21 November 2018
Chan Bo-kee (inset, left) and Kuoc Ho-pan appeared in a Tuen Mun court Monday. Photos: HK govt, Apple Daily
Chan Bo-kee (inset, left) and Kuoc Ho-pan appeared in a Tuen Mun court Monday. Photos: HK govt, Apple Daily

Magistrate laments loss of manners in Hong Kong

Where are the four important social bonds — the sense of propriety, justice, integrity and honor — that Hong Kong once held dear?

That was the lament of Magistrate Kelly Shui in a Tuen Mun court Monday.

Shui was presiding over a case involving two Hongkongers accused of bullying a woman and her four-year-old daughter during a protest in Tuen Mun against parallel traders on March 8.

Computer maintenance officer Chan Bo-kee, 47, and schoolboy Kuoc Ho-pan, 16, reportedly yelled at the woman and the girl, telling them to return to the mainland and demanding that the suitcase they had with them be opened for inspection.

The woman complied with the request, but Chan continued chanting slogans and spat water at the helpless pair and on the books in the suitcase, the court was told.

Passersby called police when they saw the little girl crying in fear.

Shui said the behavior of Chan and Kuoc — hurling abuse at people they thought were from the mainland without any verification – has angered the public,  Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

Their actions were simply shameful, the magistrate said.

Kuoc’s lawyer said his client, who came from a single-parent family, lacked proper social skills and fully regrets his actions.

Chan’s lawyer said his client wrongly identified the woman and her daughter as mainlanders because the mother was carrying a suitcase.

Chan apologized and offered to pay for the books he spat on.

He was ordered to pay the woman HK$800 (US$103) in compensation for the damage. 

Shui said Hongkongers have become more grumpy in recent years.

She asked if the two defendants would like to see Hong Kong turning into a place of disharmony.

The magistrate called for people to reflect on the issue.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in public.

The case is adjourned until Oct. 19 for sentencing.

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