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Hong Kong police chief tells city to watch its mouth

Andy Tsang appeals to Hongkongers over foul language in wake of disputes with force

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 September, 2013, 5:54pm

Greet others' mothers no more - such was the latest message from the police chief in his appeal against Hongkongers using foul language in public.

"Greeting mothers" is a common Cantonese expression referring to foul language.

"Both the police and ordinary residents should be respectful - respect oneself, respect others, and respect the society of Hong Kong," said police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung.

"Let's imagine a Hong Kong where you greet my mother and I greet yours on the street - what kind of society will it be?

"You cannot do something simply because it's not illegal," Tsang said.

His said this yesterday, about two months after schoolteacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze was recorded swearing at police officers and the video went viral on the internet. Lam swore in English.

She was dissatisfied with the force's "inaction" towards anti-Falun Gong protesters obstructing the religious group's activity on a Mong Kok street.

The online dispute with Lam led to a pro-police rally last month, during which thousands of supporters and detractors of the teacher exchanged insults in Mong Kok.

Commenting on the issue in an interview on Commercial Radio, Tsang called it "natural" for the police force to be unhappy when it was "misunderstood".

He asked the police to remain calm in all situations.

But he rejected allegations that police had a political agenda in arresting protesters, claiming that protesters' methods had turned increasingly radical, if not violent.

Tsang also said he would liaise with the Department of Justice on the updated prosecution policy that regulates the arrest of protesters to see if the police needed to change its practices.


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This article is now closed to comments

Sorry Mercedes, but you don't maintain peace by putting two opposing groups together. If they hadn't done this, then the teacher would have had nothing to complain about...........and there would have been none of the consequences we have seen.
Kindly explain to me how it is the province of a civil servant to tell the people of Hong Kong to peacefully express themselves.
How people can defend a popular use of foul language is beyond me. This may be within freedom of speech, but certain not preferable. Civility and respect for others make living together in a society easier than using profanities at each other.
Freedom of speech should not be used to abuse other people unnecessarily, particularly not people who are unable to respond in the same way, like the police on that occasion. That attitude is not constructive and only shows the low standard of the speaker. The teacher was abusing the police non-stop when she should have attended the police station as requested and made her queries and comments there. Courtesy and etiquette helps the society to live together more or less harmoniously. This is what puts 'civil' in 'civilization', instead of using our machetes and bows and arrows on each other.
Andy should watch his mouth as well. I can only believe that his mother is better behaved than he is.
So you putting them on the same level? At least those who urinate and defecate are childrens (in HK).
No, they are not all children, sadly.
Perhaps our people are just distraught with the continued containment of their ability to speak their minds in order to please the masters in Beijing. Sadly CYL does not want to engage in a discussion but rather to repress the though that he and his masters in Beijing reject. Hence our treat of Camel telling us what massa wants the slaves to do.
Someone must have called him up and asked about his mother too..................
Unfair statement. They have not been targeting anybody during that event, just trying to maintain peace in the area. The police are apolitical and such insinuations just because you favour one particular side are unfounded.



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