Do not make district council election a stage of violence and political shows: Hong Kong voters
With the district council election drawing near, many Hong Kong residents wished that the elected could be those who will genuinely do good for the general public and make Hong Kong a better place.
A man surnamed Lee who works in a financial institute told Xinhua that because rioters vandalized offices of some district council members, he had difficulty in meeting them to do business.
"We do not need those who are good at fighting to be in our district council, but the members who could really serve the communities," he said.
The district council election in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is scheduled for the upcoming Sunday.
In the last district council election, more than 70 percent of the 431 elected seats were gained by patriotic members.
Rioters have recently targeted offices of those members, burning their documents and damaging their posters and banners before the election, in a bid to scare voters.
More than 70 offices of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong were vandalized for a total of more than 100 times, while nearly 30 offices, clinics and training centers of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions were sabotaged for more than 50 times. The New People's Party had about 10 offices destroyed, including two where rioters carried out arson attacks.
Nicholas Muk, a candidate for the election who is also a middle school teacher, told Xinhua that his election campaigns were interrupted in different ways. Some rioters hurled vitriol at him while others robbed and tore the fliers. The roadside posters were also damaged.
"The radicals would use petrol bombs and launch violent attacks," he said. "Many people were scared and worried about their own safety."
His view was echoed by Lee. "What shocked me the most in the district elections this year was not the candidates' campaigns, but the assassination of Junius Ho," he said.
Earlier this month, Ho, a HKSAR lawmaker running for the re-election in district council of Tuen Mun, was stabbed in the chest by a male during an election campaign event.
"The district council election has become a stage of the rioters and is filled with empty political slogans, which is appalling," Lee said.
A Hong Kong resident who only gave her surname Chan for fear of being doxxed, said if black-clad rioters appear on the election day, many of her neighbors would not dare to come out and cast the ballots.
"We are afraid of being threatened or even beaten by them (rioters)," she said, calling on the HKSAR government to take measures and make sure that people could vote without fear, so as to ensure the fairness of the election.
Some voters also pointed out that there are certain candidates who, coming out of nowhere, have no working experience in communities and know only how to play with political jargon.
"I will not vote for the trouble-makers who do nothing for our ordinary people," Chan said.
She said the prolonged violence has affected her business and many of her acquaintances lost their jobs. "Hopefully the unrest could end soon and peace could be restored," she said.