On Wednesday morning, a group of protesters broke into the Legislative Council (LegCo) in Hong Kong. This incident shocked Hong Kong society. Even the three initiators of the Occupy Central movement
, Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming condemned such violent actions, along with pro-democracy legislators. This action will make the Hong Kong public become even more jaded with the Occupy movement.
Those who broke into LegCo were youngsters wearing masks. It's worth considering how such a breach could have occurred in Hong Kong, a place known for following the rule of law. It is naive to believe that the incident has nothing to do with Occupy Central.
There has been no precedent that the rule of law can stay unaffected when political chaos is taking place, and Hong Kong is no exception. Both Occupy Central and the incident yesterday show similar disregard for Hong Kong's rule of law.
The Hong Kong police have been praised for their restraint these days. In a normal society, such views are strange. The task of the police is to strictly enforce the law, but what's important for Hong Kong now is not protecting the law, but grasping the sense of politics. Only ultra-restraint from the Hong Kong police seems to be acceptable to the media.
Rude protesters and timid police are certainly not features of a modern society ruled by law. But both appear in Hong Kong.
In yesterday's incident, there were no casualties among the protesters, while three police officers were injured. If the situation were reversed, public opinion in Hong Kong would have been outraged.
It seems that even when Hong Kong has pushed forward the clearing away of street obstructions, the fundamental issues remain unsolved. It is obvious that Occupy Central forces will not meet their goals, but their influence on Hong Kong society still remains.
The deadlock around Hong Kong's political reforms sees no real breakthroughs. The region will still be beset by uncertainty.
The cost brought by Occupy Central may not be enough for Hong Kong to collectively reflect upon itself and reach a consensus. What's worse, chaos may still linger in Hong Kong.
Rationality in a society is formed at a high cost. Society in the Chinese mainland suffered greatly from the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and keeps vigilant toward any signs of social disturbance. We are worried that Hong Kong society lacks the experiences the mainland has had and would rather suffer the bitterness.
Occupy Central will end gradually, but what is more important is how Hong Kong society will view Occupy Central. There are still many people who support the illegal movement from political and ethical perspectives. We believe the more disreputable Occupy Central becomes, the more assured Hong Kong's future will be, and we are hopeful it will retain vitality as a financial center. Read more: HK demonstrators arrested