How hard can it be to simply say sorry?

Animal rights activists and pro-democracy campaigners Roy Kwong and Ho Loy find it difficult to even apologise after falsely claiming that elderly restaurant owner was substituting dog meat for mutton

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 1:41am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 1:41am

Sorry seems to be the hardest word. That’s especially so with Democrat lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu and veteran “yellow-ribbon” protester Ho Loy. The two were instrumental in “exposing” a Yuen Long restaurant for selling dog meat for mutton. Thanks to their involvement, what could have been a minor incident was turned into a major news story in the Chinese-language media in the past few weeks.

It turns out that no one was selling dog meat; the “mutton” really was mutton, according to a laboratory analysis of samples taken from the restaurant by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

After two weeks of silence, Kwong finally posted a short apology last week, but it was buried in his Facebook page, where he admitted his “handling of the incident was less than ideal”. That’s small comfort for the elderly restaurant owner who was reduced to tears after being chased by reporters. He said not only was business affected, he was afraid of going out ever since the exposé.

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Meanwhile, Ho offered an apology of sorts that sounded more like an accusation during a TVB interview. She said she regretted the incident, but questioned the accuracy of the government report. She said photos of the animal carcass in question that started the whole furore looked more like a dog than a sheep, even to “experts” consulted by her animal welfare group.

Because she is a vegetarian, she said it was “not appropriate” for her to apologise. It’s not clear what she meant, though she did plead for understanding – for herself. “We in the animal welfare sector are very sensitive, though we never thought the whole incident would have gotten so serious,” she told TVB.

“We hope [the restaurant owner] will understand that many of our citizens love Hong Kong and its core values. So let our citizens continue to treasure animals and treasure life.”

What has this whole incident to do with our love of Hong Kong and its core values? How about the value of taking responsibility when you screw up or giving someone the benefit of the doubt before flaming them in public and making unsubstantiated accusations?

The irresponsibility of people like Ho and her gang actually give animal welfare activists a bad name.

The moral of this whole sorry saga? Woe to any ordinary citizens who find themselves in the cross hairs of our freedom-loving activists.