Senior officers wine, dine and smoke during banquet, violate governmental public health guidelines
A scandalous video capturing and exposing the scene where senior officers, including the commissioner of police himself, Tang Ping-keung, dined with celebrities, has recently been leaked. The video exposed bold claims made by Tang, including ” I didn’t even know how to become a police officer, it was only because of Jackie Chan!” Among the five tables set up in the room, no one wore masks, yet some still took selfies shoulder to shoulder; and not even adopting basic hygienic habits, such as not using serving chopsticks during eating and sharing microphones with one another. The police’s acts have severely violated the public health guidelines enacted by the government, and have put their image to shame while, simultaneously, being senior officers in the domains of law enforcement. The acts during the banquet such as smoking indoors (a violation of the “Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance”), have brought upon an unhealthy example to the general public, especially during the times of the current epidemic prevention.
Citizen News contacted the Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) about the incident, raising questions such as:
- Were the individuals smoking in the video police officers?
- Did the police take legal action, or were the cases referred to other departments for further investigation?
The PPRB did not answer the questions raised, only stating that the banquet was conducted as a private activity and did not consist of public funds.
The Five Crimes of the Police Banquet
1st Crime: Indiscreet remarks made by the Commissioner of Police, Tang Ping-keung
As the Commissioner of Police, the highest-ranking officer in the entire department, Tang claimed that he actually “did not know how to become a police officer.” “That I became who I am today, is because of learning from Jackie Chan and Alex Fong! I didn’t really know how or why, I just eventually learnt after watching little by little.”
*Note: Jackie Chan and Alex Fong are both actors who starred in action movies as police officers. Tang later said that he had just been joking then.
2nd Crime: Assisting individual forces for own benefits
Initially, police officers must take legal action in an unbiased, unprejudiced and fair manner, in which they are not permitted to side with any groups or organizations. However, as Tang put it, “Today, I am very grateful towards my football friends and teammates, as well as the celebrities in the performing arts. We all are old buddies in heart! If all of you ever need help, as long as you give us a thumbs-up, we’ll come hell or high water without hesitation no matter how big or small! A netizen criticized Tang’s comments, saying, ” Guess who’s they’re going to call when shit goes down! Anytime they need even the slightest help, the police will help them, guaranteed, whatever the cost! You get what they mean by ‘come hell or high water’! This whole damn organization is rotten to the core, corrupt from top to bottom!”
3rd Crime: Breaking the law knowingly by smoking indoors
According to Chapter 371 of Hong Kong’s laws, titled “Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance”, smoking is strictly prohibited within the premises of any restaurant. In the video, people could be seen smoking indoors, where they also sat with local celebrities such as Alex Fong, Alan Tam, Kenneth Lo and Benjamin Lam.Were the smokers police officers? Or did the officers present tolerate their suspected crimes?
4th Crime: Violating governmental public health prevention guidelines
The coronavirus outbreak has caused 60 confirmed cases up until now. The Centre for Health Prevention (CHP) announced earlier on that in order to reduce community spread, we must reduce social interaction to the minimum, avoid going to crowded areas and social meetings in which we should refrain from shaking hands, and most of all, dining together. The Chief Executive and many other officials have made these statements repeatedly in the last few weeks, however the people attending the banquet amounted to at least five full tables, who did not wear masks, and joined shoulders multiple times when taking selfies. These actions have severely violated the health guidelines and have heightened the chance of community spread of coronavirus.
5th Crime: Lack common sense in terms of public hygiene
The banquet’s hygienic levels were very low. Though restaurant employees wore masks, all other officers and celebrities did not adopt the same precautions as they did, Eric Tsang Chi Wai even using his own pair of utensils when serving himself from other plates and not the serving chopsticks which were provided. Tang, John Tse Chun Chung, Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang and Alan Tam shared microphones together during their singing, neglecting some of the most basic common hygienic habits.
Listed below are seven questions that Citizen News had asked the police during their interview, and the corresponding answers:
(R = Reporter, P = Police)
R: When was the banquet held?
P: 16th February, 2020.
R: What was the activity’s nature or purpose? Why did the Commissioner of Police, Tang Ping-keung, have to participate in this session?
P: Both retired and current members of the police force have usual ties with different football organizations or groups. On 16th February, they held a friendly football match during their free hours. After the match, both of them, including their relatives and family members had a meal together, and the bill was split between them.
R: How much were the total expenses during the activities? Who were they paid by?
P: The bill was split between both parties. The banquet was conducted as a private activity and did not consist of public funds.
R: Were the individuals smoking in the video police officers? Did the police take legal action, or were the cases referred to other departments for further investigation?
P: (no comment)
R: What method of transportation did the police officers use when they arrived and exited?
P: (no comment)
R: During the banquet, Tang had said the following, “That I became who I am today, is because of learning from Jackie Chan and Alex Fong!”. What was Tang referring to when he said that he was “learning from Jackie Chan and Alex Fong?”
P: (no comment)
R: “I didn’t really know how or why, I just eventually learnt after watching little by little.” What did Tang exactly mean from this statement?
P: (no comment)