City Forum is a live programme produced by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK). Every sunday, guest speakers of different stances will be invited to the Victoria Park to discuss the latest current issues.
On 19/9 (Sun), the temperature reached 33 degree celsius. The hot weather did not deter the citizens from attending the City Forum for discussing the educational reform on class-size of secondary schools and redundant teachers due to low birth rate.
With the convenient absence of any government representatives, the angered audience targeted their criticisms on the government's lack of funding on education and unwillingness of implementing small-class teaching despite the fact that it has accumulated thousands of billions of fiscal reserves.
The guest speakers were Mr Ho Hon Kuen, the Vice-Chairman of Education Convergence, Mr Wong Kwan Yue, the Chairman of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, and Mr Fung Wai Wah, the Chairman of the pro-Democrat Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union. The host was the veteran journalist Mr Xie Zhi Feng.
Of a history of 30 years, the programme has been regarded as the cornerstone of Hong Kong's freedom of speech because everyone of different opinions can challenge those in power in the live programme. The audience has long been dominated by pro-Beijing aged men, the so-called "Uncles of the Victoria Park". They used to use emotional and patriotic language to criticize the pro-democrat speakers, sometimes with attempts of physical attacks. Until recently, with the purpose of rescuing and realizing Hong Kong's freedom of speech in the public domain, a group of younger citizens, the so-called "Brothers of the Victoria Park", attended the programme every Sunday. They use the same emotional language and body movements but with opposite contents - they criticized any government policies that hamper Hong Kong's civil values including freedom of speech, democratic reform and fair distribution of wealth. The "Uncles" and the "Brothers" thus had had a lot of conflicts in the programme.