Differing opinions on column's criticism of 'tycoons'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 July, 2000, 12:00am

We refer to the letter from Willy Wo-Lap Lam headlined, 'Stating the facts' (South China Morning Post, June 30).

We were also present during the meetings and agree fully with Kuok Hock Nien's letter to these columns of June 29.

Mr Lam's column headlined, 'Marshalling the SAR's tycoons' (Post, June 28), is full of distortions and speculation.

RONNIE CHAN HENRY CHENG THOMAS KWOK WALTER KWOK VINCENT LO ROBERT NG HENRY TANG I refer to the letter written by the former chairman of South China Morning Post (Holdings) Limited, Kuok Hock Nien, headlined, 'Speculation' (Post, June 29). The scathing condemnation of Willy Wo-Lap Lam is shocking and disturbing.

Mr Lam is highly respected both here and abroad for his insightful China coverage.

With unrivalled sources and strong analytical skills, Mr Lam's articles are widely read and quoted. Replying to his boss' rebuke, Mr Lam stood by the facts and opinions in his article of June 28.

Mr Kuok's outburst was intriguing and uncharacteristic since the low-key tycoon seldom expresses controversial views in public.

By venting his anger, Mr Kuok's message to the Post's journalists is clear. One reporter contacted me to express concern: 'It appears Mr Kuok wants us to good-mouth China and to exercise more self-censorship.' What has happened is damaging not only for your newspaper but for the freedom of the press in Hong Kong. I just hope other news proprietors will not follow suit.

EMILY LAU Legislative Councillor I agree with Kuok Hock Nien (letter, Post, June 29), that the SAR tycoons invited to Beijing by China's leaders are not running dogs.

In fact, they can contribute a great deal to the prosperity of China.

However, Mr Kuok may not be aware that some of these tycoons are not knowledgeable about politics. They do not seem to know that the Chinese Government has violated human rights in Tibet, threatened to attack Taiwan and refused to apologise for the June 4 massacre in 1989.

I hope that businessmen in the SAR can acquire a better understanding of Chinese society, so they can express more constructive opinions when talking with Beijing's leaders.



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