Ambrose Lee slammed over 'inappropriate' kidnapping case remarks

April 30, 2015 13:34
Anti-establishment protests may have emboldened criminal elements in society, Hong Kong's former security secretary Ambrose Lee (middle) has suggested, following a brazen kidnapping-for-ransom incident in the city. AFP, HKEJ, Apple Daily

Hong Kong's former security secretary Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong has drawn criticism for suggesting that the recent pro-democracy protests have emboldened criminal elements in society.

During a DBC radio program Wednesday, Lee said anti-government demonstrations and frequent clashes with police have led to reduced fear of the law, which has led to incidents such as the latest kidnapping case in the city. 

He was referring to the abduction, and subsequent release for huge ransom, of a 29-year-old woman -- an event that is making headlines in the city right now.

Hong Kong police are currently hunting for six people who are hiding out after kidnapping a woman – believed to be a granddaughter of the late Bossini fashion chain founder Law Ting-pong -- and collecting HK$28 million (US$3.6 million) ransom money in return for her release.

Animosity shown by some people towards the police has emboldened criminals, Lee said, indirectly pointing fingers at the recent anti-government protesters.

Lee, currently serving as a National People's Congress deputy, said acts by some radical citizens and demonstrators, including challenging the law enforcement officials and slandering the police, won't be good for Hong Kong people in the long run.

The latest kidnapping case is emblematic of the situation where respect for law is getting eroded, Lee said.

The comments drew swift criticism from some observers, including Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Lee's remarks linking the kidnapping incident to the pro-democracy protests are very inappropriate, To said, calling on the former security chief to take back his words.

Mentioning the kidnapping case and the Occupy or civil disobedience movement in the same breath amounts to defaming the people fighting for democracy, To said.

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