On September 24, there was a bank run in the Wing Hang Bank in Macau as the customers believed that the bank was caught in the sub-prime related financial crisis.
A netizen, city hermit, later known to be a school teacher, passed through a bank branch at Nova Aterro da Areia Preta and wrote down what he witnessed in a local forum, with his personal reflections on the financial crisis, when he was back home. However, according to Macao Daily's report, the netizen was summoned in October 8 and charged with two criminal offenses in “fabricating dangerous information” (濫用虛構危險訊號）and “sedition of collective violation” (煽動集體違令). The Ministerio Publico da Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (the public ministry of the special regional administration of Macau) found there was lack of evidence in the two charges and handed the case back to the police for future investigation.
On the evening of October 8, city hermit reports in the forum that he was charged by the bank for criminal libel.
So what exactly has city hermit said? Let's look at the post at cyberctm:
Tonight, there was a bank run in the Wing Hang Bank, in the branch at Nova Aterro da Areia Preta. A crowd of bank customers tried to withdraw money from the bank. Around 10 policemen were on the spot to keep the order. The bank staff gave out appointment tickets for the customers. There were around 300 of them lining up for the tickets.
Wing Hang Bank has had a very high profile in recent year. Their stock rose from 10 – 20 dollars to 70 dollars.
Wing Hang is also handling salaries for all Catholic schools in Macau (unfortunately I am one of the staff members). If something happens to this bank, the impact would be huge.
I feel really bad and don't know what to do.
Probably the bank run is related to the sub-prime crisis.
The bank said it is a rumor, let's hope so.
People save their deposits through hard work and by repressing their consumption, now it is like an empty dream. It is better to spend all the money and live lightly.
Oh, people are so fragile, we store our savings like ants, while the crocodiles grab the money away so easily.
Oh, I hope all these are not real!
City hermit keeps updating his status at cyberctm and receives more than 700 comments, many showing their support.
User 1loveU1314 said
港澳已經越來越CCTV化, 吾好下下用老米個套資訊新聞自由, 呢度吾WORK架,
User 八哥仔 said
When we talk, we tend to add our own analysis and our own feeling… so helpless.
User 666 commented that:
上面要和諧, 要[教訓]一下D刁民, 但又冇野入, 咪的人上去煩下囉..
下面就明知係多鳩餘, 咪例行問下, 放人囉…
People from the lower ranks need to fulfill their duty, so they just do their job, ask you questions and let you go.
The situation will go on like this, no need to worry about it.
User cheese lobster was worried about user privacy issue:
In Macau, most civil servants are serving for power and money, not for citizens.
This kind of incident would only affect ordinary people they have to waste their time and take up the pressure. i hope the police gang can be more reasonable in their actions.
Since the mainstream reports failed to report the netizen side of the story, a new website, The Truth is out Here, has been created to criticize mainstream reports and to monitor freedom of speech and expression in Macau:
If there is major incident, the website can also serve as a platform for information flow.
In order to keep the website's credibility and objectivity, we would try to stay away from debate and will not post un-confirmed information or rumors. If there is un-confirmed information, there will be a footnote.
Our objective is to counter mainstream media's misleading and bias reports.
On the city hermit case, mainstream reports on October 10 took it as a fact that the “city hermit” had posted “invalid speech”. The Truth is Out Here pointed out that:
On October 11, a Macau Daily article said that a netizen accused “city hermit” for spreading rumors. The Truth is Out Here pointed out that:
According to city hermit, he is now consulting a lawyer to defend him in the case and will consider suing the bank in return. Further updates will be posted in the comment.