Sensible policy change plea

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 March, 1997, 12:00am

Could the Urban Council please give a sensible public response as to why it bans the use of video and still cameras on the long stretch of harbour front next to the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui? White gloves and Walkman in the Hong Kong Stadium notwithstanding, this must be one of the more wacky Urban Council policies.

As a long-time television journalist in Hong Kong I am well used to being harassed by security guards who decide they do not like you standing close to their building while filming - regardless of whether the camera is pointed at the building or not. But, this at least involves private property.

The Cultural Centre and the adjoining pink tiled area are public property. On whose authority does the Urban Council prevent people from standing on this public land? My recent experience involved a rather mean-spirited guard standing in front of the camera (to prevent its use) while my cameraman and I were taking 'beauty' shots across the harbour.

He carried a printed notice saying we would need prior approval. Why for heaven's sake? When the world's media descends on Hong Kong in the next few months, are they going to face the same nonsense when they try to take their own pictures from Tsim Sha Tsui? I sincerely hope not for the sake of Hong Kong's image.

A sensible policy change is requested.