Shops thronged as protest fatigue sets in

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 22 Jun 2020

Hmm. The anti-government "referendum" was a total flop at the weekend. Anti-government protesters set up stalls in multiple locations, but you could see pretty much everyone just walking past them.

This may have something to do with the fact that KFC launched its HK$49 brunch, Uniqlo was offering Father's Day promotions and pretty much every mall in Hong Kong had discounts for shoppers. In other words, the old Hong Kong IS BACK.

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It's strange. The national security law is a far, far, bigger deal than either Article 23 or the extradition law, yet there's very little opposition. Is "protest fatigue" a thing?

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On Friday, Hong Kong's security chief John Lee Ka-chiu visited Macau to find out what happened when that community passed a national security law in 2009.

What protesters predicted: mass arrests and the outlawing of demonstrations.

What actually happened: no mass arrests, and no outlawing of demonstrations. Instead, Macau's economy doubled in size and unemployment fell to record lows. Macau's experience was "worthy of reference" for Hong Kong, Lee said.

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Reader Sergio Monteiro was amused to see Lara Logan of Fox News giving viewers useful information: "Health experts say you should still close your business and stay indoors unless it's to protest."

How does the coronavirus know if victims have gone out to protest?

Covid-19: "I'm going to jump from this infected guy to the woman next to him. Wait! She's holding a placard. Imma gonna let her be."

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Earlier yesterday, thousands of people were up at the crack of dawn to queue up to apply for the HK$10,000 cash handout. Applications are open until the last day of NEXT year, a full 18 months, so why the rush to do it on the first day? Judging by the age of some folks queuing (elderly people are processed first), every day counts.

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Big-hearted Hong Kong author Roger Lam called me with a nice idea. He's asking people to ask themselves a simple question: do you actually NEED the HK$10,000 handout?

If not, give it to someone who does. A team at the Hong Kong Church Network for the Poor is standing by with lists of them.

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Several places have followed Hong Kong's lead and turned Covid-19 into a positive factor for health, new statistics show.

This newspaper reported on March 16 that Hong Kong doctors had discovered that the overall number of respiratory deaths had fallen, not risen (last year, 356 deaths, this year about 120). The number of deaths in recent months are well below average in Australia, Serbia and South Africa, too.

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An outraged financier said he was glad to be back in Hong Kong for one reason: "In Western countries, only 'essential services' are allowed to open, and it is baffling that no one puts cigar shops on that list." Poor baby.

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The London-based Daily Mail furiously attacked the BBC for reporting that the UK's Black Lives Matter protests were "largely peaceful" although 27 police officers were injured.

Meanwhile, one UK newspaper repeatedly reported that Hong Kong's protests were "largely peaceful" although more than 500 police officers were injured. Who was it? Stand up, the Daily Mail.

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I've managed to kill every houseplant I ever owned. Yet I am still legally allowed to have children. Strange, right?

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