Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 4:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 4:16am

Apple Daily advertising is no business of Chan's - or is it?


Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts TVB’s Straight Talk show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.

Apple Daily advertising is no business of Chan's - or is it?

All's fair in love and war. If someone socks you between the eyes, you knee him right back in the groin. Is that too hard for Anson Chan Fang On-sang to understand? She told the Financial Times Beijing leaned on HSBC and Standard Chartered not to advertise in media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's Apple Daily and that she had written to the two banks demanding to know why they buckled. Public Eye does not know for a fact that the banks have been pressured, and Chan has provided no evidence of it. But what business is it of hers where banks choose to advertise? We are a free society, aren't we? Isn't Chan a self-appointed champion of free choice? If HSBC and Standard Chartered choose to be leaned on, it is their choice. The reality is, Lai's Apple Daily has made no secret of its agenda to strike the Hong Kong and central governments whenever it can. So is it not fair enough for Beijing to strike back where it hurts? Beijing leaning on advertisers to boycott the Apple Daily is simply fighting dirt with dirt. Why is Chan doubling as unofficial spokesman for the Apple Daily anyway? Why isn't she also writing irate letters to HSBC and Standard Chartered demanding to know why they do not advertise in other newspapers as well? Could it be because Lai gave her millions in donations? Money that came with no strings attached, mind you.


White terror gets a new definition in Hong Kong

Shock! Horror! It's white terror! Run for your lives. So many people have sounded the white terror alarm lately that Public Eye feared Hong Kong's streets must be littered with mutilated corpses. (They are not.) Then it hit us. In Hong Kong, white terror does not mean what it really means. Here, if "Short Hair" Leung Kwok-hung is arrested for breaking the law, it's white terror. If Alliance for True Democracy convener Joseph Cheng Yu-shek is exposed in Beijing-loyalist media for falsely stating his nationality in a passport application, it is white terror. If mainland companies refuse to advertise in AM730, the free newspaper owned by Centaline property agency boss Shih Wing-ching, it is white terror. If the media reveal tycoon Jimmy Lai's multimillion-dollar donations to pan-democrats, it is white terror. So what isn't white terror? If Lai's paper spills the dirt on others. Surely, Shih must be in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks mainland advertisers are obliged to aid his paper financially so he can use it to attack the central government. With all the white terror going on in the city, history needs to be rewritten to redefine the term.


McDummies' rotten handling of meat scandal

Will the McDummies at McDonald's never learn? First, they denied having bought rotten meat from Husi Shanghai. Then they issued a brief statement, in Chinese only, saying they did in fact twice buy potentially rotten Husi meat, some of which went into the bellies of Hongkongers. When public fury erupted, the McDummies tried to lie low, but the heat got too much. The chief McDummy, Randy Lai Wai-sze, gave a four-minute news conference, again only in Chinese, during which she read out a statement of apology but took no questions and left in a McHurry. If the McDummies really think they can win back trust that way, they're Big MacIdiots.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host.



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