• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:32am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 2:57am

Remove illegal banners, political or not

People Power, the pan-democratic group, raises a good question when it criticises the government for failing to take down illegal banners put up by an anti-Falun Gong organisation in busy roadside areas across the city. Those posters are a nuisance and dangerous distraction to drivers.

But then you have to ask why lawmakers Raymond Chan Chi-chuen and Albert Chan Wai-yip only target posters and banners put up by the Hong Kong Youth Care Association - and not those by the Falun Gong, which presumably are just as illegal.

The offending banners have appeared in Causeway Bay outside the Sogo department store, near the Hung Hom train station, the Star Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Wong Tai Sin Temple, and along Nathan Road as far as Mong Kok. Many of them were put there to counter posters first installed by the Falun Gong, banned as an evil cult on the mainland but free to practise in Hong Kong.

People Power's double standard undermines its criticism of the government's lax enforcement when it comes to removing unauthorised political adverts. Indeed, some of the Falun Gong's antics and protests are even more obstructive and disturbing.

Outside Sogo, religious members regularly put up not only giant banners but gruesome photos of alleged torture victims and an exhibit on organ harvesting sometimes featuring a live actor and a mannequin. I am sure that if they were put on film, the content would be classified as unsuitable for children.

I make no judgment about the legitimacy of the youth group's messages or those of the Falun Gong. They both enjoy the same freedom of speech as the rest of us, just as they both must follow the same laws as everyone else - rules are rules.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Lands Department are highly efficient when it comes to removing unauthorised publicity material. But they pussyfoot when the offending material is put up by political groups. Parties from both the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps have exploited this official reluctance, leading to eyesores across town.

It's time to crack down on all unauthorised ads, political or not.


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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
I fully agree with Alex Lo this time. yeah,all unauthorised ads displayed on banners put across the territory either political or not should be crack down.Both Falun Gong's banners and anti-Falun Gong's should receive the same treatment, no discrimination at all. Those banners located outside the Sogo Dept.store in Causeway Bay, at Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, outside Wong Tai Sin Temple and along Nathan Road up to Mongkok or in Tai Po should all be taken down as soon as possible by our staff of the Food and Hygiene Department !
You should brush your teeth using your beard,big mouth.To attract more eye-balls to make a better living.Move your mouse more gather more information before you spit.
Fully agree. If they are illegally placed they should be taken down.
Majority people have to work to make a living. Who pay the Falun Gong to just sit and protest? Alex Lo's article shows that there are lawmakers who show partiality to the type of banners or posters; do such lawmakers have the authority to choose? It is time for Hong Kong Government to draw up a set of law and order regarding such issues like illegal banners, propaganda etc....
I agree that Falun Gong are a cult. I think they used to have a valid point but over 10 years of the same photos and banners, people meditating in tourist areas, they appear to have moved towards being a cult.
I never enjoyed having to see those gruesome photos put up by the Falun Gong. The Falun Gong are a religious cult and I am skeptical of their accusations. They are no different than the Church of Scientology, except that they're luddites who shun computers because they believe it is of alien origin. They also believe aliens from outer space made contact and that it's being covered up by all governments. They hate sexual minorities and people who are biracial. Anything they don't like they label "demonic". They encourage sick people to not seek medical help, which puts their lives in danger. The Falun Gong themselves are intolerant of others. Why must we be sympathetic to such a hateful group? On top of it, they encourage their members to cut off ties with their blood relatives and friends.
The Falun Gong is amazing at seeking sympathy in the western world. They have a propaganda department that is to die for.


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