Former Ming Pao columnist Chris Wat Wing-yin, who has changed her views from pro-democracy to pro-Beijing in recent years, said last year’s Umbrella Movement lured many Hong Kong people into committing crimes and attracted “mentally unsound people“ to join its cause, Metro Daily reported Monday.
Speaking in a seminar at the Hong Kong Book Fair, Wat said Hong Kong people’s law-abiding spirit was weakened by the pro-democracy protests.
She also said the police force was wrong in adopting a “service delivery” approach in handling the protesters, instead of sticking to its “law enforcement” duties.
For instance, the consequences would be “unimaginable” if the police even had to politely ask triad gangsters to check their Hong Kong identity cards, she said.
Wat said that during the Occupy protests, many students were afraid to express their real sentiments and chose to be a part of the silent majority.
Nathan Law Kwun-chung, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, told Metro Daily that the most problematic person should be Wat herself as her views were contradicted by facts.
Law said students who did not support the Occupy Movement belonged to the minority.
In the same seminar, Carmen Poon Lai-king, a member of Leung Chun-ying’s campaign team in 2012, said last year’s protests hurt the students most because many of them were used as political pawns.
She said the Occupy Movement turned schools into battlefields and candidates for university vice-chancellor were judged according to their stand on the pro-democracy movement.
Commentator Yuen Kei-wan said the youth were near-sighted, thinking that democracy could solve everything.
Yau Lop-poon, editor-in-chief of Yazhou Zhoukan, disagreed with the Hong Kong Journalists Association that press freedom in the territory is at its worst.
He said Hong Kong is enjoying the peak of press freedom because all news can be reported in the city.
Translation by Charis Heung
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