• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 7:32am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 July, 2014, 5:07am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 July, 2014, 5:22am

Archbishop Kwong is quite right: Sometimes silence speaks the loudest

The head of the Hong Kong Anglican Church drew flak for telling his flock to consider keeping silent rather than speaking up over the city's struggle for democracy.

The speech by Archbishop of Hong Kong and Macau the Most Reverend Paul Kwong didn't say his Christian followers should shut up no matter what. He merely said you don't need to speak up all the time; staying quiet could be just as - or even more - effective sometimes. He said: "Whenever people see me or other church leaders, they will say, 'We must speak up! Speak up at all times, on everything, understand? It is a must to fight.' Sometimes we don't have to say anything."

Actually, at least one Christian has acted quietly and with dignity: Cardinal John Tong of the Catholic diocese. What a contrast he is to his predecessor Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun! You don't see Tong marching around town to promote Occupy Central and encourage young people to take part in it.

But I am the first one to defend Zen's right to free speech. Zen should be allowed to speak up regardless of whether you agree with his message. If he has that right, everyone else has that right in Hong Kong.

Kwong has been accused of holding his views because he is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. But there is a strong case to tone down and de-escalate - to have a dialogue, not a shouting match.

Oh, by the way, I am rather amused Zen called me a dog in his blog. I love dogs; I have six four-legged friends at home, not counting the cats.

"Every time I turn to the second page of a certain English daily, I see a hidden warning 'beware of the dog'," he wrote in his blog. "Not a few times I had to overcome the temptation of answering those high sounding platitudes! This time it is barking again at me (July 5). Poor guy, how can such a this-worldly man understand the father-son relation between Pope Francis and me?!"

He went on: "On the night of July 1, I stood at the finishing point of the march watching ... the arrival of the hundreds and thousands of Hong Kong 'children', they look tired but smiling, 'fanatically' finishing their Way of the Cross."

But Hong Kong is not being crucified. That's why I find Kwong quite brave speaking up for silence rather than loud confrontation.

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Paradox314
A very serious problem with Alex Lo's opinion is that he does not have a correct understanding of the meaning of 'free speech'.
Free speech is interpreted here as a situation under which people can express opinions with an expectation that they will not be criticized by others. This is not what free speech is at all and is not the free speech right always associated with democracy. Free speech(Freedom of Expression) protects the right of individuals and groups to express themselves without fear of being silenced through imprisonment or other means of enforcement by the state. It is meant to protect the right to speak of the less powerful from the control of the powerful.
.
Lo refers to criticism by democrats (and presumably many individuals) of a collection of more powerful voices in society that have used their power to try to influence the less powerful in their care. Their criticism and the criticism of the expressions of people like Bishop Kwok or Mr Ma of MaBelle is in no way 'censorious'. It is quite the opposite - this criticism, this dialogue and disagreement within society is the lifeblood of democracy.
321manu
Indeed, the dems should present a platform, while also striving for the right to stand for election in the first place. Too bad so much time and energy has been expended to try to attain the latter...and I wonder whose fault that is...
But let's assume the status quo. Say the dems give in, and Hkers get 'universal suffrage' to elect one among the list of CCP stooges who stand for election. The end result is a CCP stooge as CE. But haven't we seen that movie for 17 years already? And how has that worked out? How's the current CCP stooge doing? Let's say your answer is 'facepalm'. Yet the solution is to do exactly what's been done for 17 years? How does another iteration of 'changing-of-the-stooges' portend better results, which would fly in the face of the track record of the stooge parade thus far? The only way to accept that would be to reach deeply into one's faith...and clearly, some folks here have lots of that to spare.
Now, even without reform, HK will get an 'election' of some form. But it seems some of the deep thinkers here object to that altogether. I suppose for them it's best if there was no election at all...not even when it's a stooge-fest. So then one wonders, what are these guys doing in HK at all? They should head north to the mother ship, and enjoy an election-less system in all its glory.
"Electing whom to do what?" ---yes, that's a great question to ask...the current HK government, and the CCP. Perhaps on bended knee...at a pew near you.
whymak
I know some HKers want election badly. Electing whom to do what?
Using popular opinions alone as the basis for mandate is an idiotic hypothesis. Those who have lived abroad and exercised their rights to vote realize the public is often too fickle for its own good. How can you please the mob which changes its mind one moment to the next before the ink even dries on the planning document, let alone allow the elected a decade to implement a long-term plan? The superiority of one-man-one-vote governance dogma is as good a 6000 year old universe.
How could an intelligent person not know that official branches of elected government make up only a fraction of the vested powers of a nation? Just like in physics where dark energy makes up 75% of our observable universe, for all middle and large functioning democracies, most powers reside in the "dark government" of oligarchs, lobbyists, NGOs, etc.
Read this: mic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy?utm_source=TFT&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=May
Haven't you noticed bananas and expats pontificating political solutions for us seldom learn our history well enough to understand the nuances of our discontents and not just the superficial sound and fury of the maddening crowd? What’s more absurd than Martin Lee/Anson Chan dog and pony show – pleading the US throw its weight to bring about a HK regime change – one hostile to China and supported by the West.
Paradox314
How appropriate for you to have referred to the 'regime' in Hong Kong. Do you think only people with a particular skin colour have relevant comments regarding Hong Kong's political situation? Your analysis is well written but definitely not irrefutable as ngsw asserts.
.
The most important question I would like you to answer is, "What is democracy?"
honger
By calling anyone - in this case, SCMP's lead columnist - a dog, Zen has shown his true colours as a chameleon who changes colour as he needs. (sorry, chameleon, to use u as comparison).
This man is a hypocrite who quotes Scripture to his convenience, reminiscent of the Gang of Four who terrorised millions by quoting from the lil Red Book and twiisting and turning facts.
pslhk
whymak’s exposition is clear, descriptive and irrefutable
Bishop Sin’s f art bug is characteristically loud, stupid and obnoxious
321manu
LOL. At long last, the CCP religious zealot has modified his tune...slightly. It's about time too, cuz I guess it took him this long to realize that what he was spouting before wasn't science or fact, but merely his own unique brand of ideology.
So now, the new refrain is "the sky MIGHT fall". Well, I suppose that is a little bit less disingenuous, in the sense that the future MIGHT hold a lot of things, and some of those MIGHT in fact be undesirable.
The next question, then, is how likely his premonitions of fire and brimstone MIGHT be to vaguely approaching the realm of plausibility, much less reality. If HK continues its democratic reform (all on the presumption that the CCP allows it to, which remains and will continue to be in the foreseeable future hardly a foregone conclusion), will the CCP really decide to cut off financial interaction between HK and the rest of China, when in fact HK is supposedly a part of China?
Now, let's forget for a sec that reform will go only as far as the CCP allows. Let's also forget that the rapture scenario involves the CCP trying to financially freeze out a part of it's own country. Let's just consider the principle our CCP zealot is offering. HK growth is the be-all and end all, and must be maintained at all costs. He's obviously prepared to bend over and take it from BJ, regardless of how much taking he'll have to do. I wonder if other HKers are quite as receptive to the idea of complete subjugation.
honger
LOL------manu and his tall tales again.
"Let's also forget that the rapture scenario involves the CCP trying to financially freeze out a part of it's own country. "
This is a good example of the so-called "rapture scenarios" from China manufactured by manu and others to brainwash people.
he might be able to convince some, but not the majority.
whymak
HK NEXT RECESSION I
I welcome Archbishop Kwong’s comments. 良藥苦口利於病.
Mr. Lo is factually correct with his definition on fanatics, of which Zen and SCMP readers of this column are typical.
In the real world of decision making, we deal with robust Bayesian scenario analyses and catastrophic avoidance, which relies on likelihood and posteriori probability.
Fanatics are deniers of economics facts. They persist in the myth that HK can thrive by defying China. A few facts below will suffice.
HK mainland immigrants capitalized on China's cheap labor to build up light manufacturing exports. This largest value added component was critical to HK Capital formation in 70s and 80s.
HK is both entrepot and financial center. Re-export is 170% of GDP, with 100% from China. SCMP expat writers often make light of this. Without any more information, figure in a minimum of 4% to 6% for freight, insurance, etc. A 30% decline from China could mean 35% and 53% of our growth (3.4%). I haven’t included the unknown economic multiplier. As usual, writers analyzing tourism do the same without including it.
Re-exports are a means of currency and tax arbitrage for mainland businesses. Never mind its benefits or demerits, HK hostility could result in dire consequences.
whymak
HK NEXT RECESSION II
The parked moneys from re-exports, as well as US Fed’s money supply, drive local real estate investments, thus lending a floor support to home values. A 50% drop in housing prices – less than the one in 1998 – in political confrontation with Beijing this time around will be catastrophic because we would deny the only available means, China, to dig ourselves out of the hole.
We’re now only 2% of China’s GDP. Instead of facing up to this dwindling negligible role, pan democrats are counting on foreign media leverage to spite China. Having a bunch of morons to scapegoat China and voting in a mock referendum is not an expression of freedom of choice, but to build a self-destructive path.
Venting rage at a non-existent suppression of freedom is only therapeutic momentarily. Along the way, they have to tell themselves more lies and deny more facts.
SCMP self-hate readers' way to the nut house is confirmed by repeated vehement denials of opinions by financial analysts, whose informed opinions conflict with their abysmal ignorance.
No one claims that catastrophes in scenario analyses would occur with certitude. We invest in policy efforts to avoid them.

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