Bruce Lee


PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 12:00am


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Q Is Bruce Lee deserving of a permanent Hong Kong memorial or museum?

Hong Kong doesn't have many memorials to individual citizens, regardless of their accomplishments. But there are streets and buildings named after colonial politicians and philanthropists.

As to Bruce Lee's credentials for such a memorial: the 'little dragon' was a master and pioneer of martial arts, and an international superstar. He was a pioneer in the sense that he broke down barriers between the different styles of martial arts. He also accepted students from any race or creed when old-time Chinese masters scorned teaching non-Asians. But perhaps what really makes Bruce Lee the pride of Hong Kong are his accomplishments as an actor.

He was the first Hong Kong actor to become an international star at a time when there were few Asians in Hollywood. He refused to perpetuate the weak, submissive and often humiliating 'Charlie Chan' type of roles that demeaned Asians. He showed the world the power, grace and beauty of Chinese kung fu.

It would be a shame if Hong Kong folks forgot about the man who made us so proud.

Richard Lam, Kowloon Tong

I do agree that Hong Kong should build a museum giving due credit to Bruce Lee. However, before I get into the whys, I would like to know why the article stated that Lee was born in Seattle, Washington? This is not true.

Bruce Lee went to Edison High Technical School in Seattle. He went to the University of Washington, in Seattle, majoring in Philosophy and Psychology. He met his wife in Seattle. He is even buried in Seattle, but he wasn't born there.

He was born at the San Francisco Chinese Hospital on November 27, 1940. His father, Lee Hoi-chen, was a Cantonese opera star performing in the city when Grace Lee, his mother, who was a Catholic Eurasian, went into labour and had her baby at the city hospital.

Now let's talk about why he should be given all credit due him. Bruce Lee left America because of the prejudices that he faced trying to break into the film industry. Hong Kong movies at that time were not international. They didn't break any kind of records until Bruce Lee came along. Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat, other Chinese actors and directors (I am a fan of these guys and more) who have reached international status owe their fame and success to the first Chinese international superstar from Hong Kong: Bruce Lee.

He kick-started the city's movie industry, and its martial art genre, into the world. When people come to Hong Kong, they want to see something about Bruce Lee. When my best friend, who has been studying jeet kun do for about 27 years, and his wife came to visit Hong Kong, the first thing they wanted to see was anything related to Bruce Lee.

I think that it is a shame that Hong Kong hasn't made an effort to show love and gratitude, and pay tribute to its favourite son.

Milliard Sims, North Point

Q Are taxi fares too high, given the economic downturn?

Taxis are one of the most expensive types of transport in Hong Kong, even at times of economic prosperity. However, this does not mean that taxi fares are too high.

In fact, they are very reasonable, as they offer such a comfortable journey and ample space for one's personal belongings.

I don't think taxi fares are too high, but I would definitely not advise people to take a tour around Hong Kong in a taxi. Even when the economy is booming, I would say no to that.

Lily Lo, Tsuen Wan

On other matters...

Yesterday, I went to buy a Motorola 722i mobile telephone. Motorola does not supply an instruction book in English, only in Chinese. This was confirmed by a number of shops. Needless to say, I did not buy that telephone; I bought from another manufacturer instead. Obviously, Motorola is not interested in serving the expatriate market, perhaps because it thinks it is too small.

I recently applied for, and had received, a credit card from Citic Ka Wah Bank. The information accompanying the card was in Chinese. I asked for an English copy, but was told there was none. I then received a redemption letter for a free gift, also in Chinese. On complaining, I was informed that the bank did not have any English copies and all correspondence was, and would continue to be, in Chinese.

Is Hong Kong Asia's world city? I think not.

Name and address supplied.

I am writing this letter amid the pounding drilling upstairs. It has been like this for one month now.

Everyday, when I give my two-year-old the daily goodbye-hug before going to work, the pneumatic drill pounds right above our heads.

The whole apartment is like the inside of a big drum with concrete walls.

I am afraid that the noise has traumatised my child. Walls were being knocked down; the sound of large concrete blocks falling on to the floor shook our ceiling.

We were worried. I called the management office, asking if the demolition upstairs was legal. We live in a 1,200 sq ft flat in Taikoo Shing, and I was wondering if the flooring was strong enough without supporting interior walls.

A couple of days later, my wife turned on the air-conditioner in our bedroom and a sewage smell wafted out of it.

This morning, barely rested from a jet-lagged sleep after a business trip, the unnerving drill gave me my wake-up call.

Hong Kong, where I returned with hope prior to 1997, is a strange place. Loud-speakers can be confiscated in a peaceful demonstration but it is perfectly legal to turn someone else's apartment into a building site.

Name and address supplied