Rita Fan weighs into debate over talk show

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 June, 2004, 12:00am

She calls her meeting with mainland official unremarkable

Allen Lee Peng-fei must have had his reasons for feeling pressured when approached by Cheng Shousan , the Legco president said yesterday, but her own meeting last month with the retired mainland official had been so unremarkable she quickly forgot about it.

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said she met Mr Cheng on May 16, two days before his phone call to Mr Lee - which prompted the veteran politician to quit as stand-in host of Commercial Radio's Teacup in a Storm talk show.

Mr Lee has said he felt intimidated by Mr Cheng's references to having met his wife and daughter.

Mrs Fan said Mr Cheng asked about her daughter during their meeting. But she did not feel intimidated.

'I cannot comment on what Allen felt - I am sure he had reason to feel the way he felt. I can only speak for myself, and to me it was such a small matter that I forgot about it,' she said.

'I do not think that he is linked to the central government. When I asked him if the Foreign Ministry had asked him to discuss things he denied it. He said he only wanted to obtain a better understanding of the situation in Hong Kong.

'He said he was with a few friends who were all curious to find out more about the situation in Hong Kong. He brought them to see me. They were three professors from a social studies research institute in Shandong province, where Mr Cheng is an acting professor.

'I told Mr Cheng that if he wanted to gain a better understanding of Hong Kong people, he should walk around the streets, get a feel for the atmosphere, and talk to citizens.'

Mrs Fan said she had been approached by various people for her views on Hong Kong since the mass protest last July.

'A lot of them want to understand the feelings of Hong Kong people and their attitudes towards the [city's] government. They are also curious to know if Cepa [ Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement] or solo mainland tourists have had a positive impact on Hong Kong people.'