Date
26 February 2020
The Novichok Prize for 2019 goes to lawmaker Junius Ho 'for his audacious courage in using the Legco chamber to make deeply offensive racist and sexist remarks,' our columnist writes. Photo: Bloomberg
The Novichok Prize for 2019 goes to lawmaker Junius Ho 'for his audacious courage in using the Legco chamber to make deeply offensive racist and sexist remarks,' our columnist writes. Photo: Bloomberg

The 2019 (dubious) honors list

In the spirit of the season this column offers readers an opportunity to catch up on a clutch of awards made in recognition of extraordinary performance during the course of 2019:

The Golgotha Award for Suffering and Bravery

– There was really only one choice for a worthy recipient this year and so the award goes to the CENO Carrie Lam, who courageously revealed, during a secret meeting with businessmen, that the protests had prevented her from going to her hairdresser. Carrie, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Novichok Prize

– This is a relatively new award that was launched in the wake of the attempted poisoning of the renegade Russian agent Sergei Skripal. Skripal survived but a bystander lost her life. The two Russian agents accused of carrying out this attack in the British cathedral town of Salisbury plausibly explained their presence in the city by citing their profound interest in cathedral spires. The prize therefore honors audaciousness and dangerous behavior.

The judges labored long and hard to find a worthy recipient, having been spoilt for choice. Indeed at one point they pondered the possibility of a collective award to the entire Hong Kong police force. However they were compelled to select an individual and so the prize goes to fearless Legco member Junius Ho for his audacious courage in using the Legco chamber to make deeply offensive racist and sexist remarks. His profound love of men in white T-shirts was also noted.

The Elon Musk Public Relations Award

– This highly sought-after prize named after the man for whom no human tragedy is too small not to make obnoxious remarks, goes to the man who, incredibly, is known within the civil service as being ‘The Master of Communications’. He is of course the CENO’s deputy Mathew Cheung. Mr Cheung exceeded expectations this year by cleverly dodging an explanation of why the protests were taking place on the pretext that he had yet to see an opinion poll containing this information. The man’s a genius!

The Special Prize for Humanitarianism in Extreme Circumstances

– Unlike the narrow-mined judges for the Novichok Prize, the administrators of this most treasured award have accepted a collective nomination thus allowing the Hong Kong Police to carry away this richly deserved prize. Busloads of nominees arrived at the prize givers’ office, furnishing any number of reasons why the police were deserving recipients. However one incident stands out. The judges saw a certain style in the way that a police officer shot unarmed 18-year old Tsang Chi-kin, while other officers rushed to the hospital to arrest him. As ever the police demonstrated the use of justifiable restraint.

The Berthold Brecht Memorial Prize

– This prize is given to honor the memory of the great German playwright who became famous for suggesting that if the East German Communist regime became dissatisfied with the people, its best option was to replace the people. Some ill-informed people seemed to think that Brecht was being sarcastic but the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has made a definitive interpretation stating that this is not the case. Indeed it has now announced that changing the people is very much included in their effort to reinterpret the Basic Law.

As a government body the NPCSC is not eligible for this coveted prize so this year’s worthy winners are the usual suspects among the commentariat who have declared that the results of the 2019 District Council elections offer irrefutable proof of the unreliability of Hongkongers and definitive evidence that they are not to be trusted with free and fair elections. The prize winners have no formal name but the judges awarded the prize in the collective name of the Red Shoe Shiners.

The Millwall Football Club Supporters Award

– Millwall supporters regularly chant the slogan ‘no one likes us and we don’t care’. It has become a rallying cry for the unpopular the world over. This year it has been adopted by Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, which proved its affinity with the deeply unpopular London football club during the District Council elections. DAB leader Starry Lee has graciously stepped forward to accept the prize on behalf of all members.

The Rudolph Giuliani Prize for Elevating the Status of the Legal Profession

– Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani has done so much in this regard that the Donald has launched this award in his honor. This year’s recipient is Hong Kong’s Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng for more services to the legal profession than could possibly be named in this confined space. Go Teresa!

The GBA Irrelevance Prize

– Obviously goes to whoever dreamed up the Greater Bay Area concept – there is no competition here.

White Elephant Project of the Decade

– The judges agonized over this one and finally decided that as competition was so tough it would be only fair to hand this award to two very deserving winners. Step forward The Bridge to Nowhere AKA the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge and the Hi-Speed Railway to somewhere or other in trains where space for accommodating passengers is always available.

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RC

Hong Kong-based journalist, broadcaster and book author