Sedition law to fight bid to paralyze city

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 25 May 2020

The decision to pass a sedition law in Hong Kong was partly a response to the political opposition's plan to paralyze the city, a well-placed source said.

Anti-government politicians plan to take control of more than half the 70 seats in the Legislative Council in September - and then halt every bill, bringing the city to a complete stop.

"The funny thing is ordinary Hongkongers are trapped in the middle while the extremists at both ends work seem to want the same thing - to get Beijing to step in," he added.

It's baffling, but it totally seems like that.

* * *

Important true story:

1) Violent riots take place in Hong Kong.

2) A sedition law is proposed.

3) Political groups warn that the law will cause disaster.

4) The rulers, who live thousands of kilometers away, go ahead with the new law anyway.

5) Instead of disaster, the economy soars.

That REALLY happened: the riots took place in 1967, the sedition laws were then amended by Britain in 1970, and the boom followed.

* * *

It's funny - Hong Kong's proposed law against sedition and treason is extremely limited compared to those elsewhere, especially the UK. The British one jails you for life if you "violate the wife of the heir to the throne." Not sure if the boyfriends of the late Princess Diana were aware of that.

Northern Ireland's one specifically forbids any citizen describing the ruler as "heretic, tyrant or infidel."

[If these terms spring to your lips when you meet the Queen, exercise self control.)]

Scotland's equivalent threatens dire punishment for anyone "who Counterfeits the Great Seal." (It doesn't specify whether this is a stamp or a large amphibian).

* * *

Scores of people suddenly became Christians yesterday - just for a couple of hours.

Aggressive black-clad protesters told police that they could defy social distancing rules because they were having mobile open-air religious meetings.

Police pointed out that the exemption only applies to churchgoers who were having services IN church buildings.

If they try that trick again, cops should just challenge them to quote Leviticus 19:11 - "Thou shalt not lie."

* * *

Move over, drugs and gold bars. The humble pork chop has become the top item for smugglers in Hong Kong.

On several occasions recently, Hong Kong's marine police chased smugglers' boats only to find them filled with literally tons of frozen cuts of meat, now a high-value item.

If things get any worse, we're going to need banks with refrigerated safe deposit boxes. "I'd like to deposit six rashers of bacon and withdraw my sausage."

* * *

At last someone has designed a baby-on-board style sticker for car owners without children.

* * *

Cremation staff at a funeral parlor in Hung Hom realized they had accidentally mixed up corpses in their care, the story emerged on Saturday.

They reported the incident to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. I know that's the official procedure in Hong Kong, but it still feels weird to me.

* * *

Useful tip: If you ever find yourself in a cemetery alone at night, simply check if ghosts are present by shouting "Marco."

* * *

Today's adults: "Children, take a look around you."

[Gestures at world dying of pollution, politics and contagion.]

"One day, all of this will be yours."

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