• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:09pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Diamond boss urges employees to oppose Occupy Central in 'humiliating' e-mail

Company-wide e-mail refers to workers as 'children' and urges them to 'wake up'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 12:14pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 3:10am

A diamond conglomerate boss has courted controversy by asking his staff to oppose Occupy Central.

Addressing his workers as "children" in a company-wide e-mail, Lawrence Ma Yung-yi, chief executive of Lee Heng Diamond Group, urged them to "wake up" and see the "hypocrisy" of pro-democracy leaders.

Ma, a member of the National People's Congress who has previously served on Hong Kong election committees, advised against breaking the law for pro-democracy leaders who themselves "would not sacrifice for society".

Instead, he suggested his staff register with Silent Majority, a pro-government movement opposed to Occupy Central.

"Children … you love democracy and joined the July 1 rally. You clashed with the police, occupied roads, stormed the Legislative Council and are at odds with the mainland," Ma wrote in the e-mail, sent on Friday.

"Students, wake up. Do you see … the children of [the Occupy Central organisers] come out? These people only ask other people's children to fight for democracy, paving the road for their own children."

A sit-in protest at Chater Road by pro-democracy campaigners after the July 1 march resulted in more than 500 arrests.

Occupy Central organisers said that while they "respected" those who took part, they had not encouraged them.

Occupy plans a much larger sit-in in Central if the government fails to deliver a reform plan offering voters a genuine choice of candidates for the 2017 chief executive election.

Professor Chan Kin-man, an organiser of Occupy Central, said Ma's remarks were part of a campaign coordinated by pro-Beijing forces.

"Parents should respect their grown-up kids' decision on whether to take part in Occupy or not. There are legal and illegal ways to support it. We will not reveal whether our children have taken part … we have to protect their privacy."

Ma's e-mail was sent to all employees in the Lee Heng Diamond Group, which owns about a dozen companies including MaBelle, Mabros and Falconer Jewellers. MaBelle has some 50 branches in Hong Kong.

"I was quite worked up when I read it," said one staff member. "Both the tone it took and the content were humiliating … it's none of his business."

A representative for Ma said he "did not write the text, only forwarded it".



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This article is now closed to comments

No it is reporting that a member of the communist party here in HK is using his position as an employer to pressure his employees not to support others in their attempts to secure a democratic Hong Kong. He used his position, stated his views, as he is free to do. We are free to ridicule him for treating his employees as children for actually thinking for themselves. He deserves whatever invective is poured on him. Let people make their own decisions.
How many of our top officials and those of Mainland China have children owning foreign nationalities, and bark the loudest their patriotic voice? Who is more hypocritical? Wake up! Ma Yung-yi
Yes I would as political beliefs are personal and as the employee of Mr Ma indicated he has the right to make his own decisions and not to feel threatened by losing his job if he doesn't agree politically with his employer.
There are no stories of anybody being pressured to participate in the OC or to vote in the recent referendum. Only totalitarian states tell people what to think not democracies, hence the screaming from the Mainland puppets.
Ambrose Lam has a swollen head as he too thinks he can give warnings to people not to participate in the OC. He laid it all on rather thick about criminal records and future prospects. Who in their right mind would consider going to him for independent legal advice? He failed to indicate that being arrested MAY lead to a criminal prosecution but that any decision on whether the law had been broken would be determined by an independent court of law. That's what makes HK so different from the Mainland, an independent judiciary and the rule of law.
He opened himself up to ridicule and he will get what he deserves. How much of this is a veiled threat as to what happens to those who do not follow "father's" wise counsel?
I think the reference of the e-mail recipients as 'children' and 'students' is extremely patronizing and disdainful. That would be enough already.
Ma Yung Yi, a member of the government of China (NPC - National People's Congress) has pressured his employees to support his own political position. This is blackmail and VERY clearly immoral. When one is an employer with power over others sending such an email is clearly a strong exertion of pressure - deeply intimidating. This is the morality of the Chinese Government. Get ready everybody to be manipulated and controlled at every turn if you do not resist this kind of intrusion into our FREEDOM. This is the way the party CPP works. It's tentacles teach into all levels of peoples lives. It is like an alien monster that is readying itself to steal your basic humanity. It wants to control what you think and what you do. It wants to limit your ability to think and choose for yourself. It is coming. It is coming FOR YOU!
hard times !
Maybe boycott buying daimond rings or bracelets from Mabelle is a good response towards this bossy and arrogant so-called Diamond King (Lawerenc Ma) in town who himself is a member of the National People's Congress---so-called congressman but whose duty is to raise hand and clap only ! Shame on his acts and words sent in his e-mails to his employess who are unlucky enough to be employed by such a conservative and ignorant boss who is trying to distort the truth: lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung Yiu-chung and Ho Chun-yan were all arrested at Chater Road after three a.m.on July 2nd as the first batch of protesters to be arrested and lawmaker Leong Ka-kit stayed with the protesting students from the Scholarism (led by Wong Tze-fung) until 8 a.m.July 2nd. As regards to other pan-democrat lawmakers, many of them have pledged to take part in the upcoming non-violent civil-disobedience campaign, 'Occupy Central' to demand a geniune unviersal suffrage which all qualified voters have the rights to nominate candidates, to be voted and to vote as well and never just the right to vote for a bunch of chosen candidates only !
The diamond industry, no matter how much they spend on PR, has a supply chain that's notoriously linked to regional conflicts, terrorism, and child labour. Working in this industry will stain your hands, whether you are a CEO or a desk clerk.
As consumers, really question whether or not diamonds really are a girl's best friend. It won't buy you anything more than 30 minutes of happiness.
It's not an issue of revealing his own views - it's an issue of pressuring his employees to support his views. This is a form of blackmail - and is immoral.
"Ahhh, somebody's going to kill my diamond crapping goose. Time to get everybody riled up with a dumb e-mail that will bite me in the butt."



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