Re­spect po­lice of­fi­cers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK COMMENT - LEE YAU- KEI The author is a cur­rent af­fairs com­men­ta­tor. This is an ex­cerpted trans­la­tion of his ar­ti­cle pub­lished in Hong Kong Com­mer­cial Daily on Aug 16.

A pri­mary school teacher’s ver­bal abuse of po­lice of­fi­cers keep­ing pub­lic or­der in the street has trig­gered heated de­bates through­out the city. The in­ci­dent has gripped so much at­ten­tion be­cause it con­cerns a pop­u­lar moral stan­dard, civic char­ac­ter, a teacher’s qual­ity and the dig­nity of the po­lice force.

The over­all stan­dard of the Hong Kong Po­lice Force (HKPF) is very high. It is a highly dis­ci­plined law-en­force­ment unit ded­i­cated to serv­ing the pub­lic justly and fairly with ad­e­quate tol­er­ance for dif­fer­ent opin­ions as well as am­ple re­spect for peo­ple’s in­di­vid­ual rights and in­ter­ests. It is safe to say the HKPF is one of the best po­lice forces in the world.

There are many coun­tries in the world where the pres­i­dents and leg­is­la­tors are all elected by pop­u­lar vote, but are they “true democ­ra­cies” as some peo­ple claim? One can reach their own con­clu­sion by look­ing at how their po­lice forces do their jobs, whether hu­man rights are well pro­tected as well as how well their ad­min­is­tra­tive and ju­di­cial sys­tems op­er­ate.

For ex­am­ple, it has been three years since the Manila Hostage Cri­sis, in which eight Hong Kong res­i­dents were mur­dered and seven in­jured by a dis­charged Philip­pine po­lice­man, who held them hostage for 10 hours be­fore shoot­ing them in cold blood. The vic­tims and their fam­i­lies have not been given the clo­sure they de­serve to this day.

It is the po­lice’s job and re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain pub­lic se­cu­rity and or­der any­where in the world. The HKPF has done an ex­cel­lent job pro­tect­ing Hong Kong res­i­dents’ lives and properties. Imag­ine what would have hap­pened if the po­lice of­fi­cers did not show up to keep the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol in Mong Kok the other day.

The teacher’s name-call­ing in­ci­dent should be wrapped up as soon as pos­si­ble, but it will al­ways re­mind us: re­spect the HKPF and re­spect po­lice of­fi­cers on duty, please!

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