What now for woman in breast assault case on cop? Supporting democracy, more protests and ... a vacation
Ng Lai-ying and boyfriend Kwong Chun-lung reflect on anti-mainland sentiments; they may launch a civil lawsuit against officers in arrest
Shipping company staff Ng Lai-ying never imagined she would make international headlines when she was found guilty of using her breast to assault a police inspector last year.
The charge may sound absurd, and the case of the “Hong Kong girl who assaulted a policeman with her breast” – as Ng was known to foreign media – triggered protests last year by women’s rights activists who took to the streets to express their bewilderment as to how breasts could be used as weapons.
Under Hong Kong law however, anyone can assault others with any part of their body.
Ng was originally jailed three months and 15 days for assaulting an inspector during a protest against mainland parallel traders last year. She failed to appeal against her conviction, but successfully overturned her jail sentence last month. She was instead ordered to serve 200 hours of community service.
In an exclusive interview, Ng and her boyfriend Kwong Chun-lung – who was also involved in the scuffle and sentenced to 12 months of probation – told the Post that as much as they were remorseful for their actions, they did not regret their beliefs.
“Before, perhaps no one ever bothered to think about what’s happening to Hong Kong. They may know us as a small metropolitan place,” Ng said.
“[My coverage] might have been blown out of proportion, but the world now knows what we are facing – that Hong Kong’s policies and politics are way worse than in 1997 [when the handover to China happened],” Ng added.
“At least the problem of parallel traders was reported,” Kwong said.
The pair, who met on the first day of the 79-day Occupy protests on September 28, 2014, also indicated that they are in the process of lodging a further appeal against their convictions.
In the last few years, tension between Hongkongers and mainlanders has run high. It boiled over in street protests last year in districts near the border as mainland sellers – also known as parallel traders – used multiple-entry visas to bring goods such as baby milk formula home to peddle at a profit, causing crowding and shortage of the necessities.
Ng, 31, and Kwong, 21, took part in the protest in Yuen Long and were arrested on March 1 last year, where they were subsequently found guilty by then Deputy Magistrate Michael Chan Pik-kiu of assaulting and obstructing police Chief Inspector Chan Ka-po.
Ng told the Post she held no grudge against mainlanders, and was even close friends with some. What she opposed, she said, were some of their uncivilised behaviours.
She recalled once having her foot run over by a luggage case a mainlander was dragging. Her friends who are mothers and live in neighbourhoods affected by the parallel trading fracas, had to travel a long way just to get baby milk formula for their newborns.
“I have [mainland] friends, too, but they are not like that, unlike those who spit on the floor, answer nature’s call [in public] and cut queues as they please … and even my mainland friends think those people are despicable,” she said.
Ng said the wave of radical protests against mainlanders last year – which saw mainlanders’ luggage bags kicked and verbal abuse hurled – stemmed from the fact that there were no channels for those who want to voice their opinions.
The government has not paid heed to this issue and also a wider range of societal problems such as the city’s democratic development, Ng said.
Kwong said this was why he voted in the recent Legislative Council elections for localist Yau Wai-ching from Youngspiration. The party comprises younger advocates who support self-determination for Hong Kong. Both Yau and her party comrade Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang won seats in Legco.
Ng would not reveal who she voted for, but said she believed having localists in Legco would provide an avenue for such voices to be heard.
The pair avoided protests since their court proceedings but said they would like to take part in one now that everything is over. They are considering protesting against the government for disqualifying some pro-independence candidates, including Edward Leung Tin-kei, from running in the September elections.
They stressed they would only attend legal and authorised protests however.
The couple may also consider lodging a civil lawsuit against the police officers involved in arresting Ng. She suffered a fractured nose after being subdued in the protest.
Kwong said he was considering politics and becoming a district councillor after completing his last semester of university study. Ng said she intended to reach out and offer emotional support to those arrested in pro-democracy protests.
What the pair wanted most now, however, was a break.
“We haven’t been allowed to travel for so long,” Kwong exclaimed.