Pro-Beijing lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung has faced backlash from netizens after boasting of the government’s clearance of homeless people.
The Federation of Trade Unions legislator said in a Facebook post last Friday that six government departments “finally carried out a joint operation” to clear the flyover at Tong Shui Road, North Point. Kwok said that the move meant the public could use a clean sidewalk once again.
Kwok also said that they will urge the government to follow up on the “problem” of homeless people and ramp up manpower and support, adding that the next step is to address the root cause of the lack of housing.
Kwok’s post was accompanied by an animated GIF slideshow depicting the scene at the bridge before and after the clearance, with the words “all clean.” The post has since attracted 1,500 angry reactions on Facebook.
Anti-poverty activist Benson Tsang criticised Kwok’s comments, saying that clearing the site would not help the situation of street sleepers, adding that he would not refer to it as a “problem.”
Posted by 郭偉强 on Friday, 24 November 2017
“Everyone needs to sleep, and chasing them away only means that they would be living in even darker corners, cutting them off from social workers seeking to assist them,” Tsang said.
Tsang told Kwok not to echo Beijing in engaging in inhumane acts such as exterminating those who are at the lowest points in their life. He was referring to Beijing’s mass eviction of migrant workers, dubbed “lower class citizens.”
“The most despicable is, after doing something like that, [Kwok] makes a GIF as if he was boasting about his accomplishments,” Tsang said.
Kwok said in response to comments by netizens that the situation had worsened in recent years and a large amount of furniture has been accumulated in the area. He also said that rats were found during the cleaning process, and questioned whether people who claim to be moral are those who would allow such a poor environment to affect society.
Kwok added that, as a council representative, he had to look at the incident realistically, and even though he agreed homeless people faced circumstances beyond their control, it did not mean that he was helping them by not dealing with the issue.