Editorial : 100 days into HK crisis

【明報專訊】THE STORM of protest in Hong Kong over the extradition bill has reached its hundredth day with no way out in sight. Society has become increasingly polarised, with petrol bombs and tear gas canisters seen everywhere and conflicts in local communities further intensifying. The government has failed to address public sentiment in its responses while police action has repeatedly provoked controversies. The outlook for curbing violence is far from encouraging. The situation now calls for calm reflection by all parties concerning what is good for Hong Kong as a whole. Violence can only bring about destruction rather than solve problems. However, despite the escalating violence, the latest opinion poll shows that society has not yet distanced itself clearly from violence. All members of society should ask themselves — how much higher must the level of violence get before they will say it is "intolerable"? Nevertheless, given the fact that the survey also shows that nearly half of the citizens "absolutely cannot trust" the police, the force should also reflect on how to make its way of law enforcement convincing to the public. Furthermore, as more than 70% of the people regard the government as not responsive enough and demand the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry, the government should also reflect on how to respond further to public demands and to stop violence and curb disorder root and branch.