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Hong Kong MTR

Guitar hero: Hong Kong busker hailed online for standing up to MTR employee who tried to silence him

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 September, 2015, 11:55am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 September, 2015, 3:12pm

A professional surveyor and amateur musician who stood up to MTR staff who tried to stop him from singing and strumming his guitar on a footbridge near Kwun Tong station has been hailed as a “hero” for his actions.

The incident comes amid tension between the local musical community and the MTR Corporation over a series of incidents in which young musicians were ordered off trains or threatened with fines for carrying instruments railway staff said were too big for trains. The MTR agreed on Friday to review its rules.

READ MORE: Hong Kong buskers: the good, the bad and the dreadful

The busker, who has not been named, has become an online celebrity after video of his performance and confrontation with an MTR staff member spread rapidly online yesterday.

Told to stop performing because he was causing an obstruction, the man refuses to budge and is heard to tell the staff member: “I work in the Lands Department. I have checked the deed … it shows this area is a public space. … You can check the deed yourself.

“You can complain about me making noise or obstructing the street. But, you can’t complain about me occupying MTR’s space.”

WATCH: The confrontation between the busker and an MTR employee (in Cantonese)

Staff seemed stumped by the musician’s reply, while passers-by applauded his actions. On social media, he was hailed as “brave” and a “hero”.

Chinese-language media reported that the musician was a winner of the Hong Kong round of the Voice of China, a televised talent contest.

In reply to media inquiries, an MTR spokesman said that, at around 11pm on Saturday night, Kwun Tong station staff received a report from a passenger of a person playing guitar near an exit.

READ MORE: Change of tune: Hong Kong's MTR to review baggage rules

To avoid a nuisance to passengers, an employee asked the man to stop playing. When the person ignored the request, police were called, after which he left.

The spokesman said the area concerned was under the MTR’s management jurisdiction.