Protests, petitions and praise greet 'Uncle CY' in run-up to policy address

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 6:04pm

“Uncle CY”, aka Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, received a gesture of support on Tuesday amid cries from various groups calling for him to step down.

A dozen members of Leung Chun-ying support group Take Action delivered a framed cartoon of an amiable-looking chief executive as he arrived for an executive council meeting.

“The cartoon was drawn by an online supporter who said the chief executive is approachable like an uncle, and we think his view reflects what many of us think,” Take Action convenor Chan Wing-hong said.

The group also gave the chief executive a petition of 15,000 signatures backing him and a DVD of 85 Hongkongers voicing their support.

Take Action’s pro-Leung slogans were at times drowned out by four other groups delivering letters with their demands ahead of Leung’s maiden policy address and budget next Wednesday.

As the supporters yelled, “All unite to support CY!”,  anti-Leung group the Alliance of Universal Pension bellowed: “All unite to support CY – in stepping down!”

Take Action said in a statement that its objective was to voice the “rational” views of silent citizens, so they were not muffled by those speaking with political motives.

“It does no good for Hong Kong if we oppose everything,” the statement said. “[Democrats] should stop using the name of democracy to fool the people, because the people feel repulsed by their behaviour.”

Asked by reporters if the supporters had been paid to show up, Take Action co-convenor Don Wong Yan-cheung said the group did not receive or give money for people to demonstrate.

He said some members had worn facemasks in the demonstration because they were in professions where their involvement would be controversial but would not clarify which professions.

The Alliance of Universal Pension demanded that the chief executive improve the livelihood of the elderly.

Seventeen groups fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights delivered a letter to the chief executive and executive councillors, demanding that the policy address include a public consultation on a discrimination law protecting sexual minorities.

They also urged the chief executive to allocate more money for services supporting sexual minorities, such as medical and surgical services for transsexuals.

Joseph Cho Man-kit, spokesman for the alliance of LGBT groups, said the time was ripe for legislation. He pointed to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong Popular Opinion Programme in November  63.8 per cent of 1,022 respondents supported legislation to protect sexual minorities.

Cho said the activists were optimistic, because three executive councillors – Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Lam Woon-kwong and Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee – had already voiced support for legislation.

The Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood also handed in a letter to Leung demanding that the government build at least 30,000 public housing units and at least 5,000 flats for sale each year.