🌊 Free Tide: Macau Legislative Elections see record-low turnout

Record low turnout at Macau Legislative Elections, Denise Ho livestreams concert after sudden venue cancellation, HK police investigate bomb hoax, and more...

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We have a fairly slow news day for you today, with a sprinkle of NSL news at the end. Enjoy!

~ Sze Yu

Record low turnout at Macau Legislative Elections

Macau’s Legislative Elections have experienced a record-low voter turnout after the exclusion of 21 pro-democracy candidates. Election officials attributed the poor turnout to the Covid-19 epidemic and the weather.

42% of Macau’s registered voters cast a ballot, a 15% drop from the elections in 2017. The number of blank votes recorded this year also shot up from 922 to 3,141, making up 2.29 per cent of all ballots. Si Ka-lon of the pro-establishment Macau United Citizens Association topped the polls with 26,593 votes.

Macau’s low voter turnout could foreshadow the potential outcome of Hong Kong’s upcoming Legislative Council elections. Hong Kong’s 2019 district council elections saw a record-high voter turnout, but after the mass-resignation and expulsion of pro-democracy lawmakers in recent years, many pan-democrats have expressed their opposition towards running in what they see as a rigged, illegitimate election.

A post shared by @hongkongfp

COVID news

Coronavirus in Hong Kong

  • New cases: 1 (imported)

  • Total cases: 12,147 cases so far (89 active cases, 212 total deaths, 11,846 total recovered)

Pro-democracy singer Denise Ho livestreams concert after HKAC cancellation

Cantopop star and pro-democracy activist Denise Ho performed her concert online on Sunday after her live event was cancelled by the Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) 11 days before it was set to take place. The venue had terminated the lease agreement on August 31, citing “public order and safety” concerns.

Ho was was forced to refund all live concert tickets and launch a separate ticketing system for the online concert. She performed her set via livestream from a last minute location without any air-conditioning, according to StandNews.

“I don’t know how to thank everyone – the only thing I can do, the only thing I know how to do… is to keep singing,” 

— Cantopop star Denise Ho

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Hong Kong police investigate alleged bomb hoax

Hong Kong police received a report on Saturday morning that claimed a bomb was planted on flight CX 390 en route to Beijing. The aircraft had left the city by the time police were alerted, and upon landing emergency slides were deployed to evacuate passengers and the cabin crew.

The case was listed as a bomb hoax and the airport police criminal investigation team will follow up.

Other updates

Prominent pro-democracy activist Albert Ho has stepped down from three Hong Kong civil society groups, two of which were mentioned in a national security police data request last month. Ho is currently serving an 18-month sentence for unauthorised assemblies during the 2019 pro-democracy protests.

Hong Kong activist Figo Chan has been charged with allegedly participating in an unauthorised demonstration that took place on September 15, 2019 on Hong Kong Island. Chan is currently serving an 18-month sentence for unauthorised assembly.

Hong Kong Secretary for Financial Services has warned that groups that endanger national security will lose their status as charities and stop benefiting from tax exemptions (paywalled). Secretary Christopher Hui said an amended “tax guide for charitable institutions and trusts of a public character” would apply with immediate effect.

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