• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:18pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

'Why did officers enter Legco Building?'

House Committee deputy chairman says he only invited police to stand outside building to prevent protesters storming in last Friday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 3:36am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 7:52am
 

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17 Jun 2014
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The deputy chairman of the Legislative Council House Committee yesterday questioned why police entered the Legco building last Friday, when a protest against the government's development plan for the northeastern New Territories turned ugly.

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said: "I only asked the police to stay outside the Legislative Council building to prevent protesters forcing their way into the building. I did not give any consent for the police to enter our building."

His comments came yesterday as lawmakers voiced their opinions over whether Legco should step up security in the wake of Friday's attempt to storm the complex. They were speaking ahead of today's meeting of the Legco Commission in which the issue is due to be discussed. The Legco Secretariat's report on the handling of Friday's protests will be scrutinised at today's meeting of the Legco Commission.

Insurance-constituency lawmaker Chan Kin-por said Legco had to come up with new security measures. "The vulnerabilities of the complex were exposed on Friday," he said.

He suggested that an area reserved for protests, which is about 10 metres from the building, should be moved further away to allow a bigger buffer zone for police officers and security guards to protect the complex.

He also suggested: "Rational and irrational protesters should be separated too."

But IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok said: "It's not just about stepping up security. Problems can't be solved by deploying even 10,000 more police officers."

He said if the government listened to public opinion and withdrew its funding request for the two proposed new towns there would be no clashes.

Friday's mayhem erupted while the Finance Committee was discussing the government's request for HK$340 million in preliminary funds for new towns in Kwu Tung and Fanling North.

In the end the committee adjourned without a vote but its discussion is set to resume this Friday. Tong said he believed security arrangements should be stepped up in time for this week's meeting.

And Chan suggested the Legco Commission should consider having a tow truck on hand to prevent a repetition of Friday's incident when People Power chairwoman Erica Yuen Mi-ming was accused of blocking the car park exit with her car and preventing lawmakers from leaving.

Yuen, assistant to lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, denied she had blocked the way. "There should have been room for them to pass me."

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing had reservations about the need for more security. "I have to read the [Legco] Secretariat's report first," she said.

Police removed more than 100 protesters in the early hours of Saturday, and arrested 21 people.

 

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21

This article is now closed to comments

whoaman
Charles Mok said there would be no clashes if the gov't withdraws its funding request... duh...Charles. But that's a bit beside the point. There would never be clashes if the government didn't do anything to 'upset' protesters. Gee, let's just stop all the government plans that might make people protest.
Is this joker living in his own bubble? Where do they get these 'legislators'? K3 kindergarten classes?
honger
The police entered the building to help the security staff defend it, as clearly seen by all on live TV. The police did not act from outside the building becoz they wanted to avoid contact and confrontation with the mob as much as possible until the last moment.
On retrospection, they could have easily fired water canons from outside to disperse the mob before it got that violent. The restraint shown by HK police was exemplary, and would be hard to find elsewhere in the world. In other countries, riot police or the FRU would be caled in to keep order. Keep up the good work, HK police!
rsun0525
It's quite shocked to me to read "House Committee deputy chairman says he only invited police to stand outside building to prevent protesters storming in last Friday"
Does this imply that if the police see a problem, they shouldn't help without permission? Obviously the police were trying to be helpful. It's kind of their job to help people when they see a problem.
Our society is turning into one where people will be afraid to help each other because they weren't given expressed written permission to do so. The term "common sense" will change into "paralysed into doing nothing".
I want to thank the police for helping where they can and doing their best to try to resolve the situation.
simbie11
Agreed. If he was clubbed on the head by a mugger or run over by car, would he only want emergency personnel assistance if he explicitly requested help? He'd be screaming bloody murder if cops were nearby and didn't jump in to help. Complete CYA nonsense to appease the masses.
Thank you HKPF for your professionalism and restraint. To those who say our police force is guilty of brutality in the face of recent protests, I assume you have not lived overseas or had any experience with the likes of NYPD, LAPD, CPD.
honger
Talking nonsense again, dai. Obviously do not know how a warrant works - the warrant enables you to not only enter a building, but to conduct searches on the property if the judge has reason to beleive that the search will yield evidence for the said case.
In Legco's case, this is a public building. The public building and the many occupants inside were under seige by a mob who put their lives in danger. The security staff inside could not handle the situation.
Even if it is a private building, the police will still break in if calls for help were received from the public that their lives were in danger. Maybe you had already forgotten the gunman two weekends ago at the Kai Tak govt flats.
daily
Why would the police even need Ronny boy's consent to enter the building............who does Tong think he is?............the police commissioner?..............The police did the appropriate thing and judging from the video, they had a real difficult time in dealing with those ignorant protesters who have nothing better to do than to make fools of themselves.
The police have a tough enough time dealing with the stupid protesters at the event.............the last thing they need is for these Legco idiots like Tong to tell them what to do.
seikocreamy
"Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said: "I only asked the police to stay outside the Legislative Council building to prevent protesters forcing their way into the building". Generating more controversy?
cm_wong
Since law doesn't matter any more, in order to defend the Lego, I suggest to dig trenches around the buildings, set up pillboxes and vantage points guarded by snipers, who can fire at will at any protesters who come close to the premises less than a certain distance.
ssgn1215l@gmail.com

It’s amazing Mr Tong should question why police get inside the Legislative Council Building without his consent!
Maybe the Police should surround the protesters whom were surrounding the Legislative Council. The only thing, then, the Police can do is to watch the protesters to force inside the building and taking over to use it as fortress against the incoming Police! The protesters had decided to break into the building regardless, even as seen on the news, police were there just behind the glass door!
Or the Police should force their way in to form their defense against the protesters on the outside and with the building behind their back. In such a way, physical contact and confrontation are simply unavoidable!
Which, will Mr Tong prefer to see from the two options? And which would cause least blood to be shredded by the Police or the protesters? Maybe his pride or face is more important than the safety to the police and those with the protesters?
Dai Muff
We have laws in Hong Kong. The police must be invited to enter a building unless a judge gives them a warrant to do otherwise. When the police don't obey our own laws, we'd better worry.

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