Mong Kok riot

Edward Leung finds dreams crushed by youthful immaturity in Mong Kok

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 June, 2018, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 June, 2018, 7:00pm

The young activist Edward Leung Tin-kei wanted to be a politician in Hong Kong. However, two years ago, he got carried away and, in the spur of the moment, took part in the Mong Kok demonstrations, without realising that a street scuffle over hawker stalls would turn into ugly riots that would result in the imposition of heavy sentences on him and his fellow protesters.

Many in the community, including political leaders, think the sentences are unjustified, and too harsh to serve as a deterrent or inspire those convicted to improve themselves.

Leung told the court that he had gone to Mong Kok on that day in February 2016 to support hawkers and protect the local culture of Hong Kong. But later, he “could not suppress his anger” amid the turn of events.

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Society does not like unruly mob-like behaviour, but also does not believe in destroying and crushing a person’s dreams or ambitions for the future. It should not deny Leung the chance to improve and the opportunity to learn from his mistakes, in recognition of his immaturity. This mitigation is a must.

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However, now there will be unnecessarily lengthy appeals, delays, wastage of time and money. Punishment should never look excessive, but aim to reform the offender.

A.L. Nanik, Tsim Sha Tsui