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Showing posts from 2016

The Young and the Reckless 廢青新政

Oathgate, the political firestorm that started two months ago and has dominated the headlines ever since, is showing no signs of dying down. Like a molten lava flow, the slow-motion disaster continues to threaten everything in its destructive path: the city’s rule of law, the recent Legislative Council election results, the fledgling anti-establishment coalition, and the already dwindling trust between Hong Kong and mainland China.
It all started with a bad idea gone wrong. At the swearing-in ceremony in October, Yau Wai-ching (游蕙禎) and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang (梁頌恆) – firebrands who ran on a pro-independence platform and were among half a dozen young candidates voted into Legco – draped themselves in a banner bearing the slogan “Hong Kong is NOT China” and used an archaic racial slur to refer to the People’s Republic in their oath.

By now it is clear that the two overplayed their hand and underestimated Beijing’s resolve to stamp out any and all secessionist ideologies. The …

What’s Killing Hong Kong Bookstores? 誰令香港的書店滅亡?

Earlier this month, Page One unceremoniously announced the closure of its megastores at Harbour City and Festival Walk, ending the Singapore bookseller’s nearly two-decade stint in Hong Kong. The news came less than two years after Australian outfit Dymocks shut down its IFC Mall flagship and exited the city.
Reaction on social media to the loss of yet another bookstore chain was both immediate and damning. While some attributed Page One’s demise to competition from e-books and online retailers, many put the blame on the lack of a robust reading culture in Hong Kong. Still others pointed their finger at greedy landlords and the sky-high rent they extort from retailers.
But what really killed Page One? An autopsy is in order to examine the cause of death of the book industry’s latest casualty.

The technorati have long prophesized the end of paper. Portable and affordable, Amazon’s Kindle and other e-readers are the physical book’s worst nightmare. But are they really?
After yea…

What's Next for Joshua? 黃之鋒去向

A lot has happened in Hong Kong in the two years since tens of thousands of student protesters occupied the city’s major thoroughfares to demand a free vote. 
The so-called Umbrella Movement, which began on 28 September 2014 and went on for 79 days, was followed by a period of protest fatigue, polarization of society and increasing intervention by the Chinese government.
But for Joshua Wong, a mainstay of that movement and a household name both at home and abroad, the past 24 months have been a chance to reflect and reassess.

Earlier this year, Wong disbanded a student group he set up in 2011 and co-founded a political party with fellow protest leader Nathan Law
In the general election three Sundays ago, Wong, who at 19 was too young to run for office, took a back seat. He campaigned for Law in a bid for one of the 40 democratically elected seats in the city’s legislature. Law went on to win the election and become one of six fresh-faced lawmakers elected on a platform of increased…

Generation Shift 換代

For months, fierce political campaigns, vicious personal attacks and sporadic allegations of electoral irregularities had filled the airwaves and fueled social media discourse in Hong Kong. One candidate was forced to drop out and flee to the U.K. after receiving threats of physical harm.
That is because the stakes had never been higher.

On Sunday, in the first election in Hong Kong since the Umbrella Movement was spawned in 2014, more than two million citizens – nearly 60% of all registered voters – went to the polls. 40 seats on the Legislative Council, or Legco, the region’s parliament, were up for grabs by candidates representing a wide spectrum of political parties. They ranged from diehard Beijing loyalists to pro-democracy veterans and younger, more radical newcomers calling for autonomy and even independence from China... __________________________
Read the rest of this article in The Guardian under the title: Hong Kong pro-democracy activists grab foothold on power in assembl…

Legco Election Special: Part 5 - New Territories West 立法會選舉特輯: 第五章 - 新界西

I conclude my Legislative Council (Legco) election series with New Territories West, where three distinguished gentlemen in that district will tell you who they are and what they stand for.
My top picks in New Territories West are Neighborhood and Worker’s Service Centre’s Ivan Wong Yun-tat 黃潤達 (candidate #1), League of Social Democrats’ Raphael Wong Ho-ming 黃浩銘(candidate #11) and independent candidate Eddie Chu Hoi-dick 朱凱廸 (candidate #20).
Read Part 1 - Hong Kong Island, Part 2 - Kowloon East, Part 3 - Kowloon West and Part 4 - New Territories East.

Question 1: Beyond rhetoric and slogans, what concrete action or achievements can you point to that distinguish you from other candidates?
Ivan: This is my 14th year working with Neighborhood and Worker’s Service Centre and my seventh year serving as a district councilman for Kwai Tsing. I’m not a political celebrity – I prefer to work behind-the-scenes for ordinary folks in my district, fighting for their rights and encouraging them to ge…

Legco Election Special: Part 4 - New Territories East 立法會選舉特輯: 第四章 - 新界東

Continuing with my Legislative Council (Legco) election series, we turn now to New Territories East, where three incumbent lawmakers from the opposition camp will take my five-question challenge.
My top picks in New Territories East are League of Social Democrats’ “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung 長毛梁國雄 (candidate #5), Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu 楊岳橋(candidate #7) and People Power’s “Slow Beat” Raymond Chan Chi-chuen 慢必陳志全 (candidate #18).
Read Part 1 - Hong Kong Island, Part 2 - Kowloon East, Part 3 - Kowloon West, Part 4 - New Territories East and Part 5 - Kowloon West.

Question 1: Beyond rhetoric and slogans, what concrete action or achievements can you point to that distinguish you from other candidates?
Long Hair: I have a three-prong strategy: filibusters, public demonstrations and courtroom protests. I’ll continue to use various forms of civil disobedience to force Beijing to back off and accept our demand for self-determination. I’ve stood up to the powerful regime all these ye…

Legco Election Special: Part 3 - Kowloon West 立法會選舉特輯: 第三章 - 九龍西

The third instalment of my Legislative Council (Legco) election series covers Kowloon West. I put the same five questions to three choice candidates in the district and see how they stack up against each other.
My top picks in Kowloon West are League of Social Democrats’ Avery Ng Man-yuen 吳文遠(candidate #1), Civic Party’s Claudia Mo Man-ching毛孟靜(candidate #3) and Democracy Groundwork’s Lau Siu-lai 劉小麗(candidate #12).
Read Part 1 - Hong Kong Island, Part 2 - Kowloon East, Part 4 - New Territories East and Part 5 - Kowloon West.

Question 1: Beyond rhetoric and slogans, what concrete action or achievements can you point to that distinguish you from other candidates?
Avery: I have a track record of social activism and street campaigns. I’ve also been a longtime advocate for the working class fighting for their rights and economic equality.

Claudia: A while back, an anti-stalking bill was submitted to Legco that could have hampered press freedom by making it easier for reporters to be charged…