Lawmaker Claudia Mo has been told by the government that the decision to cover royal cyphers on 59 street post boxes from the British era was made by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB).
“I suddenly heard Hongkong Post officials were in LegCo,” Mo wrote in an op-ed in Apple Daily on Monday. “First I asked, ‘who made the decision?'”
Officials from the CEDB and Hongkong Post were present at the meeting. Mo said: “The decision was not made by Hongkong Post, it was an order from the CEDB. Secretary for CEDB Gregory So needs to be responsible for this controversy.”
“The CEDB represents the government, which Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is the head,” she added.
Mo said that the officials did not give her a timetable of the plan to cover the cyphers nor whether the plan would be put on hold.
“I hope they will stop the plan and preserve the post boxes as they are now,” she said. “Do not create a controversy and do not erase the living history close to us on the streets.”
In a press statement, Mo also said that Hongkong Post was informed of the plan in March and thus was not directly related to former top Beijing official Chen Zuo’er’s comments on “de-colonisation” in September.
“However, we cannot rule out if the top level of the government wish to abandon the high autonomy under ‘two systems’, to fit into the ‘one country’ approach [of China]. To please the big brothers in power, there is this political move and order.”
The plan to cover royal cyphers on post boxes has sparked controversy and protests. Last week, Hongkong Post told HKFP that they will take care not to cause any damage to the royal cyphers and that no old post boxes will be removed from the streets.