Hong Kong civil servants have organized a rally in Central for Friday, hoping that top management will listen and respond to demands made by the community. The rally is planned for Charter Garden in Central on Friday evening and the theme will be “All Civil Servants Walking Along with Citizens.”
Ngan Mo-chau, one of the civil servants helping to organize the rally, said many colleagues had expressed their views against the extradition bill amendment and hoped the government would respond to the five demands from society.
“Although we are civil servants, we are Hongkongers as well. When we put down our staff cards and uniforms, we are just like other Hongkongers. We care about our society and we worry about the current situation,” Ngan said.
The organizers said they want to provide a platform to help convey the messages from society to Carrie Lam and her team. Ngan emphasized it would be a peaceful rally and said they would apply for a “no objection letter” from the police force on Monday.
Joseph Wong Wing-ping, a former secretary for the civil service, said it was not a big problem for civil servants to join the rally, except directorate officers, executive officers, information officers and police officers, the Ming Pao Daily reported.
Leung Chau-ting, chairperson of the Federation of Civil Service Union, called for his colleagues to remain neutral. The rally proposal came after an uproar from civil servants in various government departments.
Last week, a list of anonymous civil servants from various government departments issued open letters and criticized Carrie Lam over her handling of the extradition bill amendment, and also criticized the excessive use of force by the police force. They called for an independent inquiry.
More than 100 administration officers signed an open letter to the government. Photo: Facebook
The civil service and police have become the two main pillars supporting the government. However, it seems a crisis of governance is growing as the police showed their anger with Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the number two in the government, over his apology for the slow police response to the violence in Yuen Long on July 21.
The slow response by the police was heavily criticized after people wearing white T-shirts, some with triad backgrounds, attacked passengers and journalists indiscriminately in Yuen Long MTR station. Cheung apologized to the public, adding that the force’s handling of the incident “falls short of people’s expectations.”
The Police Inspectors’ Association accused Cheung of writing off officers’ efforts and their sacrifices over the past couple of months. The Junior Police Officers’ Association issued a statement expressing “the most serious condemnation” of Cheung’s remarks and accused him of knowing nothing about how the force operated, saying he had carelessly passed judgment on the police before even carrying out an investigation.
Individual police officers have also protested about Cheung’s apology by posting their shoulder badges with comments online, including “I have a clear conscience, why need to apologize” and “apologizing for enforcing the law is unbelievable.”
On Saturday evening Cheung said he “totally supports” the police and he’s grateful that the force has “fulfilled its duties in maintaining social order under enormous stress at this difficult time.”
His office issued a statement saying he would be arranging meetings with police groups to clear up any misunderstandings and to improve communication. City chief Carrie Lam, on the other hand, remained silent for the whole week after her last appearance in front of the media on July 22.