Donald Tsang

Tsang worried over nude photo saga

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am

Scandal is a serious issue, says chief executive

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has expressed concern over the nude photo saga that has shocked the entertainment world and the community over the past two weeks.

In a letter to lawmaker Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, Mr Tsang said the scandal was 'a serious issue, which demanded further follow-up'.

The letter was a reply to Mr Fok, who represents the sports, performing arts, culture and publication constituency, after he wrote to Mr Tsang urging him to look into the case.

Mr Fok said the saga had adversely affected the city's reputation, while the Chief Executive's Office declined to comment last night.

Meanwhile, another remark by Police Commissioner Tang King-shing yesterday on his comment almost two weeks ago about the possession of nude pictures has drawn further criticism from a lawmaker and an internet expert.

On February 2, Mr Tang said 'even possessing the pictures might be illegal'. He added that the number of pictures in a person's possession could indicate their intention.

Two days later, Assistant Commissioner Vincent Wong Fook-chuen said that simply possessing obscene articles did not constitute a breach of law, nor was it an offence to share them with friends.

The conflicting comments have confused some internet users, who are worried they may have broken the law by accessing the photos.

Asked whether he felt he was being targeted by Web surfers, about 300 of whom marched to police headquarters on Sunday in part to protest against his comment, Mr Tang said it was a matter of perspective.

'Everyone has his or her own view. Some people think I was right, while some don't,' he said.

Hong Kong Internet Society chairman Charles Mok Nai-kwong urged Mr Tang not to make further comments if he was not going to apologise for the confusion caused by his earlier remark.

'As a police commissioner, such a remark is not going to help clarify the doubts of Web users,' he said.

Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah added that under the law, 'it is clear that the amount of possession is not the biggest concern' but rather whether the purpose of possession was for publication.

Mr Tang yesterday said there was more than one distributor of the photos and police would continue to trace them.

A police spokesman said the technology crime division had been in contact with people who could help establish the full facts of the case.

At a spring reception, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said several representatives from the education sector had called on the government to do something about the circulation of the photos, while Family Planning Association executive director Susan Fan Yun-sun said the scandal offered a chance for parents to teach their children about sex.

What they said

February 2

'Even possessing the picture might be illegal, but of course, we will have to look at the numbers'

Police Commissioner Tang King-shing warning on a radio programme that it might be illegal to possess the nude photos

February 4

'If the receiver [of obscene articles] is your friend, whom you have known for a long time, and you shared only amongst yourselves, it is not an offence'

Assistant Commissioner Vincent Wong Fook-chuen

February 13

'Everyone has his or her own view. Some people think that I was right while some don't'

Mr Tang responding to internet surfers' criticisms of his comments on February 2