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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Improbable v Not Impossible



Relaxing on a sofa, PETER stares at a requested question on his phone screen.

We see the question: To what extent has the western media misportrayed the coverage of the Hong Kong riot?


I do watch and read western

media. But in commenting on

this question-and-answer

platform which is also a

social media, I myself should

follow the common standards

of journalism.


PETER (V.O) (Cont'd)

Let me investigate further.

Peter gets to the newspaper rack to get an English newspaper.


Ding! A What'sApp notification. Peter taps the icon and sees a video link with the caption: Meet Hong Kong's Teenage Protesters. He taps the link and begins to watch the video.


The story anchor is a

western woman.


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

The masked protagonist

works in a convenience

stall and acts as a front-

line radical on weekends.


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

He bought his riot gears

from Amazon so that it

would be difficult to trace



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

He and other masked

young men and women

had a briefing inside a

hotel room.

We see the video footage from Peter's phone screen and a young masked WOMAN briefing a TEAM of masked people.


(On phone screen)

You might be killed...

You might be arrested...


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

Organized and serious

crimes in the making.

Why do they have to

meet in a hotel room

first? What do they've

to hide? Are people in

black getting any pay-

checks in advance?

Having checked the end credits and the source of the materials, Peter taps other related videos and sees them.

Peter types his Quora answer:

Western media. Through their individual journalists, anchors and commentators, they tend to contravene the common standards of journalism.

Inaccurracy: eg the number of peaceful protesters - nearly two million as alleged by protest organisers v 338,000 by the Hong Kong Police.

Non-truth: eg men in white in Yuen Long beat passengers indiscriminately - alleged by a politician only v passengers caught up in the cabin.

Non-objective: eg China's encroachment on Hong Kong - alleged by protesters v one country, two systems and Hong Kong's autonomy since 1997.

Non-impartial: eg citing protesters' demands that might sound reasonable v not disclosing their unreasonable demands to be above the law.

Unfair: focusing on Police's consequential use of force in riot control v few covering regarding the protesters' prior abuses to provoke the Police.

Non-accountable: eg video footage in reports - from sources enabling the media to tell a coherent story v footage telling the other story are not mined.

Being portrayed. Sensationally, protesters in Hong Kong fight for democracy, to be freed from China's bondage and their use of violence is justified.

In actuality. The protests evidence how different Hong Kong is from China, and how democratic Hong Kong is to tolerate the tyranny of the minority.

Zeitgeist. Media should report on real stories that define the mood as reflected in the prevailing beliefs and attitude of Hong Kong in the summer of 2019.

Peter taps: Submit.


As he enjoys a plate of Singapore fried noodles, Peter is still glued to his phone screen.


This imaginative question

is wild. Let me bring out

the difference between what

is empirically improbable and

what is logically possible.

We see the question:

Could Hong Kong vote to become America's 51st state? What would happen if the people did vote for the US statehood?

Finishing his noodles, Peter types his answer:

Statehood. The criteria are (1) a defined territory, (2) a permanent population, (3) a government and (4) the capacity to enter into relationship with other States.

Status of Hong Kong. Under Chinese law, Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. For Hong Kong to secede is politically and legally highly improbable.

Hypothetical. Supposing China had gone mad and expelled Hong Kong from China, like what Malaysia did to Singapore, Hong Kong could become a State.

51st State. And if Hong Kong people further voted to join US, it would then be up to US to decide whether or not to accept Hong Kong as its 51st State.

American Dream. Should the hypothetical become reality - which is logically not impossible - it would be the biggest American dream come true.

Peter keys: Submit.

Re-reading his answer, Peter smiles.



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