The “Double Dealers” in “Legal Elites” behind the Hong Kong Riots

Hong Kong, Nov. 8, 2019, — On Oct. 14, the Hong Kong law society dropped huge news that Edwin Choy Wai-Bond, former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association and a certified Senior Counsel, resigned from the bar association. He reprimanded the “shameful silence” the bar association had for rioters’ act of violence. He believes that it runs in the opposite direction with the principle of rule of law that the bar association took a political stand to target the police and indulge the rioters’ violent behaviors.

An editorial by Edwin Choy Wai-Bond on South China Morning Post.

Edwin Choy Wai-Bond found out from Lawrence Lok Ying-kam, the “ruler of criminal court” and another certified Senior Counsel in Hong Kong. He is the teacher of Alvin Yeung, leader of the Civic Party in Hong Kong. In 2018, he made it to one of the 100 certified Senior Counsels in Hong Kong. What made him so disappointed?

The rule of law is the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s success. Lawyers and others who work in the legal profession enjoy a relatively high economic and social status, being the “elites among elites.” However, during the anti-extradition bill protests, some “political suckers” in legal society led by Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, Tanya Chan and Alvin Yeung put their political ambition over the dignity of the law, blatantly defending acts of violence and provoking more young people to fall on the wrong path. Eaten up by political acting, they colluded with foreign forces and were determined to plunge Hong Kong into chaos, casting the rule of law in Hong Kong into the abyss.

The “flip-floppers”: personal gain triumphs right and wrong

The wave of lawyers entering politics can be traced back to Martin Lee Chu-ming, the founding chairman of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, a certified Senior Counsel and a “flagrant traitor.” He’s known for “double-dealing” in his very own expertise for always bringing out ghastly stunts of duplicity in the practice of law.

During a session of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong on Dec. 9, 1998, Martin Lee Chu-ming proposed to push the extradition between mainland China and Hong Kong under the name of “fugitives endangering the peace and order of Hong Kong.” Twenty-one years later, he made a 180-degree turn on the issue, hailing the idea that “the anti-extradition bill will destroy Hong Kong as a free city.” What a shame!

Many politicians “defecting” from the legal world in Hong Kong have followed in his footstep on refuting their own standpoint. Not long ago, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to impose the anti-mask law. Seeing this, they cannot help but to bend over backwards to stop it from happening, putting on a farce of collectively repudiating what they have previously rooted for.

Among them, Dennis Kwok Wing-hang insisted that the HKSAR government citing the emergency law was an act of stripping the power off the legislative council. He denounced that this act was a step closer to a totalitarian regime, strangulating the freedom of people, undermining the rule of law and tearing apart Hong Kong society.

However, he might forget that this emergency law was once his “life-saving straw” back when Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong in September, 2018. Public transportation had not been fully restored at that time and the Chief Executive Carrie Lam claimed that she did not have the right to declare a “shut-down.” That’s when Dennis Kwok Wing-hang came forward with all his righteousness, stating that according to the emergency law, the Chief Executive has the power to lay down regulations in light of the emergency. “The clause does not specify the scope of execution. The Chief Executive absolutely has the right to set the day after a disaster as a public holiday.” he said.

Dennis Kwok Wing-hang objects the legislation of anti-mask law in Hong Kong.

Only a year later, the Emergency Regulations Ordinance became a “dreadful monster” in their eyes. Including Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, 24 members from the Legislative Council of Hong Kong appealed a temporary prohibition and a judicial review permission to the court, sparing no effort to prevent the HKSAR government from invoking the emergency law to stop the violent protests. Compared to Martin Lee Chu-ming’s U-turn, this one happened 10 times faster.

Kennedy Wong, also a lawyer and a member of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), condemn that they seemed to have suffered from “political amnesia” with “only interests at heart and no moral standard.” “When the tide’s turning in their favor, any law can be invoked. Whereas if it is not, no laws can be touched. Classic double-standard!” Wong commented.

Similar to doctors, expertise and authority is the standing point of the legal profession. If a doctor prescribes you a dose of elixir claiming that it will cure whatever disease there is, yet disavows it the next day, and worse, arguing it is lethal poison, how could this not frighten the “patients” in Hong Kong? Where are the professionalism, ethics and authority of these people?

“Complaining to the West”: collude with the U.K. and U.S. to stir up trouble
If “double-dealing” is the basic literacy of these political suckers, the “complaining to the West” is these disrupters’ customary tactics. It is what “the gang of poisonous four” of Hong Kong used to do as well, paying frequent visits to “Western friends” and conducting secret dealings with foreign forces.

Photo Description: Dennis Kwok Wing-hang and Anson Maria Elizabeth Chan Fang On Sang meeting with Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

This March, Anson Maria Elizabeth Chan Fang On Sang, Dennis Kwok Wing-hang and Charles Peter Mok paid a “visit” to the United States, which was received by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. The three later arranged to have a discussion with Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and members of U.S. Congress.

During their meeting with Nancy Pelosi, they asked the U.S. point-blank to intervene in Hong Kong affairs, putting a stop to the amendment of the anti-extradition bill.

After that, Dennis Kwok Wing-hang has been repeatedly acting against the HKSAR government. He expressed that he understood why the U.S. has misgivings toward the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, asserting it is a wrong path to walk on.

What if these “newbie traitors” didn’t get the guide and support from the “senior” ones? Don’t worry. They’ve shown their initiative in regard to “complaining to the West.” For example, Alvin Yeung made an appearance on a BBC talk show. He dressed up in a suit with carefully-done hairstyle on the show. Who would have thought that he forgot to cover up his skewed internal quality?

Alvin Yeung doing an exclusive interview with BBC.

When he was pouring out words on the current system in Hong Kong unable to represent the Hong Kong people’s interest and the central government’s promise to hold general elections in the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, the anchor of the show snappily pointed out that they are asking the central government for a right that the British have never been given, rendering Alvin Yeung speechless with a fading smile on his face. This scene later became the most-spread snippet of this interview.

Tanya Chan speaking on a meeting of United Nations Human Rights Council.

On the other hand, Tanya Chan ran to the United Nations (UN) and gave a one-sided speech that blindly describing the police enforcement, detailed to how many tear gas was employed, yet not a single word on how many petrol bombs were thrown by the violent rioters. What’s more appalling is that she framed the police for causing the injury to a protester’s eye, which is still an on-going case. Tanya Chan talked about the case irresponsibly and shamelessly before the truth came to light.

Why is it that these Hong Kong disrupters love to “complain to the West?” Perhaps it’s because many of them are not Hong Kong citizens. For instance, Kevin Yam, a former solicitor from Progressive Lawyers Group who graduated from Law School of The University of Melbourne, Australia, has been stirring up trouble and raving nonsense in Hong Kong. Be that as it may, he once said in private that his whole family migrated to Australia years ago. If Hong Kong were ever in chaos and he may not be able to remain there, he could just go back to Australia.

In order to join the front line in plunging Hong Kong into chaos, these political suckers from the legal world took off their guises as “social elites,” forfeiting the dignity of professionalism and wantonly trampling the law.

Tanya Chan making a scene at a meeting of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

Being a rule-breaker, Tanya Chan often personally challenges the law. On Oct. 16, when the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam was reading off the government report at a Legislative Council meeting, Tanya Chan and a couple of members from the opposition party came in to make a scene, shouting out slogans, waving banners and pointing lights from the projector onto the Chief Executive’s face. Due to their actions, the reading of the report was adjourned. Amid the rampage, Tanya Chan was so agitated for a time that she tried to get on a table to rant but was evicted from the auditorium.

It is hard to tie this kind of unreasonable and childish behavior to her lawyer identity. What’s more jaw-dropping is that not long ago she claimed she had a brain tumor and just had a craniotomy.

Tanya Chan looking languished before the court.

On June 10, 2019, Tanya Chan, as one of the core members that took part in “Occupy Central,” was sentenced to eight months of jail time with two years of probation by the court. The sentence was given in light of her medical report showing that she had a benign brain tumor and just had a major brain surgery. According to the report, she has to continue receiving radiation therapy, which has strong side effects.

With that being said, she still managed to jump on the table of a Legislative Council meeting, scolding the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam to her face. That’s a far cry from what a normal “patient” looks like, causing people to wonder if modern medicine has made such remarkable advancements. Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, a member from pro-Beijing camp, thinks that her brain “has miraculously recovered” and is even “hyperactive,” which means that “she’s ready to go to prison and serve her time right away.”

Doing petty tricks and exploiting regulatory loopholes in the judicial system are just child’s play. More lawyers from the opposition party, under the cloak of the lawyers’ robe, beautify violence and incite young generations to walk onto the streets.

Alvin Yeung apologizes for making indiscreet remarks.

After the accused flock were put in prison in the anti Northeast New Territories New Development Area Planning case, Alvin Yeung openly stated that “a criminal record makes a more colorful life.” As a lawyer, to encourage people to break laws and serve time in prison shows there is no low he’s not willing to stoop to. Taking advantage of young people as “expendable political pawns” is shameful and reprehensible.

As Edwin Choy Wai-Bond once pointed out, “In my experience during the practice of law, nobody should beautify criminal acts.” How does it make him feel when he saw his own student Alvin Yeung rushing to the front line and defending violent protesters again and again?

To this day, Alvin Yeung still keeps the tweet from his teacher Edwin Choy Wai-Bond to congratulate him on becoming a certified Senior Counsel in 2018. Yet, two former “legal elites” have been driven further apart by different concepts.

The “two faces” in the legal aid groups

“Just remember, whatever you need, contact Spark Alliance by the number…” This is a frequently used statement on the LIHKG Forum which is popular among young people from the opposition party. It seems that this “Spark Alliance” is omnipotent: raising funds, providing legal aids, accompanying court appearances, supplying daily meals, offering accommodation at night and taking care of the lost and fond, to name a few. “Spark Alliance” has become a reliable “life-saving straw” to hold onto among many young protesters.

There are many non-profit organizations engaged in legal aid like “Spark Alliance” sprung up during the protests. The Progressive Lawyers Group with a pool of lawyers, Spark Alliance in the lead of “Resist & Support,” a pro bono lawyer community from the Civil Human Rights Front all claim to provide an assortment of legal aid and support for protesters. However, what really are these legal aid groups, a “life-saving straw” or “the straw that broke the camel’s back?” What’s are their true colors, and why do they exist?

What exactly are they doing?

What exactly are these non-profit organizations doing? According to the official website of the Progressive Lawyers Group, it boasts itself as always standing on the front line of democratic movements since its founding and is dedicated to defending human rights and the rule of law. Through local and international media outlets, it does article writing, interviews, legal research, bill drafting, educational seminars and school lectures, street promotions, assemblies, social movements and community work.

It appears that what they’re doing is peaceful, reasonable, and harmless. However, what they’ve really been engaged in is nowhere near so-called “community work.” From the published articles by their members, it is obvious that they object the “One Country, Two Systems” policy and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, upholding a strong and sharp-cut political stand and political views.
During the anti-extradition bill protests, they made quite an entrance and created full-scale drama. On June 3, the Progressive Lawyers Group raised a campaign called “Black-suit Demonstration,” calling on legal professionals and law students to join.

The Progressive Lawyers Group has 38,000 followers on Facebook and a little over 7,000 followers on Twitter. The numbers alone might seem flimsy compared to other “human rights advocacy” groups in terms of strength and influence. However, their specialty is not to organize mass rallies but to promote “reasonable and convincing” “brainwash packages” based on their legal expertise.

Among their “brainwash packages,” a simple speed-dial styled flyer called “Why Extradition Law Should Not be Passed” completely distorted the extradition law, which was originally designed to prevent Hong Kong from becoming a fugitive haven. The flyer features a series of alarmist and unwarranted remarks to cause panic among Hong Kong people. For example, it mentions that if the extradition law were to be passed, “Beijing could request to seize Hong Kongers’ assets,” “charges can be framed to arrest any political dissidents” and “as a stooge of Beijing, the Chief Executive would not reject any unreasonable extradition requests.”

The flyer also introduces profile photos of legal experts, such as Billy Li from Progressive Lawyers Group and Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, in an effort to make the content seem more valid and reliable. In addition, data comparisons of mainland China and Hong Kong were presented to further lend intuitive authenticity to the flyer.

This is not some simple “popular science reading,” but rather a highly political and provocative propaganda piece. It takes advantage of young people’s respect and trust toward legal professionals, misguiding them to believe that the extradition law is “bad” and instigating them to take to the streets.

“The whole package of legal explanations for dummies” made by the Progressive Lawyers Group was widely circulated because it contains a broad variety of “useful” legal information, explaining what bail is, how to refuse to be bailed out, who to turn to after being arrested, what the consequences are of attending a rally that’s already been issued a “Letter of Objection” by the Hong Kong officials, and so on. Billy Li, as one of the conveners from the Progressive Lawyers Group, was once giving a public “lecture” on what to do after being arrested to students from the University of Hong Kong.

Billy Li teaching students what to do after being arrested.

The “Spark Alliance” offers this kind of “logistical support” as well. It provides a range of support services, including “support” for the “accidentally” arrested or imprisoned non-partisans and their family members if needed. More specifically, their services encompass free legal counseling on bail and related business, accompanying people to court appearances, emergency medical support, prison visits and assistance to prisoners and their families, as well as reemployment support after prisoners are released.

“If the rioters get the signal that they have some reliable friends inside the legal circle, they will no doubt resort to more aggressive and radical behavior. This will continue to take its toll on our society, only worse.” Hong Kong’s certified Senior Counsel Edwin Choy Wai-Bond commented.

If giving kids petrol bombs is to abet a homicide, providing a set of this sort of “brainwash package” is to dehumanize them. If you plant a vindictive and fanatical seed deep in their hearts and tell them that there are no consequences of what they choose to do, young people will certainly become stringed pawns to be manipulated.

Who is behind them?

These non-profit organizations have a wide range of “businesses,” which would not be able to run without sufficient manpower, material resources and steady financial investment. After careful scrutiny of their backgrounds, one can easily see right through the lie of there being “no ringleaders” behind the anti-extradition bill protests.

Progressive Lawyers Group’s annual gala dinner.

Take a look at a photo from the Progressive Lawyers Group’s annual gala dinner. The line-up here seems more like a disrupters’ get-together. The event had members from the Democratic Party, Civic Party, Localist groups, Demosisto, League of Social Democrats and other Hong Kong political parties in attendance, among which were Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Edward Leung Tin-kei, Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Chu Yiu-ming.

The Progressive Lawyers Group was founded on Jan. 27, 2015, shortly after the end of the illegal “Occupy Central,” by a group of legal professionals including Hong Kong’s certified Senior Counsels, solicitors, law students and people with law degrees. The group consists of 30 core members, which includes its former conveners Kevin Yam, Wilson Leung, Jonathan Man and Choy Ki, and its current conveners Billy Li, Chris Ng and Jason Y. Ng.

Conveners of Progressive Lawyers Group.

Among its members, many have a good relationship with the “gang of poisonous four.” During the illegal “Occupy Central,” Kevin Yam was spotted “having elliptical conversations” with Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Martin Lee Chu-ming and other leading disrupters. Once, Kevin Yam was pictured hiking with Jimmy Lai Chee-ying. The two looked quite close in the photo.

The core members of the Progressive Lawyers Group are mainly from the oppositional party, the Civic Party. For instance, Kevin Yam once co-wrote an article for the Civic Party on the political system with Zhang Daming, a senior member of the Civic Party. Besides that, Wilson Leung once endorsed the founding members of the Civic Party Dennis Kwok Wing-hang and Alan Wong Hok-ming.

Wen Wei Po, a Hong Kong-based Chinese language newspaper, refers to the Progressive Lawyers Group as a brave team of the Civic Party. Remarks involving oppositional political views, that Civic Party does not have the position or the heart to say, such as comments to violate the Basic Law, challenge the Central Government and propagate Hong Kong’s “independence,” are outsourced to the Progressive Lawyers Group. Through the Progressive Lawyers Group, they can spread the Civic Party’s political points and views, gaining some votes for the election.

The legal team of the Civil Human Rights Front consists of over 40 solicitors and barristers, including certified senior counsel members Hectar Pun, Denis Chang Khen-Lee, Johannes Chan Man-mun, Chan Chi Hung and Paul Harris. Team member Denis Chang Khen-Lee was spotted having a late night secret meeting with Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Martin Lee Chu-ming and former chairwoman of the Civic Party Audrey Eu Yuet-mee in 2016. Another team member, Paul Harris, founded the Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong in 1995 under Martin Lee Chu-ming’s advice, which is financially supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Spark Alliance was formerly known as “the First Moonlight”.

The Spark Alliance was formerly known as “the First Moonlight.” After some money scandals, disputes and internal conflicts came to light, a few members were accused of embezzling, which led to multiple shouting matches. Because members seem to have their own axes to grind, some of them decided to set up another organization and named it Spark Alliance, continuing to pick money from the public’s pocket.

Raising funds under the slogan “supporting the fighters,” the majority of the Spark Alliance are actually from groups that support the so-called Hong Kong independence. Since many of its members are also in the Hong Kong National Front, the Spark Alliance is basically a puppet of the one of their puppets. Even the leader of the Spark Alliance, Lu Yishen, a.k.a. A Tang, is a head of the Hong Kong National Front.

There is evidence that Alan Leong Kah-kit, Wong Yuk-man, Tsang Kin-chiu, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Leung Chung-hang, James Chan Kwok-keung, among others, supported and participated in activities organized by Spark Alliance, all of whom are leaning strongly toward the Hong Kong “Independence.”

The true colors of those responsible for plunging Hong Kong into chaos have long been laid bare. However, some young Hong Kongers are still kept in the dark, placing their trust in these so-called legal professionals who have “kindly” lent their hands, not knowing that they have already become pawns at the mercy of opposition parties.