Eduardo Baptista in MIL:
Welcome to Cowardly Police News!” booms Zung Jung-ngai. Dressed in a crisp white shirt, black tie and bin bags that cover his neck and hands, Zung beams at his audience of prospective recruits to the Hong Kong Police Force. Want a job that guarantees good health? Where you can get “protective biohazard suits’’ quicker than front-line medics fighting coronavirus? Where you can obtain AR-15s, water cannons and gas masks? Zung looks into the camera: all you need to do, he says, is join the police.
Zung is not a real cop. Dressed in his plastic regalia, he is lampooning the city’s police force as “rubbish” in “Headliner”, Hong Kong’s leading satirical television programme. “Headliner” has been ridiculing Hong Kong’s political elite for the past 30 years. Now the elite seems to have lost its sense of humour and the show’s future is in jeopardy. After Hong Kong’s police chief complained to the city’s media regulator in February that “Headliner” was inaccurate and had denigrated the force, the watchdog duly warned the show against “insulting” the police. On May 19th Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), the territory’s official broadcaster which produces the programme, said it would suspend the show after the series ends in mid-June. Previously it was one of the most viewed of RTHK programmes on YouTube; now many of the current season’s episodes can no longer be watched.