Anson Chan urges 'influential people' to restore harmony

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 May, 2004, 12:00am

Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang yesterday urged 'influential people' to do more to help restore harmony and communication.

She described the social atmosphere in Hong Kong as gloomy as a result of the well-publicised resignations of three prominent radio talk-show hosts this month.

'The present atmosphere is indeed very gloomy, but if we are concerned with it, I believe it will improve in due course,' she said.

'The most important [thing] is for every citizen, especially those influential people in society, to do more for harmony and communications and increase mutual understanding and consideration.'

Mrs Chan stopped short of commenting on remarks made by her friend and former politician Allen Lee Peng-fei in the legislature on Thursday, where he said he had resigned as stand-in host of the Commercial Radio programme Teacup in a Storm in the face of pressure which apparently came from the mainland.

She said it was everybody's duty to uphold freedom of speech in Hong Kong, saying that it was an inalienable part of the city, and both the government and the public should protect it as well as similar values.

'I very much welcome the government's statement stressing the importance of press freedom and ensuring the public that they will be protected,' she said. The government had earlier said that any intimidation would be investigated.

At the Legco hearing, Mr Lee said one reason he resigned from the radio show and the National People's Congress was because he wanted to protect his family from harassment.

He said he had received a telephone call on May 18 from a person claiming to be a former mainland official who mentioned his wife and daughter. Mr Lee also said several people from the mainland had tried to influence him about the programme.