In Hong Kong, it is easy to crack a joke about a political party, but it is perhaps easier to turn a political party into a joke.
Ask the New People’s Party, which found itself the butt of jokes after it gave away 2018 calendars that soon turned into collector’s items and rib-tickling keepsakes to kick off the new year.
That’s because the calendar carries a December 32, a publishing error that fueled a lot of raised eyebrows, shrieks of laughter and speculations as to its hidden meaning or message.
The rarest calendar date actually comes after December 22nd (the day after the Winter Solstice) and before December 24th (Christmas Eve), which any kindergarten pupil would know should have been December 23rd.
But blame it on the calendar orders most probably being a rush job, or the printer thinking about Mark Six numbers to bet on while working, it became December 32nd instead.
Or, as both foes and friends may perhaps want to think, this is but another instance of the party’s redoubtable empress, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, thinking outside the box.
For the faultfinders, one error is not good enough, and so they wasted no time turning the pages of the new calendar to look for more. And, indeed, there were more!
Ip is described as a Legislative District Councilor, thus according her a new title aside from being the party’s chairwoman and member of both the Legislative Council and the Executive Council.
When word about the calendar seeped into the internet, netizens, unsurprisingly, sought to squeeze it for all its “LOL” value. And of course they congratulated the New People’s Party for having successfully fought for an extra day this year, which is no mean feat.
Party member Judy Chan Ka-pui was one of the most enthusiastic distributors of the flawed calendars, as she is said to be running in the Legco by-elections for a seat in the Hong Kong Island constituency, one of the seats left vacant by four disqualified legislators.
Instead of feeling sorry for the mistake, Chan smartly turned it into an ice-breaker and reached out to voters in the district. Tongue-in-cheek, she immediately posted a video asking Siu Sai Wan residents what they plan to do on the special day of December 32nd.
Meanwhile, her mentor Ip remarked: “This calendar is like a prophet. It foretells there would be another holiday for local workers, as what we and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions have been fighting for.
“Also it foretells the possibility that I might run for district councilor, which is a good sign.”
Journos pounding the political beat enjoy covering the New People’s Party because there’s almost always something there to write about.
Just listening to Madame Ip comment on other political figures with characteristic sneer and dry humor is enough to make your day.
There’s also legislator Eunice Yung Hoi-yan, who is fast becoming a media darling like her mentor Madame Ip.
Last October, she turned a dull event for elderly folks at Heung Yee Kuk into an electrifying concert by belting out Paul Anka’s signature song, Diana (“I’m so young and you’re so old, this, my darling, I’ve been told…”). She posted the video on YouTube and earned for herself more than 110,000 views.
Now, don’t you want to have more fun at Legco with a “Legislative District Councilor” from the New People’s Party on the special election day on March 32nd?
Watch Judy Chan’s video post on her Facebook page
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