Mark Lee refuses to apologise for 'disrespectful' video about Hong Kong airport food

A screen grab of a report about the video from the website of Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily.
A screen grab of a report about the video from the website of Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM APPLE DAILY
(From left) Mark Lee, Chen Biyu, Marcus Chin and Dennis Chew were in transit at Hong Kong airport on their way to Singapore.
(From left) Mark Lee, Chen Biyu, Marcus Chin and Dennis Chew were in transit at Hong Kong airport on their way to Singapore.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - He and his friends thought it was a fun video that everyone could enjoy and laugh at on social media.

But they did not reckon their caustic comments on Hong Kong airport food would raise such a stink among the media and netizens there.

Mediacorp's Love 97.2 FM DJ Mark Lee, 48, and his fellow DJs, Dennis Chew, 43, Marcus Chin, 63, and Chen Biyu, 50, uploaded a short video on YouTube last Wednesday, in which they riffed on how horrible the food tasted at Hong Kong International Airport.

They were at the airport in transit from Hokkaido, Japan, where they had been for seven days to appear on a radio show.

The video, which has gone viral with about 60,000 views as of last night, got netizens into a lather as they hit back at the jocks for being "disrespectful to Hong Kong" and a "disgrace to Singapore".

Hong Kong's Apple Daily and Malaysia's China Press picked up on the video, and turned it into a platform for netizens to further bash the DJs.

In the three-minute video, Lee, speaking and cursing in Cantonese, complains about his fried noodles being unpalatable.

The others then chime in, with Chin saying that even his dog wouldn't eat it and Chen commenting that the noodles tasted like "rubber bands".

Lee, who is also known as a comedian and actor, told The New Paper yesterday: "It was quite late at night, at about 11.20pm, and we were extremely hungry, having had to stay there for two to three hours before we could fly back to Singapore.

"Only one place was open, so we had no choice but to eat there. Little did we know that the food would taste so bad.

"The noodles were too dry. It felt like taking a handful of rubber bands and placing them into my mouth to chew."

However, Lee said the main purpose of the video was to make fun of Chew's Cantonese, which was not fluent.

Chew could not be reached for comment yesterday.

PERSONAL VIDEO

Lee added: "It was a personal video, which we all thought was funny and decided to upload on social media for everyone to see."

When asked why he had used bad language, Lee said: "We used that kind of language as we know Hong Kongers speak that way too. It's also to capture people's attention."

It certainly caught the attention of netizens, who felt their actions were inappropriate for public figures in the entertainment industry.

One said he was disappointed with their behaviour, and another called them "Singaporean trash who do not understand the meaning of mutual respect".

But Lee was unrepentant and refused to apologise.

He said: "When I cursed, it was quite mild, not something extreme. I just thought that people would focus on Dennis instead.

"I don't regret saying what I said as all of us felt very sad after eating the food. It's an international airport, which represents the food of Hong Kong. How could it be so bad?"

Like Lee, Chin was also not sorry.

He told TNP: "We were quite surprised it went viral, but the food at the airport really tasted horrible. It was not worth our money.

"We were just stating the facts as we really thought that Hong Kong's airport was not like this. I feel that the food at Changi Airport is way better.

"I suggest that reporters in Hong Kong head down to the airport to try out the food themselves, and see how bad it is."