An MTR passenger reads a newspaper with a back page petition headlined “Enough for Hong Kong”on Thursday. The petition is published by local residents on local newspapers to voice opposition against growingly violent and rampant rioting mobs in the city. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

“Enough for Hong Kong!” Sickened by growingly violent and rampant rioting mobs, Hong Kong residents published a signed petition on the front pages of multiple local newspapers on Thursday, calling on the Hong Kong government to suspend the approval of any public demonstration until social order is restored in the city. 

The Hongkongers broke their silence after radical protesters had been severely disrupting the city for more than two months, and had become increasingly lawless, marked by their violent attack on two men from mainland Tuesday midnight at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Illegal assemblies forced Hong Kong airport to cancel part of the flights  on Monday and Tuesday. 

As of Wednesday morning, over 78,000 local residents in Hong Kong signed the petition demanding that law and order be restored. “We love Hong Kong and are extremely saddened by the escalating violence, vandalism, illegal activities and disruption to our social order.”

The petition published in Hong Kong local newspaper, such as Mingpao, Sing Tao Daily and South China Morning Post on Thursday, listed a five-point demand from those “born and raised” in the city, including voicing their resolute support for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and police to strictly enforce the law and bring an end to bullying, vandalism and riots.

They also urged the HKSAR government to deny any request for public demonstrations until the city’s social order is restored, while requesting parents and school authorities to persuade students not to participate in illegal activities. 

Also on Thursday, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong published an article on its WeChat account, with leading figures in Hong Kong business circle including CK Asset Holdings Limited and K.Wah Group voicing their support for the HKSAR government and wishing that Hong Kong society helps stop the chaos.

Young people should use wisdom and knowledge to rationally analyze the motives behind and consequences of the violence, so as not to be exploited and that the living and work environment will not be destroyed, said Lui Che-woo, chairman and founder of K.Wah Group. 

“Under the principle of ‘one country, two systems,’ we should work together with the Hong Kong SAR government to seek ways to improve and benefit the people,” he noted.

“As the petition clearly shows, the Hong Kong public is sick of the escalating violence, and their call on the HKSAR government to restore the city’s social order has become more urgent and strong,” Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Illegal acts of funding, instigating and assisting the violence and riots should be strictly punished, the petition said, and media outlets that spread fake news, indulge and glorify illegal actions and violence, encourage the people to disrupt social order or obstruct the police in law enforcement also ought to be harshly sanctioned by the government. 

A Global Times reporter on Thursday morning saw a group of Hongkongers gather at the residential area of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying in Kowloon, holding banners labeling the founder of Hong Kong-based pro-secession newspaper Apple Daily as a “US lapdog” and “chief designer of the Hong Kong’ riots and disorder.”

They also blamed Lai for “negatively impacting the youth,” calling him the “origin of the Hong Kong chaos.”

It was the third demonstration carried out by patriotic Hongkongers in the area in a week, following those on August 10 and 14. 

US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly met Lai in July, amid the accusation that Hong Kong radical forces are colluding with Western forces to mess up situation in Hong Kong.

Lai was also spotted on August 3 meeting with “a foreign man in a restaurant,” saying, “Welcome to Hong Kong and well done with the situation!” the pro-establishment Ta Kung Pao newspaper reported.

Hongkongers’ choice  

Ta Kung Pao also said that Apple Daily is not only increasingly discrediting the mainland and Hong Kong, but also beating the drum for rioters.

One of the protesters, a Hong Kong mother, told the Global Times “the reason why I came here is my child was brainwashed by people like Lai. Under their bad influence, the child stopped studying hard, and participated in illegal riots.”

Wang Jiang, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, noted that the Hong Kong public has been making deep introspection, and has gradually realized that the so-called peaceful demonstrations have gone way off track, and have become nothing but brutality and violence.

Wang hopes that Hong Kong residents would draw a clearer line by cutting off any connections with the violent rioters.

Hung Kam-in, deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong told the Global Times that it is a fact that the ongoing violent activities carried out by the rioters is meant to “sabotage Hong Kong’s economy,” which have already made  the region’s pillar industries, including tourism and retail, more difficult.

Riots and chaos will not disappear automatically, and making compromises  and indulging in such acts would only worsen the situation, he siad.

“It is about time for Hongkongers to make a decision whether to wait and do nothing or bravely speak out. It is all Hongkongers’ choice to make,” Hung said.

Fan Lingzhi contributed to this story

Newspaper headline: HK has had enough of violent acts