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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 6:01am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 5:34am

Leadership matters in the fight for democracy

Dr Benny Tai Yiu-ting of Occupy Central likes to cite Martin Luther King. So it's worth remembering that for King to have succeeded, he needed Lyndon Johnson. This is the second half of the history lesson that is often forgotten. Mandela had De Klerk. Now, perhaps, Aung San Suu Kyi has Thein Sein.

You often need a partnership between courageous leaders from opposing sides to make that breakthrough that will appear impossible to partisans.

Unfortunately, back in Hong Kong, you have many partisans but no real leaders from either side.

Name-calling, accusations and denouncing each other may make for good headlines. But someone needs to have an endgame in mind and plot how to get there.

There are claims that Beijing has a Plan B to replace Leung Chun-ying as chief executive. But the central government must realise that our political crisis is not with the governor, but with governance. It's the system that is being called into question, not the person at the top. Leung does not seem to realise that he is opposed not for specific policies but for being there at all. It's the very legitimacy of his position, not what he does, that is being challenged.

Beijing wants him to focus on the economy and livelihood issues, thinking democratic reform could take a backseat if he resolves those issues. But from Hong Kong, he only has one mandate that will help preserve his place in history. It is to resolve our constitutional struggle for full democracy. For him to deny that this was his responsibility, as he did after he delivered his first policy address, fundamentally discredited him. Democracy is the biggest elephant in the room, and you cannot ignore it even if you try.

When a community or at least a substantial part of it demands full democracy, you can't really argue against it. But you do have a responsibility to point out the difficulties and the obstacles in going from A to B. This calls for leadership from both sides. Leung is in a unique position to explain to Hong Kong people Beijing's legitimate demands on the city. A real leader from the pan-democratic camp will have to convince Beijing that democracy does not mean opposition. At the moment, we have no King, Mandela or Suu Kyi; Johnson, De Klerk or Thein Sein.

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wwong888
whymak you harbor a serious racial grudge... and all this talk of licking behinds... makes me think your white boyfriend left you for a better looking man with a larger organ?
hard times !
there are actually no so-called fringe lunatics as you'whymak'accused here in the territory except maybe only you and your colleagues who have been sent here to criticize all pan-democarts and their supporters for their words and acts in our beloved Hong Kong ! Our respected Mrs Anson Chan is never considered a Snow White but our' Conscience of Hong Kong 'as Mrs.Elsie Tu in the sixties and early seventies of last century was. And there are no so-called 1000 dwarves here who surround Mrs.Anson too.Only numerous righteous and courageous plus selfishless democracy-lovers who respect her and her words uttered on our democratic development from time to time only ! Professor Benny Tai is no dwarf at all compared with you ----a hired drawf who continues to write here as a political clown or drawf to the best.Right ? Shame on you, a hired so-called 'writer' here ! The wickedest guys on the wall even without any mirrors are you and you only and your alike !!
hard times !
of course, this obscene so-called 'whymak' won't lick the rear ends of the white masters since they have left here 15 years ago ! yet he has chosen to lick the rear ends of his new masters up in the North ----his interest and only interest as well ! I am really sick of such a self-proclaimed patriot or blind loyalist to be sure !
hard times !
fully agree with Alex Lo that C.Y. has only one mandate to help preserve his place in Hong Kong history and that is to resolve our constitutional struggle for full democracy (or geniune universal suffrage which the pan-democrats fight for and vigorously demand these days). Absolutely right,democracy( which means dominated by the people ) is the biggest elephant in the room---our beloved Hong Kong.But regrettably,C.Y.'s administration is known or suspected to deliberately ignore it on the excuse that economy should come first before any constitutional reforms.
hard times !
of course, there is no king here in Hong Kong.And our democrats in town jsut don't have any chances to meet the leaders or their subordinates to express to them that democracy is not equal to opposition and an elected chief executive in town still has to be obedient to the authorities in Beijing as he/she has to be appointed by the Beijing leaders.Right ? This Leung Chun-ying appears more like a slave-servant or an agent only in the eyes of most Hongkongers.He has no personal will to launch the much-awaited constitutional reforms and the discussion on upcoming election methods of our next chief executive in 2017 when we are promised to have a universal suffrage that we can elect our leader in town and be elected as well if one is qualified enough !
mymak
Both the supporters of the Communist Party and the Democracy supporters appear to be arguing along similar lines on this forum. That is, if you don't love the Communist Party then you are unpatriotic and if you don't support the Democrats then you don't love Hong Kong.
Through your comments you are showing Alex to be spot on. There won't be any acceptance of the Communist Party's claims of legitimacy to rule Hong Kong and nor will there be any movement towards more democracy until both camps can try and communicate and understand each other.
The Democrats can not defeat the Chinese Communist Party at this time. And if the Chinese Communist Party manages to defeat the Hong Kong Democrats then such a victory will only lead to long term resentment.
Both sides need to talk with each other and try figure out a way that they can work together to improve the lot of Hong Kong people. Just hurling rude insults at each other is amusing to a neutral, but frustrating to a Hong Konger.
whymak
Mr. Lo, are you trying to make life tough for pan democrats and fringe lunatics? Who needs statesmanship when they already have a cast of 1001? There is Anson Chan the Snow White with 1000 dwarfs in tow, led by Dwarf #1, Martin Lee the Beith. The upstart making wave this moment is Dwarf #137, Benny Tai.
Is this Tai Dwarf trying to poach Beith's turf? I am afraid so. It's in the nature of perverse legal minds to compete with different euthanasia theories for Hong Kong.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the wickedest of them all?
johnyuan
There may be a difference why one wants to lead. There is for the good for everyone or just me. The latter is common in Hong Kong. The focus is all about making a buck.
blue
Yeah I have to agree with this.
whymak
" Apart from not pledging loyalty to a foreign power.... No, thanks." China is a foreign power! Bring back my white masters! Give me liberty to lick white men's rear ends and universal suffrage or give me death! Time for a revolution!
The best place to shop for assault weapons is the US, where there are more weapons than people.
I won't join your fight but will watch enthusiastically. I am not quite sure if you're my home team though.

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