War of words shifts to the Lunar New Year fair

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 5:28am

Political parties have shifted their battlefield from the Legislative Council to the Lunar New Year fair at Victoria Park.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and the New People's Party unveiled their booths yesterday afternoon at the park where their pan-democrat rivals had already set up stalls.

In the opening ceremony, members of the DAB, including chairman Tam Yiu-chung and Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing, cut a piece of cloth instead of a ribbon.

The act symbolised the halting of filibustering in the legislature because "filibuster" in Chinese means "pulling the cloth". Other political messages were also seen on products with slogans taking potshots at the opponents.

For example, their HK$50 lucky bags carried the slogan "It's not just about the snake feasts, vegetarian banquets, biscuits and rice dumplings."

Critics of the party had said that the party's frequent feasts were a way to woo voters.

New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said the fair was an important place to reach out to the public.

The other camp, the Democratic Party, the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats are also offering an array of politically satirical products.

A volunteer for the league said sales of a cushion with the words "You lie! Don't tell lies!" were doing satisfactorily after Chief Executive Leung Chun ying's chaotic short visit to the park on Monday hit the headlines. During the visit, a cushion swung by lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung nearly hit Leung's wife Regina Tong Ching-yee .

The quote was uttered by Leung's chief executive rival, Henry Tang Ying-yen, during a televised debate when he asked whether Leung had suggested the use of riot police and tear gas on street protesters in 2003.

Separately, the chief executive's wife said she was not hurt or scared during the mobbing at Victoria park on Monday.

"I'm fine," Tong said after a ceremony to mark the 21st anniversary of Youth Outreach in Sai Wan Ho yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Customs and Excise Department said yesterday that it would put in more patrols at all Lunar New Year markets to combat the sale of counterfeit products.

The department also reminded sellers to be cautious about the authenticity and origin of their goods.