After arresting a number of people accused of plotting bomb attacks in Hong Kong, the police described them as using violence “to intimidate in order to achieve political ends”. So, exactly what the police themselves have been doing for nearly nine months now.
Now the government's budget proposes a 7% boost in police manpower. There are two problems with this. The first is that the last thing most Hongkongers want is more cops on the street when they have totally lost faith in the force already. People are tired of being teargassed, pepper-sprayed, beaten over the head and having their freedom of assembly violently repressed. Meanwhile the government continues to ignore widespread demnds for an independent inquiry into the force's conduct, even though some of its own erstwhile allies have joined the call for it.
The other problem is that the force has so thoroughly disgraced itself that it is hard to imagine it still being an attractive career option for anyone sincerely wanting to serve the community. This means that most of the 2,543 extra posts created are likely to appeal only to thugs and bullies, of whom we have far too many in the force already.
Unfortunately, the government is following its usual "eat your shit first or you don't get your candy" strategy by lumping this increase together with other budget measures in a single bill, so that the only way democratic lawmakers can vote it down is to also reject the popular and much-needed relef measures in the budget.