Lam calls for public support of law enforcement
By Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi in Hong Kong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/5 16:46:55 Last Updated: 2019/10/5 17:29:02
As unprecedented violence spread across Hong Kong Friday night, and rioters caused serious damage to the city and jeopardized the safety of others, officials urged the public to support the authority in law enforcement as the anti-mask law took effect on Saturday.
From Friday night to Saturday, the way rioters attacked was shocking, and caused extreme damage. They even attacked the city's train system, including the cars and railway, damaged government buildings and targeted shops, Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, said in a televised speech on Saturday afternoon. Rioters also punched citizens who hold different political views, and continued attacking police officers, she said.
Several online videos showed that black-clad rioters, who mostly wore masks to hide their identities, attacked a JPMorgan employee in Central after he said "We're all Chinese" in Putonghua while besieged by rioters.
Such barbaric behavior of radicals, who ignored their identity as Chinese and considered themselves superior fighting for so-called freedom, outraged others as they broke the bottom-line of a civilized society like Hong Kong, observers said.
JPMorgan has not replied to a request sent by the Global Times as of press time.
Rioters also vandalized and smashed some of the branches of mainland banks in the city on Friday night, and even set fire to some branches.
All branches and personal banking centers of several mainland banks in Hong Kong, including ICBC (Asia) and China Construction Bank, were closed on Saturday morning, after rioters damaged and vandalized their ATMs on Friday night. Some of those banks earlier condemned violent illegal acts that hurt the finance sector, a pillar to the city's growth.
"The city continues to sink," a financial industry representative said, noting that the government has to stop the violence by whatever means, as violence is leading Hong Kong into abyss.
Meanwhile, more than 20 major shopping malls, convenience stores and other entertainment places remained closed on Saturday, according to local media reports.
PARKnSHOP Supermarket HK said on its Facebook page that its shops would remain closed for a day to protect its customers and staff.
Former chief executive CY Leung condemned the riots on Friday night, claiming that Hong Kong experienced the largest rampage since World War II, and MTR train services were paralyzed this morning.
"No other city in the world was wrecked by its own residents like in Hong Kong last night," he said.
Lam also noted that some opposition groups criticized the government for bypassing LegCo on the anti-mask law, which she said was groundless.
"The government made the decision in accordance with law and acted in an appropriate way," she said. Also, the Hong Kong High Court rejected a motion against the anti-mask law, which showed that the court agreed that the law is aimed at ending violence, the chief executive said.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club also made special arrangements, given the current situation. "Considering the safety of our employees and customers, all off-course betting branches will be closed for business today, while the operator services of Telebet and Customer Care hotline will be suspended from 5 pm," it said in a statement on Saturday.
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