Cliff Buddle

Hong Kong

Cliff Buddle

Special Projects Editor

A journalist for more than 30 years, Cliff Buddle began his career as a court reporter in London and moved to Hong Kong in 1994 to join the Post. Specialising in court reporting and legal affairs, he has held a variety of editorial positions, including Deputy Editor and Acting Editor-in-Chief. He is a regular columnist.

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Latest from Cliff Buddle

My Take | The jury is still out on whether the hamster cull was justified

Strict measures need to be backed by science and go no further than necessary to protect public health. And the impact on people’s lives must be considered.

Strict measures need to be backed by science and go no further than necessary to protect public health. And the impact on people’s lives must be considered.

1 minute ago
My Take | Next few weeks could determine the future of zero-Covid approach

Omicron has created a race against time which may eventually mean ‘living with the virus’ is no longer a choice. But we have to be careful for what we wish for

Omicron has created a race against time which may eventually mean ‘living with the virus’ is no longer a choice. But we have to be careful for what we wish for

15 Jan 2022 - 9:42PM
My Take | Birthday party fiasco an insult to a community that deserves better

This is the first crisis faced by Hong Kong’s new political order. The public needs to see that the ruling elite will be held accountable under the new arrangements.

This is the first crisis faced by Hong Kong’s new political order. The public needs to see that the ruling elite will be held accountable under the new arrangements.

8 Jan 2022 - 9:00PM
My Take | Sobering experience of reflecting on a transformative year

As 2022 begins many Hongkongers will be glad to wave goodbye to another year that has been dominated by the ‘two Ps’ – politics and the pandemic

As 2022 begins many Hongkongers will be glad to wave goodbye to another year that has been dominated by the ‘two Ps’ – politics and the pandemic

1 Jan 2022 - 9:58PM
My Take | Ruling broadens application of the national security law

Many people thought the national security law was a self-contained piece of legislation. But a decision by the Court of Final Appeal last week says otherwise.

Many people thought the national security law was a self-contained piece of legislation. But a decision by the Court of Final Appeal last week says otherwise.

18 Dec 2021 - 9:52PM
My Take | Hongkongers need to see light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel

The opening of the mainland China border should be the catalyst for the lifting of other restrictions, rather than a justification for keeping them in place.

The opening of the mainland China border should be the catalyst for the lifting of other restrictions, rather than a justification for keeping them in place.

11 Dec 2021 - 9:15PM
My Take | When train doors fall off, you know you have a problem

The transport sector has powerful interests, with many resistant to change. The government must show political will to reform and modernise the system.

The transport sector has powerful interests, with many resistant to change. The government must show political will to reform and modernise the system.

5 Dec 2021 - 8:00AM
Hong Kong’s sorry saga of the Cathay Pacific pilots fired after suspected Covid breach in Germany

There is a lesson to be learned from the saga of three Cathay Pacific pilots recently fired in a case linked to a violation of pandemic isolation rules, says the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle. He argues that in Hong Kong’s current risk-averse environment, there are serious and far-reaching consequences for what the city’s flagship airline describes as a “serious breach” of requirements for crew while overseas.

There is a lesson to be learned from the saga of three Cathay Pacific pilots recently fired in a case linked to a violation of pandemic isolation rules, says the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle. He argues that in Hong Kong’s current risk-averse environment, there are serious and far-reaching consequences for what the city’s flagship airline describes as a “serious breach” of requirements for crew while overseas.

29 Nov 2021 - 2:00PM
My Take | The role of an independent judiciary must be promoted

The threatening letters sent to judges have been rightly condemned. But they should also prompt reflection on the way perceptions of the judiciary have changed

The threatening letters sent to judges have been rightly condemned. But they should also prompt reflection on the way perceptions of the judiciary have changed

27 Nov 2021 - 9:22PM
29 Nov 2021 - 2:51PM
My Take | M+ will be a litmus test for the survival of Hong Kong’s freedoms

It is no surprise that the arts museum is already in the pro-establishment firing line over ‘lawbreaking’ works. But any hint that it is susceptible to political pressure will be fatal to its ambitions

It is no surprise that the arts museum is already in the pro-establishment firing line over ‘lawbreaking’ works. But any hint that it is susceptible to political pressure will be fatal to its ambitions

13 Nov 2021 - 10:42PM
My Take | Decision by Hong Kong’s top court is not a free pass for rioters

The ruling by the Court of Final Appeal narrowed the scope of riot and unlawful assembly prosecutions. It is unlikely to have the impact that some claimed but may prevent miscarriages of justice

The ruling by the Court of Final Appeal narrowed the scope of riot and unlawful assembly prosecutions. It is unlikely to have the impact that some claimed but may prevent miscarriages of justice

6 Nov 2021 - 10:21PM
Hong Kong’s Covid response is more ‘pursuing politics’ than ‘following science’

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 measures do not appear to be necessary to protect public health, and instead seem to be more about persuading the Chinese central government to open the border with the mainland. The SCMP’s Cliff Buddle argues that the city is paying a high price in pursuit of its goals... with no end in sight for the toughest quarantine rules in the world.

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 measures do not appear to be necessary to protect public health, and instead seem to be more about persuading the Chinese central government to open the border with the mainland. The SCMP’s Cliff Buddle argues that the city is paying a high price in pursuit of its goals... with no end in sight for the toughest quarantine rules in the world.

3 Nov 2021 - 4:00PM
My Take | It’s more ‘follow the politics’ than ‘follow the science’

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 measures do not appear to be necessary to protect public health but are more about persuading the central government to open the border.

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 measures do not appear to be necessary to protect public health but are more about persuading the central government to open the border.

30 Oct 2021 - 10:26PM
My Take | Uplifting marathon reflects the true spirit of Hong Kong

The event’s return is welcome, marking another step in the city’s recovery. The atmosphere is a rare mix of fun, excitement, friendly competition and togetherness.

The event’s return is welcome, marking another step in the city’s recovery. The atmosphere is a rare mix of fun, excitement, friendly competition and togetherness.

23 Oct 2021 - 10:56PM
Hong Kong’s Article 23 drama no Bond film, as city contemplates critical decisions on security

Even British spy James Bond would struggle to unpack the dilemma now Hong Kong faces as it steps forward with national security legislation that counters theft of state secrets, as well as treason and sedition. But as the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle argues, new measures being considered by the city’s government could provide more clarity than the sweeping security law imposed on Hong Kong by China’s central government in 2020.

Even British spy James Bond would struggle to unpack the dilemma now Hong Kong faces as it steps forward with national security legislation that counters theft of state secrets, as well as treason and sedition. But as the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle argues, new measures being considered by the city’s government could provide more clarity than the sweeping security law imposed on Hong Kong by China’s central government in 2020.

18 Oct 2021 - 11:00PM
My Take | Article 23 laws must not restrict rights unnecessarily

Hong Kong already has legislation on treason, official secrets and sedition and an all-encompassing national security law. It is difficult to see what more needs to be done

Hong Kong already has legislation on treason, official secrets and sedition and an all-encompassing national security law. It is difficult to see what more needs to be done

16 Oct 2021 - 10:30PM
My Take | Nobel Peace Prize highlights the importance of press freedom

The award shared by campaigning journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov gives a much-needed lift to the world’s media and comes amid an increasingly challenging environment

The award shared by campaigning journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov gives a much-needed lift to the world’s media and comes amid an increasingly challenging environment

9 Oct 2021 - 11:02PM
My Take | Carrie Lam’s policy address needs to show qualities of a leader

The chief executive’s speech should be inclusive in a bid to bridge the political divide. And while a clear vision for the future would be welcome, the difficulty will be achieving it

The chief executive’s speech should be inclusive in a bid to bridge the political divide. And while a clear vision for the future would be welcome, the difficulty will be achieving it

4 Oct 2021 - 2:32PM
Hong Kong should lift its ‘ridiculous’ limit on public gatherings

Restrictions on peaceful and orderly gatherings in Hong Kong should be relaxed as the threat of Covid-19 recedes, argues South China Morning Post columnist Cliff Buddle. He says a good start would be to lift the city’s rules limiting group sizes to no more than four people.

Restrictions on peaceful and orderly gatherings in Hong Kong should be relaxed as the threat of Covid-19 recedes, argues South China Morning Post columnist Cliff Buddle. He says a good start would be to lift the city’s rules limiting group sizes to no more than four people.

28 Sep 2021 - 3:57PM
My Take | At a time of change, it’s instructive to reflect on the past

A look back at a Post edition from 27 years ago reveals headlines that could be from today. But the difference is a sense of optimism and excitement that has been lost

A look back at a Post edition from 27 years ago reveals headlines that could be from today. But the difference is a sense of optimism and excitement that has been lost

26 Sep 2021 - 12:51AM
My Take | Limit on public gatherings is bordering on the absurd

Restrictions on peaceful and orderly gatherings in the city should be relaxed as the threat of Covid-19 recedes. A start would be to lift the ridiculous four person rule.

Restrictions on peaceful and orderly gatherings in the city should be relaxed as the threat of Covid-19 recedes. A start would be to lift the ridiculous four person rule.

18 Sep 2021 - 11:19PM
My Take | Time to review restrictions on reporting of bail hearings

It is in the public interest that the principle of ‘open justice’ is respected in cases involving the national security law. The media should be free to report them.

It is in the public interest that the principle of ‘open justice’ is respected in cases involving the national security law. The media should be free to report them.

12 Sep 2021 - 9:39AM
Hong Kong needs more than an advertising campaign to restore its image

Much more needs to be done to restore the “Brand Hong Kong” reputation and to convince the world that the city remains free, diverse and dynamic, says the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle, who adds that it is not good enough for officials to dismiss negative perceptions as simply the work of “biased” foreign media.

Much more needs to be done to restore the “Brand Hong Kong” reputation and to convince the world that the city remains free, diverse and dynamic, says the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle, who adds that it is not good enough for officials to dismiss negative perceptions as simply the work of “biased” foreign media.

9 Sep 2021 - 5:10PM
My Take | Hong Kong’s ‘relaunch’ needs more than an advertising campaign

The city has a proud history of turning adversity into opportunity. To do so again depends on maintaining the core values and characteristics that made it such a special part of China

The city has a proud history of turning adversity into opportunity. To do so again depends on maintaining the core values and characteristics that made it such a special part of China

4 Sep 2021 - 11:20PM
My Take | A timely vote of confidence in Hong Kong’s judiciary

The decision by two British judges to continue sitting on the Court of Final Appeal appears to have averted a potentially disastrous exodus. But challenges remain

The decision by two British judges to continue sitting on the Court of Final Appeal appears to have averted a potentially disastrous exodus. But challenges remain

28 Aug 2021 - 11:13PM
Hong Kong should follow Singapore’s lead and drop ‘zero case’ approach to Covid-19

Hong Kong’s “zero-tolerance” approach to Covid-19 has left residents isolated, says the SCMP’s special projects editor Cliff Buddle, arguing that as the vaccination rate grows, the city should follow Singapore’s more nuanced strategy.

Hong Kong’s “zero-tolerance” approach to Covid-19 has left residents isolated, says the SCMP’s special projects editor Cliff Buddle, arguing that as the vaccination rate grows, the city should follow Singapore’s more nuanced strategy.

27 Aug 2021 - 6:01PM
My Take | Time for Hong Kong to emerge from its ever-shrinking bubble

The city’s ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to Covid-19 has left residents isolated. As the vaccination rate grows, Hong Kong should follow Singapore’s more nuanced strategy.

The city’s ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to Covid-19 has left residents isolated. As the vaccination rate grows, Hong Kong should follow Singapore’s more nuanced strategy.

28 Aug 2021 - 11:10PM
Miscarriage of justice in Hong Kong legal system raises questions that must be answered

The credibility of Hong Kong’s legal system is at stake because of questions raised over a 2019 drugs case that sentenced a young noodle-shop worker to 23 years in prison, says the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle. The special projects editor explains why an investigation must take place to look into the unfair conviction of the man, who was recently released after his successful appeal.  

The credibility of Hong Kong’s legal system is at stake because of questions raised over a 2019 drugs case that sentenced a young noodle-shop worker to 23 years in prison, says the SCMP’s Cliff Buddle. The special projects editor explains why an investigation must take place to look into the unfair conviction of the man, who was recently released after his successful appeal.  

17 Aug 2021 - 5:35PM
My Take | This shocking miscarriage of justice demands answers

The facts surrounding the jailing of a man on drugs charges are so alarming that the credibility of Hong Kong’s legal system is at stake. An investigation must be launched.

The facts surrounding the jailing of a man on drugs charges are so alarming that the credibility of Hong Kong’s legal system is at stake. An investigation must be launched.

14 Aug 2021 - 10:26PM