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Rejected donations will find way to policemen’s families, film industry groups say in full-page ad

Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association and Chamber of Films claim funds were turned down due to ‘distortion’ and ‘smearing’ of donor’s motives

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 11:48am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 11:01pm

Rejected donations by three entertainment companies in support of seven jailed policemen will still be channelled to the officers’ families, two film industry trade groups said on Monday.

In a joint statement published as a full-page ad in several Chinese-language newspapers, the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA) and the Hong Kong Chamber of Films said the funds had been turned down as a result of “distortion” and a “smearing” of the donors’ motives. They described the three firms as well-respected “pillars of strength” in the industry.

The groups said they would search for “appropriate and legitimate channels” to get the money to the police force and the families, without further elaboration. The rejected donations amount to about HK$2.5 million, according to a previous report by TVB.

The statement came days after National People’s Congress delegate Maria Tam Wai-chu, who heads the Apo Relief Fund set up to take donations in aid of the policemen, rejected contributions from the three unnamed parties following public doubt over the donors’ backgrounds.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting questioned last week whether some of the donors had a criminal record. Accepting their donations, he said, would compromise the image and credibility of the police force.

Some senior police officers and lawmakers also urged the fund not to accept donations from businessmen of dubious repute as doing so could tarnish the force’s image.

“As a result of sensationalism by some people with ulterior motives, a pure act of charity was subject to distortion and smearing. It is shameful,” the statement read.

Fund to help jailed Hong Kong police officers collects over HK$10 million

As of last Sunday, celebrities and show business personalities had donated HK$7,777,777 to the fund via the two trade groups, which the statement said had been approved by its council members and passed on to the chamber for temporary safekeeping.

The chamber’s members include China Star HK Entertainment, Emperor Motion Picture Enterprise, Filmko Entertainment, Mandarin Films, Media Asia Film Production, Mei Ah Film Production, Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment, Sil-Metropole Organisation and Universe Entertainment.

The MPIA protects the interests and rights of those in the industry, combats intellectual property rights infringements and represents the industry in dealing with the government.

The same two groups made the news last year when they called for a reform of the Hong Kong Film Awards judging mechanism due to the groups’ displeasure at the best picture win by politically charged, dystopian indie film Ten Years .