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  • Dec 20, 2014
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Occupy Central
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Survey puts social order ahead of freedoms, in blow to Occupy Central

Poll shows more people back keeping order than democracy; Beijing warns on protest plan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 5:46am

More Hongkongers support the upholding of social order than democratic empowerment or the protection of free speech, a survey found.

The results of the Hong Kong Institute of Education poll were released as the head of Beijing's local liaison office was quoted as saying that the Occupy Central movement - the plan by democracy advocates for a mass demonstration next year - would "destroy law and order".

In the poll, conducted in March, nearly half the 1,032 respondents said maintaining order came ahead of giving people more say in key political decisions, against a third who said otherwise.

Forty-six per cent opted for maintaining order over protecting freedom of speech, while 41 per cent held an opposite view.

The margin for error of the survey results was plus or minus 3.1 per cent.

The pollster, Professor Chou Kee-lee, associate head of the institute's department of Asian and policy studies, said the results served as a reminder to the Occupy Central strategists. "One way to explain this is that Hongkongers have never had a true taste of democracy, while freedom of speech is what they are currently enjoying," he said.

One way to explain this is that Hongkongers have never had a true taste of democracy, while freedom of speech is what they are currently enjoying

University of Hong Kong legal scholar Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an Occupy Central organiser, believed there remained much room to elaborate on the spirit of the movement.

His ally, Professor Chan Kin-man of Chinese University's department of sociology, said they were working for both democracy and stability in one go.

"Without democracy, society can hardly enjoy stability," he said.

In the poll, most of the firm believers in democracy were younger males and worked full-time. Those with a higher education level were less likely to give priority to social stability.

Chou said Hong Kong's freedom of speech, together with other core values, stemmed originally from the British authorities and were democratic in nature.

"Few [of the respondents] were aware that democracy was indeed the foundation of all these rights and freedoms," he said.

The remarks by liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming on Occupy Central were quoted by members of the New People's Party who met him yesterday.

Party chairwoman and lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said Zhang told them the movement "would destroy law and order and be tantamount to publicly asking people to break the law".


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I don't see the results as a blow to the movement :
- occupying Central is not tantamount to social unstability (unless you use a very low threshold to define it) ;
- genuine democracy and representative political institutions (i.e. which is the objective of Occupy Central) is likely to reduce the number of protests in the city.
I guess with any protest most of those who partake are not passionate about it. Maybe 105 are passionate and feel they are doing it for the good of Hong Kong. The other 90% are usually young and get caught up in the moment and may be more following the crowd.
Those without passion and want to seem cool are normally the ones who cause issues. They need to be toned down a bit.
If future protests are more orderly without the name hurtling, people sitting in the streets and showing disrespect to police then I think public opinion would sway towards them.
I truly believe most people in Hong Kong hold HK police to a very high regard and have allot of respect for the rule of law.
hard times !
sure,i totally agree with what our respectful professor Chan Kin-man said,' without democracy (of which the leaders are elected by the people and have to be accountable to the people, for the people and monitored by the people through a free media and voting rights), society can hardly enjoy stability.' Just look at our great mother country,is it stable enough ? Of course not ! it explains why she has to spend/waste lots of money (even more than her national defence) to maintain so-called stability by closely monitoring activists, dissidents and their relatives (e.g.Ms Liu Xia,wife of Liu Xia-bo has been under house arrest ever since her husband was jailed for his 'Charter 08' and the residential area she resides is guarded by so-called national security guards around the clock to forbid her being interviewed or assisted by outside forces---including our reporters who were beaten up !) plus censorhip on media and especially social websites--including this Comment column of SCMP of which a frequent writer:pflim040 has been hacked ever since March 8th for his words uttered here on universal suffrage in 2017 ! How absurd it is !!
@ "Without democracy, society can hardly enjoy stability," ( Professor Chan Kin-man )
That has got to be the dumbest statement ever uttered in this democracy debate.
Interesting headline that seems slanted. As I read the article, statistically, the two opinions are just as likely to be equally favored. Yet the slant of the article implies that there is a definite opinion one way. I wish the reporters who wrote the article knew something about statistics.
Two fathead academics and a dense clergy.
Numb skulls are never self-aware. That's why they stay forever hopelessly dumb. A dummy below quoted Liu Xiaobo. But this is the guy who believes that foreigners should occupy China and colonize yellow people for another one hundred years.
Liu went as far as to support every American foreign war, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and all others. In other words, he believes in white supremacy.
Liu won the Nobel Prize because white "liberals" spite China and want to poke Chinese in the eye for adopting non-democracy governance.
However, fair-mindedness says that without clear evidence of subversion Liu should not be incarcerated. Just let him leave and collect his Prize money. Once when he lands in the US and UK, the shelf life of his vituperations will devalue exponentially. The value of this media asset will quickly depreciate to zero. When the novelty of a yellow sycophant wears thin, the bloom will be off the Democracy rose. He can spend the rest of his life in a foreign land contemplating on which is worse: white men's callousness in using him as another cog in their propaganda machine - what he perceives as righteous solidarity - or real or imagined Chinese tyranny.
So why doesn't Beijing give it a try? China can get rid of this monkey on her back. Release him pronto!
Are these Occupy Central clowns self-hate Liu Xiaobos? Your guess is as good as mine.
hard times !
our respected Mainland ascholar and winner of the Nobel Prize of Peace,the jailed Mr.Liu Xia-bo is a self-hate fellow as your arch rival in Hong Kong---the righteous and outspoken pflim040 who used to depict your lousy English as below average, poor as poor can be ? This so-called,'whymak' is either a blind-loyalist or a hired 'writer' of the pro-establishment, pro-Beijing camp or even worse,a nasty guy sent here from the North to attack and beat our pan-democrats here ! Beware of this nastiest guy's words which are most misleading and evil-minded as well ! This guy used to write early in the morning ( after 1:00 a.m. and before 6 a.m.) Today is a big change that this son-of-b....was able to send the above posting at 12:01 p.m.( maybe just woke up !) Shame on him/her and his/her words !
hard times !
today(12.05.2013)--the Mother's Day,pro-Beijing and pro-establishment lawmaker,Rat-king,Leung Mei-fun yelled at the City Forum,'stop the 'Occupy Central' Movement so as to create a channel for communication between Beijing and the pan-democrats in town.How crazy and hysterical this good-for-nothing so-called scholar ( the deputy head of Law Faculty of City Univ.) was ! Her anti-democracy stance is now well-known in town----------she would rather sacrifice Hongkongers' rights(including her igorant/innocent voters in Kowloon East) of democracy to exchange her personal well-being and position in the pro-Beijing circle.How shameless this middle-aged female is in most Hong Kong people's eyes ! Shame on this so-called scholar-****-lawmaker !
If stability means not having people demonstrate on the streets or not having lawmakers block controversial government bills, most dictatorships are probably stable societies.
If instability means allowing people to fearlessly demonstrate, or tolerating lawmakers to wage lengthy debates over government bills within the constitutional framework, most democratic regimes in the world are unstable societies.
"Forty-six per cent opted for maintaining order over protecting freedom of speech, while 41 per cent held an opposite view." Sounds like a close call for a false dichotomy. Why is this posed as a trade off? It is possible to have both. If this is truly how the questionnaire was worded, then it would seem to be attempting to influence the outcome of, not just the questionnaire itself, but of the entire debate.


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