WE WANT STABILITY
In the reports of certain local newspapers, since the riots began, police action, in maintaining order in the violent events of the week, has been described as a ‘bloody and violent suppression of the workers and the Chinese people’, and the police have been accused of siding with the ‘capitalists’.
We, of the Editorial Board, feel that such events are misleadingly reported. The police, we feel, have only fulfilled their duty as arms of the kaw in keeping order in a time of crisis, dispersing undesirable mobs in the streets, putting down violence actively to maintain and help restore the peace and stability of the Society.
We believe that not only the Government, but the majority of our citizens desire order and a peaceful existence, We therefore deplore all violent activity that disrupt the equilibrium of our everyday lives. We are against those who encourage our citizens to riot, who confuse and blind us with their slogans, who endorse disorder in our society.
We are Chinese, and we love our country and our fellow compatriots; but a love of cur country is not the same as the love of a particular authority; nor is it the loyalty to any political party, nor the fanatic devotion to any leader. A country belongs to all her people, and is not the ‘property’ of any one man or party. A leader or a political party that does not have the support of ALL the people cannot be said to represent the whole country.
We give our full sympathy to the Labour Movement — as long as it is reasonable and conducted within the boundaries of the law. However the moment such a movement is coloured with political overtones, its nature ceases to be a merely social/economic one and becomes an excuse for violent action and disorder, We therefore strongly object to rioting as a solution to a labour problem.
Secondary School Students and the Riot —
Did they or did they not?
It was reported in some newspapers that a number of Secondary schools, such as: Queen‘s College, Belilios Public School, St. Mark's, St. Louis, New Method College, True Light Middle School, St. Paul's Boys College, St. Paul's Co-educational College, King’s College, Sacred Heart Canossian College etc. were supposed have lent moral or material support to the recent ‘Labour Movement’ or ‘riot’ that took place. These schools are not known to be of any political faction, yet their names appeared time and again in such newspapers. The Undergrad, believing that the majority of the students in Hong Kong are only interested in a peaceful existence and a quiet pursuit in their studies, launched an investigation into the matter. The principals of a number of these schools were interviewed and a questionnaire survey for the purpose of acquiring the knowledge of the attitude of the students towards the riot and the knowing of the attitude of the students towards the riot and the likelihood of their taking an active part either in pledging their moral or material support to such a cause was conducted in several of the schools mentioned.
Out of the 300 copies of questionnaires sent, the following results came out:
Only 14 out of 300 have read the papers that printed the above information.
3 out of 300 are sympathetic towards the riot.
14 out of 300 believed that there was an anti-Chinese Movement.
15 out of 300 would give either moral or material support.
15 out of 300 think their friends would give either moral or material support to such a cause.
Of the various Principals interviewed the general view was that they did not have any information on whether their pupils had taken part in such activities.
THE HONGKONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ UNION COUNCIL on THE RECENT RIOT
To a reasonable and orderly labour movement we do not disagree.
However to the series of riots took place during the last few days we totally disagree. We consider the recent labour movement not purely one of demonstration by labourers, but coloured with political overtone.
We sincerely believe that the majority of the Hong Kong citizens are against the riots because:
1. Riots will only breakdown the process of industrial promotion, prosperity and economic development of the place.
2. The obvious consequence of any riots are an outflow of capital, and a marked decrease in oversea’s investment in Hong Kong. This will easily result in a general unemployment and a total disintegration of the public economy.
3. Riots will also lead to uncalled for deaths, injuries (both physical and material), as well as instability.
Certain papers seem to suggest that the government in maintaining law and order is actually carrying out an anti-Chinese movement, so as to create the present national misunderstanding. Such newspapers, we feel, can only represent the standing of a certain party, but NOT, NOT, the general opinion of the people of Hong Kong.
Stability, we believe, is what the Hong Kong public asks for. We are not siding with any party nor the government. We are only against any influence that might mould this disorder, disturbing and upsetting situation.
We appeal to each, and every Hong Kong citizen, especially youth and fellow students to maintain their firm stand, not to succumb to any party or commentary and NOT TO, we stress again, NOT TO participate in any activities that may result in disturbing civic pence.
We sincerely hope that any civic-conscious person who feels as we do would rise up and join together in opposing any disruptive movement and uphold the peace that has always been Hong Kong's. (Passed by Emergency Council Meeting, 17th May 1967)
Student Opinion on RIOT
The Executive Committee of the Union conducted hostel visits of the balls of residence on the 15th May, distributing the above statement for the examination of Union members. The Ex-Co requested comments, opinions aside from the ones expressed in the statement, and asked whether the ideas expressed were supported by Union members. Of the 191 copies distributed und returned, 108 approved of the entire draft, 10 were neutral, 43 were against paragraph 5 which has since been amended, 30 suggested rewording or added their own comments.
Moreover, posters have been put up about the campus, inviting student opinion on the rots. The following fs a cross-section of opinion gathered from Union Members in hostels and opinions sent to the Undergrad.
The danger in riots is in the case where disturbance and panic are spread. It easily gets out of control if incited in the first place, and the long-term effects even more important than the suffering caused at the time.
I wish to voice my appreciation of the work of the Riot squadron, the Police Force in protecting the peace of the community. I appeal to each and every responsible Hong Kong citizen to exercise the greatest care in judging the moves of the Government and not be biased and blinded by rumours and propaganda. It is definitely high time that students, particularly students having the privilege of higher studies to show truly their concern for society and not fo turn away from opportunities to do something worthwhile under the excuse that those in charge or the general body, e.g. of the students are irresponsible.
Ho Ock Ling
My personal view is that the police should have more patience over the workers (or mobs) at the very beginning. I think there should be more persuasion and explanation before any action (or force) is to be taken.
The riot is far from being a labour movement with political overtones. Social backgrounds of the concerned areas, with myriads of other factors are also concerned.
To say we condemn bloodshed and violence is good enough. I don't think we should take side in condemning newspapers of any kind.
A St. Johnian
Admittedly, our views, regarding the riot may be tinged by our belonging to the “middle class” but it is my firm belief that as the living standard of the labourers rises, their views will become more and more “middle class” with skills.
I strongly object to any unwise steps, such as riots, taken by the workers to enforce their demands. I would suggest that they should bring their grievances to the Public by open negotiation between employers and employees under the assistance and supervision of the Government. And if their demands are justified, any peaceful means will reap the same fruitful results, more honorable and more constructive. Any forceful means is uncivilized, destructive to lives and the prosperity of the Hong Kong economy, on which our livelihood lies.
Personally I side with the Government in its policy to deal with the riots to restore peace and equilibrium before the riot became widespread. If rioters cannot be bound by law, they have to be restrained by force. I would advise that the Government should maintain its firm stand in dealing with the effect of the riot and not to be softened by any threats, so that no further similar crisis will repeat itself again.
I think it has turned from a labour dispute into a political conflict which is very unfortunate indeed. So I suggest to all parties to keep calm and not to try by propaganda to expand the matter. The labour dispute can easily be solved on a conference table in a legal procedure. Any violent actions are only damaging the stability of society.
I do not think the Government should, or has to, give in to the unjust demands from Communist China. If British law cannot prevail in Hong Kong, Britain may as well give up governing Hong Kong. But it is amply clear that many people here are here because they do not want to be in Communist China, and these people, by far the majority of the population, know how the whole incident was incited and distorted, and these people will continue to support the Government against this new form of aggression.
I believe that the police has done a very good job in the way in which it has brought the recent riots to an end, and I applaud the successful move of lifting the curfew on the third night, I cannot, under any circumstances condone violence as a means to settle disputes. However, I feel that the government should realise that healthy, well fed and satisfied workers will increase production and economic growth.
Jan de Boer
Apart from the political factor that played such a dominating role in this riot, we can hardly miss the fact that there have been intense hostility and hatred of the mob (most of them are of the lower class) towards the policeman and towards the government. They have been suppressed and insulted too many a time by government authorities for reasons that can hardly be justified. All they want is just security and a peaceful life. Yet they have been deprived of the human right of a minimum standard of living. They are just too anxious to grasp any opportunity to revenge, to express their discontentment, in however rude ways it may be; they have just no other better outlets.
Ｌｅｅ Ｐｕｎ Ｃｈｏ
陳業誠 莫壽平 龍沛蒼
The Big Question Mark
Before the recent riots, few people wanted to question the future of Hong Kong. During the riots, there seemed to be no future to many, and now that things are quieting down, this touchy question is again left alone. The impression one gets of the attitude towards the issue is that not many want to face the facts and that those who do not bury their heads in the sand do not want to talk about it either. Everybody remarks that the future is dark, and are satisfied to leave the issue so, dreaming that they will be out of Hong Kong when any serious change comes or that the change will never come at all.
Indeed, everything seems to be going back to normal. There is no serious threat from China at the moment. Left-winged newspapers are certainly making a lot of noise, but the almost empty Communist department stores show how Hong Kong people have turned against the source of our agitation. It hardly needs to be said that the agitation hit the poorer classes harder than anybody else, for the poor feel the rising cost of food, the inconvenience of the transport strikes, and the hawkers are the principal losers in a day’s strike at the market. In a time of crisis, everybody is rallying round the Government, we have the support of the Government in Britain, and there is still certainly much | confidence in Hong Kong, and this confidence, we believe, should continue.
But the question remains: What is the future like, and what can be done about it? It is very doubtful that there is any way at the moment to find out. But the riot should teach us a lesson, for the cause of the panic is largely that the people in Hong Kong are caught unprepared, While one still hears of attempts to teach people of self-government, one may wonder if it is too much to ask that the problem is concerning the future of Hong Kong be brought before the general public. We can raise just one question to start with: what is the attitude of the Foreign Office towards Hong Kong? We do not want a reply from the Foreign Office, but the question should be pondered on.
Or, is independence for Hong Kong really impossible? There are advocates for independence, but we need a critical study on the issue. The point which can be raised here is just that no study has actually been made, or if made, has not been widely publicised, about the possibilities of our future. Without this, can we safely talk of reforms, self-government? This is perhaps not a job for a Government Commission, but it is the sort of work local political organisations can carry out. The findings of such studies may turn many faces red, but at least we will know more of your chances and start preparing for it.
If, as many of our local politicians believe, the future is not all that grim, why should we be afraid of looking into it?
THE RECENT RIOT, THE MORALISTS AND THE LAW
(written on 24th May, 1967.)
I do not intend here to pass comment on the recent riot from the point of view of moral and law, but instead, I shall use the recent riot as an extra example to comment on the moralists and our Legislative Councillors.
He goes almost without saying that morally is with regard themselves as saviours of the society. Only if people will listen to them and refrain from doing what they condemn, then salvation is there, the society will be good and redeemed from corruption and decay. They show no hesitation what they regard as a root of all evil are really so and they are the last people in lacking fervent to try to preach out of existence what they condemned. Now here is this riot, a concrete case of some evil that threats [sic] to shake the foundation of the whole society, to speak metaphorically. And hardly a case can be found where we can find so much and then unanimous agreement (except the Communists and our moralists, perhaps) that this, the riot, is undesirable. It is encouraging to see so many (more than 300 up to now) public organisations making public pronouncements to support the Hong Kong government to maintain law and order. It is surprising for us and shameful for the moral is that in face of the recent riot the moralists' ardour in condemning a beatnik’s life, beat music, and topless bathing suit etc., etc., shows the slightest tendency to be drained towards condemning the recent riot out of existence. I suppose more or less like the Roman Catholic Church and those Confucian societies would prefer the reason riot with mobs destroying properties to a few beatniks who do not interfere us. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church is far from condemning the riot with the same indignation and with the same condescending air of bestowing grace as it condemns things it considers immoral shows that it is a SIN for women to wear provocative dresses and for young people to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage while it is NOT a sin to participate in this irresponsible riot which the Roman Catholic Church would presumably consider at the most as a very minor offence. What does it matter if your properties were destroyed by the mob since Jesus told you to give up all your properties to follow Him and what does it matter if you get killed by these rioters since you should this happen then you would go to heaven and live with God – what a grace! The Roman Catholic Church’s relative indifferent attitude towards the riot shows that sex is “dirty” while violence is quite "clean", only that it is not holy. All this shows that real evil and moral badness are two very different things. If Roman Catholic zealots have not been intimidated by the riot, which they should not be if they remembered that they had gone through the ceremony of confirmation in their church, and if this zealots have any genuine concern for people's well-being, they should organise a missionary team to go to preaching the rioters that their behaviour would arouse God's disapproval and they will go to hell if they do not repent, and preach the rioters with the same passion and persistence as they preach to me and other people to believe in their God and abide by their moral code. If they cannot do this I would like to tell them to shut up forever. The Roman Catholic Church is only one example among the whole pack of moralists. The same argument is of where have their preaching zeal gone in the face of this real, urgent, and evident evil – the riot – to counterbalance the companies' propaganda exploiting national feeling (or more correctly, chauvinistic feeling) applies to them all. It shows clearly that real happiness and well-being are to be found by first ignoring the moralists – what they persuade us to attain or not worth attaining at all while what is really undesirable, the moralists show the slightest concern to rid us off.
Now let me come to the law. It has been said (I cannot remember whom) that the law was like clothes which was made to fit the people. This is what the law should do. I think a parallel principle is equally valid – that laws are passed to fit the situation. This society is too complex and the full consequences of any important social action to multifarious for us to be able to anticipate all possible kinds of events that will arise. Therefore we cannot lay down some laws once and for all and believe that these laws are valid forever. We sometimes have to make special laws for a special occasion. I believe that the reason why it is one of such special occasions – labour dispute developed into a political disturbance and the original problem of labour dispute has been quite forgotten or otherwise used as an excuse only. The riot has been going on and off and on more than a fortnight since, and there has not been any signs that this disturbance, sometimes in the form of a violent mob and sometimes in the form of strikes, is going to quiet down soon. I suggest that our legislative Council should meet to consider making temporary special laws for only this occasion to goad and to enable the executive to put down this disturbance efficiently – that is, to consider things like setting up temporary local guards strong enough to disperse maps in a few minutes, to pass a bill to give the police power to use more drastic measures to deal with any mob, or to possibly all that organisers of strikes in the coming three months, say, will be penalised severely. If there were more disorderly and molesting gatherings in the future, I believe that those who organise a prompt the mob and smear walls slogans should be treated with the machine-gun, that newspapers that stir up sentiments for riot should be closed down and their editors arrested, and that properties of individuals and organisations that plan and arrange this disturbance should be confiscated. I hope that our Legislative Councillors would probably pass bills of some suitable kind with the aim to facilitate the executive to put down the disturbance quickly, and I asked no more than that they pass these bills with the same quickness and firmness of decision as they raised tax rates. The grave and to mediate as well as long-term economic consequences of this riot on many workers and hawkers and then factory management and owners is anything but too evident. Any Confucians’ and Roman Catholics’ conscience are unperturbed, ours are moved. It is a duty of our Legislative Councillors to try to do something about this disturbance.
To conclude, some energy of our society, i.e. the moralists' ardour and the Legislative Councillors' decision, has not been used when the present circumstance requires.
Lund Pui Chong
Has Hong Kong A Future?
by Al Bum
It is the writer’s hope to start the discussion ball rolling by introducing this topic which weighs, heavy on our minds, but which has never before been openly and frankly discussed. Is there a future for Hong Kong, a future in which we can live and let live, a future in which we need not live in fear of persecution; a future where we can live our daily lives in peace and progress? Can we make Hong Kong God’s little acre, or shall return to the Peoples’ Republic. In short, do we wish to choose a liberal or a communist government?
We still have a short thirty years to choose. In thirty years, many of us who are now studying here will have reached the peak of our chosen careers. In thirty years the New Territories lease expires with all the attached consequences. Are we, the fortunate few who receive a university career going to desert those less fortunate people who cannot choose whether they want to here or leave?
But do we really care when something happens, but which does not affect our family, and hence, indirectly ourselves?
Chinese people attach much value to their long and glorious tradition, and thus they may find it hard to accept revolutionary ideas but Chinese people in Indonesia, Singapore, and many other parts of the world have joined themselves into one great, cohesive family.
- The Meaning of Hong Kong -
Why are we here? We did not choose to be here, our parents did. Our parents came here when they fled from Communism and other forms of government and many are still fleeing over the border. But it is up to us to decide what form of government we want to live under.
What do we want to get out of this place? A degree, a nice well-paid comfortable job, and a nice, comfortable wife, and maybe lots of status, and are we to be blamed for wanting this? What do we want to get out of this place? An academic career may be, and the illusion that through study we can escape the reality of dirty politics, and from Hong Kong, when things get too hot. What ‘sentimental’ attachment do we have to it?
Our parents came here and built a new life from scratch, work which has enabled us to live the way we live, and to enjoy the things we like. It is their work, their struggle, and we can stake no claim to participation in their victory. Our parents have built something they can fight for and lock with pride on; as yet we have nothing to fight for, for we do not figure in their achievement.
Do we have nothing to look with pride on? I believe we do. We have fought, kicked and beaten our way to the top of rat race that is called Hong Kong education; we have studied so hard to reach the top that we have sacrificed things that might have been dear to us. We have shut ourselves away from the world outside to guarantee our own future but we must never forget that involvement with the outside world is as inevitable as death, and there is no way out.
We cannot conclude that Hong Kong means little or nothing to us. We can never explain away the fact that when we were homeless, Hong Kong housed us, when we were hungry Hong Kong fed us, when we were hopeless Hong Kong gave us hope and refuge, and a chance to start afresh. You can't escape it; Hong Kong is your home.
Can we achieve our aim of retaining Hong Kong's identity? If we accept that it is we who have to decide our future, we will have to surmount many obstacles. We will have to strive to achieve more active participation in politics, we will have to campaign for the allegiance of our youth, many of whom are at present being lured by the communists, we will have to stand in the open and tell the people of Hong Kong what we want. I feel that our universities should take a lead in guiding the youth.
To achieve more active participation in politics we need to reform our educational system and tackle the problems of the present inadequate examination system. Too much emphasis is placed on passing examinations, and this gives us no time to look around us and become well-rounded citizens who are interested in what goes on around them. To achieve educational reforms, we shall have to have a say in politics, and this can be done by joining one of the recognized political parties in Hong Kong, and taking part in elections. In this way I believe the youth of Hong Kong can emerge as a group the present government will have to reckon with in its deliberations. We must attempt to form a common bond amongst ourselves, so that in unity and numbers we may be strong. Again, our universities can take a lead, for we are more closely connected with the youth of Hong Kong than any other social group, by working for closer contact with our youth and their problems, Only by making their problems our own can we hope to achieve that degree of unity which is desirable. Once we are united in our wishes all else will, and I think, must follow naturally.
In conclusion, I feel that my discussion is inadequate and incomplete on many points, but I feel that somewhere a start must be made in discussing this, our most private problem, to see if we can make any headway at all in overcoming our difficulties, but the ultimate truth is that I am afraid for you, my friends.
When speaking to reporters of the Undergrad, Brook Bernacchi, chairman of Reform Club, expressed confidence in the future of Hong Kong but stressed that “the future of Hong Kong rests with the young people. If the young people want Hong Kong to remain as it, or eventually as a free city, then I think Hong Kong has a reasonable chance of so remaining, If the young people want Hong Kong to go back to China, then sooner or later Hong Kong inevitably will go back to China.”
Whilst the communists were trying to increase their influence by having insurgents in schools and universities, Mr. Bernacchi pointed out that their every move was countered successfully by government propaganda and “other methods”.
- The Three Alternatives -
Concerning the more distant future of Hong Kong, Brook Bernacchi reminded us that the New Territories’ lease expires at the end of the century and that then there were three alternatives open to Hong Kong, one being that “Hong Kong has to give up the New Territories, and becomes another little Macao, but I don’t think Hong Kong would survive long under those conditions, the other is that with whatever government is in power at the time, either the Peoples’ Republic or any other government, they (the people of Hong Kong) negotiate for the return of the whole of Hong Kong, possibly with compensation. The final alternative is that an agreement acceptable to both sides can be reached where Hong Kong can keep its identity and not be under the British government, like a free city”. But would Hong Kong be able to sustain an independent form of government? To this question Mr. Bernacchi replied that Sir David Trench was holding discussions in London to arrange for indirect elections to be held via the Urban Council and this would in effect be a first, small step towards internal self-government.
- Youth and Politics -
On the problem of how the young people could be encouraged to participate in politics, and of how prepared the young people would be to face their responsibilities of choosing the kind of future Hong Kong wants, Mr. Bernacchi said “... basically, there are two problems, one, the family system, and secondly that family system which compels young people to work at a very young age to complement the family income. If the educational system, and particularly the examinations can be changed to put more emphasis producing more well-rounded citizens, we have taken a big step in freeing the student from the educational rat race. Again, universities, being closely connected with young people could take a lead in making Hong Kong's youth more aware of problems facing Hong Kong in all fields. Also, young people could participate more on the political field by joining one of the recognized political parties here.
In conclusion, Brook Bernacchi said that the best way for the man in the street to counter communist subversion, was to have the courage to inform the police of any threat or disturbance, for they were better equipped to tackle this kind of trouble.
IS THIS YOU?
No, Hong Kong has no future. Hong Kong is doomed. I don’t want to meddle with it. I'll study, then I'll get my degree, then I'll go abroad, and when THE MOMENT comes, I won't be here.
But I can't go abroad right away. I'll have to make some money first — unless of course, I am so brilliant that I can become an academic and get a job in a foreign university, But of course, staying just a short while longer is not going to do any harm. I'll still be away when the time comes.
I'll stay, let's say, five years. Hong Kong will last that long at least.
By then I'll be married. I'll be tied down with a job. Even doctors are less well-paid abroad. I suppose I'll still te able to get a job there though.
Troubles. Oh God! Must leave now. But I've got to get my degree and I've got those books to go through for my exams. Oh dear, Mr. Chan has already booked his aeroplane ticket.
Thank goodness, the trouble has died down. But I must try to leave now. No, let me get through some of my business first.
Trouble again, Oh dear!
Thank goodness, it’s died down.
Gosh... Thank God.
More trouble........Something must be done.
There just simply aren't enough aeroplanes or ships. There's nothing to move the people out! I can’t go!
O.K. We'll stay. We'll make a stand. Why, there’s not so much trouble after all.
Hey, look here. It’s dying down again. It looks as if Hong Kong can go on for quite a while, if the international political scene continues like this.
The future is gloomy, but the “future” is not coming for quite a while yet.
眼看左派發動了「大罷工」 「罷市」 「文鬥」 「武鬥」，我們還是在像局外人般大發空言，在批評，推測，觀望，或切齒，或痛心。這種態度並不是應付暴力的方法。
「一群香港大學同學」這樣寫： 「香港大多數中學都是一貫執行香港殖民地主義教育，無論身心方面，對學生都進行麻醉和摧殘。方法可分：一、考試枷鎖——宣揚分數掛帥，古曲名利競爭，使同學或則養成眼光短小的自大狂。在考試、測驗、問書的重重危險下，同學們都……對祖國毫不關心…… (下略)四、奴化教育——學校當局長期以來一種種方法（包括退學，記過，當眾斥責等），樹立起校長的無上權威，使學生對她不敢正視，在她面前，不敢大聲說話，使同學有理不敢伸，養成一種妥協畏縮的奴才性格。」