Ifzal Zaffar, a police constable of Pakistani descent, became an overnight hero and poster boy of Hong Kong's spirit after he climbed up a crane at a construction site and talked a fellow countryman out of committing suicide in his native Urdu.
The fact that his high profile experience has encouraged new recruits from a diverse background to join a police mentoring programme is testatment to the importance of rolemodels in the workforce. The feeling of 'if he can do it, why I can't I?" is an extremely powerful and effective tool in ensuring that our public servants and workforces reflect the society that they represent.
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Branded as “hero” and “Hong Kong’s most handsome boy cop” on social media, Zaffar said he was stopped by passers-by on the streets and asked to pose for selfies. Many have added him on Facebook and sent him encouraging messages. More importantly, he is encouraged by the fact that his hero’s journey has prompted a 50 per cent surge in the number of students enrolling in the force’s Project Gemstone – a mentoring programme for ethnic minorities with an aim to ultimately hiring more non-Chinese recruits.