Time for Hong Kong protesters to grow up

By Henry Lui, Sha Tin College
By Henry Lui, Sha Tin College |

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Some protests against parallel traders from the mainland have turned violent.

Blunt, politically-incorrect, insensitive, porcupine-haired, saviour of the English language. These phrases have all been used to describe me as a writer (actually, the porcupine one is a bit of a stretch; my hair isn’t all that spikey). Hence, the idea of me being the omnibenevolent dictator of moral conduct is about as imaginable as Putin being the bringer of world peace. 

Unfortunately, recent events have forced me to adopt said role. In the past month, a series of so-called “anti-parallel trading” protests took place in several shopping centres around the New Territories. The wild gangs waved their pathetic little colonial-era flags -as if they were some sort of magic wand- whilst chanting friendly, welcoming spells such as “Mainlanders go die” and other phrases that aren’t suitable to publish in a student-oriented newspaper. So much for a peaceful, “anti-parallel trading” protest, eh? 

What’s even more ridiculous is that most of the chavs taking part in the protests don’t appear to live anywhere near the regions which they claim to be most affected by parallel trading. In fact, residents of Yuen Long were actively trying to push the demonstrators out, hurling insults, and, at times, projectiles at the gang of flag-toting animals. 

Despite being the main proponents of the 2003 “Individual Visit Scheme”, which allows tourists from the mainland to visit the city on an individual basis without having to join a tour group, the pan-democrats are still siding with these miserable bigots. The scheme, which the pan-democrats gallantly supported, effectively opened the floodgates to millions of mainland visitors. Perhaps they were hoping that we would’ve forgotten by now (I sure haven’t, despite being 4 years-old at the time). 

Even if the brats responsible for these protests were truly against the issue of parallel trading, rather than the mainlanders themselves, their actions have only proved to us, and the rest of the world, that they are nothing but a bunch of immature, uniformed, and racist riff-raff (not the terrible rapper). No matter what they do, they still won’t be able to stop the ever-growing influx of mainland tourists. 

There will of course be a small amount of mainlanders who will be “scared away” from the city by these acts of hate, but many will still come for the relatively cheap, higher quality goods that are available in Hong Kong. Though the idea may seem a bit far-fetched, we could alleviate the burden on our infrastructure by building more malls by the border. Visitors would no longer have to traverse Hong Kong to buy goods while we still get to keep all the revenue that comes from these shoppers. Kicking and screaming, however, will not benefit any of us.

You know that something has gone terribly wrong when I, an insensitive idiot, have to come out and tell you that the moral line has been crossed. What could’ve been a civilised debate on our visa policy has turned into a full-out campaign against mainlanders, widening the schism between us and our mainland friends. Our city is known for its pragmatic approach in solving problems, we have to start searching for practical, civil solutions to our issues instead of acting like a group of uneducated prats.