• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 5:22pm
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SOCIETY

'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 article is now closed to comments

535f3dcf-ef90-498c-aec7-34fd0a320969
Quote (He said Hongkongers good manners were slowly influencing their counterparts from across the border )Unquote.
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I failed to see that mainlanders have evolved, let alone appreciate our good manners since the year we open the flood gate. In this generation the mainlanders could never learn the proper etiquette of social interaction. Their norm and behaviors are sealed along with their fate. This is how they are brought up and it's too late to reform their mentality when they are full grown adults. Better luck raising their next generations , with the proper National Education enacted in schools, that is,if any, perhaps maybe in another 8 decades or more, we may see some improvement.
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If their leaders feel ashamed, they could enforce a mandatory test before allowing their locals to cross border. A simple multiple choice test such as: What would you say if people open the door for you. Where do you go when nature calls or What do you say when you step onto a foot of another pedestrian. If they don't past the test, they must undergo a class to reform. If they still don't past, tough luck. Next.....
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BTW As the topic of this article suggests: I would like to share my point of view. RESPECT is not Given, but EARNED. A simple cliche even a 10 year old would know and again, this shows how far apart we are from them.
jgmoreno
Help educate mainlanders in good manners??
Have you ever tried telling a mainlander (particularly the rich ones with their LVs and Guccis) to stop it when you see one cutting in lines, spitting on the floor, pushing others when boarding a bus or train or allowing the kids to urinate or defecate in the street?
If not, then try it and see what they feel about your "Help educate" idea!
(Remember to film the whole experience and then send it to Mr.So!)
ssslmcs01
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.
535f3dcf-ef90-498c-aec7-34fd0a320969
You need to undergo an etiquette reform yourself before posting. As your mother teaches you not to talk with your mouthful and in posting, it is rude to capitalized words. You can make a strong statement judged by the content, not by the size.
A Hong Konger
Greg So, a turncoat former Canadian, has no right to lecture us about anything after so quickly renouncing his Canadian citizenship and the oath he took so that he could continue working against the HK people as a pro-China government official. But vulgar behaviour of certain tourists is only the tip the iceberg. The reason this image has caused such ire is because it highlights the dichotomy of us and them in a graphic way, it graphically symbolises that the other behaves in an unacceptable way in our own home, soiling HK and thereby disrespecting us by failing to acknowledge this is our home and they are guests. It reminds us also that they make no distinction between here and the mainland on all levels, be it the visitor, the business leader, tycoon or party member. To the mainlander our home, and what we have built, is meaningless to them except to use as they please. This raucous over a single mainland family's bad behaviour (regardless of their motivation) makes sense to us because it reminds us of ALL the indignity we have to face on every level of our lives, the loss of control HKers have and that we are in a fight for our very existence. By failing to acknowledge this Greg So and others who gloss over the main point show how they deliberately deny the truth (as if that would change anything) or are actually completely ignorant of reality. I would suggest it is both.
ennoun
Mr. So is trying to soft peddle what happened. The kid was defecating, not urinating as he kept stating, so let's keep the facts straight. There were alleys close by if the parents had bothered to look around. A busy street is not a toilet.
As many have commented on, who wants to wait many years to teach buffoons basic manners?
535f7255-39e8-49ee-a40f-52aa0a3209cb
It would be more rational for the minister to explain how the law will be upheld, offenders punished accordingly, and why tourism number should not be reduced in a significant way.
aplucky1
great post
to add to that the LEADERS of hk stand by idly watching their own country get over run by peasants , a period of shame to be recorded by history forever
jiawang@adb.org
Why doesn't the mainland carry out and education program in manners and proper behavior?
Carparklee
Greg So is now in Chongqing. I wish he had brought with him some flyers illustrating about the toilet map of Hong Kong and distribute them to the would be hk visitors there. :P

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