Row over Jackie Chan deepens

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 April, 2009, 12:00am

Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa has spoken out in the row surrounding Jackie Chan after the film star suggested Chinese people needed control and that too much freedom could lead to chaos.

Speaking to students at Georgetown University in New York on Sino-US relations, Mr Tung said he disapproved of Chan's remarks and did not know why he had made them, the Central News Agency reported.

Anger against Chan continues to grow, with widespread condemnation of his remarks in discussion groups on the Facebook network.

One group calling for a signature petition to 'send Jackie Chan to North Korea' gained more than 6,600 members in four days.

Another Facebook group urged the public to write to the Tourism Board for the action star to be stripped of his role as an ambassador. It also called for people to file complaints with Baptist University and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, which have honoured Chan in recent years.

The number of complaints to the Tourism Board jumped to 160 yesterday, up from 121 on Tuesday. Baptist University said it had received several complaints.

The row erupted after Chan, answering questions about mainland controls on filmmaking, said: 'I don't know whether it is better to have freedom or to have no freedom. With too much freedom ... it can get very chaotic, could end up like in Taiwan.'

Chan said his remarks at the Boao Forum on Hainan had been taken out of context and twisted.