Hair today, credibility gone tomorrow

Lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok landed himself and airport security staff in trouble over a tube of gel that broke the rules – he should have known better

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 3:56am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 4:02am

For a man who doesn’t have much hair, Ma Fung-kwok sure fought tooth and nail to keep his hair gel for a flight to Beijing.

The pro-establishment lawmaker has had to apologise and promise to comply with security regulations in future after he reportedly browbeat airport security staff to let him carry gel above the 100ml limit aboard the flight earlier this week.

During the argument, he boasted he was a legislator and that he knew Airport Authority chief executive Fred Lam Tin-fuk.

“I am not usually so picky, but a few hairs still standing need to be taken care of,” he told online news site HK01.

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Quite. Ma reportedly claimed his tube of gel was half full so it was actually under the weight limit.

Did he think security staff should weigh it for him?

“I didn’t think such a small quantity would pose a security threat,” he said in the same HK01 interview, even hinting that regulations were unclear and could be confusing to passengers.

His breach of security regulations, however, has not exactly been victimless. Avseco, which is in charge of airport security, said the members of staff involved had not followed proper security procedures and could be disciplined.

Mr Ma, don’t you see how much trouble you have caused just because of your hair?

And I am surprised you didn’t know you had to comply with security regulations before this incident.

Perhaps you just didn’t think the rules applied to you.

The lawmaker represents the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector, so it’s just deserts that he was exposed by the news media he represents.

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The incident has been likened to the furore over the younger daughter of former chief executive Leung Chun-ying when she was flying out from the airport two years ago.

The young lady forgot her luggage and needed Daddy to call airport staff to retrieve and deliver it to a restricted zone for passengers even though it could have been tampered with during the time it was left behind.

However, Ma’s action is worse because it was all about ego. In Leung’s case, at least he was trying to help his daughter get her baggage for a long-haul flight to San Francisco.

Ma was on his way to Beijing. Couldn’t he have bought hair gel once he had landed? Or was it a special designer brand that couldn’t be found anywhere?