• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 3:21pm
Leung Chun-ying
NewsHong Kong

'Silent majority' reluctant to say why they back CY amid report of handout

Many respond 'no comment' to questions about their motivations amid report of cash handouts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2013, 6:11pm
 

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  • Yes: 74%
  • No: 26%
2 Jan 2013
  • Yes
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Total number of votes recorded: 559

Marchers opposed to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying were eager to declare their reasons for protesting, but many of the thousands who turned out to support the administration were reticent.

Several participants replied "no comment" when asked to explain their endorsement of Leung at a morning march from Central to government headquarters and at a carnival-style rally at the same venue in the afternoon.

An investigation by Chinese online news portal The House News, which sent reporters undercover to join the rally, suggested one possible motivation - cash handouts of HK$250, given to those taking part in the morning event by an operative hiding inside a portable toilet. The New Territories Association of Societies, one of the co-organisers, said it had filed a complaint with police over the pay-to-protest allegation.

Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu-tong, convenor of march organiser Hong Kong Celebrations Association, said: "The attendants are the silent majority, and we hope society will move forward, prosperously."

Patrick Ko Tat-pun, convenor of the afternoon rally, said he intended to counter "China- and Hong Kong-hostile" mobs. He said a row over illegal structures at Leung's home, which fuelled attempts by the pan-democratic camp to impeach him, was a "trivial matter".

Both organisers said Leung should be given time to focus on policy implementation and criticised pan-democrats' attempts to obstruct the administration.

Slogans were chanted, placards raised, and national and Hong Kong flags waved, but not all of those in attendance were as certain of their backing for Leung as their leaders.

Retired civil servant Wong Wing-sun said he joined the rally to "support the government, support China", stopping short of mentioning Leung.

Warehouse worker Ming Chuen-hoi said: "I came here only because I'm sick of pan-democrats, who basically oppose everything the government proposes."

One Mrs Wong, who joined the morning march, said: "I support CY." When asked why, she replied: "No comment."

Liu Wing-man, waiting under the flag of the Beijing-loyalist Federation of Trade Unions, said: "We're all Hongkongers. We should unite to support the chief executive."

Tim Lau, 60, said: "Many livelihood issues must be solved by CY now, and no obstruction [by pan-democrats] is acceptable."

Marchers whom the Post spoke to denied they had been offered incentives to take part - such as cash gifts or free meals - and insisted they were "self- motivated".

The House News said its staff and other marchers were handed cash by a worker in the portable toilet. Earlier, pictures posted online showed messages delivered over popular mobile chat-application WhatsApp recruiting "paid workers" to march.

Cheng reportedly dismissed the website's accusations and accused "opposition camps" of a smear.

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37

This article is now closed to comments

mymak
Camel, they are taking part in a democratic process during an election period. They don't shout. 'four more years', after the leader has been in power for only 6 months. The fact that this march took place in Hong Kong is indicative of the immaturity of the Government, it's members and those who brought it to power. The people of Hong Kong are not too immature to deal with democracy, it is the so called leaders who don't understand the rules and pull childish pranks like having protest marches supporting the Government. Hong Kong politics is in a pitiful state - Long Hair or Shoe Polishers - take your pick? Let's stick with the liar, but let's be clear that he is that and don't expect him to change. In 2017 our first elected leader could be worse.
mcheung
An investigation by online news portal The House News, which sent reporters undercover to join the rally, suggested one possible motivation - cash handouts of HK$250, given to those taking part in the morning event by an operative hiding inside a portable toilet.
These guys better have proof and evidence, otherwise they should be sued for libel. The Association of Journalist should also investigate this and demand proof as well before it gets a bad name from this kind of allegation.
Dai Muff
The nice thing about being pro-Democrat. You don't have to pay old illiterates to come out and march. Oh, and the easy way to really find out about the "silent majority" is a very simple referendum: "Should he stay or should he go?"
mcheung
Good suggestion! But I don't think the government should waste money on this kind of referendum, money can be better spent on other critical issues. Whatever mistake CY made re the illegal structures does not justify his resignation. He had already apologized for his mistakes, and should be given a chance to deliver on his policies to tackle the issues facing us Hong Kong citizens. The pan-democrats should be doing something constructive to help, instead of organizing this kind of protest, and waste a lot of taxpayers' money on policing rather than on other critical issues, such as poverty, elderly care...etc.
Dai Muff
His continuing to lie NOW does justify his resignation. But the people's distrust of him lies deeper than the building structure issue.
Camel
Generally, an Oppositions work is to sabotage the Governments work and the ability to work. Creating excuses for more criticism to have a reason for its own existence. There is no denial in that. The most worst part is when they put their own agenda and selfish will over the well being of the country and society and at the end the people, what should be the most important thing for a Government including Opposition. If they start to destroy the ability of the Government to rule and implement wasted years, at the end who will suffer are the people. That is what they don't tell their supporters.
Dai Muff
Pragmatism is not all. That is not the opposition's work except in a certain very third-world mindset. And the question is: WHO is the opposition? If you are imposed against the will of most Hong Kong people YOU are the opposition. Black is not white, even though some of you will try to make it so.

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