Public Eye

When everything is white terror, is anything?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 4:21am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 4:21am

When everything is white terror, is anything?

Beware, Hongkongers, white terror is all around us. It has happened not only to Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy; Tony Tsoi Tung-ho, founder of the now defunct House News website, and all the pan- democrats who received generous political donations from Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai Chee-ying. There is now a fresh outbreak of white terror. Occupy Central co-organiser Dr Chan Kin-man says he and the other two co-organisers are also victims. Were they arrested, jailed indefinitely or threatened with execution? No, far worse happened. All three received a razor blade sent anonymously through the mail. Now that is white terror indeed. Public Eye cannot help but wonder what might go through the minds of tens of thousands of white terror victims throughout history who are now in their graves. Probably something like this: Why couldn't I have received a razor blade in the mail instead of having my head lopped off by a guillotine?


On double standards and persecution complexes

White terror is in the eye of the beholder. Alliance for True Democracy convenor Joseph Cheng denounced as white terror the media's revelation that he had falsely declared being a Chinese national while applying for a Hong Kong passport, when he was, in fact, an Australian passport holder. Cheng demanded to know how his personal data was leaked, hinting darkly of official smearing. Several weeks later, the media revealed that Robert Chow Yung, organiser of anti-Occupy Central movement the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, was one of 50,000 VIPs who had been offered the option of a British passport by the departing colonial government. If the revelation about Cheng was white terror, then what happened to Chow surely is also white terror. He never took up the British offer, but did not denounce the revelation as a smear, either. All those who denounced Cheng's case as a smear stayed silent about Chow's case. You could say white terror is in the eyes of the beholder. Or you could say it is a double standard.


If Occupy gets Jimmy Lai's money, is he then liable?

Peaceful or not, Occupy Central is illegal. That is what the police and the Leung Chun-ying administration say. What happens if you bankroll something that is illegal, or even pay for its preparation? Is that also illegal? We ask because the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, one of the three Occupy co-organisers, is among those who received big donations from Jimmy Lai, through two organisations Chu co-founded - the Civic Education Foundation and the Democratic Development Network. Has any of the HK$900,000 Lai gave those two groups gone to the civil disobedience movement? What about fresh revelations that Lai helped bankroll Occupy's unofficial "referendum" on democracy in June? If Occupy goes ahead with a mass protest to blockade the Central district to push for universal suffrage in the 2017 election of the chief executive, is Lai criminally liable in some way? Just wondering.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host.