Statement taken out of context

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 March, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 March, 1996, 12:00am

I WOULD like the opportunity to reply to remarks attributed to me and the Better Hong Kong Foundation in Fanny Wong's column (South China Morning Post, March 6), headlined, 'Careless talk that does us no favours'.

The article is based on a report which appeared in USA Today, on February 20.

It is a shame the columnist did not contact me to gain clarification of quotes attributed to me in the article.

In my discussions with the USA Today journalist, which were not on the record, I did state that democracy was a word never heard before Chris Patten arrived. This was a statement of historical fact.

It was not a statement criticising or attacking the premise or philosophy of democracy.

USA Today then saw fit to use the statement out of context.

In fact, I am a believer in freedom and democracy and in the Hong Kong context wish to see greater representation, albeit on a gradual basis.

The Foundation was formed to promote financial and economic confidence in Hong Kong. It is not a body set up to lobby for or against democracy or any other political belief.

Formal channels involving the Hong Kong, British and Chinese governments are already in existence, through which political issues can and are being discussed.

It is the view of the Foundation that the economic and financial well-being and success of Hong Kong are as important as the political issues.

And that if these fundamentals are secured, it will create an environment in which other issues can be addressed confidently. LEONIE KI Chief Executive The Better Hong Kong Foundation