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Thursday, November 19, 2015, 09:08

Lessons to learn from Paris attacks

By Tony Kwok

Tony Kwok offers some practical suggestions to help guarantee that a tragedy like the terror attacks in Paris last week does not occur in Hong Kong in the future

The multi terrorist attacks in Paris on “Black Friday” causing so many deaths and injuries among totally innocent people have sent shock waves across the whole world, including many people in Hong Kong who have fond memories of Paris as a romantic city with a leisurely lifestyle. Such an act of gross brutality cannot be too strongly condemned.

Lessons to learn from Paris attacks While our hearts go out to Paris, the residents of Hong Kong should consider how fortunate they are. I remember reading not long ago an article published by CNN listing the “Ten things Hong Kong does better than anywhere else”, which included the important point that Hong Kong is the safest city with the lowest crime rate. This was also echoed in a recent article in this newspaper by my fellow commentator Paul Surtees, which I quote:

“Traveling around Hong Kong, even late at night, is pretty safe... Unfortunately,that comforting situation does not exist in other world cities such as New York, London or Paris. It is brought about largely by the efficiency and dedication of the members of the Hong Kong Police Force, which is not only Asia’s finest but is also in fact one of the least corrupt and most effective police forces to be found anywhere in the whole world.” I totally agree.

Despite this enviable umbrella of security we enjoy, some people in Hong Kong do not seem to appreciate how fortunate we are. Spearheaded by the “pan-democrats”, they instigate all kinds of severe media criticism of our police. For example, a systematic smear campaign is conducted daily on the Hong Kong Police Facebook page, maliciously aimed at demoralizing our police force. The “pan-democrat” camp, led by Emily Lau Wai-hing of the Democratic Party, has even decided to go so far as to raise the issue of “police brutality” at the forthcoming hearing of the United Nations Committee Against Torture. How devious is their mindset that they intend to blacken the image of the Hong Kong police at this international arena, thereby indirectly causing irreparable damage to the city’s safety reputation? The knock-on effect of this will gravely affect our tourism industry plus the lives of many people whose livelihoods depend on tourism.

During the 79 days of the illegal “Occupy Central” movement, we saw radicals making vicious offensive weapons for the purpose of attacking the police. They even had a bomb-manufacturing center. Thanks to the professionalism of our police and their intelligence network, these weapons were discovered before they could be used.  Had this not happened we might have witnessed our very own “Black Friday” right here in Hong Kong!

What inspires these radicals to plan such violent acts in Hong Kong?  How can they wish to see innocent civilians, both locals and tourists, mercilessly butchered? I think they were incited by those equally radical “pan-democrats” and somehow came to believe that using violence to achieve “democracy” is a noble cause. Clearly they should be stopped — a much overdue course of action in which we can take part.

The best way to stop them is for the silent majority to come out in force to demonstrate their disproval by voting out the radicals in the coming district council and Legislative Council (LegCo) elections. Their demagoguery and mindless opposition against the establishment has paralyzed progress in our community. In those seats where we do not have any obvious choice, I believe we should still go out to vote, thereby sending a clear message of our disproval of those radicals.

For the benefit of those who may disregard the local political scene and not be immediately aware of the identity of these tireless troublemakers, I draw to your attention the following painful record of their unforgiveable bad behavior aimed at causing the greatest amount of social disruption. They are candidates who either personally, or through their political parties or affiliations, have been involved in acts aimed at causing instability and divisiveness across Hong Kong. These include:

1) Offensive behavior and other disruptions during LegCo meetings;

2) Filibustering in LegCo;

3) Launching the anti-mainland tourist campaign;

4) Accepting secret political donations;

5) Masterminding plots to derail the government’s development and land plans with judicial reviews;

6) Bad-mouthing the police and exaggerating the issue of “police brutality”;

7) Inciting students to break the law during the “Occupy” campaign, “HKU protests”, etc.

Regarding the need for continuing stable government, I hope Hong Kong can learn from the recent election in Singapore where the silent majority came out in force to support the incumbent government. This would ensure Hong Kong’s future stability and progress. It would also be the most effective way of guaranteeing that the tragedy in Paris was not repeated in Hong Kong.

The author is the former deputy commissioner and head of operations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and an international anti-corruption consultant. He is also an honorary fellow, adjunct professor and honorary course director (corruption studies) of HKU SPACE.
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