2 Mar 2016 / Newspaper article on our concern on the recent social unrest


MingPao  2 Mar 2016

Written by Miss Lee Suet Ying, Chairperson of HKAHSS 

Newspaper article on our concern on the recent social unrest 中文原文


The violence involved in the riot that broke out in Mongkok during the early hours of the Chinese New Year day and the subsequent handling of the matter by the government raised concerns for the future of our society.


No matter who instigated the violence: citizens or the police, and no matter how high-sounding the motive behind the unrest was, we cannot accept the use of violence as an expression of our ideas or a solution to our problems. The degree of brutality we saw on the television was not a familiar face of Hong Kong. It was lucky that it did not cause any fatal injuries to people.  


We are worried that the Mongkok unrest would continue to happen. It is obvious that this was not a single incident, but rather another expression of dissatisfaction of the government in the wake of the Occupy Central movement. The unresolved anger amassed during the 79-day Occupy Central has polarized our society. Seeing that peaceful means no longer worked, some people resorted to violence. We are concerned that this anger, if not properly channelled, would incite similar violent unrest in future.


We find it hard to understand and to agree with the ways the government handled the matter. We question whether hastily classifying the incident as a riot and instituting criminal prosecutions could resolve the conflicts and the problems completely. Unfortunately the government regarded the views and analyses expressed by the media and the academics as purely excuses or justifications for the ‘rioters’ and refused to set up an independent committee to find out its causes, process and the responsibilities of parties involved. As a responsible government, it has these questions to answer: Should it endeavour to find out the real causes behind the matter? Does it have responsibility to prevent the incident from happening again? Does it have the courage to find out why there were so widespread anti-government and anti-establishment sentiment and actions among our youths?


We feel sad for the hostility towards the government expressed by student organizations of various tertiary education institutes. Can we turn a blind eye to their anti-government behaviour and their distrust of the system? Should we let such negative sentiment to spread? Would their antagonistic attitude towards the establishment hamper the healthy development of Hong Kong in future?


We hope that the result of the New Territories East by-election is a wake-up call for those who govern Hong Kong. Although the candidate who was an activist in the Mongkok unrest failed to get elected, the percentage of votes he got far exceeded those obtained by some veteran candidates. Is this telling us that his radical position has its supporters? Can the heads of the government still insist that anti-establishment radicals are only a negligible minority?  


We are afraid that these social conflicts would intensify and become more and more violent. How to have dialogues with our youths, how to rebuild their confidence in the future of Hong Kong and how to promote their participation and sense of ownership are issues that the government needs to consider carefully.


明報 2016年3月2日

香港可以如何走下去? English-version


農曆新年伊始,本該是普天同慶的日子,但初二零晨旺角街頭的對峙、打鬬,之 後的互相指責、強辭奪理,與及政府對事件的處理方法,均讓人憂心難過,更不 知多方的嫌隙、撕裂能否修補?我們的社會又如何走下去?

我們不能接受以暴力作為表達理念、解決問題的方法,無論這暴力是來自市民、 抑或來自警察,無論背後的動機如何神聖。當晚看著不同電視台的不同畫面,一 幕又一幕互相廝打,打至面容扭曲、血流披面,更有放火、有鳴槍。這是我們熟 悉的香港嗎?我們該慶幸衝突過後,並沒有人因此受到不可治療的傷害,否則, 那仇恨更無以彌補。

我們擔憂旺⻆事件會不斷重演,任誰都看得見,這次並不是單一、偶發事件,誰 真心相信這不是佔中事件後,另一場對香港政府不滿的展示?79 天的和平佔中 所累積的憤怒未有恰當的紓緩,讓社會更走向兩極化,部份人相信和平抗爭之路 走不通,惟有走向暴力。在此無意美化暴力,但一大群平常百姓,來自不同背景, 不偷不搶,但憤怒一下子爆發出來。我們擔心,一天這不滿情緒未有好好處理, 同樣的衝突、武力鬬爭將不斷零星地出現。

我們難以理解、認同政府事後的處理方法,匆匆將事件定性為「暴亂事件」,以 刑事檢控作為單一處理事件的方法,是否便能徹底化解衝突、消弭不滿、解決問 題?旺角事件過後,不少報人、學者均就事件發表個人看法,提出引發事件的種 種可能原因。可惜政府只視這些意見為替「旺角暴徒」找藉口、為他們的行為作 開脫,拒絕成立獨立調查委員會調查事件的成因、經過、責任等問題。作為一個 負責任的政府,除了跟進旺角事件留下來的種種刑責問題,是否願意深切瞭解事 件出現的真正原因? 是否有責任確保事件不會重覆出現?又是否有勇氣探討為 何一批又一批年青人出現如此反政府、反建制的情緒及行動?訴諸法庭,又是否 能防止衝突事件不再重覆出現?

我們為各大專院校學生組織對政府的敵視感到悲哀。二十多天下來,各大專院校 學生會發表的宣言無不以「官逼民反」、凡站在政府對面陣線的都支持,高牆與 雞蛋論,充斥所有媒體空間。要知這批年青人便是我們社會的接班人,他們對政 府的敵視、對制度的不信任,是不是真的可以不聞不問,任由擴散、擴展下去? 當這批孩子完成學業,走進社會,他們對建制的不妥協,會否讓香港的明天難以 健康發展?

我們期望,新界東補選結果,能敲醒執政者的固執。執筆之際,正值新界東補選 結果的公佈,打著「抗爭無底線」、積極參與旺角事件的候選人,雖未能成功取 得議席,但得票率比同期參選富經驗的政治人還要高,這是否正正顯示「無底線」 的抗爭有其市場?在約有 94 萬選民的新界東選區,最終有 6 萬多選民將他們的 票投向「抗爭主義」,執政者是否仍能堅持,支持以「暴力」反對政府施政者只 是極少數?

我們深恐社會衝突將愈演愈烈、愈走向暴力,如何與年青人好好對話、如何重建 他們對香港未來的信心、如何增加他們的擁有感與及參與感?是政府需要好好思考的課題。