|We will have to wait and see what HKTV chairman Ricky Wong does next|
On Tuesday, about 15 minutes before the formal announcement, Wong received a call that his application was rejected without any proper explanation. He then held a press conference in which he voiced his anger, saying the whole decision-making process was opaque and is now seeking a possible judicial review.
After that he gave lay-off notices to 320 of 500 staff effective at the end of this month.
Many of the public were outraged by HKTV's rejected application, and they immediately setup a Facebook page supporting Wong and calling the government to issue HKTV a license. It was also a way for them to show their concern about the government's fairness in its decision. Some 400,000 people liked the page.
And then last night Wong showed up at an open-air forum at Chinese University -- his alma mater -- and was overwhelmed to see some 2,000 students and teachers eager to listen to him.
Reports described Wong as having tears in his eyes to see such strong support that it inspired him to continue to commit himself to creative industries.
Even though there is a protest march organized for this Sunday, Wong said he would not participate. "I can bring more benefits to people as a businessman," he said. "I am not a fighter for democracy."
He then displayed his dry sense of humour. When asked if he would buy ATV, one of the existing free-to-air stations, he replied his preference for buying flats. He said one had to worry about things not working and rats when buying a second-hand flat, which is why he preferred a clean, new one.
Wong also mocked the government, saying, "I don't understand how they do their public relations... they should provide a simple explanation for the rejection and start damage control."
Then a student asked him how he would deal with calls from "grandpa", a nickname for the central government, Wong replied that his grandfather had died many years ago.
When asked whether TVB, the other existing free-to-air station should worry about not having its license renewed, Wong sarcastically said, "TVB's news programs are so good. They shouldn't worry."
Some critics hypothesize Wong didn't get the license because the government feared he would not support it or the central government, while others worried about the erosion of the city's free market.
Nevertheless, Hong Kong people have propped up Wong as its new underdog to root for. To them he stands for justice, creativity and brashness. As long as he keeps fighting, the public will support him.
They are the ones who wanted better TV programs, but it seems the government would rather have more mindless entertainment on the airwaves.