Maybe meal message was misunderstood

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 June, 2010, 12:00am

It could all be a bit of a misunderstanding - that HK$200 'meal allowance' or HK$30 to enjoy an eight-course seafood meal in return for joining a June 19 rally to support the government's reform package.

The chief organiser of the rally, Cheng Yiu-tong, says 'some organisations may not understand the nature of our event'.

Cheng, an executive councillor who heads the Alliance for Constitutional Development, reiterated that the alliance had already told its affiliated groups not to attract participants to the rally with money.

'But we understand that sometimes groups will make people participate in events through other activities, such as outings and seafood tours.'

The remarks by Cheng, who is also president of the leftist Federation of Trade Unions, came after the Hong Kong Quanzhou Association offered a HK$200 'meal allowance' to each participant of a two-hour rally in Victoria Park.

A day trip, which includes an eight-course seafood meal, organised by several district councillors also sparked controversy after it was revealed that people had to pay only HK$30, but in return would agree to join the rally.

'Organisers should make sure that participants understand the nature of the activities,' Cheng said.

The Beijing loyalist believed the cash offer was an isolated incident.

He considered it acceptable for groups to provide water, lunchboxes or even cover local transport costs to participants - though not air tickets.

Cheng said he had not been able to reach the Quanzhou association by yesterday. The association is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations, which is a member of the alliance.