the face when elections were in fact peaceful in 2019 and will of the people and voting the wrong way against ccp wishes is not reasonable foundation.

    Why do we have so much respect for judges in society? Fascist Italy has taught us these cunts were the first to lick the boots of the regime and failed to defend the rights of people when they needed it the most. We see echos of this in post NSL HK where we rapidly see the judiciary turn a blind eye towards HK’s ICCPR commitments.

    I would have been happy if Jude Coleman at least would have made it mandatory for the government to provide contact details of unelected nominators and require them to hear our all aspirants even though that is still below ICCPR requirements.

    The pre 2020 nominations procedures barely qualified under ICCPR and that is only if you pretend the functional constituency system didn’t exist in almost half of the legco seats and for the CE selection

Comments are closed.