Radical Hong Kong activist arrested for allegedly removing library books using simplified Chinese characters

The action was allegedly carried out to highlight the increasing use in Hong Kong of simplified Chinese characters, which are prevalent in mainland China

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 April, 2016, 8:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 April, 2016, 4:55pm

A radical activist was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly appealed to the public to remove books using simplified Chinese characters from public libraries.

Alvin Cheng Kam-mun, commonly known as “Four-eyed Gor Gor”, 27, is a member of Civic Passion, which supports localism and promotes anti-mainland Chinese sentiment.

Character assassination? Hong Kong’s furore over simplified Chinese

Cheng was arrested for theft and “access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent” in Shau Kei Wan as he worked at a roadside booth set up by the radical group.

A police spokesman said they had received a report on Tuesday from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which operates public libraries in the city, that someone had removed books with simplified Chinese characters in a library and the act was recorded in an uploaded video clip.


【香港圖書館戰爭 自發將「殘體書」下架抗洗腦】近日有媒體揭發由2006年至今,公共圖書館已購入多達60萬本殘體字書籍,當中不少為歌頌中國共產黨的兒童政治讀本。這反映港共政權的洗腦教育早已深入社區,荼毒香港下一代!且外,康文署轄下各區圖書館的藏書空間有限。有市民更指署方故意收起部分正體圖書,以騰出更多空間混雜殘體字書籍於正體字圖書的書架上,意圖魚目混珠。而且殘體字圖書採用的都是大陸用語,家長稍有不慎,兒童隨手拿起《我愛中國共產黨》等流腦書籍閱讀。孩子不但潛移默化地學習了大陸劣質語文,更連典雅正體字也棄如敝屣漸被「洗腦」。本人發起捍衛公共圖書館行動,呼籲守護香港每一代的市民,自發到圖書館內把殘體字圖書下架,做到遍地開花,對抗染紅殘體書!請參考影片或用自己方式去行動!

Posted by 四眼哥哥(鄭錦滿) on Saturday, 2 April 2016

The clip, lasting just over one minute, was posted on Cheng’s Facebook page on Saturday. A male claimed on the video that he was Cheng and was in a public library in Mong Kok.

It showed dozen of books with simplified Chinese characters being removed from shelves and dumped in a rubbish bin or hidden inside a fire hose compartment or gaps between bookshelves. This apparently happened inside the library.

The clip came with a message titled “Hong Kong library war. Spontaneously removing books with broken Chinese characters to oppose brainwashing.”

Education Bureau says primary school students should learn simplified Chinese

He said in the message: “The media recently reported that public libraries had bought 600,000 books in broken Chinese characters since 2006. Many were children’s books which praised the Chinese Communist Party.”

He also cited members of the public as saying the department had withdrawn some books in traditional Chinese characters to give room to books using simplified characters.

He called on the public to remove the simplified books and let the movement “blossom everywhere”.

Simplified Chinese characters, which are used on the mainland, are sometimes called “broken Chinese words” in Hong Kong. They have become more common in the city.

Civic Passion’s online news portal, Passion Times, said several police officers approached Cheng’s home in Mong Kok yesterday morning but he was not there. He was later arrested in Shau Kei Wan.

Cheng was released on bail on Wednesday night and must report back next month.

In a reply to a lawmaker’s question about the incident, Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah told councillors that such behaviour in libraries would not be accepted.