A blatant example of hypocrisy

Updated: 2017-03-29 07:19

(HK Edition)

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A blatant example of hypocrisy

It is beyond the mental ability of the average person to comprehend why upholding the rule of law should defy efforts to seek social harmony in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Yet, members of the local opposition camp have just come out with exactly such a theory after the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to prosecute nine individuals who broke the law by organizing or participating in the illegal "Occupy Central" campaign in the fall of 2014.

It is common knowledge that "political cause" can never be an excuse for any illegal behavior under any legal system around the world. Neither the Basic Law nor the common law system Hong Kong practices exempts politically driven transgressions from the punishment of law. It is both natural and imperative for the DOJ to proceed with the prosecution against the nine "Occupy" heads after gathering enough evidence for a criminal case against them. This is what rule of law is supposed to be: Equality before the law, lest it would be eroded.

It's therefore bewildering that key figures of the opposition were outraged by prosecution of the nine. They wasted no time in venting their rage at Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, despite the fact she is now an outsider after resigning from her official position as chief secretary for administration, and that the DOJ is free from any interference in administering criminal prosecutions under Article 63 of the Basic Law.

What's even more puzzling is that some members of the opposition camp have warned that Hong Kong would be further divided because of the prosecution of "occupiers". The decision to press charges against the nine "Occupy" leaders is going to "make governance of the next administration very difficult", averred Civic Party legislator Tanya Chan Suk-chong. This is nothing short of a veiled threat to the rule of law - one of the core values Hong Kong people have cherished.

The distorted logic is that the law only applies to others and rule of law is also for others to uphold. The remark by localist lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung on the criminal case filed against former police superintendent Franklin Chu King-wai has further exposed such logic. Chu's prosecution "had come a bit too late", Law told the media. Chu was charged on the very same day with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after hitting passer-by Osman Cheng Chung-hang with his baton during the "Occupy" protests. What has made Nathan Law believe Chu should have long been prosecuted whereas their political fellow travelers shouldn't have been?

Members of the opposition had demanded the prosecution of the seven police officers accused of assaulting activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during the "Occupy" protests; they also hailed - with great enthusiasm - the conviction of the seven officers. Members of the opposition have just given Hong Kong people another blatant example of what hypocrisy and double standards are all about.

(HK Edition 03/29/2017 page8)