Fri, Sep 20, 2019 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Music witch hunt

I read your article as well as other information about the cancelation of the Megaport Festival, particularly the announcement from the event’s organizers, with shock, dismay, disappointment and anger (“Megaport music festival canceled,” Sept. 13, page 2).

It disappoints me greatly that the premier music festival of Taiwan could be forced to shut its doors for political reasons, as the festival features artists who have a different political stance and opinion than the current Kaohsiung City Government.

The supposed scrutinization and investigation of the festival on suspicions of embezzlement of government funding approved by the previous administration is nothing more than a political witch hunt of the previous administration and critics of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and his administration.

Sadly, this is another world-class music festival that I have never been able to and will never attend that is gone for good for no better reason than a deliberately orchestrated litany of lies and suppression of differing political views by the imbecile in charge of Kaohsiung and his cronies in the city council.

I am saddened by the downward spiral that Kaohsiung has taken after Han took office in December last year. Every bit of information filtering out of the city shows a dystopian environment in rapid decay, whether by design, lack of care or deliberate actions by those in charge to discredit previous administrations.

The once-cultured city, once an envy of Taiwan and East Asia, has become a cultural wasteland without arts, culture and successful festivals.

I shudder at the thought of what the place will be like during my next visit to Kaohsiung, if I ever go there again after having a great time there in February last year.

Here is to hoping that the Megaport Festival will find a new home elsewhere in Taiwan.

However, if voters do not choose wisely at next year’s elections, we might have just heard the last song of free-willed independent musicians in Taiwan without any political interference.

James Chen

Lower Victoria, Australia

Ethical action key for HK

As a former member of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) board of ethics and professional standards and current ethics officer for the Tampa Bay PRSA chapter, I am both delighted and equally not surprised to see that Hong Kong is having difficulty finding a qualified public relations firm to help clean up the mess that has been caused by its government’s leadership.

Having worked as a public relations professional for more than 30 years and now as a PR professor for close to 20 years, I can say definitively that we, as committed, dedicated counsel to our clients or employers, are not going to figuratively “stick our hand into the meat grinder.”

At this point, it does not even remotely appear likely that Hong Kong will revert to the quasi-democratic style of government that a great majority of its citizens grew up in. If anything, actions going forth will more and more closely resemble those of mainland China.

One key principle of ethical public relations is that of “enhancing the profession.”

What Hong Kong’s leaders are looking for is the equivalent of “putting lipstick on a pig.” Unless they radically change their ways, it is still going to be a pig. Neither public relations professionals nor the public would choose to “beautify” this particular pig.

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