Edison Chen was narrowly beaten by Barack Obama for “Person of the Year 2008” in Radio Television Hong Kong’s poll. The public was “cordially invited to vote for the most outstanding personality of the year at RTHK or by calling in during the program “Backchat”. The results of the poll were announced on Radio 3, on Friday, January 2nd. The RTHK nominees were as follows:
Dalai Lama – Spiritual Leader
Edison Chen – Artist and photographer
Tony Hedley – Health campaigner
Regina Ip – Legislative Councilor of Hong Kong
Jin Jing – Torchbearer of the 2008 Olympic torch relay
Sarah Palin – U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate
Barack Obama – U.S. President-elect
Siu Wing-fong & Chan Siu-lung – Fallen fire-fighters of Hong Kong
Donald Tsang – Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR
Wen Jiabao – Chinese Premier
From The Times:
A pop star at the centre of a celebrity sex photo scandal was narrowly beaten to the title Person of 2008 in a Hong Kong government radio station poll. Edison Chen, 27, who fled Hong Kong after pictures of him romping with a string of young women starlets appeared on the internet, was runner-up to US president-elect Barack Obama in the poll. Chen collected just under 30 per cent of votes in the Person of the Year survey by government-run RTHK radio compared to Obama’s 35.67 per cent. Third place went to Hong Kong anti-smoking campaigner Tony Hedley with 12 per cent of the votes while the Dalai Lama collected 6 per cent of votes, twice as many as Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang, whose popularity has fallen sharply since the onset of the economic crisis, at the bottom of a short-list of 10 people nominated for the award. The scandal involving Edison Chen erupted last January when pictures were downloaded from his laptop computer after he took it in for repairs. The pictures were then distributed over the internet. Millions of internet users viewed the images, and Chen was forced to announce his early retirement from show business and apologize to the women involved including Twins singer Gillian Chung. Several people have been arrested and charged in connection with the downloading and distribution of the photos from Chen’s laptop. Criminal proceedings are ongoing.
RTHK’s annual Person of the Year title traditionally goes to anti-establishment figures.Previous winners have included outspoken Catholic church leader and China critic Cardinal Joseph Zen and an escaped crocodile that won celebrity status by avoiding capture for months.
Perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest Chen is “anti-establishment” and titling him a “photographer.”
Gillian Chung was not nominated for the award. She was a “singer”, apparently.