'I am so shocked and angry ... I will not tolerate such vicious acts,' says the chief executive
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen led the condemnation yesterday of the cold-blooded attack on a seven-year-old boy in Kwai Tsing who may be left with permanent damage.
Two masked men chopped Shum Ho-yin as he returned home with his grandmother from a private tutorial centre at Lei Muk Shue Estate on Thursday night.
Wai Yuk-leung, chief of services at Yan Chai Hospital's department of orthopaedics and traumatology, said the boy's condition - earlier critical - was now serious but stable. But Dr Wai warned he may have suffered permanent damage.
He was chopped six times on the right forearm, suffering two bone fractures and cuts to his muscles and tendons.
'The boy may end up with his right arm shorter than the other arm in future. But it is still too early to determine the extent of the damage,' Dr Wai said.
He will receive psychological counselling to overcome any possible mental disturbance caused by the violent attack
Mr Tsang said he was sickened by the attack.
'This incident can be described as angering both God and men, and I am so shocked, saddened and angry by it.
'I will not tolerate such vicious acts in our society, and Hong Kong people will also want us to ensure that those responsible will not get away with it.'
Mr Tsang sent Ho-yin three Chinese-language books on nature, general knowledge and world civilisation along with a get-well card.
Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said: 'I feel deeply outraged and strongly condemn the barbaric and inhumane action of the assailants.'
District councillor Chan Yuen-sum called for more police to patrol the area to prevent further violent crime and said social workers would be available in the coming days if residents needed to talk.
'We are very worried that a lot of residents and children here will say they are afraid to go out and are worried about their safety in the neighbourhood,' he said. 'But we want to say this is only an isolated case.'
Lo Kit-ying, senior services coordinator at the community centre where Ho-yin had private tuition, said: 'He started with us in April or May, spending five weekdays from 2pm to 5pm with us. He is a good boy and very outgoing. He gets along with the other children at the centre.'
Chief Superintendent Ma Wai-luk said he had never come across a case of a premeditated attack against a child in his life.
He would not say if the police would offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprits. He urged taxi drivers to contact police on 2631 8437 as witnesses reported the men had arrived and fled by taxi.
A number of people visited Yan Chai Hospital yesterday to give Ho-yin flowers and gifts.
'I find the whole thing terrifying and every Hong Kong person should feel the same,' one woman said. 'I will pray for the boy.
Last night a fund was set up by Commercial Radio and the Hong Kong Society for the Aged (HKSA) to use as a reward for information on the attack and to pay for Ho-yin's medical and living expenses.
Donations can be made at Hang Seng Bank at the HKSA account no 761-1005424.