Forum: Troublemakers have hijacked Hong Kong protests

Protesters gathering at a blocked road at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, on Nov 14, 2019.
Protesters gathering at a blocked road at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, on Nov 14, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

What began as a peaceful protest against a proposed extradition Bill several months ago has descended into anarchy, hijacked by a group of ruthless troublemakers (HK violence spikes with man set on fire and protester shot, Nov 12).

How could I not shed a tear when watching the video of a man being mercilessly set on fire? The culprit should be brought to justice.

How could I show sympathy for the aggressive demonstrator who was shot? The lone police officer had drawn his gun to warn protesters to back off. The officer was fearful for his safety if the gun was snatched from him. This was an incident waiting to happen with a police force overstretched and on edge.

While Hong Kong police initially showed restraint with their crowd control, demonstrators have become more violent and destructive towards property.

Demonstrators were not appeased when the extradition Bill was withdrawn but instead became emboldened to call for more democracy.

Hong Kongers largely made their way to Hong Kong from southern China by both legal and illegal means. They worked hard to eke out a living and have been peaceful and law-abiding all these years.

It is sad that after a generation or two, their descendants want to disclaim their motherland.

There is a Chinese saying that "without a country there can be no home". Instead of destroying what their forefathers worked so hard to build, they should unite for a stronger Hong Kong whose prosperity is tied to China's.

Lin Howard

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'Troublemakers have hijacked Hong Kong protests'. Print Edition | Subscribe