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Saturday, November 09, 2019, 00:36
Young man’s fatal fall a tragedy felt by everyone
By Yang Sheng
Saturday, November 09, 2019, 00:36 By Yang Sheng

The city is grieving over the death of a college student who suffered critical injuries in the early hours of Monday morning after falling from an upper floor in a car park in Sheung Tak Estate, Tseung Kwan O, when violent protest activities were taking place in the vicinity. The deceased, Chow Tsz-lok, a student of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, was in a coma for five days before passing away on Friday morning.

For the heavylifting, they (the opposition members) recruited youngsters, many of whom are university or even secondary students, as their foot soldiers; they have brainwashed them with specious propaganda, armed them with improvised but lethal weapons, and sent them to charge police lines

While the community is still in a state of sorrow, we cannot help but ask — how did it happen? We do not know for the time being because CCTV cameras apparently failed to capture images at the time of the tragedy. So the actual reason will not be known until a thorough police investigation, now underway, finds more details about what really happened.

Rather, it is a question of how a 22-year-old, about to receive a bachelor’s degree and with his whole life in front of him, could have ended up like this. Why did he, like many other passionate young men and women, participate during the past five months in the extradition-bill protests, which turned ugly soon after they started?

The answer is not that difficult to find. It was the opposition camp and its supporting media, together with their foreign masterminds in Western governments and political groups, who distorted the original intention of the extradition bill and then misled some members of the Hong Kong public into believing the legislation would erode their rights and freedoms and undermine the “one country, two systems” principle.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The bill was intended to plug loopholes in the existing extradition law so the SAR could return fugitives to where they had allegedly committed their crimes and thereby prevent the city from becoming a safe haven for criminals. Similar extradition arrangements exist between many jurisdictions all over the world. Many safeguards were proposed to ensure fugitives would have their human rights protected.

When Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the bill’s withdrawal, protest activities did not stop; on the contrary, they became more violent. Government buildings, police stations, businesses speaking out against them or connected to the mainland, as well as MTR stations and other public facilities have been attacked and vandalized repeatedly.

The continuation of protest activities after the government’s reconciliatory move exposed the real intentions of the extradition-bill protesters. What the opposition and their foreign masters were after was not simply withdrawal of the bill, but something much greater — discrediting the SAR government and seizing the governing power in the city. This is why the violence and vandalism have persisted unabated.

It would be naive to believe that the opposition members, many of them social and professional elites, and their rich and powerful sponsors would come to the forefront to fight for their “cause”. For the heavylifting, they recruited youngsters, many of whom are university or even secondary students, as their foot soldiers; they have brainwashed them with specious propaganda, armed them with improvised but lethal weapons, and sent them to charge police lines. Those pulling the strings behind the scenes have absolutely no regard for the safety of these young people, for police officers or for innocent bystanders. Chow was clearly a victim of the opposition’s incitement to riot. With violent clashes between police and mobs happening on a weekly and even daily basis, a loss of life was only a matter of time. It was a tragedy waiting to happen. As a matter of fact, the anti-extradition-bill forces had predicted it would happen. They wanted a “martyr”.

Having gotten what they had wished for, they readily sprung into action as scripted and are now actively taking advantage of it. Instead of reflecting on what they have done that led to the young man’s demise, they are pressing for an independent inquiry into Chow’s death, implying they had nothing to do with the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Chow’s tragedy should serve as a wake-up call to all those young people still roaming the streets. The people goading, funding and arming youths do not want anything good for Hong Kong. To those who think they are fighting for the future of Hong Kong: You must value your life and your future. Don’t serve as pawns for those with an ax to grind as you will risk ruining your life by having a criminal record.

Both Chow and veteran lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, who was attacked on Tuesday while campaigning in Tuen Mun for an upcoming District Council election, were victims of violence, which has been increasing with the approach of the District Council elections. All sectors of society must work together with the government and police to stem this rising tide of anger to make sure that we have fair elections on Nov 24.

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