Hong Kong leader hails ‘return to peace’, anniversary protests banned

Hong Kong leader hails ‘return to peace’, anniversary protests banned

1/10/2020 12:36:00 PM

Hong Kong leader hails ‘return to peace’, anniversary protests banned

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s leader Thursday hailed her city’s “return to peace” after China imposed a security law that helped quash last year’s huge democ...

Chief Executive Carrie Lam. — AFPHONG KONG: Hong Kong’s leader Thursday hailed her city’s “return to peace” after China imposed a security law that helped quash last year’s huge democracy movement, as thousands of police were on standby to stamp out any mass rallies during National Day celebrations.

YOURSAY | Zahid’s U-turn likely to end Anwar’s takeover bid 1MDB bond: Goldman Sachs S'pore to pay US$122m to S'pore govt Klang MP wants Covid screening cost reduced to RM50

The People’s Republic of China celebrates its founding on Oct 1 with a holiday and carefully choreographed festivities.But in Hong Kong, it has become a day of grievance for those worried about authoritarian Beijing’s intensifying crackdown against its opponents.

Protest has been effectively outlawed for most of this year and Beijing also imposed a strict national security law on the semi-autonomous business hub in June.On Thursday morning, helicopters flying the Chinese and Hong Kong flags buzzed the harbour as Chief Executive Carrie Lam (

pix) and senior mainland officials attended a ceremony ringed by police and security barriers.“Over the past few months, an indisputable fact in front of everyone is that our society has returned to peace,“ Lam said in her speech.“Our country’s national security has been protected in Hong Kong and our citizens can again exercise their rights and liberties in accordance with laws,“ she added.

Last year, the 70th anniversary brought fierce clashes between protesters and police during seven months of democracy demonstrations that upended Hong Kong.Authorities denied permission for a protest march this year, citing security concerns and an anti-coronavirus ban on more than four people gathering in public.

Lam’s administration also suspended September local elections for a year — one of the few occasions when Hong Kongers get to cast a vote — citing the risk posed by the pandemic.A police source toldAFPthat 6,000 police officers had been drafted in to stop any protests — double the contingency usually placed on reserve.

‘End one-party rule’Throughout the morning, groups of prominent democracy activists held small rallies — deliberately keeping to no more than four people.One group chanted “End one-party rule” and burned a protest petition, surrounded by some 40 police officers.

Goldman to claw back executive pay over role in 1MDB corruption COMMENT | The Malay 'brotherhood' PM Muhyiddin chairs special Cabinet meeting | Malay Mail

Others gathered in groups of four outside the heavily guarded Liaison Office that represents Beijing’s government in the city.“In today’s China, those who pursue freedom are suppressed while those doing the suppressing are in power,“ activist Lee Cheuk-yan told reporters.

A day earlier, office director Luo Huining gave a speech calling for more patriotism to be instilled in Hong Kong, saying pride for the motherland was a duty, not a choice.Police maintained a high presence throughout the city on Thursday, conducting multiple stop and searches.

Five people were also arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of inciting others to protest and commit violent acts.The rejected rally application was made by the Civil Human Rights Front — a coalition that organised record-breaking marches last year.

The group is calling for the release of 12 Hong Kongers in mainland Chinese custody who were caught last month trying to flee protest-linked prosecutions.Those 12 were trying to escape to Taiwan by boat but were intercepted by the Chinese coast guard and have since disappeared into the mainland’s opaque judicial system.

For most of this year, protest has been all but impossible in Hong Kong.On the rare occasions when demonstrations do bubble up, riot police and plain-clothes officers move quickly — on one day last month nearly 300 people were arrested.Over the last 16 months, more than 10,000 have been detained during protests and the courts are crammed with trials. Many prominent protest leaders are being prosecuted.

New security lawThe crackdown has been aided by the national security law that China imposed on the city in June.The broadly worded legislation criminalised expressing certain opinions, deepened the political chill seeping into the city and allowed mainland China’s security apparatus to operate openly in Hong Kong for the first time.

Illegally employed Malaysian woman jailed in Singapore for slashing boss’ neck with penknife he used to intimidate her | Malay Mail Malaysia Airlines' parent offers VSS to employees across the group | New Straits Times Covid-19: Sabah hospital beds virtually full, says Masidi | Malay Mail

The security law has led to sanctions by the United States and condemnation by many other Western nations.But Beijing and Hong Kong authorities say it is needed to restore stability.“The national security law will absolutely stop rabble-rousers in Hong Kong from having their capricious way,“ the Liaison Office, which represents China’s government in Hong Kong, said this week. —

Read more: theSun »

Covid-19: Sabah to come under conditional MCO from Oct 13 until 26 (updated)

PUTRAJAYA: The whole of Sabah will be placed under the conditional movement control order (MCO) from Tuesday (Oct 13) until Oct 26, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

China approves arrest of Hong Kong 'speedboat fugitives'Families of those arrested are ‘shocked and concerned’ by the approval. FMTNews China

Hong Kong activist Wong gets bail after being charged for 2019 protests | Malay MailHONG KONG, Sept 30 — Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong was granted bail today after being formally charged in court in connection with participating in an unauthorised assembly in October 2019 and violating a city anti-mask law. The court decision comes as Wong and other activists face...

Hong Kong stocks finish higher | Malay MailHONG KONG, Sept 30 — Hong Kong shares closed on a positive note today as traders welcomed factory data indicating China’s economy continues to recovery from a pandemic-induced slowdown. The Hang Seng Index added 0.79 per cent, or 183.52 points, to 23,459.05. But the benchmark Shanghai Composite...

Hong Kong-mainland China border could reopen soon as city seeks to recover from Covid-19HONG KONG, Sept 29 (SCMP): Chief Executive Carrie Lam says time has come for a ‘pragmatic approach’ over flow of peopleAuthorities discussing removing 14-day quarantine period for those with negative Covid-19 tests

Hong Kong marks China anniversary as Beijing tightens grip | New Straits TimesHONG KONG:Thousands of riot police were stationed across Hong Kong on Thursday to stamp out any large democracy rallies as the restless financial hub marked China's National Day under the shadow of a growing crackdown on dissent.

Hong Kong activist Wong gets bail after being charged for 2019 protests | Malay MailHONG KONG, Sept 30 — Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong was granted bail today after being formally charged in court in connection with participating in an unauthorised assembly in October 2019 and violating a city anti-mask law. The court decision comes as Wong and other activists face...