Canto-pop singer Denise Ho Wan-see was arrested yesterday during the police clearance of Admiralty, making her the first Hong Kong celebrity to be hauled away for taking part in the pro-democracy movement. A cultural critic said the arrest of a high-profile celebrity standing at the forefront of a pro-democracy battle was a symbolic moment as it sent a wake-up call to a society that has placed money on a higher priority than moral values and social justice. Yesterday morning, Ho, a co-founder of Hong Kong Shield, a voluntary group supporting the student-led protests, joined the sit-in in Admiralty. "I'll wait to be arrested. There's not much of a plan - just sit here," she said. "But this is part of my responsibility as an adult and celebrity, to fill the responsibility of civil disobedience." She was eventually taken away by officers at about 4.47pm. As she sat on the pavement, she was read her legal rights by a policewoman before being removed. Ho led the crowd in chanting: "Civil disobedience, we are fearless!" The singer refused to be lifted by police like the others arrested, however, and the crowd cheered as she walked to a police car with two officers. Ho, together with others arrested in Admiralty, was taken to Kwai Chung police station. Her publicist said Ho could not be reached but a lawyer was available to help the singer. Critic Jimmy Pang Chi-ming said that during the 1960s, celebrities in Hong Kong had political affiliations. He said film studios that were pro-communists often competed with those supporting the Kuomintang. Film stars working under those studios had to declare their political stance. "But making money became the focus in the 1980s, and the importance of politics had been downplayed," Pang said. Although over 100 celebrities turned up for a concert to raise funds for the student pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 - under the call of Ho's mentor, the late Canto-pop star Anita Mui Yim-fong - those in show business have distanced themselves from politics. Pang said that today, self-censorship in Hong Kong show business had become worse to please Beijing. "This just shows how cowardly showbiz is, and it takes no responsibility for the future generations," Pang said. "But Ho's move is significant, as she opens a new window to a different world to her followers."