The incident started on July 14 when Alpais Lam Wai-sze was angry at police officers for not stopping violent actions by the Hong Kong Youth Care Association, a pro-communist group, against Falun Gong. Lam, an award-winning primary school teacher who shouted obscenities at the Hong Kong police last month, aroused much attention.
Detractors put up a slogan in front of her school and school authorities also pressured her to apologize in the newspaper and to police station and to society. That aroused indignation from many Hong Kong people. Why were the authorities trying to make a big fuss over this? It triggered a rally of teacher Lam supporters and detractors on the streets of Hong Kong.
The incident escalated when Chief Executive C.Y. Leung asked the education minister on Sunday Aug 25 to file a report to him about this. The Executive Council of Hong Kong (ExCo) was split on the wisdom of the Chief Executive’s intervening.
Ho Sau Lan, a lawmaker from pan-democratic party, said:
“I have never heard of previous leaders asking a minister to report on a teacher’s behavior. The Chief Executive is introducing denunciation and Cultural Revolution style to H.K.—spreading white terror to H.K.”
ExCo member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said Leung should not intervene personally in Lam’s case. His remarks are too high profile.
In the Apple Daily, a local newspaper, columnist Li Yi asked:
“Where is Hong Kong at today?” This is “a moment of attack on Hong Kong’s undoubted core values,” he wrote, which people here broadly understand as involving freedom of speech and an independent judiciary. Leung, Li suggested, is building a kind of “Hong Kong-Communist Party alliance.”
He praised Lam for her courage. “Lam Wai-sze, who has well-defined likes and dislikes, isn’t afraid to bellow in the face of power,” he wrote;
“Hong Kong people who enjoy their freedom have no right to criticize her, but should respect her. Teacher Lam Wai-sze, you have no need to apologize. You are a model Hong Kong person.”
We will keep close watch as this incident keeps unfolding.
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