On 14 August 2019, Chan issued a public statement urging the Hong Kong public to make cash withdrawals on 16 August 2019 in order to paralyze Hong Kong’s banking system. As everyone should know, the banking system is the core of Hong Kong’s economic system. His public statement made on 14 August 2019 was intended to arouse the hostility of the Hong Kong public towards the Hong Kong Government and the Central Government, and to instigate a rebellion against the Central Government with an aim to destroying the economies of Hong Kong and China. His public statement was also intended to instigate and deepen the discontent and rebellious feelings among the Hong Kong public and the feelings of malevolence and hostility across all spectrums of people in Hong Kong. The intention contained in his public statement may constitute the “seditious intention” under section 9(1)(b), section 9(1)(d) and section 9(1)(e) of the Crimes Ordinance. Under section 10(1)(a) and section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes Ordinance, any person who does or attempts to do any act with a seditious intention or utters any seditious words shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable for a first offence to imprisonment for 2 years. Thus, his public statement may constitute a criminal offence.
Despite Hong Kong is a society that respects freedom of speech, it does not necessarily mean that any words and acts with seditious intentions which may constitute a criminal offence should be condoned. The general public in Hong Kong are reminded to be cautious of your words and acts and not to assist or participate in any acts that constitute a criminal offence.