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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 5:25am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 4:12am

Snowden's praise for HK's freedoms can be milked


Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.

How is it even possible? But US whistle-blower Edward Snowden says it is. The ex-CIA man says Hong Kong is so free that he fled the United States - that beacon of freedom - to spill the beans here about a massive American cyberspying programme that tracked e-mails and phone calls globally. Surely Snowden's praise for our city's freedoms can be turned into a slap in our pan-democrats' face if the Beijing loyalists play their cards right. The democrats have long labelled Hong Kong as a society of shrinking freedoms under Chinese rule, hence the Occupy Central movement for true democracy. But now an ex-CIA spy says we're freer than the US. Let's see how the loyalists are going to milk this.


Repeat of Tiananmen would never happen here

Come July next year, we could see the People's Liberation Army's tanks rumbling through Central, soldiers firing indiscriminately at peaceful protesters, and blood-soaked streets littered with dead bodies. That's the wild imagination of those convinced the central government will crush the Occupy Central civil disobedience protest with a June 4-style crackdown. If tanks do rumble down Queen's Road Central, we'll need a volunteer to defiantly stop them in their tracks like that heroic young man who stood in front of the Chinese tanks rolling towards Tiananmen Square. How about "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung? Maybe he can throw bananas at them. Or Benny Tai Yiu-ting, the movement's mastermind? He could sit cross-legged in front of the tanks to prove he meant it when he said the protest would be non-violent. But seriously, do you really think mainland leaders are such numbskulls that they would order a bloody crackdown? Think of what the bullets would hit aside from peaceful protesters - Harvey Nichols, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, H&M, Gucci, the newly-opened Topshop, and yes, HSBC. They are all along Queen's Road Central. The images of these bullet-ridden brand-name stores would be circulated around the world like that 1989 picture of the man in front of the tanks. A violent crackdown would plunge Hong Kong into a far deeper economic and political crisis than Occupy Central. Today's mainland leaders are savvy enough not to risk that. The China of 1989 is not that of 2013. And Central is not Tiananmen Square. Only idiots would believe Tiananmen could happen in Hong Kong.


Government has a role in hate crime against Filipinos

Don't blame just the Hong Kong thugs who hurled bottles and racial slurs at Filipino fans and players after the local side lost in last week's soccer match. Blame our government, too. It was an accomplice in the hate crime. Its refusal to lift the black travel warning against the Philippines three years after a crazed ex-policeman killed eight Hongkongers makes it an accomplice. The travel warning is in itself a hate crime. It has more to do with racism than with the safety of Hongkongers. Not one Hong Kong tourist has been killed in the Philippines in the past three years. But a mainlander was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. Gunmen are killing people with alarming regularity in the United States. Mainlanders and Hongkongers are routinely mugged in Paris. So why aren't the US and France on Hong Kong's travel alert list? Take a look at the countries on the list. It reeks of racism. By keeping the travel warning intact, our government is sending the message that Hongkongers can treat Filipinos like dirt.

Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host. mickchug@gmail.com



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This article is now closed to comments

It is absolutely wrong with what the pan-democrats say freedoms in the city are shrinking. I do think Hong Kong is a very free society at all, in which everyone can enjoy more inclusive freedoms such as expression, assembly, procession, press etc, than other western countries. As the ex-CIA guy say, our city is freer than the US which is dubbed as one of the most democratic countries in the world. I don’t think the so-called true democracy can help solve all problems that we are facing currently. The United States, where all citizens can enjoy the right of voting their leader, is also struck a lot of problems.
HK was close to being granted universal suffrage except when Beijing said no, during the negotiation for the handover.
We don't have the right to choose our mother too.
Please read history, for the sake of, yourself.
Only when they were leaving mate only when they were leaving. There were no talks of universal suffrage during their rule. Don't distort facts.
John Adams
If there ever is an 'occupy central' campaign next year I will go there to protest AGAINST it
Some politicians say Hong Kong is losing its democrazy passed on to it during the days of British colonialism. Did Hong Kong have a right to choose the British Governor during that period?
Well said. Mike ! Filipinos are perhpas one of the nicest peoples in Asia.
Populist politics in Hong Kong is nothing more than brainwashing the mass and intimidating those who could talk in real sense.
Despite everything Hongkongers have to say to Filipinos, the Philippines have no animosity towards Hong Kong. Even their people sympathized with us after the Manila crisis.
"Snowden's praise for HK's freedoms can be milked" can be milked.
There were contemplations for it during the 80s, note the several green paper issued...this initiative is better than being thoroughly ruled out by the commies mate. Patten's autobiography relates it to pressure groups coming from Beijing back then..


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