PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 January, 2003, 12:00am

I am saddened and disappointed by the pitiful proposal from the chairman of the Central and Western District Council, Wu Chor-nam, to remove the statue of King George VI from its existing location in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, where it has been standing since 1958.

Mr Wu was reported to have said it 'was best to forget' the colonial past (South China Morning Post, January 9).

The statue happens to be an important part of my childhood memories, and one of my most cherished family photos is one taken of me and my cousins, all eight of us, little boys, either standing or sitting around the statue almost 35 years ago.

I question the necessity of, and, motive behind the proposed removal of the statue. Such an action, like the renaming of streets and buildings bearing colonial identities, could sometimes be seen as a reflection of petty small-mindedness, coupled with a lack of courage to acknowledge the colonial and historical past, as well as an absence of confidence to achieve a better future.

I wonder what will be next - banning people from having English names, renaming Queen's Road Central and all those Mid-Levels roads and streets named after past colonial Hong Kong governors?

I am just glad that Shanghai has the good sense to leave the Bund and all its 'colonial' buildings intact and derive tourism revenue and other benefits, thanks to a far more enlightened municipal government.

S. H. CHING, Mid-Levels


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