Rioting in Hong Kong a response by people who felt ignored

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 February, 2016, 4:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 February, 2016, 4:33pm

Let me make it clear to begin with I do not approve of what happened in Mong Kok on Monday night.

But at the same time let me state that I think it was bound to happen. Many scholars, journalists, social workers, politicians,teachers, young activists and columnists have repeatedly stated that a government that does not listen to the people it represents is going nowhere.Unfortunately they were proved right on Monday night. It is very simple. If you feel that you are not included in a society, you start to resent this society.

Legitimate requests are made to overhaul our education and health-care systems, have a universal retirement scheme and deal with cage homes and subdivided units. These calls are systematically ignored. In the meantime white elephant projects like the high-speed rail link to Guangdong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge (being backed by Beijing) are put to the top of the agenda in Legco. It is no wonder that the feeling of not being included is finally taken to extremes.

The first person to blame for this is a chief executive who has refused to listen to Hongkongers and failed to recognise the feelings people had which were boiling over. Secondly, we should blame those ministers and secretaries who in their bureaus and departments should have listened and recognised what was going on. They failed to do this and did not act.

The cracks began to appear under the administrations of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Tung Chee-hwa, but the present chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has surpassed them, by following the will of Beijing and vested interests.

As I said, I do not approve of the events that unfolded in Mong Kok, but I fully understand why they happened. I predict an eventful Year of the Monkey if the government does not start listening to and communicating with the people. It must be reminded that it represents the people of Hong Kong, not the central government or vested interests.

Peter den Hartog, Tuen Mun