• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:18am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 1:27am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 1:27am

Silent DAB is failing HK over reform

As Hong Kong's dominant pro-establishment political party, the DAB is abdicating its responsibility over political reform. Since it has the ear of the central government, it should be at the forefront of the debate. Instead, it has deliberately hidden away and failed to put forward any ideas.

That, I take it, is the substance of Allen Lee Peng-fei's criticism of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong at a Sunday forum. Lee called it tragic; disgraceful is a better word. It's especially appalling when many senior DAB members hold top government positions: Lau Kong-wah, undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs; Greg So Kam-leung, the commerce and economic development chief, Executive and Legislative Council member Starry Lee Wai-king, Legco president Tsang Yok-sing and his brother, home affairs chief Tsang Tak-sing.

It's hard to avoid the impression that it is no more than a party machine to win elections, raise funds for friendly groups and attract well-paid jobs for its members in the public sector.

Sunday's forum was led by prominent barristers and law professors like Alan Hoo, Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Johannes Chan Man-mum - who together represent a wide political spectrum - along with Lee. It concluded - what a suggestion! - that dominant political parties like the DAB should work with each other on the way forward over political reform. That should have been obvious and gone without saying.

But in our highly polarised city, no one seems to have thought of talking to each other. Pointing fingers, screaming loudly and denouncing the other side has become the default mode of interactions, starting with lawmakers.

The more uncompromising pan-democratic groups can put out the most abstract and unrealistic proposals, and then denounce the government for subverting "democracy". But the DAB, by being beholden to the government and Beijing, must table ideas that are more realistic. If it would take the initiative to debate the pan-dems, it might force them to inject some realism into their radical reform campaign.

The DAB has ridden the gravy train long enough; it's time to do something for the people of Hong Kong at this crucial time.


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This article is now closed to comments

The DAB doesn't have the Government's ear. The Government has the DAB's ear and obedience.
Is there no limit to the amount of spineless flip flopping this columnist will do?

For over six months, many have been decrying the fact that the government had and still has no official position on the 2017 reform. And neither does the DAB (let's face it: it is inconceivable for the DAB and the gov to have differing positions on this issue, so for all matters and purposes they are the same thing). And what did Mr Lo do all this time?

Oh wait, I remember. He was busy writing columns ridiculing any Pro-Dem or other proposal that was put forward in the media, sneering at Prof Benny Tai and Occupy Central, not taking any clear position himself, questioning the very ideas of democracy and individual civil rights, and babbling on how the 'silent majority' he unilaterally proclaimed to know and represent actually doesn't want meaningful reform at all, at least not if it would upset anybody. Oh yes, and of course he went for dinner with the nitwits in government house who oversee the whole mess.

And then comes today, when we find suddenly find him waking up and deciding that oh yes, actually, it is a kind of a crying shame that the government/DAB refuses to say anything meaningful on this topic at all.

I strongly suspect there is no real person called Alex Lo. There is just an algorithm that produces column-shaped pseudo-intellectual populist opinions du jour without any regard for consistency or principles.
The DAB has never expressly taken up the role as a pioneer of HK democratic reform.
Asking them to be involved is synonymous to negotiating to get the fur from the tiger.
Don't be so naive.
The fact is clear, some propose right turn and some, left
The problem is not where to go but how best to get there
and best is necessarily pragmatic
with different implications for different parties
AL’s seeming equivalence at times
can be a sign of intellectual integrity
Who but irresponsible ideologues,
brainwashed simpletons
shenanigans with private agenda
and bigoted charlatans
such as Lee Wai ling (who I believe is a “good” person),
and the Chan, Eu, Tai, Mo, Wong … gang
can be so self-righteous and self important about their desires?
I can’t say it clearer than the following comment in my inbox today:
“I don’t believe our former Chief Secretary Anson Chan,
a dingbat who waxes poetic about Hong Kong core values
with stock words and phrases like real democracy,
freedom and rule of law, has a clue what these words mean”
Hong Kong is famous for its efficient transportation system albeit not most environmentally fit. It gets you to where you want to go.
Among the many means of transportation is the gravy train as mentioned in today’s My Take. It rolls silently and efficiently to one’s desired destination – a place where gravy is. Hong Kong is a marvelous place to be. Every turn, every persuasion there is gravy to be had as long as you ride on the gravy train.
Perhaps AL and his My Take are an exception. AL specializes in rocking boat, loud.


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