If you thought that former Chief Executive CY Leung would have been glad to recede from the public eye now that his successor, Carrie Lam, has overtaken him in a race to the bottom as the least popular Hong Kong leader in history, you might want to think again.
Leung today took to Facebook to tout a new website called 803.hk, complete with telephone hotline, that’s offering actual bounties for the identities of certain participants on the front lines of Hong Kong’s long-running pro-democracy protest movement — and in true Wild West style, the bigger the protester’s perceived infraction, the bigger the reward.
Rewards range from HK$200,000 (about US$25,000) for those who took part in unruly protests at the airport and Wong Tai Sin in recent weeks, to as much as HK$1 million (about US$127,000) for those responsible for pelting the Chinese national emblem with eggs and black paint at the liaison office last month.
Leung posted a photo of 803.hk’s homepage to Facebook today with the caption “please spread widely.”
The website’s “about us” page says the reward money on offer comes from the “private sector,” and hints at future crowdfunding. It also says that a “professional team” will follow up on tips and that tipsters’ identities will remain confidential, adding: “We come from all walks of life and hope that Hong Kong will return to peace as soon as possible.”
However, according to a database maintained by the Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company, the owners of the 803.hk domain name come from a very specific walk of life: that of one “Mr Chun Ying Leung” — CY’s full name.
The domain name 803.hk refers to a date, Aug. 3, which saw protesters throw a Chinese flag into the sea after removing it from a flagpole in Tsim Sha Tsui, an incident that sparked more than a little indignation in pro-Beijing circles.
Information leading to the perps behind that particular act could net the informant between HK$200,000 and HK$1million, according to 803.hk — although police already arrested five people suspected of involvement in the case last week.
All told, the site lists 30 different incidents in the last three months, including one at an airport protest on July 26 in which protesters surrounded an elderly man trying to leave the building, and another during a demonstration at Sha Tin that saw protesters attack a police officer inside the New Town Plaza Mall.
The site is also offering a HK$500,000 reward to anyone who can provide information on Brian Leung Kai-ping, one of the protesters who entered the Legislative Council on July 1 and famously took off his mask in the chamber. Brian Leung left Hong Kong shortly after the storming of LegCo, and is studying for a doctoral degree in the US.
Brian Leung Kai-ping, ex-chief editor of HKUSU’s Undergrad magazine, has urged protesters not to leave and stay in Legco chamber.
“If we leave now, the civil society cannot recover in a decade,” he says. pic.twitter.com/Uz2wS7LPjM
— Alvin Lum (@alvinllum) July 1, 2019