An application for a personalised number plate has been slapped down by Hong Kong authorities – despite it not including any offensive language.
One of the city’s residents, named as Mr Lee by Hong Kong’s Dim Sum Daily website, submitted the application to the Transport Department for a number plate displaying the words “BE WATER”.
However Lee was told the words “may pose a danger to the safety of other road users”, the site reported.
The applicant shared the letter of refusal in a Facebook post this week.
It is believed Hong Kong’s authorities refused the application because the slogan “Be Water” was used by anti-government protestors in 2019, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.
The protests were sparked by a bid by Hong Kong’s government to introduce new laws allowing Hong Kong residents to be extradited to mainland China.
But in broad terms, the protests can be understood as a reaction against increasing communist control of the former British territory, which is supposed to enjoy more freedom than the mainland.
‘Be Water’ was a protest slogan as well as a tactic used by protestors, inspired by the legendary Bruce Lee’s martial arts philosophy – to be “formless, shapeless, like water”.