It’s one thing for local media to criticize the results of this year’s Miss Hong Kong pageant, but should a state-owned media’s online unit join in throwing brickbats at a purely local affair?
No sooner had the crown and scepter been bestowed on Veronica Shiu, a 24-year-old university student, as Miss Hong Kong 2014 on Sunday night than local social media sites were swamped by furious posts regarding the choice of winners.
Netizens assailed the voting system approved by the pageant organizer, Television Broadcasts, as viewers could only vote for the three finalists selected by a judging panel of five celebrities. Sofiee Ng, a very popular contestant, did not even make it to the winner circle.
Local media compared the voting system to the “fake universal suffrage” approved by Beijing for selecting the city’s next chief executive in the 2017 election.
That’s all well and good. In any contest, there will always be people who will disagree with the choice of winners.
But then, Asia Pacific Daily (APD), a unit of the official Xinhua News Agency, came out with its own view of the results of the pageant. In an article, the newspaper said the top 10 semi-finalists this year were among the most beautiful candidates over the past few years, but the top three were the ugliest among the 10 hopefuls.
The statement is politically incorrect, to say the least. Why would a mainland publication — state-owned at that — render a blatant opinion on a matter that is so far from China’s concerns and doesn’t involve cross-border relations?
Is this Beijing’s idea of “one country, two systems”?
In the article, Eric Tsang Chi-wai, a Hong Kong actor who is best known for hosting TVB’s variety shows, was quoted as saying that the judges may all be short-sighted based on their choice of the three finalists.
It concludes by looking back at past winners of the competition, and asks wistfully if the pageant will ever see again the likes Maggie Cheung, Michelle Reis and Angie Chiu.
Responding to those who disagree with the results of this year’s contest, Shiu, who took the crown after garnering over 156,000 votes, appealed to the Hong Kong people to be more tolerant and understanding.
She insisted the voting system was fair enough, and in fact, marked an improvement from that of last year, Apple Daily reported.
One thing clear is that the personalities at last Sunday’s event were as varied as the contending views on political reform in the city.
Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, one of the five judges, is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Grace Chan, last year’s Miss Hong Kong, appears to take the side of the pan-democrats and urges the government to listen to the views of the people.
Original link (Chinese only):
Miss HK voting, like Beijing election reform, slammed as sham
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