Are we on slippery slope by covering royal crest on Hong Kong's postboxes?

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 October, 2015, 4:21pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 October, 2015, 4:21pm

The decision of Hongkong Post to cover up royal insignia on the city's postboxes ("Conservationists fume over plan to stamp out royal crest on postboxes", October 6) is the latest in a long litany of government attacks on local heritage, history, and identity.

The tribulations of the postal system are symbolic of the relentless drive in Hong Kong for new, more and bigger.

The demolition of the old general post office building is generally regarded, to borrow (slightly out of context) Douglas Adams, "a terribly stupid catastrophe". In your report, David Webb is spot-on when he imputes that Hong Kong needs sights and items of interest for visitors beyond shopping malls.

In travels around the territory, I always enjoy seeing relics of Hong Kong's past still in use, such as vintage posting boxes. When I come across these, I feel they are a poignant relic and reminder of the past, something which should never be forgotten.

Yet that, clearly, is the motivation for the post office to decide to pursue this act of damnatio memoriae, despite what its staff might say to the contrary.

The Beijing government has signalled time and again its desire to stamp its will upon Hong Kong in all the territory's manifestations, be it the people, law, or built environment.

Comparing Hong Kong to Macau, one can see a stark contrast. Macau has a grand GPO edifice anchoring a corner of the main square, and postboxes can still be found with the Portuguese coat of arms.

Furthermore, its postal system did not undertake a rebranding exercise as part of the handover package, as Hong Kong did, swapping its corporate colours to a green that could be meant to echo China Post.

If this plan is allowed to proceed, at what point, if any, will the government stop? Will it be deemed unacceptable to have streets named after former governors?

And what about continuing to have a Victoria Park or a Queen's Road?

Will it be considered illogical to have an area named New Territories, as Hong Kong is one integral entity, subsumed under the great mass of mainland jurisdiction? To what point will Hong Kong's individuality be allowed to fall?

Louis Porter, Kennedy Town