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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Sands of Time


FADE IN:

INT. ROAD - DAY

Car radio is on. PETER drives his teenage DAUGHTER (18). We hear:"...mild and light...less harm...e-cigarette...trendy of teenagers..."

FLASHBACK

INT. ROAD - DAY

A cigarette packet in his shirt pocket, Peter (16) lights a cigarette clumsily.

PETER (V.O.)

It's a symbol that I've

grown up. I can do what

adults do.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Having tried once, that

was enough. I knew smoking

was harmful. I believe my

maternal grandma died

because of that. But in

2006, anti-smoking lobbysts

thought I was a champion

cigarette brands.

FLASHBACK

INT. OFFICE - DAY (2006)

Papers on his desk, Peter (52) reads incoming emails anxiously. Phone rings.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Hong Kong has not lived up

its international legal obligations?

How can that be! If Govt

wanted to apply any IP-related

treaties to the HKSAR, we would

be consulted beforehand.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Hong Kong hasn't lived up to

its obligations under the World

Health Organization Framework

Convention on Tobacco Control

FCTC? Trademarks with

descriptive labels such as "mild"

and "light" are prohibited. Oh

my God! We haven't been

notified until the lobbyists come

up to see us!

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

It's a crisis and I've to salvage

the operation.

INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY

A few LADIES and GENTLEMEN.

PETER (V.O.)

For trademark applications

with such misleading

descriptors for cigarettes,

we'll stop processing them

with immediate effect.

Upon hearing that, LADY#1 (50s) looks unhappy.

LADY#1

Why do we have to bother

with public health issue?

PETER (V.O.)

The other bureau tabled

the Smoking (Public Health)

Bill 2005 to implement the

FCTC. The IP issue has just

surfaced. Govt as a whole

has to implement its

international legal obligations.

END FLASHBACK

.

PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd)

She was never pleased with

the sudden change of practice

and quit her job. I tried

hard to persuade her to

stay but circumstances were

taken over by events..

Peter sighs.

FLASHBACK

INT. LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS - DAY

Formal and solemn. Sitting in the front row, Peter speaks but LEGISLATORS are not amused.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

There's property right in the

registered trademarks. To

expropriate private property

would result in adequate

and prompt compensation.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Against all odds, I managed

to act as a custodian of IP.

The anti-smoking lobbyists

seemed to understand my

IP position. And I made

friends with administrators

and public health officials.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Years later, I was touched to

know that they would still

recall my contribution in

the legislative process.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

It was actually one of my

achievement in crisis

management in the 2000s-

my mild and light footprints

I left behind in the sands

of time!

Peter parks the car and offloads pieces of baggage.

FADE OUT. The End

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