My Take

Fight back and turn bullies into wimps

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 April, 2015, 1:05am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 April, 2015, 2:15pm

Rural leaders just aren't what they used to be.

These big men of the New Territories - though many are small in stature - still intimidate locals to get their way. But when an 85-year-old woman fought back, one of them became a cry baby and called the police for help. Unbelievably, police arrested the old lady, Lau Oi-kiu, for allegedly jabbing a finger in the face of Hau Chi-keung.

You may remember Hau was the chairman of the Sheung Shui Rural Committee who was found guilty last week of dumping massive amounts of waste on Lau's farmland, which sits adjacent to lots since developed with houses and a large swimming pool by Hau.

The manly Hau refused to go to the hospital for a medical check-up, so there was no physical evidence the elderly woman caused him harm, or if she poked a finger at him at all. He claimed his eye hurt. What, from the sun? Yet, the officers arrested the old lady on the say-so of a rural bully. What a waste of manpower and abnegation of common sense.

If anyone had cause to be angry, it would be Hau, who just lost a case to Lau that would cost him and a real estate agent HK$1.41 million as compensation to Lau.

The judge in the case was scathing in his criticism of Hau and the agent. "They behaved in an utmost high-handed and outrageous manner," he wrote. "Although they knew that Lau, an old lady, had been farming on the [land] for decades, they disregarded her rights and interests completely. It is most disturbing that they did not shy away or stop the wrongful acts even though various government authorities had intervened."

The court heard Hau and another man bought land near Lau's fields for HK$5 million in 2005. Lau claimed Hau began threatening her in March 2009. The threats continued even after reports were made to various government departments.

Waste was first dumped on her land in May 2009. This continued for months until workers covered her land with soil.

Hau told the court he knew nothing about the incident or who built the pool and a wall around Lau's land. The judge dismissed him as "a poor witness" and ordered the million-dollar compensation.

As we all know, bullies are usually wimps once you fight back.