Alpais Lam Wai-sze, a teacher at Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, sparked a protest in Mong Kok on August 4, 2013, after a viral video from July 14 showed her shouting profanity at police officers. In the clip, Lam was seen openly criticising the way the police were handling a confrontation between the Falun Gong and the Youth Care Association. Lam has taught for 18 years and won the Chief Executive's Award for Teaching Excellence in the 2010/2011 academic year.
Teacher Alpais Lam wants protection after death threats
Embattled primary school teacher says letter threatening to kill her was the third she received, but she trusts police will help her
Ernest Kao and Samuel Chan
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Primary school teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze will ask for police protection after receiving a death threat letter which had a box-cutter blade attached to it.
Lam, who filed a police report yesterday, said she feared for her safety and would write to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung to request protection.
She posted a picture of the handwritten letter, which was signed by a self-proclaimed "underground Communist Party member", on Facebook. A box-cutter blade was stuck to the bottom of the letter.
"I was quite scared as any woman would be in a situation like this, but I did what any citizen would do and sought police help," Lam said outside Tai Po police station where she filed the report. She was accompanied by her lawyer, lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo. "It was only the third letter I opened after relatives helped me pick them up from school."
The letter, written in simplified Chinese and dated August 6, 2013, criticised Lam for being a supporter of Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned on the mainland. Its writer threatened to kill her. "We have to kill you … You should call the police, you must call the police," it read.
The author claimed to be part of a group called the Patriotic Youths Association with "tens of millions of supporters". It also accused Lam of being "an anti-communism element" who taught students to oppose the doctrine.
Cheng said this was the third death threat Lam had reported to police since July.
Lam is still on sick leave from the Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, where she teaches. "I hope this is the last time I have to report a letter like this," she said. "I still think Hong Kong is a place with the rule of law and I trust the police will help me get to the bottom of this."
The police commissioner yesterday called on the teacher to provide more information to assist with the investigation.
A video of Lam swearing at police during a rally in Mong Kok went viral online in July. She had been upset at how the officers handled a dispute in which an anti-Falun Gong group obstructed the Falun Gong's activities.
The online fracas culminated in a pro-police rally in early August which saw thousands of supporters and detractors of Lam exchange insults in Mong Kok.
"I know this has been very unfair to my school. I will take this as a valuable experience," Lam said.
The Mong Kok event - believed to have been attended by hundreds of off-duty and retired police officers - sparked a debate on the impartiality of the police force. Police associations demanded a clearer definition of "political activities" specified in the Police General Orders.
In response, Tsang yesterday said the force would first communicate with officers instead of using punishment when officers' behaviour exceeded the restrictions specified in the police code.
"If we are to review the 'frame' every time something happens, there will be no frame," Tsang said when asked if the police would amend its general orders, describing restrictions on officers' participation in political activities as a "frame".