How to ensure a voice for business

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 December, 2003, 12:00am


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Is Jake van der Kamp ('Try selling this suffrage deal in New York', December 23) the only person to comment on Wharf chairman Peter Woo Kwong-ching's preposterous suggestion that a quarter of the seats in the Legislative Council be reserved for the business community?

The mind boggles at what a sophisticated audience of North Americans or Western Europeans would think if Mr Woo even hinted at such an antediluvian notion at a talk on one of his overseas trips for the Trade Development Council.

I suppose that it is asking too much to suggest that even Mr Woo can see what the solution is if he wants business to be represented in a democratically elected Legco. He must form a political party and its members must stand for election. He could even try ensuring that members of the Liberal Party stand for election in the business interest. After all, the Republicans in the US and the Conservatives in the UK (when they were a force to be reckoned with) could both be said to represent business interests, to say nothing of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's party in Italy.

There is therefore nothing unusual in business being represented in a democratically elected legislature. Indeed, it is desirable.

Does Mr Woo have so little confidence in the ability of our businessmen to win any popular election that he feels the need to 'protect' them through the appointments system?

Incidentally, it is interesting that Hopewell Holdings chairman Sir Gordon Wu Ying-sheung and Hutchison Whampoa chairman Li Ka-shing have both spoken out in favour of democracy.