Moderate politicians are Hong Kong's only hope out of deadlock

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 April, 2015, 5:17pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 April, 2015, 5:17pm

The commendable effort by Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah to form a political think tank is a timely step in the right direction. It tries to resolve the impasse over the 2017 political reform package.

For almost a year, the pan-democrats have stood firm on what they call "true democracy", and claim that Beijing's August 2014 plan robbed voters of the right to the open and fair nomination of candidates. Nevertheless, Beijing is sticking to its guns, saying that the resolution passed by the National People's Congress is one step towards progressive democracy in Hong Kong. The article "Surveys are polls apart on 2017 political reform plan"(April 13) speaks volumes about our sadly torn city.

People are being categorised as either "pro-Beijing" or "pan-democrats" - there is no in-between. The myopia and immaturity of our political groups are to blame for this.

What Hong Kong needs now are moderate politicians, like the 20 people who attended Tong's April 12 preparatory meeting. These people have lofty ideology, realistic goals and visionary plans. Most importantly, they put Hong Kong people's interest before their personal convictions and their political parties' aims.

However, these moderates are facing huge obstacles - being banned from their political parties; being labelled traitors and perhaps losing votes in forthcoming elections. In politics, wisdom must go hand in hand with valour. Moderate democrats must be able to stand up to the pressures of their former allies. Do the extreme democrats understand true democracy when they cannot even accept the views of their fellow members that are different from their own?

Beijing, too, should shake off its bigoted opinion that in politics, there is only black or white. It should listen to the silent majority who are the mild intelligentsia of our society; instead of being influenced by the pro-establishment old guards. It should also listen to the grass roots.

Kudos to Ronny Tong for making a good start in the long-awaited reconciliation. It is important that his proposed think tank will not be relegated to an outfit producing academic papers, like so many other think tanks do. He should see to it that concrete proposals, action plans and workable solutions for public issues are drawn up for discussion by both Beijing and pan-democrats until a consensus is reached.

Indeed, Hong needs moderate democrats to pull the city back from the cliff of political suicide. Let us pin our hopes on the moderate politicians to make Hong Kong a better place to live.

Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels