Saturday, 19 December 2015

HK Police Sweetens Image with Milk Tea

Hong Kong Police try to soften their image -- with milk tea, not tear gas
The Hong Kong police is trying hard to present a positive public image after the bad impression it left from handling protesters during last year's Occupy Movement.

Chief superintendent Steve Hui Chun-tak, nicknamed "Four O'Clock Hui Sir" for his 4pm briefings everyday during the 79-day protest, is moving on to become district commander of Sham Shui Po next month.

Steve Hui (left) with his successor Joseph Au with milk tea
His replacement is chief superintendent Joseph Au Chin-chau, who admits preferring to be more low key. His previous position was head of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, dealing with such cases as the chopper attack on former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau Chun-to, and an alleged bomb plot hatched at an abandoned ATV studio complex in Sai Kung.

So if Au doesn't want to be in the limelight, speaking out on behalf of the Hong Kong Police will be a cartoon character called Kong, who will prepare and serve the city's famous beverage, milk tea at the force's headquarters, and report gossip or stories from other officers.

Kong will also be featured in a comic book story each week on the force's Facebook page, where he will convey anti-crime messages.

"Milk tea is a classic drink that we cannot live without in daily life," said a police source who requested anonymity. "We want to use it as a link to bond with the community and attract young supporters as they love reading comics."

Hui was nicknamed Four O'Clock Hui for his news briefings
Some frontline officers speaking on condition of anonymity, were not impressed by this new PR strategy. They didn't understand how milk tea had anything to do with their work and were concerned the cartoon character would invite further ridicule.

We too have to wonder about this milk tea strategy. Does the Hong Kong Police think it can win more supporters one cup at a time? Or drowning locals in milk tea laced with caffeine will bring about a softer opinion about police officers? And are Hong Kong people really that infantile in that they only way to get through to them is by writing comic books?

Either way it seems rather silly.

Sounds like it's time to go back to the drawing board...



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