• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 7:25pm
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
 

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  • Yes: 72%
  • No: 28%
29 Mar 2013
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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 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 ?
the sun also rises
jkhleung is definitely an old guy who is just good at pointing fingers at other writers here who support pan-democrats.In his eyes,freeom to express is a sin or ...Without basic freedom of expression,how can he or I express ourselves here freely ? I wonder.Democratic political system can also produce corrupted leaders like Taiwan's Chen Shui-bien yet the voters can vote their elected leader out once he/she is found to be corrupted or incapable without staging a bloody revolution or physical violence as claimed by this so-called jkhleung ! Right ?
the sun also rises
jkhleung is definitely a follower of authoritarianism and dictatorship who worships the one-party rule across the border.Right ? may God bless his soul and conscience if he has any. He doesn't know the true meaning of democracy and direct election,not to say a geniune universal suffrage. Right ? He better borrows or buys (if he has got some money) some books on politics (the democracy-typed ) before barking at other Comment writers (such as this Old Hong Kong) here !
the sun also rises
your lousy English is just below average so it makes other readers to misunderstand you.Anyway,your irrational attacks on local pan-democrats (never so-called pandems which is never a proper word at all !) inevitably leads others to side you with the CCP or their followers, the DAB or ...While accusing another writer here as 'extreme stubborn' is itself an insult or at least very impolite---which forbids any rational or meaningful discussions here which can never be accomplished since the views here can be very varied ! The one who keeps on shouting abuses at others with different views is nobody but you yourself---an old guy in town ! Right ? ha ! ha !
SpeakFreely
Professors, if you want to fight a regime u should teach ur students to make Hk financially independent. hK is relying too much on China financially since 1997 and getting worst. Without gaining back some financial freedom, all fights are empty talks! Even universities academics hku, etc are talking everyday how to grow into China etc etc....how can our future generation be financially independent (from china). With that, how can you fight a regime u think not doing what you want ? Empty talk.
SpeakFreely
If you Google there is virtually no "change" or "revolution" without violence. Not only that, you need a almost 90% supported candidate, a very intelligent, strong and charismatic leader, like Aung San SuuYi, the MLK alike, and majority vote of the people to support him or her.
Politic is not what these professors or academics doing for fun, it is about winning. There is no point to push for a so called fare system of there is no chance of winning. You need to focus to choose a war to fight, not to fight for everything. As of today, Hk does even has such a person from the PanD size to stand up for the challege. If even 60% of the 3m voter really believe in democracy that should easily contribute $1,000 each less than 100 a month, to sum up to $1.8 B to have a strong campaign. But they don't it is all dry talking.
BJ will not yield to these 10 to 20k people from HK to affect the taking of its 1.3b people. think! If you are not dump.
jackblack323
Beijing should pre-empt the Occupy Central scheme by helping implement what is reasonable, fair, and desired by most Hong Kongers: create a roadmap for free and fair elections of the HK CE by 2017.
There are many precedents for such elections--the UN regularly sends observers to monitor elections in different countries. UN guidelines can help draw up a framework for election of the CE.
Few Hong Kongers want civil disobedience. We simply want our say in electing our own Chief Executive, and later on, LegCo representatives.
ianson
Occupy Central is an extreme and highly undesirable prospect for Hong Kong. It will do damage to our economy and business reputation. But it's necessary. We are being forced into a corner by a heavy-handed despotic regime that doesn't give a fig for its promises and cares even less for democracy and freedoms in Hong Kong. Either we yield under their thumb or stand up for our rights and principles.
the sun also rises
As this Old Hong Kong has spoken before,all ethic Chinese here love their country (no matter the PRC or the POC--Republic of China in Taiwan) and Hong Kong (where they live and work or study). But loving one's country,not necessarily means that one should love the ruling regime.Our National Father loved China, but never the Qing Dynasty,otherwise he should serve in the court and the nobles instead of becoming a rebel to be wanted (nearly kidnapped in London).Chairman Mao and his fellow revolutionaries before 1949 should never revolt against the then Kuomintang government led by Chiang Kai-shek since China was governed by Chiang and Hung Sau-chuen should never stage a rebellion against the Qing ruler in 1851 since the ruler at that time was the Manchus. Right ? Loving one's country and people plus Hong Kong is just natural enough so it is not written in the Basic Law too.
Shadow
"Occupy Central " Dont under estimate Greater china...................understand ?

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