A pro-democracy district councillor on Wednesday demanded that authorities explain why they removed a banner he put up in his district last week that had asked people to “remember June 4” without notifying him first.
Tsuen Wan district councillor Chiu Yan-loy told an RTHK programme that, last Friday morning, he put up the banner that said “remember June 4” using four Chinese characters.
But, he said, the banner was taken down at around noon by officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD).
He said he was only told about the removal in the evening.
“I didn’t ask people to go anywhere. I only hoped people would remember the incident. I didn’t even mention the word ‘commemoration’. It was rather strange,” Chiu said.
“In the past, the Lands Department and the FEHD used to take half a month to several months to handle any banners that are not in line with regulations. But perhaps the four characters I put up had got on their nerves."
The district councillor said he had displayed other banners relating to the Tiananmen massacre in the past years, and legislators also used to display banners calling on people to attend the annual candlelight vigil to commemorate those killed, without meeting any opposition from the government.
“I hope they will explain why it used to be fine but is no longer the case,” Chiu said.
But speaking on the same programme, pro-establishment district councillor and lawmaker Lau Kwok-fan said he believes authorities had in the past been lax in enforcing relevant regulations – but now is the time to “tighten” the rules.
“Although the banner space is allocated to district councillors, it’s not for them to promote their political views,” said Lau.
“In the past year, some district councillors had used the space to promote violence and illegal behaviour, and had abused the space. Because of that, the Home Affairs Department or other relevant departments had tightened the rules, and I agree with them,” he said.