In Hong Kong, ‘Asia’s world city’: freedom with strings attached?
- Hong Kong should never be called an international city or “Asia’s world city” – all the slogans are fake
News about Victor Mallet, the Financial Times journalist and erstwhile first vice-president of the venerable Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, has dominated media headlines the past few months. “Harry’s View” of November 10 highlights his latest run-in with the Immigration Department, where the Hong Kong chief executive is being asked what explanation officials must give the people on Mallet being denied entry into Hong Kong even as a tourist. And there is a framed picture of a panda hanging behind the head of our chief executive, giving the thumbs-up sign.
The people of Hong Kong are proudly told repeatedly that “one country, two systems” thrives and works in Hong Kong. Then why is poor Mr Mallet being punished?
In a statement, the FCC said the club was “shocked and baffled”. Mr Mallet did not encourage or even support the tiny Hong Kong National Party’s concept of self-determination leading to a separation from the mainland; he only presided over a speech delivered by its convenor, Andy Chan Ho-tin. If that was a crime and that was why his work visa was not renewed, perhaps many residents of Hong Kong should then be deported.
The sense we get is that the concept of freedom of speech and expression is no longer a basic right in Hong Kong. Hong Kong should never be called an international city or “Asia’s world city” – all the slogans are fake. We are a part of China. The clear evidence is the fact that the freedoms of expression and the press come with strings attached.
A.L. Nanik, Tsim Sha Tsui