• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 1:16pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 3:14am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 3:14am

Don't destroy Hong Kong for democracy

"It became necessary to destroy the town to save it." This was one of the most famous quotes from the Vietnam war.

For Occupy Central, it looks like they are ready to undermine Hong Kong's stability and reputation to save it. Occupy co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting has said as much.

This is what he pitches to business leaders in an interview with The Wall Street Journal: "Occupy Central would cause serious disruption and hurt business, and you have a very high cost to pay for that. And exactly because there's such a high cost, you should convince Beijing not to allow Occupy Central to happen … Talk to Beijing and say to them, 'Let them have their democracy. I want to protect my business more'... For your own interest, it's better to give us civil nomination."

It sure sounds like extortion, except you are going up against the greatest extortionist in history, the Chinese communist state. This week, Tai said they were "planning wave after wave of struggle, that at its climax will be an all-out blockade of Central". They don't stand a chance playing hard ball. Occupy will manage to cause a lot of damage and disruption. But they just won't get the kind of democracy they demand.

They are always banging on about international standards. But it's a city election, not a country's. There is no higher arbiter or authority than Beijing to decide what form of democracy Hong Kong can have. But don't automatically assume what the National People's Congress Standing Committee hands down will violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It won't.

Try reading through all 53 articles, especially article 25 on the right of citizens to vote and take part in public affairs. Hong Kong actually measures up pretty well. But because Occupy's leaders and their supporters are true believers, they can't compromise. This is despite the many civil liberties Hong Kong people already enjoy, making the city one of the freest in the world.

Poll after poll has shown most Hong Kong people could accept one person, one vote even if the choice of candidates is dictated by a nominating committee. This committee may or may not be widely representative, but it's sure better than any such election group Hong Kong has had before.


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This article is now closed to comments

Rather, Beijing is destroying Hong Kong to save the Chinese Communist Party.
Before 1997, the British government appoints a Governor for Hong Kong and everyone celebrates. Now that Hong Kong belongs to China, some residents of Hong Kong decide to hyjack the word " democracy", and want a total free vote without considering China as a whole, I suggest they should vote for themselves to leave Hong Kong as Hong Kong cannot leave China. No Country is perfect. China is changing for the better and is improving structurely everyday. Managing 1.3 billion people is not an easy task. Let's love China and earn our motherland 's respect through constructive contributions. In the western world, respect cannot be demanded. It must be earned. Call me China Love. Thank you.
Seems to me Alex Lo is tying himself in knots trying to avoid the simple point that HKers deserve and expect real democracy. Deserve it because it's set out in black and white in the Basic Law, expect it because even aside from legalese, most people can recognise real v fake democracy when they see it. Mr Lo scours quotes from Benny Tai to mock, yet not a word on the incredible statements from CY Leung and pro-Beijing spokespeople over recent days.
His attempt to invoke the Basic Law to support his own argument is pretty desperate, somehow overlooking Articles 26 (which guarantees HK permanent residents the the right to vote and the right to stand for election) and Article 39 (which guarantees HKers the rights set out under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which includes the right to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic election). Not a word on these from Mr Lo.
As for Mr Lo's theme about Vietnam, I thought it was US military violence that was the cause of Vietnam's destruction. How on Earth he can compare that to the non-violent civil disobedience of Occupy Central is beyond me. It's almost as if he is taking his lines from Beijing's campaign to make OC synonymous with violence. This is just dreadful, shamefully imbalanced journalism.
"Imagine HK without noisy scumbags"
I'm trying to, but you keep posting!
The problem with Hong Kong is that our lawyers (including legal academics) think too highly of themselves and think that only they can interpret the basic law.
Dai Muff
Rather, "Don't destroy Hong Kong to deny it democracy". It is very clear the current system is not working and not enabling good government.
Article 26
Permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have the right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law.
Article 39
The provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and shall be implemented through the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Yes - the CCP will do what it takes to remain the sole political force in China for the foreseeable future and yes - it has ultimate control over HK.
Now that you understand reality, let me ask this -
- what will you do to improve the quality of governance within HK
- what will you do to improve the quality of life in HK
Both can be done, and my belief is that CCP would be pleased to see both
"incrementally" achieved in HK to the benefit of HK and China.
Bottom line is - you can accept reality and still make HK better.
Ant Lee
Another garbage article from this guy. Alex Lo expects Hong Kong will be "saved" by communism?
Opening up to democracy now is facing the same challenges as 30 years ago when come Chinese officials were pushing to open up China's market economy. Chinese people need an open mind to progress. People like Alex Lo is dragging back the entire development of HK and China.
There is no cause for Beijing to destroy HK. It is their face to maintain HK in good shape and just because of this reason that some people try to destroy HK to bash Beijing.
"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 4 June 1940.
A speech that should have been given 49 years later




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