Civil servants should not be ‘bad role models,’ lawmaker says of nat’l security officer caught at unlicensed massage parlor

Lawmaker Paul Tse commenting on the alleged misconduct of National Security Director Frederic Choi on an RTHK show. Photo: Hong Kong Police Force (left), RTHK (right)
Lawmaker Paul Tse commenting on the alleged misconduct of National Security Director Frederic Choi on an RTHK show. Photo: Hong Kong Police Force (left), RTHK (right)

A pro-Beijing lawmaker said in an RTHK show Thursday morning that civil servants should not be “bad role models,” a remark made in response to the scandal involving a high-ranking national security officer who was caught at an unlicensed massage parlor. 

“Everyone, especially high-ranking law enforcement officers, including judicial officers or civil servants, should be careful and not be bad role models,” Paul Tse said in the weekday radio show. 

The news was first broken by the South China Morning Post Monday night, when the paper cited sources who said Director of National Security Frederic Choi was caught at a police raid of an unlicensed massage parlor and is now being investigated.

Police held a press conference Wednesday confirming the report.

Tse emphasized that visiting unlicensed massage parlors does not violate any laws, just like how visiting a brothel is not illegal—a curious analogy given that the example, too, would do no favors for the already tattered image of the city’s police force.

He also reminded the public that while unlicensed massage parlors are often associated with sexual service, gambling and drugs, this may not always be the case, adding that people should not over-interpret the case.

Read more: Busted: Top Hong Kong national security officer caught at unlicensed massage parlor

The scandal has become the source of much amusement online, with some even doctoring images of Choi to mock his alleged misconduct.

On Facebook, pro-democracy activist Avery Ng, who is chairman of the League of Social Democrats party, shared an image of Choi and Chief Executive Carrie Lam holding up a framed picture of a foot with a smiley face. The symbol is commonly understood as a sign that the massage parlor in question offers sexual services.

The original photo was taken earlier this year when Choi received a commendation from Lam for his “significant contribution to safeguarding national security.”

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