HK Time Out Magazine – Column #21

timeout

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Hunt for a scapegoat

Mao Zedong’s adage ‘to kill the chicken to scare the monkey’ sums up nicely the plight of HK super activist Christina Chan, whose bail expires later this month. Chan, however, is no chicken – the HKU student rose to (in)famy as the face of the local Tibetan justice movement and ‘Post-80s’ generation dissenters. Her politics, which would be considered mild and mainstream in many other territories, have earned ‘feisty’ Christina notoriety amongst the pro-establishment camp.

Shortly after leading pro-democracy activists to the China Liaison Office on January 1st, she was arrested outside RTHK HQ by undercover triad police for supposedly assaulting an officer – her home was raided and her tattoos photographed. There was no need for the high drama; the police had her address and phone number, but it was time to send a clear message.

Days later, regulators received over 130 complaints against Oriental Sunday Magazine after they printed borderline obscene, telephoto images of Chan in her own home. The public outcry would’ve certainly been louder had they depicted say, Long Hair or Tsang, brushing their teeth in their underwear – but Chan suffers such invasions as she is young, attractive and female.

Activism – Letter in The Standard

Activism

Printed in today’s Standard with regards to the Guangzhou Rail Link protests.

“It was most exasperating to be amongst the vast majority of peaceful protesters, who sat for hours and days outside LEGCO earlier this month, only to see the scene depicted as a war-zone by the local media. At no point were there more than a dozen demonstrators resisting and pushing police lines. As usual, they were surrounded and outnumbered by photographers, with sharpened elbows, eager to capture the most sensational angle. Most concerned citizens who turned up had been busy chanting, watching live LEGCO footage and sharing ideas and food, yet the focus is permanently on a few anomalous seconds of supposed ‘violence’.

Almost as frustrating was Tsang’s clueless response to the Rail Link dissenters. Somehow he believes that the real issue was the government’s failure to engage us young people though Facebook and Twitter. Our so-called representatives are dreaming if they think that the same old message published through new technology will have any more impact. Perhaps until we are finally deemed mature enough for full democracy; the government would be wise to do less talking and more listening.”

The Standard 1.2.10 – click to enlarge.