23 October 2016
Earlier this month a police sergeant at the Wan Chai Police Station stole HK$1.07 million in bail money that had been kept in a safe and fled the city without a trace. Photo: HKEJ
Earlier this month a police sergeant at the Wan Chai Police Station stole HK$1.07 million in bail money that had been kept in a safe and fled the city without a trace. Photo: HKEJ

See how decadent police and pro-establishment camp have become

Once a highly respected and trusted law enforcement agency, the Hong Kong Police has degenerated into a corrupt, decadent and Gestapo-like state apparatus that is loathed by the majority of Hong Kong people.

Our police force has been engulfed by scandals and public disgrace.

Earlier this month a police sergeant at the Wan Chai Police Station stole HK$1.07 million in bail money that had been kept in a safe and fled the city without a trace.

The government just turned a blind eye to the incident.

Even more ridiculous was that, according to media reports, a 70-year-old man who went to that police station for bail extension shortly after the theft had taken place was told by police officers on duty to sign on a waiver of claims regarding the bail money which he had posted earlier, and which had gone missing along with the fugitive sergeant.

After the incident had come to light, the police management quickly came to the defense of the Wan Chai station, arguing that it was only a misunderstanding and offering a public apology.

However, the police officialdom has so far remained both equivocal and evasive about whether the Wan Chai station should be held accountable for the theft of the bail money and whether the police officers who asked the man to sign the waiver would be suspended and subject to discipline.

It is hardly the first time the police force is trying to conceal its wrongdoings.

Over the past few years the department has come under fire for showing partiality towards officers who have breached the police code of conduct or even committed criminal offenses.

For instance, almost two years on, the police department still hasn’t pressed charges against the now retired police superintendent Franklin Chu King-wai who was caught on camera beating up an innocent passer-by with a police baton in Mong Kok during the Occupy protests in 2014.

On the other hand, the Department of Justice took its time in pressing charges against the seven plainclothes police officers who were also caught on camera beating up Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, a protester and member of the Civic Party, at a dark street corner near the Central Government Offices during the protests.

The fact that our law enforcement agency has gone to great lengths to cover up its own mistakes and harbor officers who have broken the law will not only have negative and far-reaching implications for its relations with the public, but will also further undermine the credibility of the current administration which has already hit an all-time low.

Apart from our police force which has already fallen from grace in the public eye, equally disappointing is a recent scandal involving members of the pro-establishment camp that indicates these people are no more than a bunch of low-life political thugs with no integrity whatsoever.

Last week, according to media reports, several members of a delegation representing the CA Legal Exchange Foundation on a visit to Beijing led by barrister Lawrence Ma, a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), were found hanging out at a karaoke hostess bar somewhere in Beijing at night during their trip, and pictures showing them cuddling bar girls have gone viral on social media.

Shortly after news and images of their “erotic safari” hit the headlines, Maria Tam Wai-chu, a member of the Basic Law Committee, and lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, both of whom honorary advisers to the CA Legal Exchange Foundation, quickly dissociated themselves from the organization and expressed strong disapproval of the conduct of the members of its Beijing delegation.

Also rushing to disavow any connection with the foundation was former DAB chairman and lawmaker Tam Yiu-chung, who denied, on behalf of his party, any knowledge of that trip, and stressed that Lawrence Ma is just an “ordinary member” of the DAB and what he did didn’t represent the party at all.

The truth, however, is that Lawrence Ma is no ordinary DAB member as Tam claimed.

He actually used to be the deputy spokesperson of the DAB on judicial and legal affairs and is often regarded a rising star in the party.

The fact that the DAB leadership quickly dissociated themselves with Ma and his foundation without a moment’s hesitation in the wake of the scandal indicates that the so-called brotherhood and bonds of friendship among DAB members who, they often claim, share the same patriotic ideals, are indeed a load of crap.

As the old saying goes, nothing counts in politics apart from interest. Everyone is indeed just an expendable and replaceable part of the DAB party machine.

Once you are no longer useful or considered a liability by the party leadership, you will be ditched like a piece of garbage immediately.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 30.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal

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