Terrorism must be eradicated

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We must act now to prevent more tragedies

THE STABBING OF a Hong Kong police officer on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to mainland China on July 1 was classified as a “lone wolf terrorist attack”. The seriousness of the crime was beyond doubt. 

Yet remarks soon appeared on the Internet glorifying the attacker. Then parents brought their young children to the scene of the incident to offer flowers to “memorialize” the man who has committed a terrorist act before committing suicide. The University of Hong Kong Students’ Union Council expressed “gratefulness” to the knifeman, which was chilling. 

All this showed that there are people in society who have buried their consciences and who deliberately turn black into white. The consequences can be very serious. This incident also reflected the destructive impact of the dark storm that hit Hong Kong in 2019.

HARD TO ERADICATE

The National Security Law of Hong Kong has been in place for more than a year, and harsh words and violent deeds seem to have quiet down. However, the stabbing incident proved that the subversive forces that Western forces deployed and cultivated in Hong Kong for decades are not going to be eradicated easily, as they have profoundly affected and poisoned generations of young people. 

After the Occupy Central protests of 2014 and the violence of 2019, it is clear that some people have been completely brainwashed, and filled with hatred of China, the Communist Party, and the police. 

Up to now, people of Hong Kong have only little experience of the National Security Law, and some have not realized that support for terrorism violates it. And they should not be seeing acts of terrorism as heroic. Hong Kong has much work to do in the future to really get society back on the right track.

Police have a challenging job to do in protecting innocent people. Picture: Chromatograph/ Unsplash

BOMB ATTACKS PLANNED

In 2019, hate speech and criminal conspiracies were rampant on the Internet, many criminals are still large in the city, and web applications designed to enable illegal activity were up and running. Young people were easily led astray and manipulated into hating others.  

More recently, the Hong Kong independence terrorist group called “Returning Valiant” manipulated a group of high school students to take part in and plan a bomb attack. Fortunately, the police stopped it in time, or the consequences would have been unthinkable. Furthermore, there have been many cases involving explosives and firearms in 2019 and 2020, showing unmistakable signs that terrorism is breeding.

LAWS TOO LENIENT

What all this shows is that Hong Kong’s laws are either too soft or our sentences are too lenient. Elsewhere on the planet, people are doing everything they can to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorist attacks and threats, including regulating cyberspace. 

The year before last, Spain ordered the closure of a website that instigated crime, Tsunami Democratic, while the United States shut down sites like Parler that spread hate speech. Why does Hong Kong still allow lawbreakers to disrupt social order?

Terrorist attacks are common enemy of all mankind. We must not back down, or tragedies that we have seen elsewhere, such as the London Transport attacks in 2005, or the bombings at a church and a hotel in Sri Lanka in 2019, will come to Hong Kong soon.

LEARNING FROM SINGAPORE

Hong Kong should learn from Singapore’s efforts to combat terrorism. In October of 2019, the Lion City implemented a law against fake news which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Before that, in 2016, it conducted a national anti-terrorism campaign to strengthen citizens’ ability to respond to terrorist attacks. 

Singapore has always taken a much tougher line than Hong Kong: Picture by Adhitya/ Pexels

Hong Kong must step up its efforts to combat terrorism and safeguard its national security, particularly cybercrime. It is imperative to speed up local security legislation such as Article 23 of the Basic Law. We must also improve existing laws as soon as possible in response to protect the police, deal with false news, and powerfully combat terrorist activities. 

We must ensure that Hong Kong is a safe place for all and will not become a base for subversion. We must spare no effort to safeguard national security.

ZERO TOLERANCE

The SAR Government and the community at large must uphold zero tolerance for those who glorify violence, incite hatred, and undermine social tranquility. The government has the responsibility to put more effort into promoting the truth, strengthening legislation, improving law enforcement, increasing vigilance against terrorist attacks, and rooting out educators who spread hatred and push Hong Kong independence. It is our duty to protect our next generation. 

The Hong Kong government and the education sector should also remind parents to keep an eye on their children’s behavior at all times, especially during the summer vacation. They should pay more attention to their children, inculcate in them correct values, strengthen their law abidingness, and ensure that they say no to violence and terrorism. 

It’s the only way we can ensure that Hong Kong is not the kind of place where a police officer can be stabbed again in broad daylight.

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Dr. HU Shao Ming Herman is a Deputy of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, and Past President, Hong Kong Professionals and Senior Executives Association

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Main picture by  Adam Wilson/ Unsplash

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