• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:12am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 3:15am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 3:15am

Give us facts, not rumours, please

If the story were true, it would be the biggest political story not only since Leung Chun-ying became chief executive, but the worst government scandal since the handover. It's the kind of story that could bring down a government.

So why are our city's ace reporters not chasing it, rather than pursuing a related but inconsequential story about Leung refusing to attend Standard Chartered's popular annual marathon? Frankly, who gives a damn whether he goes or not? But every pan-democratic media outlet has the same conspiracy theory about it this week. Repeat it often enough, it becomes a fact.

It is that the British bank didn't play ball, at least initially, when it was pressured to pull ads from Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's Apple Daily. At least that was what the House News and Apple claimed; other banks they named included HSBC and the Bank of East Asia. Several pan-democrats then duly repeated the same allegation in the Legislative Council and demanded to know if that was why Leung has refused to attend the marathon. The Wall Street Journal Asia even wrote an editorial leader about direct pressure on the banks, except it named only HSBC and BEA, citing Lai's right-hand man Mark Simon as its highly reliable source.

Let's see if I've got the story right. Either Leung's office or the liaison office put direct pressure on three of the biggest banks in Hong Kong, two of which are also among the biggest international banks in the world, not to advertise with an anti-government newspaper. Think about what that means if these publications have proof or evidence to substantiate their story. It would surely be the scandal of the decade: two governments directly pressured and interfered with the commercial operations of the city's biggest banks to punish an enemy.

If Apple and House News want to go for the jugular, get to the bottom of it and give us the real story. It would make the Tung Chee-hwa government's interference with pollster Robert Chung Ting-yiu's political surveys child's play. So why aren't those newshounds splashing exclusives and cornering Leung with it, rather than chasing him about the marathon?

Can it be that they haven't got a factual story beyond making unsubstantiated claims?

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321manu
Mr. Lo is right in that the burden of proof is on Apple Daily. That said, it's a tall order. And the video evidence is not likely to emerge on Instagram.
*** IF *** CY did lean on the banks, Apple Daily would never have direct knowledge of it. From their perspective, all they would have seen was business going out the door. IF such a conspiracy occurred, only CY (and his underlings) and the bank bosses (and their underlings) would know about it. So unless an unnamed source or whistleblower comes forward, there will never be substance to such a story.
IF the story is even remotely true, at least HKers can rest assured this is as far as the government can go. IF this was the other half of that 1C2S arrangement, editors would've been thrown in jail, reporters would've been beaten, and Jimmy Lai would've been disappeared already. So there's always the bright side to look at.
amunro
Well said Mr Lo. This is gossip and not journalism.
321manu
Well Pierce m'boy, I'll give you this much: it does take a dummy to think that dry ice gives off "smoke".
On the other hand, "arithmetic" of figure of speech? It looks like you've got your own problems to worry about, like usage of the English language. But we've been here before, haven't we? The more things change, the more they stay the same...as they say.
321manu
Ahh, Pierce m'boy, your stupidity, as always, knows no bounds. However, it must be stated that I am grateful as usual in your eagerness to never stop demonstrating that fact. Your entertainment value can never be over-estimated.
"Arithmetic of figure of speech", you say? Priceless gem, completely in line with the usual quality of your work-product.
Anyway, looking forward to your next "stanza", as someone else noted...cuz in Pierce m'boy's world, who needs paragraphs, punctuation, capitals, or logic? Am I right, or am I right. Funny English, as performed by Pierce m'boy, ladies and gentleman. And lord knows that's not the only realm in which he is quite funny indeed.
impala
I completely agree. Yet, 'facts' in this matter would hardly be easy to find. The most concrete evidence could come from the bank personnel whom the government -allegedly- leaned on. However, of course the government officials didn't just ring up the bank's customer hotline to do this. They would have gone through a trusted fellow senior PR professional, somebody they know and could rely on, possibly because of a combination of carrots and sticks.

So will that person now come forward and tell the story? Highly unlikely. It would not only mean the end of his/her good contacts with the government, but also be career suicide. So in all fairness, it is sheer impossible to get the 'facts' in this story, if there are any. The presumption of innocence should therefore prevail for the time being. And yet, where there is smoke, fire is seldom far away...
Tkorunner
There is a rumour that ?The South China Morning Post has never been a radical publication, but it has served the people of Hong Kong for 100 years by providing them with accurate and timely information,? ?But It is now widely believed that the paper's main priority is no longer to continue this fine tradition, but to please the authorities in Beijing.? Your article give fact to support this rumour. In CY's case, what kind of fact do you expect ? A written letter from CY ? In my opinion, CY's stupid , unconvincing respond is a fact that prove the rumour.
321manu
Dude, the sublimation of dry ice does not result in "smoke".
321manu
Ahh Pierce m'boy, I'd ask for "clarification" if I thought the original content was worthy, and if I thought any further clarification would be useful. Clearly, in your case, that's a 'no' on both counts. So why, pray tell, would I bother? Pierce m'boy, you're a silly silly boy.
If your teachers taught you, and this is how you turned out, do you feel they are worthy of respect? LOL. On the other hand, I am more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, since a teacher can only do the best they can with the substrate they're given, and with you, there clearly wasn't much there to work with. Notice my original theory had 2 possibilities. I am happy to stipulate that you are the moron, and leave your teachers unscathed. Hope that makes you feel better, Pierce m'boy.
Anyway, your woeful attempts at talking smack are amusing. Lame, but amusing...and as I said before, you continue to ably perform your duty to give me a good laugh, so well done m'boy.
And still no comment on the OP. I think I'll make you my new drinking game...so now you have two purposes in life. Bravo.
321manu
There are only 2 possibilities here: either whoever taught you English was a moron; or you are.
And to randomly invoke the holy trinity? You are quite schizophrenic indeed...or perhaps it's just whatever you're smoking. That actually makes sense: the only plausible explanations for the random yet repetitive stupidity that emanates out of you, are an under-treated psychiatric illness, or a drug-induced stupor. Hey, but what you lack in logic and good sense, you compensate for with useless verbiage. That, I guess, is something. Aim for the small accomplishments, Pierce m'boy. You can do it! Have you even said one (1) thing about the OP yet? Oh, right, that would require a brain.
321manu
It is truly amazing how you repeatedly whine about not partaking in any more, only to turn around and do exactly that. The inability to say what you mean and mean what you say is truly a gift among CCP apologist types like you. Well done, m'boy.
Indeed, my original comment left some room for other possibilities. But then I realized there are no other possibilities- either whoever taught you English is a moron, or you are. There really is no third option. I doubt even a lunatic like you can "imagine" any other explanation for your sorry displays here. But I wouldn't mind you trying, cuz I'm here to be amused by you, and it's the one thing you truly excel at, and I would want to deprive you of that. After all, lunatic CCP apologists are people too.
And once again, you've failed to even mention the OP. Your consistency in irrelevance is admirable, and you should add that to your meagre list of "achievements".

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