• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 1:22pm

Beijing should not interfere in Hong Kong's internal affairs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 5:10am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 6:25am

Bernard Lee's letter ("Hong Kong should focus on addressing social issues rather than democracy", July 20) has reminded me of the policy address delivered by then governor Chris Patten in the Legislative Council in 1996. He said, "My anxiety is this: not that this community's autonomy would be usurped by Peking, but that it could be given away bit by bit by some people in Hong Kong."

Mr Lee's contention that "Hong Kong will always be part of China and will have as much power as China allows" may be in line with the white paper recently issued by the State Council but is blatantly inconsistent with the Basic Law.

The mini constitution has already clearly delineated the scope of the central government's power with respect to our city.

Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and executive, legislative and independent judicial power whereas the central government is responsible for the foreign affairs and defence of the special administrative region.

Forming our own government and electing the leader of the city comes within the scope of Hong Kong's own autonomy. I fail to see any legitimate ground for Beijing interfering with our internal affairs.

Your correspondent said he supports universal suffrage, "but this cannot be more important than the pressing livelihood issues affecting Hong Kong". Indeed, the very reason for full democracy is to have an accountable government which listens to citizens, acts in the best interests of Hong Kong, and enhances living standards.

Over the past 17 years since the handover, houses have become unaffordable, air pollution has got worse and education standards have fallen. The incompetence of the three chief executives handpicked by Beijing is conclusive evidence of the central government's failure to pick a leader who can effectively make our city a better place.

The root of our social problems is the undemocratic political system under which the chief executive only safeguards Beijing's interests instead of Hong Kong's.

No doubt, democracy is not a panacea for all problems.

However, in a genuinely democratic society - where every citizen has the equal right to elect and be elected - the elected leader has to honour his election pledges under the pressure of re-election, and is liable to impeachment if he does something wrong or fails to do anything right.

For our next generation, we should be united to fight for full democracy.

Michael Ko, Tsing Yi


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This article is now closed to comments

Excellent letter Michael.
HK's situation has panned out exactly as Patten predicted. It is being betrayed by an unaccountable, unrepresentative, self selecting political elite in collusion with a corrupt, entrenched, crony capitalist big business establishment. They simply don't want to give up all the advantages which they derive from depriving the people of any real say and from being able to economically exploit and prey on them.
Utter **** psihk.
Michael Ko is correct. Just because Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, British democracy is flawed does not mean that HK people should accept plutocracy, kleptocracy, oligarchs or any other negative influence over themselves. HK's current system is dire.
You seem to think that with democracy, the social problems plaguing HK will be gone. The problem is with the quality of leaders: There are simply no talented or intelligent leader who can step up with foresight to make the right decisions and choices. This applies to both the pro-government and the pan-democrat groups.
In retrospect, democracy is useless if you don't have qualified leaders...having one man one vote is meaningful only if you have have suitable candidates. This is applicable with or without "Beijing interference".
You truly are inane and stupid. Who wields the power in HK and who has raped the economy at the expense of the majority? It isn't the pro-democracy forces.
Pierce Lam again, spouting his racism whilst trying (and failing) to be a poet.
Shut up fool,
caractacus is as sour as it is simplistic
as shallow as it is unsophisticated
so transparent
“who has raped the economy at the expense of the majority”?
In “truly democratic” usa
the 1% targeted by WS occupiers,
original social activists of whom
HK has self-bastardized inferior copycats
Who have helped setup
the developmental foundation and framework of HK’s 1%
but two-faced copycat lawyers
who excluded from politics and international business
while HK was under British administration
dutifully served local tycoons
Ask EuLeungTongetc
who gave them what businesses
that helped them make their first $10 million.
Copycats thought they could politically succeed their departed British masters
JI, RoL, and all those misconstrued and misapplied rubbish slogans
Which authority, in the entire course of human history
has the most impressive record
of raising the largest number of people from poverty
in a way that has also enormously benefited consumers all over the world?
No genocide
No foreign plunder
Shall we regard Democratic as well as Republican administration which saw the stagnation of income growth for middle-class Americans in the past 40 years and entrenchment of social stratification as "conclusive" evidence that these presidents, though seemingly elected by the general public, actually worked only for the interests on Wall Street? Judging by Ko's logic, the answer will have to a yes. What difference does it make whether one is a "genuine" democracy and another is "less" so?
To Michael Ko, whatever is good for China is bad for Hong Kong, so pro-Beijing necessarily means anti-Hongkong. And the root of HK's social problems, he claims, lies in lack of genuine democracy. I can see no conclusive causal connection between relative US (or Japan, Taiwan, HK) prosperity and the implementation of authentic democracy.
Japan's rise started with the Meiji Restoration, and Germany's ascendancy arrived during imperial times. Perhaps Hong Kong should clamour for the return of a monarch, instead of democracy.
Leadership is important - a great starting point. But democracy is also unachievable without a population that has developed a capacity to think creatively and critically. Without this kind of education, even a polity with democratic institutions can easily be subverted and manipulated by a ruling elite. (Take Canada and the USA as prime examples)
People can be categorized by a 2 by 2 matrix
Reasonable and stupid on one vector
success and failure on the other
M Ko’s letter firmly excludes him from the reasonable category
Autonomy made sense when HK was colonial-capitalist
and mainland was a monolithic planned economy
But nowadays, when more mainlanders are abroad
as tourists, students and businessmen than Hkers
and more western media are available
free from Xiaomi than from Hk’s subscription cable tvs
it is stupid to emphasize autonomy for autonomy sake
by exaggerating impractical “differences”
Ask: why the Basic Law is prescribed a 50-year tenure?
“The root of our social problems is the undemocratic political system
under which the chief executive only safeguards Beijing's interests”?
Every reasonable Filipino, Indian, Indonesian,
Briton suffering perennial unemployment, … etc
would much prefer Hk’s system to their so-called "true" democracies
The Tsing Yi address doesn’t show a successful economic background
For economic success, find common ground with mainland
and work for mutual benefit
With economic independence,
then one may begin to learn practical and meaningful democracy
that Hkers aren’t Filipinos, Indians, … etc
noisy and colonial Hkers are inferior
if only because of Münchausen
無病呻呤 disorder
and that “HK's current system is dire”
because of the indulgence of democrazy cultists
in the political equivalent of sexual harassment
aping those already enjoying “true” democracy
in harmful and futile occupy farce


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