“Have you read L’s article in Fruit Daily?” PL asked us last Monday.
Seeing that none of us did, he told us the story. L has been writing for Fruit Daily for some time. Recently, the great surgeon wrote a provocative article saying that local people should not protest on 1 July. It should instead be a time to celebrate the return of Hong Kong to China.
The newspaper has a blog and claims to allow everyone to express their views. As expected, L’s article was met with numerous angry responses. A few days later, however, L received a letter from a reader. The gentleman said he actually supported L’s view and left a message at the blog. To his surprise, despite two attempts, his supporting message was soon deleted.
I have not verified his claims yet. But when I glanced through the response at the blog, there was indeed not a single message supporting him.
Voltaire once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
To this end, I respect L’s freedom to express his view, although I see no reason why people cannot protest whenever they like.
As for Fruit, I sincerely hope that the allegation was untrue. The newspaper has already demonstrated its power to falsify facts and mislead readers on a number of occasions. Can it go even lower by upholding the freedom of speech on one hand and doing something more horrible than Communists on the other?
In any case, neither party understands the freedom of speech on this occasion.