Letters to the Editor

Tuesday 22 November 2016, 8.00pm HKT


contact female hands oilpaint

FAN MAIL and hatemail from followers, detractors and passersby for Q4 2016.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR is posted 4 times a year or more, selecting the best letters received during the quarterly period.

We welcome letters on all topics, but the management regrets it is not possible to respond to all. All letters received are publishable unless the sender states otherwise. Sender must include name and location in the letter but may request anonymity or choice of pen-name. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Management has right of choice and manner of publication. Please write via email, or use the Contact Form.

Commenting is disabled on the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR post by policy. Please use the Contact Form for commenting and corrections.

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Letters to the Editor

I don’t want to make a habit of this but I’ve come to the point of needing a “Letters to the Editor” category for organising and ruining some of my more interesting correspondence.

map south east asia political

(via mabryonline.org)

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11.57am local time, 16°C (61°F), chilly and breezy

I have one thing to say from the past 12 hours of the news.

You work it out what it all means.

The flag of Ukraine (via Imgur)

I have friends from there.

.

Russian flag replacing the Ukrainian one (via Imgur)

I have friends too from where this flag comes from.

.

Politics, summarised (via Imgur)

Never before in a picture have I seen it summed up so perfectly.

Enough said.

(All images from Imgur)

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© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014. (B14074)

How to set yourself up for disappointment

Tuesday 23 August 2011, 9.00pm HKT


OUR PINOY COMMUNITY in Hong Kong is setting itself up for disappointment.

You see, judicial review of right-of-abode status for Philippine domestic workers in Hong Kong began yesterday (22 August) in the High Court.

Already, the government’s opening arguments is hitting the abode-seekers’ case like hammer to anvil. The government said the Immigration Ordinance (the statute that regulates Philippine domestic workers here) IS constitutional and that the ordinance sets out in very clear terms the conditions that bar alien domestics from acquiring domicile in Hong Kong.

I’m not anti-Filipino or anti-domestics, and I personally feel the domestics have had a raw deal, especially those who’ve been living and working in shite jobs here since the 1980s.

But as a trained lawyer, it’s next to impossible to go against the tightly legislated language that is typical of immigration laws. Having personally gone through numerous different immigration procedures in several different countries, I know how painfully impossible it is to get any administrative decisions or judicial judgments that go against the language of immigration laws.

For those who are legally unwashed, strict statutory interpretation (‘stat-int’) is the default means of operating immigration laws (in Hong Kong as well as anywhere else in the world). Since our Philippine domestics’ contracts and leave of stay are covered under our Immigration Ordinance rather than a general-purpose statute like the Employment Ordinance or somesuch, they can expect little or no leeway because of the stat-int.

So someone please tell our nice Pinoys and Pinays that, really, they are facing an impossible task on their hands — and perhaps not a little misled by some of our social NGOs in the process.

* * *

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious — makes you so sick at heart — that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.
(Mario Savio (1942-96), ‘Bodies upon gears’ speech at Sproul Hall Steps, University of California, Berkeley, 2 December 1964)

* * *

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. Image via British-born Chinese Blog.

Amended 23 August 2011 for typographical errors – amen to that.

New party is no party, not new, not with-it

Sunday 6 February 2011, 5.51am HKT


It’s the same old story: if the one you’ve got doesn’t work anymore, respawn into another with the same characteristics.

So we’ve got a new political party here in Hong Kong.

The New People’s Party (新民黨) was spawned from the pretentiously named thinktank Savantas Policy Institute. Legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee (葉劉淑儀, born 1950) heads both the NPP and Savantas. She was the career civil servant and ex-Secretary for Security who resigned in 2003 over the Article 23 anti-sedition debâcle.

The NPP’s platform or manifesto boils down to just three points:

  • pledging to build a ‘quality’ democratic system in Hong Kong
  • to promote economic restructuring
  • to work to narrow the wealth gap

Even the politically ignorant uninformed will have noticed all other political parties (possibly anywhere in the world) have the same targets.

The NPP’s constituency window is:

  • the middle class (rather than ‘grassroots’)
  • the civil service (wouldn’t you have guessed that already)

Those who have even a smattering of sociological knowledge knows these two groups of society are most supportive of The Establishment (whether right-, centre- or left-wing). The middle class is most resistant to change. The civil service is, well, dead slow children.

Don’t take my word for it. Read up in your sociology textbooks. Alternatively, wake up and look around. Whichever works best for you.

Interesting guest list to the party’s inauguration ‘do’ on 9th January 2011:

  • NPP Vice Chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun (田北辰) (ex-Liberal Party)
  • NPP Vice Chairman Dr Louis Shih Tai-cho (史泰祖) (dermatologist)
  • NPP adviser Bernard Chan a.k.a. Charnwut Sophonpanich (陳智思) (former member of the Executive Council)
  • NPP adviser Allan Zeman (chairman of Ocean Park and “Father of Lan Kwai Fong”)
  • NPP adviser and ex-Chief Secretary Sir David Akers-Jones
  • Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong (李少光)
  • Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah (邱騰華)
  • Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (張建宗)
  • Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fong On-san (陳方安生) (and Mrs Ip’s rival in the 2007 Legislative Council by-elections)

Since the NPP’s origin is in the Savantas Policy Institute, it can be quite edumacational have a look-see at Savantas’ self-description:

“Savantas was founded by a group of Hong Kong belongers with overseas experience who care deeply about Hong Kong. As those who have lived abroad will know, Hong Kong people residing overseas derive the greatest pleasure banding together eating Hong Kong-style food and debating Hong Kong current affairs. Our group was born out of a passion to contribute what we have learned from our valuable experience of studying or working in one of the world’s most dynamic, innovative and technologically oriented growth areas in the U.S. to making Hong Kong a better place to live.” (Limited version profile on LinkedIn)

How brain damaged can you be to even pay attention to a political party whose origins is described like that?

Err, no, as most who have lived abroad will know, most Hongkongers don’t derive anything of the such.

Err, no, even homey Hongkongers don’t “debate” about Hong Kong current affairs because most Hongkongers are actually too apathetic and unknowledgeable about current affairs because Hongkongers mostly tend not to read or watch any news anyway.

Err, no, the American connection that you’ve made is irrelevant to Hong Kong. You just branded yourself an irrelephant.

(For the avoidance of doubt, The Naked Listener personally voted in two General Elections in the UK, plus all the piffling and miserable elections in Hong Kong, plus a few other elections in other countries. It is fair to shamelessly boast that what The Naked Listener has forgotten about politics is on balance of probability more than these people at Savantas/NPP could ever know in their lives.)

The NPP is described in the press as centre-right and pro-Beijing — which is another way of saying you couldn’t tell your right hand from your left. It just doesn’t inspire much confidence, does it?

Plus, you’d worry about a public-policy thinktank (ergo, the political party) that isn’t quite forthcoming about the ages of its board members [via Webb-site.com].

* * *

Here’s what The Naked Listener has heard or read (or overheard or over-read, as the case may be), plus offhand personal divinations. It isn’t much admittedly, but it’ll do for now.

“What happened to the old one?”

It’s an interesting name, isn’t it? What’s new? New people? New party? New what? If you can’t get your own name right, heaven knows what else you couldn’t get right.

“The whole ironic naming of political parties by the pro-Beijing groups is entertaining, carrying on the sterling ironic naming tradition of countries like the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.”

See what I mean? You would’ve thought that, what with all the high-powered ex-officials and advisers the NPP has, it could have come up with a better name than that.

“Can you join the New People’s Party if you’re an old person?”

Oh, yes, we’ve been waiting for this one.

“Does this have anything to do with the posse of 30 ex-Democrats?”

‘Democrats’ is just a name here, more so than any other place. They (the Dems) and Mrs Ip are The Establishment, whichever way you look at them. There’s no grassroots — never been any. These people are just using a new approach to pull the wool over our eyes. You really have to have lived in a much more politicised place (e.g. abroad) to suss out their game.

“At least two other Asian movements have had this name, and it would be interesting to know whether our former Security Secretary borrowed it from one of them, and, if so, which.” (Big Lychee)

All this isn’t even near laughable when you consider how much power or influence these people actually have as part of The Establishment.

What we actually want is another kind of party:

Community 'Party(ing)'

Not gettin’ it? Try this:

The kind of party we're all looking for!

Images (all pilfered and used without permission):

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.

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