Monday, November 12, 2012
Speaking during a 90-minute live broadcast yesterday to protest against the issue of new TV licenses, Shing told Ricky Wong Wai-kay, one of at least three hopefuls for a license to develop television services on the internet, that "river water should not interfere with well water."
Jiang used those words in 1989 when he was Communist Party chief - he was president from 1993 to 2003 and still packs a punch in the mainland - to warn Hong Kong against trying to interfere in central government affairs.
Ironically, ATV was fined HK$300,000 by the broadcast authority for a false report on July 6 last year that Jiang had died.
Shing's unprecedented high-profile live show was immediately condemned by Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching. She said ATV had used airtime improperly to propagate its message and that complaints are expected to be made to the Communications Authority.
But an ATV spokesman countered last night, saying that broadcasting the show live was reasonable, legitimate and fair, adding that the station opposed any form of political censorship.
Participants in yesterday afternoon's show included contestants in the Miss Asia Pageant and Mr Asia competition.
They took to a catwalk in front of the government's Tamar headquarters before joining others to shout slogans to oppose anyone else entering the free- television arena, which is now restricted to ATV and TVB.
Shing also cited the collapse in the late 1970s of Commercial Television, a third free-to-air station, to claim that keen competition in the business meant there was no space for anyone else. Commercial Television began broadcasting in 1975 and went off screens in 1978 and was declared bankrupt.
"If the government issues additional free-TV licenses, it can lead to the collapse of a TV station, and this will only cause more problems in Hong Kong," Shing argued.
ATV's major investor, Wong Ching, who also attended the show, weighed in by predicting "disaster" if new free-to-air licenses were granted.
Also there was Basic Law Committee member Lau Nai-keung and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Lew Mon-hung, who spoke in support of ATV.
But ATV senior vice president Kwong Hoi-ying had to come out later to reject complaints by some staff that they were forced to join the show.
Ricky Wong also came back after the barrage to insist "it's necessary for the government to issue more free-TV licenses to enhance competition in the TV market."
He said he has already recruited more than 700 artistes and other personnel to prepare for a new channel, and if all goes well and he obtains a license there will be around 1,800 employees next year.
He had earlier threatened to sue the government for the continuing delay on issuing new licenses.
Mo argued that yesterday's broadcast "absolutely undermined public interests" and was unfair applicants for licenses.
And Democratic Party lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing said it was a conflict of interest for ATV to broadcast the live show to press the government not to grant licenses.
A spokeswoman for the Communications Authority said any complaints would be investigated.
Source: The Standard, South China Morning Post (HK) (Image)
Translated by: aZnangel @ AsianEU Forum
Labels: ATV News