Yesterday I was waiting to see who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Previously, many foreign media were speculating that Chinese human rights defender Hu Jia and even the veteran Chinese democracy activist Wei Jingsheng were likely candidates. At around 5pm, I watched the live broadcast of the result from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. The winner was American president Barack Obama, who had been on the job for less than one year! my colleagues and I were stunned. This is an American president who had been on the job for less one year; he had no foreign accomplishments to speak off. After taking over the presidency, he sent more soldiers into Afghanistan. How is it possible for him to win the Nobel Peace Prize?
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee explained that the prize was given to Obama in recognition of his "extraordinary efforts to increase international diplomacy and promote cooperation among people from different nations" and "the creation of a new climate in international politics." The committee said: "Multilateral diplomacy has returned to the center with an emphasis on the United Nations and other international organizations. In dealing with the most difficult international disputes, Obama believes that dialogue and negotiations are better ways to solve problems. With respect to his vision of a nuclear-free world, Obama has promoted military cutbacks and arms control. Through the efforts of Obama, American is playing a more constructive role in combatting global warming. Democracy and human rights will be enhanced ... very few people can draw global attention like Obama. He is giving people hope that the future will be better."
This is another way of acknowledging that Obama has not yet produced any concrete results. So was the Noble Prize being given to him solely on the basis of his various speeches?! I discussed with a friend, who gave an "unusual explanation." He said that Obama succeeded in taking over from Bush Junior, thus ruining the dream of the neo-conservative Republicans to continue to take charge of the White House. If Cheney and others continued to dictate American foreign policy, the whole world would be embroiled in war again. By winning the presidency, Obama has already made the greatest "contribution" towards world peace! But the Noble Prize Committee cannot possibly say that Obama is getting the prize for kicking Bush and his belligerent neo-conservatives out of the White House! Thus, they came up with those lame justifications! Actually, the real reason why Obama won the prize was that he took over the presidency from Bush and ended Bush's belligerent unilateral foreign policies!
Here are some of the Hong Kong newspaper front pages:
Upset win, Obama gets Peace Prize
Hong Kong Daily News:
Upset win of Peace Prize
Obama: Mistaken love
Was there a mistake?
Obama gets Peace Prize
Premature Peace Prize
Obama is surprised
Related Link: Obama's Nobel remarks: four very skillful paragraphs James Fallows; Obama Awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Chinese Reaction ChinaSMACK
Scene 1: At 11:30am on October 6, in the most famous of the Mogao caves in Xinjiang, a 50-year-old woman reached out to touch a thousand-year-old West Xia wall painting. A 19-year-old female guide stopped her. The woman flew into a rage and walked out. Shortly afterwards, she returned with two strong men and headed straight for the female guide who dared to say "Please don't touch the wall paintings." The woman administered two slaps to the face of the young guide. The sounds of those slaps resonated in the cave. This was then followed by a stream of obscene invectives. Everybody else was stunned by what happened. The 19-year-old girl was in tears. The woman then left.
Scene 2: The Mogao Caves security guards escorted the middle-aged woman to the office for interrogation. The woman flew into a rage and accused the female guide of assaulting her. She wanted to leave. The security guard asked her to wait in the office for the police to arrive. The security guards thought that the woman's husband might advise her to cooperate, but he said: "Stop wasting your time! Isn't this a tourist spot? Isn't the guide just a lowly service worker? We are high-status people. Do not turn a minor matter that lasted just a few minutes into a big deal."
Scene 3: The police arrived and took statements in an office in the reception building. The middle-aged woman was relaxed and skittishly told the interrogator: "Sir, do I look like a unreasonable person?" During the interrogation, she continued to banter with her companions. One person who looked like he had a special status pulled the police officer aside and said: "Which one of you is in charge of the case? Let me talk to you separately. I will identify myself to you." It turned out that the middle-aged woman is the wife of a certain Xinjiang farm/military regiment commander.
Scene 4: Down at the police station, the lady continued to be calm and psychologically prepared. She insisted to the investigators that she was the one who was the victim of an assault. Meanwhile her aides were calling various parties. The lady wore a smile, as if she was fully confident.
Scene 5: The local police officers took a 800 kilometer round-trip drive to Jiayuguan city. The tourists who had witnessed the scene had traveled there afterwards. The police got the statements from these eyewitnesses -- they said that the 19-year-old female guide was civilized and exercised great restraint even after being slapped. When the news came back, the lady collapsed speechless on the chair ...
Scene 6: Under the escort of the police, the lady returned to the Mogao Caves and apologized to the guide. When she got out of the car, she trotted with a smile into the conference room of the reception building. Under the gaze of almost 100 guides, including the teary young female guide that she assaulted, the lady made some perfunctory statements and left ...
Scene 7: The lady left with her entourage, which traveled in four luxury sedans. Two of them had license plate numbers Xinjiang O-A0918 and Xinjiang O-A0922.
(Gansu Daily BBS)
Human flesh search has turned up the following information:
Husband: Chen Wei, Xinjiang 12th Division 221st Regiment commander
Wife: Yu Fuqin, hospital doctor
Please use a scale of 0-100 to rate your extent of support to XXX, with 0 indicating absolutely not supportive, 100 indicating absolutely supportive and 50 indicating half-half. How would you rate XXX?
(HKU POP) (survey conducted on September 24-30, 2009 on a sample base of 1,000) The list consists of prominent current and past leaders of China and Taiwan.
77.5: Wen Jiabao
75.7: Hu Jintao
75.4: Zhu Rongji
62.3: Ma Ying-jeou
61.0: Jiang Zemin
44.1: Li Peng
43.4: Lee Teng-hui
13.8: Chen Shui-bian
(HKU POP) (survey conducted on September 14-17, 2009 on a sample base of 1,004 persons)
54.8: Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR
(HKU POP) (survey conducted on July 14-18, 2009 on a sample base of 1,010 persons) The list consists of the better subset of Hong Kong Legislative Councilors who were elected by popular vote.
63.0: Audrey Eu
60.9: Alan Leong
60.8: Regina Ip
58.9: Lee Cheuk-yan
57.7: Albert Ho
57.0: Emily Lau
54.9: Jasper Tsang
52.8: Lau Kong-wah
38.9: Raymond Wong Yuk-man
34.5: Leung Kwok-hung
Q1. How is President Ma Ying-jeou's job performance?
Q2. How is Premier Wu Den-yih's job performance?
33%: No opinion
Q3. Are you confident that Wu Den-yih will do well as Premier?
21%: No opinion
Q4. Are you confident that Eric Chu Li-luan will do well as vice-premier?
25%: No opinion
Q5. Are you confident in how Wu Den-yih's cabinet team can cope with typhoons?
20%: No opinion
Q6. Are you confident that Wu Den-yih's cabinet team can cope with the economy?
23%: No opinion
Q7. Are you confident that Wu Den-yih's cabinet team can protect the interest of Taiwan in handling cross-strait matters?
19%: No opinion
Q8. What do you think the Ma Ying-jeou administration should do with respect to cross-strait policies?
32%: Be more open
40%: Maintain status quo
17%: Be more conservative
11%: No opinion
(China Post) October 9, 2009.
Three Taiwan high court judges met at short notice yesterday to rule on whether former President Chen Shui-bian, sentenced to life in prison for corruption, should be released on bail. Presiding judge Teng Chen-chiu began a hearing on Chen's appeal to end his three-month detention at 6:15 p.m., after the Supreme Court accepted and remanded it to the court of appeals.
In remanding the case, the Supreme Court refuted Teng and his two assistant charges who ruled the detention was necessary on the grounds that Chen was given a life sentence, familiar with an escape route out of the country and in possession of a cache of dirty money abroad.
"A life sentence, though severe, is not cause enough for one to escape the country," the Supreme Court ruled.
Though he served as president for eight years, the Supreme Court continued, Chen cannot be considered familiar with an escape route abroad.
Moreover, the Supreme Court said, the stash of cash abroad is not necessarily the money Chen was accused of laundering.
(Central News Agency) October 9, 2009.
The Taiwan High Court ruled early Friday that former President Chen Shui-bian should remain in custody, on the grounds that he might abscond if released from detention.
Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) The Taiwan High Court ruled early Friday that former President Chen Shui-bian should remain in custody, on the grounds that he might abscond if released from detention.
A three-judge panel arrived at the ruling after six hours of debate between prosecutors and three lawyers representing Chen. The session was held after the Supreme Court revoked the panel's Sept. 24 ruling to keep the former president in custody for another three months and ordered another hearing.
The Supreme Court said the earlier high court ruling could not stand because it failed to clearly identify the facts that it cited as evidence to support Chen's continued detention.
In its fresh ruling, however, the judges said that "chances are extremely high" that Chen might flee and that there are also facts to support their opinion.
The judges said that Chen, who was president for eight years and took part in many secret diplomatic missions, has had the chance to come into contact with foreign governments and members of the private sector, making him "more familiar than ordinary people with ways to flee overseas." With Chen's influence and the assets stashed overseas by his family, he could live a comfortable life if he were to run away to evade the severe sentence that he could face, the judges said.
They noted that Chen still attempted to hide his overseas assets even after the family's money-laundering activities were uncovered by the international anti-money laundering organization Egmont Group in early 2008.
On the Supreme Court's claim that a 24-hour security service for the former president would bar him from absconding, the judges pointed out that the security officers have only been assigned to protect him and have no responsibility to report his whereabouts to the judicial authorities.
(Apple Daily) October 9, 2009. 781 persons were interviewed by interactive voice syste on October 8, 2009. The telephone numbers were randomly selected from the telephone directory.
Do you think that Chen Shui-bian should be released?
60.69%: No. He should continued to be detained to prevent his escape
33.29%: Yes. Human rights should be expected. The reasons for continued detention are not valid.
6.02%: Don't know/no opinion
(TVBS) October 9, 2009.
On the morning after her father was detained again, Chen Hsin-yu lost control of her emotions again. She told the media: "You have followed me from Taipei to Tainan. Isn't that not enough? My son did not dare to urinate all day yesterday." The reference was to a certain print media which went out to the school to take pictures of her son. This caused Chen Hsin-yu to lash out at the electronic media yesterday. The reporters did not respond to her remarks. So she added: "The more pain our family is suffering, the happier you must be!"
(NOWnews) October 9, 2009.
Chen: I have moved from Taipei to Tainan. Is that no enough? My son did not dare to urinate all day. What do you want? How far are you going to push my family?
Chen: Do you have children? I ask you. If he dares not go to the restroom from 7am to 5pm, how would you feel? When he gets out of class, he does not dare play on the sports ground. Do you have children? If your child is like this, would your heart ache?
Chen: Have you taken enough film yet?
Reporter: So what do you want us to do?
Chen: Don't disturb the kids!
Reporter: You can say as much as ...
Chen: Everyday the kids go to school, you surround him to film ...
Reporter: That was not me! Since when did I surround him to film?
Chen: I don't know who it is! In any case, you have frightened the children!
Reporter: You can say as much as you can. I won't let my supervisors know!
Chen: Do your supervisors care?
Chen: You are blood suckers. When sharks smell blood, they attack. The more pain that you see my family is suffering, the happier you are. Isn't that how it is?!
Reporter: I won't be like that. Please go back inside. Sorry.
Chen: Just like you, I am just earning a salary ...
Chen: You are earning a salary? But my salary did not come as a result of someone's else suffering!
The conversation is in a mixture of English, Cantonese and Toyshanese dialect.
Male bystander: Hit her!
Female bystander: Stop fighting.
Chinese woman: Fuck you!
Black woman: Put your hands off me.
Bystander: This is too stupid.
Cameraman: Another day on the bus.
Chinese woman: She used her stuff to hog two seats. I asked her to move but she wouldn't. She is occupying two seats and she won't let me sit.
Black woman: Put your hands off me ... I guarantee you, you won't walk off this bus.
Chinese woman: You are very stupid ... Fuck! Each person should occupy only one seat. She is taking two seats. I asked her to move but she wouldn't ... I asked nicely. I said 'Excuse me, please.' But she did not budge an inch ...
Black woman: You repeat that! You repeat that!
Chinese woman: Fuck.
(The black woman swings a punch at the Chinese woman, who fights back. The bystanders are yelling, with a young girl screaming. A young Asian woman kept saying "Stop" and got in between the two fighting women. A bystander yelled: "Hit her! Hit her until she is afraid!" Someone else said: "Stop fighting! STop fighting!" The black woman gets off the bus, while the Chinese woman stays on board.)
Chinese woman: The Chinese people must unite ... she occupied two seats. I said "Please" ... she refused to budge and continued to occupy two seats ... she was like a bully, bullying us Chinese people. We really have to unite and restore our reputation.
Q1. Legislative Councilor Kam Nai-wai said: He did not fire his female assistant because his expression of affection for her had been rejected. Do you believe him?
17%: No opinion
Q2. Kam Nai-wai said: He did not sexually harass his female assistant. Do you believe him?
17%: No opinion
Q3. Do you believe that the personal ethical conduct of Kam Nai-wai meets your expectation for a Legislative Councilor?
17%: No opinion
Q4. How does this affair change your opinion of the members of the Legislative Council?
4%: For better
30%: The same
58%: For worse
8%: No opinion
Q5. How does this affair change your opinion of the Democratic Party?
5%: For better
24%: The same
62%: For worse
9%: No opinion
Q6. Do you think that the Legislative Council should conduct an investigation of this affair?
19%: No opinion
(South China Morning Post) Pseudo-model finds cultural seminar a bit too tricky for words. By Danny Mok and Adrian Wan. October 8, 2009.
Pseudo-model Chrissie Chau Sau-na found questions from a cultural academic too tricky to answer in a seminar at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology last night. The seminar, entitled "Unscrambling the Chrissie Chau Phenomenon" drew about 400 students and staff, mostly male, and another 200 members of the public who viewed a telecast in another hall.
After a brief talk on eroticism and pornography by guest speaker and seminar host Dr Li Siu-leung, associate professor with the department of cultural studies at Lingnan University, Chau fielded questions. But about 10 minutes into the seminar when Chau, 24, started speaking, 30 people left.
When asked about why she sold her sexy image on a life-sized cushion which some have likened to a sex toy, Chau, who was dressed more modestly than usual, said: "The product met the demand in society. But I can't control how the media talked about it. And I myself like the product." In the 90-minute seminar, Chau's most frequent reply was: "It's too tricky".
The seminar invite had drawn heated controversy since it was announced last month, when the university gave the model the opportunity to take part in the first of a series of seminars under the theme "Knowledge Unlimited".
Chau: First of all, hello. Hello to everybody.
Voice over: She insisted before that she was going to dress like a female teacher. Her top may pass, but her skirt was super-short. Fortunately, the professor has a trick up his sleeve to deal with her.
Professor: Would you enjoy to an extreme degree this intensive ... this emotionally intensive ... for example, if I drive my car at 150 kilometers per hour ...
Chau: Very ... very profound ... (giggles)
Professor: So do you have impulse or desire to organize your very complex self?
Chau: (pause) Can you ask the question again?
Professor: Yes, yes. To find out ... to know who you are ... to find out who you are ... is that very important?
Chau: I think ... eh ... it still very profound ...
Audience: Actually when you brought out this life-sized cushion, did you think about the possibility that it may draw a huge public reaction?
Chau: I think before I brought out that product ... eh ... hmmm ... I feel that ... of course ... apart from myself, there are actually many ... eh ...
Post-talk interview with audience: Chau Sau-na has not read many books. She has not received a lot of education. I thought that her responses were open and appropriate.
Voice over: Hey, next time go back to do a shopping mall show because it causes less mental stress!
(QQ) More conversations
Professor: What do you think that people of your age have in common?
Chau: Unless the computer is dead, they are frequently finding data on the Internet.
Professor: Apart from this, what else in life?
Chau: Everybody lies "very explosive stuff ... things that are very different ... such as Bus Uncle.
Professor: What difference?
Chau: Hmmm .... (no answer) .... everybody likes to go after excitement. Many young people like to film themselves. I am one of those.
Professor: Would you enjoy to an extreme degree this intensive ... this emotionally intensive ...
Chau: Very profound. (laughter and applause)
Professor: Is the joy from filming yourself one kind of happiness? Is there any relationship between filming yourself and rebellion?
Chau: People have their own definition. I liked it before, but it is part of my job now. Some people do this and put the videos on the Internet in order to show that they exist.
Professor: Is there a relationship between filming yourself and rebellion?
Chau: Do you mean the erotic component?
Professor: No, I am referring to rebellion?
Chau: Rebellion negates many things. For example, mom does not want me to be a sales girl who earns HKD 8,000 per month. She wants to be become a doctor or lawyer. I don't feel that it is rebellion to become a HKD 8,000 sales girl. I am just doing what I want to do.
Professor: Is there a relationship between filming yourself and rebellion?
Chau: I think filming myself makes me happy.
Professor: Have you ever felt regret? For example, I missed a show because I had to study?
Chau: I am sorry that I did not study well.
Professor: Do you have any comments about my missing the show?
Chau: Professor, it is hard for me to comment on you. (some applause)
Professor: What are young people like today?
Chau: I don't understand young people today very well. I don't even understand myself. I have to deal with myself first.
Professor: So do you have impulse or desire to organize your very complex self?
Chau: Can you please repeat that? Is this about escaping?
Professor: To understand yourself well.
Chau: Yes. Sometimes I don't know what I am doing. I want to know why I did that.
Professor: Do you think that it it is very important for young people to search for themselves or the like?
Chau: Very profound. I think that it is important. It is not about searching for themselves. It is about going after their goals, to seek loftier positions ceaselessly. That is a joy for me.
Professor: What does happiness mean to you? Are you happy?
Chau: I'm happy. I enjoy my work very much, even though there is unhappiness and hardship during the process. We have to get our own happiness. We cannot dwell on it. We must know the reason why we laugh.
Audience interviews afterwards: "She did not answer any question. She kept evading. She did not make any preparations. She did not even understand what the professor was asking. Basically, she as not participating in any discussion. I finally understand why people keep debating about whether these young pseudo models have any brains." "It is good to have a live example. It is definitely helpful towards cultural studies." "I don't feel that she is a successful person. The successful ones are her company and her bosses. She was just lucky. She was unexceptional, inside and outside."
Yesterday Ming Pao interviewed 421 Hong Kong citizens by an interactive voice system calling randomly drawn telephone numbers. The question was whether Legislative Councilor Kam Nai-wai should resign. The results showed that 53% of the respondents said Kam should resign, 20% said no and 27% had no opinion or don't know. When asked for an opinion about the survey result, Chinese University of Hong Kong Political and Administrative Science Department senior lecturer Choi Chi-keung said that interactive voice interviewing is not reliable and therefore it is hard to say whether the majority of citizens want Kam to resign.
As a non-random sample, Ming Pao also reported RTHK listener comments. A Ms. Wong said that Kam Nai-wai does not have to resign because there has not yet been an investigation to get to the truth and that the female principal has spoken publicly leaving only a partial view. A Ms. Fung questioned whether this matter even requires an investigation and that it was a waste of public money to get the Legislative Council to investigate. "This is quite ridiculous to ask the Legislative Council to investigate whether someone had expressed affection for someone else. This is actually a small matter."
(Apple Daily) October 8, 2009.
Yesterday our newspaper received a reader's tip that Kam Nai-wai had checked into a hotel in North Point. At around 10:30am, we used the in-house telephone system to call Room 909. When the other party picked up the phone, our reporter asked for Mr. Kam Nai-wai. The person on the other side of the line said, "That's me." When the reporter identified himself and asked for an interview, the person on the other side was silent for almost 3 seconds before asking: "How did you find out that I am here?" He then said that he will not be interviewed. Then he hung up the telephone.
Half an hour later, our reporter found the expressionless Kam Nai-wai came out of the hotel with luggage in hand and went to his car in the parking lot.
When asked why he moved into a hotel, he said: "Many media workers came to my home yesterday. It was not nice to bother other people. So I moved out. I really did not want my neighbors to be affected." He said that he has checked out of the hotel.
The reporters have actually stayed outside his apartment building for some days already. But he only moved out to a hotel last night. He explained: "I wanted to move on for one day to see how things are like." He admitted that the incident has affected his wife. When asked whether he argued with his wife and therefore moved into a hotel, he said: "No, no, no, no! Absolutely not! Absolutely not!" Then he claimed to be going home and drove away.
Here are the tabloid magazine covers from earlier this week:
EastWeek: October 6, 2009
The detailed version of the dismissal of the female assistant
Expose how Kam Nai-wai is a big liar
Expressed love on two occasions: "I have affections for you!"
Next Magazine: October 7, 2009
Kam Nai-wai sets himself on fire
Chasing the female television announcer
(photo of Kimmie Wong, the former female assistant)
Chan: Our generation is so lucky because of what we run into. China has never been better in the last 5,000 years. Great unity ... everything is good. Even the heavens are helping us. The call went out: "Everybody stand up and sing the national anthem!" You hear that ... (making the sound of music) ... Wow, it was unbearable. The tears. Really.
(note: the reference to "the heavens" is about how the weather in Beijing turned good in the morning of October 1st. The television host was embarrassed and had to inform him that more than 400 rockets were fired to disperse an incoming bank of clouds.)
(the voice over said that Jackie Chan was sitting in the first row of the audience at the Tiananmen parade)
Chan: The impulse. I saw our Chairman Hu come down. I really wanted to rush over to shake his hand. But I know that even before I can stretch my hand out, there would already be "Bang Bang Bang."
TV hostess: There won't be.
(the voice over said that Jackie Chan then switched over to condemn the wave of immigration out of Hong Kong before the colony was returned to China. In so doing, he glossed over the fact that his wife lives in the United States and his son was born there and therefore an American citizen.)
Chan: You see, at the time I cursed them out. I said that those of you who leave are not Chinese. Now every one of them is back. They came back on their own. Chinese nationality is the most difficult to obtain around the world. You go anywhere else and you can buy citizenship with money. In China, you cannot even get it with money. This is why us China is awesome.
Related Link: Jackie Chan's comment on military parade Oiwan Lam, Global Voices Online
In the SEX section of the ptt.cc website (Taiwan), Chou the Beard has become famous. At the SEX section, there is an anonymous ID known as SexKinsey. Whenever netizens do not want to use their own account to post or comment, they can send it to SexKinsey for anonymous publication. Usually, female netizens are more reluctant to discuss sexually frank matters. Therefore, SexKinsey has made a lot of posts from females. This resulted in the impression that SexKinsey is a female netizen.
Along comes the netizen w*lzer writing to SexKinsey: "You can call me The Beard. I was born in 1983, I am 180 cm tall and I weigh 80 kilograms. I work at a public organization while studying at Taiwan University (no more classes, only my dissertation left). After reading your essays, I would like to have a one-night-stand with you. I have not yet gone to the We-go Hotel yet and I would like to try it. I am sure that you must have received plenty of letters like this one! Ha ha! I have read some of your past essays and I found them very interesting. But I am not going to make perverse demands. I will be very gentlemanly." w*lzer left his personal photo album URL an dhis MSN account in the email.
There has always been these types of propositions over at the SEX forum, which the administrator did not approve of. The administrator published this letter from w*lzer and made this sarcastic comment: "Before you invite someone on the Internet for a one-night-stand, can you please read the essays written under the account? Don't you think that there the SexKinsey user is suffering from severe split personality, as well as possessing both male and female characteristics? And the SexKinsey user also has homes all over Taiwan? Calm down!! Please!!"
This aroused a great deal of interest among PTT users, who ran human flesh searches on w*lzer. Some netizens claimed to be acquainted with him and said that he already has a girlfriend. w*lzer then wrote back and said that his account was stolen. But the SEX administrator produced the evidence that the "one-night-stand proposition" came from the same IP address as the normal one used by w*lzer.
The SEX administrator said that when netizens make mistakes, they should admit it. He has also explained that the anonymous account was an extension of the regular forum for the purpose of reading. When replying to this anonymous account, it is equivalent to posting on the regular comment as opposed to some private communication.
(SCMP) 'No need for lawmaker in scandal to quit' By Ambrose Leung. October 6, 2009.
The evidence surrounding an alleged sex scandal involving Democratic Party legislator Kam Nai-wai did not warrant his immediate resignation, party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said yesterday.
But as new claims emerged over the lawmaker's sacking of his assistant allegedly because the latter rejected his advances, Ho said Kam's resignation would be inevitable if it was proved that he had a credibility problem.
"As party chairman, I will not, at this stage, ask him to resign based on the information I have right now," Ho said. "I do not know what will happen after the investigation, but right now the seriousness of his mistake does not warrant his resignation." Ho was responding to growing speculation that Kam was considering resigning from the legislature.
Last night, the Legislative Council Secretariat received a copy of a complaint letter from a member of the public addressed to the Democratic Party over the incident. It has been referred to the council's complaints section for follow up.
The Democratic Party will discuss the matter at its central committee meeting on Thursday before deciding whether to launch a full-scale investigation, and whether non-party members will be invited to sit on the panel to increase accountability. Since the scandal broke in the media on Sunday, party leaders have sought to limit damage to the party's image by publicly pledging to launch an internal investigation into whether Kam sexually harassed his assistant, Kimmie Wong, before sacking her last month.
The row took a new twist yesterday when former Civic Party legislator Mandy Tam Heung-man, whom Wong worked for before Tam lost her seat in the 2008 Legco election, said Kam had allegedly "expressed his affection" towards Wong on at least two occasions before her sacking. Tam said Wong had told her the details of the incident, but she did not want to elaborate.
"The problem now is not whether Kam has wrongfully dismissed his assistant, but whether he has fired her after her rejection of his advances. He has publicly lied about ever making any expression of affection and he must resign for losing his credibility," Tam said.
Speaking in an RTHK interview yesterday, Kam reiterated that he had not sexually harassed Wong or expressed any affection to her. "I am making this very clear: I have not made any affectionate advances," Kam said. But he admitted his decision to sack her was inappropriate, and said he considered Wong's performance to be satisfactory. "Thinking back, I would not have fired her if I had the chance to do it again."
While repeated attempts to reach Wong were unsuccessful, Tam said Wong was sacked on the morning of September 24 after a heated argument between the pair.
Wong, who has complained to friends about Kam's alleged advances to her, has filed a complaint to the Democratic Party leadership. She has met Ho and party vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing.
Wong has contacted the Equal Opportunities Commission to inquire whether it can help but the response was "lukewarm", she said. A spokeswoman for the commission said she would not comment on individual cases. But she called on any victims of alleged sexual harassment to come forward and to file a complaint to the commission.
Yesterday, nore holes were poked into Kam Nai-wai's explanation of the dismissal of the female assistant. First, Apple Daily disclosed that he had paid more than HKD 100,000 to the female assistant in compensation. Then Mandy Tam, a former Legislator and the former employer of the female assistant, publicly stated that Kam Nai-wai made two advances to the female assistant so there could be no misunderstanding and since he lied, he should resign from the Legislative Council. In the evening, Cable TV reported that Kam Nai-wai had admitted to Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho that he had made advances to the female assistant. As a result, the Democratic Party devised three remedial measures: (1) they asked Kam Nai-wai to pay six to nine months of pay to the female assistant as compensation for unfair dismissal; (2) Albert Ho or Democratic Party vice chairwoman Emily Lau will hire the female assistant while Kam Nai-wai pays for the salary; (3) Kam Nai-wai writes a letter of apology to the female assistant, admitting that the dismissal was improper and affirming her job performance.
Last night, Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho told our reporter that he cannot discuss the Cable TV report because he has to protect the privacy of the complainant. But he said that certain details may have different interpretations.
At the press conference on the day before yesterday and on RTHK yesterday, Kam Nai-wai repeatedly emphasized that he has never declared his love to the female assistant. This astonished many Democratic Party insiders. Although the Democratic Party is trying to make amends to the female assistant and settle the matter, they do not believe that Kam Nai-wai should present an inaccurate account; they thought that he might deny the job dismissal as being unrelated to any romantic suit, they did not imagine that he would completely deny ever making any advance and even smear the female assistant. As a result, this is bound to anger the female assistant and those who are helping her, bringing out even more inside stories.
On RTHK yesterday, Kam Nai-wai firmly denied even professing love to the female assistant. He said that he dismissed the female assistant because of arguments over her work during the past two to three months. He said: "My wife knows about the conversation ... but if I publicly disclose the content of the conversation, it would be unfair to the princpal." Kam Nai-wai said that he has proposed to the female assistant to hire her again. With respect to the media report that he has offered to pay more than 100,000 in compensation, he only said: "Both sides accepted the conditions of the employment contract. But I cannot discuss this publicly." When asked whether the additional compensation comes from public money, he said: "The amount stated in the contract comes from public money. Anything outside the contract does not come from public money."
According to the latest report filed by Kam Nai-wai, the female assistant receives a monthly salary of HKD 22,500.
Yesterday Mandy Tam said on radio that certain Democratic Party members are telling the media that the female principal was having emotional problems and misunderstood the words of comfort from her supervisor. She said that they are trying to make light of the matter.
Mandy Tam said that the female principal had told her about the details. "There were at least two occasions when advances were made. If it was a misunderstanding the first time, then how could there be a second time? Can the second time be a misunderstanding?"
Mandy Tam pointed out that the female assistant is a devout Christian. She once had a married boyfriend. As soon as she found out the man was married, she broke up with him immediately. So there was no way that she would accept Kam Nai-wai. "The principal stated her rejection very clearly. She said, 'You have a wife!'" According to information, Kam Nai-wai's advance was very direct. He expressed his love for the female principal in frank terms: "I have an eye for you" and "I am really like you." There is no ambiguity in the phrasing which may result in misunderstanding.
With respect to the other version from some Democratic Party members, Mandy Tam said that it was "shameless": "It is shameless to continue to smear the female principal and harm her one more time ... I feel that I have to clarify that there is no Rashomon in this case. There is only one version!"
According to the version from a Democratic Party member, Kam Nai-wai was comforting the female assistant after she broke up with her boyfriend. They were at a tea restaurant. Kam Nai-wai said things like "Even though you are not young, you are pretty. If I weren't married, I would have liked you too." This Democratic Party member said that these were just words of comfort and not an expression of love interest.
Claiming that he wants to solve the crisis for the Democratic Party
Kam Nai-wai postures to resign
According to what informed sources told Cable TV, Kam Nai-wai admitted to the other eight Democratic Party members in the Legislative Council that he expressed his feelings towards the female assistant and he admitted that he "erred." Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho told him that it was "very wrong, very immoral." Albert Ho pointed out that the dismissal of the female assistant afterwards "would make anyone think that this was due to the rejection of a love suit." Albert Ho said that Kam may have to resign if the case were made public.
The report also said that Albert Ho thought that there was no need to hold a disciplinary hearing. "It has not gone to that serious stage" and he only recommended that Kam Nai-wai be reprimanded internally within the Democratic Party. An internal reprimand among his peers was deemed sufficient punishment. Besides a disciplinary hearing may result in the case going public. The Democratic Party members at the Legislative Council were "asked not to discuss the matter with anyone."
According to information, the Cable TV report contained certain details of the meeting of the Democratic Party members in the Legislative Council. Democratic Party members cannot understand how those details were leaked out.
(South China Morning Post) Democrat faces sexual harassment inquiry. October 5, 2009.
Democrat Kam Nai-wai is to face an internal inquiry by his party into allegations that he had sexually harassed an assistant whom he sacked late last month. The party leaders say they are not prepared to report the case to police at this stage, based on the information so far made available by the sacked assistant.
Kam yesterday discounted the sexual-harassment allegations but said his bad temper might be a factor that had triggered the complaint.
Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, also a legislator, confirmed that Kam's former assistant had complained to him and vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing on Wednesday, six days after she was sacked. Ho declined to go into details, citing a request by the complainant not to make public any details about her or the case. But he did say that the complainant had been happy with the party's handling of the case so far.
At a press conference, Kam said: "I have absolutely not sexually harassed anyone. And I have absolutely not sacked anyone because anyone rejected my advances." He acknowledged his bad temper, saying: "Some of my colleagues have told me that I lose my temper too easily. I sometimes want things to be finished very quickly, and I also want to have a hand in even very minor daily routines. "I will reflect on my way of management and will try to improve." He declined to give the real cause of the dismissal.
The party quoted Kam as praising the complainant for being efficient and competent. The veteran democrat, 49, is married, and won a seat in the legislature last year after 14 years as a district councillor or member of the now-defunct urban council. He gained popularity after helping investors in the minibond saga last year. His wife, Candy, attended yesterday's press conference but did not speak.
The complainant joined Kam's office last December and was responsible for drafting speeches for him and co-ordinating his council business and his office's external affairs. Kam terminated her contract on September 24 with immediate effect, after making a payment in lieu of notice.
On Wednesday, she complained in person to Ho and Lau. The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday quoted sources saying she had complained about being dismissed unreasonably, and that sexual harassment had been involved. Sexual harassment is illegal in Hong Kong.
Ho said: "We are not prepared to confirm or deny what the newspaper report says." The party's central committee would meet on Thursday and was expected to hand the matter to the party's disciplinary committee to investigate, he said.
(Apple Daily) October 4, 2009.
Yesterday's Apple Daily front page:
Kam Nai-fai fired female assistant
after she rejects his suit
According to our information, the female assistant was suddenly dismissed on September 24 effective immediately. This was a surprise to the other employees because the standard procedure is to issue a warning first for poor performance before dismissal.
According to an informed source, the female assistant complained to Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho and vice-chairwoman Emily Lau about sexual harassment. According to a person close to the female assistant, Kam Nai-wai made two declarations of love to her and told her about his past love life. She believed that this went beyond the normal employer-employee relationship and was therefore disturbed. In the end, she was even sacked from her job and she is now even more depressed.
On the day before yesterday, the Democratic Party conference discussed this case. When our newspaper contacted Albert Ho that day, he acknowledged the existence of the case but declined to comment on the grounds that a formal complaint had not been received as yet. Yesterday Albert Ho confirmed to us that he and Emily Lau had received a complaint earlier from a woman against Kam Nai-wai. He said that he and Emily Lau have already met with the woman separately. He said that "the matter has been settled." As to whether the case involved sexual harassment, he said that he cannot divulge the details because it involves personal privacy.
(Apple Daily) October 5, 2009.
Today's Apple Daily front page:
Kam Nai-fai: Lies and evasions
Yesterday Kam Nai-wai held a half-hour long press conference. He read a statement that was about 300 words in length and apologized for "drawing public attention and concerns over this matter." He repeatedly denied sexually harassing the female assistant. When asked why the female assistant was sacked, he declined to say on the grounds of "protecting the female principal" and "not wanting to hurt people anymore."
The reporters asked him repeatedly whether he had professed his love to the female principal, he said "No" and declined to elaborate. But we have learned that after the Democratic Party received the complaint from the female principal, Kam Nai-wai had admitted to Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho and his fellow party members at the Legislative Council that he had professed his love to the female principal. We asked Albert Ho last night about this, but he replied that he won't comment.
During the press conference, Kam Nai-wai refused to comment on the job performance of the female assistant. But after this press conference, Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho held his own press conference. He said that he received a sudden phone call from Kam Nai-wai: "After the press conference, he called me to say that there was something that he should have said but did not. That is, he had been satisfied overall with the performance of this former employee." He claimed that Kam Nai-wai praised the employee for "being capable and responsible, with good job performance." He also said that Kam was "very rueful" about his decision to sack the employee and has written a letter of recommendation that "came from his heart to wish her that she can find her career."
But Albert Ho also declined to disclose the details behind the complaint in the name of protecting the privacy of the female principal, including whether sexual harassment was involved. "I will neither confirm nor deny." He also said that the Democratic Party had consulted the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor which supported the decision. "If the principal does not want to go public, then we won't disclose it ... as of now, we cannot divulge what she told us."
(Apple Daily) October 5, 2009.
According to our information, the female principal was very upset by the attempt of Kam Nai-wai to change the subject. Therefore, as soon as Kam Nai-wai's press conference ended, she immediately communicated her dissatisfaction to the Democratic Party. She asked the Democratic Party to clarify that she had not been dismissed for poor job performance. In order to assuage the female principal, Democratic Party Albert Ho had to call a press conference and made a public statement on the good job performance of the female principal while quoting Kam Nai-wai.
According to an informed source, the female principal had been bothered by this affair over the past two to three months. She is under even greater pressure now that the matter is made public. More than two months ago, Kam Nai-wai first professed his love for the female principal. He apologized but then his attitude towards her changed. For the sake of avoiding embarrassment as well as any recurrence, the female principal was looking to change jobs. But Kam Nai-wai expressed his love again and sacked her after she refused again.
Yesterday someone was circulating another version of the story. The female principal was supposed to have been suffering from depression after a failed romance. Her supervisor offered his concern and support, but she misunderstood his intentions. But other people close to the female principal said that someone was trying to change the focus in order to "get off" and that it was immoral to insult a woman once more.
Before being hired by Kam Nai-wai, the female principal was the assistant to former Legco member Mandy Tam. Last night, Tam gave a positive review of the job performance of the female principal. Tam said that the female principal is a very devout Christian who would never accept a proposal from a married man.
(Apple Daily) October 5, 2009.
According to information, Kam Nai-wai has promised to pay HKD 100,000 to the female principal in order to settle the matter. At the typical monthly salary of HKD 20,000 for assistants, this is equivalent to five months' pay. At the time when the female assisant was sacked, Kam Nai-wai offered her the legally mandated one month severance pay.
After what Kira did during the Edison Chen sexy photo gate, all public figures should know what is meant by "squeezing the toothpaste tube," which is a way to do maximum damage to a person's credibility. In the Edison Chen case, the record company said that the photos were fabricated, so Kira posted more photos; Gillian Chung said that she was "very silly, very naive" and Kira posted more photos that are even more compromising. Intentionally or otherwise, a small amount of negative material is released in order to entice the principal to respond; over time, these responses are gradually exposed as lies as more negative materials are released as evidence. This is the way to totally ruin a person.
A recent case of "squeezing the toothpaste tube" is the matter of the Cheng Seng School. Just when the school became a media darling, a small exposť claimed the school had invested in an erotic venue. The school held a press conference to disavow such, and the media ran a huge exposť to show that the school was lying not just about this erotic venue but also about its general charitable activities. At this time, the Cheng Seng School principal is no longer responding to media questions as the school tries to repair its reputation.
On Sunday, Kam Nai-wai held a high-profile press conference to deny that "the female assistant was dismissed because of sexual harassment or a failed romantic suit." But he left some unanswered questions by saying that he will not disclose the reason for the dismissal in order to protect that former assistant. We never demanded our legislators to be as clean as a sheet of white paper, but Kan's response only fosters this demand. The unanswered questions only make the media want to delve into the details. Already, the media has contacted the Mandy Tam, the former employer of the female assistant, to show that Kam was lying. It is just a matter of time before the media finds the female assistant herself.
My guess is that it is almost 100% certain that the next issue of <Next Weekly> will contain more explosive material, such as an interview with the female assistant including even recordings that show that Kam Nai-wai has been lying. The evidence on the other side could be stronger than your empty talk. If the press conference yesterday was just a bull session, it should never have been held in the first place. To prove that the media is doing a job on Kam, the relevant documents and records on the dismissal of the female assistant should be produced instead of using the ambiguous excuse of "protecting the female principal and therefore not releasing the information." If Kam made an advance on the female assistant, he should have admitted it; if Kam sacked her because of the failed romantic suit, he should have admitted it. He can disarm the bomb himself by admitting his mistakes. He can stage a reconciliation in front of the press and offer compensation/re-hiring to her. The Democratic Party is totally ignorant about who Kam's enemy is: it is not the female former assistant -- it is his "ally" <Next Media> which can destroy his reputation.
[ESWN Comment: (1) Human flesh search has identified the female former assistant (see HK Golden Forum and HK TV Clips). (2) Why would the pro-democracy <Next Media> go after Democratic Party legislator Kam Nai-wai? The answer is fairly straightforward going back to Anson Chan's run for the 2007 Hong Kong Island Legco by-election and the nomination of the Democratic Party candidate to replace the retired Martin Lee in the 2008 Legco election.]
Q1. Does Party X value public opinion?
Nationalist Party (KMT)
44% in 1999
39% in 2009
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
61% in 1999
41% in 2009
Q2. Do you think that Party X is clean and not corrupt?
Nationalist Party (KMT)
21% in 1999
31% in 2009
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
47% in 1999
21% in 2009
Q3. Do you think that Party X is vibrant and lively?
Nationalist Party (KMT)
46% in 1999
37% in 2009
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
75% in 1999
46% in 2009
Q4. Do you think that Party X is unified as one?
Nationalist Party (KMT)
35% in 1999
39% in 2009
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
58% in 1999
39% in 2009
Q5. Do you think that Party X regards reform as important?
40%: Nationalist Party (KMT)
44%: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
Q6. Do you think that Party X has the ability to self-reflect?
40%: Nationalist Party (KMT)
34%: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
Q7. Do you think that Party X is a trustworthy political party?
40%: Nationalist Party (KMT)
25%: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
Q1. Do you agree that you are "a Chinese person"?
57%: Agree very much
3%: Disagree very much
3%: No opinion
Q2. Are you proud to be "a Chinese person"?
21%: No opinion
Q3. How much do you understand about conditions in China?
14%: Understand very much
41%: Understand somewhat
37%: Do not understand somewhat
4%: Much very do not understand
4%: No opinion
Q4. Do you actively try to learn about conditions in China?
26%: No opinion
Q5. What do you think is the most effective way to learn about conditions in China?
22%: Personal observations
17%: Electronic media
9%: No opinion
Q6. Some people recommend that CCTV should become the third free over-the-air television station in Hong Kong. Do you agree?
22%: No opinion
Q7. Do you think that there is a need to promote civics education in Hong Kong?
22%: No opinion
Q8. Do you think that the Hong Kong SAR government has done enough in promoting civics education?
55%: Not enough
28%: No opinion
Q9. Have you ever been to mainland China?
1%: No opinion
Q10. Were were you born?
61%: Hong Kong
32%: Mainland China
Q2/Q10. Cross tabulation of place of birth by self-pride as "Chinese person"
60%: Proud among Hong Kong born
70%: Proud among mainland China born
66%: Proud among born elsewhere
On this day, it may seem dated to be talking about the incident of Hong Kong reporters being assaulted in Xinjiang. It is also not in tune with the joyous atmosphere of National Day. But I believe that it is this unexpected discussion of the relationship between that incident and "the freedom of speech of the people of Hong Kong" at this time that will highlight the significance.
First of all, let us re-examine odd strange assertion on "the freedom of speech of the Hong Kong people." I don't understand why so many passionate people would regard the fight for justice for the Hong Kong reporters as a crusade to "defend the freedom of speech in Hong Kong." If Hong Kong reporters are accused of concealing drugs or assaulted without cause outside of Hong Kong, how is the freedom of speech being trampled upon? How is the freedom of speech for the people of Hong Kong being trampled upon?
Recently Japanese reporters were also met with force while gathering news in Beijing. Should the Japanese go to China to defend the freedom of speech of the people of Japan? If our media go to gather news in North Korea and are "greeted" and followed everywhere without any ability to gather news apart from following the officially designated itinerary/route, we will say that Hong Kong reporters were restricted in their news gathering. But has the freedom of speech of the Hong Kong people been suppressed? Of course not. On the contrary, we will say that the North Korean authorities did not respect the autonomy of news reporting and suppressing freedom of speech and free flow of information. Similarly, when the Hong Kong reporters were maligned with concealing drugs or assaulted by the armed police in Urumqi, the freedom of speech of the Hong Kong people was not threatened. Instead, this was a case of the Chinese government not respecting the freedom of press.
If we are really fighting for something, then it should not just be "the freedom of speech of the people of Hong Kong." It should be the freedom of speech across all of China. If we really want to defend something, then it should not just be the right of Hong Kong reporters to gather news. It should be the freedom of press across all of China. If not, we are just looking after our own 'kind' and we want the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, the National People's Congress delegates of Hong Kong, and the China Liaison Office to seek justice for the people of Hong Kong. Or we are just hoping that the central government will give greater respect to the rights of Hong Kong persons and order all levels of government to be more tolerant of Hong Kong media in the future; and even if they really have to beat up reporters, they must not beat up just Hong Kong reporters.
My colleague Rose Luqiu made some controversial statements early. The focus of the controversy was whether the reporters should become the principal actors of the news story and, if so, whether such reporting would divert attention from the situation in Xinjiang itself. Frankly, reporters getting beaten and the ethnic clashes in Xinjiang both deserve attention and they do not have to be mutually exclusive. Yet, the controversy occurs because there is an emotional and cognitive gap behind this. At one extreme of this gap, the believe is that there is nothing new about reporters being harassed in China. Rather than regarding the attacks as the most important issue, they should be considered hyst as the normal setbacks encountered during news gathering. Attention should be given the original subject instead. At the other extreme of the gap, the belief is that since the Chinese government has repeatedly stated that the rights of the reporters to gather news should be protected, then such a violent incident should not have occurred. In Hong Kong, even though reporters are not uncrowned emperors, they still hold respectable jobs and therefore cannot be treated so unreasonably.
So we can get into the core meaning of this incident: the normal habits of the Hong Kong people had been suddenly subverted. But this incident turns out in fact to be normal to most Chinese citizens and even some Hong Kong media workers. In other words, all the customs that Hong Kong people are used to and all the values that they believe in are subjected to test and challenge along with those several Hong Kong reporters in China.
It is not as if we didn't know the conditions that mainland reporters work under. Everybody knows that being a reporter is a high-risk occupation. In this country where those in authority can easily resort to violence to exercise their power, reporters often get beaten up or threatened. Everybody has heard of how editors and reporters in Beijing are pursued by local police for exposing local corruption. But all those news stories show up in the "China" section of Hong Kong newspapers or "China News" on Hong Kong television. These are rather unique sections because anything that is weird and eccentric becomes comprehensible (or at least more acceptable) if it occurs in China. More importantly, we subconsciously believe that this happened in a place that is different or even unrelated to us.
The media in other places usually treat local news as the most important section. Then they will establish a national news section. Finally, they will have an international news section. This results in creating three levels of news over space: from local to national to international. The Hong Kong media are unique because we do not treat Chinese news as "national news" or "state news." Instead, we call this the 'China' section. Sometimes we throw in Taiwan news to make this a "two shores of the Taiwan strait" news section. This came about because "one country, two systems" causes most Chinese policies to have no direct impact on Hong Kong. But our way of dealing with "China" news makes it easy for people to think that China is a country which does not have much to do with us other than being nearby. Therefore when we hear that reporters from other Chinese cities and provinces are detained by law enforcement personnel without cause, we will not say that "our freedom of press has been abridged." We usually consider it as another weird thing that happened in this place called "China."
The Hong Kong reporters brought us to the scene in Urumqi. Perhaps this incident was too shocking, many people have not adjusted accordingly and resorted to the usual model of defining this as a defense of "freedom of press in Hong Kong." As in the past, this was going to a defense of this or that in Hong Kong. They simply did not realize that this is not an issue of Hong Kong values being violated; the issue is that journalism in our nation is in trouble.
The saying "the water from the well does not mix with the water from the river" used to be quite popular. With the return of Hong Kong to China, the general feeling is that Hong Kong and China should converge, and so mutual non-interference is no longer politically correct. If such this the case, let us use this special day (October 1st, National Day) to learn though this particular incident about how to become a Chinese citizen. Let us heed the state's call to "consider the overall situation" and treat the Hong Kong reporters' incident as a Chinese reporters' incident. Let us treat freedom of press in China as our own freedom of press. This does not mean that the people of Hong Kong must project their own values as universal values for everybody else. Nor does this mean that we must follow local customs to accept that the reality is that reporters get beaten all the time. This incident is just the start. In the future, there will be many more such incidents. We truly need to learn how to switch back and forth between these two customs, while being critical and self-reflective at the same time.
Between April and June this year, 185 complaints were lodged with the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority over a television ad for children set meals offered at the Itacho Sushi restaurant chain that ran on ATV, TVB and Cable TV News. The main reasons are that the ad showed female breasts which are "obscene, vulgar, disturbing and disgusting." As such, these ads are unfit for children and teens and therefore should not have been show during family or prime time.
TELA believed that the ad did not contain any sex-related contents which made it not indecent, and therefore rejected the complaints on grounds of "insufficient evidence." However, one complainant appealed the decision with the Broadcast Authority, which has overturned TELA's decision.
The Broadcast Authority said that the ad depicts a young boy waiting for the children set meal inside a restaurant. A female waitress wearing a low cut dress came to bring the set meal to the boy, during which her cleavage was shown.
The Broadcast Authority said that the ad attempted to link the joy of the boy with the female body, and suggested that the boy was elated because of the waitress and not the advertised product. The waitress was sexily dressed and her cleavage was repeatedly featured.
The Broadcast Authority said that the depiction of the boy was inappropriate and the television licensees have violated the relevant regulations by not giving special handling for an ad that involved a boy.
The Broadcast Authority holds that the complaints were valid. They have issued advice to ATV, TVB and Cable TV to ask them to observe the relevant articles in the Television Advertising Standards.
There were other business items at the Broadcast Authority. On May 18, Commercial Radio One's <Where does the wind come from?> host pointed out the Hong Kong Legislative Council representative Chan Wai-yip "deserves to be despised" and urged people "not to be deceived by a person like this." The Broadcast Authority believes that these comments damaged the reputation of Chan Wai-yip, and has advised Commercial Radio of the fact.
During the month of July, TELA handled 135 cases stemming from 183 complaints. Three of the cases were mild infractions. One of them concerned Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong vice-chairman Horace Cheung Kwok-kwon for stating on the Radio Hong Kong program <Left Right Red Blue Green> that "there are few humans and many penguins in the North Pole." The complaint was for inaccurate information (note: penguins live in the South Pole, not the North Pole).
Recently, Aaron Chen posted on his own personal blog about <A song that I sung as a child -- China shall be strong>. In the post, he angrily denounced the Rebiya Kadeer documentary film <10 conditions of love> as causing divisiveness between the two sides of the Taiwan strait. Aaron Chen invoked "China shall be strong!" and "The Chinese people must unite!" several times in the blog post. This led unhappy netizens to criticize him. Aaron Chen has now deleted that blog post. He said that he will respect people's freedom of choice and therefore won't be talking too much from now on.
In 2000, Chen Shui-bian was elected president for the first time. His love story with his wife Wu Shu-chen was made into the television drama series <Ah Bian and Ah Chen>. At the time, the simple and honest looking Aaron Chen played the male lead. The television drama was received favorably and Aaron Chen became the top local drama actor.
Although Aaron Chen has an honest on-screen image, he is a person with a firm political stance in real life. He recently disclosed that he once had a big argument with his younger sister over a political talk show and continued a cold war for more than a year. One night, he came across a photo of himself and his younger sister and then he decided that the love between siblings meant more than a heated argument of the moment.
Recently Aaron Chen came back from mainland China to Taiwan. On his blog, he wrote that the two sides of the Taiwan strait has finally entered into a "honeymoon" period after so many travails. He thinks that the exhibition of the Rebiya Kadeer documentary film was basically destroying the harmonious relationship which had just been repaired with much hard work. At the same time, how could he as a Chinese person support the separatist activities of Rebiya Kadeer? Finally, he kept saying that China shall be strong! The Chinese people must unite! He called on everyone to work hard and continue down the path.
As soon as the blog post was made, many netizens reacted. They left comments on his blog to challenge why he sucked up on China. Some excited readers even engaged in personal attacks to the point that Aaron Chen was even thinking about suing them. Aaron Chen has deleted that blog post. But netizens have re-posted his blog post so that it is circulating at various websites. Aaron Chen wrote that when an artiste writes about politics and gets criticized, he had it coming. From now on, Aaron Chen will choose to see or hear nothing, and he will have nothing to say on anything.
(Liberty Times) Aaron Chen: Too Stupid, Too Naive. By Yeh Hua. October 2, 2009.
Does sucking China's dick get you a Chinese market? Does singing "China must be strong" and "the two sides of the strait unite peacefully" make China stow away its guided missiles and not threaten/oppress the people of Taiwan?
Recently the "green artiste" Aaron Chen who had been fully banned by China as the "brother number one of local drama" visited the so-called "mainland" for ten days and then came back to write a blog post titled <A song that I sung as a child -- China shall be strong> just before the October 1st National Day for China. The essay sucked up on, fawned and flattered China. It also criticized "the exhibition of the documentary <10 conditions of love> on Rebiya Kadeer because these people pm;u wanted to destroy the trend towards peaceful development of cross-strait relationships." This enraged netizens whose voices of complaints were everywhere.
Aaron Chen. Born in Taiwan. Grew up eating Taiwan rice and water. He acted, he hosted, he made advertisements and he earned money in Taiwan. He was an exemplary "brother number one of local television drama series." Why would he take the step to leap into politics in such a dramatic switch?
The truth is that he must be thinking that when he is no longer popular in Taiwan, he will have to make his money in China. Is it necessary to stick his warm face on China's cold buttocks in a bet on the uncertain Chinese market, while seriously hurting the feelings of the people of Taiwan and abandoning his longtime local supporters-fans? Aaron Chen is no different from Gillian Chung of Sexy Photo Gate. Apart from being "too silly, too naive," he is also "too stupid, too ignorant"!
(DPA) Taiwan scholars" China's parade shows power, ambition, confidence. October 1, 2009.
Taiwanese residents watched China's National Day parade on TV Thursday, and analysts said the grandiose celebration reflected China's power, ambition and confidence in becoming a world power.
As Taiwan bans the broadcast of Chinese TV stations on the island, three Taiwan TV channels provided live coverage of the parade - marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China - via link-up with China Central Television (CCTV). The three channels - CTI, ETTV, TVBS - invited scholars and military experts to analyze the significance of the parade and China's modern weapons.
'A democratic nation would not spend so much money and energy on putting on such an elaborate show. Only communist and totalitarian countries do this,' China expert Huang Chieh-cheng said on CTI.
Shuai Hua-min, a lawmaker and former military official, said China was expanding the National Day celebration because it wants the world to take it seriously. 'China tells the world: I am somebody. You must take China seriously. The Chinese people have stood up,' he said on CTI. 'For many years, the Chinese people suffered humiliation (at the hands of Western powers). Western countries see Chinese as second-class citizens ... So China wants to display to the world its modern army,' he noted.
(NOWnews via Wenxue City) October 2, 2009.
Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Chao Tian-lin said that it was fear-inspiring to see the various weapons on the Chinese National Day parade, including even nuclear-headed missiles. Any full (or almost full) broadcast of news related to China should have been applied for and approved beforehand. Former Government Information Office director and current Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang also emphasized that Taiwan media who wish to air the Chinese National Day military parade should apply beforehand. Certain media have already aired the whole episode as news coverage and are suspected of breaking the law already.
Chao Tian-lin asked the NCC and the Government Information Office to investigate and deal with the pro-China activities of these media. They call on the media to discipline themselves and not hurt national dignity and the feelings of the people.
[ESWN Comment: Let us say that a Taiwan citizen wants to watch the Chinese National Day parade. If CTI, ETTV or TVBS show it, he can watch them. If no Taiwan television channel show it, he can watch CNN or some other international channel. If he doesn't like the English-language commentary on CNN, he can watch the so-called "live-broadcast" of CCTV via the Internet. So this is not about access control, which cannot be imposed under the present circumstances. This is more about attacking the media on the other side of the political fence in the name of rule of law.]
On September 30, 2009, actress Chen Fala took off her top and revealed her brassiere on the family hour drama series on TVB. The next day, Hong Kong newspapers received readers complaints about this 30-second segment. A reader Mrs. Tsang called up to say: "This is really going too far! Previously, they had an episode of a vibrating car. Now they are showing this! This sort of situation does not need to be shown in this manner. They obviously have an ulterior motive in increasing audience ratings! If a small child watches this, he needs to get his eyes rinsed out." Reader Ms. Wang also said that the scene could have been shown just with the back of Chen Fala instead of focusing on her breast.'
Hong Kong newspapers called up Erica Yuen, who said that TVB programs know no bounds. She said: "Although I have not seen this program, but there is something different about underwear and swimwear! Was this necessary? But it is the same thing with the program <Beautiful Cooking>! They know no bounds!" With respect to this show being shown on family hour, she said: "Is there any need for the show to do this? She was down to her brassiere. She was obviously showing it off! Perhaps because this is Chen Fala, and therefore they used this as the selling point!"
Yesterday Chen Fala said: "This was a comedy, so there is less restrictions. When I was filming, I was worried that it could not be aired! The executive producer told me not to worry about it and that I should just imagine myself in a swimsuit!" She emphasized that she will only do this once and only once.
Also, Chen Fala said that it was her own brassiere and therefore it fits tightly with little chance of something being exposed. When asked if there will be even more passionate performances in future, she said: "No, there won't be. This should be the bottom line for television!"
Yesterday at 3pm, 800 citizens dressed in black went to Chater Garden to attend the demonstration organized by the Hong Kong Alliance In Support Of Patriotic Democratic Movements Of China. "The Great Leap Forward: 30 million starved to death," "Brutal Cultural Revolution, Hell on Earth," "Anti-rightist campaign persecuted one million scholars," "June 4th massacre, tragedy" ... various banners cover the sufferings of the people during various periods of the 60 years of Chinese Communist rule. The petitioners chanted: "We want human rights, we want democracy," "put an end to one-party rule," "release Hu Jia." When the crowd reached the China Liaison Office, they were about to circle the building once and then tie black ribbons on the fence. Suddenly more than 30 police tactical unit officers and uniformed police officers surrounded April 5th Movement members Ku See Yin, "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung and Andrew To (of the League of Social Democrats) who were carrying a cardboard black coffin and refused to let them proceed.
The demonstrators wanted to proceed. But the police seized the coffin and ripped the support. During this time, police officers tried to obstruct the television cameras. Amidst the chaos, a uniformed police officer was slapped in the face (note: this occurred at around the 10th second of the above video). This officer immediately pointed to Andrew To and said, "He attacked the police!" His colleagues immediately cuffed Andrew To and hauled him onto the police van.
The arrest caused the demonstrators to get excited. They moved up to bang on the police van. The police pushed the crowd back. A middle school student named Ah Lung said: "I saw an old woman fell down I saw a fellow student hit hard by an elbow from a policeman." Democratic activist Lau San-tsing and another demonstrators climbed on a police car and hoisted signs to vindicate June 4th.
By around 6pm, most of the petitioners had tied black ribbons on the fence outside the China Liaison OFfice and dispersed peacefully. The Alliance also announced that the event was over. But more than one hundred demonstrators remained as they shouted "Release Andrew To" and "Down with Tang King-shing." The police announced many times that this was an illegal assembly. At around 7pm, the police took Lau and others down from the top of the police vehicle and cleared the scene.
Afterwards, Ku See Yin said that the police told him that the coffin cannot be placed in front of the China Liaison Office because it was especially hurting to the Chinese Communist government. Later that evening, Andrew To was released on 500 dollar bill. He went to the hospital for examination because his hands have turned red from the handcuffs. He was also scratched by the police.
The Hong Kong Alliance In Support Of Patriotic Democratic Movements Of China vice-chairman Lee Cheuk-yan denounced the police for deliberately suppressing the demonstrators in a way that was rarely seen in recent years. He believed that they did so at the instruction of the China Liaison Office. "I think that this was their bottom line that a coffin cannot be placed in front of the entrance to the China Liaison Office." He challenged the police for ignoring the legal rights of citizens to express their opinions. "The Hong Kong police have fallen to become the teeth and claws of the China Liaison Office." The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor also expressed their regret that the police abused their powers by preventing the demonstrators to use props to express their views and to prohibit their movement.
Andrew To's wife Jackie Hung bawling outside the police van after the arrest
Hu Jintao: Standing tall and firm
in the world and the orient
Hong Kong Daily News:
The greatest in the history of New China
Big military parade to show national power
National Day military review
Strength of the guided missiles
Stun the rest of the world
60th National Day
Display soft and hard power to the world
Hong Kong Economic Journal:
Hu Jintao chairs military review
Showing the power of China
60th National Day military review
Show force, display self-confidence
60th anniversary of the founding of the republic
The giant dragon soars
China Loud and Proud
Hong Kong Commercial Daily:
60th magnificent ceremony
China lines up
60th National Day
Beijing's nightless day
Wen Wei Po:
Hu Jintao: Prospects for China
wonderful without bounds
Prospects for China
Wonderful without bounds
Sing Tao Daily:
"Cube of light" brilliant
Beijing all lit up
October 1 ceremony
Jiang Zemin worked too hard
Clearly bullied Hu Jintao
So Apple Daily deviated from the "main theme" espoused by the other Hong Kong newspapers. What is the basis for Apple Daily saying that? They have plenty of expert analyses:
According to tabulations, Jiang Zemin appeared 22 times during the CCTV live broadcast, 6 times together with Hu Jintao. Jiang appeared restrained whereas Hu appeared reserved. National People's Congress committee chairman Wu Bangguo sometimes spoke to Jiang Zemin bypassing Hu Jintao who stood between them; Wen Jiabao who stood next to Jiang Zemin rarely spoke to him.
In the official Xinhua photos of the state leaders, Hu Jintao was the only one to appear alone. Jiang Zemin appeared thrice with Hu Jintao. None of the other third or fourth generation leaders received the same treatment.
According to independent scholar Zhu Jianguo, the performance of Jiang Zemin yesterday makes people suspect that there exists two power centers in China. "You can say that Hu Jintao is respecting his seniors, but the reporting style in the media obviously goes beyond this level. The only explanation is that Jiang Zemin continues to wield power within the Chinese Communist Party and Hu Jintao had to be deferential towards him."
(Apple Daily) Analysis: Who is the principal figure in the military review? By China commentator Zhang Hua.
Yesterday at the Tiananmen gate, Hu Jintao stood next to the "retired emperor" Jiang Zemin. Jiang retired seven years ago and he is just an ordinary party member nowadays. But he was ranked number two within the party, ahead of Politburo members such as Wen Jiabao. More than half of the Politburo members were his trusted aides in the past. Wu Bangguo went over to this side many times yesterday. When Jiang Zemin spoke, Hu Jintao had to bend down to listen. This showed the position that Jiang Zemin holds. He is running things from behind the scene, and therefore all the accomplishments of China contain his "efforts"! Yesterday, Jiang showed up at Tiananmen gate again. Not only was he exceeding his position, but he is claiming a share of Hu Jintao's accomplishments.
(Yang Hengjun's blog)
I got up this morning earlier than usual. I looked at the clock. 11:30am. I panicked. Did I miss the military parade of the 60th National Day anniversary? Then I remembered that I was in Sydney where it is two hours earlier than in Beijing. At this moment, it was only 9:30am in Beijing and the military parade has not yet begun. I turned the television on and I kept switching channels: CNN, FOX, BBC, they only had English-language news reports about the Pacific island tsunami and the Indonesian earthquake. After switching channels for a while, I got nervous. I did not subscribe to a Chinese-language television channel. Maybe I'll miss the 60th National Day military parade?
I immediately turned on my notebook computer and I sought help through twitter. In under one minute, more than a dozen tweeters responded and provided the link to CCTV. I turned it on and I was delighted: "live broadcast." So I watched CCTV on my computer and CNN on my television set. The CCTV live broadcast had already begun. The sky was blue, the clouds were white and Beijing was immersed in a happy atmosphere. I really wanted to be like what the poem says: "Put on a pair of wings and let my heart fly towards Tiananmen in Beijing ..."
"The number of deaths has reached 74 people. More than one hundred have been injured. The number of missing is as many as ..." On the big television screen, CNN reported: "American President Obama declared that the small island is a disaster area. The Australian government also declared that they will provide aid ..."
There was a huge difference between the reports on the two screens. At that moment, I really thought that I had space and time mixed up. The disaster occurred in some faraway place and we only have unstoppable joy. Has history ended? Has time just begun? Is the Giant of the East really rising? I am proud, I am excited, I rushed over to the restroom again in order to make sure that I can watch the National Day military parade without interruption ...
It's ten o'clock! CNN cut away from its news reports and switched to Tiananmen Square in Beijing. I watched. Awesome! The top right hand corner of the giant screen had the words "live broadcast." I have a giant television screen at home. It was a lot better to watch a military parade on this large screen than on the notebook computer which is just smaller than my butt. I thank CNN. I thank CNN for letting me watch the live broadcast directly on television. To my knowledge, an international television channel such as CNN will not show a live broadcast of a national day ceremony for any country (unless they have just achieved nationhood or else they are about to collapse). To put it another way, I don't remember CNN broadcasting live for the July 4th independence day celebrations in the United States!
The parade has begun. The majestic guard of honor has arrived. Oh. Exciting. Magnificent ... But while the screen showed the guard of honor marching in steps, I was hearing the CNN announcers talking about other stuff. They spoke of the China problem. They spoke of citizens who petition. They spoke of the problems that China faced ... Damn, aren't you being annoying? A military parade is not just for watching. We have to listen to it because the sounds of the marching steps are even more impressive than the visual images ... But your chattering has prevented me from listening. So I turned down the television sound volume and I turned up the sound volume on the notebook computer. Since the CNN announcers are digressing, I am better off listening to the live broadcast on CCTV ...
But this is strange -- the guard of honor has reached the Jinshui Bridge on television, yet they have just come out of the gate on the computer. What is going on? I immediately asked the netizens whether CCTV is doing a live broadcast. A netizen replied: "It is delayed by about 30 seconds."
So I learned something new about the meaning of "live broadcast"! The problem is that if I did not have the big screen CNN, I wouldn't care. Since I have it, I have both screens in front of me. So how can I transfer my eyes from the real live broadcast to the other "live broadcast" which is 30 seconds later? Even if I really like the Chinese-language exposition on the computer, they are describing a formation that had already passed on the television screen thirty seconds ago and so do I have to watch the formation on the computer screen?
So I told the netizens that I can see what will happen next earlier than they can. Although what I wrote was unintentional, a few netizens said: "Oh, I am jealous of you." Jealous of me for what? For being earlier by half a minute? By being half a minute earlier, I am said to be able to see the real "live broadcast." What is there to be jealous about? This was the first philosophical problem that I thought about today.
For this unprecedented historical event, the significance of being half a minute earlier (or watching the real "live broadcast") is the possibility of witnessing real history. By being half a minute late, you could be watching an entertainment program instead of real history. Why? Because if real history were to occur, those editors in charge of "live broadcast" would have made sure that you cannot see it. Although you were late by only half a minute, you can only see whatever the editor allows you to see. It is that simple.
In this sense, every smile that I see on television is genuinely authentic. What my 1.3 billion compatriots see is the reality that the CCTV editors allow them to see. Even though we ultimately watched the identical contents, we are actually different in terms of our positions. This philosophical issue is not easy is explain with words. If you don't understand it, you don't have to give it another thought. There is no point in debating me on this.
The stately and magnificent square formations drew me back from my thoughts. Oh, they are so magnificent, they are so awesome. So I immediately commented on it. But a netizen responded immediately, "What? I don't see anything." Oh, I am pensive. Although I am in the southern hemisphere and separated by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, I am actually closer to Beijing than the 1.3 billion people who are living in China itself. At least, I am able to watch the square formations coming in earlier than they can ... at that moment, I deeply recognized that as an overseas Chinese, what reason do I have for not being even more patriotic than my mainland Chinese brethren? My heart became closer to Beijing ...
Oriental Daily (claimed to be circulation leader in Hong Kong without audited circulation)
Front page headline news: Housing Authority leads the way with rent increase; 100,000 persons will help them pay their 2 billion dollar loss during financial tsunami
- Beijing military parade draws global attention
- Military parade is window for western observes to determine military strength
- Evening banquet fetes more than 4,000 Chinese and foreign guests
- Buildings closed in business district as Beijing declares top level alert
- Shops extend business hours to make up income
- Universities close for long vacation to avoid swine flu
News from both sides of the Taiwan strait
- Guangzhou supermarket bacterial counts shockingly high
- Taiwan <Next Magazine> alleged to fabricate news once again
- Taiwan Kaohsiung Railroad employees embroiled in group bribery scandal
- Suspected corrupt official held stolen national treasure at home
- Taiwan girl loses all her hair when she tried for a perm
- Genghis Khan's tomb reported to be in Sichuan
- Former general's libel suit against Chen Shui-bian rejected
- Hong Kong person grabbed land and stuffed feces in woman's mouth
- Shenzhen bandits rob Hong Kong person with gun and knives, killing younger brother
- Star comedian Zhao Banshan rumored to have suffered stroke
- Dongguan restaurant explosion with fiver dead and two injured
Apple Daily (top circulation leader among those newspapers with audited circulations)
Earthquake in Indonesia; 10,000 persons buried alive
Man with cosmetically treated eyebrows stabbed girl in buttock with syringe
Headline: The Chinese Communists did not mention democracy after seizing political power
Photo caption: Large number of soldiers follow instructions to "blindly" participate in the parade ceremony (Agence France Presse)
News from both sides of the Taiwan strait
- On 60th anniversary of the founding of the republic, former secretary of Mao Zedong made strong criticisms: The Chinese Communists did not mention democracy after seizing political power
- Area five kilometers around Tiananmen shut down; tourist: it is inconvenient to walk around
- Citizen inner voices: "What the fart is National Day to me?"
- China discussion: After the National Day parade, power struggles will escalate (by Li Ping)
- Focus of military parade: guided missiles that can be used to attack the United States
- A comparison of the military parades under four generations of leaders
- The People's Liberation Army will shed of 700,000 soldiers; focus on developing the air force and the navy
- Born in 1949; felt that it is silly to defend Chairman Mao
- Without understanding Communists, young people join the Party for jobs
- Younger cousin of Chen Shui-bian establishes the Taiwan Democratic Communist Party
- The leaders' "state banqet" has four dishes and one soup
- Famous mainland comedian Zhao Banshan suffers stroke
- Woman complains that husband's penis was too long and caused pain during intercourse; judge said that there was no way to verity and therefore rejected her divorce petition
- Guangzhou supermarket ready-made food exceed standards on bacterial count
- Four-year-old son strangled by mother because he did not know how to write '2'
- Water flood the streets of Zhejiang
- Male Benz driver beat woman nearly to death after car collision
- Restaurant liquefied gas canister explosion caused 5 deaths
Sing Tao headline: China will become a strong nation in the world
Hong Kong Commercial Daily: The motherland celebrate its 60th birthday today
Wen Wei Po: Premier Wen Jiabao -- we must think of the dangers even as we live in security; let us build a rich and powerful country
Hong Kong Daily News: China rich and strong; the people are proud of themselves
Related Link: A birthday bash for the People's Republic Danwei
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