Wednesday 4 September 2019

Carrie Lam apologises... sort of

Video here
We watched our Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, give her presser yesterday and talk about the leaked audio recording in which she is heard saying she would quit if she had “a choice”, but suggesting it was being prevented from doing so by authorities in Beijing.
Here’s what she did not deny saying:
“For a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc to Hong Kong is unforgivable. If I have a choice, the first thing [I would do] is to quit, having made a deep apology,” Lam said, her voice breaking with emotion. “So I make a plea to you for your forgiveness.”
Jing and I wondered if she’d arranged the leak herself, or if in any case she didn’t mind, despite her protestations that the lunch which had recorded her comments was under Chatham House rules, and should never had seen the light of day.
After all, it does tend to make her a little more sympathetic to us, me at least.  She’d would like to have apologised. She would like to have quit.
Meantime, just to show that I’m not a “government running dog” (政府走狗), here’s my list of government/Beijing mistakes (Updatable):
The extradition bill (This one’s pretty much down to Carrie Lam herself)
Delay in killing the bill
Government officials go into Hiding
Killing the Bill but without the needed word “withdrawal”.
Repeating the same tired mantra : we can’t talk until violence at end
We can’t talk anyway — at Beijing’s insistence
Aussie writer Yang Hengjun arrested in China (WTF?? in the midst of all this??)
Police brutality: actually minimal, but looks bad. And only after much provocation.
Poor pressers. And too few
Beijing tells Lam she can’t negotiate on the Five Demands *Doing nothing on housing

And then there’s "China broke its promises to Hong Kong. That’s why the protest movement is back with a vengeance"by Markus Shaw, here.
Though some of his criticisms are unfair. For example, failure to make any headway on universal suffrage post the 2014 Occupy Central sit-ins (the “Umbrella Movement”) is as much due to Hong Kong's Pan-democratic parties putting up totally unreasonable demands, as to Beijing intransigence.

*The Five Demands:
  • The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill
  • The government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests
  • The unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped
  • An independent inquiry into police behaviour
  • Implementation of genuine universal suffrage
Also see Alex Lo on the five demands, here