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The Legislative Council Panel on Security held a special meeting today (16 February) to follow up the riot in Mong Kok during the Lunar New Year. The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) is distressed and angry about the incident, and we reiterate our condemnation of the rioters’ violence. As the sectoral representative of the industry and commerce, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the general public, we say NO to violence and illegal activities, and support the police taking strict enforcement action.
The BPA launched the “Anti-mob, Pray for Hong Kong” signature campaign last week, and collected almost 3,500 signatures from citizens in only three days, reflecting the public have been fed up with violence.
Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, BPA Chairman, pointed out that this violent incident was organized and premeditated to take place in the crowded city center. It flagrantly disrupted public order and severely impacted the rule of law, the harmony as well as the security of Hong Kong. The negative impacts also expanded to the economic development, particularly the retailing and catering industries and the SMEs.
Mr Andrew Leung thought that the Mong Kok riot had already damaged the image of stability, prosperity and security of Hong Kong, which has been built for years in the world, and harmed the investment confidences of the investors.
“Unless the problem has solemnly addressed, the investor will reexamine the value of investment in Hong Kong, some may even withdraw their investment. Tourists’ sentiment of traveling to Hong Kong may also be affected, the Hong Kong economy will then be irreversibly damaged, which will gravely harm the business, professional, SMEs, and even people’s daily life.”
He reiterated that citizens can express their opinions by many different means if they are dissatisfied, but violence should never be an option. “There is no oppressive government which suppresses your opinions. You can go to the legislative council or the Office of the Ombudsman. Why don’t you choose a legal way to solve Hong Kong’s problems positively instead of tearing Hong Kong apart?”
Dr Lo Wai Kwok, BPA Vice Chairman added, violent acts should not be embellished as violence is violence. If people simply interpreted it as “dissatisfaction with society”, they were just finding excuse for the rioters that we cannot accept.
Mr Jeffery Lam Kin Fung, BPA Vice Chairman, also condemned the rioters damaged the social stability in the Mong Kok riot. He said that there are anti-mask laws prohibiting protestors from concealing their faces during the protest in western countries such as the United States. He suggested the government taking it for a reference so as to enforce the law more effectively.
On behalf of the business sector, SMEs, and the general public, the BPA says NO to violence and illegal acts! The BPA expresses gratitude to the police for their quick action of rule enforcement, arrest and prosecution of the offenders. We believe the Court will deal with the case impartially and all offenders will be brought to justice. The BPA also extended the wishes to the injured police officers and reporters, wishing them recover soon.