HAN HONG, a well-known PLA singer, has been caught committing traffic violations in Beijing three times in just two weeks. Han issued a public apology Sunday, a day after police said she had been fined 5,000 yuan (US$816) for driving a black Land Rover with another car’s number plate in Beijing’s eastern district a day earlier.
“I feel discredited and ashamed for my actions,” she wrote in her apology, which she posted on her microblog along with a copy of the receipt that proved she paid the fine.
Han claimed in her apology that she used another license plate because she wasn’t awarded a plate in the monthly lottery, which is meant to reduce congestion in the city. In July, 1.52 million applicants vied for 18,485 license plates for small passenger cars, according to Beijing municipal traffic police.
Just two days earlier Han had been photographed driving a black Ferrari on the city’s often-clogged fourth ring road without a license plate. Drivers photographed her speaking on her mobile phone while driving, another offense.
In mid-July, Han, 42, had also crashed a black Audi A8 into another car, while driving in a bus lane in Beijing. The limousine she was driving also lacked a number plate.
The half-Tibetan superstar is most known for her role as a judge on Chinese Idol, one of the most popular TV shows of this year. She is also the deputy head of the PLA Air Force art troupe and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s national committee.
With the advantages of being a celebrity come responsibilities, a commentary in The Beijing News read yesterday. They “have the responsibility to convey the right set of values,” it said. “Respecting the law is more important than an apology.”
Many online commentators asked whether she should be fined more for repeatedly breaking the law. Others praised her for apologizing and promising to mend her ways.
The incident came after the PLA’s art troupe suffered a major publicity setback this year with the ongoing trial of the son of renowned PLA singer Li Shuangjiang in Beijing for allegedly participating in a gang rape in the capital in February. (SD-Agencies)