Seen and Heard in HK Politics: Spies, religion and politics! (Adult language advisory)

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‬Our selection of the previous week’s most politically charged and controversial soundbites.

Note: All quotes this week translated from Cantonese except John Tong Hon’s comment.

“Where the fuck are you from?” – Edward Leung Tin-Kei (梁天琦)

“Well you know where we are from…[we are working] for ‘the Grandfather’…for a newspaper, that’s all I can tell.” – Alleged tails

“Why don’t you just let us know what you want and maybe we can tell you.” – Ray Wong Toi-yeung (黃台仰)

“I don’t want to know about your stuff.” – Alleged tails

Edward Leung Tin-Kei (梁天琦) and Ray Wong Toi-yeung (黃台仰) confront two men in a Volkswagen which Leung claimed had followed them for the past month. The two men dodged questions over why they were following the localist duo, who hired them and where they are from. At one point, one of the ‘spies’ said they were working for ‘the Grandfather’ – meaning Beijing – but quickly changed their story. Full video here.


“The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress interprets the Basic Law, not [Hong Kong’s] local laws. The NPCSC will become a local court if it has the power [to interpret local laws], and that is a violation of the Basic Law.” – Edward Chan King-sang, SC (陳景生)

The invalidation of several pro-independence LegCo election candidates’ nominations by Returning Officers. Edward Chan King-sang, former chairman of the Bar Association, issued a joint statement with some 30 Election Committee members from the sector last Wednesday challenging the EAC’s decision. Worries however were raised over the possibility of the NPCSC interpreting the laws to ensure that the Returning Officer’s’ decision will not be overruled in case of a court appeal. Chan warned against the move on Friday and further added that promoting Hong Kong independence is not necessarily unlawful as it can be achieved through amending the Basic Law.


“The agreement between the Holy See and Beijing is an example of human dialogue, the beginning of the normalisation of a mutual relationship. Dialogue can henceforth continue based on this mutual trust.” – John Tong Hon (湯漢)

Cardinal John Tong Hon, Bishop of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong, defends the Vatican’s move to reach an agreement with Beijing over mainland’s catholic community in a 4 August pastoral letter.

Without naming his predecessor, the outspokenly pro-democracy Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun (陳日君), Tong criticised “some people” for panning the Church for not stepping up against suppression of the faith in mainland. “The mission of the Catholic Church is not to change the institution or administrative agency of nations. It cannot and should not intervene in political struggles,” Tong stated.

Zen in June accused the Vatican for remaining silent over Chinese Cardinal Ma Daqin’s sudden U-turn of opinion towards the state-established Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, calling on the cclesiastical jurisdiction to “protect the church’s reputation, Cardinal Ma’s reputation, and eradicate the chaos and dejection in the Chinese church.”

The content of the agreement is yet to be disclosed, but earlier media reports suggested that Pope Francis is preparing to pardon eight bishops who were appointed by Beijing, outside of the Vatican’s approval process.


“I would welcome competition, if I were to run.” – Leung Chun-ying (梁振英)

In response to a ‘double-Tsang’ challenge in the race to become the next Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying said he’d welcome competition if he was to run in next year’s election. Leung also stated that he is willing to relaunch the political reform proposal in a possible second term.

LegCo president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing (曾鈺成) and John Tsang Chun-wah (曾俊華) both revealed that they may join the race a week earlier.