Maria Tam expects booing behavior to die down

Local | 10 Nov 2017 1:56 pm

A member of the Basic Law committee and a local deputy to the National People's Congress, Maria Tam, said today that she expects the booing by soccer fans to continue for some time, even after local laws are enacted to ban people from disrespecting the national anthem in Hong Kong. 

Her comment came the morning after some fans booed the national anthem again at an international friendly against Bahrain in Mong Kok last night. 

Tam said that even after another law protecting the national flag law was enacted more than two decades ago, there were still incidents where SAR flags were desecrated. Tam added that she believed the booing at the match was not as intense as in previous matches.

She also said she believes fewer people will show disrespect to the anthem when there is "a price to pay.'' 

The local NPC delegate joined the chorus of government officials trying to allay fears over the need to stand in future during the national anthem. She said people will only need to stand at events that require them to do so. 

Tam added that even if people fail to stand during such events, it won't necessarily mean they have broken the law. She said proof of intention to insult or disrespect the national anthem is needed.

"If you don't stand, it doesn't mean that automatically you're guilty of anything because we have to prove that... you have the intention to insult or disrespectful," She said. "So it's like any other criminal offense, you know whether it's traffic offense or something more serious. The standard of proof is still the same."

Tam gave a couple of examples. She told RTHK's Janice Wong that if the national anthem is played on TV while you are cooking at home, you can just continue with your cooking, and there is also no need to stand if you hear the national anthem while waiting for the Star Ferry.

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