Taipei, Hong Kong singer Denise Ho Sunday commended Taiwanese heavy metal band Chthonic's public support for Hong Kong at the Golden Melody Awards (GMA) in Taipei a day earlier, after recent protests in the territory over a controversial extradition bill.
"For music to just belong to music is a very backward idea. Music artists have a responsibility to defend their home," Ho said to CNA, in response to Chthonic's frontman Freddy Lim's call for people to support Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"Hong Kong stay strong" and "Long live Taiwan," Lim shouted during his acceptance speech for the Best Musical Group award that won by his band at the 30th GMA ceremony Saturday.
Because of the bill, which would allow people in the former British territory to be sent to China to face trial, many people are protesting on the streets of Hong Kong and as a music artist from that city here in Taiwan, Ho said she hopes to bring what they stand for to Taiwan.
"In times of peace, music can just be considered entertainment, but when cities or countries are threatened, everyone has the responsibility to stand up," Ho said.
Stressing the importance of speaking out, Ho said she understands why some music artists choose to stay silent on the matter, but staying silent does not mean they are neutral, it is actually fueling the threat.
In recent years Ho has involved herself in social activism, and many people in the music industry have started to view her differently, she said.
"People still say hello, but I feel it doesn't go further than that," Ho said.
During the 2014 Hong Kong protests, dubbed the Umbrella Movement, when people took to the streets, Ho was advised to not be so openly supportive of the protest, but felt she had to choose what was most important at that crucial time, she added.
After returning to Hong Kong Sunday following her attendance at the GMA ceremony in Taipei, Ho is expected to hit the streets again for the Hong Kong July 1 marches, an annual event to demand democracy and protection of freedom of speech.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel