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  • Updated: 9:03am

Lai Tung-kwok rape comments

Hong Kong's Secretary for Security, Lai Tung-kwok, sparked outrage from women's groups over comments he made on May 14, 2012, when announcing a sharp rise in the number of rapes in the first quarter of that year. "Some of these cases also involved the victims being raped after drinking quite a lot of alcohol. So I would appeal that young ladies should not drink too much,' he said as he reported the government's Fight Crime Committee statistics.

CommentInsight & Opinion

Government ministers should think before they speak

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 4:15am

A sudden surge in crime should ring the alarm bells in any society. So when rape cases in Hong Kong are found to have jumped 60 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, the community rightly expects the problem to be addressed with a sense of urgency. But Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok is apparently eager to teach women a lesson rather than go after the criminals. Noting that some cases involved victims being attacked after drinking, he told young ladies to drink less to avoid being raped.

Women can be excused for feeling outrage at such insensitive remarks. The outpouring of anger via social media and street protests shows how deeply women were offended. Lai's remarks even caught the attention of foreign media. The security chief might think he was giving some good advice. Criminals do take advantage of anyone who is vulnerable, be it a man or a woman. It is therefore common sense that the unconscious and defenceless are not exposed to danger.

But the remarks could easily be misinterpreted as adding insult to injury. Whether a woman drinks is no justification for rape. How she behaves or what she wears is never a justification for harassment or attack. Regrettably, Lai refused to withdraw the remarks and apologise, despite growing public pressure. He said only that he felt "uneasy" about the responses and stressed he had no intention of blaming women.

Examples of similar outbursts are plentiful. Finance chief John Tsang Chun-wah came under fire for losing touch with the public when he described himself as middle class and said he understood their situation. Education chief Eddie Ng Hak-kim defended the controversial national education curriculum by arguing that many people had not joined a protest against it. Recently, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying raised eyebrows when he brushed off a reporter's question on universal suffrage as "rubbish". Lai's gaffe adds to a long list of examples of how insensitive remarks can provoke outrage. Officials should learn their lesson and be mindful of what they say in public.


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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
The well-known soup you mentioned in your posting is actually a Fukienese cuisine---so delicious that even when a monk smells it, he will jump over the wall of his temple,trying to taste it himself ! But what is the relationship between this famous soup with the comments made and the article above, I wonder.Please show me and teach me.Okay ?
hard times !
to drink less to avoid being raped and to dress decently to avoid being sexuslly harassed or raped may sound more or less the same.Right ? It is really inappropriate for our secretary for security to utter such naive and brainless words advising our young ladies to drink less to avoid being raped. How about the males,should they also drink less hard liquors too to avoid attempting to rape ? I wonder.Besides,this Lai Tung-kwok recently said that a female protester was bear-hugged by a male police inspector (photoed) cannot be proved by just one single photo and the police practise law in a legal way----why the female protester was not surpressed by a female cop since a female sergeant was photoed to be stationed at the scene---maybe she is just an on-looker only ? Right ? Such a secretary for security maybe the honour of this international city, our beloved Hong Kong !
hard times !
Regrettably,you have no regrets towards your so-called comments. Actually,they are serious accusations indeed ! No regrets only demonstrate your stubbornness and biased views ! Nothing more,I regret to point out.Self-reflection is a virtue that should be pursued by every intellectual with conscience and modesty.Right ?
After reading comments and the article, I can't help but think of having a big dose of the famous soup "佛跳牆".
Unintentional temptation!
Perhaps we should give Mr Lai some credit. Perhaps he really thought thoroughly before speaking. Perhaps he truly believes that rape victims are at fault for their own rape...
Your statement is flawed in so many ways. It's just sad you didn't have a good think after writing it and hitting the "post" button, much like the buffoon Mr Lai before he made his statement.


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