Stamp out expat louts

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 September, 1999, 12:00am

One evening last week I was queuing at a supermarket check-out counter in Discovery Bay when I became aware of a disturbance at a neighbouring till. A young British man was directing a torrent of loud, obscene and racist abuse at a female Chinese assistant.

I was sickened by this spectacle, all the more since I am British. I was almost equally sickened by the apathy of the large number of other Western customers who made no attempt either to confront the man or to express sympathy to the assistant.

This was the third incident of its kind I have witnessed since January.

Many thousands of Westerners live in Hong Kong in great comfort by courtesy of the Government and people here. I suggest that the least they can do to repay the courtesy is to show a degree of solidarity with the host community when a member of that community comes under attack.

If as few as three or four bystanders were prepared to intervene when these incidents happened, the disgraceful behaviour which continues to be exhibited by a minority of loutish individuals could probably be stamped out altogether.

PHILIP SNOW Discovery Bay