• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:27am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 6:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 6:00am

Occupy Central, coming soon to a theatre near you


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.

Occupy Central: the final frontier. We are about to boldly go where no Hongkonger has gone before. Our mission is to scare the hell out of our Beijing bosses by shutting down the city's business district to make them bow to our demands. So buckle up. Take-off could be any time after this Sunday. That's when the National People's Congress Standing Committee decides what kind of democracy we are allowed. If we're allowed only the kind that even aliens would spurn, then it's all systems go for blast-off.

At the helm will be the brash Benny Tai Yiu-ting, captain of the civil disobedience ship Occupy Central. At his side will be a crew of 10,000 cuckoonauts. All 10,000 will beam down to Central. They will lie down to block traffic, stopping all other life forms from carrying out their normal activities.

Central will indeed look like a strange new world. All the brand-name stores will have their shutters down. Want to buy a Gucci bag for your mainland mistress? Forget it. Have high tea at the Mandarin? Think again. Seek treatment from pricey Central doctors? Don't get sick. You're just a mainland visitor wanting to take pictures with the HSBC lion statues? Go ahead, but watch out for the tear gas. Yes, tear gas. There's no way 10,000 cuckoonauts can blockade Central peacefully. Criminals could manipulate the protest easily - stoke trouble, smash windows and loot shops. We saw that recently in Ferguson, Missouri.

Just don't expect the police to tolerate an indefinite blockade of Central. If the cuckoonauts let themselves be dragged away without resistance, it'll be over in a day. Beijing will double over, not in a bow, but in laughter. For there to be even a remote chance of Beijing giving way, the blockade will have to last long enough to do serious damage. And that's when the tear gas canisters will rain down. So hang on to your seats. It's going to be a wild ride.


Don't get too dogged over the death of a dog

So a dog died. It's tragic. No dog - or human - wants to be run over by a train. But get over it. Let the poor mutt rest in peace. But no, we have outrage that's so out of proportion, it's comical. Hundreds march in a funeral procession. More than 90,000 sign an online petition. About 100 protest outside government headquarters. Public Eye even heard three radio hosts browbeat MTR union officers on radio, as if they were being interrogated in court.

It's a dog, for goodness' sake. How come we didn't see such outrage when a falling tree killed a pregnant woman in Mid-Levels? We had every reason to be furious because experts had long warned the government about rotting trees. How about last weekend's poll findings that tens of thousands of children in our super-wealthy city live in subdivided flats, some as tiny as 40 sq ft for a family of four? Why aren't we marching in the streets? Have we gone completely out of whack?

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


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Hi Michael, I watch Newsline regularly and I think you are a sensible and reasonable reporter. Over the years, you have asked those Pan Dems many tough questions like "does HK really lack freedom?" and etc.. But one area that I don't hear much from you is on the issue of housing, particularly, why don't you ask the Pan Dem how come they never pressure the government into building more flats the same way they had about democracy? I have long suspected these Pan Dem are actually funded by some fat cats to raise the democracy question to side track HK people and waste government's time. Personally I couldn't care less about occupy Central, to me, the government has to solve the housing problem in sync with other problems like unchecked immigration, mainland tourists and etc. The housing / high rent problem is the root as well as manifestations of many evils. Please don't be side tracked, please help the people re-focus the government's and Pan Dem's attention back on the real issue.
Dai Muff
Could you possibly be more clueless? As long as we have an oligarchy of fat cats colluding with the mainland nobody is going to introduce laws to restrict how those fat cats profiteer. That's one very good reason we need real choices in elections. And a government without a popular mandate is not going to get things done anyway. Really if you can't figure out how politics works and enables rich to **** over the poor better to keep silent than open your mouth and show the world.
Singapore works, that's a model for you. You think Beijing doesn't know that people like you don't have what it takes to take them on. Writing angry words is one thing, having the guts to take on the Communist is another. I am not offended by your words for I have seen cowards write and argue. And how they fled at the first sign of physical danger. I won't advocate force for I know HK can't play that game against Beijing and win. Getting Beijing to accept the kind of democratic system Pan Dems talk about in HK now, that has the potential to stir trouble makers in China to destabilize the whole of China, that sounds very naive ... and clueless.
Well said, Cheeky!
SCMP Headline 3/9/2014 ----- Is this goodbye to Occupy Central? Co-founder Benny Tai admits, 'We failed'
Take on Beijing stupidly ... clueless ?
Why did I cite Singapore as a model? It's not about the democracy in SG. It's about how Lee Kuan Yew didn't like the colonial system but he had to play according to the rules, won it then changed it.
The way the Pan Dems shout and kick their legs and write angry words, will not scare Beijing or earn their respects to listen to the Pan Dems. They have sized up the Pan Dems as a group and individually based their achievements ... which is writing angry words and kicking legs, there is no chance Beijing is going to listen to the Pan Dems.
John Adams
Well said Michael !
I will go to watch the show as the "scholarism" whose leader can't even make it to University is towed off
Just a pity that the police cannot apply the same methods to the tycoon tai tais' illegally- parked cars which effectively shut down central most of every day in any case (I have long since given up going to Central except by MTR or tram, or foot )
Chugani, you're a serious f**ktard if you think it's going to be that bad.
If anything, it'll be a public festival vibe with anyone able to get around if they dare use *gasp* MTR and other public transport!!!!
But naturally fatcat office building types in Central and government slobs will be ferried in their cars so that's why they cry of the sky falling. Grow up.
Chugani must have received a phone call from a secretary of the K*** family.
I had.
"..... former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie's ludicrous notion that the hunger strike and protest against national education outside the government headquarters amounted to anarchy.
It is people like her who love to preach political harmony yet smear as troublemakers those who express opposing opinions. How does it help harmony when peaceful protesters are labelled anarchists? Is it anarchy when law-abiding students and parents fast to protest against something they genuinely oppose?
The protesters were not seeking a lawless Hong Kong. They were not even challenging the government's authority. They just wanted the government to withdraw an unpopular policy. They only exercised their democratic right to protest peacefully when the government refused. Maybe Elsie Leung is confusing democracy with anarchy." Michael Chugani ****www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1032872/legco-election-over-not-political-sniping
"Hong Kong will remain ungovernable without the vote
Michael Chugani says Hong Kong will remain mired in discord unless people are given a political system worthy of their maturity" 25 September 2012: ****www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1044727/hong-kong-will-remain-ungovernable-without-vote
"Firstly, the chief executive has no mandate that satisfies today's political reality to govern effectively. A mandate mattered little before, when people believed they were powerless to change things. They now believe otherwise. Secondly, the government is clueless about what the people want.
Hong Kong's political structure is irreparably out of sync with the political maturity of its people."




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