The Hong Kong journalists removed from Indonesia’s APEC summit elicited little sympathy from netizens this week. HK radio and TV crews had their press passes revoked and were briefly detained by Bali Police after hollering questions about the Manila Bus Crisis at Benigno Aquino, president of the Philippines. Whilst this blog believes world leaders often deserve a good heckling, the reporters in question were accused of adopting an ‘activist’ approach by aggressively shouting irrelevant questions…
Some online commenters saw their actions as irresponsible and their eviction from the premises somewhat deserved, if not a little extreme. NOW TV, however, stated their reporters were “only engaged in normal reporting duties.” This is in-keeping with the competitive behaviour of tabloid journalists back in HK, where it is ‘normal’ to accost public figures, trigger scuffles with sharpened elbows or harass victims.
The Hong Kong Journalist’s Association, have since gone on to decry the APEC incident as a violation of press freedom. Whilst ‘doorstepping‘ politicians is standard practice and the Indonesian authorities went too far in banning the reporters from the event, their removal was clearly not political. The Association would be wise to pick their battles and concentrate on press freedom issues closer to home.
The incident in 2010 was obviously awful and tragic and the authorities were ill-trained and ill-equipped to cope with the situation – the Philippines is, after all, a developing country. Nevertheless, to be pressuring the country’s president, years later, to personally apologise is unusual and misguided. These were not the actions of a political or militant group. The perpetrator did not have an ideology or agenda beyond his own deranged personal interests. It was a lone-wolf incident.
It could be argued that the state or police bear some responsibility when mass public shootings occur in the US, yet no-one demands that Obama beg for forgiveness. 2010 also saw a series of mass stabbings and hammer attacks in mainland schools by lone wolves, yet Hu Jintao was never accosted for an apology and there were no street protests – it would make no sense.
It would be equally bizarre if the Hong Kong government imposed a ‘black travel’ advisory against such countries where isolated incidents once took place. Yet, years later, this is exactly what remains in place against the Philippines…
As Hong Kong is unable to form foreign policy and lacks an independent diplomatic voice on the world stage, this is the only way the government can directly chastise the Philippines. It is nonsensical, ineffective and infantile – if only because almost all of the Security’s Bureau’s reasoning could be applied to various areas of the mainland. Yet no-one is calling for a travel boycott of China.
Since the APEC fallout, the rhetoric has continued to escalate. Today, a mindless group of lawmakers from People’s Power called for Filipino domestic helpers to banned from working in HK, with a view to banning all Filipinos from entering the territory outright. Few SCMP readers agreed with their extreme stance, yet they weren’t the first to suggest punishing a completely unrelated section of the local community…
Lam Yi Lai – property agent and consistent last-place-loser in Kowloon West by-elections – gained notoriety at the time of the crisis when she called on Hong Kongers to sack their Filipino maids…
“The Filipinos are laughing. How are they like us? We are crying while they are laughing… Those people are incomprehensible… I think people have the right to fire the Filipina workers. I am telling you that you absolutely have the right. I have already fired mine.”
As recently as June this year, local football fans racially abused the Philippine national football team – throwing bottles, booing and calling them ‘slaves’. Reports claimed the abuse was rooted in the bus crisis stand-off.
Hong Kongers may still wish to assign blame or see closure but Manila mayor Joseph Estrada has already apologised for the tragedy – further demands for grovelling from the country’s leader or blood money from its government are inappropriate.
Former-leader Donald Tsang bears some responsibility for whipping the population into a frenzy at the time, and this only increased as it became unclear who exactly was in charge during such geopolitical dilemmas. Questions about our relationship with Beijing prolonged the heartache but Benigno Aquino owes us nothing and the ongoing irrational behaviour of a vocal few seems more rooted in racism than any sense of genuine outrage. It is time to move on.
Archive of political posts and coverage…
- A Tour of the Famous Greenpeace Ship, Rainbow Warrior III.
- Average Salaries of Those Who Serve Us.
- Child Abduction Rumours Are Textbook Scarelore.
- Citizens Left to Clean Beaches Still Brimming with Plastic Pellets.
- CY Leung Humiliated at Ceremony Ahead of July 1st March.
- Election 2012 as Popvote.hk is Hacked.
- Food Choices on the Hong Kong Poverty Line.
- Henry Tang’s Daughter’s Artwork.
- Hidden Agenda Raided Again Over the Weekend.
- Hong Kong 3rd Best for Human Freedom? The Truth About ‘That Survey’.
- Hong Kong’s Invisible Caged Poor: Mini Sculptures by Kwong Chi Kit.
- Hong Kong is World’s Most Racist State. See also: Hong Kong NOT World’s Most Racist State After All.
- Hong Kong’s Rooftop Slums.
- Hong Kong’s Shame – More Squalid Slums Discovered in the New Territories.
- How Hong Kong Would Look With The All Lights Out.
- How Mitt Romney Raised $Millions in HK & Macau.
- Indonesian Maids Rally in Support of Abused Domestic Helper.
- Judges Approve Transsexual Marriage as LGBT Event Planned for Weekend.
- Lantau Incinerator a Load of Old Rubbish.
- Manila Bus Crisis – Mourning Sickness.
- Memo an Affront to HK’s Autonomy as New HK Ai Wei Wei Piece Revealed.
- More Clueless Sexual Assault Comments, Now From HK’s Chief Prosecutor.
- New HK PSA: Shut Up and Love China.
- Poverty & Property: The Claustrophobic Reality of HK Shoeboxes.
- Revealed: CY Leung Met Tony Blair in Secretive June Meeting
- Security Chief Tells Women: ‘Reduce Drinking’ to Get Raped Less.
- Serious Crime Unit Arrests Graffiti Artist as US Criticises HK Human Rights.
- Squalor in Fanling: Slum Dwellings Return to Hong Kong (Photos).
- The Heart-Warming Kindness of Hong Kong’s Heroes.
- The HK Standard: Ignorant at Best, Racist at Worst.
- The KONY 2012 HK ‘Night Sweep’.
- The McQueue of Shame?
- Time Out/Hemlock Tycoons Feature.
- Two HK School Children Demand GovHK Burn Ivory Stockpile
- Why Does Jackie Chan Hate Hong Kong?
Rallies/demonstrations instigated by, or jointly coordinated by, Hong Wrong (most recent first)…
- US Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seeks Refuge in HK, 2013. More on the ‘Support Snowden’ rally: Part I: Preparations, Part II: Global media coverage, Part III: Photos, Part IV: Videos.
- Giant Dog Shit is Re-dedicated to Politician Chan Kam-Lam, 2013.
- Tiananmen Vigil 2013. See also: Preview of 2013 Candle-lit Vigil.
- Depraved HK Newspaper Needn’t Fear HK’s Media Watchdogs, 2012. See also: Media Ethics Complaint Against Oriental Daily Upheld.
- Gaza Rally 2012.
- Tiananmen Vigil 2012.
- Why I Attempted to Arrest Tony Blair, 2012. See also: £2420 ‘Arrest Blair’ Bounty Awarded.
- 24-hr Anonymous Guerrilla Art Installation, 2010.
- Anniversary of the Tibetan Occupation, 2010.
- Gaza Flotilla Rally, 2010.
- HK-GZ High Speed Rail Link Protests, 2010.
- Anniversary of the Tibetan Occupation, 2009.
- Annual Democracy Rally, 2009.
- Gaza Rally, 2009.
- Tiananmen Vigil 2009.
- Annual Democracy Rally, 2008.
- Buy Nothing Day, 2008.
- China Human Rights Protest, 2008.
- Olympic Torch Relay, 2008 See also: Olympic Countdown and Civil Liberties Legal Case, 2008.
- Tiananmen Vigil 2008.
- Maxim Magazine Feature, 2006.
- Minimum Wage Protest, 2006.
- Worker’s Rights in Education, 2006.
Rallies/Demonstrations attended by, or covered by, Hong Wrong…
- Lantau Incinerator Protest, 2012.
- LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rally, 2012.
- Shots from HK’s Gay Pride Parade, 2012.
- Shots from the National Education Protests of 2012.
- Occupy Hong Kong, 2011. See also: Occupy Hong Kong a Bit Embarrassing, Asked to Leave, Occupy HK Refuse to Speak to Media and Occupy Hong Kong Evicted (pictures).
Reinterpreting major local news events in English for foreign readers and expats…
- Full Lowdown: 2012 Election Aftermath. Protests Continue, Albert Ho Quits & Racist Candidate Loses.
- Full Lowdown: Battle of the Bullshit – Falun Gong Edition.
- Full Lowdown: HK Lamma Ferry Disaster 2012.
- Full Lowdown: HK Political Shit-storm Ahead of July 1st, 2012. See also: Full Lowdown of Handover Weekend 2012: Protest Minimised, Reporter Removed.
- Full Lowdown: HK’s 2012 National Education Protests. See also: Full Lowdown: Small Victory for Scholarism as 170,000+ Protest National Education.
- Full Lowdown: HK’s Tiananmen Vigil & Protests 2012.
- Full Lowdown: July 1st Pro-Democracy March, 2013. See also: The coolest, most inspiring shots from the 2013 July 1st Rally.
- Full Lowdown: Thousands of Bigoted Christian Homophobes Gather for Demo.
- Full Lowdown: US Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seeks Refuge in Free Speech HK