Why Hong Kong officials should thank, not ban, FT’s Victor Mallet
Using his “the other guy hit two innocent victims, but I only hit one so its OK” rationale, Alex Lo correctly points out the hypocrisy of Western criticisms of Hong Kong and mainland China on press freedom (“When mass murderers denounce petty thieves”, October 9). Mr Lo highlights significant and sinister abuses of the media by Western powers.
Ironically, Mr Lo cites as source material for these claims Google, Reporters Without Borders, the Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times. Last I checked, all of these web-based sources were either completely blocked or heavily redacted in China. The rejection of Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet’s visa renewal application is a step in this direction for Hong Kong.
One role of the media is to provide a check on government abuse of power, and Mr Lo should be defending this role wholeheartedly rather than selectively. Most of us paid no attention to the Hong Kong National Party before the Hong Kong government made them newsworthy by banning them.
Mr Mallet and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club broke no laws in hosting a lunch event that allowed people to understand what the Hong Kong National Party stood for. If laws would have been broken, it is quite clear that our government would have stopped the event from happening or pressed charges afterwards.
In fact, the FCC provided a public service, as we now understand what this fringe group stands for and that their views don't serve Hong Kong well.
A well-informed citizenry is critical to Hong Kong’s continued position as “Asia’s world city”. The government should renew Mr Mallet’s visa.
Keith Noyes, Clear Water Bay