The revelation from Hong Kong athlete Lui Lai-yiu that she was sexually assaulted by a former coach has prompted an outpouring of support for Hong Kong’s “queen of hurdles,” with a number of public figures weighing in on an issue that many people in Hong Kong are afraid to talk about.
Yesterday, public figures including Chief Executive Carrie Lam praised Lui for being brave, with the city leader calling on police to look into the sexual abuse claims.
However not everyone seems to be on board with the #metoo movement. Controversial Hong Kong journalist Chip Tsao — also known professionally as “To Kit” — took to Facebook today to apparently criticise the #metoo campaign.
Tsao, who is known for his sarcastic and wry sense of humour, wrote: “How can we not catch up with the trend of advanced western countries?”
He then wrote that when he was in kindergarten he was touched on the face by a female teacher who he referred to as “Wong Wing-yi (a common name for a Hong Kong girl)”.
“I now realise, although it was a long time ago, that I am one of the victims of low-end sex abuse.”
He then adds that the teacher, without his consent, used their “professional power to touch a child’s body.”
“Thanks to the Facebook generation, by simply attaching a selfie, anyone can become a Weinstein or a Kevin Spacey.
He also added a post script to his message saying that police did not investigate abuse claims made by the daughter of then-chief executive CY Leung.
Tsao was referring to an incident in March 2015, when Leung Chai-yan wrote on her Facebook page that her mother had assaulted her. Emergency services arrived at Government House after responding to a 999 call, but did not investigate.
Then-police chief Andy Tsang defended his decision not to investigate by telling reporters: “There are many things posted onto the internet. It is impossible to launch an investigation whenever someone says something online. You wouldn’t want to be investigated for anything you wrote on the internet, would you?”
Netizens have been quick to weigh in on Tsao’s response. Some have praised Tsao for having “a good sense of humour” and for standing up, with one person saying: “Making serious allegations against someone which might involve criminal offense by just posting everything in open but with no report to police for investigation is really unfair to the suspect as he/she does not have any opportunity to defend [themselves].”
Critics however have said: “It is hard to agree with Chip Tsao this time, some of the victims in the outcry are sincere and are not joking.”
The post also caught the attention of the Civil Human Rights Front — the group that organizes the annual July 1 march in Hong Kong — which posted “why would Chip Tsao write something bad about Lui Lai-yiu?”.
Although Chip Tsao’s post was made one day after Lui’s allegations, he did not explicitly refer to the athlete in his online remarks.
The #metoo movement has seen countless women have shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault online along with the hashtag.
In the weeks since, numerous high-profile cases have emerged, with accusations ranging from groping to rape leveled against prominent men.