Home > News > World
Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 4:10:02 PM
Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 4:10:57 PM
by alice woodhouse
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A plush wolf that quickly sold out last month in all Hong Kong branches of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA was back on the shelves on Wednesday and selling briskly as the toy has become a symbol of protest against the city's embattled leader.
Dressed in a red and white gingham shirt, the wolf became wildly popular when it was tossed at Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying at a public meeting in December.
Leung is nicknamed "the wolf" for his brash style and close ties to mainland China's ruling Communist Party, making the toy based on the antagonist in the Red Riding Hood story an instant hit.
Within half an hour, the IKEA store in Causeway Bay, the city's prime shopping district, had sold around 300 of its stock of 700 Lufsigs, which means "clumsy" in Swedish.
In Cantonese, the dialect spoken in the former British colony which reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, the name and the act of throwing the toy combine to create a profanity.
"I've bought it for my kid but also partly for myself to express my dissatisfaction with CY Leung, for all his policies not fulfilling expectations," said Allen Lee.
Leung's approval rating dipped to 47 percent in a poll conducted by Hong Kong University last week. Residents are unhappy about high property prices, a big wealth gap and attempts by Beijing to control the outcome of planned direct elections for Hong Kong leader in 2017.
Across the road, Lufsig and Leung made a cameo on novelty toilet paper at stalls selling wares for this week's Lunar New Year festivities.
A stall run by Hong Kong's liberal pro-democracy Democratic Party, offered two designs, one depicting the cuddly wolf, the other of Leung as comic and film superhero Iron Man.
"At this Chinese New Year market, we wanted to think of a product to bring the people a political message and something for practical use, so we decided on toilet paper," said stallholder Ivan Cheng.
Cheng expected to sell all 4,000 rolls, priced at HK$68.90 ($8.87) for a pack of four, by the end of the day.
(Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Ron Popeski)
Mexican president's approval ratings hit after drug kingpin's escape
Palestinian toddler killed in West Bank; Jewish arsonists suspected
Al Qaeda in Syria says detains U.S.-trained rebels
Venezuela supermarket looting leaves one dead, dozens detained
Pacific Rim free trade talks go down to the wire
U.N. nuclear watchdog chief to meet U.S. senators next week
Home-cooked dishes, quaint decor among attractions for returning patrons at Nyonya restaurant
Uber to invest US$1bil in India to expand services
Wie drops out as Pettersen sets pace at windy Turnberry
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)