Trash – patriotic and otherwise

In trials, fewer than half of households are using the paid-for designated green waste bags that will (perhaps) become compulsory in future. (As the old lady in Harry’s SCMP cartoon pointed out, ‘they cost money’. The government gives you free ones for the soft launch? Hoard them for later.)

A pro-Beijing ‘heavyweight’ enters the picture. (By ‘heavy’ we mean ‘person we have never heard of’, and by ‘weight’, we mean ‘boss of an organization that basically doesn’t exist’.)  He says the waste charging scheme – years in the making – is more trouble than it’s worth, and it would be better for Hong Kong to develop recycling. With the plans so far looking like a bureaucratic implementation and enforcement nightmare, this sounds suspiciously like common sense. However, rather than implicitly accusing the government of lacking any brain cells, he declares the initiative to be the work of pro-democracy evil forces ..

“The controversial waste charging scheme was proposed by radical opposition factions (some of whom are even in jail), and it was a policy implemented by the government during the last term facing pressure in the highly politicalised environment. It was a mission impossible from the very beginning,” Lo [Man Tuen, vice-chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese] wrote…

Thus government supporters can dismiss any idea associated with non-‘patriots’ as evil – as MAGA conservatives in the US accuse anything they don’t like of ‘woke-ism’. As a commenter says

The most reactionary and self-serving elements of the pro-Beijing camp are going to wield the cudgel of national security against any government policy that goes against their interests. 

In fact, the waste-charging idea dates back to an earlier cohort of government environment officials – back in the pre-‘all patriots’ days, when civil society activists and NGOs (‘some of whom are even in jail’) were at least allowed a hearing in policymaking circles. The old ‘administrative absorption of politics’ also enabled bureaucrats to share the blame if an initiative was unpopular. Under the new order, such independent stakeholders are denied participation, and ‘opposition’ critics run the risk of being accused of ‘soft resistance’. So the ‘all patriots’ system has to take full ownership, including when things go wrong.

The earlier cohort strikes back. Officials don’t exactly rule out postponing the planned August 1 launch date.

The Sheik Ali Al Maktoum saga takes another twist, as the Dubai royal/pop singer/family office guru’s website disappears

Last December, Sheikh Ali visited the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong and met with president Simon Ho Shun-man and other members of the university’s senior management. And during his second visit on March 26, Sheikh Ali signed a memorandum of understanding and was appointed an honorary professor. 

Yet, it was recently revealed that HSUHK has amended the press release that day and deleted all references related to Sheikh Ali. 

…The opening of the family office was scheduled on March 28 but was pulled at the eleventh hour.

On April 2, Sheikh Ali’s singer identity was exposed and it was found out that his portrait in the Sheung Wan office had been removed.

A valuable lesson on the dangers of collusion with foreign forces.

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10 Responses to Trash – patriotic and otherwise

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Wondering why Sheikh Ali reminds me of one of those 1960s spy movie Arab baddies who is basically a Caucasoid with glued on facial hair?

  2. Sebastian Gorka says:

    “Thus government supporters can dismiss any idea associated with non-‘patriots’ as evil – as MAGA conservatives in the US accuse anything they don’t like of ‘woke-ism’.”

    I think you meant to say, “as leftists in the US accuse anything they don’t like of being MAGA.”

  3. Mjrelje says:

    Lovin’ Harry’s cartoon today. Tinder hahaha

  4. Joe Blow says:

    You MUST choose: a $ 50 coupon from Wellcome, a Silver Bauhinia Medal or a honorary professorship from Hang Seng University.

  5. reductio says:

    Serious question: what exactly do these “family offices” actually do in Hong Kong? What are they investing in and how does it benefit government coffers? Grateful for insight.

  6. zatluhcas says:

    Family offices hire professional local managers to manage the investments of ultra-rich families/individuals. It is thought (according to the likes of the Hong Kong/Singapore governments, at least) that they will be a valuable source of fresh liquidity that will revive poor valuations in the local market as they are less fickle and less likely to flee to better markets like New York and Tokyo when the going gets tough. Also, Hong Kong taxes transactions, not capital gains, so the more trading that happens, the more money the government makes.

  7. Mjrelje says:

    Family Office — moving a smallish amount of money from one ghastly place to another. New juristction can calim FDI rightc and thats about all.

    Thanks for the link today. Only a Brit would know the relevance.

    For to be caught smiling is to acknowledge life,
    A brave but useless show of compassion,
    And that is forbidden in this drab and colourless world.

    And there amongst the shit – the dirty linen,
    The holy Coca-Cola tins – the punctured footballs,
    The ragged dolls – the rusting bicycles,
    We’ll sit and probably hold hands.

    And watch the rain fall – watch it – watch it –
    Tumble and fall – tumble and falling –
    Like our lives – like our lives –
    Exactly like our lives.

  8. steve says:

    Mr. Gorka–Oh, are you still alive? What a shame.

  9. Low Profile says:

    @Joe Blow – obviously the Wellcome coupon. It’;s the only thing on the list that’s actually useful.

  10. reductio says:


    Belated, but thanks very much.

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