Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hong Kong Minibond Victims 7.1 Protest

Demanding resignation of Chief Executive Donald Tsang

The Hong Kong Minibond Victims Alliance has organized its first largest protest march since last October today. It is basically very well organized with bamboo stick placards all prepared in advance and all supporters mobilized to take part in its first ever 7.1 protest.

The main theme of the protest is to demand the resignation of the Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang for not able to settle the Minibond saga after so many months of fact finding and investigation.

DBS is naturally one of the main bank the protesters have targeted. There are total of 16 main banks that were involved in the selling of the toxic structured financial products and recently they have made proposals to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for partial settlement of Minibond investors.

Apparently they are more aggressive in verbal demand

The Alliance has claimed that the mis-selling of minibond should be considered as a case by case basis because it is basically a systematic problem in the marketing of such toxic financial products.

The Alliance has pointed out that the fact finding from the Legislative Council has shown that there are evidences of systematic failure of regulative oversight as well as the internal controls within the banks' marketing protocols.

The Leader of the Alliance addressing the crowd

I estimated the size of the crowd to be about 8,000 to 10,000. Many of the protesters are elderly and fragile victims who have lost their entire savings. In spite of advice from organizers to ask their family members to come as representatives due to the expected hot summer weather, they have insisted to participated in the protest personally.

The protest march created a small commotion on their way to the government house. Some of the protesters deviated from the planned route to the HQ of Bank of China to demonstrate against the bank. Otherwise, the protest is generally peaceful, orderly and very well organized.

This protest is separated from the main 7.1 protest and it is carried ahead of the main 7.1 protest march. Although they lack manpower and funding in setting up big sound system, but generally speaking, in terms of cohesion and preparations, they are better off as a small and highly motivated group of people.

All the best to them.

Goh Meng Seng

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