Next Media Group chairman Jimmy Lai Chee-ying on Thursday appeared on a short video in response to an anonymous obituary published by a local newspaper, saying he is sorry to have disappointed the author for still being alive.
“The joke is not good enough because I don’t look like I have AIDS… Do you want me to die? It’s so easy. Just keep cursing me, and with your mother’s power, perhaps one day I will die,” Lai said. “I am sorry to have let you down.”
The death hoax comes amid escalating tension between the pan-democratic camp and pro-Beijing groups over electoral reform. Media reports have revealed that Lai donated more than HK$40 million to pan-democrats.
A local newspaper on Thursday published a full-page obituary apparently referring to Lai Chee-ying, although it used another Chinese word that is also pronounced as “chee”.
The obituary said “Lai Chee-ying, male, hometown Shunde, Guangdong, born on December 8, 1948, passed away on August 7, 2014 at the age of 65 due to AIDS and cancers. Since his family members are also suffering from severe illnesses, there will be no funeral for his death.”
The last sentence says: “Deepest condolences to all ‘Two Media’ staff.”
In Chinese, Next Media Group is literally called “One Media” Group.
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