Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Political Dilemma

That unauthorised building works have been found at the luxury residence of Chief Executive-elect Mr Leung Chun-ying has dominated the local news since last weekend. Almost everyone in the political spectrum spares little time to jump on the bandwagon to criticise Mr Leung of his negligence, if deliberate fraud, in the run-up to the Legislative Council elections in September. Online communities are, as usual, flooded by criticisms, parodies and sarcasms.

How amusing. This is because most of us still remember how Mr Leung attacked his opponent Mr Henry Tang in the Chief Executive elections on the lavish unauthorised building works in his Kowloon Tong home.

So much for the laugh. This piece of news is yet again very irritating. For one thing, Mr Leung's so-called explanation is hardly comprehensible. Even if the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors has issued a statement to implicitly support his claim that there are so many different types of surveyors that he is not necessarily aware of the unauthorised building works, questions around the date of property purchase and whether those structures were bequeathed from the first owner, as he claimed, are left unanswered. This is precisely where the parodies set in.

Although Mr Leung has acted way faster than Mr Tang in addressing public concerns and suspicions, his failure to provide a credible statement supported by adequate, timely information is likely to cost him dearly in political terms. Days have passed and time is running short. While his rationality may propel him to insist that it is unnecessary to provide any further information, he must not forget that he is now facing a highly emotional and sceptical population that has little confidence, if any, in him. It has always been said that he is going to fight an uphill battle to build public confidence, which is essential in achieving effective governance, but few of us knew he has so little time to even get prepared.

From what I read from local media reports throughout the years, Mr Leung seems to be a man of iron will and is very unlikely to yield to public pressure and resign. However, Beijing may think otherwise. Unlike his predecessors Mr Tung Chee-hwa and Sir Donald Tsang, Mr Leung was not really the sole favoured, if designated, candidate. If Mr Tung's resignation and Mr Tsang's poor governance were embarrassments of Beijing, Mr Leung may not necessarily so. Apparently he does not have the unanimous support from the top leaders and thus he had to make such enormous efforts to get elected. His political career does not necessarily hold so much stake for Beijing. For this reason, I would not be surprised by any action beyond imagination across the border, despite the fierce political struggle behind the walls in Zhongnanhai.

For another, the people once again stop short of making fun or pointing an accusing finger to the man, missing the real issues at stake. Why are there so many unauthorised building works around Hong Kong and only a handful of ordinary homes in the city are being inspected and the law enforced upon? Why politicians, tycoons and local gentries who have obviously contravened the law are spared from government scrutiny? Instead of making fun of Hello Kitty, can we be a bit more serious in coming up with suggestions of enhancing impartial, comprehensive law enforcement on this issue?

Farces and blunders have been staging almost non-stop in the local political landscape. Lies, distortions, smearing are everywhere. I am so annoyed, frustrated, weary of all these. And yet I can kind of imagine the situation would not be much better even if we have an accountable democracy. The hearts and minds of too many of us seem to be contaminated and I don't know whether those poor souls can be cured. It seems our world is falling apart, being turned upside down and there is little we can do about it.

Saturday, 23 June 2012










Friday, 22 June 2012


月滿梧桐,風翻蓮葉,夜色如水茫茫。漏沉更渺,清露浥羅裳。爭奈衾寒枕冷,繡幃外,翦燭西窗。愁無寐,巫山夢遠,紅淚映孤芳。 心傷,辭扃戶,閒遊冶蕩,倚馬平康。問多少恩情,分付東江?可嘆青藜棒下,誰信道,因愛成狂?難言處,秋波微轉,欲語已彌彰。

Sunday, 17 June 2012










Monday, 11 June 2012









Sunday, 10 June 2012



















Thursday, 7 June 2012


Chinese activist Li Wangyang, a native of Hunan who had been in jail for more than two decades for his role in the pro-democracy movement in 1989, was found dead in hospital yesterday. Officials said he might have hanged himself. His family, however, refused to accept the official claim. They questioned why he was on his feet if he hanged himself. They also insisted that Li had always been strong despite his suffering and poor health throughout the years. Li was reportedly blind and deaf as a result of torture and maltreatment in prison.

Personality seems a bit arbitrary, especially when it comes to providing evidence for a criminal case. But the fact that Li was standing by the window is by all means intriguing and suspicious. That his family was barred from bidding Li farewell and his body was taken away despite his family's protest only fuelled the suspicions.

If what Li's family said is true and there is little distortion to their story, this is by all means horrendous. What is the point of killing a dissident, also a human life? To mute opposition? To show how committed they are to upholding the paramount principle of maintaining harmony? Why do the Chinese authorities, central and local alike, still believe they can put everything under control with repressive measures like this? Isn't there a flicker within their conscience in any split of second that reminds them of all those stories in history about the brutal revenge upon merciless dictators? We Chinese are one of the first peoples to start writing history and I take great pride in this fantastic heritage. But why so many people out there fail to learn from past mistakes? Human nature is extremely difficult to change, I agree, yet it can and should be restrained, if controlled, by reason and empathy. Otherwise what is the difference between humanity and animal instincts that drive us to kill and feed on the prey?

I have always tried to keep my head cool when it comes to discussions about the Chinese communist regime because I'm too familiar with all those biases, hostilities, prejudices and propositions. But the preliminary evidence in this case, or at least how the story is told, has already spoken for itself, too loud to be neglected. I am expecting someone to tell me everything is just a joke, or a well-planned conspiracy of the family to take advantage of the situation by blaming the authorities for Li's death. But any sensible person would not do this to his family. Or are you going to tell me anything can happen in the lawless and ruthless China?

Monday, 4 June 2012


Even if justice were done on the mainland, although none of us has the crystal ball to tell exactly when, today is a day for commemoration and reflection. Cognitively I'm compelled to write something, but my hand and heart fail me. I have tried to scribble something, but it doesn't make sense. After a few attempts, I think I'd better give up and let my emotions flow.

At the recommendation of Ramie, I have started listening to Lady Gaga and I must confess that her remarkable talent and vocal skills really surprise me. Interestingly, a few lines from Lady Gaga's Speechless, my favourite of her songs, seems to have somehow articulated what I feel on this special but tragic day:

Could we fix you if you broke?
And is your punch line just a joke?

I'll never talk again, oh boy, you've left me speechless
You've left me speechless, so speechless

I felt even more so when TV news reported this morning that London has held the spectacular celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday on River Thames – pretty much at the hour when the first bullets were fired 23 years ago in Beijing.

How sarcastic! I was left speechless most of the day.