• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 11:29pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Anti-Occupy march organisers pledge to investigate ‘cash for taking part’ claims

Organisers of Sunday's protest against Occupy Central promise to investigate reports that some participants were hired to show up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 7:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 August, 2014, 4:37pm
 

Organisers of Sunday's march against Occupy Central say they will investigate complaints that people were paid to take part in the protest.

Media reports claimed pro-establishment groups paid some protesters hundreds of dollars each to join the march from Victoria Park to Chater Garden in Central, which the Alliance for Peace and Democracy said attracted 193,000 people. Police put the figure at 111,000.

"It would be better if these people did not show up, as they besmirched the some 190,000 people who came out truly for peace [in Hong Kong]," said the alliance's spokesman, Robert Chow Yung, when asked if the reports would damage the credibility of the march.

Some reports alleged that one group that took part - the General Association of Hong Kong Heyuan Societies - had handed out HK$380 to each marcher.

Chow said he had spoken to the association and learned that one of its subsidiaries "had carried out such acts". The alliance would investigate and consider deducting the 200 people mobilised by the subsidiary from the total turnout, he added.

But it would not for the moment investigate similar claims of payments aimed at the Hong Kong Youth Association.

Cable TV said the Youth Association arranged a bus that picked up dozens of people in Yuen Long, among them the station's undercover reporters, and gave them each a T-shirt and HK$250 on the way to the march.

Chow said the Youth Association questioned the validity of Cable TV's report and said people who received money on the bus were not its members.

Cable TV said it regretted the association's comments. The Youth Association did not respond to the Post's inquiries.

New People's Party leader Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who is an adviser to the Youth Association, said: "It's hard to blame [organisers] for offering incentives to marchers, as some people really live quite far away."

But former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang said it would be best if people could express their views without any behind-the-scenes manipulation.

"There are allegations, that are undoubtedly true, that they have to buy people's participation with money [and] with other inducements. You can see for yourself how much of it is spontaneous reaction … and how much of it is not," Chan said, referring to reports that many who marched on Sunday appeared reluctant to answer reporters' questions.

Chow also brushed off suggestions that he had received money for his role, but said the anti-Occupy Central campaign had spent about HK$10 million.

Zou Pingxue , a law professor at Shenzhen University, said the protest represented the views of many Hongkongers who had kept silent in the past.

 

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sipsip1238
It makes it very easy to "support a cause" when you've got money handouts, free dim sum lunches and a free transport to Hong Kong for a daytrip.
Most of the people were most likely villagers from mainland, which is sad as well because the organisers abused the fact that these people can be easily bought to support a cause they had no idea about.
CutieCat
"It's hard to blame [organisers] for offering incentives to marchers, as some people really live quite far away." Regina Ip.
.
By extension Mrs Ip, it appears that you would not object to similar incentives being offered during an election to conjure up some votes...
sammckhk
When you compare a supposed number of 110,000 who had to be paid to turn out and the same number who turned out on 1 July out of beliefs and principles. We all know who has the largest support in HK.
chaz_hen
"It would be better if these people did not show up, as they besmirched the some 190,000 people who came out truly for peace..." ~R. Chow (about paid attendees)
Yes, if you keep repeating a number, it'll eventually miraculously become true. And if "those people" didn't show, you have less than a quarter of the numbers you claim, right? So you'll take it either way, eh Mr. Chow?
"It's hard to blame [organisers] for offering incentives to marchers, as some people really live quite far away." ~R. Ip
If people truly and unequivocally believed in a worthy cause, they'd find any means to get to the destination...by foot if necessary. That is the most insulting and pathetic excuse ever, Ms. Ip.
k2poon
Chow Yung and this circus act has no credibility whatsoever. I guess it doesn't matter either-way cuz occupy central will still happen if Beijing continues with their unreasonable stand. With all these paid to protest scandals, protest ranks filled with mainland tourists and domestic helpers, and protesters with zero knowledge of the issues I doubt this protest was successful in convincing anyone anything. However, it does make for a great comedic show so thanks Chow Yung for the great laugh.
somethingtosay
I only know 2 people that went to the march both said they were paid $200, organised by one of their aging mum's via an mainland based regional association
Democracy Beijing style!

Both said they wished they hadn't gone as it wasn't enough money. They had no other reason for going
sammckhk
What a load of nonsense. The liaison office through its branches in the NT organised the "incentives" and apparently even complained one group wasn't offering enough $ compared to some others.
Paradox314
How can they be investigating themselves? Of course they will find no irregularities!
The investigation should be conducted by the ICAC - which requires people (preferably, those with first hand information) to file complaints.
53c89260-1c80-44e2-8b31-4c5d0a320968
If you have to provide incentives for the marchers to go protest, I doubt how many of them actually went there wholeheartedly. I believe people who truly wants to protest against something unjust or something against their values wouldn't not go just because of the distance between the protest venue and where they live ( HK isn't that big anyways ).
Dai Muff
"Chow said the Youth Association questioned the validity of Cable TV's report and said people who received money on the bus were not its members." It's the people giving out the money we are interested in.

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