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Filipinos Await Tsao’s Retraction, “Bow Not Enough” (UPDATED)

April 6, 2009


“Apology not accepted.”

This is the message Filipinos in Hong Kong are stubbornly conveying to HK Magazine writer Ko Tik a.k.a Chip Tsao.

It’s a full week since he went to the Philippine Consulate General and matched his verbal appeal with a traditional bow manifesting his contrite attitude over the socio-political storm whipped up by his ill-considered March 27 “satirical piece.”


Tsao had called the Philippines “a nation of servants” as his took a dig at the new Philippine Baselines law which included the dispute Spratlys as a ‘regime of islands’.

Tsao and his publication had tried to wiggle their way out of the controversial racial slur by asserting literary license.


But it did not come across as a sincere apology even to the Philippine government which put him on its No Entry blacklist, a prohibition that was last reported “set to be rescinded.”

Now this may not be implemented just yet given the show of force by some 7,000 Filipinos who filled a major Hong Kong street to demand that Chip Tsao make good an earlier verbal promise that he would write a formal retraction of his racial slur.

That retraction is pending so the leaders of the main Filipino organization in Hong kong say Tsao’s act of contrition is just not complete.

The controversy clearly appears to be escalating rather than dying down with Tsao himself claiming he has done his part:


Tsao in April 6, 2009 issue of South China Morning Post:

I have already done what should be done.

I have no further comment.

I am not a racist.

There’s now a report that Tsao is no longer banned from entering the Philippines:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. dabystander permalink
    April 7, 2009 1:04 pm

    Even though he was forced to eat humble pie, Chip Tsao showed us that he is capable of a classy act. He chose to ask for an apology from the Filipino people, not from the relative safety of his office (nor from any other place away from angry Pinoys), but in front of Philippine Consulate officials and Filipino community leaders in Hong Kong.

    For me, that is a rather hard act to do.

    Based on reactions to his miscalculated satirical column in HK Magazine entitled “The War at Home”, Chip Tsao could have been turned into minced meat and made siopao filling, if ever Filipinos got a hold of him during those very heated and angry moments. Fortunately, that did not happen.

    Chip Tsao was courageous enough to face the people that he slighted, and the Filipinos – in Hong Kong and at home – were gracious enough to accept the apology. (Well, not all Filipinos apparently, as there is a certain congressman who still managed to showboat his “legendary” boxing skills by daring Chip Tsao to a round of boxing, even after the apology.)

    Chip Tsao was man enough to own up to his fault, sincerely ask for an apology, and humbly bow his head in remorse. We should all appreciate that sincerity and accept the apology.

  2. April 7, 2009 3:07 pm

    Hi dabystander,

    I certainly appreciate To Kit’s presumed sincerity.

    But given the bigot that he revealed himself to be I honestly think he was moved to apologize more out of fear.

    He probably was also specifically ordered by the HK Magazine management to deliver a perfunctory act of contrittion as even HK Mag tried to hide behind the skirt of literary license.

    In fact Ko Tik could even now be in dreadful fear that at anytime he could be unknowingly ingesting arsenic or could get mugged on Hong Kong’s streets.

    He will forever be remembered as To Kit, The Racist.

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