An Apple Daily reporter enquired about bc’s non-coverage of the Hong Kong String Orchestra concert because CY Leung was their patron – here’s his questions and my not so eloquent answers.
1. Did HKSO respond to bc’s open letter? If they did, what did they say in their response?
No, the Hong Kong String Orchestra (HKSO) has not responded. But just to be clear, I think the HKSO is a wonderful orchestra – our choosing not to report abut them is solely related to the HKSO’s Honorary Patrons comments.
One person emailed us 2 days ago to voice her criticism of our stance. I asked her to post her objections about bc’s position to our website or on facebook. She’s has yet to do so.
2. It was stated in the letter that bc cannot write about HKSO while CY Leung remains as patron of HKSO. CY Leung however is patron for almost 100 different groups and organizations. Will bc extend the boycott to other organizations in which CY is patron or chairperson?
Just as bc magazine has not written about restaurants who sell sharks fin for the last 15 years, bc magazine will not be covering, promoting, writing about or accepting advertising from companies or organizations that CY Leung is a patron of.
Some people may think this unfairly punishes the organisations – but they chose to have CY as their patron for the money and prestige it would bring them. And many have done very well financially from their association with him.
They won’t complain – but should – when he opens his mouth and insults and demeans hard working Hongkongers – who are probably their own customers and employees.
3. Does bc worry that this public statement that criticize the CE would undermine bc’s advertising revenue or bring about political pressure?
Not everyone can get paid $50million for doing nothing. The Chief Executive’s comments were insulting and demeaning to all those Hongkongers who work hard long hours – yet earn less than $14,000/month. The ‘poor’ and working class that CY wants to disenfranchise are the heart of Hong Kong – their work powers the city, their spending goes mostly into local business, they are Hong Kong.
There are also a few questions for you personally:
4. How long have you been in Hong Kong and what brought you here?
5. bc has followed the Umbrella Movement quite closely. What are your views on the movement?
bc magazine covers the Umbrella Movement by reporting what we see happening – interviewing those involved and reporting what say.
From a personal point of view, I think those who ‘govern’ us have not done the best job in recent years. There’s many reasons for that, mostly self-interest and incompetence, and it runs across all levels and political parties. But greed, stupidity and looking after no1 are hardly unique to HK politicians.
I don’t know if the Umbrella Movement will achieve all its aims – but it’s achievements so far will have a profound impact on Hong Kong. The calls for universal suffrage are placing the dissatisfaction of so many front and centre and demanding that Legco and the CE look out for the interests of all Hongkongers not just the rich. This after all is why they were elected and took an obligation to do and all of them have failed. The failure is theirs, and holding them to account for their failures and personal greed is our responsibility.
6. CY Leung has misspoken in more than one occasion recently, and his integrity has been questioned ever since he was selected. Do you think he is fit for the position of CE?
By his words and actions, my confidence in CY as CE is non-existent. But who would be an improvement? We are stuck with him, until Beijing decides otherwise – until that day arrives we can only hope he learns and improves.
7. You founded bc in 1994 and have witnessed the change of Hong Kong since then. Do you think Hong Kong has become a better or a worse place in the past 20 years?
Hong Kong has changed a lot, but it’s still the world’s greatest city and there’s still no better place to live. No other city / country could have hundreds of thousands of people holding a peaceful protest, with not a window broken. A protest where people look out for others ahead of themselves, pick up the rubbish and recycle unasked. Where seeing someone in need they offer to help not ignore… Beneath the concrete, it’s her people who make HK unique and a wonderful place to call home.
No idea if or when it will be published.
If you think CY Leung’s comments disenfranchising large numbers of Hongkongers purely on their salary is (looking for a polite word here) insulting. Then vote with your wallet, and avoid those businesses / organisations where CY is a patron.