Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (right), Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah (center) meet the media at the Central Government Offices, Hong Kong, July 25, 2019. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Friday reiterated its call for peaceful and rational means of expression and called on the public not to resort to violence.
The city’s Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung made the remarks when meeting with the press on Friday, before an appeal board upheld police’s objection to a planned rally in Yuen Long scheduled on Saturday.
The planned rally on Saturday is a response to attacks at Yuen Long metro station on July 21, when people clad in white assaulted commuters and passersby indiscriminately
Cheung warned against people from taking part in the rally as they might be arrested for illegal assembly, a crime punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.
The planned rally on Saturday is a response to attacks at Yuen Long metro station on July 21, when people clad in white assaulted commuters and passersby indiscriminately.
Cheung said the government understands residents’ anger over the incident and disappointment over the police’s handling of the matter.
“Whether there will be a procession or not, we cannot rule out the possibility of a large number of people turning up… But we sincerely wish that the participants would never resort to violence when expressing their discontent and pay due respect to the public order and people’s life in Yuen Long”, Cheung said hours before the Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions upheld the police’s objection to the rally.
Cheung also urged the public not to abuse the 999 emergency hotline. More than 24,000 calls were made to the hotline within 3 hours on July 21 – that translated to 133 calls in a minute – surpassing the capability of the police force, he said.
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Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah, who met the media with Cheung, conveyed the concerns of local shops and residents in Yuen Long, saying the government agreed with their appeal that participants should remain rational and restrained.
An Emergency Transport Co-ordination Center will be set up on Saturday to manage traffic in Yuen Long, said Stella Lee Yim-fong, the Transport Department’s assistant commissioner in the New Territories.
Lee urged road users to refrain from driving to Yuen Long district on Saturday and reminded them to check information on the latest situation from the department’s website and mobile application.
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