• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 7:06am
PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 September, 2014, 1:39am

Hong Kong's democracy fighters stumble from defeat to defeat

Michael Chugani says our fumbling democracy fighters are as much to blame as Beijing for our lacklustre democratic progress


Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.

Outplayed and outgunned - there is no other way to describe the democracy camp's defeat by our Beijing bosses. Fighting for democracy is a noble cause. But those who fought for it on our behalf had no clue what they were up against. Worse still, they were leaderless and disorganised. They could not even clearly define what kind of victory they were after.

They turned what should have been a fight conducted on high moral ground into one characterised by banana-throwing, infighting, double standards and silly claims of white terror when things went against them. They alienated people by deriding as Beijing puppets those who supported democracy but disagreed with their tactics.

They made heroes of people such as Ricky Wong Wai-kay and radio host Li Wei-ling just because one was refused a TV licence and the other was sacked. They even made ludicrous claims that the treatment of the two, and the knifing attack on former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau Chun-to, was proof of a campaign by Beijing and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to muzzle the Hong Kong media.

They accused the Independent Commission Against Corruption of political persecution for searching the premises of Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, his aide Mark Simon and legislator Lee Cheuk-yan. The law required the ICAC to act because it had received allegations of wrongdoing involving Lai's donations to democracy camp leaders. It had search warrants issued by the High Court. By labelling the searches as political persecution, are the democrats saying High Court judges had conspired with the ICAC to persecute them?

Delusions of grandeur marked their democracy campaign. They called it a struggle, as if they were in the same league as Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. If Suu Kyi had been allowed out of house arrest to join a democracy march, she would not have sneaked away to a beauty parlour as Anson Chan Fang On-sang did. Mandela would turn in his grave if he knew our democracy leaders had chauffeurs to drive them to dinner after a march. So would Gandhi if he knew Lai plots our freedom struggle aboard his private yacht.

At times, it was hard to distinguish whether they were fighting for Hong Kong democracy or against China's Communist Party. Blurring the line between the two was their greatest folly. It is none of our business that China is a one-party state, yet our democracy fighters made it their business.

If they had limited their fight to just democracy for Hong Kong, Beijing may not have taken such a harsh line over political reforms. But they linked it with their contempt for the party. And their Occupy Central threat gave Beijing the excuse to link our reforms with national security.

Now they want to snatch further defeat from the jaws of defeat. They will press ahead with Occupy Central even though its threat value has been neutralised. And they plan to vote down the limited reforms Beijing has allowed, even though we would be offered the exact same reforms in future if we say "no" now.

Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host. mickchug@gmail.com


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I urge all legislators to spend more of their precious legislative hours on solving Hong Kong's social issues. We need more land. We need more lower density public housings. People need more hospitals. People want clean air and water. Please want a long term waste strategy. People want to resolve over-crowding. Families want more places to go on weekends. We need to find places and attractions to keep visitors happy. Time to bring your focus back.
One of the best pieces from Michael.
The list of pro-dems scaremongering is also notable. Examples include claims that the PLA was driving armoured vehicles around in a threatening posture, when in fact these vehicles get moved around on a regular basis. Perhaps most telling are their claims of heavy handed policing. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows these claims are completely groundless.
No one in the democratic camp has the charisma to become a true leader...who do we have?
A few religious types who can't even be trusted with young boys, bored academics with high pitched voices, smug barristers-****-legislators, some banana throwers and a grande-dame who might might have been CE and thus less democratic.
What can one expect! It was never a fair fight in the first place.
On the one side, you have the elite of the CPC, who have risen to the top of the leadership ladder within a hyper-competitive and vicious political environment and had the street smarts to have survived it all; and on the other side you have a bunch of primadonnas whose ancesters just a few generations ago were refugees from the mainland escaping from hunger and by virtue of having had a few years of British education and worked for their colonial masters fantasize themselves as being royalties who should rule Hong Kong and bring "democracy" to mainland China.
The Truth is, they are not fighting for Democracy, they actually couldn't define Democracy for themselves, they even don't know what Democracy is or how Democracy is practised and how the state leaders are elected in other countries like the USA, UK or in many European states, but demand something HK should have, whatever it is. No, if you see their speech, their actions, their uncivilised behaviour, something else is in their mind.
They just merely against the communists and fighting against the CCP. No matter what. That is their solely goal and that is their intention. They gather naive young people around them, telling them fairy tales and recruit them for their crusade against the CCP. Well, I am no communist and I am not a friend of communism, but I rather let them rule HK than those apes called Pan-Dems and People Power.
John Adams
Great stuff Michael !
I agree 100%
Pan -dem- clowns.... idiots...
BTW : What's all that BS about "international standards " of democracy ?
(Where are true people of Martin Lee's caliber these days ? )
I agree, our lawmakers should be pressing to reclaim another HK Island literally in order to break up the land locked up in the NT, and deal with the depreciating dollar in this sitting session. They should also urgently deal with asking for re-designing that squatty ferris wheel at the Central reclamation, before it's completed and become another laughing stock- 'the ferris wheel that's lower than all of the Central highrises'.
Michael, good public-eyeing and well written.
Choogy has a point there..
The sad state of 'democracy' in HK is that the pan-dems do not realize their foolish actions are driving a lot of people who used to be in the middle away from their camp. Before occupy central and all this stupid filibustering in legco, I have always considered myself to be pro 'democracy'. Not anymore!




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