Against Forgetting
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Against Forgetting

Care or Scare? That’s The Question!

Some said he comes because he cares about the city, then why is he so scared?

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover. Chinese usually big on the years that end in 5 and 0, that’s why there were words spread out earlier that the President will make a visit to Hong Kong on July 1st.

There are many unknowns, and so many details are left out till the last minute.

This kind of barricade is everywhere in many areas. Citizens are better to stay away from these areas.

Like there was no set time period. One option is that he came in the daytime and leave in the late evening. He won’t stay overnight. Some suggested he might take the high-speed rail and not fly in. However, the high-speed rail station is closed and the West Kowloon station is closed and no train service since January 2022. I guess it’s more than OK to open the line for one person. Besides, he planned to go back to Shenzhen for the night and return to Hong Kong the next day. It’s not like the station is open for only that one time.

Hong Kong is still under the COVID19 restrictions, and all inbound travelers must undergo compulsory quarantine for 14 days (maybe it’s 7 now) at designated places. Now you don’t expect the president to go through that, do you? So instead, they asked those who might get in close range with the president to do the quarantine. Like the government officials, especially the ministers. They can only be at home or in the office and nowhere else, starting seven days before the president is scheduled to arrive. Some rumors mentioned that even people who play a minor role in the presence of the president must do the same. A selected group of school children who will be cheering at the arrival gate was also asked to quarantine themselves thoroughly as well.

If you think that is extreme, wait till you hear about the security measures.

The general public doesn’t know where the president will be at. One place is certain is the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai where the inauguration of the new government will take place. The area is sealed off completely, and even the new MTR station (Exhibition Centre) only opened a little more than a month ago, will shut down for a couple of days.

The Science Park in Sha Tin was mentioned because technology is now the focus. Without any confirmation, the security team was busy at work. All tenants in the park were instructed to shut down early for the holiday, or at least be advised to work from home. The park was shut off since Wednesday, and barricades had been set up all around. Why would they want to show the Science Park to the president with nobody working there is beyond me. Perhaps the rumor is true, Science Park is a real estate project, with nothing to do with technology. Oops, did I just reveal a national confidential?

With the president is going to travel around the city, the police set up a motorcade escort to ensure safety and security. Many roads in the Wan Chai area are blocked off and no other vehicles are allowed. More than 50 bus routes have to be diverted. All reporters must apply for permission to cover all activities. A background check was performed and as expected, many foreign presses were denied. Those who granted permission had moved into a hotel for quarantine on Wednesday. In 2017, when the president last visited, there was still a protest area for those who want to voice their opinion, even though the area was far away and the president would never see or hear from them. This time, there is none. The few that the police deemed as potential trouble makers were interviewed earlier and announced on social media that they will do nothing during these few days. Nonetheless, they are closely monitored by the police.

For the average citizen, if you don’t need to go to certain areas, you probably won’t be affected as much. If you are a die-hard fan and like to get a glimpse of the president during his visit, sorry, you are out of luck. You can watch it on TV instead.

This is even worse than five years ago, and everyone involved seemed to be proud and dutiful. They even rolled out the red carpet in the high-speed rail station. I can’t help but imagine what if the Canadian Prime Minister visit their own top cities, like Toronto or Vancouver. Would they set things up like this? Who would shut down part of the city just because the leader come for a visit? The city is part of the country, isn’t it? Why wouldn’t you feel safe in your own country? Unless this is a way to admit that Hong Kong is like another country to him. The whole thing is a mockery of everything he said. If you really care about this city, why would you be so scared?

Perhaps, while imperial China is long gone, some people still think like an emperor and even enjoy being one. What encouraged them to think like that is probably there are so many minions surrounding him. There is certainly no lack of minions in this place. Sad!

P.S. The new minions' movie is in the theater this week, do I smell some conspiracy?

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Duncan Lau

Duncan Lau

身處香港,隨心而寫,時事,文化,個人抒發,不吐不快。From Hong Kong, random thoughts, current issues, personal matters, whatever ticks! Twitter: @duncan_2