Chinese officials aren’t about to let its citizens use a particular type of toilet paper after seizing thousands of rolls and tissue packages that bore the face of Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying in southern China.
The bathroom essentials were slated to be sold at a Hong Kong market during the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, the Associated Press reports. The cost for the seized goods is estimated to be just under $13,000. Chinese authorities did not give a reason for taking away the T.P.
“I guess [the Chinese authorities] don’t like people mocking government officials, especially high-ranking government officials, after the movement. They have become more cautious about criticisms about them,” Lo Kin-hei, a vice chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, told the AP.
Lo said that the Hong Kong Chief Executive toilet paper was a huge hit at last year’s celebration and the supply was doubled this year in anticipation of market demand. Most of the toilet paper features caricatured images of Leung, with some showing with him fangs or adorned with a communist hammer-and-sickle.
Leung is a contested figure in the “Special Administrative Region” and was a focal point for protesters who participated in the large pro-democracy demonstrations last year. Leung was seen by many of the demonstrators as a puppet of the Communist Party in Beijing who did not represent the interests of Hong Kong.
Lo expressed concern that the seizure of toilet paper indicates China is willing to clamp down on free speech in Hong Kong, something that is guaranteed by the region’s constitution.