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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:21pm
Occupy Central
CommentInsight & Opinion

'Occupy Central' threat is no way to begin talks on 2017 reform

Jeffrey Lam urges pan-democrats to rethink the economic suicide that is Occupy Central

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 3:25am

Despite Beijing's commitment to universal suffrage for the chief executive election in 2017, pan-democrats have threatened a campaign to "occupy Central", with plans to block traffic in the district next year.

Though University of Hong Kong law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, who proposed this action, has insisted it would be a last resort, his plan has caused angst in Hong Kong.

Should a discussion start with a threat? Haven't the pan-democrats always said we must treasure our core value of the rule of law? "Occupy Central" could easily affect our business and reputation. As Tai has admitted, this is "a dangerous game" and could reach a stage where it would be difficult for organisers to keep control of the event, and some supporters could turn to violence.

Besides, threats will only lead to a deterioration of relations, at a time when the Hong Kong government is handling conflict and tensions over cross-border integration.

Tai has also said participants would occupy Central "indefinitely" until they get what they want, in a bid to "force Beijing to make a choice between economic sacrifices and political sacrifices". I hope he understands that the economic losses Hong Kong would suffer as a result would be much bigger than any on the mainland. Realistically, it's economic suicide.

Given that the central government seeks to maintain stability and prosperity in the SAR, it comes as no surprise that Beijing has joined the reform debate. Qiao Xiaoyang , chairman of the Law Committee under the National People's Congress, announced Beijing's bottom line for the 2017 chief executive election, saying that only people who love China and Hong Kong, and who do not attempt to antagonise the leadership of the Communist Party, could be eligible for the job of leading our city.

It is understandable that Beijing officials would lay down such criteria for the city's next leader. Some say Qiao's statement shows Beijing wants to exclude the pan-democrats, who have called for an end to one-party rule on the mainland, from running in the election. But a chief executive of the SAR is more like a co-ordinator between Hong Kong and the central government. How could someone who wishes to confront Beijing do the job properly?

Sadly, the debate on universal suffrage has already whipped up a storm. On the positive side, the positions of both the central authorities and some Hongkongers have been laid down.

Clearly, given that both sides are so far apart, more trust is required. For the sake of the city, debate about political reform needs to be held in a calm and rational manner.

Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung is a legislative councillor in the commercial (first) functional constituency


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hard times !
Lam Kin-fung, a Sir Donald Tsang supporter, is now warning our pan-democrats not to threaten using 'Occupy Central' tactic to demand a geniune universal suffrage since it will be the economic suicide of our financial centre-----the Central.I think Lam's words are itself threatening enough.Unlike the outspoken and frequent writer but much-hated (by the blind loyalists or hired writers here) pflim040, this Lam is very conservative in local politics.He urges a debate about political reforms in a calm and rational manner.May I ask whether a peaceful gathering (which might block some roads in Central since the number of participants might easily exceed 10,000) which is of the type of a civil-disobedence like the ones staged by India's Gandhi (who was several times arrested by the British colonists in India) irrational and not calm ? Besides,'Occupy Central' is the last resort only if we (most Hongkongers) are not granted/allowed a geniune universal suffrage in 2017 in the election of our chief executive.
hard times !
Jeffrey Lam might not as clear as pflim040 (the one most hated by local Beijing-loyalists plus those hired 'writers' here and an individual hacker who started from March 8th, the day pflim040 posted here in SCMP to express his views on our promised universal suffrage to attack the latter shamelessly on his e-mail box with faked Nevigator e-mails plus pretending to be either HSBC or even Hong Kong Jockey Club both not related to pflim040.ha ! ha !) on Basic Law articles 26 and 39 which both state that we are guaranteed to have the right to vote and to be voted in the upcoming universal suffrage.Please re-read the Basic Law,Mr.Jeffrey Lam !
What is a debate? Though Benny Tai said it's a last resort, his campaign, with the intense media coverage, has stirred up extensive speculation and tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland. Do you think what North Korea is doing is a good way to begin talks? Its threat carries huge risks. The threat that Tai poses is not limited to his ambition for "westernised" universal suffrage, but also the core value HK people have treasured of the rule of law.
hard times !
the debate on electoral reform ? What debate ? Any rational and sensible debates to be held before on this vital issue in the past months ? Not any, I'm afraid ! How can the two camps which hold totally different viewpoints sit together to have a constructive debate ? I wonder.
hard times !
In fact, it is the Beijing authorities who do not trust we Hongkongers whose literacy maybe among the best in the whole country and are sensible enough not to choose/elect a leader---the chief executive in 2017 who will be confrontational towards Beijing by asking them to end the one-party rule on Mainland or even the vindication of June 4th massacre/incident. If Beijing can trust Hongkongers and let us have a geniune universal suffrage (as a testing ground to launch a democratic reform in the whole of China) that we can vote for our chief executive through,'one man, one vote', there won't be any conflicts or arguments !
hard times !
I wonder why in the past,before our promised universal suffrage in 2017, no criteron were ever laid down for the candidates of our chief executive post.Both pan-democrats' Leung Kah-kit and Albert Ho Chun-yan were allowed to take part in the races for the top post with people favoured by Beijing and their followers.Yet now we are approaching a so-called universal suffrage that is supposed to observe the UN's International Convenant on Civil & Political Rights article 25(b)---which states that every citizen (qualified voters) should have the right to vote and to be voted in a universal suffrage ! Though Hong Kong is not an independent state,yet we are guaranteed high autonom------picking our leader ourselves.What can be more representative than letting qualified voters choose their own chief excutive ? Anyway,at least the Nominating Committee members should be chosen through,'one man,one vote' so as to represent most Hongkongers' wishes.
hard times !
a last resort is always a last resort, this Jeffrey Lam maybe too old to fully understand the meaning of a 'last resort' ! Nobody in town would like to disrupt our financial cnetre---the Central's traffic flow even after office hours, so do our respectable and beloved scholars: Professor Tai Yiu-ting and Professor Chan Kin-man plus Reverend Chu Yiu-ming who organise the civil-disobedience---the "Occupy Central' movement to press for a geniune universal suffrage ----our just and reasonable demand indeed ! Once it fails, then the movement may go on !
hard times !
What this so-called Jeffrey is b..........? I wonder.He said that since Beijing seeks to maintain the stability and prosperity of the SAR administration, so it came as no surprise Qiao Xiao-yang had to intervene in our lcoal election----the election of our chief executive in 2017 which is definitely a local affair unrelated to either defence or diplomacy at all ! Maybe this Qiao is too talkative or too messy----a trouble-maker in local term by uttering his so-called pre-requisites of our chief executive candidates so as to get rid of all unwelcomed elements in town from even competing in the first universal suffrage in town which should be more democratic than the past Chief Executive elections that both pan-democarts, Leong Kah-kit and Albert Ho Chun-yan were allowed to compete though they both lost ! How can a so-called universal suffrage screening out pan-democrats ? i just can't imagine ! No pan-democratic camp supporters would bother to vote on the polling day if only 2-3 pro-establishment candidates are left for voting. Then the voting rate will be very low and the chief executive elected will have no acceptability at all ! How can he/she governs well ? i wonder. It is a more powerful and practical way to counter-attack an unfair election than staging the 'Occupy Central' movement in July 2014 maybe ! Just wait and see.
What does a genuine universal suffrage mean? do u mean the ideas given by the "Let Love and Peace Occupy Central movement" or the "Alliance for True Democracy" are the only, ultimate or true universal suffrage? And the universal suffrage outlined by Qiao is “half” or not genuine?
How about something between the universal suffrage pushed by the pan-democrats and that by Qiao? Is it genuine? If not, then Occupy Central will go ahead? I believe Beijing will follow closely the acts of HK people. But follow you all around and accept your "genuine" universal suffrage. I doubt it.
Given that the parties have laid down their bottom lines, then talk. The earlier the better.


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