Jimmy Lai and the Oriental Daily News

I was surprised to discover recently that, in addition to being charged under the new National Security Law and awaiting trial for taking part in an “unauthorized” commemoration of the 1989 Tian’anmen Massacre, 黎智英 Jimmy Lai is also currently in court for allegedly intimidating a news reporter working for the Oriental Daily News. In this report by 林樂兒 Làhm4 Lohk6 Yìh4 at HK01, we learn something about the background to this case, especially with regard to the methods employed by the Oriental Daily News to gather their stories. You can find the original HK01 story here.



● 刑事恐嚇 = (?) criminal intimidation | 刑事 yìhng4 sih6 = criminal + 恐嚇 húng2 haak3 = to threaten; to intimidate
● 東方報 = Dūng1 Fōng1 Bou3 = Oriental Daily News
● 事主 sih6 jyú2 = the victim of a crime
● 辯方 bihn6 fōng1 = the defence (in a legal trial)
● 隸屬 daih6 suhk6 = be subordinate to; be under the jurisdiction or command of; be affiliated; an affiliation
● 監察 gāam1 chaat3 = to monitor; to supervise; to control
● 擺位 báai2 wái6*2 = ? | baai2 = 1. to lay; to put; to place; to arrange
● 事宜 sih6 yìh4 = arrangements; to make) arrangements

The founder of Apple Media Jimmy Lai is suspected of criminal intimidation [刑事恐嚇] against a reporter [from] the Oriental Daily Newspaper Group [東方報業集團]. Under questioning from the defence, the victim of the crime admitted that he was affiliated with a “special case group” [專案組] and, if there was no other important work to do, would monitor [the movements] of Jimmy Lai every day. [This monitoring] included following him whenever he went out for a meal or made a trip to the airport. He also explained that this was referred to as baai wai or “putting [someone] in a position” [擺位]. After the questioning, the defence quoted articles from the Oriental Daily and suspected (?) that when the newspaper reported on Lai’s arrangements [事宜], they depicted him in a negative light. In response, the victim said “We report things as they are” [我哋係如實報道].


● 音樂亭 yām1 ngohk6 tāhng4= (?) music pavilion
● 意圖 yi3 tòuh4 = an intention; (an) intent
● 受驚 sauh6 gīng1= be frightened by sth.; be startled

The accused Jimmy Lai (72 years of age) denied that his threatening of X on 4 June 2017, near the music pavilion [音樂亭] in Victoria Park, could cause physical harm to another person or that he intended to startle him [i.e. X (?)].

認定期在黎家門口守候 / He acknowledged that he regularly kept watch at the entrance to Lai’s residence

黎由資深大律師 Peter Duncan 及大律師許卓倫代表。X在辯方盤問下,透露現時在《東方日報》任職採訪主任,他於2013年前加入「專案組」,兩年後成為小組主管。小組會定期在黎的家門守候,尾隨對方活動,例如黎外出用膳時會在餐廳外等候,亦試過跟著黎前往機場。至於有無跟過黎的子女上學,X稱如誤以為黎在車上便會跟隨,但他本人未試過。

● 守候 sáu2 hauh6 = 1. to wait for; to expect 2. to keep watch
● 任職 yahm6 jīk1 = to hold a post; be in office
● 主任 jyú2 yahm6 = director; head; chairman
● 主管 jyú2 gwún2 = 1. be responsible for; be in charge of 2. a person in charge

Lai was represented by Peter Duncan QC and the senior lawyer Lawrence Hui Cheuk-lun. When questioned by the defence, X revealed that he currently held the position of head of [gathering] news at the Oriental Daily. He joined the “special case group” before 2013, and two years later took charge of it. At regular intervals, the group kept watch at the entrance to Lai’s residence, and tailed his movements. for instance, when Lai when out for a meal someone would wait outside the restaurant. He had also been followed out to the airport. As to whether Lai’s children had been followed on their way to school, X claimed that this had happened only when they mistakenly believed Lai to be in the car with them, but he himself had never done such a thing.

黎在港便會「擺位」/ If Lai was in Hong Kong, he would be “put in a position”

被問及其小組是否恆常尾隨黎,X 答:「如果唔喺香港,我哋唔會。」又指小組亦有其他工作。辯方追問,若無其他重要工作,專案組會否每日監察黎智英?X 承認道:「我哋叫擺位,係囉。」

● 恆常 hàhng4 sèuhng4 = regularly; (?) constantly

When asked whether the group constantly tailed Lai, X replied: “No, not when he wasn’t in Hong Kong.” He also said that the group had other work to do. When the defence asked him whether the special case group would monitor Lai every single day if it had no other work to do, X admitted that they would, saying: “We called it baai wai or “putting [someone] in a position” [擺位].

眾多行家擠迫才會近距離拍黎 / Lai would only be photographed if there were crowds of other journalists [行家]

辯方引述數篇文章,指東方於2014年8月報道黎智英被追訪時,其座駕疑輾傷一名記者,附圖顯示多人包圍黎的座駕。辯方問 X,該些追訪的記者有無遵守新聞操守?X 指自己不在場,並就圖片回答:「如果阻到行唔到,咁一定有違反操守,但我唔知下一秒係咩狀況。」他又稱,除了在眾多行家擠迫採訪的情況之外,沒有近距離拍攝黎智英。

● 座駕 joh6 gaa3 = one’s private vehicle or car
● 行家 hòhng4 gāa1 = cognoscente, conoisseur, of expert opinion
● 操守 chou3 sáu2 = personal integrity

The defence quoted from several articles and said that in August 2014 it was reported that Lai was suspected of knocking over a reporter while driving when being pursued for an interview [追訪], and causing injury. An image that formed part of the story showed a large number of people [多人] surrounding Lai’s vehicle. The defence asked X whether these reporters giving chase were acting in a manner consistent with journalistic integrity [有無遵守新聞操守]. X said that he wasn’t present at the scene and with regard to the image responded: “If the car was blocked so that it could not continue on its way, that would certainly violate the code of conduct [違反操守], but I don’t know what happened in the next second [after this image was taken].” He went on to claim that Lai would not be photographed at close range unless there were crowds of other journalists around him.

強調如實報道 / [He] emphasized reporting things as they were


● 有負面咪報負面囉 is a good example of the pairing of 咪 with the final particle 囉. As Yip and Matthews note, the combination “suggests that what follows is an obvious conclusion” and is used in sentences such as 你做得唔開心咪第二份工囉 = If you’re not happy in your work, then find another job (Intermediate Cantonese, Unit 23).
● 競爭對手 gihng6 jāng1 deui3 sáu2 = competitor
● 翻查紀錄 fāan1 chàah4 gei1 luhk6 = “rummage around through the records”

The defence then read from another article and posed the question whether the Oriental Daily presented Lai in a negative light. X said: “We report things as they are. If things are negative, we report them negatively, if positive then positive.” He agreed that the Oriental Daily and Apple Daily were serious competitors, [but] would have to look back through the records to determine whether there had [ever] been any positive reports on Lai or Apple Daily in the Oriental Daily.

指訃告非新聞 / He said that an obituary [for Lai] was not news

辯方續指,東方於2014年8月刊登訃告,指「黎志英」患愛滋病及多種癌症併發不治身亡,訃告最後一句為「請2傳霉員工節哀順變」。X 稱該文並非新聞,他不清楚這與黎智英有無關係。


● 訃告 fuh6 gou3 = obituary
● 傳霉 chyùhn4 mùih4 = (?) to infect with a sexually transmissible disease
● 節哀順變 jit3 ōi1 seuhn6 bin3 = to restrain grief and accept the change; an expression of condolence for a bereaved person

The defence went on to say that in August 2014 the Oriental Daily published an obituary which said that “Lai Chi-ying” [黎志英 sounds exactly like Jimmy Lai’s Chinese name, 黎智英] had passed away, having contracted AIDS together with various kinds of cancer. The final line of the obituary read: “We offer our condolences to the two staff members who passed on the infection [傳霉]”. X claimed that this was not news and was not sure whether it had anything to do with Jimmy Lai.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

Cantonese Podcasts: Cynthia, Salt-maker!

Cynthia went to the island of 鹽田梓 Yim Tin Tsai in Sai Kung four years ago, and instantly felt a strong attraction to the traditional practice of sea salt-making carried on there.  Watch this video and I think you’ll get a good sense of why this might be so.

I particularly enjoyed this clip for the way it brings together words, images and music in a beautifully holistic way: the result is certainly greater than the sum of its individual parts. There are also some wonderful things in it for anyone learning Cantonese, although it has to be said that Cynthia’s enthusiasm for salt accelerates the speed of her talk, sometimes to the point of incomprehensibility for a non-native speaker . . .

In terms of grammar, you’ll be struck at once by Cynthia’s preference for a 依 yī1 over 呢 nī1/lī1 for the meaning of “this; here”, etc. Secondly, she has a fondness for 囉 lō1, a final particle that has been perplexing me for some time! From the three uses of it in this video, I get the impression that one of its uses is to modify the force of an assertion. Whenever Cynthia makes a claim for something, she tends to add 囉, perhaps to make her assertions more acceptable to a (sceptical) listener:

● 「鹽」,用一個字去形容可以係「甜」囉。
If I had to [choose] one word to describe “salt”, I would say “sweet”.
● 噉其實係好 . . . 做到我想要嘅嘢囉。
Actually, this is a good thing . . . and does the things that I would like to have.
● 噉喺依個時代冇咁有無力感囉
Then there wouldn’t be such a feeling of powerlessness in this period.

You will also notice two instances of a 透過 tau3 gwo3, which is used in Cantonese to indicate the means by which an action is done, and an occurrence of the final particle 噃 bo3 in 環境好似唔錯噃 = The surroundings do not seem too bad at all. There’s plenty of colourful vocabulary here, too, including 一脚踢 yāt1 geuk3 tek3, literally “one-foot kicking”, that means “to single-handedly oversee a project entirely”, as well as the unusual verbs 嗒 daap1 or dep1 = “to try and assess a taste” and 打卡 dáa2 kāat1 = “to take a selfie at some tourist hotspot”.

The reporter at HK01 for this clip was 溫嘉敏 (Wān1 Gāa1 Máahn5), the camera person was 林頌華 (Làhm4 Juhng6 Wàah4), while 曾雁翔 (Jāng1 Ngaahn6 Chèuhng4) was responsible for the editing.

You can watch Cynthia on the HK01 website here. Unfortunately, there are no English subtitles, so if you’d like a translation, please scroll down. And if you’d like extra help with any of Cantonese, remember to make use of the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

Perhaps by the end you’ll be at least a little more inclined to believe that salt is sweet, as Cynthia says at the beginning.



If I had to [choose] one word to describe “salt”, I would say “sweet”.


● 爲止 wài4 jí2 forms a usual structure meaning “up to; till”, and routinely goes together with a preceding 至 ji3 or 至到 ji3 dou3. So, 至到依刻爲止 = up to the present moment.
● 結 git3 jīng1 = a crystal; to crystallize
● 雀躍jeuk3 yeuhk6 = to be over the moon; happy; glad

In fact, from the first day I [came to work here] as a volunteer, I actually get excited and over the moon [雀躍] whenever I see salt.


The reporter speaks:


● 一脚踢 yāt1 geuk3 tek3 = to single-handedly oversee a project entirely; to undertake the whole thing by oneself; a one-man company (lit. one-foot-kick)

Cleaning up and fetching water, Cynthia oversees these things herself.

四年前開始,Cynthia 就喺鹽場幫手曬鹽。

● 曬鹽 saai3 yìhm4 = to evaporate brine in the sun to make salt

Four years ago, Cynthia began helping to make salt at [these] saltworks.


● 日曬雨淋 yaht6 saai3 yúh5 làhm4 = exposed to the sun and the rain

She did a degree in social work, but she braves the hot sun and the rain to come to Yim Tin Tsai.


Why is this so?


Cynthia speaks:


● Note that 嚟 làih4 is used to express purpose: to use land for [the purposes of].
● 項目 hohng6 muhk6 has the basic meaning of “item”. It is one of those nouns like 情況 chihng4 fong3 that get used a lot in Cantonese, but which often don’t really need to be translated.

Land in Hong Kong is mainly used [for the purposes of] real estate in Hong Kong.


● Here, I think 吖嘛 aa3 maa3, the double particle suggesting “obviousness”, means “as we all know”.

That is, it is used as a commodity.


● 竟然 gíng2 yìhn4 = unexpectedly | This generally signals the speaker’s attitude to what is being said.
● 產量 cháan2 leuhng6 = output
● Note the use of the aspect marker 返 fāan1 here, to indicate a going back to a previous state of affairs, or a resumption of something that has been interrupted. The suggestion in this sentence is one must go back to protecting certain historical and cultural values.
● 傳承 chyùhn4 sìhng4 = to impart & inherit

But there is so much room on this island, and so things are done here that are not [connected with] economic output, [but which] are purely [about] protecting certain historical and cultural values, and with carrying on [e.g. “traditions”] [belonging to] a certain time in history.


● 緊密 gán2 maht6 = tight and close
● 一啲 yāt1 dī1 = some; some more

My feeling is that the relationship between human beings and nature could be a bit closer.


● 咁啱 gam3 ngāam1 = what a coincidence; by chance; it just so happens
● Note that in 嚟自, the 自 jih6 means “from”.
● 透過 tau3 gwo3 = through; by; by means of; by way of
● 成就 sìhng4 jauh6 = to achieve; to accomplish
● 必需品 bīt1 sēui1 bán2 = a necessity; an essential (thing) | cf. 生活必需品 = life’s necessities

Here, as by coincidence, [we have] that opportunity [that is, to do things that are not purely connected with economic output], because salt comes from [that is, “is a product of certain factors such as”] the sky and from the sea, so through human agency [透過人] this thing [called] salt comes about. Furthermore, this salt is a necessity for human beings.

噉其實係好 . . . 做到我想要嘅嘢囉。

Actually, this is a good thing . . . and does the things that I would like to have.


● 技藝 geih6 ngaih6 = skill; artistry

The entire salt-making process is carried out by means of the most traditional skills.


● 雜質 jaahp6 jāt1 = impurities
● 釋放 sīk1 fong3 = to release; to let out
● 礦物質 kong3 maht6 jāt1 = mineral
● 微量元素 meih6 leuhng6 (?) yùhn4 sou3 = (?) trace element

Many impurities [雜質] have already been largely removed [lit. 釋放 sīk1 fong3 = released], while what remains in the grains of salt are the minerals and trace elements in the brine.


And so for this reason many kids who come here say of their own accord [自己會話] that as soon as they taste a grain of salt, it tastes sweet.


● 嗒 dāap1 or dēp1 = to try and assess a taste; lick (Sheik Cantonese)

Because a grain of salt is nice to taste and has a good flavour [too].


● 大個咗 daaih6 go3 jó2 = get a bit older; grow up & become an adult
● 回甘 wùih4 gām1 = an aftertaste, especially a sweet one.

But when you get a bit older, you will understand the use of another adjective [to describe you experience of salt]. That adjective is wui gam, “having a sweet aftertaste”.


The reporter speaks:


● 掣肘/制肘 jai3 jáu2 = to hinder so.; to stop so. (from) doing sth.; to restrict; to impede | 肘 means “elbow” in classical Chinese

The salt fields are quite extensive, but there has always been a shortage of people to help do the work, and this has been an impediment to the wish for further development.


Cynthia speaks:


First of all, we have had a shortage of people.


Secondly, owing to the lack of people, we do not produce enough.


● 應承 yīng1 sìhng4 = to promise | The addition of 得到 suggests the ability to succeed in an action (Tong & James, Colloquial Cantonese, chapter 10), although 可以 here also indicates possibility. Remember that with this meaning 到 changes tone and becomes high-rising: dóu3*2! The further addition of 住 jyuh6 seems unusual here. My guess, based on the work of Yip and Matthews, is that adds the sense of “a continuous state without change” (Intermediate Cantonese, p.100).

And so for this reason up to now we have been unable to make any promises [regarding] the plentiful opportunities for collaboration.


However, there are a lot of opportunities, a lot.


● 體力勞動 tái2 lihk6 lòuh4 duhng6 = manual labour; physical work
● The phrase 幫到手 is another example of 到 dóu3*2 suggesting success in doing something = “to manage to help”. Because 幫手 bong1 sau2 is a verb-object compound (手 means “hand”, making this verb similar in meaning to the English “to lend a hand”!), 到 is placed between the two parts of the verb.

Because it really is [a matter of] physical labour here, it has always been fantastic when younger people lend us a hand.


When this has such an immense value for me, it makes me feel that possibly, possibly other people of my age-group could find this [same] value, and could take part in it, [too].


● Cynthia manages to combine all the verbs meaning “to have” or “not to have” in the phrase 冇咁有無力感 = lit. “not-having such a having of a feeling of not-having-power”!

Then there wouldn’t be such a feeling of powerlessness at this time.


In actual, the salt-fields are very beautiful.


Because I have taken a lot of photos, and so have my friends, and my friends who have worked as volunteers.

噉影咁多相 ,咁無理由自己睇㗎嘛。

● 無理由 móuh4*5 léih5 yàuh4 = without reason | cf. 理由 leih5 you4 = a reason, ground or argument
● 㗎嘛 gaa3 maa3 is a contraction for 吖嘛 ge3 aa3 maa3, in which 嘅 increases the force of the assertion and 吖嘛 suggests obviousness or perhaps even “beyond the shadow of a doubt”. In this sense, 嘅 ge3 is the opposite in function to 囉 lō1, which weakens or downplays sureness.

But there is no point in us taking all these photographs just for me to look at.

噉咪,橫掂都係喇,咁不如開個 page,開個ig,跟住擺吓相,做吓記錄啦。

● 噉咪 involves one of the numerous special meanings of 咪 maih6. My provisional explanation that it is very similar to the sentence opener 噉就 gám2 jauh6, which suggests sequence: “Then . . .” + Observe how 橫掂 wàahng4 dihm6 = “anyhow; anyway; in any case; regardless” and 不如 work together in this sentence, meaning something like “since this is the way it is, I might as well . . .” Sheik Cantonese provides a similar example: 橫掂都出咗嚟,順便去睇戲啦 = Let’s go for a movie as we are already here anyway! Typically, too, suggestions made with 不如 bāt1 yùh4 require 啦 lāa1 at the end of the sentence.

So, given this [橫掂都係喇] [I thought] why not start a Facebook site and use Instagram, then put up some photos where they could serve as a record?


● 優質 yāu1 jāt1 = top quality; high grade

People could see [for themselves] just [what] top quality salt in Hong Kong has.


The reporter speaks:


● One of the meanings of 噃 bo3 is affirmation. I don’t hear it very often and, when I do, it is usually from an older speaker. This instance shows that younger people can use it too. Another example of affirmative 噃 is 我記得唔係咁噃! = I remember it wasn’t like that!

The surroundings do not seem too bad at all.


● 打卡 dáa2 kāat1 = “to take a selfie at some tourist hotspot”. My sense here is that 個 go3 is added to this verb-object verb not to quantify the action (“take one selfie”) but to add a casualness to the activity akin to like “take a few selfies; just to take a selfie or two”.

If someone just felt like coming here and taking a few selfies, and then [decided to stay on] to do two or three days of volunteer work, would you accept them?


[They would be] very welcome, yes.


● 大把 daaih6 báa2 = “a lot; many; a great deal of”. My sense is that 把 here is a kind of general measure word (or classifier), perhaps loosely connected to its verb meaning of “to hold; to grasp”, suggesting “a (big) handful of”.

As a matter of fact, on this island of ours, actually there would be quite a lot of work available to you once you get here.


● 落去 lohk6 heui3 is basically a particle added to a verb to indicate direction, “down”). However, 落去 also has the extended meaning of “to keep on doing”. This may be another small piece of evidence suggesting that the Chinese view of time is a movement downwards towards the future.

If you had the heart [心], actually, and wanted to keep on [working], [then] as a matter of fact that would be no problem.

Twin Fragilities

Now the smashed bouquet:
Victorian poppies, daisies, crocuses
and roses
gardened to perfection
on a nineteenth-century tea-saucer
park for good their shell-thin porcelain scatter on today’s black concrete floor.
The crisp,
telling blow of this out-of-the-blue musical destruction
still tinkles aftertones
through a pair of shocked ears listening hard for the mind
to catch up — once again — to the everyday-
In the same way, a small green bird stunned against invisible outdoor glass
stares hard at the rich spilt yolk
pooled at its feet
from a delicate, delicately broken
miscarried egg.

Photograph: Evette Kwok (2020)

Benny Tai’s Renewal

This article by HK01 reporter 梁子傑 Leung Tsz-kit brings us up to date with the situation of 戴耀廷 Benny Tai, who was dismissed from his teaching post at Hong Kong University at the end of July. It outlines Tai’s response to this next phase in his life, introduces us to his innovative Rule of Law Rebirth Project, and touches on the prospect of Tai’s being charged under the new National Security Law for his role in the very successful primary elections held on 11-12 July. The keynote is rebirth.


上月底(7月28日),港大校委會未有接納教務委員會的建議,保留佔領運動發起人、前港大法律系副教授戴耀廷的教席,以 18 比 2 大比數通過即時解僱戴耀廷。戴接受港台訪問時表示,現時香港社會淪陷,大學無法力挽狂瀾,守護學術自由,願大學校長在充滿謊言的時代,仍敢講真話。

● 校委會 haauh6 wái2 wúi6*2 = university committee; university board; university council
● 接納 jip3 laahp6 = to admit; to accept
● 發起 faat3 héi2 = to initiate; to start
● 大比數 daaih6 béi2 sou3 = (?) majority (in a vote)
● 淪陷 lèuhn4 haahm6 = 1. (of territory) fall into enemy hands; be occupied by the enemy 2. to submerge; to flood; to inundate
● 力挽狂瀾 lihk6 wáahn5 kòhng4 làahn4 = to pull strongly against a crazy tide; fig., to try hard to save a desperate crisis, overcome impossible odds, seize victory from the jaws of defeat

At the end of last month (28 July), the HKU Council did not accept the recommendation to retain the position of Benny Tai, one of the initiators of the Occupy Central Movement and Assistant Professor in the Law Department of HKU, voting 18 to 2 for his immediate dismissal. In an interview with RTHK, Tai said that at present Hong Kong society is going under [淪陷] and that universities are powerless to resist the tide and protect academic freedoms. It was his wish that university heads would dare to speak the truth in an era filled with lies.


● 角色 gok3 sīk1 = a role; a part
● 衝上天空 chūng1 séuhng5 (?) tīn1 hūng1 = (?) flying straight up into the sky | cf. 衝 = 1. to charge; to rush; to dash 2. to soar; to skyrocket; to shoot up; to rise rapidly

Tai said that he felt freer after being forced to leave Hong Kong University, a place where he taught for nearly thirty years, because after leaving he could find new roles [for himself]: “Just like a bird flying straight up into the sky, I feel, strangely [反而], an ever greater freedom. Even if one is unable to stay in one [particular] place, I believe that that the sky is vast. Yes, you could think of it as [可以算] the end of one phase of [my] life, but it is also the beginning of another.


● 感慨 gám2 koi3 = to sigh with emotion
● 學府 hohk6 fú2 = seat of learning; institute of higher learning
● 守不住 sáu2 bāt1 jyuh6 = unable to guard; unable to defend
● 獨存 duhk6 chyùhn4 = to exist on its own; to stand alone
● 張翔 Jēung1 Chèuhng4 = Professor Xiang Zhang, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKU | 翔 = to circle in the air
● 到港日子尚短 = has not yet spent much time in Hong Kong| Note: 尚 seuhng6 = still; yet

With regard to the current [state] of academic freedom in Hong Kong, Tai sighs with emotion [over the fact that] Hong Kong’s highest seat of learning has been unable to defend academic freedom: “When the whole of Hong Kong is going under, HKU cannot stand alone, and both the university and its vice-chancellor are powerless to resist the tide.” He [went on to say] that he has no great hopes for the vice-chancellor Professor Xiang Zhang because he has not been in Hong Kong for long, and that the ideal university head should dare to speak the truth at a time filled with lies.

近日,戴開展「香港法治重生計劃」(Hong Kong’s Rule of Law Rebirth Project),冀在社區推動法治教育工作。他稱,雖然「法治已死」,但仍有機會重生:「我們要有死亡的覺悟,但亦要有重生的盼望,現在香港正經歷死亡的歷程,但當我們有重生的盼望,我們有的就不是一種無力感,而是學習忍耐等候。」

● 冀 kei3 = to hope; to long for; to look forward to
● 推動法治教育工作 = to promote rule-of-law education work
● 覺悟 gok3 ngh6 = consciousness; awareness
● 盼望 paan3 mohng6 = to hope for; to long for
● 歷程 lihk6 chìhng4 = a course (that a certain process takes)
● 忍耐 yán2 noih6 = to exercise patience; to exercise restraint; to restrain oneself
● 等候 dáng2 hauh6 = to wait; to await; to expect

Just recently, Tai has launched [his] Hong Kong’s Rule of Law Rebirth Project in the hope of fostering the work of education [with regard to] the rule of law. He states that although “the rule of law is dead”, there is still the chance of a rebirth: “We must have an awareness of [this] death, but we must also harbour an expectation of its rebirth, giving us then not a sense of powerlessness but the learning of patient anticipation [忍耐等候].

對於民主派曾組織、策劃及參與初選活動被指有可能違反《港區國安法》第 20 條、第 22 條及第 29 條,戴表示,對此感到誠惶誠恐,但會坦然面對,亦會繼續保持單純的心,戴又認為自己得比失多:「可能開始時這條路很少人同行,但道路愈來愈黑,同行的人卻愈來愈多。」

● 初選 chō1 syún2 = primary elections; a straw poll
● 誠惶誠恐 sìhng4 wòhng4 sìhng4 húng2 = in fear and trepidation
● 坦然 táan2 yìhn4 = calm; unperturbed; having no misgivings

With regard to the claim that [指] the democratic parties’ organizing, planning and participating in primary elections may constitute a violation of articles 20, 22 and 29 of the Hong Kong National Security Law, Tai said that he felt fear and trepidation but would face [this possibility] without misgivings, and would continue to maintain a purity of heart. Tai also believes that he has gained more than he has lost: “At the beginning, few people walked this road [with me], but now, as the way gets darker and darker, the number of people walking with me is, however, growing.

Reporter: 梁子傑 14 August 2020
Source: Source: HK01


Natural Stream near Kam Tin 2016 THREE


My own understanding of the great work when I was quite young. At the time, I was some eleven years old. My family was moving from a more settled part of a small southern town out to the edge of town where the new house was being built. The house, not yet finished, was situated on a slight incline. Down below was a small creek and there across the creek was a meadow. It was an early afternoon in late May when I was first wandered down the incline, crossed the creek, and looked out over the scene.


The field was covered with white lilies rising above the thick grass. A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something that seems to explain my thinking at a more profound level than almost any other experience. It was not only the lilies. It was the singing of the crickets and the woodlands in the distance and the clouds in a clear sky. It was not something conscious that happened just then. I went on about my life as any young person might do.


Perhaps it was not simply this moment that made such a deep impression on me. Perhaps it was a sensitivity that was developed throughout my childhood. Yet as the years pass this moment returns to me, and whenever I think about my basic life attitude and the whole trend of my mind and the causes to which I have given my efforts, I seem to come back to this moment and the impact it has had on my feeling for what is real and worthwhile in life.


This early experience, it seems, has become normative for me throughout the entire range of my thinking. Whatever preserves and enhances this meadow in the natural cycles of its transformation is good; whatever opposes this meadow or negates it is not good. My life orientation is that simple. It is also that pervasive. It applies in economics and political orientation as well as in education and religion.

摘自《偉大的事業──人類未來之路》作者托馬斯 ● 貝里 [美] 著 [Thomas Berry: The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future](1990 年)

Photograph: 香港錦田:小溪流 Small creek in Kam Tin, Hong Kong (2016)

“My Rebellious Grandfather” by 張婉雯 Cheung Yuen Man, translated by Audrey Heijns

My paternal grandfather was born in autumn and his name was Kwun Ng, literally “viewing the parasol tree”, based on the phrase “After the leaves of the Chinese parasol tree fall, everyone knows that autumn has come.” Because the phoenix rests in the Chinese parasol tree, he changed his name to Sai Luai, literally “fabulous bird”, when he got married. Later, after he came to Hong Kong for work, he called himself Sum, the Chinese character made up of three trees, meaning “luxuriant vegetation”. My grandfather as I know him went by the name of Cheung Sum — a handsome, stubborn old man.
            It was my grandfather who taught me how to use knife and fork. In my childhood, there were still Hong Kong style “Soy Sauce Western Cafes” that offered affordable, reasonable Western food, similar to today’s cha chaan teng, but slightly more sophisticated. They offered grand dinner meals for Christmas and Easter with half a roast chicken, fruit punch and golden paper hats as gifts for the children. Fok Tin Restaurant in our housing estate was that type of restaurant. Every Sunday grandfather would take my brother, sister and me there for breakfast. He always had his butter bun and hot coffee, and when he saw me pick up my knife and fork he showed me how to use them. My first taste of banana boat and Irish coffee also happened there. For a 7 or 8 year old it was a very fancy place.
            But I didn’t like grandfather. He was the black sheep of the family. My grandmother used to say he was a fickle husband and an irresponsible father. Grandmother was his legal wife, but later he had two concubines, I never learnt the full names of these two nominal grandmothers and only know their nicknames, one being “Sang Fan Hing” and the other “Ah So”. San Fan Hing — meaning “savage darling” — was, as her name suggests, very bad tempered. In China, grandmother once lived with Ah So for a time, but they couldn’t get along. Meantime my grandfather came to Hong Kong for work—he got out of China as quickly as he could, he wanted to leave before the start of the Cultural Revolution, when all his family property was confiscated and only his life was spared. Grandfather was originally well looked after by his father, and they were very wealthy, owning a shopping street. No wonder he hated the Communist Party all his life.
            Although the Communist Party had confiscated his family property, they could never deprive him of his bon vivant lifestyle. In his leisure time, he would recall past events, sometimes saying “Once I danced in the dance hall…” Stories like that. I almost never saw him go into the kitchen, and even his tea was poured for him by grandmother. Before his retirement, whenever he returned home, he would ask us to get his slippers and then reward us with a dollar. He bought me a remote-control toy car and a beautiful little red cape. He was liberal with money except in the case of his wives.
            Not long before I was born, grandfather moved back from Ah So’s place to live with grandmother and my parents, the reason being that he had a falling out with Ah So and the children there. Ah So had left her family in the countryside and came to Hong Kong before grandfather did. Have I seen this grandmother? I don’t know, I’m really not sure. Have I seen her children? I must have seen them once or twice. At grandfather’s funeral, one of my uncles, the one who never showed up during the preparations, came and kowtowed before the stone tablet and left. They said he was Ah So’s son. Even if we happened to meet face to face, I had no way of knowing that the blood of the same person flowed in our veins.
            When grandfather came back to live with us, grandmother was very happy. I still remember that when grandfather took a nap, she would sit beside the bed, reading the newspaper by the window. Usually it was a quiet sunny afternoon. The bed was a plain, metal one with a chequered sheet that was soft and faded from washing. Grandmother would wear embroidered slippers, black framed spectacles on her emaciated face and grey strands in her hair. Grandfather would sleep on his side with his back to her.
            Grandmother’s attitude toward grandfather started to change after Ah So’s death. One day, grandfather was sitting on the sofa, tapping his feet, when he said in a casual, relaxed tone “Ah So passed away.” Later I heard that she had died of breast cancer. Later I heard that grandfather never visited her after she got sick. Later I heard mum say: grandmother observed grandfather’s reaction and was very disappointed. In any case, once I was old enough to understand what was going on, I heard all the time how difficult it was for grandmother to raise six children; how father had to discontinue his studies to support the family and how aunt managed the household. All the result of one cause: grandfather had too many wives and children and was unable to take proper care of them.
            My impression of grandfather up till a couple of years ago changed a little. It was the year that his younger cousin who was eighty something then — by now also deceased — came back from the US and arranged a family reunion dinner with our family in the old district of Sai Wan. In the course of the conversation, he told us that, back then, grandfather actually preferred grandmother’s younger sister, but grandfather’s mother was taken with grandmother and therefore it was grandmother who crossed the threshold. When grandfather took a concubine, he wrote in a letter home saying “Mum, the decision of my legal wife is your business, taking a concubine is mine.” At the time grandmother was already crying her eyes out. Grandmother’s pain was real. Grandfather’s feelings were also real: he didn’t love her. Sometimes love is a luxury, it’s so extravagant that it causes a few generations to hold mutual grudges. At other times love is commonplace, so common that it’s worn away by the little pieces of life. When I came to experience love for myself, at the same time I transcended time and forgave my grandfather for being a rebel. Finally, it dawned on me that besides being a fickle husband and an irresponsible father, he was also after all my doting grandfather.


叛逆的祖父 / 張婉雯










● Cheung Yuen Man likes writing and is concerned with animals. She won the 25th United Daily News Award for fiction debut (short story) in 2011. Her publications include You Are Here 《你在》 (2020), Those were the Cats 《那些貓們》 (2019), Daily of Dust《微塵記》 (2017), Sweeties 《甜蜜蜜》 (2004), and The Pole《極點》 (with Mok Wing Hung). In 2019, Cheung won the Recommendation Award in the Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature, the Hong Kong Bookprize and the Hong Kong Publishing Biennial Award for Daily of Dust.

● Audrey Heijns
, based in Hong Kong, is working at Shenzhen University. Her translations of Chinese literature have been published in literary magazines, including Het Trage Vuur, Twee Ronde, KortVerhaal, Terras, Renditions, Exchanges and Poetry International.


Interesting material about Cheung Yuen Man (in Cantonese):

RTHK interview with Cheung about her book Those Cats

Articles about Cheung on the website HK01:

Part 1 【張婉雯專訪.一】我城空轉虛耗 無力感瀰漫 文學成最後避風港
Part 2【張婉雯專訪.二】凡人比英雄更能代表這個時代 瑣碎中呈現人性

【張婉雯】《微塵記》後的《那些貓們》 印證香港有好文學
動保人兼作家張婉雯 日常瑣事變新作 力證「了解比標籤重要」
【鄉郊動物.四】作家張婉雯: 以文字疏理城鄉動物差異

The Bone Days

                       ⸺ “Together we can make it” (advertising slogan)

No, together we cannot make it
because hope ⸺ like everything,
everyone ⸺ else everywhere has flaws in it we don’t get.
We have to become much sterner than hope;
realer, more fierce than optimism;
stronger, stranger, more stringent than love
in any of its wild- or mildest dreams.
There is an Earthly, unearthly terranean reserve,
a source of solitary endurance which looks for all the world
identical to despair.
Akin to bone,
it carries us wholly blindly unbidden from within
and will almost always
sometimes see us through right to the very end.
In the long run it may even bring us to that next impossible very beginning


香港輞井圍:關帝廟 Kwan Tai Temple in Mong Tseng Wai, Hong Kong (2018)

On the Arrest of 周庭 Agnes Chow

The following brief article on the recent arrest of 周庭 Agnes Chow appeared on the HK01 website here.

壹傳媒集團創辦人黎智英涉違反國安法一案,警方國安處至今共拘捕 10 人,其中前眾志成員周庭被指勾結外國勢力被捕。今晚(10日)晚上8時許,10 多名探員進入周庭位於大埔的寓所及將她拘捕,至晚上近 10 時,她雙手擺放在身後及手持一件衣物,未見手腕有鎖上手銬,由多名探員押上警車帶走。

[In] the case of Apple Media founder 黎智英Jimmy Lai’s arrest for violating the National Security Law, the Department for Safeguarding National Security within the police has arrested 10 people to date, of whom 周庭 Agnes Chow, a former member of Demisistō, has been accused of collusion with foreign powers and taken into custody. This evening (10 August) at around 8 p.m., more than 10 detectives entered Chow’s apartment in Tai Po and arrested her. At around 10 p.m., both arms behind her back and holding some clothing but without handcuffs on her wrists, she was escorted out by several detectives, put into a car and taken away.


● 交代 gāau1 doih6 = [1] to hand over [2] to make clear; to explain [3] to account for; to justify [4] to confess
● 伙 fó2 = a companion; partner; colleague
● 涉嫌 sip3 yìhm4 = to be a suspect (in a crime); under suspicion
● 境外 gíng2 ngoih6 = overseas; foreign
● 洗黑錢 sái2 hāk1 chín2 = to launder money; money laundering

That evening, senior superintendent of the Department for Safeguarding National Security 李桂華Li Kwai-Wah provided some explanation of the case at Police Headquarters. He said that sometime previously the DSNS had been investigating a group of people [一團伙] whose objective was to ask foreign countries or international organizations to impose sanctions on Hong Kong by means of propaganda and active participation [積極參與] and in the course of the investigation discovered two men and a woman operating an organization of this nature in Hong Kong. It is understood that the people concerned included former Demisistō member Agnes Chow, popular organization Hong Kong Story member 李宇軒 Edward Lei, and former Scholarism member 李宗澤 Wilson Li. They are under suspicion of having colluded with foreign or overseas powers. Edward Lei is also under suspicion of money laundering.

警經深入調查後,發現有一群傳媒集團高層利用外國戶口在財政上支持有關團伙,而該團伙在國安法立法後仍然積極運作,警方遂拘捕3男。該 3 名男子包括黎智英、壹傳媒集團總裁及財務總裁周達權,以及黎智英次子黎耀恩,涉嫌勾結外國或者境外勢力;黎智英亦涉煽動罪。

● 立法 lahp6 faat3 = to legislate; to make laws
● 總裁 júng2 chòih4 = chairman; CEO
● 財務總裁 chòih4 mouh6 júng2 chòih4 = chief financial officer

After thoroughgoing investigations, it was found that the upper management of a group of media conglomerates [傳媒集團] made use of foreign bank accounts to provide financial support to organizations of this kind, and that such organizations have been operating up to the present after the adoption of the National Security Law. Consequently, three men were arrested. These three men were Jimmy Lai, Next Digital chief operating officer and chief financial officer 周達權 Royston Chow Tat Kuen, as well as Jimmy Lai’s second son 黎耀恩Ian Lai. They are under suspicion of having colluded with foreign or overseas powers. Jimmy Lai is also under suspicion of incitement.

警方亦接獲投訴指上述傳媒集團涉及串謀詐騙,他們以欺詐手段騙取低價使用廠房的權利,再拘捕 6 男,其中2名男子亦涉違反國安法的上述案件被捕。6男包括黎智英、周達權、壹傳媒行政總裁張劍虹、壹傳媒行政總監黃偉強、壹傳媒動畫總經理吳達光及黎智英長子黎見恩。

Police also received a complaint claiming that that the above-named media conglomerate [Next Digital] conspired to defraud [串謀詐騙], making use of dishonest means to obtain the right to make use of factory space at a low price [取低價使用廠房的權利], in regard to which a further six men were arrested, of whom two are also under suspicion of having violated the National Security Law in the above-mentioned case. The six men are Jimmy Lai, Royston Chow Tat Kuen, Next Digital CEO 張劍虹Cheung Kim Hung, chief administrative officer 黃偉強 Wong Wai-keung, chief executive of Next Animation Studio 吳達光 Kith Ng, and Lai’s eldest son, 黎見恩 Timothy Lai.

周二(11日)凌晨1時許,周庭 Facebook 管理員表示,周庭涉嫌違反《國安法》的「勾結外國或境外勢力危害國家安全罪」罪名被捕,未知是否能夠保釋,並引述警方指,「相信周庭從今年7月至今,曾透過社交媒體請求外國對中華人民共和國實施制裁和敵對行動。」

● 管理員 gwún2 léih5 yùhn4 = administrator

At 1 a.m. early on Tuesday morning (11 August) the administrator for Agnes Chow’s Facebook page said that Chow was under suspicion of having violated the “Crime of Colluding with Foreign Countries or Foreign Forces to Endanger National Security”, [part of] the National Security Law and had been arrested for that charge, and did not know whether she would be released on bail. The administrator also quoted the police as saying “it is believed that this year from July up to the present time [Chow] had made use of social media to ask foreign countries to impose sanctions on the Peoples Republic of China and [to take] hostile actions.

文中亦表示,《國安法》對香港言論自由、新聞自由造成嚴重影響。過去 1 個月,周庭已屢次遭不明人士跟蹤、在家門外監視,甚至有鄰近周庭住所人士透露,有人在周庭住所外安裝紅外線鏡頭,直至周庭被捕後,即被不明人士拆除。

In the administrator’s written response (?) [文中], it also said that the National Security Law had a serious impact on freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Hong Kong. Over the past month, Chow had been followed by unidentified individuals on several occasions and had been watched outside her home. People living near to Chow revealed that an infrared camera [紅外線鏡頭] had been set up outside her residence, and was only removed by unidentified persons after Chow’s arrest.

Save the Children!

On 21 June 2019, Hong Kong demonstrators surrounded the Hong Kong Police Headquarters in Wan Chai. Three leading activists charged with offences relating to the incident, 周庭 Agnes Chow, 黄子峰 Joshua Wong and 林朗彥 Ivan Lam, appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on 5 August for a preliminary hearing. In this short video put together by HK01 reporters 林樂兒 Lam Lok-yi and 陳詠姿 Chan Wing-ji, we hear briefly from the three before they went to court. The trial has been set for 23 November, and Agnes Chow, who has pleaded guilty to both charges (incitement and participating in an unlawful assembly) will have to wait until then to learn what is to become of her.



● 機率 gēi1 léut6*2 = probability; odds
● 判刑 pun3 yìhng4 = condemn; to sentence; a sentence (for a crime)
● 陰霾 yām1 màaih4 = haze
● 信念 seun3 nihm6 = faith; belief
● 破解 po3 gáai2 = to unlock; to crack; to decipher
● 呈堂證供 chìhng4 tòhng4 jing3 gung3 = sworn evidence
● 審訊 sám2 seun3 = a trial; a courtroom hearing
● 爭辯 jāng1 bihn6 = to argue; to debate; to contend
● 不明來歷 bāt1 mìhng4 lòih4 lihk6= of unknown/dubious origin
● 檢討 gím2 tóu2 = to review; to recap
● 追究 jēui1 gau3 = to investigate; to look into
● 包圍 bāau1 wàih4 = to surround; to encircle
● 警總 jīng1 júng2 = police headquarters | an abbreviation for 警察總部

The clip, which last for 1:31, can be viewed here.


周庭 Agnes Chow speaks:

In the opinion of my legal team

There is indeed a slight possibility today

That I just might be facing my sentencing

● 就 jauh6, or sometimes 就住 jauh6 jyuh6, has the meaning of “with regard to; concerning; on (the subject of)” and is used to introduce the topic of a sentence before the start of the main clause.
With regard to my admission of guilt

● 平常心 pìhng4 sèuhng4 sām1 = lit. “an ordinary heart” | I can’t find this noun in my dictionaries
I face up to this as I would to anything in my life (lit. “with an ordinary heart”)

I also believe that, in the hazy [atmosphere; climate] of the National Security Law

We, the people of Hong Kong, myself included

Will cling even more firmly to our beliefs

[0:21] 黄子峰 Joshua Wong speaks:

The police, before informing (? | 知會) the lawyer who is representing me

就係用呢一個以色列軟件 Cellebrite 呢
Employed the Israel[-made] software Cellebrite

To unlock my phone

And then, [they] treated a part of the material in this phone as further [另] sworn evidence

● 呢呢 nī1 nē1 = this (topic) | Note the two different pronunciations for the same Chinese character here.
This then, at the time when the courtroom hearing is beginning, is also something than can be argued about

All the material in this phone, if it has been subjected to a method of such dubious origins

A method which I consider to run counter to procedure and justice to unlock it

Then this issue [呢一樣嘢] provides plenty of scope for argument

[0:56] 林朗彥 Ivan Lam speaks:

On 6 June and 12 June, we saw

● 前所未見 chìhn4 só2 meih6 gin3 = (?) unprecedented | 前所未有 chìhn4 só2 meih6 yáuh5 is more commonly heard, I think
That the people of Hong Kong experienced unprecedented police violence

Of course, later police violence was more serious

To this day, we see that the police have yet to review [or] investigate

● 濫權 laahm6 kyùhn4 = (?) to abuse authority/power
Those members of the police who abused their authority or used excessive force

On that day when Police HQ [ = 警察總部] was surrounded

● 暴徒 bouh6 tòuh4 = thugs; mob
We chanted at the tops of our voices [高喊] “There is only violent government. There are no violent mobs”

This absolutely is an act of justice

● 抱持 póuh5 chìh4 = (?) to cherish; to hold
Today we still cherish this faith

Ice-white and Shining

Barely dressed above decency’s minimum
in shorts, socks, runners,
he hugs himself hushed in intense conversation
with an eager next-door neighbour ⸺
his late afternoon jog still flushed crimson on his chest.
As I pass by self-compact on the footpath,
I notice tucked behind one ear like a stray afterthought
one shining ice-white frangipani flower:
how they match, whorl to whorl, in that grainy hour of twilight!
There are gestures ⸺ MICRO-GESTURES ⸺
which complicate so much for the better
all our caricature notions of character,
though with age, the uncatalogued repertoire
shrinks substantially to a few odd edges of the infinite
to haunt us absent-mindedly ⸺
God-sent to challenge timid autobiography.
What we know we know for a fact
definitely deters but does not prohibit
spontaneous occasional ventures into “fiction”:
down in the yard at the bottom of the drive,
across a line of wind-lashed sheets, I glimpse
that play-act; those folds; those shadows;
that make-believe . . .

Photograph: 唐人溪流:模糊黃花 Blurred wattle flowers, Chinaman Creek (2020)