Moderate pan-dems can help restore order in the Legislative Council

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 5:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 10:32pm

I was impressed with the outspoken letter of Augustus K. Yeung (“Filibuster became a broken record that riled the silent majority”, September 24).

He rightly pointed out that filibusters, used too often, lower the quality of debates in the Legislative Council. This has negative results. It has a bad influence on young people and puts our financial prosperity at risk. It can also hold up important legislation that is aimed at improving the livelihoods of underprivileged citizens. Through these filibusters, democracy is being hijacked by politicians with vested interests.

Mr Yeung said, “Fortunately, Hongkongers have good memories. Some legislators involved in these disruptive activities failed to get re-elected.” Your correspondent misses the important point that some notorious troublemakers were returned to Legco. This is because some Hong Kong people are bent on opposing the government, because of their own grievances, and so jump on the opposition bandwagon. Also, these activists are being backed up, behind the scenes, by foreign countries that want to upset Beijing.

In April last year, through these columns, IIappealed to the moderate democrats in Legco to come forward to break the impasse between the government and the rebels, but so far there have been no constructive developments. Therefore I am repeating my call for those enlightened democrats to adopt a proactive attitude towards filibusters. They should not just reject this tactic, but should also take strong action calling for Legco’s in-house rules to be amended so that filibustering is stamped out.

Caution must be exercised so that young localists and advocates of independence are not alienated. Instead, the moderate democrats should reach out to these young people and establish a dialogue with them to see how a win-win situation can be achieved. This is where political wisdom and acumen come in.

Moderate democrats should leave no stone unturned. They must rally the support of professionals, academics, businesses, and the labour sector to work out a solution for Hong Kong to bridge the social divide under the “one country, two systems” regime.

Only by working hard to find a solution can we save Hong Kong from another four years of the kind of political turmoil that is slowly destroying the peaceful harmony that has grown over the last two decades in this great city.

Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels