Ho Ngai King
Ho Ngai King is a senior police inspector with the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF). Trying his utmost to make society a better and safer place is the No.1 value Ho has lived by for years. And his resolve has never wavered.
Today, Ho is a district operations officer on Lantau Island, mainly responsible for anti-crime operations. "Choosing this job is choosing to help society. But first, we must put our trust in our shared value: to serve Hong Kong with honor, duty and loyalty," he told Beijing Review.
In the past years, Ho was often impressed by those officers subjected to all sorts of pressures whilst doing their duty on the frontlines.
Nearly two years have passed, but Ho still remembers the chaos as if it happened yesterday. Starting from June 2019, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was rocked by months of unrest and street violence sparked by proposed ordinance amendments concerning fugitives' transfers. Vandalism and other acts of lawlessness remained rampant after the SAR government later withdrew the amendments. Many police officers sustained physical injuries while trying to stop violence and their mental wellbeing also suffered. Ho, too, found himself under tremendous psychological pressure at the time.
"Even though every colleague has their own difficulties to overcome, we all support one another. This solidarity became particularly obvious during those tumultuous days, but, honestly, we can feel it every day we're on duty," he said.
For Ho, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which has been in force for nearly two years now, has proven effective in the restoration of peace and order. "The effect of the law has been remarkable," he said. "It has ended the chaos and violence and people have regained their peaceful lives."
The senior officer disagrees with those who allege freedom and human rights in Hong Kong are being eroded through the legislation. "In terms of actual freedom, there is much more now than there was in 2019," he said.
In his eyes, the rule of law is one of the cornerstones of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, one now back in place and respected once again.
Throughout the past quarter-century since Hong Kong's return to China in 1997, the support of the Central Government has played a pivotal role in Hong Kong's economic and social leaps forward. Ho stated the SAR's closer integration into the overall development of the country will benefit it greatly in the coming years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Government has come to the aid of Hong Kong by sending supplies, vaccines and dispatching medical teams, ensuring the steady supply of essential materials. "We all know that mainland support has enabled Hong Kong to address its challenges," he added.
The pandemic has resulted in the suspension of many activities. Ho expressed his hope that when normal travel between the two sides resumes, people in Hong Kong can once again visit the mainland to engage in exchanges in the fields of science and technology, sports and culture.
But speaking of activities, there is one that steadily, and literally, marches on in the SAR: Chinese-style foot drills. On July 1, the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, the HKPF's British-style marching drills officially became a thing of the past as police officers started to perform the Chinese-style foot drills of the People's Liberation Army.
"I like Chinese-style foot drills," Ho said. "As we celebrate the 25th anniversary this year, the time is right for us to adopt our own marching style."
Printed edition title: A Safer Haven
Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon
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