March 08, 2007

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The enjoyable thing about reading Hong Kong's newspapers is that often the articles are so absurd they beat anything the world of fiction can produce. Sometimes it's the writing or the editing, but often it's the content that brings a smile to the face. Today has two examples.

Firstly it appears that clapping has been banned during next week's Chief Executive forum. It seems some people were put off by applause during the brief debate.

Apparently the applause by more than 100 pan-democrat Election Committee members during the first-ever televised forum March 1 upset some people, resulting in organizers bringing in the ban. Organizers said this was in line with some televised debates during the US presidential election.

However, veteran democrat politician Martin Lee Chu-ming scoffed at the ban at the March 15 forum, describing it as ridiculous..."Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's election office was quoted as saying it was referring to a similar arrangement in the US presidential election.

"If this is the case, then why doesn't the office also insist on the US system of one-person, one-vote?"

There was no comment if the people put off by the applause were in the audience at the time or in Zhongnanhai.

The second thing is even better: it appears that because the government's coffers are overflowing and they've handed out some tax cuts to the mythical "middle class", the powers-that-be have found a measly HK$300 million to throw at Hong Kong's film industry. In another blow to positive non-interventionism, it seems The Don's goverment has decided to help out entertainment moguls because they're having a hard time making as many movies as they used to. Now the government is falling for the trap of picking "champions", starting with the film industry.

Which naturally leads to only one question: will the film industry be getting a functional constituency in the new Legco election in a complete reversal of the "no taxation without representation" concept. But will they be banned from clapping the results?

posted by Simon on 03.08.07 at 11:54 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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