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The triad-style chopper attack of highly respected journalist Kevin Lau and a similar type of attack yesterday, this time by four men with iron bars- on two other journalists- Lei lun-han and Lam kin-ming plus the jailing of high-profile billionaire businessman Carson Yeung,  below, who once owned UK football team Portsmouth and financed many local movie, on money laundering charges and the sentencing last week in Macau of well-known Hong Kong-based businessmen Joseph Lau and Steven Lo has become far more than a talking point in the city.

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It has made Hong Kong Belongers, whose usual “philosophy” in life is “That’s not my problem”, realize that these attacks, these arrests and rampant ongoing corruption plus ponzie schemes run by fly-by-night expat con artists like Alistair Paton, below, who have seen the city to be made up of greedy and gullible wannabes ready to be sucker-punched by selling them on a dream like “exclusive members club” M1NT, has tarnished the Hong Kong brand more than it has been ever before.

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Hong Kong has survived many things- typhoons, fires, the 1967 riots, SARS, Hong Kong before and after The Handover, but never has it had to deal with a faceless, nameless “enemy from within” while suddenly fearful of who is the the grand puppet master and which strings Beijing might be pulling and what the end game might be.

What usually happened in the gangland playground that is Macau and where whatever happened in Macau stayed in Macau, has dangerously spilled over to Hong Kong.

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In the middle of all this is Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung- immensely unpopular, untrustworthy, ineffective, and, to many, foisted on Hong Kong along with his team of cronies led by John Tsang and Carrie Ng.

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Two men being caught for the attack on Kevin Lau- in China- is seen by many as a “token gesture to appease” the Hong Kong public with the bigger question being whether these are simply sacrificial lambs with the new acts of thuggery adding more fuel to the fire and ire burning through Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong today is an angry city- angry that so much has been allowed to get out of hand until it has reached this tipping point- years of corruption amongst those entrusted to look after the interest of Hong Kong, spiraling rents, a serious brain drain and a huge division between the Haves and the Have-Nots- and NO solution in sight.

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With the generation who first turned the barren rock that was Hong Kong into a thriving metropolis where anything and everything was possible being a generation whose time has come and gone, what’s noticeable is the lack of young leaders.
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Let’s face it, none of the late Sir Run Run Shaw’s children and grandchildren have hardly “made the grade”, and neither have Dumb and Dumber- the sons of Asia’s richest man Li ka-shing.

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Gawd help Hong Kong if some of those smug,sophomoric, self-promoting District Councillors and quasi-politicos like Michael Tien, deputy chairman of the New People’s Party, ever become leaders of Hong Kong.

Tien’s performance on the television program Newsline with high-pitched host Michael Chugani, the angriest man in Hong Kong for all the wrong reasons, was an embarrassing manlove session between two overrated people dancing to the beat of their own agendas.

Instead of The Two Ronnies, we had The Two Michaels.

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The sight of Tien acting like a foppish Chinese Scarlet Pimpernel with a long pink scarf draped around his shoulders and exuding more arrogance than the gel in his hair was, to those who know and have known his modus operandus from years back, sickening to watch.

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Is this, I thought, someone who one day soon might actually attempt to lead Hong Kong- this buffoon with his pseudo American accent who once peddled his cheap Brittania and G2000 clothing brands and ran his staff based on fear?

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Fear- this is the word gripping Hong Kong today- Fear of failure, fear to succeed and a fear to make themselves seen and heard in what is becoming or has become an Orwellian City where no one really knows who Big Brother is watching- though they know who know who Big Brother is and the brothers in triad societies that do their bidding in return for “immunity” and a safe haven while working with the law making cameo appearances to appease the public.

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Hopefully, the current purge against corruption in China by President Xi Jinping where retired PLA general Xu Caihou was taken from his sick bed this week and detained in one of the toughest crackdowns on graft amongst top officials in the military will send a strong signal to Hong Kong that the Motherland has started spanking her children.

The question is whether all this is too little too late and simply more of a “show”?

Is “detaining” those on their death beds who have already ensured that their treasures have been kept out of harm’s reach and divided amongst their family just one of those usual “shows of strength” by Beijing to calm the peasants about to storm Le Bastille and realizing that what might happen next will make the events of Tiananmen Square look like a school play?

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