The stabbing of an on-duty police officer by a "lone wolf" assailant and several other incidents with terrorist overtones in the past couple of days in Hong Kong clearly show that underneath the surface of law and order are undercurrents of discontent, grievances and even hatred among a substantial section of the Hong Kongers whose political aspirations and expectations have been dashed by the National Security Law for Hong Kong and the rigorous enforcement of local laws by the Hong Kong police.
There is always the possibility that in the days ahead similar incidents and other larger-scale actions by these angry and desperate people will take place. While these terrorist actions have to be condemned in the strongest possible terms, it is imperative that a greater sense of vigilance and alertness is developed in society; and there is no room for complacency.
Hostile external and internal forces in all likelihood will continue to incite and exploit hate crimes including terrorist attacks in order to create a sense of fear in Hong Kong with the purpose of destabilizing Hong Kong and sowing the seeds of discord between Hong Kongers and the government. More forceful actions by the police are needed and should be actively supported by Hong Kong society.
Lau Siu-kai is a professor emeritus of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies.
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