INFO · Search
· Chinese version · Subscribe

By: Jayde CheungEdited by: Editor


100th Anniversary of CCP: Government Closes Victoria Park from Public Gathering, Collectors Queue for Commemorative Stamps

Collectors  queued up at Hong Kong’s main post office to purchase special commemorative stamps issued for the 100th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China, while Hong Kong police closed Victoria Park to restrain protesters from gathering during the 24th observance of  the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.    More than 60 customers lined up at the General Post Office in Central to purchase the special edition stamps after the office had opened.    “The 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China” Commemorative Stamp was first issued today.Individual stamps and a stamp sheetlet are included in the collector set.    “I feel happy for the 100-year establishment of the Communist Party of China,” said Tse, who only disclosed her first name, has been collecting stamps for years. She bought two stamp sheetlets for her grandchildren.    She said Hong Kong had restored peace and security compared to the same day last year.   In the same line, Tong, who did not provide his first name, said he was thankful for the 100th anniversary, “but it was nothing special, because the Communist Party of China will still thrive in the coming years.”   Mr Tong said he supported the cancellation of the July 1 march.    “Hong Kong used to be chaotic, but now I can travel around more conveniently,” he said. “ That’s why I can come and collect the stamps.”   Hong Kong police banned the July 1 march for the second consecutive year, citing coronavirus pandemic restrictions on public gatherings Despite the cancellation of the annual July 1 march, at noon police sealed off Victoria Park, where the march traditionally started, to prevent unauthorised assembly.    “Anyone who enters or stays at the prohibited area will be subjected to the maximum penalty …


Three pro-democracy groups apply for permission to hold annual July 1 march

League of Social Democrats, Tin Shui Wai Connection and Save Lantau Alliance applied on Friday to the police for its consent to arrange the annual July 1 protest on the handover anniversary.    Civil Human Right Front had been organising the march since 2003 but the group said on Sunday that it would not hold any activities after the police questioned its legitimacy.    “The July 1 protest has become a platform to express the needs of civilians and fight for democracy and universal suffrage,” Convenor of Save Lantau Alliance Eddie Tse Sai-kit said.   Deputy secretary general of the League of Social Democrats, Vanessa Chan Po-ying, said the proposed time, route and destination were the same as the previous demonstration.   She said they expected the police to cite the epidemic as a reason to oppose their application so they included many precautionary measures such as grouping in four, keeping a 1.5-metre distance and offering masks and cleansing products to keep the risk of spreading to the lowest.    Mr Tse said Hong Kong people need to cherish the value of protesting on the street on July 1.   “We would like to tell Hongkongers that there is a group of people who stay persistent every year to come out despite the suppression and political risk,” said Lam Chun, a member of Tin Shui Wai Connection. “I hope Hongkongers can come out to show the scene of more than a million participants.”   “We will keep on when people’s hearts are not dead,” Ms Chan said.   Mr Lam said they would have a meeting with the police on details within a couple of days and would appeal if permission was not given.   “Hongkongers from every walks of life have their demands on the government,” said a citizen …

Hong Kong to consider mainlanders to work as domestic helpers

  • 2021-06-23

Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong said in a Legislative Council meeting today that the government is looking into allowing mainlanders to work as domestic workers in Hong Kong.   Mr Law was responding to a question from legislative councillor, Paul Tse. Mr Tse pointed out that the COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in a drastic drop in the number of foreign domestic workers coming to Hong Kong from Southeast Asia. “Job-hopping” by helpers in the city also contributed to the shortage, Mr Tse said.   He also questioned whether the government will consider foreign domestic helpers to acquire permanent residency if they remain in Hong Kong for seven years.    But the government said it has no plan to make such changes.   The Hong Kong Employment Industry Association expressed reservations on allowing mainlanders to work as domestic helpers. The Association's chairwoman, Wendy Lau Lai-sze pointed out that it may be difficult to identify mainlanders who might be working in Hong Kong illegally.   She added that it is easy for mainlanders to take root in Hong Kong because they might have relatives here and end up staying here.   Teresa Liu Tsui-lan, managing director of Technic Employment Service Centre pointed out that salaries for workers from the mainland are generally higher than for most foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong.   “They  charge between RMB5,000 and  6,000 for completing one task only,” she said, “Hong Kong cannot offer that much.”   According to the Labour Department, the minimum wage for foreign domestic workers is $4,630 per month.    Shadow Hui, a local resident, has been employing foreign domestic helpers for over 20 years.   “It is quite difficult to hire overseas helpers right now,” she said. “ So If she (mainland domestic workers) works well and makes me confident in …

Don’t eat horseshoe crabs, WWF urges

  • 2021-06-20

Ninety-eight seafood restaurants have been displaying or selling horseshoe crabs as a means of attracting customers, even though most people do not eat it, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.   Lydia Pang, WWF’s Oceans Conservation Project Manager, said most of those restaurants were in Sai Kung, Lei Yue Mun and Tuen Mun, and seven of them were selling the crabs.   Horseshoe crabs have been on the earth for millions of years. Although they are popularly called crabs, they are not crustaceans as crabs are, and belong to a different order of arthropods.   Among four species of horseshoe crabs in the world, the Chinese horseshoe crab, which is an endangered species, and the mangrove horseshoe crab can be found in Hong Kong’s coastal waters.    However, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the local population of horseshoe crabs has been decreasing since the 1980s.   Today, they can only be found in some beaches in Deep Bay and Lantau Island, and have disappeared from Tolo Harbour, where they used to be seen.   WWF has launched a “Stop horseshoe crabs consumption” programme after finding that they have been consumed as food or caught by fishermen as bycatch and their habitat has been destroyed by human activities.   So far, 26 restaurants have joined the programme by promising not to display or sell the animals.    Pang said many seafood restaurants opted to display horseshoe crabs as they wanted to put a novel sea creature outside to attract customers.    She called on the public not to consider horseshoe crabs as seafood and reminded restaurants that the mangrove horseshoe crab was poisonous.   A survey of 1,005 people aged 18 or above commissioned by the WWF has found that only four had eaten or enjoyed …

Health & Environment

China ministry: Taishan nuclear plant running safely, stably

The Taishan nuclear power plant in Guangdong Province has been operating safely and stably, and no abnormality in the surrounding environment has been observed, China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a statement released today.   According to CNN on Monday, the US government assessed a report of a leak at the Taishan nuclear plant and that China’s nuclear safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the power plant.   The statement from the ministry said China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration did not raise the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside, and it claimed CNN’s report was misleading.    Under scrutiny was the increase of the coolant in the primary circuit reactor of plant number one during the unit’s operation. The ministry said this activity was still within the range for stable running as regulated by the technical standard of the nuclear power plant operation.   It was estimated that five fuel rod claddings were damaged. This is less than 0.01% of the total fuel rods and much lower than the maximum assumed damages in the design of the fuel assembly, the ministry added.   After attending the Legislative Council meeting today, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu told reporters that the operation of the Taishan nuclear plant is within all the requirements regarding nuclear power safety and of no indication of any effect on the environment.    Mr. Lee added that the release of information about the Taishan nuclear plant operation will be in accordance with international standards.    “So far, what we have been informed up to now is (regarding the operation of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant), there were only two incidents which are classified as zero events,” Mr. Lee said. “In other words, they do not affect in any way …

HKU students repaint Swire Bridge to mark June 4

  • 2021-06-11

Students at the University of Hong Kong repainted a pro-democracy message on Swire Bridge this afternoon to commemorate the Tiananmen Square incident. The president of HKU's student union, Kwok Wing-ho, said the event aimed to mourn the deaths, remember the truth in history and educate students about the history of Swire Bridge.   “In an era when speaking truth is considered as breaking (the) law, persistence is essential as telling the truth is absolutely justified and correct,” he said. The message “souls of martyrs shall forever linger despite the brutal massacre; spark of democracy shall forever glow for the demise of evils” was scorched on the bridge by the chairperson of the Swire Hall Students’ Association in 1989. Participant Mr Yung, who refused to disclose his full name, said repainting of Swire Bridge is a conventional event of the college’s student union.    “No matter how the democratic environment is, persisting with the convention of the student union is needed,” Mr Yung added. Participant Mr Chan, who only gave his surname, hoped the repainting will remind others and to remember the crackdown.    “Democratic movements in any place in the world are worthwhile to support,” a participant who only wanted to be identified as Mr Chik said. “It is apparently natural to support democratic movements in nearby areas.”   During the event, there were some passersby taking photos of the students. Mr Chik said he felt pressured to be photographed by unidentified persons when he was painting.   The student union will never organize illegal activities, Mr Kwok said. 


Willing to “pay the price,” says Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil organizer just hours before arrest

Chow Hang-tung told The Young Reporter yesterday that she was willing to pay the price for lighting a candle to mark today’s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. She was arrested this morning before she got the chance. Police arrested Ms Chow, vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, on suspicion of advertising or publicising an unauthorized assembly. She made a Facebook post last Saturday saying she would continue to keep the promise she has been keeping for 32 years to light a candle in a place where everybody can see. Police said she used social media to advertise or publicise a public meeting that had been prohibited, after banning this year’s vigil on Covid-19 grounds. Police banned the vigil for the first time last year for the same reason, but many, including Ms Chow, entered the basketball court at Victoria Park to light a candle for the victims of the crackdown. Ms Chow was charged with illegal assembly and inciting others in 2020. She said she expected to go to jail and would get prepared. The Hong Kong Alliance has been holding a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park for decades to commemorate the People’s Liberation Army crackdown on a student-led movement in Tiananmen Square, Beijing on June 4, 1989. “This is originally done by hundreds of thousands in Hong Kong every year. I am just being who I have been,” she told The Young Reporter. “We cannot get used to or allow them to swipe away the truth of June 4.” Hong Kong Alliance closed its June 4th Museum on Wednesday after the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department made an inspection based on a complaint that it did not have a license. Chris Fu, who tried to visit the museum after its …

Health & Environment

Only one in four will get jabs, says survey

Only a quarter of unvaccinated people intend to be inoculated against the Covid-19 virus over the next six months, a survey has found. The findings have led researchers to conclude that the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine remains low in Hong Kong, which still has a long way towards reaching herd immunity. The Faculty of Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,200 Cantonese or Mandarin-speaking Hong Kong residents in a telephone survey conducted between April 23 and May 8. It found that 76.1% of the respondents had not taken any jabs, and only 25.1% of them said they would make or had made reservations to be inoculated in the coming six months. Professor Paul Chan Kay-sheung, chairman of the university’s Department of Microbiology, said it was alarming that the predicted acceptance of vaccination was only 37%, which was much lower than the target required for herd immunity protection or for relaxing of containment measures required for the recovery of the economy. “Hong Kong should set a goal of vaccine coverage of at least 70% through informed, voluntary vaccination,” said Professor Chan. To achieve the target, he suggests the Government could proactively address people’s concerns over the new form of vaccines purchased by Hong Kong, the vaccine manufacturers’ track record and the country of production. According to the survey results, belief of fatal side effects after vaccination is the major reason why people do not want to be vaccinated, followed by a lack of confidence in the government’s recommendations and in the place of vaccine production, and waiting for a better vaccine. Professor Eliza Wong Lai-yi of the university’s Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care said people were hesitant about getting vaccinated because there were few reports about the effectiveness of the vaccines, but a …

Culture & Leisure

Art Basel returns to Hong Kong, smaller with more local artists

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: KOO Chi Tung 顧知桐、WANG YichunEdited by: WANG Yichun
  • 2021-05-29

Art Basel Hong Kong returned to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre last week for the first time in two years with a hybrid exhibition of online activities and a smaller display. The annual art exhibition featured 104 galleries from 23 countries with more local and Asian art this year. “This fair seems to have a kind of feeling of excitement maybe. It’s like a lot of people are feeling the spring time and they want to come out,” said Kaitlin Chan, an associate at Empty Gallery. According to Ms Chan, the attendance this year was strong. “The circumstances of having an art fair at this stage amid the pandemic is that people are eager to do something different from their usual routine,” she added. Mrs Ren, 74, an art lover and collector from Taiwan, said she attends the exhibition every year to learn and purchase modern art pieces by young artists. “Because these antique paintings should be kept in museums for appreciation, they cannot affect your life. So I discovered paintings by young people create an environment affecting emotions,” she said.

Culture & Leisure

First “Super blood moon” in 24 years occurs during total lunar eclipse

The total lunar eclipse coincided with the super moon, causing a rare cosmic phenomenon known as “super blood moon” that amazed large crowds all over Hong Kong tonight. When the moon enters the shadow of Earth, a lunar eclipse occurs and it appears red, according to the website of the Hong Kong Space Museum. A super moon appears when a full moon is at its closest to earth. The diameter is about 14% larger than a usual one. The eclipse started at 6:56 pm, peaked at 7:19 pm and ended at 9:50 pm. Photographer Thomas Tung said he was excited as this was his first time watching a lunar eclipse. “I came at 5pm to secure a place,” Mr Tung said. Astronomy enthusiast Zach Wong said he watched the total lunar eclipse three years ago, but it rained on that day. “I feel lucky as the sky is clear today,” Mr Wong said. The last “super blood moon” visible in Hong Kong was on Sept. 17, 1997, which was 24 years ago. The next one will be on Oct. 7, 2033.