My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 1:38am

Everyone wants to give CY a beating

BIO

Alex Lo is a senior writer at the South China Morning Post. He writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column on page 2. He also edits the weekly science and technology page in Sunday Morning Post.
 

Poor Leung Chun-ying. Couldn't even stroll through a Lunar New Year fair without being mobbed.

The chief executive and the first lady were surrounded by protesters from the moment they stepped out of their car outside Victoria Park until they were forced to leave the chaos 15 minutes later. That ought to set a record for the shortest time a head of government visited the annual fair before being sent packing.

Much was made about the "creative" products on sale such as "Step down" C Y T-shirts, "Step on" C Y flip-flops and cushions with the message "You lie! Don't tell lies". It was surprising they didn't make pinatas out of the first couple. Perhaps it's because they are beating him up practically every day that they hardly need a pinata to stand in for him.

"Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung managed to block traffic on Causeway Road by sitting in front of the couple's car. But many stall operators and motorists blamed CY for the commotion.

What were Long Hair and his gang protesting against? The same charges about C Y Leung being a liar and calls for him to step down. But what were those "lies" about illegal structures that everyone now assumes they know? Is Leung always less veracious and factual than many of his critics like Long Hair? I have my doubts. Monday's protest could have been held any day of the week, month or year. That is to say it was a meaningless exercise.

Protests like Long Hair's are not spontaneous, but engineered. Most people hit the streets to protest about specific grievances and issues. But those general-purpose demos which now dog CY at practically every public function do not aim at real issues, but are designed to create an impression of widespread discontent and to reinforce his plummeting popularity.

These "protesters" disrupt public gatherings like "town hall" meetings by shouting down officials scheduled to speak. It never crosses these people's mind that some of our citizens may actually want to have a civilised exchange, however critical, with officials.

It's part of a larger, concerted effort to besiege the administration to make sure it gets nothing done and if it does, that it will get no credit or recognition for it. That is hardly in Hong Kong's interest.

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