If you look at photographs of the vast majority of volunteers who are cleaning the beaches, they are local Chinese residents. This is something that has puzzled us since the start of the cleanup. Where are all the expatriates? What was wrong? Didn’t the expatriate community care! So we started to ask around. We found out that no one knew.
“what crisis”, they asked, “there’s nothing in the newspapers”
“wasn’t there something in Discovery Bay a few days ago. Nothing serious.”
When we briefed the Apple Daily Newspaper reporters they were excited. They knew this was something big and they worked hard on it. Their full page release of the story galvanized the community into action. We knew this was the turning point in the crisis. Within two days, thousands of people had volunteered their time and effort to help save Hong Kong.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) had the same story and effectively did nothing. In fact, the SCMP effectively had a scoop and did nothing. They were one of the first newspapers we contacted because we thought they cared. How mistaken we were! All they’ve tried to do was find fault with the government or fault with SINOPEC, and when they couldn’t get us to say anything bad, they went to their usual network of negative non-entities to get the negative quotes they wanted.
Well, they should be ashamed of themselves. The SCMP cost the cleanup much needed support.
So my question to the editor of the SCMP is this. Will you accept responsibility for this failure, do the honorable thing and resign. Alternatively, if you don’t have the guts to do the honorable thing, will you make a front page apology to the people of Hong Kong in your newspaper? Something along the following lines:
The South China Morning Post would like to apologise.
We did not do our job properly.
We have failed the people of Hong Kong.
We are sorry.
We await your response with interest!