Hong Kong’s Democratic Movement – A Unique Protest Culture that Guarantees Success Never

Hong Kong’s Democratic Movement – A Unique Protest Culture that Guarantees Success Never

Source: Guardian

When one thinks of protest, one can picture that the people are unsatisfied by the government and have decided to take action over certain matters, to show the government (whether or not elected democratically by the people) that what it is doing is against the will of the people. Ultimately, the function of a protest is to make the government listen to the people, with the implicit threat that otherwise the people will make sure their demands are met – even if that means overthrowing the government.

We have seen thousands and thousands of protests in the world, and many end in bloodshed. It is no doubt sad but one has to pay a price for what one wants, and on the road to democracy and to freedom, prices often are high. Yes, blood will be shed, and yes those in power, democratically elected or not, will most certainly use propaganda to label the protests as “violent” or “irrational”. However, when a government goes against the peoples will’, or worse, betrays its people, the rational response is to behave “irrationally” – it is only human nature. After all, not all violence is visible and will directly cause death: bloodless violence does not mean that no harm is done. This type of violence carried out by a regime, or by people in power, will almost certainly trigger violence led by angry people – the people who no longer trust the government and doubt the credibility of those in power.

People protest with the aim of changing what is wrong in society. People want to make sure the changes happen. For better or worse, changes will bring new ideas to the regime, or even a new government that will listen to the people and respect their will. Demonstrations reinforce to those in power the fact that it is the people who give the government the privilege to serve, reminding the world of the foundations of democracy: A government is accountable to its people.

We have seen how Ukrainians rejected their government earlier this year. Of course we have all seen the videos of musicians playing music in front of fully-armed police troopers. Of course we have all watched the videos of Ukrainians explaining to the world what they are trying to achieve. All of these seemed peaceful and rational. However, when their voices were not heard, they marched on. They threw rocks at the police, who are supposed to be the servants of the people and protect the people, but instead were obeying a regime that ordered them to kill civilians. The police used their truncheons on the people, and snipers shot to kill.

The word “riot” is always used by governments seeking to bolster their own legitimacy in the face of a people who have decided that they will no longer accept their lies and betrayals! Words are amazing things: they control how the public see a certain issue, they plant ideas in our minds without us knowing, they are the best invention for those in power to continue brutality, and they are the killing machines which those who are high up deploy to manipulate the world’s point of view in the international arena.

In Hong Kong, the situation is completely different. Not that Hongkongers do not wish to have democracy, not that the government is less tyrannical than others, not that there are not protests. The key difference is the existence of “professional protesters”. These are those who take pains to appear to be helping Hongkongers on different issues: may it be broad topics like referendum and democracy, or local-scale issues like the construction of incinerators or the expansion of land-fills in certain areas. However, their goal is to take control (or hijack) the issue by representing the people. These people are high profile and are shape themselves as the frontline fighters in Hong Kong.

They violate the natural rules of protest. They promote peaceful, rational, non-(physically) violent and non-verbally-violent protests, but all these strictures apply only to protesters: That is to say that when the police use violence against protesters, they would tell protesters to remain non-violent and accept their fate – to be brutalised.

How do they do that? Let’s sum it up in a ten step routine they apply to EVERY PROTEST:

  1. An issue is brought up, and a small concern group is formed by the individuals being affected directly by the issue (e.g. Northeast New Territories Development Plan which will affect some villagers more directly than others, but it is important to acknowledge that the Plan will dissolve Hong Kong’s border which will lead to a catastrophic butterfly effect – so the issue is broader than it is being portrayed to the public)
  2. “Professional protesters” get involved and present themselves to be the approachable “protest experts” to the concern group
  3. When the “protest” comes around, the “professional protesters” will allow the concern group/the subject of the matter to speak on stage to attract more people and media, generating public support. These “protesters” will wait for the perfect moment, very patiently, sometimes days for days (e.g. the anti brainwashing-national-education-curriculum protest)
  4. When the moment comes, the “professional protesters” will take to the stage and hijack the protest
  5. The “professional protesters” will make a moving statement praising the concern group/affected individuals for their courage and determination to take the matter on, making everyone’s blood boil and bringing the atmosphere to a climax
  6. The “professional protesters” will then call for a photo opportunity for the media to take pictures to commemorate the event – a trophy for them, as their image as frontline fighters is reinforced once again
  7. They then will give the stage back to the concern group, and begin negotiating with them what the next step should be, behind the scenes. The group and the supporters will be left there to carry on chanting, shouting slogans, or worse, singing songs. They will talk the concern group down and the typical reasons they give to call it a day are, “we have achieved a great deal” (the ultimate goal is far from being achieved!), “you guys are really tired”, “the government and the public have heard our voice”, “let’s be strategic and focus our energy on our next move”, “the public is clearly on our side, look at the turnout!”
  8. The tired concern groups are talked down and their passion is weakened. Because of the “credibility” these “professional protesters” enjoy, the concern group believes in the key advice given by these “protest experts” – it is a long term game
  9. When they persuade the concern group successfully, the “professional protesters” retake the stage and announce on behalf of the concern group that, “we have made our voice heard today/tonight! We could not have done all this without you and the support of the people of Hong Kong, right? (every one shouts YEAH!)” and then, “let’s give ourselves a round of applause!”
  10. The “professional protesters” will then talk their way out and conclude the protest. The protest ends peacefully without challenging the regime, the government, the people in power – in fact the protest is concluded without achieving any of the goals originally set, let alone any demands being fulfilled.

Protests in Hong Kong end peacefully, every time, but no one ever asks why even though 99% of these protests preserve the status quo. No one follows up, and the “professional protesters” carry on looking for other topics and issues to dominate in order to build their reputations as the “face of democracy, and the power of the people” despite the fact that they have done, almost always, more harm than good.

Truth be told, people’s movements require no leader. Unfortunately, Hongkongers do not seem to be able to function without a leader in any circumstances – that is exactly why many Hongkongers began to use the term “Kong-sheep” to describe ourselves: desperate to follow.

In some recent occasions, anonymous protesters have volunteered to participate in protests even though the subject matter does not directly affect them. These protesters do not buy into the routine “professional protesters” practice throughout all these years, but believe that when the government is dysfunctional and can no longer be trusted, the people should overthrow it.

Source: Daily Telegraph

To Hong Kong’s eternal grief, these volunteers are always abandoned on-site without fail. The “professional protesters” will always stop them by taking the moral high grond: “this is not what the concern group wants! They want a peaceful and rational protest!” “Violence is bad in any circumstances (no matter what the government has done and what bloodless violence the regime has engaged in)!” All these may sound perfect at the point when a true peoples’ movement begins, but to a dictatorship or a government that is not accountable to its people, it is more than music to their ears!

Without disrupting the system by disobeying those in power, the people have zero chance to achieve what they demand – something these volunteering protesters understand. They are bold, but at the same time, they understand how corrupt the authorities and uniformed forces are. That is why they want to protect themselves with masks or cover – what we see as “black bloc” in many protests. However, the “professional protesters” will jump out to condemn these individuals as spies planted by the authorities and convince the “subjects of the protest (concern group)” to believe their story.

The individuals volunteering as protesters risk their personal safety for what they believe in, and for the concern group’s interests. However, they are being dismissed and often betrayed by the “professional protesters”.

Often times, lawmakers, who come across as being pro-democracy (a stand which once taken seems to lend a teflon quality to all adopters), are the first to condemn these “irrational acts” and even side with the authority to “prevent” any “violence” from happening again by endorsing the reinforcement of security around these events. Some even criticise protesters for wearing masks (surgical or otherwise Guy Fawkes masks) and demand that them surrender themselves to the police. If you read the news, you will find out who these people are.

Source: The Telegraph

Traitors of the people often come in disguise. Only when we realise who those traitors are can we break free from the burdens that have been laid on us all over the past decades, and really take control of the society that we want to make better.

If we continue to believe that the representatives in the legislative council will be able to resolve our problems, and lower our guard, we will be sold out. Because many of them, politicians or “experts”, are no different from the corrupt. Perhaps with the exception of the care with which they have painted their masks to gain the seats that you and I pay for.

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Having More New Immigrants is the Solution to Aging Population?

Aging population is an issue faced by countries around the world, including Hong Kong. Before we try to “resolve” the problem, we ought to understand or at least learn why this problem arises. It occurs to me that the key reason is medical advancement – people live longer nowadays!

In history, baby booming is almost inevitable after a war. But why? I think the fundamental reason is to “resupply” the labour force (in a long run). But is aging population a genuine problem? Or is that a “created” problem the corporate want you and I to believe in?

Back to the problem closer to my heart, Hong Kong’s aging population.

Labour force is defined by the government, but it is somehow disconnected from the reality. Given the medical enhancement and globalisation (an increase of variety of highly nutritious food, for instant), shouldn’t we rethink about retirement age, hence “increasing” the labour force without actually having to increase the existing population? I’m sure many of you would agree that a lot of the old folks are in fact fully capable of carrying on working even after their retirement age. They also do have experience and skills that the younger generation can surely learn from.

Another thing that many pseudo left-wingers in Hong Kong claim contributes to the aging population is low birth rate. This also isn’t an unique phenomenon in Hong Kong. People tend not to have too many children nowadays. Mortality rate was very high in the old days, but this has been massively improved – medical advancement (once again) is a major reason, but we must not forget about the improved living condition and there has not been a “world war” for decades. Less likely babies are killed/died because of deceases or during war or malnutrition in the developed countries. Families no longer need to breed like their ancestors used to, in order to ensure one’s bloodline continues. The society nowadays do not need a lot of labour either, simply because of the technology advancement! Labour intensive industries are scarce.

The low birth rate in Hong Kong has many other contributing reasons too. As many of you across the world know that Hong Kongers work very hard regardless of which industry they are in. The living space in Hong Kong, is arguably one of the smallest in the world, mainly due to the property hegemony and the speculation driven real estate market in Hong Kong. Extremely high cost of living, from food and daily necessities to housing, couples have to work full time to be able to support their own family (as well as their parents in many cases), is another key factor. With the ever climbing inflation in admist of the stagnated pay rise, financial burden is huge to any young couple. Childcare is close to nonexistence in Hong Kong, too.

On top of the lack of work-life balance, limited space, time and financial flexibility, Hong Kong couples are reluctant to have multiple children. Even if they can afford having children, they have to face all sorts of “matters” when bringing their children up. Before a mother could sense the joy of becoming a mother, Hong Kong mothers need to worry about whether or not they can get a hospital space to give birth. If they are lucky enough to get one, they need to start worrying about getting formula powder for their babies (as said, with the busy work life, it is simply far too difficult to breast feed). When they are old enough to go to school, parents have to queue up outside kindergartens, primary schools and high schools for days just to get an application form from schools that involve at least an hour of commute.

Any responsible adult would consider all these factors before having children as one would only want the best they can provide to their children. Anyone with the slightest decency (and dignity) will refuse to rely on social welfare and benefits. Why would one even thinks about reproducing when one cannot be sure about being able to provide at least a comfortable childhood to one’s children?

Pseudo left-wingers in Hong Kong keep on saying that it is basic human rights for people to emigrate to other countries to secure a better living for themselves and their children. However, they fail to answer (if not dodge) the question most Hong Kongers have: isn’t it our rights to ensure our livelihood not being jeopradiesed by having uncontrollable amount of immigrants?

In any country in the world, immigration policies, one way or the other, will clearly state that immigrants have to be able to support their living (either having sufficient assets or having a job secured). Also, new immigrants are not eligible to enjoy social benefits for a certain period. This is to discourage welfare leeches from taking advantages of the benefits provided by the tax payers. This is not discrimination, but to ensure the sustainability of the country and system, as well as preventing conflicts between the locals and the new immigrants (one of the means, of course).

I agree (so do many Hong Kongers) that regardless of nationality, immigrants should be welcomed to Hong Kong – after all, Hong Kong is a melting pot! It is an undeniable fact that, however, we must have have full control over our population. When Hong Kong is so crowded, is it really wise to have more immigrants (in fact like Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said “Hong Kong has no population limit”), particularly those with low (or no) skills?

Population policy is a foundation of every policies within a country. It is not about having more people, but to strike a balance and to ensure a healthy composition of labour force that can support a sustainable economy and society.

Over and out!

New Free-to-Air TV License – A Short Commentary

Tonight is probably the first ever time that the people of Hong Kong has achieved a Facebook record.

Over 160,000 “Likes” were recorded less than FIVE HOURS after the page the Support HKTV was created on Facebook when the HKSAR Government announced that two new licenses are issued to Now TV and iCable. The application submitted by HKTV, founded by Ricky Wong, was denied.

The HKSAR Government refused to give any explanation on why the license was not issued to HKTV despite it was the first to apply amongst the three companies and that the company has already produced a number of dramas (HKTV promised not to have a news channel). Over a billion USD has been invested by the founder of HKTV, and the HKSAR Government granted HKTV a plot of land to establish its filming and broadcasting facilities years ago. It is awkward for the government to encourage HKTV to invest and continue to invest in a new TV channel but denied its application after years of waiting (and during these years, the channel has not stopped to produce programmes that trailers and episodes have received public support).

Going through old news and information available, it seems that the reason is clear despite the fact that the government refused to give an explanation…

In 2008, Ricky Wong joint ATV (a local TV channel infamous for its blinded pro-China and communist stance) and declared that he’d undergo a major reform: “ATV is not going to be CCTV’s Channel 10” and “ATV will not rely on advertisements placed by Chinese companies”. He was later on “resigned” from his position because of controversial comments he made.

This (not backing CCP/China) is something that surely would upset China, and it is in CCP’s nature not to forgive. So naturally, the HKSAR (aka HKSARCCP) Government would be told/informed/warned that a free-to-air TV license must not be issued to Ricky Wong, an “anti-revolutionary”! They want to get rid of him for good, so lured him to invest and it is possible that he would go bankrupt and HKTV will be gone – the set up of HKTV have essentially broke TVB’s monopoly (let’s face it, no one watches ATV really), actors left TVB because of the unfair and harsh contract terms (e.g. not allowed to speak Cantonese in any broadcasting channels even though many actors don’t speak Mandarin) – they stayed purely because there are no other options in the market.

For years, TVB and ATV are being accused of reporting news that are often taken out of context or sometimes have misleading/incorrect information. ATV, particularly, for its appalling productions (there aren’t many really), have been asked to close down for years – they broadcast the same programme over and over again for years, and repeat the same programmes within the same week. By controlling the media, the HKSAR Government essentially controls the way people think.

This is just a brief view on this news. Let’s see how this unfold.

Over and out!

US Consulate General VS HKSAR Chief Executive

Not a single time in his term so far (18 months!), CY Leung can go to “listen to the public” without having an army of police officers and many times he had to enter the venues from the back-doors…

Popularity of the CY Leung is probably the lowest in history, and yet he still kids himself that people support him! Guess who goes to show their support?

Thugs! And worst of all, they are paid. In case you worry that the HKSAR government is spending a lot of money on these propaganda (??), they aren’t that expensive: around HK$400 you can hire someone who shout any slogan you want, the team leaders (responsible for mobilising their “followers”) charges HK$1,000 per day. If you’d like them to fight (in fact, it’s beating others up) that’ll cost extra. Perhaps politicians in other countries should learn from CY Leung! Why campaign? Just beat the hell out of your oppositions!

Recently, the new US Consulate General for HK and Macau, Mr Clifford Hart, has been visiting various places – local eateries, book store, etc.

This reminds me of our last governor, Chris Patten. There were small scale protests when he went to “meet the people” during his tenure (in fact, other governors too), but most of the time this is what happened!

CY Leung and the Communist China seem to have too much pride in themselves – “what the Brits could do, Chinese can do better”, said Deng XiaoPing. What a joke! I really wish the book “I Don’t Want to be Chinese Again” was published back then. They could learn a thing or two from it.

On a separate note, there have been lots of rumours suggesting CY Leung is an underground CCP member. The number of underground CCP members in HK? I have no idea! Certainly there are plenty of them – and many of them are very senior and well-respected in the political and business scene…

God bless Hong Kong.

Over and out.

Paul Chan Mo-po: My Son is Only My Wife’s Family

Politics is not always boring and serious. Hong Kongers are full of creativity when it comes to public affairs – the government won’t listen, getting angry is on thing, but make it laughable perhaps can make our days go by easier…

Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Development, is in deep trouble once again – after drunk driving and operating illegal sub-dividing flats.

The Real Hong Kong News translated an article in today’s Apple Daily, which shows that how “articulate” the HKSAR government officials are.

Below is a photo created by a blogger that frequently produce sarcastic photos or comics, which says:

How Westerner and Hong Kong government officials call their son (seems like the perfect timing as the Duchess of Cambridge have just given birth to the new king):

Westerner: My Son

Hong Kong government official: My Wife’s Family

People of Hong Kong began to make fun of Paul Chan and said “poor Mr. Chan, having to raise another man’s kid for such a long time.”

1 July Rally 2013

I didn’t want to write about it because so many people have written about it.

I was there, expecting something to happen, but nothing did – all I had was disappointment. If only the Occupy Central organisers could have mobalised the people on that day to occupy the Hong Kong Island from Central all the way to Causeway Bay and force the HKSAR government and China to action. How easy was it when you’ve got over 400,000+ people already on the street? Why wait another year and limit the number of participants to 10,000 people?

Favourite photos from the march:

sina.com.tw


Golden Forum

Facebook

Golden Forum

Some international news:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-01/hong-kong-protesters-start-march-as-strong-storm-signal-hoisted.html

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130702171955

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/357727/hong-kong-sets-anti-china-rally
(I like the title of this article)

http://news.sky.com/story/1110117/hong-kong-protesters-march-for-democracy

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/01/thousands-march-hong-kong-democratic-reforms

http://hongwrong.com/july-1st-2013-roundup/

Quiet enough of reports, don’t you think? I won’t bombarded you with more.

A little question for you: How many people do you think participated in this rally?

The police said at peak there were 66,000

Organiser of the rally said 430,000
(don’t ask me why a demonstration needs organiser, this shows how politically immature the people of HK are… I love my home, but HK folks really need to rethink about what people’s power is and what we are capable of as citizen of Hong Kong  instead of hiding behind the big organisations and public figures and become their chess)

This video by The House News is pretty helpful:

The number of participants isn’t really that important – if people only follow the “designed route” (every single one of the police is placed there) and go home afterwards it achieves absolutely nothing. If the people of Hong Kong can stop being cowards and simply stand in the middle of the city on a random day a random time, the government (both HKSAR and China) will have to surrender or send tanks over to town. People’s power can be peaceful but more effective, the first thing is to have the guts to stand up and stop worrying about “breaking the law” – the police  have forgotten the fact that it has always been the people who pay their salary, and they should stand by the people when the government is suppressing the people because they are “the people” too.

Something about Hong Kong Arts Development Council

Something about Hong Kong Arts Development Council…

Which category of arts workers are eligible to apply for participation in the Nomination Exercise?

The arts worker should be aged 18 years or above and fulfills one of the following capacities:
(i) be a current or former member, co-opted member, arts adviser or examiner of the HKADC, since its establishment on 15 April 1994
(ii) be a current or former arts adviser of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) since 1 January 2000
(iii) have been a winner or an announced finalist of the arts achievement awards of the HKADC since its establishment on 15 April 1994
(iv) have been a winner or an announced finalist of recognized local arts competitions and awards as set out in Annex
(v) have been successful in obtaining grant, financial sponsorship or venue sponsorship from the HKADC, the LCSD, the Home Affairs Bureau, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts or the Hong Kong Arts Centre for arts projects submitted in his/her name (including the participating arts workers listed in the applications for grant/sponsorship)
(vi) have obtained fees from the HKADC, the LCSD, the Home Affairs Bureau, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts or the Hong Kong Arts Centre for direct engagement in arts creation, direction, performance, exhibition, production / technical support and arts administration of arts projects
(vii) be or have been in collaboration with LCSD in holding arts exhibitions/competitions; or have participated in these exhibitions/competitions in his/her name since 1 January 2000
(viii) be a full-time or part-time teacher/instructor/tutor of subjects relating to arts administration, arts criticism, arts education, Chinese opera (Xiqu), dance, drama, film art, literary arts, music or visual arts employed by local tertiary institutions (and their schools of continuing studies), secondary schools or primary schools in Hong Kong as at 15 March 2013 (Remarks: Applicants qualified under this item should apply to be registered under the arts interest of “Arts Education”.)
(ix) be a graduate of an arts programme on one of the specified arts interests at bachelor’s degree or above levels run by local universities /tertiary institutions
(x) be an individual artist tenant of the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, the Cattle Depot Artist Village or the Hong Kong Arts Centre as at 15 March 2013.

Applicants shall complete and return Form C together with a copy of the official document(s) showing their capacities to the Nomination Agent on or before the application deadline (5 pm, 25 April 2013).

 

Based on the above new guideline, a local public affairs commentator Kay Lam made the following comment:

A basic question: Hong Kong Arts Development Council focuses on the development of arts in Hong Kong. it does not make sense for an artist, who is not a Hong Kong permanent resident or not even a ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, to be qualified to be a registered voter of the Council.
The system is faulty! Jia Xuanning participated in a competition, of which the credibility is in doubt, is qualified to decide the future Hong Kong’s arts development; but those who work very hard on contributing to Hong Kong’s arts sector, for example Adrian Chow (a song writer), is not qualified!
Allowing graduates of arts programmes to participate is a great thing, but the question remains: why isn’t someone who was majored in non-arts degree, for example Adrian Chow who holds a law degree, but active in the arts space not qualified? Why are qualifications issued by Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College, London not recognised? Jia Xuanning who only writes articles once in a while to participate in  competition is qualified to vote, whilst a full time musician is not qualified to vote. The idea is great (expanding the voter group), but the reality is the system is seriously faulty.