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  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:12pm
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.

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the sun also rises
not a politcal rally ?
maybe it was a carnival
in the eyes of out top leaders
who were told that the rally
was going on smoothly
under the discipline maintained
by our elite cops whose
off-duty members and even
those retired ones had taken
part in it !
then how could it not be a
peaceful and civilized one ?
a retiring supertendent even
stood on the platform delivering
his speech denouncing the
use of foul langugae at his
colleagues in the frontline !
what a scene indeed it was !
not a political rally !
not at all !
just a carnival only !
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 !
whymak
tomboy11:
However you protest, what I say about you is valid. You frame every Hong Kong problem with irreconcilable hatred of China and mainlanders – a Western camp with bananas like you, good; and China, evil.
While I have leveled plenty of criticisms at China’s central and local governments, I never lose sight of China’s successes and failures, not least of which, my cultural soul. I was schooled similar to Hong Kong's silent majority in Confucius, Tang, Song poems and 金庸武俠小說.
Every culture has its "deficiencies," that includes ours, a subculture of China. I accept Hong Kong Chinese values despite the knowledge that many Confucian dicta and family practices could not stand up to rigorous philosophical challenges. Ironically perhaps, this is in a sense religious pathos without superstitious dogmas and sanctimony of monotheism or Democracy.
You and your ilk demonize China and our culture at every turn. You cast every situation into good vs. evil by advocating West-is-best.
Shallow Hong Kongers like you have no clue of Enlightenment and British Empiricism ideas that brought about democracy, with which America built the greatest republic in history. All you know is regurgitating Western slogans while oblivious to 2-century suffrage struggles in America.
As scientists, we know experiments are “falsifiable,” let alone claptrap ideology like yours.
Your deification of Democracy needs Satan. China is your convenient target. Take away this belief, your life is nothing.
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 '.
Dai Muff
Masked thugs "supporting" CY at Tin Shui Wai today.
More intimidation of the teacher, even while the government's supporters are clearly abusive.
At $250 a head, you'd think they could hire better supporters.
whymak
Tomboy11:
Are you just another nincompoop pretending to be a real Hong Konger? In the 60s, torturing alleged criminals to extract confessions in police stations were accepted practices.
You couldn't get anything done without payola, starting with your driver's license. Contractors entertained housing inspectors with lavish banquets. But that's only the façade. At the end of the night the guest of honor, the bureaucrat in charge of issuing permits, picked up his jacket draped over the chair at the mahjong table with a thick stuffed envelope in its inside pocket. Senior English constables were behind this profit sharing scheme.
I remember two family acquaintances at the force who were low level detectives. Both lived high off the hog. As a schoolboy, I gasped at them wagering tens of thousands of dollars over mahjong. Remember, this was a king’s ransom good for a flat that many would die for today.
Heard of cat o’ 9 tails? That’s what our English judges would order as punishment for Ms. Lam for misdemeanor and disorderly conduct. At least 10 lash if not 20.
We feared the police but never respected them. You’re now living in la-la land with your tall tale.
Morons reduce every problem into black and white: rich against poor, pro-Communists against freedom loving morons.
Indeed, using hatred to sustain a belief system is the most tragic human condition. If the belief that China is a nation like any other prevails, your life would become an absolute zero.
Dai Muff
There you go again. Revisionism and insult seem to be all you have.
"In the 60s, torturing alleged criminals to extract confessions in police stations were accepted practices."
Like in some nearby countries today. Good how Hong Kong got away from that, isn't it?
Yes, there was corruption then. And corruption was dealt with from the top down. Not the bottom up, Or do you want to "revise" who actually founded the ICAC? The fact is that whatever the limitations of the colonial government, most Hong Kong people came here finding it preferable to staying north of the border. And the worse you paint HK in those days, the worse you paint what they ran from.
You also forget just who surrounded government house in 1977 demanding an amnesty for corruption. You also forget just which side is most often the victim of violence in HK, Ask 林彬, 鄭經翰, or those who plotted against 李柱銘 and 黎智英. I've seen a few threats of violence in these comments. They have mostly been against Occupy Central.
Please provide one single example of any person in Hong Kong EVER being punished by "cat o' 9 tails" for swearing. There's a few "uncles" who might be eligible for that.
By the way, is it your contention the Basic Law is wrong or lying in guaranteeing religious freedom?
whymak
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:
****www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DTBQAO6o4A&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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.
Dai Muff
Are you kidding? When I was a kid we respected the police, in idea if not always in individual cases. But the police are increasingly not worthy of respect. You pro-Beijing people like to complain about bad language. Have you never hear a policeman swear? Why do you have nothing to say about the bad language of the Victoria Park uncles? Why do you have nothing to say about the bad language of Chan Chi-sum's supporters? Family does not criticise family? The real agenda here is to try to make an example of the teacher to the Hong Kong people to tell them there is a high price for criticising pro-Beijing organisations like the Youth Care Association. People want to scare Hong Kongers into silence. It will not work. Many people in Mong Kok that day criticised the bad policing. In fact, the only law broken that day was the YCA trying to deprive people of a religious freedom that is GUARANTEED by the Basic Law. And the police did nothing to stop them. That is not great police work.
By the way, "you" didn't clean up colonial corruption. The colonial government did. And that corruption is getting worse these days.
whymak
"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.
Dai Muff
I think you need to look up who founded the ICAC.
And I ask again, why do you have no problem with the bad language of the 維園阿伯? You can hear a lot worse than "WTF" from them.
whymak
I have no problem with foul language at all. I only have problems with morons who see everything as black and white. If I don't agree with you, I must be pro Beijing. Like a fundamentalist, if I disagree with your Bible, then I am on the side of Satan.
Your quoting Churchill about democracy shows how brainwashed you are.
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 !
poohbear
Alex is right on, this time!
yellow_lynx_cat
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!!!
****www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuPkDO1AM4I
yellow_lynx_cat
Even if this is not a political rally, anyone can see the issue is about whether there is bias in the law enforcement of the police, and to participate in this rally means the police is taking sides and people will doubt their impartiality when they carry out their duties.
johnyuan
I don’t find consistency (e.g. one’s view) is an absolute plus value to oneself or in this case to readers. I put a premium on any view put forth by Mr. Lo for his reflection of the moment of urgency and worthiness. He has been being true to his thesis serving well in our ever more changing world around us. Rightly, I don’t expect dogmatism from My Take.
mercedes2233
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.
yellow_lynx_cat
How about the Youth Care Association who openly stormed the Falun Gong exhibition and even pushed and shouted abuses at the policemen. They even vandalized Falun Gong's properties!
Talking about troulemaker.... we should also discuss what is hypocrisy!
impala
All fine by me, but please let Mr Lo not make any fuzz again when the US State Department's annual report on Democracy & Human Rights Practices again cites the same concerns about the Hong Kong Police Force that he voices out in the above piece.

Almost exactly one year ago, Mr Lo also -very rightly- took the the police to task for its treatment of the protests surrounding the visit of then-president Hu Jintao. (SCMP, August 15 2012, 'Heavy hand of law comes down too hard')

A little over half a year later however, he completely switched sides, and went on to harshly criticise the US State Department annual Democracy & Human Rights Practices Report (a routine publication really) for -rather diplomatically and carefully even- citing exactly the same concerns he had voiced out about the Hong Kong police. In this later piece, Mr Lo suddenly found the HK police sheer flawless, or to be precise: "harmless kittens" who are "far better trained, less corrupt, less violent and far more respectful of protesters." (SCMP, April 26 2013, 'Brutal police? Look closer to home, US')

Let's hope he will not repeat this populist flip-flopping. The trend of intolerant and increasingly biased stances that the HK Police Force has taken with regards to dealing with protesters (and in particular anti-government protesters) over the past couple of years is concerning, and should be stopped if we want to preserve a just, competent and non-political police force.
johnyuan
I don’t find consistency (e.g. one’s view) is an absolute plus value to oneself or in this case to readers. I put a premium on any view put forth by Mr. Lo for his reflection of the moment of urgency and worthiness. He has been being true to his thesis serving well in our ever more changing world around us. Rightly, I don’t expect dogmatism from My Take.
impala
I am certainly not asking for dogmatism. And one can change one's mind, in the light of new evidence, or changing circumstances. That would be very welcome actually: a columnist (or politician, or academic, or journalist) stating: 'A year ago, I held a view of such-and-so. Looking back, I would like to apologise as I realise (for whatever reason it might be) that I missed the mark in the urgency of the moment. Knowing what I know now, I would like to revise my view.' Etc, and so forth.

All fine by me. Only the stupidly stubborn will persist in consistency despite everything else. But we heard no such thing from Mr Lo on these pages (will we ever....?).

Hence, I am simply suggesting that it would be logical and beneficial to his credibility, that, if Mr Lo says that action X is wrong then-and-there, then action X is still wrong when party Y later agrees it is wrong. Changing one's view that action X is wrong, purely based on an -apparently- unwelcome agreement by party Y is opportunistic at best.

Furthermore, then even going one step further by publicly faulting and blaming party Y for saying action X is wrong, which was very much your own declared opinion from the very start, is hypocritical.
sklailee
Party A (Fa Lun Gong which, the author says, is a religious organisation) fixes a banner on a kerb-railing. This is an illegal act, if it is fixed on the railing without government approval.
Party B (Parents Association) is hostile to the content of Party A's banner, and it puts up a banner to cover up Party A's banner. This is also an illegal act, presumably without government approval.
The action taken by Party B could lead to confrontation between the two parties. Policemen come to prevent violence, not to protect illegal banners.
Party A finds it has the support of people who, apparently not religious but renowned for using foul language to insult policemen, accuse the police of giving favoritism to their rival, shouting insulting remarks at them in so doing. Party B, a relatively newly-born group not known for using insulting remarks against the police, support themselves AND the policemen on duty. And you call this a political gathering?
What if an off-duty policeman goes there in support of Fa Lun Gong for religious reasons, and you say the policeman breaches police regulations for political reasons?
The author says Party A is anti-government and Party B is pro-establishment. Please prove they are so. Party A's supporters have chanted political slogans? Party B defend the policemen, not the administration.
I and the author share one belief: teacher Lam should be arrested if she had interfered police work.
The rally is not political.
Dai Muff
"What if an off-duty policeman goes there in support of Fa Lun Gong for religious reasons, and you say the policeman breaches police regulations for political reasons?"
Then people could reasonably question his ability to be a fair policeman in any incident involving the Falun Gong. Just like they can here. It is not good for the Force to be seen as pro-establishment stooges.
And you do not know the law about street banners. Look it up.
the sun also rises
the organisation which harassed the Falun Gong's booth on July 14th at the pedestrian-only zone in Mong Kok was----the so-called Youth Care Association which used to harass the Falun Gong there in the past months yet this time it was beheld by Ms Lam Wai-sze who happened to walk past there with her husband !
If the booth set up by Falun Gong is illegal, it would be removed by the cops in the past months since it used to be set up there and the Youth Care Assn.used to harass it---a habitual phenomenon in that pedestrian-only zone in Mongkok !
And their acts were familiar to the cops in Mongkok who claimed that they could do nothing to separate them !
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 !
chaz_hen
Foul language should get one arrested in the midst of a charged POLITICAL demonstration? What happened to the beloved rights of HK people versus their oppressed brethren north of Lo Wu??
Language does not hurt people and if coppers were properly trained, they would know not to take anything personally anyway. They are not fragile ballerinas. They went into the profession expecting that. Right?
Or is it now just an iron rice bowl opportunity for young people with no true desire to serve their fellow citizens?
VVcha
Alex, you're a cynic, enjoys putting forth controversial comments, often bias in itself.. Tsk ! ! Tsk ! Can you not contribute articles with more balanced views other than sensationalizing them and adding more fuel to the fire?
bjaeggi
i thought this was an excellent and balanced statement actually. not sure what vcha would like to see instead...
 
 
 
 
 

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