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HK’s “civil referendum”, a giant farce in details

Much touted lately is the “civil referendum” conducted in HK, which resulted in nearly 800,000 votes cast.

It makes good headline news among the choir of anti-China media, but in detail, the number breaks down into farce in extreme details:

(1) The voting took more than 1 week.

HK is a big city, but it is just a city, of 7.16 million population with some 3.2 million registered “voters” under its current system under the Chinese legal system of “1 country, 2 systems”.  And it still took more than 1 week to cast all the votes?  Even with electronic voting (via website and mobile devices) available?

Even with more than 1 week of voting, the total vote of about 800K accounts for only 25% of the total registered voters in HK.  That’s a historical low turn out for HK.  For example, in 2012 Legislative representative election in HK, more than 53% of the voters turned out.  http://www.elections.gov.hk/legco2012/eng/turnout.html

 

(2) The choices were rigged to be virtually meaningless.

The civil referendum ballot had only 4 choices:  本人支持「和平佔中」向政府提交以下方案:1. 真普選聯盟方案;2. 人民力量方案;3. 學界方案;棄權

I support OCLP to submit this proposal to the Government:

1. Alliance for True Democracy Proposal;

2. People Power Proposal;

3. Students Proposal;

4. Abstention

choices 1-3 are merely slightly different variations of the “universal suffrage” election form.  So, the ballot was “Yes to New Democracy 1, Yes to New Democracy 2, Yes to New Democracy 3, and Abstention”.

As some in HK even pointed out, Only those who really wanted to vote YES would turn out.  Then, we can also assume that the 75% of the HK voters who didn’t vote, must have said “NONE OF THE ABOVE” or chose “status quo”.

In the final tally, about 90% of the votes were cast for choices 1-3.  Wow, surprise!  Or just plain ridiculous.

 

(3) “Voter” status and fraud.

The final tally of the votes break down shows even more of a farce.

http://hkupop.hku.hk/chinese/release/release1164.html

Out of nearly 800K “votes” cast, only about 7000 votes were done via paper ballots.  Even more alarming, majority of the votes were cast by off site electronic voting.  Almost 500,000 votes were cast by off-site mobile devices, and another 240,000 votes were cast by off-site web page.  (That’s total of 740,000 votes, or 92.5%, cast without any identification verification).  Both the mobile application and the web application required ONLY a person to enter a HK Smart Identity Card ID number, which actually does not verify if the person is a HK resident or voter.  Even a temporary resident of HK may apply for a HK Smart Identity Card.

Then, there is the REAL question of who is a HK “voter”.

Under the current “1 country, 2 systems”, any permanent resident of HK over age of 18 may register as “voter”, even if such a person is not a Chinese citizen.  So, how many of the 800,000 votes were cast by foreigners??  We can’t possibly know at this point, unless all of the voter ID numbers are checked.

***

If HK does evolve toward more “democracy”, the 1st question would be, who in HK should be allowed to vote??

Some HK people would rather mainland Chinese not allowed to vote in HK, then, some might even say, some HK residents who have foreign passports should NOT be allowed to vote.

Some 3.5 million people in HK hold some form of British passport, as British citizens, or British Nationals (and Commonwealth citizenship status).  If we want to be strict about “Democracy”, then none of these people (British citizens or British Nationals), nor other non-Chinese citizens, should be allowed to vote in HK.

So far, PRC government has tolerated the current form of “voter status” for permanent residents of HK, under the “1 country, 2 systems”.  But if HK is to move toward “Democracy”, then PRC should rightfully consider the definition of “HK voters” in a new political system for HK.

HK is Chinese territory.  Regardless what its political system may evolve to, HK must be represented by Chinese people, in votes and in offices, and NOT by foreign “residents” of HK.

So far, the HK farce of a referendum is just a political show, but I would suggest to propose a new question in HK, to decide the question of “who should be allowed to vote in HK?”

As a 1st step in “democracy”, I would suggest China start with that.

Until that question is resolved, “Democracy” in HK would mean nothing but meaningless ballots.

  1. July 2nd, 2014 at 16:25 | #1

    I wonder why in the 100 or so years of British colonial rule, the Hong Kong people were never given a right to vote?

    I also wonder why despite the clamor for “rule of law” and Hong Kong protesters constant referral to the terms of the handover as some kind of gospel whenever they feel their “freedom” is threatened by acts from the central government, they now feel they can unilaterally rise over “rule of law” to demand a right for them to unilaterally change the gospel?

  2. paoburen
    July 2nd, 2014 at 18:45 | #2

    Your point 1 about voter turn-out is nonsensical. This was not an actual election, but a form of protest put on by a civil society group.

    Now, if a real election with real consequences was held, then you would have a point, but this was, in fact, simply an act of civic engagement. It had no consequence.

    To Allen’s point:
    Did Beijing promise to allow elections in 2017 or did the British make that promise before they left? I am not sure about the history here, so please enlighten me!

  3. Black Pheonix
    July 2nd, 2014 at 18:54 | #3

    “Your point 1 about voter turn-out is nonsensical. This was not an actual election, but a form of protest put on by a civil society group.”

    Your distinction is nonsensical. I didn’t call it an “election”. I called it a farce.

    “Now, if a real election with real consequences was held, then you would have a point, but this was, in fact, simply an act of civic engagement. It had no consequence.”

    Like I said, a “FARCE”.

  4. Black Pheonix
    July 2nd, 2014 at 19:07 | #4

    @Allen

    Because back then, the HK’ers were the “rude uncivilized Chinese” causing the problems for the peaceful daily lives of the British overlords.

  5. paoburen
    July 2nd, 2014 at 19:38 | #5

    @Black Pheonix

    You wrote the following:

    “Even with more than 1 week of voting, the total vote of about 800K accounts for only 25% of the total registered voters in HK. That’s a historical low turn out for HK. ”

    I wrote that this point is not a reasonable one given that this was not a real election but rather an expression of civil society.

    You compared a so-called farce to a real election.

    I think your comparison of a farce to a real election is nonsensical.

  6. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 07:08 | #6

    @paoburen

    “You compared a so-called farce to a real election.
    I think your comparison of a farce to a real election is nonsensical.”

    It’s 2 votes for the same voting pool with 2 different results. What’s nonsensical with comparing those 2 results?

    “Comparison” is not equating 2 different things.

    Your assertion is rather nonsensical.

  7. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 09:40 | #7

    It’s not the same voting pool! A real election in HK has a turn-out that more encompasses all of society. This civil society action, by contrast, is not the same voting pool, it has a smaller subset of the population that is in favour of greater autonomy for the SAR.

    Since most on this website are familiar with the American-system, consider the difference between a primary election and a national election. The former is a smaller subset of the population with specific desires and wants, while the latter is a more comprehensive view of the population.

    Rather than talk down the action as a “farce” perhaps it’d be better to see the writing on the wall — a subset of the HK population is in favour of greater autonomy. This problem is real and has grown, many HKers do not feel well represented.

    BTW: Would it be tolerable to you if “foreigners” in places like Canada were stripped of suffrage? Lots of ethnic Chinese have immigrated to that nation in the past few decades and I am curious on your position.

  8. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 09:49 | #8

    @paoburen

    “It’s not the same voting pool! A real election in HK has a turn-out that more encompasses all of society. This civil society action, by contrast, is not the same voting pool, it has a smaller subset of the population that is in favour of greater autonomy for the SAR.

    Since most on this website are familiar with the American-system, consider the difference between a primary election and a national election. The former is a smaller subset of the population with specific desires and wants, while the latter is a more comprehensive view of the population.”

    Your analogy is completely off. The HK referendum is from the same voting pool, same group of people who can vote if they wanted to. It wasn’t limited to any “subset”. People didn’t participate, does not mean that the voting pool is different. I think you are just confused to the definition of “voting pool”.

    “Rather than talk down the action as a “farce” perhaps it’d be better to see the writing on the wall — a subset of the HK population is in favour of greater autonomy. This problem is real and has grown, many HKers do not feel well represented.”

    Low turn out is a sign of a “farce”.

    “BTW: Would it be tolerable to you if “foreigners” in places like Canada were stripped of suffrage? Lots of ethnic Chinese have immigrated to that nation in the past few decades and I am curious on your position.”

    I don’t think “foreigners” in Canada ever had “suffrage”, unless they become “citizens”.

    If “foreigners” in HK are not “citizens”, they shouldn’t be allowed to “vote”. Same logic as in Canada.

  9. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 | #9

    @Black Pheonix

    You wrote:

    “Some 3.5 million people in HK hold some form of British passport, as British citizens, or British Nationals (and Commonwealth citizenship status). If we want to be strict about “Democracy”, then none of these people (British citizens or British Nationals), nor other non-Chinese citizens, should be allowed to vote in HK.”

    So if someone is a dual citizen they should not have suffrage. Got it. It looks like my college roommate should immediately cease his voting activities! I’ll send him an email about this…

    The voter turn-out was low because this was not a real election… If this was a real election that could change the way HKers vote their leaders, do you think turn-out would have been higher? I sure do. As it stands, many HKers may have viewed this as a futile waste of time — Beijing controls the SAR and Beijing is not in favour of elections by non-millionaires. Regardless, if only 25% of HKers are in favour, then what is Beijing so scared about? 75% of HKers are clearly in favour of no choice in nominating their leaders, right? I mean, they held an election (farce)!

    I am not confused about the definition of voting pool. Thanks for your concern.

  10. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 10:25 | #10

    @paoburen

    “So if someone is a dual citizen they should not have suffrage. Got it. It looks like my college roommate should immediately cease his voting activities! I’ll send him an email about this…”

    China doesn’t recognize “dual citizenship”.

    “The voter turn-out was low because this was not a real election… If this was a real election that could change the way HKers vote their leaders, do you think turn-out would have been higher? I sure do. As it stands, many HKers may have viewed this as a futile waste of time — Beijing controls the SAR and Beijing is not in favour of elections by non-millionaires. Regardless, if only 25% of HKers are in favour, then what is Beijing so scared about? 75% of HKers are clearly in favour of no choice in nominating their leaders, right? I mean, they held an election (farce)!
    I am not confused about the definition of voting pool. Thanks for your concern.”

    I’m not interested in your hypotheticals of what “might happen”. Low voter turn-out indicates voters didn’t CARE about this issue, period.

    Who said “Beijing is scared”? More voters are participating in the status quo system of voting, than in this farce of a “referendum”. Sounds like you are scared of having it shown as a FARCE.

    I think you are confused about the definition of voting pool (and about my concern).

  11. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 11:02 | #11

    So if Canada stripped dual passport holders, for example ethnic Chinese, of suffrage you would find that legitimate. Cool.

    I am not interested in your hypothetical that voters do not care. If there was a real election, then we would know for certain if voters care or do not care. As it stands, no election has been held, merely a farce, therefore your statements are as hypothetical as mine. I would love a real election because I think HK should be used as a springboard for greater citizen participation within the Chinese system. It’s reasonable how Chinese authorities use small areas to try out new policies and measure their efficacy. I see no reason why this should be limited to economic policy, mostly because I have great faith in the intelligence and knowledge of all the Chinese people.

    If you read Chinese state media it’s clear there is fear and concern over HKers. Recent spats over various issues, from tourism, etiquette, economic domination, etc. play big in Mainland media. Lots of articles in the last few weeks have denounced and denigrated the protesters. To direct a campaign against these people shows fear.

    It is clear that the Mainland and HK have many disagreements. This is not harmonious, and lack of harmony makes Beijing scared. It’s not good to have visible dissent, especially by Chinese people.

    If this was a farce and a minority of clowns, then I do not think Chinese state media would waste their time and precious print-space.

    I’m not confused, but you are concerned I am. So tell me, what is a voting pool? Thanks!

    “Low voter turn-out indicates voters didn’t CARE about this issue, period.”

    This was a FARCE, not an ELECTION. This statement of yours is still nonsense. It cannot be simultaneously proof of the will of the people AND a farce. It’s one or the other. You said “farce”, so you cannot draw conclusions about the political viewpoints of HK.

  12. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 11:20 | #12

    “So if Canada stripped dual passport holders, for example ethnic Chinese, of suffrage you would find that legitimate. Cool.”

    That’s up to Canada’s own conscience, if they want to give something, and then decide to take it away. “Dual passport holders” doesn’t mean “dual citizenship”.

    And this has nothing to do with Chinese law, which never recognized dual citizenship. HK people know that.

    “I am not interested in your hypothetical that voters do not care. If there was a real election, then we would know for certain if voters care or do not care. As it stands, no election has been held, merely a farce, therefore your statements are as hypothetical as mine. I would love a real election because I think HK should be used as a springboard for greater citizen participation within the Chinese system. It’s reasonable how Chinese authorities use small areas to try out new policies and measure their efficacy. I see no reason why this should be limited to economic policy, mostly because I have great faith in the intelligence and knowledge of all the Chinese people.”

    Not my “hypothetical”, since the Low voter turn-out proves they don’t care.

    “If you read Chinese state media it’s clear there is fear and concern over HKers. Recent spats over various issues, from tourism, etiquette, economic domination, etc. play big in Mainland media. Lots of articles in the last few weeks have denounced and denigrated the protesters. To direct a campaign against these people shows fear.”

    Not really. It’s call NEWS. It’s far less coverage than say some HK media’s coverage of China.

    “If this was a farce and a minority of clowns, then I do not think Chinese state media would waste their time and precious print-space.”

    It’s called NEWS, it’s supposed to take up “print-space”.

    “I’m not confused, but you are concerned I am. So tell me, what is a voting pool? Thanks!”

    It the pool of available voters who CAN vote. (Not just the ones who actually did).

    “Low voter turn-out indicates voters didn’t CARE about this issue, period.”
    This was a FARCE, not an ELECTION. This statement of yours is still nonsense. It cannot be simultaneously proof of the will of the people AND a farce. It’s one or the other. You said “farce”, so you cannot draw conclusions about the political viewpoints of HK.

    Yes, it can be “simultaneously proof of the will of the people AND a farce”. The Low voter turn-out proved the referendum was a farce, because people weren’t interested in participating in it.

    Who says it has to be “one or the other”?? It’s the “will of the people” (the low turn-out) that demonstrated that it was a FARCE!

  13. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 11:34 | #13

    We will just have to disagree on this. Perhaps someday a real election can be held and the will of the people will be known to all.

    As it stands, Beijing furiously says “no” to any election that is not within their control. Apparently, British and Beijing overlords are little different.

    Have a nice day :).

  14. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 11:40 | #14

    “We will just have to disagree on this. Perhaps someday a real election can be held and the will of the people will be known to all.
    As it stands, Beijing furiously says “no” to any election that is not within their control. Apparently, British and Beijing overlords are little different.”

    The “will of the people” is known, at 25% participation rate. NOT INTERESTED!!

  15. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 3rd, 2014 at 17:47 | #15

    @paoburen

    “Perhaps someday a real election can be held and the will of the people will be known to all.”

    This was the same mantra that the US (Hillary Clinton) used against Egypt’s Mubarak, saying that he was a dictator (who was supported by the US for over 30 years) and that Egyptians should have democracy and be allowed to vote and choose their own leader. The US supported Morsi of the Mulsim Brotherhood in overthrowing Mubarak. So Morsi became the democratically elected leader of Egypt. After the election, Morsi somehow got on the wrong side of the US and next thing you know, he was overthrown by the Egyptian military who received $5 billion aid from the US annually. Today Egypt is a mess.

    You advocate that the Chinese should have the vote. I would say fine if you will take full ownership of any chaos after the election. By that I mean any country that advocate freedom and democracy to another country must put up a bond equivalent to the GDP of that nation to guarantee there won’t be any social or economic disruption to that country.

    It is very easy to tell other countries what to do without consequences. Look at Russia, the US asked Gorbachev to have democracy and after the election, Russia starved for a decade and all the US did was laughed at the Russians.

    If you want to tell other countries what to do, put your money where your month is.

  16. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 20:29 | #16

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    Please read my comment #11, specifically:

    “I would love a real election because I think HK should be used as a springboard for greater citizen participation within the Chinese system. It’s reasonable how Chinese authorities use small areas to try out new policies and measure their efficacy. I see no reason why this should be limited to economic policy, mostly because I have great faith in the intelligence and knowledge of all the Chinese people.”

    In no way do I advocate China to become democratic and have elections immediately at a national level. However, the experience in China has shown that the government tries out new things in select areas and evaluates them. For example, the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in places like Shenzhen decades ago, or today with the new policies tried out in the new Shanghai Special Economic Zone.

    While economic policy has been tried out in this way, so has political policy, for example, in Wukan, Guangdong Province. I am not saying whether or not Wukan is a success, merely that new policies were tried there and only there. This is a smart way to try new policies, and something I admire the Communist Party for doing.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. My intention was HONG KONG, not all of China. Now, if in 50 years things in China develop smoothly, incomes continue to increase, education continues to increase, ethnic tensions decline (especially in western provinces), then perhaps China can have more active citizenry — currently, most Chinese are still too poor and too ignorant to handle voting for their representatives. As it stands, I only advocate this for Hong Kong SAR, which has high incomes and high education.

    Similar to HK, Taiwan has elections and there is no chaos. What is important is incomes and education, HK has both in spades.

    I am not in a position to effect policy, so I’m not really telling other countries what to do, but merely blogging. Blogging is just that — writing stuff online. It has no real effect.

  17. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 4th, 2014 at 03:47 | #17

    @paoburen

    “As it stands, I only advocate this for Hong Kong SAR, which has high incomes and high education.

    Similar to HK, Taiwan has elections and there is no chaos. What is important is incomes and education, HK has both in spades. ”

    Please correct me if I am interpreting this wrong, what you are saying is that Hong Kong people should get the vote because they have a higher income and higher level of education than the people living in the mainland. This is a very interesting thought because what you are proposing is that the right to universal suffrage is based on income and education.

    Your allusion that perhaps ignorant people (using income and education as criteria) are much easier to be misled so that they can be persuaded to “misuse” their vote based on lies and brainwashing propaganda from politicians, thus your suggestion that Hong Kong people should get the vote now and people of the mainland should wait approx. 50 years because the people living on the mainland would be easily swayed because they are supposedly ignorant because they have a comparatively lower income and education.

    If the above assumption is correct than may I suggest that democracy is a failed experiment in North America because how many times have we heard the complaint that politicians never kept their campaign promises and that they have lied to the people here in Canada and the US.

    And now with the NSA and media collusion in mind controlling the populace, the true intend of one man one vote is no longer valid.

    The US meddling in Hong Kong politics is evidenced by the recent reception of Anson Chan and Martin Lee by Nancy Pelosi. Do you think that this frontal assault on Chinese political sovereignty is not covertly supported by the CIA?

    If the NSA is mind controlling the North American populace, do you think they will leave the Hong Kong people to their independent thinking?

    The NSA is the master of mind altering techniques, I doubt very much that the higher income and education of the Hong Kong people will be able to stave off the onslaught of massive indoctrination from the combined efforts of the NSA, Western media, Twitters, Facebook, Google, universities, etc.

  18. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 4th, 2014 at 04:08 | #18

    @paoburen

    “I am not in a position to effect policy, so I’m not really telling other countries what to do, but merely blogging. Blogging is just that — writing stuff online. It has no real effect.”

    I agree with you and that I appreciate your comments as well as all others.

    I myself have been much enlightened by the discourse here, I think this is the real effect.

  19. N.M.Cheung
    July 4th, 2014 at 06:25 | #19

    @paoburen
    The point of the article is that the number quoted 800K is not a valid number, just as the number 500K marched in July 1 was debunked by statistical analysis down to 150K. Sure, there is dissatisfaction with income inequality in Hong Kong as well as in China or U.S.. Eventually Occupy Central faces the same constraint as Occupy Wall Street. The fact that recent history of Arab Spring and Ukraine shows so called Democracy Revolution by social media such as Facebook will get you nowhere if not in reverse. China is doing the hard work in urbanization, anti-corruption, pollution fights, and yes, democratization in small d. Arm chair pontification is easy and costless. Hong Kong students educated in the illusions of democracy and entitlement with Indonesian maids cleaning after them at home can thumb their noses at coarse behaviors of mainland tourists, but that’s unacceptable to China with more than 1/3 of the way over for the 50 years transition period.

  20. paoburen
    July 4th, 2014 at 10:26 | #20

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    I would say that high incomes and high education make better voters. For example, when someone has a high income, they are less likely to be swayed by politicians with promises of “stuff”. When people are self-sufficient economically, they can vote based on rational analysis, they are less likely to be emotionally swayed. As for education, a similar reason — more education in theory makes people more likely to rationally analyse a situation, and be less emotionally driven.

    Let me take an example I had in the Mainland. I was new in the Mainland and setting up my first bank account. I showed up about one hour before the bank doors opened and waited in line. I was third in line. When I finally got inside, I began to open my account. While Mainland banks are still SLOW, this was years back and banks were even slower! In total, it took about 80 minutes to open an account — I probably had to sign my name a dozen times and the worker needed to copy my passport at least five times. It was slow and painful, and people behind me in the queue were NOT pleased. In the end, I was being called racist names (I am white) and threatened with physical violence — “Go home” — was a common refrain, with racist slurs thrown in the mix. Security had to walk me out and down the block, and the bank manager profusely apologised to both me and the racist mob.

    The people in the bank were mostly over 60, and given their age group, I can surmise their education levels are low. They were quick to become emotional and racist, unable to grasp that the BANK was slow, not the foreign devil.

    In this case, education may have helped them to better understand what was happening. I was doing nothing wrong, merely trying to put my savings into Chinese banks, which means my savings will be reinvested into the Chinese economy, which can help develop infrastructure, small businesses, loans for private consumption, etc. I was doing a good thing, especially considering I had one of those expat salaries, and I could have just plopped my money into HKD/AUD/CAD/etc. and outside the Mainland…

    The problems with American democracy, in my view, stem from changes in primary elections and how congressional committee seats are chosen. These changes were mostly in the 1960s-70s in response to GREATER democracy pushes and less big party involvement. Rather than improve democracy, this changed politicians from party members to individuals, who could rail against the systemic problems while not offering a solution themselves. Further, by allowing seats to be determined not by seniority but by other factors, big money has been able to play an out-sized role in policy.

    One only has to look at low approval ratings for Congress, I think less than 10% at this point, and incumbency rates in Congress, which I think are over 90%! How can that happen! What that tells me, is everyone’s personal member of Congress is great, it’s just THAT guy/gal that is the problem! Sickening, dysfunctional!

    How does the NSA engage in mind control? I can see how you can argue that media engages in control of thought patterns — whenever I take trips to the States I am appalled at how much garbage is portrayed on “news” stations — but the NSA seems more interested in data absorption and after-the-fact crime fighting. For example, the terror attack at the Boston Marathon was not stopped, but it was quickly discovered who the culprits were thanks to NSA data trails.

    I have no idea what the CIA does or does not do. No one really does.

    If social media itself is a form of mind control, is there much difference between the NSA and its Chinese equivalent? I’m not sure the public knows the name of that ministry!

    I also find the conversations on here refreshing. While I may often disagree with some of the things written here, and I may find some users better than others, it’s an amazing way to read alternative viewpoints, especially from the Chinese diaspora, which is varied and often well educated.

    @N.M.Cheung

    I am actually not a fan of Chinese urbanization. I think so far it’s been poorly done. Land has been pushed to maximised profits, not quality of life. Further, you cannot overnight create community, and many of the so-called luxury units are not that great once you step outside your personal unit. While individual units may be beautiful with nice decorations, space, furniture, and so on, the hallways feel just creepy to me. Neighbours do not seem to talk to each other, but instead have giant metal door locks and giant wooden doors. It all feels very isolated. One time an old women, a neighbour of my friend, just stared at us as we waited for the elevator. I tried to greet her in Mandarin but she just continued to stare. That was off-putting, to say the least. I asked my friend if she knew her neighbour, my friend laughed and replied “Oh I don’t know any of them.” Weird, not what I would want, especially for such a high price.

    Where I live in China is an older building, about 17 years old, and the maximum floor is seven. I know my neighbours (except a few who just aren’t friendly people), people walk around outside with their children, and it’s wonderful and harmonious. New developments are so large — once again, to maximise profits — that quality of life concerns seem gone.

    Further, the downstairs of many of these luxury units are empty with no local stores, businesses, or life. It feels like a slum when you go outside of your 2 million RMB apartment, something I personally find unacceptable. Rather than a thriving urban centre, it’s just trash, a few 50 year old security guards, and no businesses.

    As for the foreign maids, I’m not sure the proportion of HKers with maids. I don’t imagine it’s over 60% though, as many of the HK homes I have been in where tiny and modest. The modest HKers I know, BTW, are mostly pro-Mainland. For example, once on the bus from Guangzhou–HK I met a mother who was bringing food and house supplies from the Mainland, I asked her why and she talked and talked about the savings. She has two kids, one in high school and the other in college, and her money is tight. Greater integration with the Mainland has helped her save money and improved her quality of life. I didn’t talk with her about democracy or anything like that because it’s kind of a crude topic with strangers!

  21. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 4th, 2014 at 15:54 | #21

    @paoburen

    Very interesting that you lived in China. You have one up on me since I have never been to China.

    And I don’t even have any white friends who’s been to China so I hope you don’t mind telling me more about your stay in China.

    Which city did you stay in? How long were you in China, do you speak Chinese, why were you there,

    Thank you

  22. paoburen
    July 5th, 2014 at 16:12 | #22

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    You have never been to China? Why not? What country do you live in? Are you an ethnic Chinese? Do you identify as Chinese or as a person of your host country?

    I have always found it fascinating, especially since I was born in North America, and some people try to identify as Chinese and others try to distance themselves from their ethnic-background as far as possible.

    As for me, I am trained as a mechanical engineer and I currently work in manufacturing. I have lived in Guangdong Province for three years, and in a couple different cities now. My company has a few facilities and I get to move around the province pretty often. I speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese, although I did not know any before — I taught myself and hired a tutor once I came. Unfortunately I don’t speak Cantonese or Hakkayu, both of which are spoken widely in Guangdong. I hope to learn Cantonese in the future, especially for my trips to Hong Kong!

    Right now I am in the USA visiting family. I’m on holiday and I’ll return to China in early August for work.

  23. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 5th, 2014 at 19:04 | #23

    @paoburen

    Thanks for the info. I am a CBC or Canadian born Chinese, or what Chinese old timers used to call us bananas, ie yellow outside, white inside. I am a Canadian. Like many North Americans, I have not taken notice of China till a couple of decades ago, and like most North Americans, I have not been to China.

    I notice that you identify yourself as born in North America, that is interesting because people usually say I am born in the US or Canada. And people from the South of the US usually love to single out their state or town, like I am from Texas or Tennessee.

    Multi generational Chinese are complacent with having a job, owning a house and a car. You will not find many of them knowing much about China. Eventhough this is changing as shown by the fact that my kids speaking better Chinese than I do. My school had about 10 Chinese kids and half of them were my cousins. And we spoke English with each other. My kids go the school with half of the school being Asians and my kids surprise me with their fluency in Mandarin and Cantonese;and even some Korean.

    My ancestors came from Toisan which is part of Quangdong I believe. Which city did you live in when you were in Quangdong? Please tell me more about where you lived and where you worked.

    Recently I am entertaining the idea of visiting China but I don’t have any relatives or connections in China. I would hate to go with a tourist group because I would certainly hope to make this trip to have some meaning to my ancestral roots.

    I presumed that you worked for a multinational company and you were given a position in China. I have always worked for private companies and recently became unemployed so maybe I should try to find a job with a multinational company and maybe I will get posted to China.

    There is this website http://www.bearcanada.com which I find fascinating, maybe you can compare your experiences in China with those of this old Canadian gentleman.

    Please let me know what you think.

  24. paoburen
    July 6th, 2014 at 10:05 | #24

    Where I was born is not too important. I would prefer not to be judged by my nationality, especially given the nature of this website.

    I have lived in both the USA and Canada. I feel at home in North America, in both rural and urban areas. I love guns and jazz (not together!), if that gives you an idea of how I don’t feel to tied to any particular spot.

    Sorry, I am not sure what you mean by Quangdong. I live in Guangdong Province 广东省, and I have been in a few cities. I often go to Foshan 佛山 as well as a few other places, namely Chaoshan 潮山 and Qingyuan 清远. Honestly, our company does lots of manufacturing all over China, but mostly I stay in Guangdong. The labour in this province is better trained than much of China, and our work is higher-value, so the cheap labour found inland is not applicable for us — we don’t just stitch tennis shoes!

    My Mandarin is still average, but I don’t use translators for anything anymore. Most of the other expats I work with don’t speak Mandarin, but I am under 30, so I think I just saw more use out of learning than my colleagues who are a bit older. I also find older expats too spoiled and with a feeling of superiority. I don’t care for that much. Many of them seem to look down on the locals which is a horrible attitude anywhere in the world.

    Can you speak Mandarin? Can you speak other languages used in China? I have found that Mandarin gets me around just fine, although most Guangdong people speak it horribly, especially those over 40. The accent is just so different and it confuses me often, especially because my learning materials and most television uses a northerner accent. I always enjoy when I meet people from up north because I find them so clear and easily understood!

    Tourist groups in China should be avoided! The problem is commercialisation and the sick obsession with cash. Half of your trip will be blatant corruption, you go to the tour guide’s buddy or uncle for “shopping”. It is better to travel solo or with friends, especially if you can read and speak Mandarin. Even with basic grasp of the language, I think it’s doable to travel. Since you aren’t white, perhaps people will not try to cheat you as much. However, because you’re not a native, they may try to get even more money out of you! Who knows. It’s worth a visit, and I suggest you go sooner rather than later if you plan to see the big tourist spots — Great Wall, Terracota Warriors, etc. Those areas are becoming horrible, filled with swindlers and crooks.

    The best part of China, in my opinion, are the medium-sized cities and the villages. China is so so cool, but major urban centres leave a bad taste in my mouth for a variety of reasons — the drugs, the prostitutes, the pollution. Stick to medium cities where life is good and the people are not overly cynical by Western-influences.

    As for work in China, it’s not bad. I would not plan to purchase a home or raise a family here, but for someone under-30 like me, or someone older without dependent children (I am guessing) it could be a wonderful experience. I have changed a lot living in China, and I am so happy with the changes in perspective this opportunity has granted me!

  25. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 6th, 2014 at 19:30 | #25

    @paoburen

    Sorry for the typo on Guangdong. I didn’t even realize it until you pointed it out. Shows you how much I know about China.

    “Can you speak Mandarin? Can you speak other languages used in China? I have found that Mandarin gets me around just fine, although most Guangdong people speak it horribly, especially those over 40. The accent is just so different and it confuses me often, especially because my learning materials and most television uses a northerner accent. I always enjoy when I meet people from up north because I find them so clear and easily understood! ”

    I cannot read or write Chinese but I have a working knowledge of Toisanese. I don’t know how big Toisan is in China but in the 70s, if you would go to any Chinatown in North America, most of the people would be speaking Toisanese. Today, it would be Mandarin.

    I think there are over 200 dialects in China, I could understand your confusion with regional dialects. I read somewhere that Mao spoke Mandarin with a heavy Hunan accent. Of course, there is the famous Beijing accent.

    I watch a lot of Hong Kong movies with English subtitles, and I watch a lot of China movies with English subtitles, it’s a fun but slow way to learn Cantonese and Mandarin. The best way to learn a language is to have a native girlfriend. I am fluent in Quebec french because I live with a Quebec girl for five years. From my kids’ friends, I know there are some very pretty Chinese girls from both China and Taiwan. I couldn’t spell the names of Chinese provinces but I sure know how to spell Fan Bing Bing and Zhou Xun.

    “I have changed a lot living in China, and I am so happy with the changes in perspective this opportunity has granted me!”

    Whether you want to or not, you are a participant in the Chinese Quiet Revolution, you are in the vortex of a historical social change which will alter you as a human being forever. Consider yourself blessed to be in this position for us the less fortunate are mere witnesses.

    I hope you will carry the torch of peace rather than treachery.

    Heed to Desiderata:

    “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    Peace my friend.

  26. paoburen
    July 7th, 2014 at 14:58 | #26

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    Thanks for your post. I definitely bring the torch of peace, I think cross-cultural communication, especially living as a foreigner for a while, is important going forward for the world. This goes both ways, I think it’s absolutely wonderful how many people from East and West live and study/work away from home.

    Desiderata was a great poem. I had not read it before. Useful advice for anyone. Thank you so much :).

  27. Black Pheonix
    July 29th, 2014 at 07:35 | #27

    Over 930,000 HK votes for “anti-Occupy Central” poll:

    http://english.cntv.cn/2014/07/29/VIDE1406608441151867.shtml

    But it is funny that SCMP is now quick to point out the problems with such polls now. (even though this poll was done exactly the same way as the previous “Democracy” poll).

    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1556701/older-crowd-turns-out-anti-occupy-central-signature-campaign?page=all

  28. Black Pheonix
    August 5th, 2014 at 05:47 | #28

    Hacker exposes Foreign “Black Gold” as sources for HK’s “Occupy Central” movement.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/simp/china/2014/08/140805_hongkong_occupy_donation.shtml

    新文件再控黎智英授香港政团“黑金”

    黎智英此前承认曾捐款4000余万港元但强调自己无接受“外国势力”的帮助。
    自称“壹传媒股民”的告密者再次向香港媒体发放内部电邮等材料,指控壹传媒主席黎智英向三名泛民主派政治人物和“占领中环”争取普选运动秘密输送“政治黑金”。
    《明报》、《星岛日报》、《大公报》、《文汇报》和《东方日报》等香港报章星期二(8月5日)报道,这些材料指控黎智英向有关单位捐款共500万港元(65万美元;398万元人民币),并指出壹传媒商务总监马克·赛门出身美国“特工世家”。

    这是继7月22日以来媒体再次披露“壹传媒股民”所提供的“秘密捐款”证据。亲北京政客与报章称,当事政客等收受黎智英捐款“铁证如山”,且有犯罪嫌疑,要求彻查。
    被指控收取捐款的涂谨申、毛孟静、陈淑庄与“占中”发起人陈健民均否认收取捐款;黎智英对新的指控表示不作评论,但他此前承认确曾捐助泛民主派活动,以推动有益社会事务。
    其中,陈健民星期二接受商业电台热线节目采访时说,“占中”运动至今收获的700万港元捐款中并无来自黎智英或马克·赛门的资金。
    陈健民说,媒体披露的这些怀疑是壹传媒内部电邮只显示了“占中”运动6月份民间全民投票的“开支”350万元,不排除作为声援者之一的黎智英自行花费了这笔款项于宣传工作上。
    壹传媒香港《苹果日报》则引述马克·赛门说,他的电邮不断遭黑客入侵,星期二将与集团商讨会否报警求助。
    马克·赛门批评,黑客的幕后黑手企图彻底毁灭各种自由和安全感,藉以窒碍民主运动。
    指控广泛

    香港多份报章与多家电视台是在星期一(4日)傍晚透过电邮收到这批材料,当中主要以据信是壹传媒的内部电邮为主。
    亲北京的《大公报》与《文汇报》引述该电邮称,“壹传媒股民”批评在上一轮爆料中,黎智英与众多被指控的泛民主派政客的回应“个个都讲大话”(人人都撒谎),因此这名告密者决定发放更多材料。
    其中一封来自2012年的电邮显示,黎智英于当年4月透过马克·赛门,向时任民主党立法会议员涂谨申、公民党议员毛孟静和陈淑庄各支付了50万元。其中,陈淑庄于当年9月的选举中并未当选连任。
    其他的电邮材料分别指控黎智英为6月份“占中”全民投票投入350万元资金、捐助前政务司司长陈方安生、向台湾民进党前主席施明德提供20万元作“占中取经费用”,且参与捐款成立人权团体“中国人权捍卫者”(维权网)。
    此外,材料还称黎智英与美国历任驻香港总领事关系密切,更利用美国驻台外交代表向马英九政府就壹电视申请广播执照问题施压。
    材料还指出,马克·赛门的父亲曾在美国中央情报局任职35年,马克更曾在2009年为黎智英约见访港的美国共和党副总统参选人佩林。
    占领中环运动民间投票设于香港大学的票站(BBC中文网图片22/6/2014)
    亲北京媒体根据告密者材料指控黎智英为整个“占中”运动的“幕后话事人”。
    “犯罪行为”

    《文汇报》引述工联会立法会议员王国兴称,这些材料证明被指控的泛民主派政客“一再说谎”:“因为2012年9月是有立法会换届选举,而他们没有申报收受这些捐款,我认为他们是犯法的。”
    该报社评说:“根据《选举(舞弊及非法行为)条例》,参选人收取竞选捐款后不申报,属刑事罪行。涂谨申、毛孟静和陈淑庄三人若证实收了钱又蓄意隐瞒和抵赖收受竞选经费,更是明显的欺诈行为,性质非常严重。”
    《大公报》的社评说:“眼前,事实俱在、铁证如山,‘黎记’乱港集团就是特区一切分歧、对立与冲突的‘乱源’,只要有‘黎记’一天,港人社会不会有和谐、不会有法治、市民不会有好日子过。因此,任何不希望香港再沉沦下去的人士,都必须正视眼前‘黎记乱港’这一严峻事实,而且要采取一切必要、可行的措施制止这一局面再继续下去。”
    《明报》同日刊发行政会议成员张志刚评论黎智英捐款指控的文章,其标题以“手法无理,解释无稽,态度无耻”来形容被指控收取捐款的各人。
    香港《苹果日报》星期二也对这批材料作出报道。报道称,整批材料共涉及113封黎智英与下属之间的内部电邮,并称该报“辗转获得”其中一封,暗示该报并未获“壹传媒股民”发放材料。
    被指控收取捐款的涂谨慎对《苹果日报》说,他从未收取黎智英或马克·赛门的捐款,并且认为有关材料本质是“多重传闻引述”,抹黑似乎是主要目的。
    陈淑庄也否认曾收取捐款,只曾在今年3月代表公民党收取黎智英捐赠的一幅画作,用于党的筹款晚会上拍卖。
    毛孟静称她曾在2012年选举中收取丈夫而非黎智英的50万元捐款,并已向选举事务处和立法会申报。她批评接连的告密是要在8月份中国全国人大常委会就香港政改方案作定论前,破坏泛民主派的公信力。

  29. Black Pheonix
    August 5th, 2014 at 06:02 | #29

    More on “Occupy Central” Black Gold (from US).

    http://www.mingshengbao.com/tor/article.php?aid=220577

    是次电邮分为8个档案,包含113封黎智英与员工的内部通讯。其中一封去年7月的电邮,壹传媒平面媒体行政总裁叶一坚提醒黎智英与壹传媒不适宜提供任何帮助予占中,因占中应该打悲情牌,黎已被攻击是民主党同路人及资金来自美国,但电邮显示黎回覆表示不同意,并指占中三子「无谋略」、「无行动的组织」,故应提供协助。

  30. Black Pheonix
    August 5th, 2014 at 06:07 | #30

    Bloomberg reports the same story, with no mention of the “black gold” from foreign sources.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-08-05/next-media-s-lai-e-mails-were-hacked-for-donation-disclosures

  31. Black Pheonix
    August 5th, 2014 at 06:11 | #31

    Mark Simon of Next Media, 壹传媒商务总监马克·赛门, was a Pentagon Intelligence Analyst.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/virginian-cast-as-center-of-hong-kong-plot/2011/11/07/gIQAd84M1M_story.html

    Hong Kong papers run by the party and a media group owned by a pro-China businessman suggested that the money Lai donated had originated in America, citing as evidence Simon’s former Pentagon job and his position in 2005 as head of the Hong Kong branch of Republicans Abroad. This, said Wen Wei Po, a party-run newspaper, showed that Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp is led by “political agents nurtured and funded by American intelligence organs.”

  32. Black Pheonix
  33. Black Pheonix
    August 5th, 2014 at 06:30 | #33

    Even more details about Mark Simon’s influencing in “occupy central”

    http://hongkong.dwnews.com/news/2014-08-04/59601906.html

    “壹传媒股民”所发邮件内容

    综合媒体8月5日报道,两周前,“壹传媒股民”向香港多个传媒机构发出神秘邮件,附件疑似是壹传媒高层Mark Simon的电脑密档,其中披露在过去两年中,黎智英向香港泛民政党和个人捐款多达4,000万港元(1美元约为7.75港元),引发社会有关政党收取捐款的监管争议,这批文件还显示黎智英曾经向台湾施明德等请教社运经验。

    8月4日,再有署名“壹传媒股民”的神秘邮件送达各个传媒机构,其中有上百个文件,绝大部分是电邮往来纪录,显示黎智英在2014年6月曾捐款300至350万港元予“占中”举行的“6·22”民间投票。

    署名“壹传媒股民”的神秘邮件再次曝出,“占中”最大金主、壹传媒主席黎智英与美国右翼政客一直保持紧密联系。

    邮件内含上百份文档,大多数是黎智英与壹传媒高层Mark Simon和集团内其他人的邮件往来。“壹传媒股民”在两周前曾通过同样手法向香港各大传媒发放疑似来自Mark Simon电脑的密挡,披露黎智英在过去两年曾捐款4,000万予港泛民政团或个人,还通过美前副防长搭桥到缅甸投资。黎智英当时也通过旗下网上节目承认捐款,并称自己有很多美国朋友,其中不少人曾经做过大官。

    这封8月4日发放给香港各大传媒的邮件显示,黎智英与美国多名政客一直保持往来。其中一次,Mark Simon曾担任中间人,促成前阿拉斯加州长共和党人莎拉·佩林(Sarah Palin)在2009年9月访港时,与多名泛民阵营成员会面。

    在2009年9月4日的一封电邮中,Mark Simon在给佩林的高级顾问Meghan Stapleton的一封邮件中写道,泛民“需要得到政府的注意和一定程度的保护”。佩林是美国最著名的右翼政客之一,她在2008年的总统大选是共和党候选人麦肯(John McCain)的竞选搭档。

    佩林方面没有回复Mark Simon的邮件,之后Mark Simon再次就同样的主题给麦肯的外交事务顾问Randy Scheunemann写邮件。 Simon就佩林应该如何解除媒体以得到正面的报道给出建议。 “如果她不能决定见谁,我肯定,(香港的)传媒会充满敌意。SCMP(南华早报)是坏新闻,FT(金融时报)的Tom Mitchell在(总统)大选期间支持奥巴马。”

    另外,材料也显示,2014年7月17日,壹传媒财务总监周达权曾向黎智英发邮件,称黎智英花了1,275万港元在“6月特别项目”,黎智英之后询问Mark Simon“6月特别项目”的内容,Mark Simon解释其中包括两笔款项,分别是捐给公民党、民主党等的950万,以及花在“6·22”民间投票的300至350万,包括广告和大型广告。

    电邮往来又显示,黎智英特别指示台湾苹果网络中心总监李月华,协助“占中”制作有关公民抗命的动画片段,李月华多次与“占中”发起人朱耀明有电邮往来,朱耀明提出多项要求,包括影片要体现“爱与和平”的精神,培养“占中”参与者的心理状态灯,黎智英和李月华都表示对这些要求“一头雾水”。

    李月华之后特别要求台湾苹果的员工访问前民进党中央委员、台湾“红衫军”副总指挥简锡堦以“取经”,之后将简介绍的经验,包括公民抗命者不要自行上下车、要让警方抬人等,告诉朱耀明。

    有一封电邮显示,壹传媒港台平面媒体总裁叶一坚曾经在2013年6月,通过电邮劝黎智英不要对“占中”提供任何协助,以免让事情复杂化。黎智英回复称不同意。

    另一封电邮则提到,黎智英在2013年6月曾经形容,发起“占中”的陈建民、戴耀廷和朱耀明是“书生”,“做事只有idea(意念)、无谋略,更无行动的组织及步序”,因此不可能不提供协助。

    陈健民表示,“占中”有自己的进程,时间表也很透明,运动筹集到的700万港币捐款中,没有来自黎智英的部分。陈健民批评这些匿名邮件是“抹黑行动”。陈健民又说,曾就“6·22”投票多次在《苹果日报》投放广告,对方也有给予折扣,但数目肯定没有300万那么多,负责“6·22”投票的香港大学民意研究计划也主动向他澄清,从来没有收到过黎智英的捐款。

    陈建民估计,黎智英这笔花在“6·22”上的钱应该是用于坊间大量支持投票的宣传,比如湾仔告士打道的巨型电子广告灯。陈建民强调,“占中”绝对不是一个人可以主宰的。他说:“很多人过度幻想黎智英的影响力,我觉得‘黎智英可以指挥我’是笑话。”

    陈建民称,很多团体自发宣传“6·22”民间投票,除非团体将用上“占中”行动的标志,否则无须向“占中”行动报告,他强调,事前不知道黎智英有协助宣传

    陈建民坦言,很多人都认为他们三个是“书生”,但经过一年的组织,已经让不少人改观,没有与黎智英有特别紧密联系。

    陈建民称,“占中”接受捐款的原则是不能有附带条件,而运动至今筹得大约700万港元,主要来自过去3次游行,其余大约一半属于小额捐款,目前盈余大约138万港元,预计未来仍要花费200万到250万进行第二次民间投票。

    时事评论员刘锐兆表示,这些匿名邮件披露的信息会强化对泛民主派的批评意见,即黎智英在美国的支持下,在香港策划反中反建制的运动。

  34. Black Pheonix
    August 5th, 2014 at 10:40 | #34

    @Black Pheonix

    Even back in 2011, Next Media, and Mark Simon were known for donating huge amount of money to pro-dem camp politicians in HK.

    The excuse back then, for all the money, the clandestine connections to Americans like Paul Wolfowitz, were merely brushed aside as completely “innocent”. (Next Media head Jimmy Lai met with Wolfowitz on a boat for 5 HOURS! After Wolfowitz just suddenly showed up in HK).

    Now, we are back to the repeat of same story again.

    Well, once or twice, may be “innocent” or even coincidence.

    Keep repeating of the similar events, then it’s a pattern.

  35. Zack
    August 5th, 2014 at 14:12 | #35

    these stories should be amplified so that every Chinese and indeed every HK person should know about how they’re being manipulated

  36. Black Pheonix
    August 6th, 2014 at 07:29 | #36

    It’s funny that Next Media was the loudest in complaining about “self-censorship” in HK media, but now, Next Media is practicing full blown news “self-censorship” about this story.

    Want to know how extreme Next Media is?

    It’s pretty close to Fox News in terms of Right Wing Nuttiness. Mark Simon of Next Media Animation based in Taiwan, was known infamously for producing racist and rather distasteful Shock-mock video clips of (1) Osama Bin Laden getting urinated upon in Hell, and (2) “US not Sari” mocking the arrest of Indian diplomat.

  37. Black Pheonix
    August 6th, 2014 at 11:31 | #37

    Fatty Lai went with Paul Wolfowitz (on a 5 day trip) to buy influence from Burmese junta leaders last year.

    http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?art_id=147610&con_type=3

    Next Media boss and China pariah Jimmy Lai Chee-ying has close links with Burma’s political and military leaders, hobnobbing with its president during a June 2013 trip with a former deputy US defense secretary. Some 900 pictures and documents e-mailed to media organizations last night by “nextmedia love” in zip files included pictures of Lai with former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz meeting Burmese president U Thein Sein and commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing in mid-June.
    According to earlier reports, Lai and Wolfowitz went on a five-day visit to Burma in June last year.
    Among the documents leaked by “nextmedia love” are remittance slips dated July 22, 2013, allegedly showing Lai sending US$75,000 (HK$581,380) to Wolfowitz through the Shanghai Commercial and Saving Bank.
    A copy of an e-mail from Lai’s assistant Mark Simon to a Rosalinda Mendoza on July 17 that year also asked her to remit US$75,000 to Wolfowitz “for services in regards to Myanmar.”

    $150,000 for Paul Wolfowitz! (for a 5 day trip).

    Now you know how US politicians are making money after retirement.

  38. raffiaflower
    August 8th, 2014 at 09:34 | #38

    Mr Lai is such an enigmatic personality. He made his millions during the Hong Kong bull run of the 1980s, from a sum of money that can’t even buy a fine Swiss mechanical watch these days. You really have to admire smart “investors” who mint fortunes without insider knowledge. Or not? Mr Lai apparently created his brand Giordano during a trip to Big Apple and a pizza dinner. Giordano of course became a darling stock of American mutual fund managers. They sure know how to pick ’em..but good recommendations from the “right” people always help.

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