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  • Aug 22, 2014
  • Updated: 9:33am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 4:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 2:19pm

Mainland Chinese aren't the only ones peeing on streets of Hong Kong

If you only get your news stories from local social media, you may think Hong Kong is about to be flooded in mainland urine.

These sites are filled with accounts of mainland visitors' misbehaviour, the most provocative of which must be their supposedly carefree way of answering the call of nature in public. The latest spark to an escalating toilet war stemmed from a fight in Mong Kok between a mainland couple and several locals who filmed their child relieving himself. The clips went viral on the internet, being viewed more than a million times. Even the state-owned People's Daily weighed in.

A campaign has been launched on the mainland urging parents to let their children urinate on our streets. A Hong Kong counter-campaign asks people to film and document such misbehaviour. It would be comical if it was not so tragic.

Are mainlanders the only ones incapable of finding or using public toilets?

In Hong Kong, I have seen that type of behaviour from any number of visually identifiable groups - local Chinese, expatriates, foreign (non-mainland) visitors, taxi drivers, teenage schoolboys, fathers and sons, and yes, fellow journalists. I have seen it at the Sevens and in the Wan Chai bar district.

Just last year, I witnessed a young man unzipping himself on Leighton Road, near my office, during the evening rush hour and releasing a long stream in front of dozens of horrified and disgusted people. I was sure his first language was neither Cantonese nor Putonghua.

Such behaviour can get you arrested in Hong Kong and you would not just face a fixed penalty. If someone breaks the law, he or she should pay for it. The police should make an example of those guilty of such misbehaviour, regardless of their race, ethnicity or any other identifiable physical attributes.

Yes, there is a lot of anger and frustration over the way mainland tourists have flooded into Hong Kong, overwhelmed our facilities and distorted our economy. A strong case can be, and has been, made to control the number of visitors. That is a valid concern. But try not to demonise some people with behaviour that everyone else is guilty of at one time or another.

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This article is now closed to comments

53683f78-f1a8-47a3-8ca2-34f10a320969
Maybe this whole situation is karma a la Hong Kouver?
Brit_in_China
Saw a Hong Kong couple allow their toddler to pee on the streets in Zhongshan just yesterday. Why? Simple. Kid suddenly needed to pee and caused a hissy fit when they tried to move her. I offered them the use of the cafe toilets, but when thy tried to move the kid she was already doing the business. Too late. They were very embarrassed; but no one really cared. You know, dogs, cats, and kids run only on their DNA. When they want to go, they want to go. Try stopping your dog marking every drain pipe and tree in the city. Good luck with that.
Kids drop 'em and pee. Get over it. Nought you can do most of the time. (British with 3 kids.)
skywalker
Ok, lets have an "INTERNATIONAL" photo contest on "The Call of Nature in HK Streets". The one who can submit the most photos showing people with different ethnicity is the winner.
53648a5b-5328-47fa-903b-52ba0a3209cb
I'm sure "many" parents do not let their child pee in public some 20yrs ago like many mainland people would do today in Hong Kong. Just because people in mainland dont see it as a big deal but doesnt mean they can do it everywhere they want it to. Everyone see things differently but people need to understand how to respect other cultures in a different enviornment. That's the problem for mainland people who do not understand this basic concept. Btw, Hong Kong is city, NOT a country!
ldAsia
These low people have never been out of Hong Kong. They have a teeny tiny narrow vision of the world. If they have the money to afford to travel, then they will find out it is not uncommon to see situation like that all over the world. They have nothing better to do than picking on a little kid. You know what, these hypo probably themselves had done the same thing that they would not dare to say.
These lackeys only dare to insult their own people. Once they encountered the white people, they would be hiding like a rat and would not dare to say a single word.
Go find yourself a life instead of “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING”.
这些低人从来没有离开香港。他们有世界上一个很小很小的狭隘视野。如果他们花得起钱起旅游,那么他们就会发现这是在世界各地经常看到的情况。他们无什么好做,便针对一个小孩子。你知道吗,这些低人也可能自己亦做过,他们只是不敢说, 他们只是伪君子。
这些走狗只敢侮辱自己的人。一旦他们遇到了白人,他们会像老鼠躲在老鼠洞不敢说一个字。
去搜索自己的生活吧,而不是“无事生非。
536789a9-cd74-4aec-b61b-08da0a3209ca
Wow, as if it was fine to evacuate on streets. Despite it being common, civilised people are still not supposed to pee in the public. Before you accuse Hongkongers of being hypocrites, try to get your values right.
jiawang@adb.org
What a stupid article!
Of course, Hong Kong people have seen "visually identifiable groups" pee in public.
Those "visually identifiable groups" were wrong and should be publicized and punished.
To draw attention to mainlanders' poor social habits is different.
China should be the source for educating and training its people on proper social behavior.
If 1.4 billion mainlanders visit HK without training and education in proper social behavior, well, that's a lot of pee and sh*t on the streets.
druwong123
Alex Lo, as usual, misses the point.
People may be expressing outrage over this incident of a mainland child defecating in public in HK, but this is just the general resentment towards mainland and mainlanders boiling over.
Much of this resentment is very understandable, even when you take into account all that is said about how HK's economy has benefitted from all the spending from the mainland tourists, and particularly when you also take into account the more vocal mainland reactions to the outrage here (basically thinking that they can do as they please because they are spending here).
Government officials in HK are doing their incompetent worst to inflame the situation further. Lecturing HK people to be more tolerant does nothing to calm people in Hong Kong, and sends the wrong message to those who think there is nothing wrong with the parents of the defecating child.
Bottom line is, people in HK have led a different way of life under a very different system from that of the mainland's, and it is a terrible mistake to not do everything possible to preserve those differences. A very simple example: who would lose out if our shops no longer enjoy the confidence of customers that they are carrying genuine goods and safe foods. HK'ers as well as the mainlanders.
HK should welcome the mainlanders to visit, but demand that they respect the ways of their hosts. HK should also demand better from their government, and their commentators in the media.
ldAsia
It is amazingly low that a little boy peed in public can create such a big fuzz. These people probably got nothing better to do, then picking on a little kid. They are really fuzz about nothing. Go visit the world and see more - go visit the bars in Paris (the area near the bar entrance is stink with human pees), go visit downtown New York (Browery bumps used to be stinky with pees, even though it has been cleaned up a lot), go visit Key west in Florida (the drunk pees on the street, even though it is not broad day light), go visit London and Munich (adults pee on the street is often). It is a nature call after you have a few bottle of beer.
Keep your mind open and do REAL thing, instead of picking on a little kid.
louis.wong1
Picking on a little kid is not the point, Hong Konger is condeming on the mainlander parents who made their kids defecating in public, as a parent he should protect his child from the hazard of potential abuse, especially in the public. Do you think it has nothing wrong to let your kids naked on the street and pee, sxxt like an animal? How can you take the dark examples from the western cities and make the defecating become reasonable? Please don't use your children as a weapon to destroy our rules and public disciplines in Hong Kong. You have the absolute freedom to leave our country Hong Kong.

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