Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lai: How Did I Get on The Nerves of Postgraduates from Mainland China

How Did I Get on The Nerves of Postgraduates from Mainland China
Translated by Carmen Li, Edited by Karen L., Written by 黎德怡 (Lai Tak-yee)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/08-20-2014/18424/



(Source: China.com)

Recently, I have consecutively published three articles about some ridiculous behaviours of postgraduate students from mainland China 7 years ago when I was teaching Master of Arts in English in the Chinese University of Hong Kong ("CUHK") as a visiting professor. Some readers asked me what explicitly I had said to trigger mainland students' anger in the lesson. To respond to this, helplessly, all I can say it's that I was too ill-starred to escape from the group of over-sensitive mainland students, of whom are easily offended.

In one of my lessons, rarely, there was one short Chinese article among the English materials. That time, I prepared also traditional Chinese version along with the simplified one as a translation reference for the few Hong Kong students in class. I showed on the PowerPoint first the traditional Chinese version and then the simplified version. It is always a safe bet to be thoughtful of students' needs, even there was a slight confusion in my head that it might be a redundant move as mainland students who have had higher education would have learnt traditional Chinese.

When I look back, the dissatisfaction on me then might had been generated by my displaying orders. I still remember to the day after the lesson, some students came to me. The Hong Kong students spoke in Cantonese, so I did that same. And with those from mainland China, we spoke in English, which I assume as a normal case as that was an English course. Supposedly speaking in English wouldn't be counted as an offence to mainland students, however, on an ordinary school day soon after that, I overheard one student from mainland China who grumbled about me, "She doesn't even speak Putonghua!" It appears to me that even if I spoke in Putonghua, it’s possibly of me being charge of "no awareness of precise pronunciation”. Doesn't it make sense?

The second bomb was The Good Women In China, a famous book written by a British-Chinese author Xue Xinran, narrating several extraordinary life stories of common modern women facing disasters such as Cultural Revolution and Tangshan Earthquake. Rumour has it the book is still on the blacklist of China's book censorship, whereas I believe not all mainland Chinese are blocked outside the wall.

The whole piece, filled with soul-touching incidents, is a glorification of Chinese women, driving me to add it to my teaching materials. Even so, I have my consent on the potential existence of credibility gap towards it, therefore I would prefer students to treat it as literature focusing on the analysis of its narrative methodology and the image the author has built in her work. Still, I wouldn't survive myself from the hatred.

For that, I did regret of channelling this into my teaching materials. In the meantime, invaluable as this type of work is, especially for mainland students given that it's short in China, I have fews question on my mind: Isn't it a precious opportunity to acquire out-of-the-way insights? What's the point choosing some mainstream works whoever could get access to? How would it be if CUHK was to open a course directing to 4 June imitating Harvard University? Could these mainland students with such narrow-minded stand it?

As for the third issue, it was about Hong Kong Culture. The first to be discussed, was, and is the 1997's changeover of sovereignty. It doesn't necessarily relate solely to Hongkongers, but also mainlanders. Yet, clearly it was there the dissent over my thought seeing their poker faces in that lesson. But then through some certain channels, I was able to know what their poker faces interpreted. It turned out to be a matter of translation: They thought "hui-gui" or "return" should be adapted instead of "changeover" or "handover".

And they did not agree my usage of "nostalgia" when it came to the connection between Hongkongers' identity and their "nostalgia" discussing Hong Kong's political culture. Their stand were as such: What’s worth nostalgia? Hong Kong has already been a part of China, which is supposed to be for the whole time. Isn't it a great honour returning to motherland's embrace?

I can say it's a practical lesson I'd had experiencing what precisely erasement of freethought is, rubbing out even the right to owe one's favourite. I mentioned in class once towards my yearning of England, where I had been receiving education and had lived for some time. Back then this sort of affection stood for no political implications. Instead, it is more than normal for someone who had stayed in somewhere a long time to establishing belongingness and favourable sentiment, however, it brought on contempt unexpectedly. I was told that in their minds, I was living in the the good old days, refusing the reality that Hong Kong belongs to China. Worse still, cherishing England somehow be distorted as indirect and symbolic belittle upon them.

Fast forward to today, the HK-China relationship has worsened. And my fond feelings towards England has grown stronger. To the politicalisation trend, let me catering it a bit with a realistic metaphor which might be seen vulgar to some educated: England back then was like bad lover conquering the love of a inexperienced village girl Hong Kong. His richness in manner and knowledge turned the girl's unwillingness into motivation to upgrade herself as a lady. Enjoying the bad lover's company, the lady doesn't care if the man truly loves her or not even he has generally faded his charm. As for mainland China, it's like a redneck who has brought solely insults followed by invasion.

No matter what the future of this lady leads, thanks to the Qing government's contribution which blossomed her beauty, I am, and will be keeping on my blessing over the sea.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Astrophel Lim: Reflections on 817: Anti-Occupy Central Is But Lies Within Lies

Reflections on 817: Anti-Occupy Central Is But Lies Within Lies
Translated by Vivian L., Written by 林非 (Astrophel Lim)
Original: http://astrophellic.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/謊言在謊言之上-817-黑筆記事/ 

How many turned out in Sunday's (Aug 17) Anti-Occupy Central march? Organiser Robert Chow Yung spoke his heart afterwards: Numbers don't matter. Such a contrast with Chow's previous bluff claiming to stage a rally with "the biggest turnout in record history". Promotional gimmicks, after all.

From the morning run for democracy to the afternoon march against Occupy Central, the anti-Occupy campaign was a mimicry to turn the Occupiers' weapons against themselves, played out at its finest. The pan-democrats said they represent Hong Kong people's will? Look, we do too! We speak for an even bigger majority!

On the surface, Chow's mass campaigning is just a replica of what the pan-democrats have been doing all along. In reality, the support from the dense array of native-place societies, united front associations and pro-Beijing companies that were showered upon the anti-Occupy campaign is simply out of the pan-democrats' league. Public transports that used to shy away from political advertisements have now made way for the anti-Occupy promotion. Double standard in broad daylight! In fact, it is an efficient tactic on the part of the pro-government camp. Just lobby a few movers and shakers in the corporate circle and have them use their own resources to mobilise their vast number of employees, and the rest is easy. Soliciting the support from these big players proves much more cost effective than working up the average Joes and Janes. Because more often than not, intangible benefits are enough to win over people of power and stature. On a similar note, earlier when there was an outcry among Hong Kong's young accountants because of China's new law that put their jobs on the line, a couple of "solemn pledges" from some of the big names would have suffice to calm public sentiments.

Hong Kong's collective karma: The bystanders' crack of doom


Doing business has always been Hongkongers' priority. Their eyes are perpetually fixed on the carrot on the stick but--it pains one to admit--never on dignity of being human nor the question of justice in society. If justice had been our priority, the Law Society would not have been headed by the likes of Ambrose Lam in the first place. It took Lam's outrageous statement demeaning the entire legal profession for the society to pass a vote of no confidence against its president for the first time in 108 years. But why would that have been a "first" to begin with? Even when their jobs were in jeopardy because of China's fickle rules, have our bean counters learned their lesson yet? Have they decided to stand up for justice now? Society rewards members of professional services with stature and respect, only to falsely assume the recipients to possess the knowledge, aspiration and vision that match up to their name. The one thing Hong Kong is in grave need of is ideological aspiration: a rock-solid ideology for societal development and the base for its discussion. Many would be quick to abandon one's principles and beliefs for petty favours. Other so-called "scholars" and "professors" would not think twice to use their knowledge to manipulate and connive--ones such as Ho Lok-sum and Francis Lui Ting-ming.

So three groups of people formed the participants of the anti-Occupy Central rally: the average Joes who were mobilised by their superiors, the big players who stand to profit from the game, and the simpletons who had no real interest in whatever that is going on and had came only for the paltry charity. All they care could be as simple as a ticket to a meal, a visa to come shopping, or an alternative form of "tourism". In essence, these groups of people may not be at all different. All it takes for them to sell out their principles and beliefs could be trivial and minute for few would think much beyond the surface of things. To many who took part in the march, the equation might have been straightforward: they get a free meal, Hongkongers get to have the supposedly good "one person, one vote" universal suffrage—win-win. Or is it so?

In reality, if this vote, granted under the current electoral framework, gives the voters no real choices, what good is "having the vote"? North Korea has a universal suffrage election too, but would anyone say its people is granted free will to choose their leaders? Can the principle of "universal suffrage" be realised simply with "one person, one vote"? To the average Hongkongers, these things prove too much of a strain to process, and probably don't have a place in their households as people cannot see how these things could "make your spouse loves you more" [link in Chinese only].

Many participants of the anti-Occupy Central march had come under the pretence of "native-place societies", some were shipped to the march in buses hired by the organisers, still others told reporters flat out they had came to "shop". Among the "natives" of these native-place societies were members of the Hong Kong's ethnic minority. Many South Asians in Hong Kong may be living hand to mouth, a condition that might have prompted them to go to any lengths to make a little money (besides, going on a march is not against the law). On the other hand, it was the mainland Chinese who keep saying "blood is thicker than water" that contributed to such a scheme to sabotage Hong Kong's future for petty favours such as "shopping". These "individual cases" keep popping up, relentlessly undermining Hong Kong's de facto system. Even if dissidents shout at the top of their lungs, "Hong Kong people wants democracy," it would be like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that no one can be certain whether it's there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying mainland Chinese don't want democracy. In a society where a pall of corrupt air hung over people's heads, should it surprise anyone that reason would be a singularity?

You said nothing when houses are torn down, nothing when tap water smells like sewage, yet when Hongkongers argue over universal suffrage you rush over to protest against it? pic.twitter.com/mP4r9kgKAD 
— PervertedPepper (@remonwangxt) August 17, 2014

The stupidity demonstrated by anti-Occupy Central probably shows us what an Ebola outbreak would look like in Hong Kong. A long standing political non-participation has deprived Hongkongers of the will to hold on to an ideology and the ability to envision on a societal perspective. What makes a better society? What makes something good or bad, right or wrong? None of these matters to the city dwellers. In this respect such mentality is not much different to the Chinese north of the border, "I no care who is president. I live good I'm happy."

When they see the chengguan (China's much-hated local cops) beating up innocent people, their perception of the problem ends at violence being wrong, failing to recognise the larger phenomenon behind the brutality. Similarly, when the pro-democracy camp put forward the Occupy Central movement, they only see the "occupy" part of the equation, without understanding the "why" behind.

Hongkongers like to abuse the notion of "neutrality" [link in Chinese only]. But in effect, playing the "neutral" party often is just the same as sitting on the sidelines while Gian bullies Nobi.

Gian bullies Nobi. Whose side are you on?
(Source: https://www.facebook.com/nagee.tw/photos/a.10151409298917312.1073741829.353390642311/10151970990337312/?type=1; Translation by HKCT)


What has been dominating the pro-democracy discourse over the years are none other than terms like "value", "ideology", "justice", "fairness" parroted by Hongkongers without them actually taking root in people's lives. This is why "one person, one vote" can take the place of the principle of universal suffrage; a hollow slogan "for peace and universal suffrage" can mask Beijing's intention the screen out "unfavourable" candidates; a black thumbs down for "oppose violence" can wipe away the brutal violence of the system that favours the privileged class, and accuse the repressed of being violent.


Lies within lies


The actual figure of the anti-Occupy day turnout is of no significance. Rather, the anti-Occupy movement signifies that our government has relinquished the principle of "political neutrality" when virtually the whole administration has rallied to the movement. And to the core organisers and advocates of the campaign, the success of the march serves as their bargaining chips to seek rewards from Beijing.

In fact, no matter the actual turnout, it will just be reduced to a figure on a page. Whether it is July 1st or August 17th, Beijing officials would not have come to witness the scene in person anyway. They would have to rely on "middlemen" to deliver the message. And it's only natural that these middlemen would play a little trickery to scrape more favours within the power hierarchy. Be it a hundred thousand or two hundred thousand, China will not budge. You say the pro-establishment camp has gone to extreme lengths to "appeal" to march-goers? Yet we are all certain of one thing, even if they get hold of the truest figure, everyone knows the numbers would have been inflated. But anyhow, the figure is not to be mistook for any real public opinions but a demonstration of force. They would not have cared. As far as political operation is concerned, the existence of a "march" is enough to adorn their own narratives. So when news of the event arrives at the Chinese officials, the number would have easily been magnified to hundreds of thousand of citizens took to the street "on their own accord".

In the eyes of the communist party, what is our humble existence to match wits with the great master of fraudulence? Speaking of art of practising fraud, our humble existence is perhaps nothing more than a witless preschooler compared to the master. Beijing officials are clear how the figure was conjured up. The march was but "an example to the public of Hong Kong" and "a means to elicit internal conflict among the people of Hong Kong". But why? What for? Even Beijing itself can't make head or tail of the whole conundrum.  Once again, Democratic Party is in dialogues with Beijing's man. When the current atmosphere suggests a "50-50 split between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing camps" and "whoever has the gold makes the rule", even the strongest of characters would find it hard to stand their ground.

Robert Chow and his centrist band of campaigners, the Hong Kong government, and the Chinese officials are all sure of the actual state of affairs, and they are sure these people mobilised by the campaign did not come because of an ideological aspiration, and they are sure what the campaign rallied for would do more harm than good. They all knew from the bottom of their hearts. But for the sake of their own interests both political and monetary, none of these should matter. In fact, it comes as no surprise that the whole generation of 1950s and 60s should think like this. Like Chow, his must have known that his project has done Hong Kong more harm than good. If he had truly believed what he is advocating for, if his gut told him a genuine universal suffrage that is fair and open would be possible under the rule of the Chinese commies, and that Hong Kong would be headed for a brighter future, why then, is his holding on for dear life to his British passport? [Translation note: In an earlier interview, Chow had denied holding a British passport, but admitted having the right of abode in Britain, which he claimed to be working with his lawyer to renounce.] 

On the same token, why are the families and children of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor stuck in Britain and deprived of such hopeful future in Hong Kong? So they all have told blatant lies without batting an eye because of what that they stand to benefit from the injustice and dirty politics they sustain. Yes, they have known all this time they are breeding injustice. If it's any consolation, let us be reminded that to do wrong with the knowledge of being in the wrong is an unpardonable sin. In essence, their sins are no different to that of the Nazis during World War II. Behind the impressive slogans and the extermination camps that were set outside of German soil, the Nazis made sure Germans bore no witness to their cruelty.

Ever since the handover, Hong Kong has inevitably found itself en route to a grim future. This is due, for one, to China's invasion and colonisation of the city; for other, the cynical ignorance and fixation on sops on the part of Hongkongers. Since its early days, the post-handover HKSAR has had a bad track record. From the Provisional Legislative Council and the dissolution of two municipal councils during the first years, to the sleazy tactics to mobilise people against people, officials rallying for a political course "in a personal capacity", and public money and devices being used to spread a propaganda of today, all indications are that the downward spiral our city is already on will only go on.

Many born in the 1950s and 60s regard politics as something to be avoided. They seek no knowledge nor involvement in such affairs. With a fixation on petty interests and an indifferent attitude, they were happy amassing fortunes in the last twenty years of colonial times. Today's top men in the power hierarchy do not earn their seats with astute abilities nor a singular vision, but by skills that comprise abandoning one's principles and trimming one's sails to the wind. This aspiration to "climb the ladder" has not failed to recruit supporters from the new generation, many of whom make up the proponents of the conservative camps.

In an environment as such, the post-80s generation is doomed to be a peculiar kind. They have had the final glimpse of prosperity and grace of Hong Kong under colonial rule. They have also witnessed the descend from grace into calamity. They are the victims in a society increasingly disparate between classes, forgotten and outcast. No one knows how long this age of darkness is going to last. But the days of the Chinese commies might not be long. And who's to say the Chinese who are just as shortsighted might not overthrow the Chinese government? Populate with people who lack the capability to reason, and who are more concerned with clique membership than with proper judgement, where will this nation be headed? These are not things one can be optimistic about.

To quote ST Chow: "The percentage vote share of the pan-democrats has gone from 66.12% in 1998 to 56.24% in 2012. Eliminating the votes secured by 'non-allies' League of Social Democrats and People Power, the pan-democrats register a lowly 41.55%." And we can expect the percentage to sink even lower. In the face of the opponent's robust network to mobilise an infinite supply of people and resources, and their own sinking vote share, the pan-democrats are more pathetic than the polar bears that had died of exhaustion trying to swim their way to an ice floe—at least the bears tried.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wing Wing: A New Immigrant Boss Who Discriminates Against Locals

A New Immigrant Boss Who Discriminates Against Locals
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/08-19-2014/18411 

According to a news report from Daily Mail UK 2 days ago, a newly immigrated Shanghainese, who referred himself as Steven, started his café business "Forbes and Burton" in Sydney, Australia, earlier this year. A while ago, he posted a hiring ad for a barista.

Nilson, a Brazilian-born Australian citizen who has lived in Sydney for nine years, came to apply for the job. Yet, in the job interview Steven told Nilson clearly that for the fact that Nilson is black, Steven would not use his talent here.

The owner also expressed his bias thought that white customers would not like coffee made by black people. Straight away, Nilson told everyone in the café what he just experienced. Feeling disappointed and disgraceful of that hypocrite owner, the customers came beside Nilson and comforted him. After that, they left the café right away with outrage, saying they would not patronise the shop anymore. One of the staffs even resigned immediately.

The issue haven't end yet. These people went on the café's Facebook page and called for a boycott. There are also replies from other cafés which invite Nilson to work for them.

What surprise me the most of this whole issue is this Chinese owner Steven. Becoming one of the citizens in this land of which hails civil rights, he hasn't suited himself in.
Steven the New Immigrant Boss (Photo source: Daily Mail UK)

Steven might have thought owning a café in Australia represents his diligence and perseverance. But above all, he has not been contemplating the opportunity given by the acceptance of many Australians before. What if the Australians discriminated against Steven as being yellow, and chose not to go to his shop? Unless they express clear offense, it's their own freedom to go elsewhere, however it had not been the case for Steven.

But look at what Steven do. Flagrantly, he discriminates. Rejecting an applicant because of one's race, he did not bother to come up with an excuse that sounds less unreasonable. 

No matter Steven is a white, a yellow or a black person, he shall not be discriminated based on his colour. And he himself shall not discriminate against others as the same ground. Australian law protects Steven from being discriminated of his race, but then he hasn't practised it putting aside his obligation and empathy.

It's known that to successfully secure an Australia visa, foreign businessmen need to run the business for two years just as Steven's case. Though it's fair enough if the Australian government deprives his application because of this issue since no society is willing to accept ungrateful new immigrants who trample on others' rights relentlessly rather than citizens whose conducts are in line with the country's standards.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Jacky Lim: Why Are There Indian-like Faces Among The Group of "Huizhouese" and "Fujianese" Countrymen?

Why Are There Indian-like Faces Among The Group of "Huizhouese" and "Fujianese" Countrymen?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by Jacky Lim (林鴻達)
Original: http://jackyhtlim.blogspot.hk/2014/08/southasianhuizhouhokkian.html 

The so-called "10,000 people Run" in yesterday morning was merely a start. The joke hadn't entered the climax stage until the rally ― which I prefer to be named as The Distribution Session of "Wei Wen" Fund (translator's note: "Wei Wen" is a chinese political term meaning stability maintenance.)― started. Proofs are the following two virus-like photos spreading on the Internet.




"HKers belong to Chinese" isn’t the only byword of
commies' standpoints, but combined with "HKers are born yellow race with black hair naturally like Chinese" condition. So I wonder how this sudden, they would regard Indian-like persons as Huizhanese or Fujianese ― one of their kind?

Here I'm not going deep discussing the neglect of interests leftists and commies have posted on the South Asian ethnic groups in Hong Kong under the incandescence of HK-China conflict, but rather, why would some of the members from the racial minorities fall for this trap.

As I assume, money can be one of the factors. Yet for long enough, even these South Asians, like Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis and Bengalis have developed living in Hong Kong for generations, majority of Hongkongers with yellow skin and black still look at them through coloured spectacles. Instead, they have built a self-reliant ability in them trying hand to integrate into the local community and hoping that one day they will be accepted by the ethnic Chinese group from the heart.

Comparing with them, new immigrants from mainland China, those bloodsuckers on the contrary, knows only to grab the local social welfare and resources. What is more, they demand assimilation of ideologies and values from Hongkongers by saying aloud "What’s the matter? We are interrelated! We are both Chinese after all!"

It is reasonable to deduce that due to the neglect, not all of them receive the whole picture of Hong Kong's society, which directly affects their blind decisions yesterday without questioning, bearing in mind purely the desire to live in acceptance. Judging from the report of Oriental Daily News, we know that some of them don't even know what those words on placards mean. That's why we can make such a conclusion that rather than calculating, they seem to be falling into commies trap this time.

If we look it up in our history, we may find South Asians' vast contribution to Hong Kong in various fields since 1841 ― the earliest days of Hong Kong. Nabela Qoser (reporter in TVB), Raees Baig (scholar), Gill Mohindepaul Singh (comedian worked for TVB) and the owners of Holiday Inn Golden Mile ― Harilela families, are rather well-known throughout Hong Kong, but these are not the only examples.

Policemen in the early 20th century, soldiers seconded for protecting Hong Kong in WWII, and Gurkhas (who were responsible in guarding the frontier), or even guards standing in front of the Hang Seng Banks and delicious curry cooks served in Chungking Mansions… For all of them who patiently and devotedly make good of Hong Kong's bright future, it's time for us to reflect upon the possible origin of the issue that these good persons might have been used for political aims ― our coldness towards them.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Lewis Loud: Great Love Stays, Status Fades

Great Love stays, status fades
Translated by Karen L., Written by 盧斯達 (Lewis Loud)
Original: http://dadazim.com/journal/2014/07/cu-cert/

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The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) opened its branch in Shenzhen a while back. There had been doubts directing at the recognition difference of the two graduation certificates. Before it spread over the city, affirmed by the headquarter, CUHK took the initiative to promise students in differentiating its certificates from CUSZ’s.

I have been convinced this whole branch move is meant to imitate American's Quantitative Easing policy, whereas not everyone goes along with this notion. Rather, packed with "too-simple-sometimes-naive" thoughts, they believed in every word of the university.

Such promise are made, just as "One Country, Two Systems", to be violated. "One Country, Two System", being fundamentally deceptive, was meant to soften acts dragging citizens' commitment into HK-China marriage so as to benefit China itself in HK's name. Likewise, the "promise" CUHK made this time, stood as a lie, was a temporary contingency means to save its last drop of dignity. Yet it turned out to be quite successful indeed.

Face-saving mission. Checked. Now’s the time to get down to business.

So for CUHK's correction of previous statement, it’s nothing but following the book. Bye the yes man cloak. Come the equality status of both graduation certificates of CUHK and CUSZ. That's exactly the plan - passing the sham off as the genuine. By sharing CUHK's academic aureola, the Shenzhen branch and students can meet their "upgrade fever" through a shortcut. If you're still not convinced so far, let me ask you one simple question: If this be error or if this can be overturned, then what’s in it for Shenzhen to close the deal?

Now, you may see. C'est la vie. But it’s too late.

Bow in front of the honour as one of the Chinese! Surrender! You, educated youth in CUHK, who have been believing in the the CUSZ inferior story. Your day has come. You have finally been paid off of your "love-driven" spirit.

Strike by the reality, huh? Don’t you? Go blame your leftist moron fellows or consult your loving-representative Dean Joseph Sung then. He, with his most gentle voice in the world, must be telling the same old story, "Shenzhenese and Hongkongese are tied in blood, Chinese blood. Our hearts beat together, ever. Therefore the Chinese University of Hong Kong should belong to one of the universities of China."

What the Dean have on his lips, from the idea of university to the humanistic quality and romanticism one should put into practice has earned himself a fair reputation amid the CUHK's students. These words to me, value as well. As a dean, per contra to subordinate students' interest to business expanding, he cannot possibly isolate himself from the accountability against ethical norms. Seeing the status quo, it’s extravagant of him to waste another breath.

The slogan "CU The Best" now implies "HK-China Integration Impressed" into the bargain. Next time before you taunt the Chinese bling for putting a price on their ancestral shrine, see also the folly among Hong Kong education circles - A deliberate turnabout from a great deal of invaluable credits over the years into calculable dollar signs.

Put on the none-of-my-business-leave-me-alone strategy on rampant smugglers and IVS? Nice try.

Keeping your voice down isn't going to help you dodge bullets. Being snobbish towards persons fighting for local interest doesn't underline your nobleness, but the exhibition of your idiocy ignorant of Hongkongers’ imminent death. Behaving yourselves isn't anymore the solitary criteria of living in peace. You are left no options. But if you hesitate to take the high road, you could always get your dear betrayer dean and leftist-moron fellows covered for you. Come what way. things are settled. As a forgone conclusion, your certificates can no longer preserve its unique status, rested in peace ever after echoing your initial wants of "harmony".

One eighth of universities in Hong Kong have already applied Quantitative Easing, casting influence on EACH and EVERY students. Why? Just as the effect of sheep flock, it would be pathetically hopeless for other universities to behave, let alone influences in mainland China to let go of Hong Kong.

You, professors and fellow students, blinded by the "Great Love", uplift your banners that read "No discrimination on CUZS. No discrimination on Shenzhen countrymen. No discrimination on mainland Chinese." to save CUHK's certificates from the critical stage. You, professors and fellow students, immersed in the "Great Love", with full respect of "multiculturalism", get rid of the damned "prejudice" and be open-minded to have McSpicy Chicken Filet Burgers and Chicken McNuggets originated from Shanghai Husi filled your stomachs. You, professors and fellow students, controlled by the "Great Love", blame those who refuse to have these poisoned food for discrimination of ingredients hailed from our motherland and the third world. Salute to the forthcoming day of doom, or else leave the small little pond you've built for yourselves and take the truth lead.

You may wonder how Hong Kong's circumstance of public opinion have divided into this extremeness - only "fight" or "dead" option. Thanks to certain Hongkongers, they flatter themselves of doing favours of the others, but as a matter of fact, all of these resources are from the influences behind. The story now comes to the page of adverse consequences, not just for these people, but all of us who probably receive these good wills, knowingly or not.

Duen: Pan-dems to Hit The Reform Stage with Another Clownery

Pan-dems to Hit The Reform Stage with Another Clownery
Translated by Vivian L., Written by 段天狼 (Duen Tin-long)
Original: http://localpresshk.com/2014/08/sucks-again/

(Democratic Party lawmakers bowing at a press conference. Source: Local Press)

Hong Kong deputy to China’s People Congress Cheng Yiu-tong remarked recently that Beijing expect universal suffrage in Hong Kong to be “risk-free”, and that chief executive contenders must have the support of at least half of the nominating committee to be eligible for the election.

Cheng’s comment stirred up dissents among the pan-democrats. Therefore, the pan-dems reckoned, to make sure the central government hears the people, the pan-democratic camp is set to meet with liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming to negotiate the electoral reform [Translator note: As of writing, Democratic Party has already met with Zhang last Friday (Aug 15). Meeting will continue with other members of the pan-democratic camp early this week. (note 1)].

Let us not forget the pan-democrats' already made a trip to Shanghai in April to initiate negotiation. Is Beijing likely to sway just because of an extra meeting? Apparently not. So what more do they hope to achieve by another meeting with the liaison office?

Are we to expect the same script as the last electoral reform four years ago?


Responding to the invitation to meet with Zhang, the pan-dems insisted that the purpose of the meeting is to channel Hongkongers' demand for universal suffrage, and to call into question the reliability of the public consultation conducted by the SAR government. They argued that the voice of near 800,000 people who voted in the unofficial referendum—in which Alliance for True Democracy's "three-track" proposal was chosen as the way to elect the Chief Executive in 2017—is not to be dismissed. They hope to reiterate to Zhang that Hongkongers will not be contented with a reform package may not be perfect.

The pan-dems have obviously made such a statement on assumption that Beijing cannot quite conceive the actual situation in Hong Kong. But is it so?

Allow me to remind our readers that speaking of the Occupy Central’s unofficial referendum, both the liaison office and the HK and Macau Affairs Office were crystal clear about the vote being non-binding, essentially dismissing the public opinion it carries. It’s safe to say Beijing has had knowledge of Hong Kong people's demands, but has ignored it all the same.

To have thought an unrecognised vote of 800,000 can be used as a bargaining chip on the negotiation table with China, the pan-dems have to be buffoons to make such a mistake. If the outcome of an unofficial referendum had any effect, at least Chief Secretary Carrie Lam would not have produced an outright biased report on the reform consultation. And if the pan-dems cannot even win over the head of the reform committee of our own government, what have they to affect the Chinese government? If the pan-dems are meeting with Zhang on the full knowledge of said meeting having no consequence, one is compelled to believe they might have a hidden agenda—perhaps one that follows the same script as last time.

The liaison office chief will meet with pan-dems in four separate sessions. The lawmakers said such an arrangement is to ensure different parties have sufficient time to communicate their ideas. If all pan-dems, regardless of party affiliation, are strictly to channel Hongkongers' straightforward demand for universal suffrage to Beijing, why would there be need to do so in a separate fashion? Is such an arrangement made to ensure different "opinions" get across? We will only have an answer to these doubts as the constitutional reform progressed in the days to come. But we can definitely see how far the pan-dems' bottom line on the electoral reform have receded.

Popular nomination: out of sight, out of mind?


On fighting for a truly democratic election of the city's leader, the pan-democrats have gone by the slogan "Genuine universal suffrage. No screening", insisting on popular nomination as an indispensable component of universal suffrage. But when news came out that Beijing now requires that CE hopefuls must garner at least half of the nominating committee to officially become candidates, the pan-dems are concerned only with tweaking the threshold of the nomination procedure—to suit their needs, presumably. Popular nomination is completely thrown out of their minds. If the pan-dems really take a firm stand in demanding a genuine universal suffrage without screening, they would never stray from the principles of democracy and compromise no matter how unreasonable the official proposal is.

Ironically, the three-track proposal has already been a compromise in itself. What the pan-dems are requesting now is not popular nomination as an all-or-nothing option but popular nomination as a "component" among other things. One of them is the nominating committee—a screening mechanism in and of itself. In light of that, the three-track proposal entails the nomination right of certain groups of people, rather than said right of all people at large. As far as i understand, the three-track proposal was so designed to conform to the basic law. So the pan-dems are virtually collaborating with the establishment; and they still call themselves the "opposition"?

Popular nomination is a concept central to universal suffrage. The fact that the pan-dems have made a concession in giving the people their nomination rights only reveals how they are concerned not with whether there is unreasonable screening, but with the chance of them getting past said screening.

At the end of the day, the so-called fight for democracy and all the glory it brings lies only in politicians’ slogans, which unfortunately are enough to win them heaps of loyal support.

Once again, the pan-dems will negotiate with China’s rep while Hong Kong’s constitutional future hangs in the balance. But all signs point to a futile meeting that will likely not result in any change in the electoral reform. At this rate, Hong Kong is bound for the same mistake and the same disastrous route as the last reform.

What’s unfortunate is that the pan-dems this time has the mandate from 800,000 Hongkongers at their backs. It’s easy to assume the obvious. Hongkongers are easy to assume anyone who is categorised under the democratic camp would do with all his might to help them fight for democracy. Just as the three-track proposal has “popular nomination” as one of its tracks, so everyone who is pro-democracy should root for it. The pan-dems are no heroes of tragedy, only clowns.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Wing Wing: Limited Edition: Reclamation

Limited Edition: Reclamation
Translated by Karen L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/08-11-2014/18298 



Last year, this young Mrs. Hyatt Lam, worked in the audit industry, has quitted the typical insider lifestyle. Abandoning bulky workload round the clock, Lam and her shadow set forth on a journey and published a book this year titled Quit for South Pole afterwards. Plus, she manages a Facebook page, named after the book and posted Are "We" Civilised? few days back. Such article is her personal experience pointing to the brutal behaviours of two Hongkongers.

Truth be told, it doesn't sound strange at all for the fact that petulancy does exist among a share of Hongkongers, whereas in the case of this civilised-or-not article, my instinct feels exceptionally. To trace where the sense comes from, I read it all over again, and again. Confession of mainlanders' disturbance in Hong Kong as this opinion piece is, unreasonable blame denoting Hongkongers can be read between the lines.


"For nearly half a year working in Kuala Lumpur, mainly had I been feeding updates of Hong Kong through Facebook and news websites. Judging from these information, not a single livelihood tough patch excludes the origin related to mainlanders and the government of Hong Kong. Only for us, Hongkongers, have been labelled as 'civilised', 'hygienic', 'ordered' and even 'noble'."


I’m not sure what Mrs. Lam's sources are, given no exception besides Hongkongers' rebukes upon certain kind of mainlanders. Based on my daily observations, a considerable deal of Hongkongers are there recording exhibitions of disorder, no seat offering to those in need, throwing strong languages to others, of their kind. In other words, Hongkongers, if not all, have not been targeting mainlanders.

But her expression says an opposition transforming Hongkongers into persons who know only nitpicking others rather than themselves. it couldn't convince me for Lam’s "luckiness" to escape herself from the exposure of those infamous reality videos starring by Hongkongers. The Bus Uncle and Hong Kong Girl Slaps Boyfriend 14 Times or so are the representatives of certain Hongkongers' acts of barbarism. Those cannot be too popular. Isn't it impossible for Lam not knowing any one of them?


"If you are so cultivated, you should demonstrate righteous reclamation - to act instead of to film."


Have Hongkongers really never adapted persuasion? For countless times, they remind mainlander tourists to not eat or drink in trains. In return flung are streams of invectives coming from nowhere. That’s when the cameras on.

Lam’s direct repetitive "reclamation" is an infinity concept eliminating the possibility of the filming factor. In justifying her notion, she mentioned there was one time she ate on Singapore's MRT, "If I listen not to the reminder, there must be another voice joined in the canvassing team, instead of some filming-hawk-acting-chicken recording the whole process." In her formulation, if any Singaporean takes out his/her cell and start filming, it will turn themselves immediately into some uncultivated "filming-hawk-acting-chicken".

If mainlander tourists are as Mrs. Lam who listens and learns from a reminder, wouldn't it be too awkward for such umpteen revealings of mainlanders' vices posted online? Reality speaking, mainlander baddies tend to turn the tables around. Then how can this "reclamation" go? Shall we, like Lam says, stand for the "reclamation" even to the edge of doom?


"For readers who had travelled to Japan or Singapore, you may have a sense of feeling that tourists don't stand a chance ruining the order in a truly cultivated city, regardless of the number of them."


Let's have a look of the content of a clip early this year, "Japanese bristles with rage as Chinese reselling outfit hired Chinese students there to snap up goods and then packed them with bogus number tags. To cap it all, these Chinese students leave rubbish along the way looking at meatness as nothing." Chinese students studying there supposedly stay longer than tourists providing Japanese a relatively adequate time to reclaim. How come it doesn't work given Japanese the status of a genuine refined nation?

Living high on the hog, immortal dictums as "wait for another train!" and "why don’t you embrace others' faults?" therefore presents by high-level officials and celebrities. Reversely, things changed when Gregory So facing those "shit-in-the-box" parcels, he said something rather human, "tolerance does not equal to connivance." It makes me wonder when will epiphany reveals itself to Lam to think humanly as "reclamation is a limited edition".

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Mr. P: Leung Man-tao, The Most "Aloof" Scoundrel in The Academia

Leung Man-tao, The Most "Aloof" Scoundrel in The Academia
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by P某 (Mr. P)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/08-14-2014/18338/ 

Translator's note: Ex-situ 離地: a concept introduced by Wan Chin (opposed to in-situ 在地), referring to certain members in the middle class who are "aloof and detached as being completely unaware of the plight of mortals and ignorant of the grassroots' keen concern" [Quote from Hansard, 7 Apr 2011 p8927] (usually holding foreign countries' passports too [well, I believe BN(O) doesn't count]), like John Tsang.
Leung Man-tao. (From ThePaper.cn)
I mentioned the difference between "discrimination" and "despisement" before, but I'd like to repeat:

Discrimination means a kind of differential treatment based on one's physical features, race, language, gender or disability. For example, an employer tends to hire a male worker instead of a female worker with the same working ability required in the job description - that is discrimination.

Despisement is the abhorrence and scorn towards certain people who cross the line of social norms or do not obey public order (often unspoken). For example, a mainland Chinese shows his private parts in the public is an abhorrence out of despisement.

Again, Leung Man-tao neglects local problems when being interviewed by mainland Chinese media, "Three years ago, there exists no problem for Chinese tourists speaking Mandarin in Hong Kong. You could see Hongkongers have difficulties speaking Mandarin, but they had good attitudes back then. But things have changed. I can't say all Hongkongers are having bad attitudes towards mainland Chinese, but there surely is a increasing number of people doing so. You will have this sense even you just be in Hong Kong once."

He added, "I think the real problem lies in the middle class. Hong Kong middle class's discrimination against mainland Chinese is different from racial discrimination in other countries."

To disprove his notion, first of all, will there be differential treatment when Chinese merchants are doing business in Hong Kong? Like any other HKers, they just simply need approval from Companies Registry. Will there be worse treatment when Chinese tourists come to Hong Kong? Surely not. They are treated as common tourists. Will there be differential treatment when Chinese students study in Hong Kong? They are just as any other overseas students. Passing examination can guarantee their seats. Will Chinese immigrants be barred from getting welfare permanently? Once they pass the means test, they are qualified to apply for public housing, medical welfares and free education. Our Court of Final Appeal even order the Social Welfare Department to provide CSSA to those Chinese new immigrants who have just come for a year. The treatment to Chinese is the same with tourists coming from other countries, not to mention their treatment could nearly be the same with that to Hongkongers. What makes it count as a kind of discrimination?

Does our dissatisfaction to Chinese come from "discrimination"? Of course not! The general public has a bad feeling towards Chinese tourists, Chinese students ("Hong Kong drifters") or Chinese merchants - not because they are from China, but rather, on their behaviour.

Jumping queues, urinating and defecating in public, speaking aloud, berating HKers follows by reminders of public orders, littering ... All they're doing is to challenge the city's capacity and HKers' bottom line. We, HKers, aim to maintain the public order, on one hand, because Hong Kong is our home; and on the other hand we do it out of our instinct. People are interconnected with invisible links, and the society is operated according to these links - basic rules and consensus.

Putting public order aside then, peeing in the loo must stand for no exception belonging as a kind of human instinct, right? Chinese traditional culture emphasises righteousness, courtesy, integrity and honour. Normally, excluding people who regard themselves as animals or orient themselves without self-awareness, everyone will follow the public order. To those who violate it, the abhorrence against is by no means discrimination! First, the hatred does not result from any kind of "cultural difference"; second, it follows not any genetic or acquired factor; third, these misbehaviours are avoidable.

Leung Man-tao claimed that the situation for the mainland tourists' disruption of public orders is rather mild and there will always be two or three problematic tourists in hundreds of thousands of tourists. In his mind, such seriousness is a product of media exaggerating reports aiming to incite the public sentiment. But I have a question: if there were two or three Lam-Kowk-wai-like rapists, two or three Lam-Kor-wan-like serial killers and two or three Yip-Kai-foon-like gangsters per day, would you say the public order remains fine in Hong Kong? if we deduce according to Leung's logic, police force would be wasted just to arrest one Teeth Dog (Yip Kai-foon) back then!

There is a seriousness existed in such problems as they are not just one time. Chinese repetitively disregard our public order, that's more than a problem already! No commentary on social issues should adapt sampling as the centre of the judgment. 

What happens in Hong Kong surely doesn't serve as an exclusive case. Or else, why are foreign countries too, condemning mainland Chinese of ruining public orders? And why are mainland Chinese always the target being charged? After all, is it the world "discriminating" against mainland Chinese collectively on purpose, or there are some people truly disregarding rules and orders, thus getting themselves retribution?

Leung Man-tao aims his spear at the middle class HKers of "discriminating" Chinese people the most; but my over-60 mother, who did not graduate in primary school, feels as well, furious about the mainland Chinese's misconducts! What do you know about the local grassroots' livelihood, Leung? Job opportunities, if not all, are taken by cheap labours from mainland China. Do you know there is a considerate amount of people who couldn't safeguard their living just because of that? How exactly you form such a conclusion towards the grassroot, huh? The major woe stuck the life of the grassroot is IVS - small groceries and "Cha chaan tengs" are closed, price level are soaring, public resources are occupied - do you actually know the cruel reality in front of them, Leung?

Isn't it meaningless for you to choose a small bunch of "i-bank elites" who had studied in English-speaking countries, live in Mid-levels and seldom go to Mong Kok, to represent Hong Kong? Why not you look into those cases like the loud and noisy mainland Chinese aunties shouting on the train or "two or three" IVS mainland tourists who pee in the public? Ex-situ as you are, you live inside the box. Instead, you consider yourself as a blue blood "intellectual" who embraces universal values. Working along with leftist-morons, you somehow think you're superior in promoting peace! But let me remind that you're still living in a Hong Kong governed by the Communist Party.

Or maybe you're so lucky to be able to find two or three elites in the country where people disregard public orders, and respect them a lot. Then why don't you simply stay there? For you, Hong Kong is too dangerous to live in.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wing Wing: Public Funds Used to Split HK Society

Public Funds Used to Split HK Society
Translated by Jonathan I., Edited by Vivian L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/08-10-2014/18275 


When surfing the net in the evening two days ago, I saw people discussing the latest government public advertisement, and I looked it up and watched it out of curiosity. The ten odd seconds long ad begins with footage of a recent mass demonstration, demonstrators charging at steel barriers and protesters staging an assembly. It concludes with a simple message in white on a black background with a voice-over: Your vote. Don’t cast it away.

I was infuriated. I had a lot of questions in my head: Is it appropriate to explain such a controversial issue within a mere ten-odd-second-long prime time TV ad?

The thing to do when one has a question, of course, is to ask the Mighty God of Google. Government ads in the past were generally about things like telling people not to go wave-watching during severe weather conditions, reminding employers that it is illegal to delay salary payments, promoting the Elderly Health Care Voucher and so on. Matters such as these—civic education, existing laws and implemented policies—are generally in black and white and hardly controversial. However, this “Your Vote” ad has really gone way overboard.

First, how the candidates are to be nominated is a question that the 2017 Chief Executive election must first resolve. When the public has an opinion on the matter or even oppose the government’s proposal, they took to the street to have their voice heard. It is clearly shown in the second footage in the ad that demonstrators held up a banner that read “Towards Universal Suffrage”. But the government’s antic now is to oversimplify “universal suffrage” as “everybody has a vote” without a single word on how the candidates are to be nominated.

Attempting to sway public opinion, the government has been painstakingly speaking ill of the people’s quest for democracy, touting the idea that “Occupy Central is illegal” and “the rule of law is not to be challenged”. But here they are now feigning innocence in this seemingly harmless clip, which is essentially saying, “We are giving you the vote to elect the CE in 2017, why are you still complaining? You troublemakers don’t want the vote, eh?”

Hey hold on, it is written in black and white in the Basic Law that Hong Kong citizens have the freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration [1]! It is not illegal for anyone to participate in demonstration to express their demands! Despite the fact that people were demonstrating peacefully, demonstrators were featured in the ad as hooligans jeopardising Hong Kong’s journey towards universal suffrage. Now what is the government insinuating? When CY Leung could sign the anti-Occupy Central petition “in a personal capacity”[2], are citizens to be labelled as disrupting harmony and disturbing public order just because they exercised their legitimate rights? What is this but a double standard? Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi—Gods may do what cattle may not!

Second, the ad stirs up even more strife among Hong Kong as a society. The clip not only deliberately neglects the real demands of the people, it also speak nothing of the government’s obstinate ignorance in the people’s demand, it turns right into wrong and implies that the demonstrators are the culprits of the chaos in our society today. It instills a despicable image of troublemakers that is anyone who fight for democracy: “Now you are given a vote, but you greedy barbarians will never be contented!” As a result, demonstrators are to shoulder all the blame, and be wrongly incriminated as sinners of history who ruined Hongkongers’ chance of having the vote in 2017.

The government is pointing its finger at these citizens who demand universal suffrage and saying to the so-called “silent majority” that, “These people are the ones who cause all the troubles and ruin your vote!”

The government ad intentionally misleads the “silent” citizens into thinking that the demonstrators would really rather “cast away their vote” to elect the CE. It is unbelievable that a government would use public money to make such an ad to create mutual hatred among citizens. If I hadn’t known the context I might have thought that we were back to when the “Anti-rightist Movement” was going on in China where anyone could be slammed in the face and labelled as “the enemy”.

Besides being angry, what else can we do? Have you thought of complaining to the Communications Authority? Indeed, former lawmaker Tanya Chan had questioned then Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lun in 2010 about the promotion of 2012 Constitutional Reform Packages (including TV commercials)[3],  his answer, in short, were that “promoting government’s policies” is not regarded as political advertisement and so it would not violate the Broadcasting Ordinance. But on the other hand, when Democratic Party legislator Emily Lau urged people to go to march to demand a genuine universal suffrage on a Commercial Radio programme in 2010, the radio station was ruled by the Broadcasting Authority guilty of including an advertisement of a political nature and was fined for several tens of thousand dollars[4]. So Emily Lau could not talk about universal suffrage and demonstration on air. But the “Your Vote” ad is also about universal suffrage and demonstration and it’s on our TV every single night and that is allowed? But then the government would say when the government talks about universal suffrage and demonstration, it is “promoting government policies”; when Emily Lau talked about universal suffrage and demonstration, it was “political advertisement”. I give you my word!

I am beyond furious about this. It is unfairly advantageous for the government to use its public service ads to convey political messages during prime time. If you don’t like Emily Lau, you can choose to not vote for her, not donate to her (whether Jimmy Lai would concur is another matter). Even if she makes a dozen more political advertisements on Commercial Radio, at least you wouldn’t have helped her make those, so you could be less angry. But the “Your Vote” ad was made with taxpayers’ money—money that is coming out of your and my pockets! Because it was funded by tax dollars (even if it was outsourced), even if you may not have paid tax, your boss does. Hongkongers are forced to pay for this crappy clip, only to have it cast the blame on the citizens for the feud over universal suffrage. So we are practically paying to have our names bawled out. How would you feel? I would rather the government uses the money to make two more anti-drug advertisements!

Finally, I want to remind everyone that given the government’s tendency towards a “gradual process”, we can probably expect to see government ads like “CE leads Hong Kong into a new era of prosperity” and “Unlawful assemblies threaten rule of law. Don’t break the law”, and the pro-establishment camp would exploit the opportunity to excuse their self-promotion and opposition-slandering as “promoting policies”.

(Author’s remarks: I was surprised to see so many lightbox advertisements with this design in the MTR station today, maybe the government does not need to pay TV stations for TV advertisements, but surely it has to pay for these lightboxes!? Another chunk of Hongkongers’ hard-earned tax dollars wasted on these things! How the government’s promotion on this matter goes everywhere is most certainly unprecedented!)


Note:
[1] Article 27 of the Basic Law: Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike




Friday, 8 August 2014

Atsuna: Why Is China Raising A Generation of Brats?

Why Is China Raising A Generation of Brats?
Translated by Vivian L., Written by 假啞港女 (Atsuna)

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A few years back, an article published on NetEase (link in Chinese), a popular news forum in China, drew attention to China’s new generation of spoiled children. Accompanied by a series of photographs, the article shows a Chinese mother and her spoiled son making a scene in public. The son is pictured crying and making a fuss demanding his mother to buy a toy. When the mother refuses, the son slaps his mother in the face and pulls at her hair to force his mother to give in. Then, a passerby, enraged by the son’s behaviour, tries to put a stop to it, only to be chastised by an angry “Go away!” from the son. As if he hasn’t had enough, the son then seizes his mother’s neck and tried to choke her with his small hand. The mother finally gives in.

Son chokes mother to demand new toy while passersby look on. (Source: NetEase)

Whenever I see children among Chinese tourists in Hong Kong, I can’t help but notice that they give off a certain vibe that is markedly different from children from other regions—a vibe of incivility and hostility.

Some may point the finger at the Chinese government’s one-child policy that irrevocably created a whole generation of spoiled only-children.

But single-child families are not scarce to find in Hong Kong and Japan. Why should incivility be an exclusive phenomenon among the children of China?

Funny enough, though, as pampering parents as the Chinese are, they are often quick to blame their own children for the petty crimes they commit. When caught eating in the public transport, “The kid’s hungry,” they say; when caught letting their kids potty in public, “Children can’t hold it,” is their excuse; when caught stealing little rubber ducks from an advertising display, they pout, “The kids want them,” as if they as parents are the innocent party [note 1].

Misbehaving children are not to be corrected; they are more useful that way as the Chinese parents’ scapegoat.

Many Hong Kong parents religiously believe that kids should start learning foreign languages as early as infancy because you will never sound native-like if you start learning older. The same goes for good manners. People never learn it quite the same if they don’t learn it young.

We may learn a thing or two about parenting in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. In the 1980s, New York City’s crime rate was through the roof. To curtail the crime wave, the NYC mayor did not particularly focus on fighting violent crimes, instead, he put police efforts into cleaning up vandalising graffiti in police vehicles and combating minor crimes such as fare-beating on the New York subway. Eventually, the city saw a sharp decline in all kinds of crime. The story tells us that fighting crimes begins with the smallest of detail, in this case, altering the city into a context less conducive to crime.

The same applies to parenting. If a child is permitted to behave however atrociously as he she pleasesthrowing excessive temper tantrums, littering, peeing and pooing in public and the likesthe child is bound to grow up into an obnoxious human being, or worse, someone who would choke his mother just to have a new toy.

The principle is easy enough to understand. But why are mainland Chinese parents so prone to spoiling their kids? Even the new wealthy Chinese families fail to raise good-mannered children. 

Earlier this year, a British young woman tells of her experience of working as a nanny for an ‘obscenely rich’ Hangzhou family, whose only son was ‘more than a little spoiled’. He would spit on her, and pick his nose and use her clothes as wipes. The nanny noted that the family once invited Hong Kong singers to perform for the son’s birthday party and the child sang on stage as his prearranged fans cheered on. He signed autographs and took pictures with them after the performance. It’s no wonder the child went cheeky with his teacher, “You’d better treat me nicely. I am a celebrity now.”

The inflated ego of this wealthy kid and the self-gratifying behaviour of zillions Chinese people actually have more in common than one would expect. The difference being that children of the newly rich like to wield their ostentatious power over the less fortunate, whereas the average Chinese countrymen like to instill in their children their own twisted sense of “fairness”.

The small city of Zhongxiang in Hubei province has been infamous for its students’ collective practice of cheating during the national college entrance exams. A few years ago, the province’s education department decided to crackdown the ill practice with new policies to eradicate cheating. But the move angered thousands of parents and students alike. An angry mob of parents even beat up the teachers invigilating the exams. They protested in fury, “We want fairness. There is no fairness if we’re not allowed to cheat!”

If that loses you, hear the Chinese logic explained in this parent’s comment, “Those kids whose families have money and powerful guanxi can just buy their way through the exams. Average families like us spend a fortune to buy the answers for our sons and daughters, only to have our cheating devices taken away because we don’t have no guanxi!”

If there were two sets of logic known to men, there would be two sets of fairness, one of which is fairness as the world knows it, the other is “fairness with Chinese characteristics”. 

The Chinese perceive the problem of a certain group of people being more privileged than others as “unfair” only because they themselves do not enjoy such privilege. Eric Hoffer had said, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” By the same token, to the Chinese mentality, “Fairness is the selfish man’s imitation of justice.”

China is not governed by rules that are set in stone, but rules that are very much implicit. As formidable as China is being the world's second largest economy, integrity is certainly not an ingredient of the country’s success.

The Basic Law promises that “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” is to remain unchanged for 50 years. But the promise needs not wait so long to be shattered by Beijing’s white paper released in June and the threat it implies.

When a country has no integrity, as Confucius taught, proprieties and music will not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded, and the people will not know how to move hand or foot. [note 2]

That is why Chinese people learned to become aggressive from a young agebecause bullies don't get bullied, so long as you don't mess with a bigger bully.

Note:
[1] A pear-shaped advertising display made with 15,000 rubber ducks was on display in Shanghai for three days before the bath toys was practically stripped clean by visitors. (http://online.thatsmags.com/post/rubber-ducks-theft)


[2] From Lun Yu (The Analects of Confucius), “If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music will not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.” (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Lun_Yu/Book_13)


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wing Wing: "Improve? Refused" - Chinese Swimmers' Subterfuge

"Improve? Refused" - Chinese Swimmers' Subterfuge
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Vivian L.,  Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/08-05-2014/18211  



Since Canton (Guangzhou)'s newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily published an article last month encouraging Chinese citizens to enjoy the more affordable and higher quality public pools in Hong Kong, mainlanders have flocked to the city's swimming facilities, bringing along a myriad of hygienic problems. Gregory So Kam-leung, one of Hong Kong's top officials, downplayed the Chinese tourists' misbehaviour as "cultural differences".  But to me, what the mainlanders have done in Hong Kong are but subterfuge.  Their behaviour cannot be explained by mere oversight of culture and customs, but rather, it is meant to trample on the rules in Hong Kong, and to take advantage of the benevolence of Hongkongers.

There are signs as clear as day that say "No eating or drinking", "Please do not swim if you have gastrointestinal symptoms", "Wear proper swimwear when you swim" all around the pool, but Chinese people take no notice. They even bring potato chips and picnic food to feast in the pool. They do it on purpose, what is this but provocation?

What is most unbearable to Hongkongers is that they allow themselves or their children to defecate in the pool.  "Children cannot hold the call of nature!" is their favourite defence. But Hongkongers bring their kids to the pool too. And often there are dozen or so young children in a swimming lesson in a pool. Yet seldom do we find a local kid pooing in the open. Why, do mainland kids have looser buttholes? They argue that they cannot find a bathroom on the streets of Mong Kok, but what about pools? Anyone who has been to a public pool knows there is a bathroom between the changing room and the swimming area. You would have to be blind to not see one.

I personally cannot think of anything more despicable than Chinese tourists defecating in the pool. When they mistake the streets as their private toilet, they would quibble and chastise onlookers who pick on them as sticking their fingers in other people's pie (or poo, in this case), "So what if I answer nature's call? You better watch your step!" But in the swimming pool? Hundreds of people share the same pool of water. Even if the pooing is done on the pool's edge, the sewage will still float through the water and pollute the whole water. When swimmers—pooers included—are enjoying the cool in the pool, how disgusting would it be when they find human waste brushing off their arms and legs? Screw "cultural differences"!  Will any sane person poo while taking a bath in their own bathtub?

[Translator's note: I would like to quote from Leung Man-tao. He spoke this in his programme:
//Chinese people do not care about their privacy, but Chinese people to some extent is very selfish. For example, in public spaces, Chinese people are not civic-minded since long ago. They simply throw things on the streets. I had too many experiences when I took coach buses in China, a driver said, "You're from Hong Kong right? You see Chinese people are not civic-minded at all, why don't they throw rubbish outside the window?" I read a book by a socialist, he said, Chinese people treat the public aspect as the surplus of private aspect. For example, when they clean their siheyuan [Quadrangle houses in Beijing], at the end, they must throw all dirty things or sewage outside their door, because they treat the street out there as a rubbish dump. On this aspect, Chinese people attach much importance to the private aspect.//]

These incredibly selfish and inconsiderate Chinese tourists bash Hongkongers with their snotty attitude and say, "So what if I eat and excrete in the pool? Bite me!" They deliberate make a mess out of our public pools, robbing local swimmers of the fun of getting cool in the dog days of summer. To such arrogant high horses, we have to use harsh measures:  when did they ever listen to us when we tell them gently?

The Hong Kong & Kowloon Lifeguards' Union went on strike on Monday (Aug 5) to protest heavy workloads driven by the influx of Chinese tourists and the mess they bring.  Although the strike would prevent local swimmers from using the pools facilities as well, the lifeguards are compelled to do so as our government are not taking any remedial action to ease their burden. I do hope the strike can force the government to crop up measures to bring back the public pool to be enjoyed by Hongkongers—its rightful owners.