18 August 2019
Hongkongers aren't too happy that the government is using taxpayer money to suppress the pro-democracy campaign. Photos: Civic Party, AFP
Hongkongers aren't too happy that the government is using taxpayer money to suppress the pro-democracy campaign. Photos: Civic Party, AFP

How to pay your government bills in disobedience era

Who doesn’t get angry watching video footage of the police’s selective targeting early Wednesday of Civic Party members and other democracy lovers – pretty much the same group at which tear gas was hurled three weeks ago?

The outrage people feel would no doubt fuel thoughts about coming up with new ways to get one up on the administration. 

One route could be when it comes to paying government bills.

A blogger recently suggested that one could delay paying government rent through the following way:

1. Write a check to the government with the unlucky figure of HK$68.9 – the three digits that mark the nomination committee votes — 689 — won by CY Leung in the 2012 chief executive election.

2. Put the date as September 26 (the date when government arrested student leader and Time Magazine cover hero Joshua Wong, lighting a fire for the Occupy Central movement)

3. Send the small check to the Rating and Valuation Department every day until you pay the required amount.

4. At the back of the check the following message: Your Vote. Gotta have it! (I only have so much, please take it first.)

5. If there is an outstanding amount, it is up to you if you want to pay.

6. If you choose to pay, you can divide the remaining amount into smaller installments of HK$6.89.

I suppose the operating principle also applies to other government fees such as tax or water levy.

Now, we are not suggesting that you shouldn’t pay your tax. We don’t want to be accused of another illegal activity that violates the very fundamental of “one country two systems”.

But please, can someone explain how the head of Hong Kong is able to pocket a HK$50 million check without paying a single penny of tax while he is in government service?

It is also the same man who believes that his resignation wouldn’t solve anything.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, meanwhile, has referred to an “uncooperative movement”, as she decided last week to call off a dialogue with Hong Kong Federation of Students. The explanation provided by her is this: “Expansion of an uncooperative movement has shaken the trust of the basis of our talks and it will be impossible to have a constructive dialogue.”

One can only debate who exactly pulled the plug — the government or the protesters.

As for now, all eyes will be on a Legco meeting as pan-democrats have vowed to be uncooperative with the government. The members have threatened to filibuster, apparently in response to the police’s use of tear gas to disperse Occupy protesters last month.

While it remains to be seen how things will pan out eventually, one thing is for certain: the era of disobedience and non-cooperation is upon us.

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EJ Insight writer

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