Do a few texts really make a friendship?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 4:16am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 4:16am

Do a few texts really make a friendship?

Undersecretary for commerce and economic development Godfrey Leung King-kwok enjoyed his 15 minutes of "fame" after Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing failed to recognise him at a meeting last week. As a political appointee, Leung is supposed to liaise with lawmakers and the media. But the official defended himself, saying there were lawmakers with whom he's well acquainted, including some pro-government lawmakers and pan-democrats like Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok and Charles Mok. But one lawmaker "friend" was surprised to learn he had become a confidant of the very well-paid official. "He only texted me a few times. If I am seen as a good friend I cannot imagine how much contact he has with others," the lawmaker said. If Leung feels lonely, he can at least cheer himself up with the knowledge that the affair increased his fame.

Lawmaker's fiction inspired by June 4 …

As the 25th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen crackdown looms, stories revealing little-known details about the pro-democracy movement abound - and Civic Party legislator Claudia Mo Man-ching has given the trend a twist by updating a work of fiction. Known for her impeccable English, Mo published a book in Chinese based on the 1989 bloodshed. "The first edition was published in 1989. Twenty-five years on, I am now extending it," said Mo, a journalist at the time. The story centres on three women: two journalists and a social worker. "The extension was adapted from recent social events, including the brutal attack on [former Ming Pao chief editor] Kevin Lau Chun-to and the national education saga," Mo said. "There was a love story between one of the main characters and a June 4 student activist," she said. But she offered no clues on the real-life counterparts of her characters.

… while activists tell a different story

Meanwhile, as pro-democracy groups organise activities to remember Tiananmen, pro-Beijing activists are just as keen to make themselves heard. Voice of Loving Hong Kong chairman Patrick Ko Tat-bun said the group would show a video outside Victoria Park on Wednesday, as the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China hosts its annual candlelight vigil. They say the clip proves no one died in Tiananmen Square. Ko believes the army was only trying "to maintain national security and restore social order". Other accounts tell a different story. Then-premier Li Peng, in a diary entry, said authorities recorded 313 deaths. International observers claimed thousands died. An online database compiled by the Tiananmen Mothers recorded details of 202 victims, of whom at least four died in the square.