As the extradition bill saga drags on, the Hong Kong government appears to be making the wrong move every time.
But all is not lost. Here are my suggestions to the administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on how to resolve the crisis:
First, set up an independent investigation committee. However, the inquiry will only cover superintendents and other high-level police officers.
The more than 20,000 officers at the rank-and-file level will be excluded from the probe.
That way, the government will answer the call for a probe on whether police used excessive force in recent clashes with protesters. At the same time, the investigation will not affect frontline officers or hurt their morale.
Second, withdraw the extradition bill altogether.
Third, the government should be lenient with protesters who were not involved in any serious assaults.
In fact, government sources have told media that “the police tended to let protesters off lightly” on June 17, after 2 million people took to the streets the day before, as long as they were not involved in violent attacks.
Although any proposal could be seen as unacceptable by some people, I believe if the government carried out these suggestions, most of the protesters would be pacified.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 25
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
– Contact us at [email protected]