Democracy in Hong Kong

Annals of Democracy in Hong Kong

The prospects for the PRC yielding to demands for a referendum on the future of Hong Kong were not improved by musings such as “Britain’s Democratic Failure” (Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard boffin, previously chief economist of the IMF) and “The American Founding Fathers Had It Right: Direct Democracy is a Dead Duck” (Franz-Stefan Gady, over at The Diplomat). Give us proper guidance by the proper sort of people, seems to be the message, one that the CCP, with its allegiance to the Leninist principle of leadership by a revolutionary vanguard — and its practice of the rather sleazy minutiae of non-representative elite governance delivered via the Legco constituencies in Hong Kong—will happily endorse. – Peter Lee.

Lam Wing-kee is “not like a man”, he lied and tricked me into banned books business: bookseller’s mainland girlfriend hits back.

Stuart Lau. SCMP: PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2016, 11:34am UPDATED : Sunday, 19 June, 2016, 1:25pm

The woman who lives on the mainland and gave her surname as Hu was quoted as saying the bookseller was “not like a man” and had “completely ruined the image of Hong Kong’s men” and lied to her about the legality of banned books when persuading her to help distribute them.

Hu, 37, was said to be crying during the interview, conducted in an undisclosed mainland city by Sing Tao Daily, the only Hong Kong media to be given a series of exclusive interviews on the mainland throughout the booksellers’ saga.

 In her interview, Hu criticised Lam for revealing their relationship at his press conference. But the woman, pictured in the paper with long black hair and a red-T shirt but with her face pixelated, went on to disclose intimate details of how they went to a hotel a month after they met online.

Her revelations come a day after two of Lam’s four other colleagues at the Causeway Bay Bookstore who had also gone missing on the mainland and reappeared months later in Hong Kong disputed his account of what he went through.

The two, Cheung Chi-ping and Lui Por, told Sing Tao Dailythat Lam was lying. Lui said he had never been forced to read out a script prepared by mainland authorities for state television, as Lam claimed he himself was made to do.

Lee Po, the boss of the bookstore and the publishing house Mighty Current who was also among the five who went missing last year, also disputed Lam’s account.

Lam had said Lee Po, who has maintained that he went to the mainland voluntarily, said Lee had told him he was kidnapped from Hong Kong in December. Yesterday, Lee spoke to the media to deny this was so, declaring: “I decline to admit what he said about me. Talk about your story as you wish. I won’t make any comments. But don’t get me involved.”

This slew of denials by Lam’s associates comes days after Lam detailed his detention, the only one of the five to reveal he was taken away forcibly, painting a troubling picture of the long arm of the mainland’s security apparatus on Hongkongers.

Lam recalled his “mental torture” at the hands of a special central investigative unit. He was blindfolded by officers in Shenzhen, taken on board a train bound for Ningbo where he was interrogated, and forced to give up his right to hire a lawyer or meet with relatives.

But his mainland girlfriend has challenged the last point, saying that when she was arrested with him, the officers did tell them they enjoyed the right to legal representation.

It was out of consideration for Lam’s aged parents and his own family that the pair decided not to hire a lawyer or contact relatives.

Lam, according to her, lied when he asked her to help distribute books that were banned on the mainland. He would mail her the books for her to then mail to the customers on the mainland and pay her the fees every time she helped, a practice that started eight or nine months after they knew in 2014.

“He introduced me to the business of the bookstore, repeatedly brainwashing me,” she said. “Lam Wing-kee never told me it was contrary to mainland laws to sell these books through mailing.”

Singtao Daily cited her as saying: “He is not like a man, let alone a Hong Kong man … He has completely ruined the image of Hong Kong’s men.”

Meanwhile, TVB has abruptly axed a Sunday live interview with Lam, the Post has learnt from Democratic Party lawmaker Sin Chung-kai who said Lam had been invited and then un-invited from the On The Record talk show. TVB could not be reached for comments.

The UK Rejected Democracy in Hong Kong

When the idea was raised, the UK rejected democracy in Hong Kong. Benny Tai, whose job is presumably to make an airtight legal case for the action, instead observed that international practices don’t demand popular nomination. In fact, the UK doesn’t have direct nomination, as a HKSAR representative pointed out during the student dialogue. The key stipulation is a matter of principle: Do citizens have real choice? Do the candidates represent different needs and backgrounds? The best he could say was that popular nomination would unequivocally meet international standards, not that it was the only way.

Even more problematically, perhaps, the UK opted out of the Article 25 of the Universal Covenant of Civil and Political Rights for universal suffrage and direct elections for Hong Kong during its merrily undemocratic colonial years, and the PRC succeeded to that treatment when it took over in 1997. The OHK legal case rests on the rather frail legal reed that Beijing inadvertently surrendered its reservation by holding legislative elections.

And that is the best that the cream of the Hong Kong legal profession and the NED-whose job it is to twist Beijing’s knickers on these kinds of treaties-has been able to come up with after over a decade of determined lawyering. Read more here..

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