From Today’s Cantonese Press

ATV broadcasts its own protest against plan to issue new free-to-air TV licenses

Yesterday, Asia Television Limited (ATV) hosted a variety-show-styled protest at the government headquarters to indicate its opposition to a government plan to issue additional free-to-air television licenses. ATV’s principal investor, Wong Ching, has said that a disaster will ensue once the government issues additional licenses. Some artists and academics disagree with him. A group of them have published advertisements today to urge Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to issue new licenses immediately. Citi Television has also emphasized that Hong Kong’s free-to-air television environment needs a shake-up and has urged the government to issue new licenses. ATV’s protest was controversial for another reason. Some legislators have questioned whether the company violated broadcasting regulations by putting a public resource to personal use.


Only 12.6 percent of Hong Kong people identify themselves as Chinese

According to the latest survey by Chinese University’s Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, the number of respondents who identify themselves as “Chinese” has fallen to a new low of 12.6 percent. In contrast, 65 percent of respondents identify themselves as “Hong Kong people” – the highest percentage since 1996. According to political insiders, a perception that the central government is meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs as well as a series of negative incidents have contributed to this identity shift. Some academics also claim that an increase in contradictions in the Hong Kong-mainland relationship as well as locals’ irritation with the impact that mainlanders are having on their lives are also responsible.


HK Confederation of Trade Unions calls for 6 percent salary rise

During a survey of publicly listed companies, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions discovered that considerable profits are being made. As a result, the confederation has determined that a 6 percent salary rise would not have a big impact on the operations of these firms. The organization has also urged enterprises not to use the previously poor economic environment as an excuse to freeze salaries or trim workforces. The confederation has projected that inflation will be 4 percent next year; therefore, a 6 percent rise in salaries would yield a real benefit to workers of just 2 percent.


Government planning new rules for upstairs bars

Yesterday, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man joined members of the Liquor Licensing Board in an early morning inspection of bars in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central. The group of approximately 20 people were seeking to learn more about problems that bars were having with safety, public order and health and environment issues. Ko revealed that, for safety reasons, the government was looking into the possibility of strengthening regulations for bars that are situated above ground floor level, such as restricting the number of patrons who can enter the bars under certain circumstances.


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