Netizens call for civil servant who may be a protester to be fired

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/18 20:48:40

Picture of the black-clad rioter who was involved in Saturday skirmishes at Kowloon Bay's Amoy Plaza. Photo: website

Chinese netizens have called on the Hong Kong customs department to fire one of its officers, who was recognized to be a protester after his mask was removed by a resident on Saturday.

A photo of a letter circulating online shows that the officer, named Lam Chi-fai, was suspended from duty by Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department from Monday.

Many netizens said Lam was a black-clad rioter who was involved in Saturday skirmishes at Kowloon Bay's Amoy Plaza, where protesters rushed into the plaza and disturbed patriotic residents who were singing the national anthem. A resident surnamed Yin rushed to remove the mask from a male protester's face. The protester immediately tried to cover his face with arms and went back, apparently reluctant to be recognized.

A video of the incident went viral on Chinese social media. 

However, the protester failed to hide himself, and netizens recognized that he was a Hong Kong customs officer. 

A netizen posted the photo of Lam's suspension, the photos of Lam and a screenshot of the video featuring the protester without a mask as evidence to prove he is a customs officer who has worked in the department for five years.

The customs department refused to confirm whether the protester was its officer or not when reached by the Global Times. 

"The department has established guidelines governing staff members' conduct and discipline, and always has strict requirements on staff ethics and integrity. Serious action will be taken if an officer is found to be involved in illegal conduct," the department told the Global Times via email.

The resident, Yin, who removed Lam's mask said in an interview by that he was beaten by five or six protesters in black afterwards. A photo circulating online shows Yin bleeding from his head.

Yin said he had endured months of unrest since the Hong Kong riots began and did not regret what he had done on Saturday.

"I did what I really wanted to do as a Hongkonger. To protect Hong Kong, protect our country!" Yin said in the video.

Chinese netizens were irritated by the incident. Many netizens were not satisfied with the temporary suspension of Lam and called on the customs department to fire him and never hire such law breakers.

"The incident reinforces the necessity of legislation banning masks during protests," a netizen said.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press conference on Tuesday that she deeply regretted the arrest of civil servants who had taken part in the protests, and said that such civil servants will be handled in accordance with the regulations.

Civil servants are allowed to demonstrate peacefully in Hong Kong but are not allowed to break the law, Carrie Lam said. Law breakers will be handled in accordance with the regulations, she noted.


blog comments powered by Disqus