In this May 30, 2019 photo, John Lee Ka-chiu, Secretary for Security meets media on the extradition bill at Central Government Offices. (ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong’s security chief appealed to members of the public on Wednesday not to turn discontent with government policies into enmity toward frontline police officers.
The HKSAR government said on Saturday it will suspend the rendition bill legislative process indefinitely, and make efforts to heal the social divide
At a meeting of the full Legislative Council, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu expressed concern after it was revealed that the names and photos of more than 200 frontline officers had appeared in online posts recently. Most of the officers had been involved in the operation to deal with the violent protest against the city’s extradition bill last week.
Some internet forums also urged netizens to search for personal information on family members of the officers, and subject their children to bullying in schools.
During a question-and-answer session, Lee said whatever views the public may have on police conduct, they should understand that officers were merely performing their duties.
He hopes the controversies and disputes can be resolved through peaceful and rational means.
The city, he said, still needs the police to safeguard public security.
Lee also apologized to Hong Kong people for the deficiencies in his work in connection with the extradition law amendments.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Saturday it will suspend the rendition bill legislative process indefinitely, and make efforts to heal the social divide.
Lee promised to continue supporting the chief executive and the SAR’s governance in accordance with the law in various fields in the next three years.
Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung on Wednesday said the police will investigate the cyberbullying targeting officers, and support colleagues and their families who are experiencing frustrations.
A group of Hong Kong residents show their support for police officers outside Mong Kok Police Station on Wednesday. PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY
Representatives of the Hong Kong United Youth Association met officers at police headquarters in Wan Chai on Wednesday to express gratitude to the police force for their role in handling the recent protests.
The Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organizations plans to donate HK$1 million (US$128,000) to the police force.
Meanwhile, in a letter to all civil servants on Tuesday night, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she was “indebted” to the police for their devoted service, and “saddened” by tension between officers and protesters in the past two weeks.
“For everyone of you, the anxiety caused is deeply regretted,” she wrote in the letter.
Lam admitted in the letter, which was sent after she made an apology to the public in a televised address on Tuesday, that her judgment of the sensitivity of the extradition bill had been inadequate, and that there had been deficiencies in handling the legislative process.
She expressed her gratitude to colleagues in the Security Bureau and the Department of Justice for their dedication and professionalism, and apologized for the disruption and inconvenience caused to every colleague at Central Government Offices, which was forced to close in the past few days due to security concerns.
“Serving the public is my lifelong career and I remain committed to lead,” Lam wrote.
HONG KONG NEWS