• Tue
  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 11:41pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2013, 4:30am

Making a mountain out of a mole hill

BIO

Alex Lo is a senior writer at the South China Morning Post. He writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column on page 2. He also edits the weekly science and technology page in Sunday Morning Post.
 

Boy, has Hong Kong gone crazy? A minor spat with the police involving a primary schoolteacher has become a cause célèbre and sparked a clash between rival groups on Sunday involving thousands and paralysing Mong Kok traffic.

As it turned out, Alpais Lam Wai-sze, the teacher in question, was the only one who acted with some dignity and rationality yesterday in calling for calm and apologising for a second time to parents and students at her school for her behaviour. She also praised police professionalism on Sunday in keeping the peace and separating the protesters to avoid violence. Whether you are pro-Beijing, pro-Falun Gong, pro-democracy or pro-colonial, you should respect Lam's wishes and put this behind us.

The furore started on July 14 when Lam was videoed shouting foul language at police officers over their handling of a dispute between the Falun Gong and the Hong Kong Youth Care Association, a pro-government group. She went into a tirade against the Chinese Communist Party, about how it condoned the harvesting of human organs, and professing herself to be a true Hong Kong person speaking her mind.

It was all a bit off topic and unrelated to the issue at hand. But it was a hot summer; and we are all a bit tense and under pressure these days. Truth be told, I have gone into such outbursts myself against unruly drivers and the traffic police who failed to tame them on the road. Luckily, no one taped me and put it on YouTube.

The incident took on a life of its own after leftist newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po wrote furious editorials denouncing Lam.

The Junior Police Officers' Association and the Hong Kong Police Inspectors' Association also accused her of inappropriate behaviour. It was all very silly.

It's not the police's place to decide whether a citizen has acted appropriately, whatever that means, but whether the action breaches any law.

The leftist editorials soon caused a backlash. Now, every anti-Beijing and anti-government ideologue has jumped on the bandwagon, milking the incident for all it's worth - hence Sunday's mass rallies and clashes.

It's time to calm down and move on.

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18

This article is now closed to comments

mercedes2233
' Alpais Lam Wai-sze, the teacher in question, was the only one who acted with some dignity and rationality'
'It's not the police's place to decide whether a citizen has acted appropriately, whatever that means, but whether the action breaches any law.'
Mr. Lo, you are disappointing. The teacher acted with 'dignity'? I have made my children apologize for less, like stepping on someone's toes. Her apologies were to everybody else except the police whom she abused. What has the policewoman done to be called deliberately 賤人? How much grovelling should be done to atone for this? Maybe it was 'inappropriate' for the police bodies to say anything, but they could and should have arrested her for disturbing the peace and inappropriate behaviour in a public place. I am sorry they didn't.
We cannot 'move on' until justice is done, and Lam is disbarred as a teacher for being a bad role model to schoolchildren. I did not read any articles in the pro-left newspapers, and can judge for myself. Look at the videos again and tell me you want this 潑婦 to teach our young people.
hard times !
calm down and move on
can we ?
probably not !
our society has, unfortunately
been divided into
two parts--pro-china & pro-establishment
and pro-democracy
how can you expect water
to be mixed with fire
and co-exist together
in this scorching sun ?
no way !
maybe our hongkong
has fallen ill------a serious one
indeed !
pseudotriton
yup, that's precisely what the right-wingers want for HK, a population completely divided. And quit embellishing yourselves. You're not "pro-democracy". You're just anti-China, -everything Chinese; it's your way or no way. A true promoter of democracy would be tolerant towards different opinions.
hard times !
tai kung pao & man wui pao
are papers of minimum readers
in town and it is known that
many of them are sent to
the philippines to be read by
chinese there !
their editorials can be ignored !
ms lam is the sole heroine as
described by our Alex Lo
who used to be more
conservative than this
old hongkong who breathed
in the tear gas above king's
road in the riots of 1967 !
hoping ms can be brave
enough to fight on for
her lofty ideal------freedom of expression
no matter which political organisation
she belongs to !
your bosses support you and so
does your spouse and most
hongkongers with reason and sense !
those radical local leftists' voices
can be totally ignored !
they are just the scums of
our beloved hongkong
pseudotriton
so what you're saying is that only right-wing radicals like Lam Wai-sze are allowed to have the freedom to express themselves, no matter how foul-mouth or arbitrary they are. The "leftists", on the other hand, better keep their mouths shut, right? Such typical hypocrisy from the right-wing retards.
mh0908
Keep Calm & Carry On!
likingming
"Overstaffed police and their plaincloth" vs "overstaffed teachers and their student scholarism brats".
Redundancy vs redundancy and they are no longer redundant.
Save our taxpayer's money please.
whymak
chaz-hen: This one just came through from US TV. A 4-year old boy has been just elected mayor in a small Minnesota town. As for choosing your own leader, this is just your speed and mental age.
chaz_hen
And the difference between a 4 year old versus every CE hong kong has ever had is??
gracetodd
It's the extremism that is truly frightening! That's scary, very scary! Why do people have to take sides? Why couldn't we see that it was an unfortunate incident / conflict in which a passer-by had lost it for some reason. Why do we have to expect teachers to be saints? Why do we have to antagonize the police? What for?
pseudotriton
Telling HKers to calm down? You're talking about a people who would make a row when some mainland tourist kids ate cookies on an MTR train, and post such videos on youtube. And why should Lam Wai-sze's "wishes" be respected by anyone? So only she gets to snap and throw a fit but everyone else must behave themselves because she says so? Nobody here is her student, you know, Alex? And no kids should be either for that matter. What parents in their right mind would want their kids be educated by such a foul-mouth?
If anything, you should be telling politicians such as Wong Yuk-man and Long Hair to calm down and be more professional in doing their job, and stop instigating so much hate among HKers.
likingming
HKers would film them secretly and evilly before posting such videos on youtube !
pslhk
I watched the expletive teacher on Youtube
after reading Mt Molehill
to glimpse the teacher’s mental innards ,
no wonder there are self-important, self-righteous
scholarism brats
-
They read and think little
relying mostly on religious inspiration
mouthing and acting out of spinal reaction
-
Lee KY is right that the right social priority
is ORDER and law
that’s also Huntington’s observation
(Political Order in Changing Societies)
in Lippmann’s words:
"There is no greater necessity for men who live in communities
than that they be governed, self-governed if possible,
well-governed if they are fortunate, but in any event, governed."
Kudos to the officer on retirement leave
-
After a second reading of your opinion on helpers
my 95% mark yesterday was generous
Your seemingly panoramic view is actually pipe hole vision
-
300,000 foreign-born women as a permanent underclass?
There’re managers and cleaners in every society
Are the latter “underclass”?
It’s just free people answering their different callings
-
A fair-minded contributor (JK) to letters once noted
If HK gets moralistic and stops helpers importation
there will be more foragers in Manila’s rubbish dumps
and these HK “underclass”
treat their “underclass” worse back home
-
Real underclass are HKers who need US visa
whereas Americans can freely come
and mainlanders denied helpers job here
and HK women who, you dictated,
must do chores if helpers don’t
whymak
pslhk: You're wasting time on two morons below with your Walt Lippmann quote.
My Hong Kong family had Chinese "servants" years ago. My two baby sisters were practically raised by them. One actually spent a few years later in Toronto when her son was born there. We look upon them as aunts in the family.
The last two Chinese "servants" who took care of my mom retired rich to Guangdong 3 decades ago. They came back to visit us a few times a year. My wife missed them terribly. She recalled how kindly my "aunts" treated her when she came back to Hong Kong with me for the first time.
Wicked people have irresistible urge to stir up hatred. They never understand kindness transcends ideology.
Banish this thought about the underclass.
wwong888
spoken like a true commie. order above all else. move to singapore. you will fit right in.
chaz_hen
He's the self professed moral conscience of Hong Kong that finally found an audience for his pseudo intellectualism. He should run for CE one day if he weren't so much against the Hong Kong people's right to choose their own leader.
wwong888
judging by the fact his posts can't even muster a single upvote other than his own... i'd say his chances are slim, and he is just an irrelevant loser who thinks he is smart
chaz_hen
.
 
 
 
 
 

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