Margaret Ng tells of receiving obscene hate mail

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 12:00am

Legal sector legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee received obscene hate mail accusing her of being a traitor to China when she spoke out internationally on the abode seeker issue.

Ms Ng spoke of the incident yesterday at a forum on post-handover freedoms at the Foreign Correspondents' Club.

'Recently, when I went to Geneva [to brief the United Nations] . . . I had hate mail telling me that I'm betraying China and selling the dignity of the Chinese people,' she said.

Some of the letters had used 'colourful' language, which she declined to detail.

Ms Ng raised the issue when describing a 'very damaging' trend in Hong Kong to steer away from international comparisons or standards which could irritate Beijing.

'One remarkable change since the handover, and it's a very rapid and immediate change . . . is that international standards are no longer on,' she said.

Instead of dealing with the substance of international criticism, Hong Kong authorities sometimes retorted that the Government should not be judged by Western standards, she said.

'When I defend the rule of law, the autonomy of judicial power and so on, I am criticised for being poisoned by my Western education,' she said.

Fear of being seen to collude with the West had become so serious that officials had become very nervous about keeping any kind of international profile, she said. Ms Ng urged newly appointed secretaries to continue to keep Hong Kong plugged in to the international community.

'We must assume that international standards are the only standards which will be acceptable in Hong Kong,' she said.

Many Hong Kong people seemed to be losing respect for individual views, rationality and reason in favour of saying what was convenient in order to obtain economic advantage, she said.