• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:09am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

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
 

Poll

  • 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.

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
42

This article is now closed to comments

SpeakFreely
Most revolutions need a big majority support, likely 90%+, and a very strong candidate to lead. hK support of so called democracy is too low. Last Ce election Ho had the lowest popularity support. If there are 3m voters and say 60% support democracy, that is 1.8m, and they can easily contribute $1,000 or 100 a month to about $3b but PanD is broke and need apple daily support. This show this democracy Hk people are not putting money in their mouth. 1,000 per person is nothing. But they won't even able to scarify for that.
whymak
What honey? You better start worrying where will your next drink of water come from. These folks don't mind cutting their nose to spite their face. I hope they are not the HK majority.
haloboy
"Democracy" is an unfair and risky system. Why? Think about it!!!
hard times !
Hong Kong used to be a land of milk (imported milk powder can be sure of geniune and never contaminated as those on Mainland) and honey (which is sufficient enough as they are imported from both Australia and New Zealand). Our Customs never allows /tolerates any faked goods or foodstuffs to be sold locally and our commodities on sale in the city are guaranteed for their geniunity.No faked goods at all ! So,our upcoming universal suffrage should also be a geniune one as advocated by respectable Professor Tai Yiu-ting who organizes the 'Occupy Central' movement. Right ?
hard times !
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 ?
hard times !
no more waiting ! No more !
hard times !
No more reason to wait.No more ! A geniune universal suffrage. A real one ! Nothing can replace it. Nothing ! Most Hongkongers' wish ! Most !
hard times !
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 !
mercedes2233
Fear of HK citizens emigrating? They've already done that, and returned.
SpeakFreely
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?

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or