Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah has said there is no need for his department to formulate naming guidelines for Taiwanese institutions.

The announcement came two months after the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) was criticised for allegedly altering a theatre programme biography of a performer. A drama company member, who graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts, found that the word “national” had been removed from the LCSD’s programme material. Other similar cases have since emerged.

Taipei National University of the Arts
Taipei National University of the Arts. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Cultural sector lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok submitted a Legislative Council question to Lau on Wednesday. In his reply, Lau that said that the Home Affairs Bureau and the LCSD had reviewed how the house programmes were produced and found that different teams adopted different practices depending on the nature and scale of the programmes.

“The officers concerned will liaise directly with the arts group on matters such as venue, staging, ticketing and publicity, including the production of house programmes,” Lau said. “Given that the process involves various work procedures and officers, and that the activities or artistic programmes vary in their nature and scale, their house programmes also have their respective characteristics and styles”.

Lau Kong-wah.
Lau Kong-wah. File Photo: Gov HK.

Lau said that the LCSD should communicate more with performing art groups, and future incidents could be avoided if there was mutual trust and if both parties were open to negotiation.

Lau also said that it was appropriate for the LCSD to continue coordinating the production of house programmes as it fell within the realm of performing arts. When asked by Ma whether there existed criteria or internal departmental guidelines requiring the staff to remove the word “national” or if there were any plans to come up with such guidelines, Lau said that there was no need to formulate any.

“Problems should be resolved according to the actual circumstances through deliberation and negotiation with the arts groups. According to this broad principle, it is not necessary for [Home Affairs Bureau] to formulate policy guidelines for this matter,” Lau said.

Karen cheung hong kong

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.