National anthem to be broadcast before news

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 October, 2004, 12:00am

The national anthem and a video featuring diving star Guo Jingjing and astronaut Yang Liwei will be broadcast on Hong Kong's Chinese-language television stations every night from today in an attempt to boost people's patriotism.

But critics warned the move could be seen as propaganda.

The 45-second video, Our Home, Our Country, will be unveiled during this morning's National Day reception at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho Chi-ping will chair the launching ceremony along with members of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education and the Commission on Youth, who designed the short video.

A government spokesman said the video - which is set to a soundtrack of The March of the Volunteers - was aimed at 'enhancing the sense of national identity'.

He said the video would be shown for at least a couple of months before the evening news.

But Li Pang-kwong, who heads a governance study centre at Lingnan University, questioned whether the attempt would boost patriotism.

'It is only a formality. Does the government really believe that civil awareness can be raised by broadcasting the national anthem?' he asked. 'Following this logic, will the government increase the number of times the video is shown if they believe people's civil awareness is not high enough?'

Political commentator Ma Ngok said such broadcasts were rare in developed countries. 'People will only treat it as propaganda,' he said.