Donald Tsang

Protesters play with fire by breaking rules

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 March, 2011, 12:00am

A revolution by definition is the overthrowing of the present regime. By any account, a revolution by our dissidents is now in motion.

In the Legislative Council, pan-democratic lawmakers laid an ambush last week and used what was designed as only a procedural step to veto the temporary funding resolution proposed by the government to fund public services until the budget clears the council. Though the resolution was passed this week, it created a political deadlock.

Clearly, it was sabotage by the democrats. The objective, whether intentional or implied, was to undermine existing rules and procedures.

As part of a co-ordinated assault, more action was organised outside the Legco chamber. A protester allegedly hit Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen on his way to an opening ceremony, and another rushed towards him on the speech podium.

Afterwards, dissidents claimed that Tsang had faked being struck, which in effect amounted to calling him a liar.

During the March 6 rally, protesters again broke the rules. They prolonged the rally, strayed from the planned route, and sat down to block the traffic in Central, resulting in the mass arrest of over 100 people.

In the confusion, an eight-year-old boy was sprayed with police pepper spray. Taking a small child to a protest rally is outlandish enough, but for him to be in the middle of a scuffle with police can only be seen as totally irresponsible.

The irony was that the police were criticised for using pepper spray, especially on a small boy. Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung was asked to apologise, but he stood firm, saying: 'It would be a sort of Arabian Nights fantasy if police have to say sorry for keeping law and order.' Indeed - and he has full support from me and many fellow citizens.

It is obvious that our dissidents want to turn Hong Kong upside down, confusing what is right with what is wrong.

They want us to think that subverting existing rules and practices, making trumped-up accusations and creating a scene are all OK, and that physical violence is justifiable - whereas defending the system and upholding law and order are wrong and should be accompanied by apologies and probably resignations.

I do not support the government's latest budget, and I do not really mind whether Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah resigns or not.

But there are rules and procedures and a baseline that each one of us are required either by law or tradition to respect. Only in a revolution can all these be thrown away. The problem is, do they want a revolution? If so, then by all means let us settle it by force.

But, if not, do not play with fire - or else, be prepared to get burned.

In the meantime, let us support the police to keep law and order so that we can carry on with our daily business.

Lau Nai-keung is a member of the Basic Law Committee of the NPC Standing Committee, and also a member of the Commission on Strategic Development