Anthony Cheung predicts more violence from Carrie Lam inactionLocal | 26 Aug 2019 12:02 pm
A former senior official Anthony Cheung warned today that if the Hong Kong government continues to sit on the extradition bill issue, violence would continue to escalate and this could end in direct intervention by the central government, RTHK reports.
The former secretary for transport and housing also said nobody would like to see Beijing stepping in directly to quell protests.
Cheung was among those who took part in a closed-door meeting with Chief Executive Carrie Lam who was gathering views on how to set up a dialogue platform amid the political impasse.
Speaking on a radio program, Cheung said it would be difficult for any talks to start, because there would be no basis for any mutual trust if the government does not “do something.''
He said now that the government has announced the extradition bill is “dead,'' if society has any doubt, the administration should withdraw it officially.
Cheung reiterated that he believes an independent inquiry into the saga is practical, and it’s scope does not necessarily have to overlap an inquiry planned by the Independent Police Complaints Council – which is tasked to look into allegations of police abuse of power in handling anti-extradition protests.
The former transport chief also commented on MTR Corporation’s decision to close several stations ahead of the marches over the weekend, saying the railway company is responsible for making sure trains run smoothly and safely.
He was asked whether he thinks the closure had to do with criticism by mainland newspaper People’s Daily, which said by running special trains to evacuate people from protest-hit areas, MTR was aiding protesters.
Cheung would not speculate, but conceded that “various kinds of strong views” expressed by mainland media would exert pressure on operators of public facilities.