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The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) is shocked and angered by the riot that occurred in Mongkok from the night before until the next morning (February 9). The BPA strongly condemns the acts of violence and extend its sympathies to the police officers and journalists injured in the clashes.
Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, BPA Chairman, said the BPA shares the public’s sadness and outrage at the senseless violence. By deliberately inciting violence, the rioters have flouted the law and inflicted immeasurable damage on social order, which are completely unacceptable. It is imperative that the police carry out a thorough investigation.
Mr Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, Executive Council Member and BPA Vice Chairman, said that as city that respects and uphold law and order, Hong Kong maintains a policy of zero tolerance for violence, which include such acts as starting fires, throwing bricks, attacking the police and journalists. “Those so-called localists are riding roughshod over the rule of law and testing the patience of the general public. Are they really protecting our culture or in fact threatening Hong Kong with chaos? I think people with different political views should set aside their disputes and think about what is happening in Hong Kong.”
Mr Jeffrey Lam said police officers have shown restraint and patience during the riot. He also noted that the rioters had attacked police officers who were under-equipped and called for more resources and training be provided to law enforcement officers in coping with escalating acts of violence.
Dr Lo Wai-kwok, BPA Vice Chairman, said mob violence such as attacking police officers and journalists were at odds with Hong Kong’s core value of the rule of law. He said, “Violence is not tolerated in Hong Kong. We support the police fully and unreservedly in enforcing the law and bringing all culprits to justice.” He noted in particular the attacks on helpless journalists, actions which he described as unusual and objectionable. He thanked frontline officers and reporters for discharging their duties so diligently in maintaining social stability and ensuring the people’s right to know, and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, BPA Legislative Councillor, said that the radical localists’ acts of violence in Mongkok, one of Hong Kong’s busiest business and tourist districts, did not merely affect those living, working or visiting the area but also had wider implications in terms of undermining the rule of law and tarnishing Hong Kong’s image abroad. She said perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and urged the Legislative Council to hold a special meeting to look into the incident.
Later the same day, Dr Leung and Dr Lo visited a police officer from the Police Community Relations who was injured by brick-pelting rioters. The police officer was attacked when he was carrying out an arrest involving a young protester. Despite the unsettling experience, the officer was not deterred from continuing his youth community work. He was hopeful that members of the younger generation would learn from the incident and find ways to express themselves in an appropriate and peaceful manner.