Are we throwing away our idea of democracy? | South China Morning Post
  • Sat
  • Feb 28, 2015
  • Updated: 5:04am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 5:25am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 5:25am

Are we throwing away our idea of democracy?

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.
 

What do you call it when missiles are hurled in the name of democracy to stop those you disagree with from having their say? We call it defiling democracy. Missiles intended for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at a town hall forum last Saturday missed, but an egg landed smack on Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's head. Sure, you can argue it's no big deal for eggs or shoes to be hurled at political leaders. It happens from time to time in democratic societies. Politicians such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Ed Miliband have all been recipients. But most are random acts by kooks or disgruntled lone protesters. The ugly scenes of last Saturday and Sunday were anything but random. They were orchestrated attacks by political parties belonging to the so-called democracy camp intended solely to thwart Leung's right of free speech to discuss issues that directly affect the people. Is that how our self-proclaimed champions of democracy define democracy? If yes, Public Eye wants none of it. Every leader, loved or hated, has a right to communicate face to face with the people. Those who can't stand Leung can choose to stay away from his district visits. If they hate him enough, they have the right to organise a peaceful mass boycott. That is what people who understand democracy would do. Hurling missiles to disrupt others from hearing what Leung has to say is what thugs do. Public Eye is waiting for the democracy camp to condemn in the strongest possible terms last weekend's thuggish behaviour by some of its supporters. But we know that won't happen.

 

Revolution won't fit into people's social calendar

Forget eggs, radical lawmaker Wong Yuk-man wants to progress to petrol bombs next. His threat of a violent revolution over political reforms during a verbal clash in the Legislative Council with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor rattled nerves. C.Y. Leung joined Lam in sternly warning that the government would not tolerate such violence. But aren't we making a revolution out of a mountain of eggshells? Hurling firebombs to win democracy? For goodness sake. Hongkongers are a lot of things, but revolutionaries they are not. They love their wine, mobile phones, facials, horse-racing and yum cha too much. Hong Kong's democracy struggle involves a round of golf in the morning and a protest in the afternoon. Who can forget Anson Chan Fang On-sang sneaking off to a beauty salon minutes after making a big show of joining a democracy march? Hongkongers only revolt when they have one fewer television station on which to watch soap operas. So let's lighten up over Wong's big talk of petrol bombs. He's not nicknamed "Mad Dog" for nothing.

 

So what happened to John Tsang's kung fu moves?

Has Public Eye remembered it wrong or does John Tsang always boast about being skilled in fencing and kung fu? Yes, he does. So how come he doesn't know how to duck? Aren't kung fu guys supposed to know what's coming at them? Any Bruce Lee movie would attest to that. Even former US president George W. Bush knew how to duck when two shoes came flying at him, one after another in quick succession. But not our "Black Belt Tsang". He couldn't even dodge an egg hurled at C.Y. Leung by a protester with lousy aim. If that isn't egg on the face for a kung fu master, we don't know what is.

 

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

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