• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:18am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2012, 3:33am

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

BIO

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.
 

United you stand, divided you fall. Surely the pan-democrats know that. But they subdivided themselves and fought against each other - all in the name of democracy. Do they even understand the meaning of the word? With such public anger over Leung Chun-ying's leadership - fuelled further by national education - Legislative Council seats were there to be won. But the democracy camp failed to get even its traditional 60 per cent voter support. It won just 27 of the 70 Legco seats. The pro-establishment camp got 43. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. When the democracy camp can't even speak with one voice, how can it possibly lead the charge in making sure that the universal suffrage that's been promised starting in 2017 will be real democracy?

Leung doesn't know when to fight and when to fold

Public Eye asked a week ago how long it would take C.Y. Leung to understand that national education was belly-up. He tried to keep the corpse alive for three more days after that before he finally declared it dead. He understood only after tens of thousands of Hongkongers massed to demand its burial. The lesson for Leung is that he can't fight the people and expect to win. The lesson for the people is that Leung will listen only if they bludgeon him with people power. He's shown us that he doesn't know when to fight and when to fold. He tried to ram through his government restructuring plan but was humiliated by legislators. The writing was on the wall that people feared national education. What political sense did it make to go against the people if, as he claimed, national education was not a directive from the central authorities? We don't know if it was, but if it wasn't then Leung is anything but a savvy leader in tune with the people.

Honest and imaginative leadership sadly lacking

When all else fails, blame someone else. That's what C.Y. Leung did in bowing to people power on national education. He insisted he backed it only because he inherited it from his predecessor. Oh, please, give us a break. If he really didn't care either way why did he risk his already damaged popularity by fighting so hard for so long? Leung ditched or overhauled other inherited policies that faced much less opposition. The My Home Purchase scheme and hospital beds for pregnant mainlanders spring to mind. So why did he cling on to national education until a mass protest forced his hand? We had hoped for honest and imaginative new leadership when Leung was elected. We haven't seen it yet.

Please Carrie, save the tears ... and the Kleenex

When the people told her they didn't love her any more she cried on TV. Poor Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. She got all emotional during an interview about her falling popularity. She blamed it on her support of national education as part of Leung's administration. Before we hand her the Kleenex we would like her to know that people who don't ride around in a chauffeured car, live on The Peak and earn HK$300,000-plus a month like her are crying too. They live in subdivided slum flats, caged beds and scavenge for cardboard boxes to survive.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

5

This article is now closed to comments

joyalsofi
"When the democracy camp can't even speak with one voice,..." Democracy seldom speaks with one voice. What does speak with one voice, is dictatorship.
Camel
Seems you do not understand democracy at all. Too much democracy getting out of control will often harm a society and a state as with many different demands, voices and political views going to different directions you will never be able to run and rule a country and state. Real democracy is when you put all views, demands, opinion and voices together, discuss them, compromise and get a result as a base how to run the country in one direction. Otherwise you have chaos and anarchy. A country can not rule by many different voices. Only one voice and one way.
xiaoblueleaf
Right on, Michael! When it comes to politics, we have a bunch of amateurs here in Hong Kong.
megafun
your best aprt, was saved to the last........................Poor Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. She got all emotional during an interview about her falling popularity. She blamed it on her support of national education as part of Leung's administration. Before we hand her the Kleenex we would like her to know that people who don't ride around in a chauffeured car, live on The Peak and earn HK$300,000-plus a month like her are crying too. They live in subdivided slum flats, caged beds and scavenge for cardboard boxes to survive.............She is such a stupid old hag, trying out some teenie tandrum.................LOL
edmundho
I am saddened by the article and the response. I certainly believe the government has a great deal of work to do to improve people's trust in them. There are certainly government policies that I do not like. However, I do not believe the individual officials deserve the remarks that you have made. Should you be calling someone stupid for having a different belief from yours? Are you saying that someone who has earned her wealth through a career could not show her emotion? This has nothing to do with politics but it has everything to do with human decency. Focus on the issue, challenge the policies, but respect the person who has to serve 7 million people Hong Kong holding different views!
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or