Exco officials look at what's gone wrong

Top News | Sophie Hui and Stella Wong 17 Jun 2019

Executive councillors Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and Ronny Tong Ka-wah suggest the administration will not have the political energy to push the fugitive law bill in the remaining period of its term, so the suspension of the amendment means to shelve it.

Ip also said on TVB that Carrie Lam has apologized to the pro-establishment camp, which always supported her.

But she said the chief executive should also apologize to Hongkongers as the suggested amendments to the fugitive law have raised concerns of people, a loss of support of the business sector and caused stock market turmoil.

Ip saw a poor effort by officials in seeking to explain the bill to people.

"I received the booklet explaining the amendments last week," she said. "It's like a textbook. Who would understand it?"

She said people would not be interested in reading it in the battle of public opinion. The opposition "can beat you in one slogan, or one title, or one picture," Ip said.

Tong, speaking on a radio program, said political considerations outweighed social justice in the hold going on the extradition bill. He said too that Lam should not resign over the issue.

He was also disappointed many opinion makers did not express impartial and objective views.

Lam is "a very capable official," Tong went on, and she had also been moved by the words of the mother of the victim in the Taiwan murder case that had led her into the amendment action. But she did not expect the matter would turn into a serious political struggle.

And it would be unfair to hold her accountable, Tong said.

He went on to suggest there was a need for a government department with officials who could read public opinion accurately.

Tong also criticized a judge who objected to the amendments, saying he should resign as he had abandoned the rule of law and lost trust.

The conclusion of Tong's words on radio led to Raymond Mak Ka-chun quitting the Path of Democracy think tank, which was founded by Tong. Mak opposed amending the fugitive law.

Meanwhile, Lam Chi-wai, chairman of the Police Junior Officers' Association, thanked members for their effort in a difficult time.

He said officers were under huge pressure after "the rioting" on Wednesday.

They got blamed on the streets and suffered from cyberbullying.

He also said many people were blind as they could not see "rioters throwing bricks at police officers" and "sending flying metal rods toward police officers' hearts." They could only see "students claiming to be unarmed" being dispelled by police.

And no matter what views officers hold about the fugitive bill, Lam said, they can be relied upon to stand in the front line to maintain public order.

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