Monday, 21 October 2013

Not Just About TV

Tens of thousands showed their displeasure at the government on Sunday
The media was expecting a few thousand people to show up on Sunday afternoon to protest the Hong Kong government's rejection of Hong Kong Television Network's free-to-air license application. But in the end there were tens of thousands, with police saying the turnout peaked at 36,000.

The protesters dressed in black to illustrate what they saw as the darkest weeks for the city's media industry. Not only were they protesting the government's decision, but also calling for the preservation of Hong Kong's core values.

After marching from Causeway Bay to Tamar, the protesters were joined by former HKTV employees, some of whom took turns to make speeches.

Actor Frankie Lam Man-lung of HKTV said the commerce secretary owed the public an explanation.

"Tell me why we were disqualified. Let us work harder to improve. I just want to do my job properly. I do now want to know that I failed without a reason," Lam said teary-eyed. "I do not know whether there is still hope in Hong kong, and if there is any need to work hard any more."

Some of the protesters admitted they didn't watch much TV now, but felt the government's decision went beyond the medium. "The government has given me the feeling that it doesn't care about what the general public thinks -- it didn't even bother to explain its decision," said Philip Wong, a retiree.

Interestingly this protest comes a year after the 10-day standoff on the issue of national education, where tens of thousands descended on Tamar and cross their arms as a sign they did not want to be taught propaganda in schools. As a result the government backed down -- for now.

This insistence on following Beijing's orders doesn't sit well at all with Hong Kongers who can see right through the intentions.

"The government, including the People's Republic of China government, want to control the media and to manipulate the mindset of us so they can format a group of new Hong Kong people who only know to follow their instructions," said Stephanie Tang, a 33-year-old freelancer who was in the demonstrations yesterday. "We want to tell the PRC that the Hong Kong people are not idiots. Don't cheat us."

But it is the Hong Kong government that is cheating us -- it is not looking after Hong Kong interests for Hong Kong people.

That is the bitter pill the public must swallow, regardless of the promised benefits. We are trying to refuse the pill even though the government is trying to force it down our throats.

It's a sad reality to see the Hong Kong government allowing the "mainlandization" of Hong Kong so easily, and so soon after the handover. But as long as we show our displeasure in numbers, Beijing cannot ignore us and our demands. We must continue our fight to keep Hong Kong the way we want it to be.


  1. I agree about the need to defend the HK culture, but my question to you and everyone is: HOW MUCH YOU ARE WILLING TO RISK IN ORDER TO DEFEND HK CULTURE and VALUES?

    your steady job (iron-bowl?) your assets in HK/China? your reputation?(given it will upset any PRC company) your life?

    My thoughts are HK society in general likes the mainland chinese to step on their chests (even their faces) if it means economic stability.

    "Those who surrender freedom for security (or economic stability) will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." --Benjamin Franklin

    1. HI nulle -- So how much are you willing to risk to defend Hong Kong's core values?