Push made to defend erosion of core values
Non-partisan declaration decries the deterioration of governance
Hundreds of professionals, academics and non-governmental organisation leaders are to sign a declaration calling for the defence of Hong Kong's core values such as democracy and the rule of law, which they say are being eroded.
Drafters of the 'Hong Kong Core Values Declaration' say it is a nonpartisan push backed by people who are disturbed by the deterioration of governance.
The campaign started on Tuesday and so far more than 80 people have signed the declaration.
Albert Lai Kwong-tak, chairman of the Conservancy Association, said he expected hundreds of people to sign by next Friday's deadline.
He said organisers would spend about $100,000 to publish the declaration in several newspaper advertisements on June 7.
'We are deeply concerned about the deterioration in governance and the growing social polarisation in Hong Kong,' the declaration says. 'The alarm has rung for all of us, irrespective of social background and political orientation, to stand up and defend Hong Kong's core values, including democracy, liberty, fairness, transparency and the rule of law.'
Campaign architects are Mr Lai, Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, chairman of policy think-tank SynergyNet, and Chua Hoi-wai, president of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association.
Signatories include Christine Fang Meng-sang, chief executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Patrick Lau Sau-shing, former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Alan Leong Kah-kit, former Bar Association chairman, Anissa Chan Wong Lai-kuen, chairwoman of the Subsidised Secondary Schools Council, Tik Chi-yuen, chief executive of the Hong Kong Society for the Aged, Danny Yung, director of Zuni Icosahedron, an independent artists' collective, and Charles Mok Nai-kwong, former chairman of the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association.
Those who have signed include people in the medical, accountancy, legal, education and architectural professions.
'We are concerned about recent events including the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee and the abrupt departure of three outspoken radio hosts,' Mr Lai said.
He was worried that the slower pace of democratic development after the Standing Committee's interpretation of the Basic Law might result in the perpetuation of the pro-business mode of governance.
Mr Lai said the sale of Hunghom Peninsula - a project built for the Housing Authority's Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) but left unsold to help stabilise property prices - to developers was an example of core values being eroded.
'The HOS aims ... to help disadvantaged groups but ... to sell the project at an arguably low price ended up subsidising private developers with public money,' he said.