The Chief Executive, Mr. CY Leung, attended a meeting with locals at the town hall of Tin Shui Wai on 11 August 2013, a new town at the North-Western part of Hong Kong. Tin Shui Wai has been renowned as the “City of Misery” in recent years, for it being the numerous social issues, including domestic violence, mental illness and suicides. Tin Shui Wai has been the beachhead of immigrants from Mainland China since the handover of sovereignty. According to CY Leung’s speech, the meeting aimed to listen to the opinions of the locals.
The meeting inside the town hall was relatively peaceful, compared to the standoff between CY Leung’s “supporters” and the protestors outside the hall, which finally led to quarrels and physical violence. Video tapes recorded how CY Leung’s “supporters” attacked the protestors in front of the police. Police officers at the scene witnessed the crimes, but took no actions at spot to arrest the attackers.
This meeting was obviously not an improvisational one. It has already been more than a year since the date of inauguration of the third Chief Executive. Over the year, Hong Kong citizens found themselves fooled: the numerous blank cheques, from solving the problem of housing supply to helping the poor, the cheques promised by Mr. Leung turned out as dishonoured. With his popularity kept sliding and his cabinet members resigning one after another after their involvement in scandals, CY Leung’s impotence has even caused the anxiety of his Communist bosses.
It is therefore not difficult to imagine that CY Leung is trying to grasp every chance available to regain his popularity. The meeting at the town hall of Tin Shui Wai turned out like a personal showdown of CY Leung, or more seriously, a declaration of war against those opposing him, than a sincere meeting to listen to the opinions of the residents in the new town.
In CY Leung’s speech, here were several important highlights:
- The Chief Executive demands the Secretary of Education to submit a report over the incident of primary schoolteacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze shouting abuse over the police in Mongkok on 14 July 2013, to see what effects of her action would cause on the quality of teachers, quality of education and impacts on the juveniles;
- The Chief Executive fully backs the police in the dispute in Mongkok on the said date. He praised the professionalism of the police force in enforcing laws in a just and fair way, as well as their self-restraints in handling conflicts with citizens. Yet the government will not tolerate anyone to take chance or abuse on police officers’ self-restraint attitude;
- Political parties that reported the suspected corruption cases to ICAC of the cabinet members Franklin LAM Fan-keung and Barry CHEUNG Chun-yuen owe them an apology. ICAC has dropped the prosecution procedures due to lack of evidence, yet the political parties abusing the system never apologize either in private or public.
The attitude of CY Leung in his speech was apparently provocative, despite its lack of logic in his statements. It sounds weird for the Chief Executive, the leader of a city, to intervene into a storm in a teacup. And surely, policemen owe lots of apologies to those arrested who are later found innocent. This meeting of CY Leung is more like an arranged show time for him to hit back against the media and his political opponents – verbally and physically.
Instead of building up the consensus and lessening the gap between the pro-Beijing and pan democratic camps, CY Leung is deliberately enlarging it – this is the traditional “Divide and conquer” tactics used by communists under power struggle. By escalating the tension between opposing parties and by provoking large scale physical violence and conflicts comparable to the one in 1967, the Chief Executive may get an excuse to proclaim the intermission of the Basic Law and the enforcement of the National Law, which means to an end to the “One country, two systems” and a possible military rule. Of course, whether this will become a reality depends heavily on the view of the Central Government on the strategic position of Hong Kong.
The actions of CY Leung’s “supporters” outside the town hall echoed well with such hypothesis. As CY Leung failed to deliver his promises made during election campaign, even the pro-Beijing camp kept distance from him and was reluctant to lend full support with their political resources. CY Leung chose Tin Shui Wai for several reasons. First, it is rather a distant district from city centre, so the number of protestors could be kept minimal. Second, CY Leung noticed the rather strong political power of indigenous inhabitants in the district. The political power in the rural region had close links with the triads. Video records showed the thug-like individuals gathering outside the town hall, all of them wearing surgical masks. Some tattooed men attacked the demonstrators who shouted slogans demanding the step-down of CY Leung – in front of the police officers. Appledaily reported that these “supporters” of CY came from nearby villages and public estates of the district. (You may find the English version at theRealHongKongNews) Leung Che-cheung, Chairman of New Territories Association of Societies, who hosted the Town Hall meeting on the day called in supporters a couple of days prior to the meeting to rally. These thug-like “supporters” were said to be gathered by a number of powerful triad-related individuals in the district. And of course, these “supporters” were paid for. The link of the Chief Executive with the triad has long been criticized since his running for the Chief Executive election 2012. Finally, Hitler gets his Rohm.
So here comes the vicious cycle: the more popularity you lose, the more reliance on the triad-link supporters and armed force to rule. The more reliance on them, people further lose their confidence. Of course the Chief Executive doesn’t care, only if he can become a dictator and keep Hong Kongers silent.
The social antagonism of Hong Kong is at the highest point since 1967 riots. Hong Kongers may have to get prepared that the worst is yet to come.