• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:24pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Occupy Central pioneer Dr Benny Tai Yiu-ting sounds a dire warning

Hongkongers may emigrate or protest violently if Beijing rejects universal suffrage, activist says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 1:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 March, 2013, 7:45am


  • Yes: 72%
  • No: 28%
29 Mar 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 627

If Beijing denies Hong Kong genuine universal suffrage, some residents might emigrate and others turn to a violent struggle for democracy, the man behind the Occupy Central civil disobedience plan warned yesterday.

Dr Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a University of Hong Kong law professor, said: "We still hope that at the end we do not need to occupy Central. But if the movement is oppressed, or universal suffrage is denied, it may force some Hongkongers to turn to violent struggle or to emigrate."

His comments, which some activists support, was met with warnings about the risk to the city's economy. The business sector warned that some financial institutions were working on "contingency plans" to move offices out of Hong Kong.

Tai said the plan for a road blockade in Central next year would be only a final resort in pressing for democracy.

The goal was reform that would fulfil the world standard of universal suffrage but "does not [go against] the Basic Law", he said on a radio programme. Tai said it was too difficult to assess whether the recent remarks by Qiao Xiaoyang , chairman of the Law Committee under the National People's Congress, would drive more people to join the Occupy Central movement.

On Sunday, Qiao told a group of Beijing-loyalist lawmakers that Beijing would not accept a chief executive candidate who adopted a confrontational attitude towards the central government.

The Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, a core Occupy Central organiser, said Qiao's remark showed that Beijing's mindset was "going backwards".

Tony Tsoi Tung-ho, co-founder of the online House News portal, said: "Hongkongers have waited long enough for universal suffrage. I will join [the protest] because I can see no more reason to dodge [democracy]."

Hongkongers have waited long enough for universal suffrage. I will join [the protest] because I can see no more reason to dodge [democracy]
Tony Tsoi Tung-ho, co-founder of the online House News portal

But lawmaker Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, chairman of the Business and Professionals Alliance, said the planned protest would create an economic risk.

"I know that several multinational financial firms have prepared contingency plans," he said. "If the political risk is too big, they might move part of their offices out of Hong Kong."

Elsie Leung Oi-sie, vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee, said it was "common sense" that the chief executive should love the country and the city.

"It is a 'must', and not a new criterion imposed by Beijing," she said.

Political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said Qiao's remarks had narrowed the space for talks between pan-democrats and Beijing, making Tai's plan seem a more acceptable option to pro-democracy campaigners.



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This article is now closed to comments

"The propensity to take a strong stance on issues we know little about is probably wired into our psychological make-up." says Columnist Alex Lo in his article published in the SCMP on 16-2-13. pflim040@netvig should read it and be less arrogant and abusive.
the sun also rises
This righteous guy in town thinks that you (jkhleung) is just as 'arrogant' and 'abusive' as the writer here named pflim040 does.So,don't demand others to behave so and so if you yourself can't set a good example----biased in your comments and never take sides or have a fixed view on a certain topic.Right ?
@the righteous: Righteousness sounds good, but not self-righteousness. It's OK to have a view, even a strong one. It's bad to shout down at people whose views are different from yours. I was merely responding in kind to pflim040's verbiage. Please practice the democracy and freedom that you preach. BTW, your style of finishing a sentence with the word "right?" looks suspiciously similar to your friend pflim040. Are you one and the same? Or are you just alter egos?
the sun also rises
no more waiting ! No more !
the sun also rises
No more reason to wait.No more ! A geniune universal suffrage. A real one ! Nothing can replace it. Nothing ! Most Hongkongers' wish ! Most !
the sun also rises
Yeah, political scientist Mr.Choi Chi-keung is definitely right in pointing out Old Guy Qiao;s remaks (don't carry any legal status ) which just uttered casually at a closed-door meeting with pro-establishment 'lawmakers' in Shenzhen had really narrowed the space for talks between pan-democrats and Beijing.Don't forget, the pan-democrat lawmakers are directly elected by nearly 60% of the qualified voters in the city. Once the coming election of chief executive in 2017 is boycotted by pan-democrat followers, then the voting rate will be terribly miserable and the so-called 'elected' chief executive's endorsement and prestige will drop to near zero ! How can he/she governs ? I wonder. ha ! ha !
Fear of HK citizens emigrating? They've already done that, and returned.
Professors n PanD, let me teach you how to win the universal suffrage. Just focus to win the Ledgco vote first, 90%. Then people need to listen to you. You are not even an official opposition as you don't have enough vote! I used to vote for PanD in the past 10 yrs but I m not voting against them. They are the worst in the world as I wrote and call them the over 20 times none of them even acknowledge. I'm an educated middle class, in Canada I always get a call back from my MP if I email them or call them. I really don't understand Hk PanD.
If you want to win vote, if you really think you have the support of 60% of the voter, 1.8m voters. Try to raise 1k per person, or 100 per month, you will have $1.8B and you can win 90% of the general vote. This is how American win their campaign, money. Then you can give away more goodie than DAB.
After u have 90% vote, u can control the legco then forget about CE. Just like the Republican controlling the House and Obama. Simple.
This is a better road map because it is impossible to get a acceptable candidate PanD CE in Hk that can win. You just do not have a candidate. So what's the point of fighting?
the sun also rises
Maybe your lousy English can be said to be among the worst around the world and even in the space within our solar system and beyond it ! Understand ?don't tell lies in the broad daylight.You are not speaking freely but meaninglessly and crazily,carrying an imbalanced mindset and misunderstanding the real meaning of a genuine universal suffrage--shut up your mouth instead of so-called speak freely. Of course you won't ! You just don't have the guts and courage plus righteousness at all ! Right ? Go home and study basic politics (democracy part of course) ABC before returning to utter nonsense again and again ! Brush up your below-average English should be the first step to become a fair Comment writer-----otherwise you are polluting our readers' precise reading space and wrongly misleading our dear students ! Okay ?
pflim040@netvig...is a typical pandem. Their belief in "freedom" and "democracy" is predicated on your "freedom" to agree with them. If you have the temerity to spout opposing views, they won't hesitate resorting to verbal abuse or even physical violence! Their behaviours remind us time and again that HK is not ready for their brand of democracy.




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