Sun, Sep 11, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Disney slammed for ordering around Hong Kong officials

AP , HONG KONG

Days before Hong Kong Disneyland's opening, top local officials lashed out at the park for ordering government health inspectors to remove their caps and badges, saying Disney isn't above the law and doesn't enjoy special rights.

Disneyland called the move a "mistake" in an interview aired yesterday and promised it won't make such requests again.

The inspectors were investigating suspected food poisoning last month at two Disneyland restaurants when they were asked by park officials to dress less conspicuously.

Both officers complied with the request.

The move drew stern rebukes from Hong Kong officials and bitter criticism of Disney's "domineering" in yesterday's papers.

"We welcome Disney to come to Hong Kong to invest in Disneyland, but in the process of building Disneyland, no one, no one has special rights. Everyone is equal before the law," Financial Secretary Henry Tang (唐英年) said yesterday.

Secretary of Security Ambrose Lee (李少光) warned Disney Friday, "Anyone in Hong Kong has to obey the law. Disney isn't above the law."

The Ming Pao Daily News accused Disneyland of trying to create its own legal jurisdiction.

"It's easy for Hong Kongers to suspect that Disney wants to engineer special rights and turn the theme park into an independent kingdom that Hong Kong's laws can't reach," the paper said in an editorial yesterday.

The Apple Daily, in a front-page headline, accused the park of being "too domineering."

The Hong Kong government also issued a statement Friday saying police officers do not need Disneyland's permission to enter the park.

Disneyland doesn't officially open until tomorrow, but the public have been invited for "rehearsal days."

Hong Kong Disneyland has repeatedly apologized for last month's incident.

"It was a mistake and it's not going to happen again," Klaus Mager, the park's food and beverage director, said in an interview that was aired on Hong Kong broadcaster Cable TV yesterday.

also see story:

HK public dismayed with Disney

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