Time for all parties to work together on livelihood issues

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 5:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 5:12pm

Now that the long drawn-out struggle between the government and the pan-democrats has ended with the political reform package vetoed on June 18, it is high time that Hong Kong moved forward to regain our normal community life.

Over the past two years, we have seen enough political manoeuvres with filibusters in the Legislative Council, public protests turning violent, and irrational confrontations with the police day after day.

Now that the dust has settled over the reform package, harassed citizens should be allowed some breathing space.

Public opinion is a powerful tool to ensure success of policies and political parties. The government and the pan-democrats are aware that the highest court is the court of public opinion. That is why they tried so hard to win over the public and conducted opinion polls to justify support gained. To save dwindling public confidence, the urgent task in hand is to suspend further debates on political reform that citizens loathe.

Immediately after the historic vote, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced policies concerning economic development, infrastructure building and people's livelihood, trying to steer clear of the continuous political debate.

After all, for most Hong Kong people, social well-being takes precedence over politics. To focus attention on social issues will help produce much-needed positive public opinion.

There is another important task in hand. Relationships between the pan-democrats and the central government, opposition legislators and the SAR administration, and Beijing and the people of Hong Kong, have been strained. More importantly, calls by some younger people, in particular university students, for an independent Hong Kong have threatened reconciliation efforts made by all parties concerned.

Radical actions lead to a build-up of tensions in our society and hamper the formation of positive energy needed to calm the unsettled social atmosphere.

Lastly, our political leaders, whether they are pro-establishment factions or democrats, must work hard to stamp out confrontations that will continue to tear Hong Kong apart. Further, the pan-democrats should change their bigoted mindset and follow the Chinese motto, "Aim at common ground and accept differences".

Reconciliation and cooperation are needed to restore the traditional core values of freedom, stability and prosperity that have gained an international status for our city.

Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels