HONG KONG: Hong Kong protests: many residents blame government as shopping malls and rail network remain out of action for entire day for the first time in city’s history.

  • North Point resident says government is creating terror in society by shutting down public facilities and stopping people from coming out
  • Another woman says MTR being a listed company has no right to disrupt services whenever it feels like

Major shopping malls across Hong Kong were closed and the city’s entire rail network remained shut down for the first time in its 40-year history on Saturday, but many residents felt the blame lay with the government rather than the protesters who had gone on a violent rampage the night before.

“I’ve never seen the whole network shut down in my life,” Serena Yang, 40, a North Point resident, said. “This does not make sense. It is not fair to citizens as the MTR makes a lot of money every year.”

Yang had driven to buy groceries at Cityplaza in Tai Koo, a neighbourhood which was the scene of tear gas and chaos on Thursday night.

“The government is creating terror in society to stop people from coming out,” she said. “The MTR should serve the public, but now it seems the government can order it to completely shut down.”

A sustained campaign of vandalism against the city’s rail operator escalated on Friday night, with turnstiles destroyed, station offices smashed or flooded and fires set at exits. By 10pm, four lines were already suspended and at least 10 stations on other lines closed before the entire network was shut down about 35 minutes later.

www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3031709/hong-kong-protests-many-residents-blame-government-shopping