An open letter to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR from Sonia Ng關公廟 Kwan Kung Temple
To: Ms. Carrie Lam
Chief Executive of the HKSAR
I have had reservations as to whether I should write to you. I doubt if speaking sense to you would work when you have refused to listen; I doubt if an emotional appeal would tug at your heartstrings. But I know that this letter is not written only for myself. This is a letter written on behalf of all Hongkongers who share a similar experience with me, and all the CUHK students who have been arrested. Justice will not be achieved unless we actively fight for it. I am still traumatized whenever I recall the events occurred during those 44 hours from 31st August to 2nd September: that scene, those PA announcements, the darkness. Nevertheless, whenever I think of the citizens who have gone through worse experiences than I did, I know I could not give up on them by remaining silent.
Things have gone out of control since June
Hongkongers have suffered from agony, hurt and oppression since June. My experience on 831 only happened to be one of the more evil, crazy and inhumane incident among many more. A large portion of the Hong Kong population, including distinguished and liberal community leaders, educated intellectuals and professionals from all walks of life, have expressed their opinion and pinpointed the crux of the matter rationally. Their opinion, however, was not received with timely response from the government. As at the moment of writing this letter, Tuen Mun was hit by a strong stench akin to tear gas. When citizens protested, they were only attacked by tear gas released by the Police. The Police further trampled citizen’s dignity and their right to private ownership. Just last Sunday, a student from HKUST allegedly fell from a building while escaping from the Police’s tear gas, and remained in critical condition despite attempts of surgery.
Five months have passed and the government has only watched the citizens’ outcry and agony with folded arms. Take your interview with the Commercial Radio Hong Kong on 19th October morning: as the Chief Executive and the Chancellor of the University, you opined that Mr. Tuan “should seek the truth if he truly cares for the students. And to seek the truth means asking that person to speak about what he/she has knowledge of, and to let the established mechanisms deal with it” in response to his open letter. As a person of interest, I have told my story a number of times, both anonymously and in open public forums. This has not led to justice being done, but rather numerous telephone nuisances and threats to my personal safety. If you find my experience unbelievable, I am willing to testify on oath and guarantee the credibility of my testimony. What I am not willing to accept is to leave my case with the established mechanisms that fail to do justice.
Failed mechanisms and zero trust in the Police
Under the current established mechanisms, I can go to the Equal Opportunities Commission, or to the Office of the Ombudsman, or to the Independent Police Complaints Council, and even “call 999” to reach the Complaints Against Police Office, as you have urged people to do. The truth is, the Equal Opportunities Commission only focuses on the implementation of Sex Discrimination Ordinance and has no power to investigate criminal cases such as me being sexually assaulted by the Police Officers; the Office of the Ombudsman has no authority to investigate the Police’s administrative misconduct during operations and therefore could not deal with my case of delayed medical treatment and human rights violation; the Independent Police Complaints Council has no power to investigate complaints against the Police as a whole and could only observe, monitor and review investigations conducted by the Complaints Against Police Office.
All the available existing mechanisms only bring me back to the starting point - the perpetrators, the Police Force who would only be “investigated” by their own fellows. Please convince me that the abusers would conduct fair investigations without partiality. I have suffered from sexual violence because of these abusers. I have been delayed medical treatment because of these abusers. All the traumatic experiences that I have suffered all originated from these abusers. How could I trust them? Until this day, I am still disturbed by the horrific scenes of abuse, the drive in the dark and the search room in the sleepless nights. I believe any reasonable and empathetic person would not ask me to seek justice from those who abused me.
According to a public opinion poll conducted by CUHK, published on 15 October by Ming Pao, more than half of the interviewees have given a zero score to their trust in the Police Force, while over 70% of them supported a large scale reformation within the Police Force. This clearly shows that I am not alone in this society who have no faith in the Police Force at all.
Public authorities are the source of the unrest
You, who have the power to correct these mistakes; you, who have the power to establish an independent commission of inquiry; you, you should be accountable to the people of Hong Kong, happen to be the only avenue for justice for citizens; however, for many citizens, this is a tragic and hated reality. Establishing an independent, fair, and empowered commission of inquiry will rectify the inadequacies of the current system, and allow for justice to prevail; this is not simply a demand of mine, but is also one of the five core demands of Hong Kong citizens. You, who have ignored the inadequacies of the system; ignored the Hong Kong police force’s lack of checks and balances; ignored the police’s abuses of power, have refused three or four times our request to establish an independent commission of inquiry, to truly find a solution to our current political crisis. The root of the problem is precisely because the chief executive is not chosen via just, transparent, and fair elections under universal suffrage; your power does not come from the consent of citizens, you are not accountable to Hong Kong citizens. This also explains why citizens have raised “immediate implementation of dual universal suffrage” as one demand, in order to push for a fundamental improvement to our political and social problem, to enable the government to truly listen to citizens’ different needs, to rid ourselves of the Chief Executive’s arrogant and authoritarian decision-making processes. Please do not forget, the right of Hong Kong citizens to vote and to be elected, and to select the Chief Executive and all legislative council members, is one of the cornerstones of One Country, Two Systems.
What is the origin of the social upheaval? What is eroding Hong Kong’s way of life and values? What is destroying Hong Kong’s rule of law, social order, and political system? Is it the Hong Kong citizens who are fighting for dignity and to defend the fundamental freedoms that are protected in the Basic Law, including the right to freedom of assembly? The Hong Kong Police force who engage in selective enforcement of the law, who are continually violating their own standards of conduct, who are out of control, and yet whose power is continually expanding? Or is it the unaccountable, blindly ignorant, “only allowing the police to be anonymous, not allowing citizens to wear masks”, Hong Kong government, which is constantly committing double standards? It is precisely because the government does not care about citizens’ safety and welfare, precisely because the government has suppressed citizens’ voices and demands, precisely because citizens’ different rights and freedoms have been eroded, that citizens have completely lost faith in the political system. The stark statement “it is you who taught us that peaceful protest is useless” is written on the wall; can you see it? If there is a day that Hong Kong’s political system and social order descends into anarchy, it will not be because the police fail to exercise their violent and ruthless power, or because the government have lost all possible ways of covering up their mistakes; it will be because citizens’ patience and confidence in the government will be completely lost, their safety and welfare no longer being guaranteed, their voices and demands not being heard.
The root of the problem is the government; respond to the five core demands
Will Hong Kong have to reach this stage? The answer lies with you, you being the representative of the political system. As a victim, I request that the Chief Executive and the executive committee establish, according to the “Commissions of Inquiry Ordinance”, an independent, fair, and empowered commission of inquiry, in order to search out the truth that society so urgently needs; to make clear the lines of responsibility in every incident, to return justice to me and all others whose human rights have been violated. As a citizen, I request that the chief executive retract the characterization of the protests as a riot and withdraw the charges levied against protesters who have been arrested and subject to political persecution, in order to secure peace, stability, and unity in society. I also demand that the Hong Kong Police Force be disbanded and reformed, so that the use of legal weapons is subject to the scrutiny of citizens and the complaints system is improved, so to recover citizens’ trust in the police force. Finally, I request that the Chief Executive initiate political reform, and implement fair, open, and just elections under dual universal suffrage, so that leaders will be accountable to citizens, and so that Hong Kong’s political environment will become transparent; “glory to Hong Kong.”
I hope that you will genuinely reflect on and accept my demands and explanations; I also hope that you will provide a public response to the August 31 incident prior to December 31.
Hong Kong citizen
Kwan Kung Temple is a Telegram channel organised by a group of committed Hong Kongers. This channel aims to provide the latest news updates and press releases in Traditional Chinese-English translations as well as other languages for the local and international media. We strive to release news information while upholding the principles of neutrality, diversity and accuracy.
We volunteer to provide information online for the convenience of the public. While we try to keep our online information timely and accurate, if there is any discrepancy between the translated and original versions, the original version of the information/documents will prevail as the default official version. Users of the information/translated materials published by Kwan Kung Temple should use the material at their own discretion.
Thank you for your understanding that Kwan Kung Temple and our volunteers will not take any legal responsibilities or obligations for any consequences resulting from the use/reliance on any information/translated materials released through this channel.
We welcome your feedback, and strive to improve and evolve continuously.