Monday, 12 August 2013

Dividing the City

Can we still trust this man?
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has begun to decisively divide the city, following a teacher's outburst last month.

Yesterday at a town hall meeting in Tin Shui Wai, Leung had ordered the education chief to submit a report on the incident involving Alpais Lam Wai-sze, who swore at police on July 14. She openly criticized how the police were handling an incident involving the Youth Care Association who protested against the Falun Gong.

Depending on which clips you see on YouTube, Lam's outburst may seem outrageous, while others give the impression she is trying to defend free speech in Hong Kong, in that the Falun Gong should also be allowed to display their placards as much as the Youth Care Association (who were trying to cover up the Falun Gong's).

Lam is a model teacher, having taught for 18 years and even received the Chief Executive's Award for Teaching Excellence for 2010/2011.

After people heard about the incident, they went out into the streets either for Lam or against her in Mong Kok on August 4. Lam has already apologized twice for the incident in the hopes that it would fade, but others refuse to let it go. There have been protests at the school and calls for Lam to resign.

Leung's order to the education chief for the report on Lam, and openly supporting the police shows the chief executive has already decided his judgment on the matter -- you are either with us or against us.

Sound familiar?

Why order a report on Lam's incident when he has already declared he has supported the police in their actions? And why wade into it so late -- it seems like he wants to stir the pot further.

Lam's father, Lam Sum-shing said he was very disappointed at Leung's response to the incident.

"There are a lot of important issues in Hong Kong waiting for him to deal with, but he still wouldn't let go of such a minor thing," he said. "It will tear society even further apart."

Indeed we are already seeing scuffles every time Leung shows up somewhere and there are pro Leung supporters and anti-Leung protesters at each event. No wonder it makes it harder for the police to do their job. They're getting tired of physically dealing with unruly citizens.

Leung has also hit back at critics who reported Executive Council members Franklin Lam Fan-keung and Barry Cheung Chun-yuen to the Independent Commission Against Corruption over possible conflicts of interest.

Lam was accused of profiting from selling two flats just before the introduction of a new stamp duty and the Department of Justice said it had insufficient evidence to prosecute him. Instead of staying on, Lam resigned hours after the statement.

Meanwhile the ICAC said it would not follow up on Cheung's case without further evidence. Cheung quit all public posts in May when his failed venture, the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange was under criminal investigation.

So Leung is now demanding those who accused these two men of wrong doing to apologize to them.

"After the ICAC cleared Lam, not one person -- including those who reported him or the political parties who stirred up the incident -- said sorry to Lam, publicly or privately. The people who reported Cheung too, did not apologize to him."

Democratic Party chief executive Lam Cheuk-ting, a former graft investigator, said Leung's demand for an apology was an "outrageous joke". He said Leung should not discourage people from going to the ICAC if they suspect any kind of corruption.

We get the feeling Leung is a not happy with some of his people being forced out, but that's politics. And besides, these people were not cleared -- there just wasn't enough evidence or information yet to prosecute them.

Leung has to be careful in how he plays his cards. He's already creating a divisive atmosphere in the city when he really should take leadership in being the catalyst in bringing everyone together.

Looks like things are going to become worse before they get better...


  1. it's called earning brownie points to the CCP. the game is officially over in HK. HK is further being mainlandized at HK's peril when int'l investment considers moving out in favor of elsewhere (ie Singapore)

    if you don't have a passport from elsewhere, I think it is very prudent to do so now and quickly.

    1. HI nulle

      Yes things are escalating quite quickly!