Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has shied away from a controversy involving the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which earlier demanded that the word “national” be removed from the name of a Taiwanese university when mentioned at a local arts event.
Asked by reporters about the case, Leung on Tuesday said Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah would make a response about the controversy, Metro Daily reported.
Several hours later, however, Lau met with the press and only repeated what an LCSD spokesperson said on Monday, before walking away without taking questions from media.
The controvery emerged after an official of the LCSD, which sponsored a local drama production, asked the theater company to delete the word “national” from the profile of the group’s art administrator in the promotional material for the event.
The government official was referring to the art administrator’s alma mater, the Taipei National University of the Arts, and was apparently worried that the word “national” would not conform with Beijing’s view that Taiwan is just a province of China.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong said on Tuesday it would liaise with the Hong Kong government on the incident and hoped that the cultural event not be made political and that all the parties involved attend to the matter with mutual respect.
Legislator James To from the Democratic Party said Lau’s statement was “a pile of rubbish” and failed to help the public understand the government’s stand on the issue.
He also said the case threatened to hurt the relationship between Hong Kong people and their Taiwan counterparts.
To urged the government to clarify its stance as soon as possible and make an apology if any administrative mistakes were made.
Cheung Siu-wing, chairman of the employees’ union at LCSD, said from his understanding the decision was made by a senior cultural affairs manager under the instruction of assistant director Elaine Yeung Chi-lan.
According to an LCSD spokesperson, the department “has a close relationship with local arts groups and they have mutual respect and trust”.
The LCSD promised to follow up on the case.
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