Display of double standards

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 January, 1993, 12:00am

I CANNOT agree more with your editorial (South China Morning Post, January 2) that there is ''no merit in looking for an easy scapegoat'' in the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy. It is therefore with great surprise that I find some legislative councillors, who enjoy the image of human rights activists, have been quick to point a finger at the police.

All along, these councillors have advocated the curbing of police powers in controlling citizens in public places. Suddenly, they seem to have abandoned their principles completely and blame the police for failing to exercise adequate control.

Some are even suggesting that the right of free access to such a public place of entertainment should have been restricted.

Let us ask ourselves, do we really want, from now on, to be told by the police where we should or should not go? Furthermore, do we honestly believe that, without the benefit of the lessons learnt from this tragedy, the revellers would have accepted being turned away with good grace? It is not difficult to envisage that, had the police emptied the area without such a tragedy taking place, a tragedy of a different nature could just as easily have occurred, namely, a riot by frustrated youngsters denied the opportunity to make merryat the location of their choice.

In this age of growing human rights awareness, it is a shame to note that no one seems to be reminding our youths that rights are always accompanied by responsibilities.

While stressing the importance of human rights and freedom of individual choice, parents should not forget to teach children that such rights should only be enjoyed in a responsible manner.

I do not intend to pre-empt the outcome of any of the inquiries being conducted into the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy. Nevertheless, I am sure that no matter what the crowd size might have been, the tragedy would not have occurred had everyone been behaving in a responsible and orderly manner.

Therefore, in the true spirit of a believer of human rights, I think it is absurd to ask the Government to exercise more control in future.

While some legislators with double standards may seek to gain popularity by quickly blaming authority, it is more important that we learn to enjoy human rights in a responsible manner and teach our youngsters the same.

SANDY LI Lai Chi Kok