Police chief denies whitewashing 1967 riots

THE police have been accused of trying to sanitise its official version of the 1967 riots.

Police chief Stephen Lo Wai-chung (盧偉聰) denied this, saying some incidents were left out to simplify its website.

He said the police are still working on a more “comprehensive and authentic” version of events 48 years ago.

The new version will be uploaded when finished, he said. But commentators fears that this could just be the start of censorship. Netizens pointed out that specific terms or paragraphs relating to the Communist Party (共產黨) have been deleted or replaced.

In one instance, the original version reads: “In the most serious single incident of that year of violence, communist militia opened fire from the Chinese side of the border.”

In the new version, “communist militia” is replaced by “gunmen.”

Terms such as “Struggle committees,” “Little Red Book” and “Red fat cats” (pro-Beijing rich men) have also been deleted. Descriptions of other events at that time have also been changed.

Lo said a simpler version is easier to read as Hong Kong people nowadays need to read information promptly.

He said the police “have no political agenda”.

He added that the website will provide a hyperlink to a more comprehensive and detailed version.

However, political commentator Ivan Choy Chi-keung (蔡子強) asked: “Will other government departments do the same thing because of `political correctness’?”

(The Standard, 16 September, 2015)