What is Considered Obscene Language in Hong Kong’s Public Spaces?

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

There are specific bylaws in Hong Kong that prohibit using profanity in public places such as Ocean Park (theme park) and the MTR (Mass Transit Railway). The precise meaning of obscene language is not provided, however the bylaws specify that any language that is likely to cause irritation or offence to other persons is prohibited.

This bylaw is enforced by MTR security personnel, who can issue warnings or even remove passengers if they hear them using foul language. The similar bylaw is in effect at Ocean Park, where visitors are not permitted to use abusive or disrespectful language against workers or other guests.

This by-law dates back to the early days of the MTR, when the railway was still under construction. There was a lot of public opposition to the project at the time, and some people even used profanity to show their anger. To avert any disturbances or violence, the MTR resolved to enact a bylaw prohibiting the use of abusive language.

While the by-law may appear to be insignificant, it has been highly effective in preserving a respectful and enjoyable environment for everyone who uses the MTR or Ocean Park. So, the next time you visit Hong Kong, keep your language in public areas in mind!

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