Monday, August 12, 2013

The silence of the damned

The latest of the rash of anti-democracy groups springing up like poisonous toadstools in Hong Kong (no doubt with the Central Government Liaison Office's hand at work behind the scenes) calls itself The Silent Majority.  Come on!  That's one of the oldest and most clichéd political tricks in the book - when you don't have enough supporters, simply declare that everyone who doesn't express any other view openly must be on your side.  The fact that some of this group are academics doesn't say much for the quality of Hong Kong's teaching of logical thinking.

The reality is that in most political systems, the majority of people keep a low profile most of the time unless some major event (Article 23, National Education) stirs them to a level of dissatisfaction that brings them out on to the streets.  If this new group assume that this indicates satisfaction with the status quo, they are sadly out of touch with public feeling in Hong Kong today.  If they know they are talking nonsense, then this can be seen as yet another ploy to persuade the public to shut up and accept what they're given.

Meanwhile another of these shadowy groups, the so-called Hong Kong Youth Care Association, continues its obviously well-funded campaign of harassment and occasional violence against the Falun Gong, with the apparent connivance of the Hong Kong Police Force.  For those who haven't followed recent events, a group of HKYCA activists were (as usual) attacking Falun Gong members a couple of weeks ago.  The Police held back a counter-protest group while seemingly doing nothing to rein in the HKYCA.  This angered a local teacher, Alpais Lam, who asked in intemperate language WTF the police were doing.  This in turn triggered a pro-police protest and a pro-free-speech counter-protest in Mongkok, leading to clashes and more exchanges of colourful language.

Following a tsunami of personal criticism, with calls for her to be sacked from her job, and even funeral wreaths bearing her name being left outside her school, Ms Lam (no doubt under intense pressure) later apologised for her choice of words.  However, the case has stirred up a welter of argument in Hong Kong.  For details and video see here, here, here, and here.

The Falun Gong's beliefs may be nonsensical, but the fact is that if Chinese communist front groups are allowed to suppress anyone's beliefs in Hong Kong, then none of us is free to believe what we choose.  So what do we know about the HKYCA?  Well, several things (see some of the above links):
  • It is related to the China Anti-Cult Association, a supposed NGO in the mainland but in reality a government-supported organisation.
  • It receives financial support from Yanjing Brewery (Yanjing Beer being, probably less than coincidentally, the official State Beer of China).
And what can be done about it?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Whenever you see the HKYCA's illegally erected banners on the street, complain to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.  (And speaking of illegality, it's ironic that a CCP front organisation is in blatant violation of the Basic Law which pro-Beijing groups are usually so quick to defend - the HKYCA's attempts to suppress a religious organisation in Hong Kong clearly contradicts the Basic Law's guarantees of religious freedom.)
  • Complain to the Inland Revenue Department that the group should not enjoy its tax-exempt charitable status, because its principal activities bear no relation to its stated objectives and constitution and are clearly political in nature, making them ineligible for tax-exemption.  I plan to do this myself and will let you know the response.
  • Boycott Yanjing beer, and let others know why you are doing so.
Maybe none of these will be effective, but I see no reason why we should give this noxious group an easy ride.


goodFRUIT said...

First time here. Support! Look forward to reading your comments on the latest fart (CY leung's supporters beating up the anti-CY protesters).

nulle said...

I would add boycott any PRC chinese products or any business supporting the PRC/CCP organizations.

I also would write to organizations to rate HK about the instability and risks of freedom of speech/press/protest suppression.

I would suggest video taping the HKYCA in action and document them.

Private Beach said...

Unless you want to spend a fortune on fancy imports or give up eating and drinking (even water) completely, I don't think avoiding PRC products is feasible in Hong Kong. Apart from that, almost every manufactured product is made in the PRC these days whatever the original country of its brand name.