Medicine for social evil

Updated: 2014-03-25 06:57

By Staff Writer (HK Edition)

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Medicine for social evil

Hong Kong should hang its head in great shame. In any other circumstances we would feel grossly insulted if we learnt that moves were currently being considered to widen our anti-discrimination laws to protect mainland visitors from insulting and very hurtful name-calling by a handful of bigoted Hongkongers. But the sad truth is that something must be done - and done quickly - to clamp down on the disgraceful conduct of this new breed of haters of mainland visitors who are appearing on our busiest streets, especially at weekends.

A few Sundays back mainland visitors in Tsim Sha Tsui suddenly found themselves confronted by about 100 abusive protesters who called them "locusts" and "shinajin". A few carried bottles labelled "locust insecticide" which they had the temerity to squirt on to the alarmed and bewildered mainlanders.

To try to escape this unwarranted and frightening assault from their fellow countrymen in Hong Kong, groups of mainlanders tried to take shelter in some luxury shops along Canton Road but found the stores' doors being shut in their faces as shops closed abruptly in case things got completely out of hand.

Then a couple of Sundays ago a fresh batch of Hong Kong messengers of hate appeared in Causeway Bay, dressed as Red Guards and strutting along to the music of revolutionary songs - but quickly breaking off to hurl insults at any mainlander they could find in the crowd.

It is with this backdrop that the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Chairman Dr York Chow said on Monday that the EOC will in the third quarter of the year study the possibility of revising the city's anti-discrimination laws to cover people from the mainland. It will explore the feasibility of amending the current hate-laws to include discrimination against people on the grounds of their origin or date of arrival in Hong Kong.

Chow, former secretary for health with an established track record in administrative matters, has accepted this important challenge, said: "The EOC condemns the uncivilized behavior of the protesters to insult and humiliate tourists who have every right to be here. We are very concerned that the protesters' actions of using contemptuous and vilifying remarks may further heighten social tensions and damage Hong Kong's image as a pluralistic and friendly city. These actions are destructive to social inclusion and the basic core values of our society."

May we suggest that the good doctor prescribe some strong medicine to eradicate this odious social evil!

(HK Edition 03/25/2014 page9)