Doctors liken Occupy movement to ‘cancer’ in petition calling for end to protests
More than 550 doctors have signed a petition calling on pro-democracy protestors to end their blockades of main roads, likening the street protests to a “cancer” damaging Hong Kong’s core values.
The full-page petition entitled “Deep Sorrow and Resentment” was published on the front page of the Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily on Tuesday. It was signed by 552 doctors.
The doctors said Hong Kong had “fallen ill” as the protests were severely affecting people’s livelihoods and had divided residents since they began in late September.
But other doctors who support the pro-democracy movement said the petition does not represent their voices. There are about 14,000 doctors working in Hong Kong.
On Monday, a huge yellow banner reading “I want genuine universal suffrage” and “Umbrella Movement” was hung outside the dormitory building for medical students at Chinese University in Sha Tin.
Several sections of main roads remain closed in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok where hundreds of people are camped out demanding open elections of all lawmakers and the next chief executive.
The doctors who signed the petition urged protestors to get off the roads immediately and to pursue their demands in “a rational, embracing and pragmatic” manner. They also said they support the police in clearing the protest sites.
“Roads are like blood vessels. Long-time blockage is harmful,” they said. “Hong Kong is ill!”
The doctors said law and order are the basis for the healthy development of democracy and the movement resembles cancerous cells in the human body.
“The Occupy movement upholds disobedience and law-breaking. It is like part of the body cells are overgrowing and not under control,” they said.
“It eventually mutates into cancer. It is eroding Hong Kong’s core values.”
Occupy Central is one of the groups who organised the street protests, along with the Federation of Students, Scholarism and others. Many protesters also say they are not affiliated with any group.
The doctors urged people who were opposed to the street protests, but had remained silent until now, to speak up. Without mentioning names, they said certain individuals or groups had been misleading people by portraying themselves as representatives of the public or certain sectors.
Those who signed the petition include retired Hospital Authority official Dr Fung Hong and some world authorities in medicine.
President of HKU-Shenzhen Hospital, Grace Tang Wai-king, professor of surgery and expert in liver transplants Lo Chung-mau, and former college of cardiology president Professor Lau Chu Pak all signed the document.
Many doctors who signed their names are in the private sector, including colorectal surgery expert Dr Chu Kin-wah, and ophthalmologist and outspoken supporter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Dr Chow Pak-chin.
Playwright Candace Chong Mui Ngam, who is married to a public doctor, wrote on her Facebook on Tuesday: “Not all doctors are concerned only about their work or business. My husband and his colleagues have been concerned about society and politics.”
She shared a picture of the doctors’ petition and said: “I can say for sure that those 500 signatures do not represent my husband.”