In January, a mainland family visited Hong Kong. Their child ate noodles on the MTR. A Hongkonger named Ken intervened, as eating is against the rules. The mother not only did not tell her child to stop, but started arguing with Ken. A video of the incident was posted on YouTube.
In response to the video, Kong said "many Hong Kong people are dogs and thieves" because Ken had complained in Cantonese. He added: "your society's order is maintained by law, which means that you have no self-restraint, which means that you are vile people."
Hong Kong people were enraged by these comments. It is important to respect different cultures. We have no obligation to talk to mainlanders in Putonghua, at least in Hong Kong.
In regard to us having "no self-restraint" because "our society's order is maintained by law", let us look at the mainland, a place where laws are not always respected. We can see how people behave. Corruption is widespread. With no offence, we "dogs" at least behave better than Kong's friends.
I believe that this issue stems from faulty perceptions. Locals are badly affected because property prices are rising, as rich mainlanders buy flats in the city. Contaminated food, drinks and toys often come from the mainland, giving us a bad impression about our motherland. Mainlanders see us working day and night and may think that we are too money-minded. These factors have led to a huge gap between locals and mainlanders.
Kong owes us an apology. Mastering Putonghua won't do us any harm though. Then we can boost harmony and avoid misunderstandings.