Newspaper vendors offered cash to display and hand out anti-Occupy posters
Distributor puts up HK$100 to post the messages, more to hand them out
The sole distributor and long-time partner of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily is offering vendors HK$100 to display personally signed posters opposing the Occupy Central movement.
Sum Tak-keung's CLT Books Distribution is also offering vendors 30 HK cents for each poster they hand out.
The posters, which read, "Say no to Occupy Central to safeguard livelihood", came in a separate stack with newspapers distributed to vendors yesterday.
The surprise move came 10 months after Sum was critically injured in a still-unsolved slashing attack and follows a reported row between him and Apple Daily over delivery times.
CLT said in a notice to vendors on Sunday that those who displayed the poster in a prominent position for a week would get HK$100.
The company declined to comment yesterday.
One Causeway Bay vendor did not welcome the offer.
"I would never betray my conscience for a few dollars more," said the newsstand owner, who did not wish to be identified.
The South China Morning Post meanwhile found a distributor in Great George Street inserting the posters into copies of Apple Daily, a move CLT had asked vendors to refrain from.
Apple Daily chief editor Cheung Kim-hung in a column earlier this year criticised Sum's company for failing to deliver copies of the paper to newsstands on time. Sum replied that the newspaper had allowed print sales to plunge while focusing on its online edition.
Newspaper Hawker Association chairman Liu Sair-ching called for members to be neutral but said the association would not interfere in how individual vendors did their business. Occupy Central co-organiser Dr Chan Kin-man said his only concern was whether hawkers acted of their own free will.
Meanwhile, five chambers of commerce said they would announce next Monday a new platform to oppose Occupy Central.
The groups include the General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association and the Real Estate Developers' Association.
Federation chairman Stanley Lau Chin-ho said they had commissioned research on the harm that would be caused by the civil disobedience movement.