Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Paper Trail Ends Here

The confiscated toilet paper and packets of tissues with Leung Chun-ying's face
The Democratic Party is now scrambling to find alternative products to sell during the Lunar New Year Fair after its potentially top-grossing item, toilet paper featuring the face of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, was confiscated by mainland authorities.

They not only seized 7,600 rolls of this toilet paper, but also 20,000 packets of tissues with Leung's face on them.

Last year the Democrats grossed HK$100,000 ($12,900) from selling 4,000 rolls of the toilet paper, and this year ordered from the same company.

Kelvin Lai King-wai is head of the Democrats' creative media division. He was surprised that the authorities were able to track down their latest order because they had placed it under the name of someone who was not a member of the party, and had not revealed their identity in the process.

"The stocks had been packed and were to be shipped to Hong Kong today, but the mainland officers suddenly inspected the factory and took away all the boxes," he said yesterday, adding that they also sealed the factory.

Lai said the party spent HK$70,000 for two booths in Victoria Park and another HK$20,000 as a deposit for the toilet paper and tissues. They are now scrambling to find a local manufacturer to produce the same products.

Not only does the factory in the mainland produce toilet paper with Leung's face on it, but those of former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and United States President Barack Obama without any problems.

Perhaps the Democrats could stock up on the Tsang toilet paper, as an announcement on possible charges is imminent...

But it's quite obvious someone -- either Leung himself or someone related to the Liaison Office -- wanted that toilet paper tracked down and confiscated.

Would this be considered an obstruction to freedom of expression? Or a covert operation to stop Leung being the butt of all jokes?

If anything it's given the Democrats some badly needed popularity points. We'll see what they come up with in the next few days...

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