Making ‘fast-tracked’ look snail-paced

The Article 23 bill passes by a 89-0 margin, which all-patriots lawmakers find impressive

Legco President Andrew Leung said if people or businesses choose to steer clear of Hong Kong because of the new laws, it would be their own loss.

“You can see other countries doing everything to protect national security, so why can’t we protect our national security?”

“Be it a downgrade, be it whatever, we don’t mind, Hong Kong is such a beautiful place for doing business and travelling, so if they don’t come, if they don’t do business here, they’ll miss their chances,” he said.

The HK General Chamber of Commerce says

…the new legislation [will] help ensure the city’s long-term growth and stability.

“As stability and prosperity go hand in hand, it is vital that our city has robust laws to safeguard its security and development interests while protecting civil rights and freedoms”…

“The Chamber strongly believes that the … legislation will make Hong Kong a safer destination for local and foreign businesses and professionals operating here.”

And CE John Lee adds

“We can effectively prevent ‘black-clad violence’ and ‘colour revolution’. We can effectively prevent ‘Hong Kong independence’ and violent destruction. We no longer need to worry about saboteurs’ ‘mutual destruction’ threats in Hong Kong and their acts of damaging public facilities, throwing petrol bombs, setting fires, assaulting citizens with differing opinions, pushing Hong Kong into an abyss, and destroying years of our city’s development,” he said.

“From now on, the people of Hong Kong will no longer experience these harms and sorrows.”

The Standard editorial assaults readers with a slightly different opinion, wondering if the government can ‘focus on the economy’ as efficiently as it passed the bill…

In tandem with the National Security Law slapped on the SAR by Beijing in 2020, the new safeguarding law will make Hong Kong a place armed to the teeth on matters of national security concerns.

If the NSL enabled the SAR to move from “chaos” to “prosperity,” the newly passed law should place the city in a position to move even further.

Is Hong Kong prepared to turn a new chapter? Will the government also be able to act on the economy at the speed of light?

The economy is fast becoming a major concern for workers as the catering industry has estimated about 3,000 restaurants are in danger of closure amid reports that some retail chains are taking active steps to downsize their network coverage.

This is not good news for ordinary workers. Employment could quickly emerge as a major issue, with employees preoccupied with concerns over their rice bowls more than the Safeguarding National Security Law, previously known as Article 23.

But the government has just proved that where there’s a will, there’s a way. So if there is a will to make good Hong Kong’s economy, there must be a way too.

Lots of international coverage. From the NYT

Analysts say the legislation, which will take effect on March 23, could have a chilling effect on a wide range of people, including entrepreneurs, civil servants, lawyers, diplomats, journalists and academics, raising questions about Hong Kong’s status as an international city.

…“A rapid passage is meant to show people in Hong Kong the government’s resolve and ability to enforce it,” said Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London. “The new national security bill is as much about intimidation as it is about enforcement.”

…The vague wording of some of the legislation has raised questions among legal scholars. For example, an act of espionage, under the new laws, could include the passing of any information or document that is considered “useful to an external force.” Such a broad definition could discourage legitimate exchanges with diplomats, Simon Young, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, wrote in a submission to the government last month.

Professor Young also objected to the legislation’s sweeping definition of “sedition,” which includes an intent to “bring disaffection” against the state or its institutions. Disaffection is “an emotional state of too low a threshold to be the subject of a crime,” he wrote.

“It is not a crime to simply feel this way,” he added.

On other matters…

The Yuen Long attack – now officially portrayed as a battle between two gangs – is in the courts, with former District Council member Zachary Wong appearing for the defence at former lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting’s trial for rioting…

“As a citizen and a district councillor serving Yuen Long for 33 years, I immediately notified the police about [the potential violence],” he said.

…Jasmine Ching Wai-ming, for the prosecution, suggested Wong had been “overconfident” about the mobility of the force and had neglected to factor in that all the available manpower had been drafted into the Central and Western districts to deal with major disturbances on the same night.

She also asked Wong that if he had cared about the safety of the public why he had not gone to the MTR station earlier.

…Ching accused Wong of trying to “stay out of the mess” because he did not travel to Yuen Long with Lam and failed to try and stop him from going, where it is alleged he incited protesters.

Wong replied that he “completely disagreed” with Ching’s assessment.

“It was the police’s responsibility to enforce the law but they failed to do so,” he said. “How could you now accuse me of not being able to stop the attack?”

China Evergrande and its founder are fined for inflating revenues by US$78 billion. Could this be the same China Evergrande named by Citron Research short-seller Andrew Left, who was banned from trading in Hong Kong in 2016 for negaive comment about the real-estate giant? Yes it could! From Institutional Investor in 2021

…instead of being heralded for his foresight, Left ended up being busted by Hong Kong’s securities regulator for claiming, in a 2012 report, that the company engaged in aggressive accounting and was actually insolvent.

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5 Responses to Making ‘fast-tracked’ look snail-paced

  1. wmjp says:

    assaulting citizens with differing opinions, pushing Hong Kong into an abyss, and destroying years of our city’s development,” he said.

    “From now on, the people of Hong Kong will no longer experience these harms and sorrows.”

    So John Lee is going to disband the po-po?

  2. Lo Wu Vuitton says:

    Congratulations, y’all. Hong Kong is now officially a banana republic.

  3. Ho Lan Chau says:

    Good to see such solidarity amongst lawmakers. I note Andrew Leung appears to still be giving the kiss of life to a hippopotamus. And Broomhead winging her way to stardom.

  4. steve says:

    Note to John Lee et al: An occupied city is never a stable city.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    “From now on, the people of Hong Kong will no longer experience these harms and sorrows.”

    Helluva promise there, Hangdog. Hope it never comes to bite you in the ass.

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