• Sat
  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 3:04am
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 December, 2012, 1:57am

Jackie Chan plays to the wrong crowd

BIO

Bonny Schoonakker has worked as a journalist in South Africa, Europe and, now, Asia, reporting on war and peace, and everything in between, for more than 30 years. Despite being in newspapers for an uncomfortable length of time, he feels he still has a lot to learn and cannot shake off the suspicion that you are only as good as your next story, no matter how good your last one. However, he does know that truth is a lie’s best cover, and remains constantly on the alert.
 

Anything said by that comedian Jackie Chan should be taken with a pinch of salt, but his remarks, about restricting rights in his home town and toting hand grenades to deter his badass triad buddies, are worthy of some reflection.

Immediately apparent is that the star of high-grossing trash like Rush Hour, Police Story and Cannonball Run seems to live in a fantasy world even after the cameras have stopped rolling. His assertion, in an interview published in Guangzhou's Southern People Weekly, that he once saw off 20 gangsters armed with melon knives by brandishing grenades and firearms, is more laughable than any of his movies, but not in the same way.

More unfunny were his statements that Hongkongers doth protest too much, and that "the authorities should stipulate what issues people can protest over and on what issues it is not allowed". If they don't, chided the man whose real name (Chan Kong-sang) means "born in Hong Kong", then we will land up like South Korea or Taiwan. That remark probably switched off about half his potential audience, but not that Jackie will mind too much, judging by his latest movie, CZ12.

According to our own review, the movie written and directed by Chan is about a mission led by Asian Hawk (Chan) to find six missing bronze sculptures from a set of 12 depicting the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The movie obviously refers to the mainland government's attempt to recover sculptures looted by French and British troops from the Summer Palace in Beijing during the second opium war (1856-60).

Beijing's quest to recover these looted artefacts, including its intervention at a Paris auction a few years ago, leaves us in no doubt of the importance Beijing places on recovering them, another manifestation of its desire to reassert China's greatness.

That Chan should endorse this campaign may be patriotic, even admirable, but his remarks instead create the impression that he is trying to ingratiate himself with mainland audiences, and, more importantly, with the government whose permission you need for access to them. Restricting the right of protest may be a bad thing, but if Hong Kong does decide to tell its people to shut up, we now know with whom it may begin.

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This article is now closed to comments

orixasia
I have grown tired of Jackie ... really. And he cant keep his gun in his pants. Has he forgotten who made him a star in the first place? Average Hong Kong people ... but that was a long time ago. Make movies not political comments. His very limited view of the world is much more suited to movies with jailed CEOs ...
be.way.5
Anytime, anyway Jackie speak more truthfully and honestly than some Hongkies who pretended that they are fighting for the democratic and social rights of Hong Kong but behind the scene, they are just a bunch of British Imperialist dogs. A typical case is Martin Lee and Leung Kwok-Hung. For all its appearance of sophistication and free press, SCMP has too many expatriates masqueraded as journalists who covertly operate more like MI5 or CIA agents.
katsanos
Did you seriously write: "British Imperialist Dogs"?
chaz_hen
Absolutely true! Jackie would have HK citizens treated more like their brethren on the Mainland and have HK people's rights rolled back to the same degree of restrictions.
Don't you, who accesses this news website and comments here, agree?
TigerJ
Dear Bonny, any self-respecting country would want to recover items looted by foreign forces. Imagine the US/UK loses some national treasure to burglars, and then has to pay a high price in international auction - what a huge scandal that would be.
Instead of raging wars or even complaining, China is paying cash to get the treasures back, in a way much less aggressive than it is portrayed by English press.
You are contributing columns to a Chinese SAR. Show some respect and sensitivity to national sentiments here. We understand you might care less about them than your own dad's birthday, but still...
chaz_hen
When one realizes one is becoming more and more irrelevant, one tends to make bombastic statements to garner some press.
"Mr Hong Kong" succeeded this time, obviously.
MrsSmith0
Wow, someone is angry lol. These so-called liberal journalist are only liberal if you agree with them 100%. Write it in proper English please and avoid words like "trash" or you'll never be respected among educated readers.
the sun also rises
such a so-called authentic Hongkonger is a shame to our beloved Hong Kong which embraces freedoms of speech and exprssion plus marches ever since the British Colonial era. Sing Lung/Chung was born here and raised up here plus got his first bucket of gold and fame here too.Now he dares to tell Hongkongers to shut up but he himself who is too eager to please the Mainland authoritiers since now he lives in Beijing's luxurious mansion most of the year and produces his films there too.His selfishlessness and inconsiderate attitude towards his fellow Hongkongers are really disgusting,not to say his poor education background.Who does he think himself is ? Exempted from being charged for carrying 3 guns and 6 grenades wth him for fear of being bullied by local triad members while filming his pictures. Any Hong Kong marches organizers have to gain a no-objection note from the Police before their marches can be staged including his movie industry marches in the past in which he himself took part in ! Hong Kong practises 'One country, two systems' and we enjoy our freedom of expression which this ignorant lusty old guy should know but chooses to ignore it ! Shame on this Hongkong-born arrogant MBE-holder who once performed before Queen Elizabeth II in 1975 when she visited here ! Sing Chung has long been good at pleasing the authorities----one of the ways to get his success maybe !
Camel
Actually, his education background represents 90% of all Hkners today. No matter what's. Hkners do not know how to comprehends when it comes to it. The most importants things in life, society and politics. They just know how to survive.
honkie
He's still a more authentic Hong Konger than your average Caucasian expat journalist. Leave the quarrel to the Chinese, I say.

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