• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 8:44pm
NewsHong Kong

'Help educate mainlanders in good manners', minister urges after 'urinating' row

Commerce secretary calls on Hongkongers to positively influence cross-border visitors amid debate over Mong Kok public peeing case

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2014, 1:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2014, 7:53am

Commerce secretary Gregory So Kam-leung today urged Hongkongers to help educate mainlanders in good manners rather than pointing accusatory fingers at them, in the wake of the 'urinating in public' incident that led to heated debate on social media last week.

So said he was not asking the city's residents to ‘turn a blind eye’ to tourists misbehaviour in the city, but to show respect and help educate them in good manners.

In an article carried by six Chinese-language newspapers today, So clarified remarks he made last week that urged Hongkongers to "make allowances" for ill-informed actions.

“I want to point out that people should be ‘understanding’. Certainly I do not agree to… urinating in the streets,” So said.

 “It is not that we turn a blind eye to what is wrong, but that we must deal with it in a rational way.”

On Thursday, So appealed for understanding after a video showing a mainland couple allowing their toddler to urinate in a busy Mong Kok street was posted online, creating heated debate both in Hong Kong and across the border.

His remarks quickly attracted condemnation from critics, who accused the minister of allowing bad habits to flourish.

One internet group used a social networking website to call for people to urinate at the door of So’s residence on May 4 to protest his remarks.

The commerce minister explained in today’s article that it would take time for many mainland tourists to change their habits.

He said a large number of the 1.3 billion population on the mainland are first-time tourists who may often “feel helpless when an urgent situation arises”.

He said Hongkongers' good manners were slowly influencing those of their counterparts from across the border and said the city should educate foreigners on manners and persuade them to act in civilised ways, rather than condemn them for wrongdoing.

“Bystanders pointed their fingers [at the mainland tourists] and watched from aside. This obviously created pressure and anxiety [in the tourists],” he said.

“What I meant by being understanding is essentially [having] a basic sense of respect for others,” he said.

The incident over the urinating toddler, reported early last week, reignited a debate about the behaviour of mainland tourists in the city, dividing opinion on whether the parents were right in allowing their child to urinate in a busy Mong Kok street.

Since being posted on social media the video and images have drawn more than one million comments and reposts on Weibo alone, while the incident sparked heated debate on both Facebook and Twitter.



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This is how racism should be met. Bigotry should have no place in society, period. As for those who defecate freely in public, well increase the fine, send them to jail, or even deport them as the law pleases. But it still doesn’t give right to racism and prejudice.
Though Chinese visitors may require additional education about proper behavior the focus of the most recent incident has been lost. There are numerous cases of children urinating or even defecating in public every day, why weren't they reported in the media? The reason this case was reported in the media is because the mother of the child committed the act of theft of another persons property. Using the excuse that Chinese people are unaware of the fact that they cannot take other people's property doesn't make sense as theft is also illegal under Chinese law.
Let's stay focused here (in this case) the issue is the behavior of the mother, her reaction, not the fact that she encouraged her child to urinate on a public street.
Hkers should also try to treat everyone equally not just give better treatment and courtesy to caucasians. Have you seen how the so called five star hoitels treat other Asians like dirt and often let caucasions, no matter how poorly dressed or if drunk, cut the line or get a window table without reservations ? HK, you need to be a standard for the world, but the standard cannot be a double standard. Stop being colonialist servants and treat non caucasians equally. HK is itself ignorant and backwards in a different way. When HK ceases to bow its head to caucasians that relieve themnselves near bars or throw up after clubbing and whom treat locals like second class citizens, then HK can have the right to criticize others. HK needs to rid itself of its own ignorance.
Your comments are totally ridiculous. Caucasians are not treated any better that anyone else in Hong Kong of any other race. In fact many Caucasians residents of Hong Kong are looked down upon and sometimes even referred to as "foreigners" even thought they are locals.
Painting the Hong Kong society as a place that treats whites better than others because of a few people in a few hotels or restaurants is nonsense.
Sad part is you don't even see how the locals kiss you butt because you are so used to it by now... you are not from HK and if you have ignored all the special treatment you are getting, then it is because you actually think this is how everyone gets treated in HK. Its amazing how causcasians cant even see how they are getting preferential treatment. truly astounding ignorance. guess you don't like it when the spotlight is shone on the europeans crisscrossing asia on adult entertainment tours or whom think they can boss their way around HK... wake up.
hey shitstain, blow me
Sorry to disappoint you dude I'm from Hong Kong amd I'm not a European.
sorry, china has to do the education of its own citizens. its not only in HK they behave like this - Thailand, Malaysia, SG - every where they are being rude, inconsiderate.
reaction to MH 370 is another example.
yeah, i guess Thailand can act superior. the elephants urinating on the streets of Bangkok are just fine I guess as long as tourists fork over 5 bucks to feed them fruit...and oh, i guess the adult entertainment hedonism of Thailand is ok and Thailand is superior to HK or the mainland ? geesh... not saying that mainland manners dont need to improve alot, they do, but you guys need to look at your own place as well.
I think you misunderstand chanaa.
chanaa is saying the behavior of the mainland Chinese is NOT confined only in Hong Kong.
The ungracious and uncouth manners of the mainland Chinese are well documented, even in South-East countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. And not just SE Asia. Let's not forget the mainland Chinese boy who defaced ancient Egyptian antiquities. That's just mortifyingly poor behaviour.




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