The claim that public officials are reliable people who will only go after the bad guys underlies the People’s Republic of China’s tradition of rule by law. It presumes that a society of laws is one where officials issue the right directives and everyone else is bound to follow them. Such use of law as only an instrument of control is not the rule of law as known in Hong Kong.
Rather, the rule of law primarily aims to maintain public order by ensuring that officials comply with properly enacted laws in carrying out their duties. For common law Hong Kong, under the Basic Law, such laws should be the product of a proper legislative process with enforcement and oversight in the ordinary courts.