Whose fault is it?

Carmen Liu Ka-man, Heep Yunn School
Carmen Liu Ka-man, Heep Yunn School |

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When you see people protesting and shouting in rage on television, how do you feel? Do you have sympathy towards them?

I am sure you have heard of Zhao Lianhai's case. He's the father who has been fighting for the rights of parents whose babies became ill from drinking contaminated milk powder on the mainland.

At first, I thought it was ridiculous for the central government to put Zhao in prison, and I was really confused about why the government treated him as an enemy.

Yet, when we look carefully, we get a much clearer view of the whole incident, and we might realise it's not completely the government's fault.

Rules and regulations on the mainland have always been quite strict. This is understandable as it has a huge population of more than 1.3 billion people - it's the world's most populous country. It's no easy task to govern so many people. The central government needs to be strict to maintain control over its people. Whether this is good or not depends on how courts interpret the strict rules and regulations.

For example, it is illegal to disrupt the peace. But the judge should not punish someone if they only shouted on the street and kicked a rubbish bin. But if someone deliberately spreads a rebellious message to the public, they should be punished.

I think the central government has too little confidence in its people. I think if the government takes the time to explain its stance, the people will understand and follow the rules. Using force is not a solution.

I hope the central government has learned its lesson and Zhao will be the last political victim.