• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 6:55am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 2:31am

Not a political rally? Who are the police trying to kid?

The police are probably the only group in Hong Kong who think Sunday's chaotic rally was not political. Of course it was political. When you have pro-establishment and anti-government factions fighting each other, you can't get any more political.

It's true the rally was supposed to be in support of the police because the main organising group was responding to the row over teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze, who hurled abuse at officers last month. She was upset about perceived bias in their handling of a confrontation between the Falun Gong religious movement and a pro-government group.

To be sure, when everything is politicised, it makes the job of policing much more difficult and complicated. But this is all the more reason for police to stick to the most basic principles by which officers must abide to do their job; and not allow themselves to be drawn into disputes. One of these is to stay out of politics.

Did Lam interfere with police work? If so, she should have been arrested. It was not for the police or police unions to denounce her afterwards for acting inappropriately. Officers enforce the law, not moral or social norms.

Police officers on Sunday acted with professionalism in keeping the peace. They are to be commended. But the police statement appears to have been issued solely in support of retiring superintendant Gregory Lau Tat-keun, who took part in the rally when there are explicit rules in the police guidebook against participating in political functions, parties and rallies. In fact, the statement already contains an excellent argument defending Lau's right to take part in the rally without the need to judge whether it was political or not. Officers on pre-retirement leave, it says, are not authorised to discharge constabulary duties, so their views and deeds will not interfere with the impartial discharge of police duties anyway.

However, even more dangerous is that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor appear to have endorsed the police's position. If Sunday's rally was not political, then many future rallies could be deemed non-political too. It's open season for police officers to join them. Unless police want to invite controversy, that's a route to avoid at all costs.


More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

the sun also rises
agree with Alex Lo that if the rally on August 4th was not a political rally, then cops may attend more such types of rallies in the future.How can we expect them to maintain the order if they are part of the rallies ? Besides,if what Ms Lam did on July 14th (insulting the cops by hurling foul language at them and disturbing their duties), she should be arrested at the scene--no one is above the law.But she was not arrested.Instead, she was reprimanded in the rally on August 4th attended by about 1000 cops (both off-duty and retired) ! How absurd it looked !
the sun also rises
Not a political meeting ?
what nature was it then ?
the co-host of the
rally was ----Hong Kong Action founded by
a retired police superintendent who was
on good terms with retiring superintendent
mr.gregory Lau Tat-keun !
Hong Kong Action claimed on its
Facebook---a political organisation !
these days it changed its nature there
but anyway, a rally organised by a
political organisation and attended by
pan-democrats' political groups
such as People Power and
Passion Citizen led by maddog Wong
could never deny not a political
rally ? Right ?
both C.Y. and Carrie lam cheng
were not telling the truth or
speaking their minds on
August 4th when they
endorsed the cops' positoin !
Police Geneal Rules was breached
and so did the neutrality of
civil servants. Retiring cops are
still cops while off-duty cops
are cops with no doubt !
they should never turn up
in a political rally !
I wonder in coming days,
whether the cops will again
turn up in political rallies
such as anti-Occupy Central
rally or 'Occupy Central' movement
gathering in Central
next July !
the sun also rises
I wonder why whymak cannot /won't translate his chinese words used in his posting above
iinto English as this is the fourm of a local English newspaper ! And the words (if written in English ) are simply-------Kim Yung's kung fu novels !
Dai Muff
I am far from thinking "West is best". I am upholding the intelligence and acumen of the Chinese people that you are denigrating. I am optimistic about them. You are not.
I do not think democracy is perfect government. I just consider it least worst. I think EVERY society needs every check and balance available for the poor and powerless to protect themselves from the depredations of the powerful and corrupt. Every society.
And you still have not answered my question.
It is a strange mentality that thinks the only way to love China is to consider all its people, and all Hong Kong's people too mentally deficient to vote, and only fit to be ruled by oligarchic dictatorship. And you try to do this all while claiming to respect the views of the "silent majority" but only as long as they are not free to express them and people like you can tell us what they are.
Singaporean Chinese can vote, Taiwan Chinese can vote, even American Chinese can vote. According to you there's really only one or two places where Chinese are not of the required standard. So why do you claim the views of the "silent majority" in those one or two places matter to you?
And really, try to discuss without insult. It just makes your argument of low quality.
I ask again, why do you have no problem with the bad language of the 維園阿伯 or yesterday's pro-government goons at Tin Shui Wai? You could hear a lot worse than "WTF" from them.
the sun also rises
fully agree that the endorsement of both the chief executvie and our chief secretary of the police position to the rally on August 4th is more dangerous to our society.It set a very bad precedent to future rallies that the cops might take part in ! For example,the upcoming 'Occupy Central' Movement and 'Anti-Occupy Central' Movement to be held next year ! Can the cops ( including those off-duty and retiring ones) join these two rallies ?------They are not organised by any politicians but instead by two scholars and an old priest or some pro-establishment organisations such as 'Love Hong Kong Power', 'Youth Care Assn.', 'Hong Kong Action' and ' Voice of Love Hong Kong '.
Mr. Lo, I really don't know “what the F” you've been talking about in the last few days. Let’s go to this videoclip: ****www.youtube.com/watch?v=edsVqKHStjU&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Tell me if the police are the provocateurs. Did they respond to endless verbal abuse with billy club or Mace? Or are they a picture of exemplary professional restraint?
Apple Daily, democrats and opposition Legco members must be pleased. This teacher is spewing vitriol on their behalf for what they are afraid to utter.
Here is a litany of choice verbiage from this duo: 賤人 (directed at the female cop), “what the F”, 共狗, 青狗 (communist, HK police dogs), 公安, a euphemistic transfer into secret police.
Ms. Lam invited the police to arrest her with the implicit threat: 市民投票你地輸梗.
Does Hong Kong have to put up with Democracy Cult’s Sword of Damocles, the imminent rule by Jacobins and Robespierre? Under media guidance, People’s Power, Civil Party, etc., might just prevail. Is it time to move your money to Singapore or Zurich?
In case you miss this best part of 潑婦罵街, this 乜你老母 really takes the cake:
Tell me how to conduct business with these media distractions and Legco’s intransigence.
In the 60s, we were afraid of the police, in fact too afraid to hate them. We cleaned up the colonial corruption and have learned to appreciate this professional force. Now young zombies are waving colonial flags and abuse the police.
"We" means us Hong Kongers. It was our collective effort. You're free to give credit to your English masters, the racketeers par excellence, who started an elaborate payola system in the first place.
the sun also rises
as Mr.Alex Lo said in his article above, the rally held on August 4th in Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mongkok was definitely a rally of political nature as earlier said by the independent supervisory body of cops' secretary-general,a Mr.Chu who has received dozens of complaints against his words ! How absurd it is ! politics is politics, while educational is educational, entertainment is entertainment.If the August 4th rally was not a politcal one, can the cops tell the public of Hong Kong ,what kind of nature it was indeed ? Most of us would like to get a reasonable reply to this question !
Everyone should look at this footage. A member of Youth Care Association was caught on video welding knife at the Falun Gong members, and the Police was standing there doing NOTHING!!!
Is there a time limit to arrests? Is it possible now to arrest the troublemaker? There is plenty of evidence of her disruption to peace, obstruction to police work etc.




SCMP.com Account