Miss Hong Kong praised as 'goddess of democracy' over political remarks
But TVB chiefs were not impressed and withdrew interview from news slot
Grace Chan Hoi-lam may be the thinnest Miss Hong Kong at just 39.5kg, but she caused a stir any political heavyweight would be proud of in her first interview since being crowned on Sunday.
The 22-year-old graduate voiced her support for universal suffrage when she appeared on TVB news on Monday. She added: "When you are [chief executive], you would not want everyone to oppose you, rather you want to satisfy their needs." Her remarks raised eyebrows, especially those of TVB news chief Yuen Chi-wai, who was reportedly unimpressed enough to withdraw Chan's interview from the main 6.30pm news slot.
But Chan has the support of the people. In an online poll by the Yahoo website, half of 8,000 respondents gave her the thumbs-up by voting for the option reading: "Scored! A goddess of democracy!"
A further 37 per cent felt she was an icon for Hong Kong and TVB but should steer clear of politics. Finally, 13 per cent voted for the option reading: "Thumbs down! You thought you were Chan Ching-sum?" - a reference to the outspoken pro-Beijing activist.
Meanwhile, over on ATV things get nasty
With the row over its editorial independence raging on, the question of whether ATV is fit to remain a broadcaster is not only triggering heated debate, it is breaking up friendships.
Veteran journalist Michael Chugani, who hosts two ATV programmes and writes a column for the South China Morning Pos t, has been taking shots at Claudia Mo Man-ching, a journalist turned pan-democratic legislator.
In a letter read out on the ATV Focus show, Chugani calls Mo "an insult to journalism" following the Civic Party lawmaker's call for ATV to be shut down.
"Only journalism that agrees with her viewpoint is right," wrote Chugani.
"She is not only an insult to journalism, she is an insult to democracy and to the Legislative Council."
Mo said she and Chugani had been acquaintances for decades and "they used to have frequent exchanges on issues".
Not any more, perhaps.
CY gets a bit of TLC from G.E.M.
Show business and politics don't usually mix much in Hong Kong, but singer Gloria Tang Zhi-ki, better known as G.E.M., has also been making her views heard. In an interview with the Hong Kong Idea Centre, which describes itself as an "independent, apolitical non-profit organisation", the 22-year-old turned cheerleader for beleaguered Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, saying: "Please carry on."
She added: "A lot of people keep calling for the chief executive to step down. I wonder, is it necessary?"
Tang's young fan base are of an age generally deemed to lean closer to the pan-democratic faction, so her stance may be surprising.
But then again her remarks do not amount to approval of Leung's policies, according to Tang's reasoning. She went on to say: "I want to tell Leung to carry on because he must be under great pressure.
"We should not … judge whether he has done a good job. This is a very difficult position."