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Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 11:25
Unmasking the cowards
By Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 11:25 By Staff Writer

It has been three months since masked rioters viciously attacked police officers guarding the SAR government offices and Legislative Council building in Admiralty on June 12, and brazen acts of violence and vandalism are still happening on an almost daily basis. As a result, a public outcry by law-abiding residents has been getting stronger and stronger. They want the government to introduce anti-mask legislation soon to deter illegal acts by radical protesters taking advantage of their anonymity. Hong Kong must have anti-mask laws to fight crime committed by cowards emboldened by their hidden identities.

By attacking police stations and police officers, starting fires in commercial districts, blocking the main traffic arteries and trashing MTR stations, these rioters have shown total defiance of the law. They have no intention of concealing their aims of destroying Hong Kong’s rule of law, one of our society’s core values and a cornerstone of the city's success. But they have every reason to want to conceal their identities as they are fully aware their behavior is illegal and unacceptable to any society by any standard.

To evade justice, they have insisted on hiding their identity from the very beginning. Other than masking their faces, destroying CCTV cameras in the vicinity is another way to cover up who they are while committing crimes in public areas. Like those who spread radical and hateful messages on social media, these rioters crave for anonymity as it affords them a sense of safety and confidence. This kind of mentality is also behind acts of terrorism, which is why so many Western countries have adopted anti-mask laws, including some members of the European Union, Canada and many states in the US.

Ironically, those Western countries have been staunch supporters of the masked rioters in Hong Kong in the past three months even though they witnessed numerous human rights abuses and even terrorism amid what they hail as "the fight for freedom and democracy" - another name for double-standards, hypocrisy and state terrorism through "proxy war", or "color revolution". One may very well assume they find nothing wrong in the symbols of terrorism on Hong Kong streets and the subway system, either. That is also a reason why Hong Kong should have its own anti-mask laws - like Western democracies.


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