Friday, May 18, 2012

Hong Kong Filibusters 2: "Middle Finger" Debate


In Cantonese, the word sounds for “to stop; to conclude” – Zhong Zhi – sounds exactly like the words for “Middle Finger”.

In a nutshell: Corrupt Chinese Communist officials stopped the debate.   The filibuster referred to in our previous post has ended. 

And in return, we would like to give a “Middle Finger” to the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China, and all their loyal “dog” supporters.  

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A lot has happened in the Hong Kong legislature since our last post less than a week ago

Our People’s Power hero Wong Yuk Man had just had cataract surgery within the past couple of weeks.  The stress of continuing with the filibuster had adversely affected his eye condition.  His doctor warned him he could not continue like this – he could lose his eyesight.

The Pro-Beijingist legislative councilors were rubbing their little plump hands in glee at the news. They plotted another tactic (because turning up at the legislature for the meetings to make quorum was just killing them).  We will request that the legislative meeting be held round the clock, 24 hours a day – there’s only three of them (Wong Yuk Man and Albert Chan of People’s Power, Leung Kwok Hung of the League of Social Democrats) with Wong Yuk Man driving the engine of the filibuster.  They won’t be able to continue indefinitely without rest since Wong Yuk Man is sick – we have to take advantage of that!  Let’s make our arch-enemy Wong Yuk Man go blind! 

Luckily, another independent councilor Cheng Ka-fu decided to join the filibuster.  The filibuster on Wednesday recommenced at 11 a.m. without Wong Yuk Man but kept going on strong.  After resting during the day, Wong Yuk Man joined the filibuster late at night, boosting the morale.

The spirits of the Pro-Beijingist councilors, trapped inside the legislative hall (Oh god, I’m so tired!  Oh god, I’m so bored!!!!) flagged.  They made mockery of the legislative process, openly practicing their calligraphy, sleeping, watching movies on their computers, etc. etc. – activities normally chastised by the Legislative President Tsang Yok-Sing.  Since Tsang Yok-Sing is a Pro-Beijingist and a Communist Party Member to boot, he did nothing to curtail this flagrant disregard of legislative process.

Meanwhile, outside the legislature, supporters of the filibuster gathered in a peaceful demonstration.  The Pro-Beijingist faction, wanting to cause trouble, hired busloads of “anti-filibuster” supporters to turn up at the site.  They tried to get the peaceful pro-filibuster protesters to cross the line by hurling insults and throwing water bottles at them, but got arrested for assault instead.  Oh, excuse me - what anti-filibuster supporters?  What a joke.  Many were actually triad members, paid $300.00 HKD an hour (including meals, drink and transportation!  Wow, good deal!) to cause trouble.

The filibuster continued inside.  The Pro-Beijingists were like, completely dying after midnight.  Around 3:30 a.m., Leung Kwok Hung demanded a head count – the Pro-Beijingists were ONCE AGAIN failing to meet quorum (like, not returning back after sneaking off to the washroom).  Legislative President Tsang Yok-Sing called a recess around 4 a.m.

In truth, Tsang Yok-Sing wanted to seize this opportunity.  He was up to no good.

Beijing had already pressured – no, ORDERED Tsang Yok-Sing to stop this filibuster, no matter what it took.  Beijing realized that it was a battle that the Pro-Beijingists couldn’t win, because the lazy, flaccid bums with no stamina and no endurance simply couldn’t last, even if they didn’t have to do anything except show up and twiddle their thumbs.  And in any case, the Pro-Beijingists had no spirit of righteousness to spur them on - they were just following Beijing's orders and looking out for their personal interests to the detriment of the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.  And then, there were rumors that more and more of the initially cautious/scared independent councilors were rallying in support of the filibuster.  It was bad enough dealing with three councilors – what if that number became five, or ten?  The filibuster will go on forever, and Beijing would lose face. 

Unaware that spectators in the top balcony were filming him during the recess, Tsang Yok-Sing took the command he received from Beijing and got one of the pages to take it from his secretary Pauline and deliver it to one of the Pro-Beijingist councilors in the front row – the guy in the pink sweater.  The camera's microphone picked up on what they hissed at each other “Wait until everyone comes back and we will make our move on them!” the Pro-Beijingists said. 

Anti-Legislative fairness/Anti-free speech shenanigans of the Pro-Beijingists at the Hong Kong Legislature, caught on film

Everyone came back in after the break.  Mr. Pink Sweater immediately got up, and read from the paper passed secretly to him from Tsang Yok-Sing, pretending that he was unilaterally making a motion in the council, when in fact he was acting in cohorts with Tsang Yok-Sing and the power of Beijing behind them.  “Blah, blah, blah, the filibuster group is so repetitive, they had to be stopped 75 times because they repeated or got off topic [cites a list of other statistics that no way he could have come up with just by himself], this can’t go on forever, blah blah, I move for the Legislative President to stop this at once!”

And Legislative President Tsang Yok-Sing pretended to think really hard for a second, and then said: Okey-dokey, no problem!

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The filibuster was stomped on by the Legislative President Tsang Yok-Sing, who was not authorized under any rule or precedent of the Legislature and in effect had no authorized power to do what he did. He did it because Beijing made him do it – he has been tough but fair so far at his post, but as Wong Yuk Man says, Tsang Yok-Sing is like a widow who has guarded her virtue all her life, only to throw all respectability away at the last moment by being seduced by some bloke!*

* To clarify, this is a chinese traditional cultural reference.  Widows were revered in Chinese Culture for keeping their virtue - they can still remarry and be considered virtuous, but were scorned if they allowed themselves to be seduced and cheated by some Fabio who wandered into the village.  In ancient China, it was better for a woman to be a prostitute who turned away from her profession and became respectful by marrying than a widow who ran off with Fabio.

Beijing looked like they won the battle… but in fact, they lost.  They can't win fair and square, so they had to resort to dirty, underhanded tactics and brute force to win – and it was exposed to the world. 

Before the handover of the former British colony to China, Beijing promised that for fifty years, it would be “One country, two systems” – and that all of the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents will be preserved.

It’s all, of course, a big fat lie.  First they halt democratic reform – then they attack the right of peaceful assembly.  Now they are messing with the rights of councilors to free debate in the Legislative council.  Next in line of fire is all freedom of speech. 

Here on our blog, we always tell it how it is.  Very soon in Hong Kong, you won’t be able to.  The white terror begins.

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Alberto Dassieu

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