The savage assault on legislator Albert Ho Chun-yan has had at least one salutary effect: it brought together leaders of the community to reaffirm Hong Kong's values and oppose the use of violence. Mr Ho is a leading light in the pro-democracy camp, but even those who do not share the same political views have been loud in their condemnation of Sunday's attack. For example, legislator Lau Kong-wah of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong called the incident 'shocking', and urged the police to pay closer attention to threats against lawmakers. Many members of the Legislative Council, especially those in the pro-democracy camp, have been threatened with violence for criticising either the Hong Kong government or Beijing. Only this week, it was disclosed that legislator Leung Kwok-hung had received a death threat, in a letter containing a razor blade, for his opposition to the covert surveillance bill. A similar threat, also including a cutter blade, was received by legislator Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, leader of the Civic Party, the day after the passage of that legislation. Lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing's offices have been subjected to an arson attack and smeared with faeces. It is disturbing that the police are reported to take such incidents lightly. They seemingly take the view that people who utter such threats, while going a bit too far, are simply exercising their right to freedom of expression. Police Commissioner Dick Lee Ming-kwai, however, asserted that his officers had solved a third of all complaints brought by legislators. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen denounced the latest attack, saying he was determined to have the thugs brought to justice. However, such words are all too familiar, having also been uttered in the aftermath of previous, similar incidents - such as the chopper attacks on then radio talk-show host Albert Cheng King-hon and journalist Leung Tin-wai. Unfortunately, the perpetrators were never brought to justice in those cases. If that happens this time, too, it will further tarnish the reputation of Hong Kong's police force. What's more, those who continue to receive threats - and there are many in public life who do - may decide that discretion is the better part of valour. That could have a chilling effect on all of Hong Kong society, as the voices of those opposed to injustice are stilled or toned down. As if to pre-empt speculation that the attack on Mr Ho in any way involved the pro-China camp, the pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao quickly declared on Monday that the attack had nothing to do with politics. Mr Ho, after all, is the secretary-general of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movements of China. 'Even though the victim is a political figure, political factors can basically be eliminated,' it said. 'Hong Kong is a democratic society where the rule of law holds sway and the holding of different political views will not result in threats to anyone's life. 'Moreover, according to the Basic Law, legislative councillors enjoy immunity from legal action in respect of their statements at meetings of the council, and are not subject to arrest when attending or on their way to a meeting of the council. Their safety is guaranteed.' Indeed, it is extremely unlikely that the pro-Beijing camp was involved. Mr Ho is regarded as a moderate member of the pan-democratic camp. He is a core member of a group that supports Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands - also claimed by Japan - and regularly takes part in anti-Japanese demonstrations. So, Beijing may see him as a patriot. Mr Ho is said to suspect that the attack stemmed from his work as a solicitor. The police say they are looking into Mr Ho's political activities, his involvement in party affairs, his legal work and his personal affairs. It's ironic that the victim is being investigated. But if this results in the criminals being apprehended, we can all feel a bit more at ease. Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based writer and commentator.