Pro­tect po­lice’s dig­nity

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK COMMENT -

Pri­mary school teacher Lam Wai-sze drew con­dem­na­tion from all cor­ners of so­ci­ety af­ter she ver­bally abused of­fi­cers on duty ear­lier this month. Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying re­it­er­ated sup­port for the Hong Kong Po­lice Force on Sun­day and made it clear that so­ci­ety must not al­low ill-mo­ti­vated in­di­vid­u­als to take ad­van­tage of the re­straint po­lice of­fi­cers ex­er­cise in pub­lic, and em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing the au­thor­ity and dig­nity of the po­lice.

It must be noted that the re­straint po­lice of­fi­cers ex­er­cise while do­ing their job does not mean they are weak and can be bul­lied at will. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of po­lice re­straint to chal­lenge law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties equals at­tack­ing Hong Kong’s rule of law and there­fore must not be tol­er­ated. Lam re­sorted to ex­treme vul­gar­ity by swear­ing at po­lice of­fi­cers on duty with the “f-word” re­peat­edly. Her hor­ri­ble be­hav­ior was recorded on video and seen across the In­ter­net. Rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties should use the clips as ev­i­dence to press charges against her in a court of law to pro­tect the dig­nity of the po­lice.

Hong Kong’s rule of law is sa­cred and no one is al­lowed to at­tack it un­der po­lit­i­cal pre­tence or am­bush the CE and other govern­ment of­fi­cials with vi­o­lence when they visit lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. The po­lice must han­dle such of­fend­ers ac­cord­ing to law to pro­tect our rule of law.

The Hong Kong SAR po­lice are an ex­cel­lent law-en­force­ment ap­pa­ra­tus, whose mem­bers are well trained to the high­est stan­dard and ca­pa­ble of stay­ing calm and ex­er­cis­ing ad­e­quate re­straint in front of in­creas­ingly rad­i­cal pro­test­ers to en­sure fair and just ex­e­cu­tion of their duty. That is why it has won re­spect and praise from peo­ple across the so­cial spec­trum.

Un­for­tu­nately the more rad­i­cal mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion camp have be­come more bel­liger­ent than ever in re­cent years, as they re­peat­edly chal­lenged po­lice of­fi­cers on duty with ver­bal abuse and even vi­o­lent at­tacks when the lat­ter tried to main­tain pub­lic or­der and pro­tect in­no­cent by­standers. Front­line of­fi­cers have been un­der grow­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal pres­sure to keep un­ruly pro­test­ers in check as peace­fully as they can.

Some mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion see po­lice re­straint as a sign of weak­ness and have been mount­ing their chal­lenge on po­lice au­thor­ity. The re­cent out­ra­geous be­hav­ior of school teacher Lam Wai-sze is a per­fect ex­am­ple of po­lit­i­cal prej­u­dice tram­pling upon the rule of law and must be dealt with ap­pro­pri­ately to re­mind the op­po­si­tion that no one can ob­struct law en­force­ment with­out con­se­quence.

This is an ex­cerpted trans­la­tion of a Wen Wei Po edi­to­rial pub­lished on Aug 12.

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