Where did This Law Come From?
It was first introduced by the British in 1922 to combat wildcat strikes by Chinese seaman who were protesting dismal wages.
Passed in a single day, it received little scrutiny and remained on the statute books.
The broad wording enables Hong Kong’s leader to make “any regulations whatsoever” in the event of an emergency or imminent public danger.
The range of other powers available are extensive. It includes censorship of the media, control of ports, the appropriation of property as well as extra arrest, detention and deportation powers for the police.
The chief executive could also authorise searches without court warrants and the censorship and suppression of communications.
The last time it was used was during the 1967 riots when more than 50 people were killed over the course of a year as leftists, with the help of the People’s Militia from mainland China, conducted a widespread bombing and murder campaign.