Security law: An attempt to erase the memory of Hong Kong as it really was

In Yoko Ogawa’s novel The Memory Police, a new government takes over a small island off the coast of Japan and begins to remove objects from its residents’ memories. 

First, the residents must bring out a chosen item from their possessions and destroy it by killing, burning, burying, or discarding it in the rivers and oceans. Then, as time goes on, the people’s ability to remember begins to fade, until all is forgotten.

The chosen items start off mundane – such as bells, perfume, emeralds, and birds – but eventually grows to newspapers, televisions, and the ferry that takes people from the island to the mainland. 

Continue reading.

The way forward for a ‘humbly listening’ Hong Kong gov’t: an inquiry and amnesty for both sides.

Unsure of what defined a police state, I researched the answer. It seems there isn’t an agreed checklist or a threshold upon which a territory becomes a police state. The general agreement is that it is a place in which its government relies on the police to rule, rather than exercising its power through legal and political means – instead, using law enforcement, or secret police to stifle the opposition’s opinions and actions.

Refusing to approve planned peaceful protests, or tear-gassing demonstrations during sanctioned gatherings, ignoring acts of police brutality – as the Hong Kong government and police top brass have done – are undoubtedly indicative of a police state.

Refusing to approve planned peaceful protests, or tear-gassing demonstrations during sanctioned gatherings, ignoring acts of police brutality – as the Hong Kong government and police top brass have done – are undoubtedly indicative of a police state.

In a secretly taped recording of a closed-door meeting with business people, published by Reuters, Lam admitted that “all she has is the police” and, in fact, her government was “the weakest link.” In this confession, abdicating responsibility to govern and admitting that she relies on the police to maintain legitimacy is a policy that unquestionably contributes to, or indeed makes Hong Kong a police state.

In fact, police have taken on the role many militaries have historically filled in dictatorships across the world. As author Gerry Spence wrote in his book “Police State“: “… when the police become the military, then the people become the enemy.”



Door - A Short Story.

“Door” is an excerpt from a trilogy of novels set in Hong Kong. The novels span the 50 years between the regime change between Britain and China in 1997 and when Hong Kong becomes fully integrated into the Chinese Communist Party’s totalitarian state. This story is set in today’s Hong Kong Resistance which started in June 2019 and continues to the present.”


"The next morning, I called someone to fix the door. An old sifu, with two young men arrived.

“I’ve been fixing a lot of doors,” the man said, with resignation in his voice. “There are so many doors being broken these days.”

I nodded at him, understanding his coded message. He knew.

After putting in the new door, I asked him how much. He pushed my wallet towards me. “Ng sai bei chin,” he said.

I insisted, at least let me pay for the door, even if he didn’t let me pay for his services. He said again, “No need to pay.” I took out some cash, and tried to tip the young men who helped him.

They both shook their heads. As they started to leave, one of the young men looked around as if wary someone might hear. When he saw no one, he spoke to me.

“Gwon fok Heung Kong,” he said. “Liberate Hong Kong.”"


Full Story. 

Shirley Kwan's "At All Costs" Video. [English Subtitles]

My old friend #MadeOfWaterHK created a beautiful video essay on the Hong Kong police and their loss of respect to Shirley Kwan's "At all Costs." He had hundreds of thousands of views in the first week, and asked me to translate the lyrics into English. I found this video emotional and thoughtful

Ms. Kwan jeopardized her career by endorsing this video. Her songs have been pulled from all music platforms in China. 

I find it interesting in all the years we hung out, #MadeOfWaterHK and I never once spoke of politics. We went to ballet instead of protests, and only now, more than a decade later, I found out we shared this passion for Hong Kong freedoms. 


Shirley Kwan's "At All Cost" Controversial Video. (ENGLISH Subtitles)

This is the English translation of, Hong Kong Pop Diva Shirley Kwan’s, controversial video; supporting the Hong Kong Democratic Movement. It garnered nearly 200K hits, across social media, in a week. This new video by Made Of Water for her newly rerecord 1991 hit “At All Costs,” expresses the betrayal many Hong Kong people feel about their—once respected—police force. By endorsing this video, Ms. Kwan jeopardised her future contacts and opportunities. She, once again, stayed true to her artistic vision and stuck by her beliefs.

It’s #MeToo and all of us: Hongkongers will not accept oppression, subjugation or sexual violence

This op-ed contains descriptions of sexual violence.
Sexual violence in prisons around the world is commonplace and often not reported. Under these extreme conditions, women are particularly vulnerable. Cases of gang rape, sexual torture and humiliation in mainland Chinese jails have been well recorded by human rights groups. Amnesty has reported that sexual abuse has been practised against Uighur women in Xinjiang, nuns in Tibet, and Falun Gong practitioners, male and female, across the country. According to the NGO International Society for Human Rights, female detainees have been sexually abused either by police or prison guards, such as being stripped naked and thrown into cells with male inmates. Yin Liping testified before a US congressional committee in 2016, saying that after she was jailed for her religious beliefs, she and another woman were thrown in a cell with four to five male inmates who were told they could do whatever they wanted to them without consequences. Yin said she was beaten unconscious and gang-raped by the men.

Pointless Love Stories or Raison d'etre.

Updated Glutter. Something I do every few years and have done so for nearly 13 years.

It always remind me that I have something I need to carry on doing. 

Honestly, I do think that if the CCP left me alone and didn't hassle me in my 20s, the blog will be long gone, and I would spend my life writing pointless love stories set in clubs and parties, and going diving. 

Which was what I was doing at the time. 

Had the Chinese government had more confidence, then I would never radicalize. I would never believe what I believe and I wouldn't know oppression is so personal. I wouldn't have any reason to not forget those people who did go to jail when I didn't, thanks to a very thin border, written in the Basic Law. 

I wouldn't be a person with raison d'etre. 

They sent me away, but I wasn't quieted forever. 




Sexual Violence in China and My Emerging Hong Kong Identity.


Hong Kong People Add Oil!

One of the most controversial concepts to come out of the new generation of Hong Kong young people is that unlike the previous generations, they do not see themselves as Chinese. This has upset people from China and the older generation most of whom subscribe to the idea of One Chinese Nation.

They see our race as our identity.

I never subscribed to the Greater Chinese Nation, but did see myself as Chinese, so during the Umbrella Movement, when I started hearing people talking about a Hong Kong identity outside of being Chinese, I held onto it and decided to change the way I view myself.

Last week I started researching sexual violence against women in prisons in China after rumors of sexual abuse in San Uk Ling Holding Center in Hong Kong came to light.

I started thinking how people conflate the CCP with being Chinese and questioned how those people can accept systematic sexual violence and accept it as part of our 4000 years culture.

The more I thought about it, I realized violence against women have long been part of Chinese society and is systemic. Starting with the most obvious example of foot binding, then, the more internationally universal, sales of young girls as indentured servants and sex slaves, child brides as concubines, and femicide for sexual agency and expression. In fact what’s going on in the prisons is ingrained into culture of denigration of women.

Adding the other aspects of Chinese cultural life: expectation of subservience from women, poor, & young, income inequality, and historical political oppression.

I’m not that excited with our 4000 years of culture to begin with, despite I love the glaze in the pottery.

Let me be a 香港人 only & always.

What is White Terror? The slipping of norms in Hong Kong’s flawed democracy

"Until recently, Hong Kong had all the norms and a limited election system, which according to the Economist, made us a “flawed democracy.” The same category which the US is in. In fact, some scholars have suggested that the only place that has ever had unlimited freedoms but not a directly elected leadership is indeed our city — both under colonial rule and the SAR under the Basic Law.

But the undemocratic norms have been appearing in all sectors of society. Government organisations that should be neutral have become politicised. The business sector has been pressured to police their employees’ freedom of thought and the public’s ability to gather. Even illegal organisations such as gangs have been used to threaten the general public.

This is what is referred to in Hong Kong as “white terror.” A systematic attack on the norms without always directly dismantling the Basic Law. It is feared, with the implementation of white terror, totalitarianism will emerge from the background without the Chinese government ever having to send in the People’s Liberation Army."


A Letter from a Principal Reminding Us to Look After Our Children and Ourselves in this Dark Time.

A note a principal in Hong Kong sent to his teachers, then forwarded to the parents.


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I thought it was really thoughtful to remind everyone that we mustn't forget the emotional state of our children at a dark time like this. I have completely been guilty of it. My son recently asked me "When are protests over? So you don't have to write so much?" 

After a 12 year old was arrested, I told him about it, and ask if he would ever do the same. "Mum, it's not normal to ask your 11 year old if they want to protests, you can get it trouble. I don't want to get hurt," he told me. 

He's come home with his dad when I am upset at what just happened. The most recent, I remember saying, "They arrested eight people," when I opened the door, and very soon I went back to reading the news. 

I know that I have not paid as much attention to him. I knew I had to stop all interactions with Hong Kong news through his birthday weekend in case it affected my mood. 

When I committed to writing for HKFP, I hadn't foreseen so much to happen. That's actually not true. I foresaw a lot, I knew it would only get more violent and confrontational, I knew people would have to make hard decisions about where they stood.

What I hadn't imagined was the absolute resolve the Hong Kong people would have. Both those of the peaceful protesters and the hardcore ones. I didn't know it would happen week after week for months. What I didn't foresee was Carrie Lam, and the Chinese Government would not capitulate. I didn't expect the erosions of all the norms that has since happened. 

Reading what the principal wrote about how some of the children will be having existential crisis because being a police officer is a role many children play, and many would like to grow up to be. 

I realized that maybe there are many unseen changes in each of us ourselves. Not only did I not think it would take up so much time, I hadn't expected that I would go through personal changes as well. I didn't expect that it would raise so many questions for myself. 

Watching my home disintegrate, I have questioned my role while living in the US; my moving to the US; my son being an American; questioning the break I took away from writing; why was I drawing attention to myself when I am safely ensconced, what did the Colonial government mean to me, and my family's role in the Colonial Government and another myriad of questions. 

They are questions that I occasionally think about, but it seemed that these events have brought it all to the forefront. I think I'll use this blog to figure out some of those thoughts. But for now, I must not forget that my mission is to make everyday a happy day for my son and myself.  


(At least) Eight Arrested and Fires Burn.

Awaiting a Democratic Hong Kong. 

I know police brutality has increased so much over the weeks. I still don't comment on police actions for personal reasons but it's getting harder and harder not to. Watching the video of the police storming the MTR train and then beating people indiscriminately was hard to watch. But what I do feel really strongly about and can comment on are the arrests of at least eight law makers and activists before this Saturday, which was the anniversary of the judgement, that blocked a free vote for the Chief Executive, that launched the Umbrella Movement in 2014. 

This is completely CCP protocol, before any big date, they will arrest people who are related to the protest movement. It doesn't matter who they are, whether they are active at that moment, or whether they are even particularly related to the event of the date, as they will put family members of those who they take away under house arrest in case they cause any trouble. 

I know for some people it's been difficult to understand, as Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow are no longer the head to The Resistance, and this round of protests. However, they are related to the last round of protests and that's enough to have them taken away. The fact, they were allowed out, I believe is an act of deescalation, as their arrests hit headlines all over the world. As they are famous names and faces. As you can see, they have not yet freed the other less known legislators & activists yet. 

The only reason there are so FEW arrests is that Hong Kong is still under the Basic Law, and the Hong Kong police has yet to be able to arrest people without a reason for a certain period of time without charges, and let them out when enough time have passed to mitigate any influence they have. So they, for now, are able to arrest those who they had charges against before the date. 

The police have made a statement that they didn't make those arrests for any political reasons, it just happened to be the date they have gathered enough evidence for the arrests. I don't like conspiracy theories, but I don't believe them. Maybe the people who made the arrests did not plan the date, but someone did, up top. Someone whose ear is close to China. 

So whether purposeful or not, a number of activists and law makers have been arrested.

Instead of scaring protesters away by the arrests, they have hardened the resolve of the radical protesters. The first time the protesters set a massive fire was last night. They have, of course, shown great restraint as with many protest movements, the fires are set on the very first day. 

My friend asked me how I was feeling. I said that I was livid and distressed by the arrests, but have since felt better now a group of people have burned some things.

It's true. I don't really know what else can be done. Surround the stations and burn something closer to where they are holding those arrested?

Distance doesn't change the dynamics. It's really just symbolic of our anger that's all. 

I don't know how much I believe in "Lam Chau" (攬炒), which means embrace and fry. It means that if China destroys us, we will take them with us. I don't know the feasibility to that. But in my angriest that's what I feel. I know a lot of moderate people, people who've lived a very normal life, who've raised their families conservatively, who talk between themselves about "lam Chau” at their angriest as well. 

I'm tired and very distressed at the arrests of the activists. I feel like sometimes we obsess about what the police did because it's easier to retweet the images of the brutality, and rage against it in 480 characters than discuss the political implication of what has happened.

As I stare at the screen, I too feel speechless despite wanting to talk about it. Maybe I just need a little time. Maybe that's an actual article instead of a stream-of-consciousness blog post.

So maybe until I can put coherence to my thoughts, I can only leave a picture of a fire lit in anger. A statement of standing by my city. A wish to liberate Hong Kong, and that would be the revolution of my time.



Speech by Hong Kong Protester after Being Given Bail

Source: TG


Speech by Johnson Yeung after being released on bail on 30th July 2019 evening



There are many protestors here, some 40 of them have been held inside the Kwai Chung Police Station, and for many the 48-hour limit has passed.


I am one of the protestors arrested on 28th July. My name is Johnson Yeung. I was arrested in Central District at around 11pm that night. We were very cooperative at that time and we followed instructions given by the police. Policemen dragged me behind their shields regardless and subdued me with their fists. This is a complete abuse of police power!


My mobile phone was confiscated by the Police after the arrest. When they confiscated my mobile phone, I have told them the mobile phone must be put in a sealed evidence bag. However, they did not do so. After urging them several times, they still did not do so. They did not do so even after our arrival at the police station. Worse still, a police officer flashed a torch light into my eyes when I was on my way to see the officer on duty. Another police officer even threatened me by saying “If you continue to be noisy you will be put inside the air-conditioned room”. They tried to use cruel treatment to threaten protestors who stood by their own rights. 


The 40 more of us sat inside a car park that was as hot as a steamer for 24 hours. Some protestors may have sat there for even longer without rest. All we could do was sit. Some people were on the verge of getting a heat stroke. It is very clear to everyone whether this is normal practice or an abuse of power: The police was obviously trying to punish the protesters. 


While the Police claimed that I was arrested for obstructing police officers, after detaining me for almost 24 hours, they obtained a search warrant from a Magistrate for the offence of unlawful assembly at midnight. They chose to bring me to my household in the middle of the night to disturb my family.


The above are tactics that the police are using:  Illegal, inappropriate ways to discourage the people of Hong Kong from coming out to protest. All these convey one message:  If you come out to protest, expect a deprivation of basic rights. Expect nuisance. Expect terror and restlessness for your family.


I do not reckon the above as what the Police should be doing. However, these actions are exactly what they have been doing to abuse and exert their power. These actions are also reasons why we have been pushing for the involvement of an independent investigative committee in reviewing the Police’s abuse of power. 


Next, I would like to talk about this charge of “rioting”. There are some 40 people inside, and over 40 of us are being charged with “rioting”. I might have spent only around 20 hours with them inside this dungeon, but most of them are… (sobbing) they were only ten-odd and twenty-odd years old!


Why should they be prosecuted and threatened with the charge of “rioting”? In 2014 it was like this. In 2016 nothing changed. It is 2019 now and it has been five years! The government is still sacrificing teenagers’ blood and freedom for their own dignity, power and benefit! We despise these! We want freedom! All we are asking for is freedom! We ask for autonomy! There are no rioters! There’s only tyranny! 


There are no rioters! There’s only tyranny!



I had a short conversation with several arrested protestors. In fact, they are really just… They are just teenagers that desperately hoped for a better Hong Kong. Some of them have considered immigration and starting a new life in a different country, but ultimately they said: “Being born into Hong Kong gives us the responsibility to make this a better place.” Even if they have the right and the chance to immigrate, they still want to fight for freedom here in Hong Kong in hopes of making their homeland a place where people could truly live in peace. They are really not rioters. They are just a group of idealistic teenagers. I urge everyone to continue to support them.


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My Moment of Political Awakening.

When I read this entry from July 9th 2003, it made me tear up. I guess it was my moment of political awakening. Looking back at the old entries, I was not self-conscious at all. I was so honest. Naive but not. Naive in the way I hadn't learnt about the realities of the situation, but also completely clear in what I wanted. I wanted a democratic Hong Kong. At that moment, I was all alone in my room, not knowing anyone what wanted the same. In the subsequent years so much has changed, so many people have joined in to wanting the same. To see all these people standing with each other with the same dreams has been utterly astounding. 


July 9th 2003

I started this blog because I wanted to document the steps I made with my art. It's turned out it's recording the changes in me, politically. It's changed so much in just nine days. At first I was just talking about the protest, then I found myself updating the news. And suddenly, I am asking, I am saying something far bigger. I want to vote. Not just 30 seats in our legislator. I want universal suffrage.

I have never ever said, "I wanted democracy for Hong Kong" publicly until I wrote the sentence "The truth is we deserve to rule ourselves," a few days ago at the end of an entry.

When I looked at it, it scared me. It was a scary thought to put in public. I have never heard anyone say it either. For a moment I thought I should delete as quickly as possible, I should pretend I never wrote it. It's far too explosive, it's too far reaching, it's going to piss people off, or it's going to make people not take me seriously. Whose going to listen to a girl, (a woman) who's going off the deep end with saying she thinks Hong Kong people should rule themselves?

I am about to leave for another protest. From what I understand this one really is going to call for democracy. We're gonna ask for it publicly. I am not sure if I understood this correctly, but I think that's what I heard. Even if it's "just" an anti-article 23 protest, I should be there because I don't want myself or anybody else to be put in jail one day because we "called" for democracy, or say whatever we want to say in a public forum.

Hong Kong’s third generation of democracy fighters are not just rioters, they are last line of resistance

I wrote this piece to explain the factors that created the more confrontational protesters that have appeared. It covers briefly the 30 years of democratic movement in Hong Kong. 

Over social media it had nearly 1000 likes and was shared over 500 times. I'm really proud of this piece. 

It’s easy to dismiss this generation for being naive. For being reckless. That with their anger and actions, they are bringing the end of Hong Kong closer than it would have come if they just left it alone. But expecting them to stop by chastising them would be as effective as those who were there that early morning. Why should they listen? The criticism is mostly coming from people they despise or from those whose lack of success has directly influenced their mentality. After all, they know they cannot leave the cause of the resistance undone. Theirs is the last generation to fight for Hong Kong’s freedoms. There is no leaving it to the next, because it’s their children who will be silenced.

Hong Kong’s third generation of democracy fighters are not just rioters, they are last line of resistance

The Day When Hong Kong Protesters Stormed the Parliament.

I wrote this after the 22nd anniversary of the "Handover" when a group of protesters stormed the parliament. Hong Kong Free Press

For those versed in resistance movements, the storming of the parliament would not be shocking or surprising. Breaking into the chambers of power—a symbolic take-over of the people from the elites—has been used countless times in many different circumstances. 

The escalation of civil disobedience is common when the government does not heed public sentiment expressed by peaceful protests. The Umbrella Movement lasted an uneventful 79 days without achieving free elections of our leader. Two million people marched, according to the organisers—which meant over one in four of the population and the government still did not withdraw the extradition bill. Facing constant refusal, there will always be a tiny fraction of the population to radicalise: the Antifa which broke away from the Women’s March after President Trump’s election, an Agit Singh to a Gandhi, or a Malcolm X to a Martin Luther King. This process was succinctly described by the statement graffitied outside LegCo in Cantonese: “It is you who taught me that peaceful protests don’t work.”

Being polite and respectful is not an indicator of how worthy Hongkongers’ causes are

When six million Hongkongers were handed over by their colonists to a totalitarian regime

The Column I wrote for the 22nd anniversary for the "handover" of Hong Kong from British rule to Chinese rule. 

"Today is the 22nd anniversary of the “handover” of six million people by their colonists to a totalitarian regime. Although this sentence might make people uncomfortable, it is what happened on this day, and no amount of politeness can make this fact go away....

One may see this day as the end of 155 years of humiliating colonisation, a sad day as the sun finally set on the British Empire, or a grave violation of human rights. But beyond dispute, this is the day the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China was created. On this day, the former colony turned into a semi-autonomous city-state within the great expanse of the once-communist PRC."

When six million Hongkongers were handed over by their colonists to a totalitarian regime

Carrie Lam compares Hongkongers to children as a tactic to disenfranchise.

My first column for Hong Kong Free Press 

"[Chief Executive Carrie] Lam isn’t speaking just from a place of hubris. Political leaders calling the people they rule “children” taps into a long and oft used tactic to disenfranchise people. Women were denied the vote because men said they did not have the logic to interact with the wider world and should thus be relegated to the home along with the children. Black men in the US and South Africa were called “boys” by whites to remind them of their subservient status. Europeans justified colonising other parts of the world because the inhabitants were “primitive” and “childlike.” Philosopher Herbert Spencer, who coined the term “survival of the fittest,” wrote “the intellectual traits of the uncivilised… are traits recurring in the children of the civilised.”

Carrie Lam compares Hongkongers to children as a tactic to disenfranchise.


Hong Kong Independence Signs...

Britain wasn't wrong, China just happens to be a dictatorship #omhk #umbrellamovement

Mum: the problem with the British, is they don't know how to talk to China. Why did they say, they want to "investigate" whether China broke the basic law or what? That's not really their business anymore after they left HK. It's China's borders now, so of course they won't let them in.

Me: no mum, the problem is China is a totalitarian regime that don't honour international treatises

A Door into LegCo. A Door into Power. #umhk #umbrellamovement #occupyhk

In the early hours of Nov 19th, a few dozen young people charged at the the glass front of Hong Kong's legislative council building. With metal police barricades they broke two glass doors with force and four people gained access. In doing so they committed a beautiful symbolic act, its imagery lost in the fracas of bickering.

The four of them took over, where the laws are made. A place if Hong Kong was a democracy, we would have owned, and where the head of parliament from our chosen party would be working. But Hong Kong is not a democracy, and no one had heeded the call for such by these young people for over 50 something days. The young get angry, it's just the way it is. 

Instead of being understood and sensibly disagreed with, the backlash was roaring. The newspapers, news outlets, twitter, forums, political groups and faux political parties all had something to say. 

These young people were quickly abandoned legally by the well financed adults who suggested they should break the law in the first place -by occupying the city illegally. They were "condemned" like feudal criminals by modern day mandarins of both the pan-democratic coalition kind as well as the pro-communist party kind. Then called rioters, violent radicals, blamed for being a "major setback for the movement." Then the worse, betrayed and turned in by fellow protesters, a la cultural revolution.

Rioters and Radicals for what? For breaking two doors, going into a building, and not smashing it to pieces or setting it on fire? For not spreading their anger and frustration to other parts of the city, and continuing destroying public and private property? 

The most level headed and least accusatory comment came from the police. They called it an "incident," which had acts of public disorder."

Because to the police, damaging property and trespassing -a riot does not make.

Riots lasts a lot longer than a four minutes clip, and the debris is not single digit panels of glass.

The 1992 LA Riots caused 1 billion dollars in damages, with 2000 injuries, 53 deaths in the span of 6 days. Ferguson MI, so far has a $170 000 bill in police cars alone, and there might be another round of rioting coming soon. Over in Europe; the 2011 London Riots cost an estimated £200 million damage in five days. France 2005: 10 Parisian suburbs and 15 urban centers burned for over two weeks.

Even our home grown Star Ferry riot caused one death, dozens injured, 1,800 arrests, managing to create 20 million of 1966 dollars in damage.

For people to call this one slightly messy evening, with only bits of broken glass and concrete a riot isn't anything but an overreaction.

And for some, a perfect word for manipulation. It's exactly what the anti-umbrella movements need to whip up public outcry and diminish public sympathy. And the older and more established democratic leaders are helping that process along nicely by making a huge deal about it.