Protesters arrested . . .
Hong Kong has been largely successful in suppressing the COVID-19 outbreak, with zero community transmission cases for the last 22 days. However, as the threat of the public health crisis was dying down, hundreds of people gathered in shopping malls on Mother’s Day to chant protest slogans. The police responded by making 250 arrests on allegations of unlawful assembly, weapons possession, and violations of the ban on public gatherings. Among the arrested was Democratic Party legislator Roy Kwong Chun-yu, who the police accused of throwing a water bottle at the officers. The Hong Kong Journalists Association and Hong Kong News Executives’ Association accused the police of harassing journalists covering the protests.
Blaming liberal studies . . .
In an interview with a pro-government newspaper, the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, blamed the schools' liberal studies curriculum for fueling the violent protests last year. Lam alleged that the curriculum spread “false and biased information” among students, adding that she would release plans for revising the subject this year. Liberal studies, which encourages students to think critically about social issues, has been in the line of fire from pro-establishment legislators, who charge that the discipline allows teachers to “spread subjective biased opinion.” A Democratic Party legislator said the chief executive has “misdiagnosed” the problem.
Economic recovery in the post-COVID world . . .
According to the government’s latest forecast, Hong Kong’s GDP is projected to have contracted by 8.9 per cent in the first quarter. In April, the government handed out a relief package worth nearly C$25 billion to keep the economy afloat. While COVID-19 is undoubtedly hampering the city’s economy, pandemic-induced economic pain is likely to be short term. Whether Hong Kong’s economy can truly bounce back in the long run depends on the government’s handling of the political tension in the months ahead.
- BBC: 香港通識課：被中國官媒批評的必修科「教壞」年輕人？
- Hong Kong 01: 林鄭稱今年內「處理」通識科 教聯反對殺科：社會問題非全因通識
- South China Morning Post: Hong Kong police arrest 230 at Mother's Day protest