“It is better if there are fewer ‘special procedures for special things’,” said Chinese state media People’s Daily on Monday. Local media have noted that the opinion column comes after Apple Daily reported an incident whereby the Chief Executive allegedly used his privileges to help his daughter bypass security rules to retrieve forgotten hand carry luggage at the Hong Kong International Airport.

The column, written by Li Haoran, said that “because of its special characteristics, ‘special procedures for special things’ will very easily deviate from their original intentions, be abused, and be misused.”

People Daily's column
Photo: People’s Daily screenshot.

“‘Special procedures for special things’ should slowly make its exit from our thinking and behaviours; it should not be allowed to become prevalent. If there is a demand for special treatment when a problem arises, and when there is a tendency to rely on special means, it is definitely not a good thing for society.” Li said.

The Chief Executive and his family, as well as the Airport Authority, have denied that rules or procedures were bypassed in the incident, but pro-democracy lawmaker Emily Lau has called for an investigation.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.