Willing subjects of a tyranny of fear

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 March, 2007, 12:00am

I honestly don't know which is more pathetic: the insuperable fact that we are stuck with Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for another five years or that most Hongkongers are willing to accept this fate.

What bothers me even more is that Hong Kong should have learned, when the disastrous Tung Chee-hwa was finally ousted from office, that having a politically castrated leader is equal to having none at all. The moral of that tragic saga should be remembered. Instead, people are still willing to accept an emasculated leader for our great city, because we (wrongfully) value what we can get out of compromise.

This is why so many people are willing to cast their nonexistent votes for someone who is, if not the instigator, an accessory to the denial of one of our most fundamental human rights: to govern ourselves.

On the streets and in the government, the ideologues use the same euphemisms. We must be 'prudent' and 'practical'. Incrementalism and pragmatism are the chosen political rhetoric because our leaders prefer stability to change. Our government infantilises itself before Beijing because nearly everyone mistakes fear for respect. From the very beginning, our government has forgotten that, even though Hong Kong is part of China, it is still responsible for its own destiny as a special administrative region.

What the Hong Kong public wishes to see is courage. Instead, our government is always direly afraid.

All over the world we have seen people standing up against their governments in pursuit of better lives; blood has been shed for our basic desire to exercise our free will and to be masters of our own destiny.

We are fortunate not to live under a tyrannical government, yet it is our greatest misfortune that we willingly submit to the tyranny of fear.

During the unforgettable July 1 march in 2003, we proved ourselves capable of showing we care. We care, but we don't have enough faith.

What we want from our chief executive is a reason to believe in ourselves - in our strength to turn democratic ideals into reality. I hope 2012 will be a good year for dreams coming true.


Red-packet treatment

I wonder by what standards the Film Development Committee plans to allocate the HK$300 million pledged in the budget to fund individual filmmaking ('Fund could be used to produce HK movies', March 3)? Will there be any monitoring system to ensure fair play when the policy is implemented?

Furthermore, if the film industry is to be subsidised from the public purse, how about other industries? And if creative industries are to be selected, how about independent music, visual arts and design?

SIMON HO, Tsuen Wan

Worthy of HK$300m

It is really encouraging that Henry Tang Ying-yen is willing to spare HK$300 million from the budget for the movie industry. Hong Kong has been eligible for the title of Hollywood of the East for years, and it is a good timing to develop the industry further and to consolidate its status in Asia and the international market. Hong Kong is full of potentially great filmmakers, scriptwriters, directors, film crews and actors.

The Departed, this year's best-picture winner at the Oscars, was based on a Hong Kong movie. In addition, Curse of the Golden Flower won Yee Chung-man an Oscar nomination for best costume design and Isabella, directed by Pang Ho-cheung, won a Silver Bear for best film music at the 2006 Berlin film festival.


Your honour, I protest

I cannot believe that a judge would overturn the sentences handed down to legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung and four others for blocking traffic during a protest at the Eastern Harbour Tunnel ('Justice Department seeks to appeal overturning of 'Long Hair' sentence', March 2). The judge cited 'failure of the prosecution to prove the public had been unduly inconvenienced by the protest'. How many cars need to be blocked at a tunnel entrance to duly inconvenience the public? Were not the drivers who were inconvenienced members of the public? The judicial system has failed once again to protect the public by allowing protesters to do whatever they please (as it did with the World Trade Organisation protesters).

If I get in trouble with the law, my defence in court will be: 'Your honour, I plead not guilty. I was only protesting.'


Genocide justice denied

I am writing in response to the article 'Genocide ruling setback for Bosnian Muslims' (February 28).

I am deeply disappointed by the ruling in The Hague. How can anyone deny that genocide happened during the Bosnian civil war of 1992 to 1995? Serbia's former president Slobodan Milosevic carried out ethnic cleansing and the Serbs massacred more than 8,000 Muslims in one single incident. Genocide was Milosevic's favourite little game.

As everyone knows, the genocide in Serbia was every bit as real as the Nanking Massacre and the Holocaust, and no less terrible. Why is justice being denied to the Bosnians? Justice is already long overdue for these people. Of course, nothing can reverse the psychological and physical damage done, but it is important and necessary for us to officially condemn Serbia for what it has done. It is our moral responsibility.