Occupy Central

Attacks on Occupy Central may backfire, pan-democrats say

Show of opposition in district councils could boost the campaign, pan-democrats say

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 July, 2013, 5:29am

Pro-establishment district councillors have been accused of behaving like Beijing lackeys after they backed motions condemning the Occupy Central movement for democracy.

Their efforts may backfire and boost support for the plan to bring mass civil disobedience to Central district in pursuit of full universal suffrage, pan-democratic councillors say.

They said all 18 district councils were dominated by pro-establishment members and therefore did not accurately represent public opinion on Occupy Central.

Kwai Tsing councillor Ng Kim-sing, from the Democratic Party, said: "They were doing it for the central government."

Supporters of the motions insisted they were simply speaking their minds.

On Friday, the district councils of Tai Po, Eastern and Kowloon City passed motions against Occupy Central - meaning 11 out of the 18 councils have done so since Sha Tin took the initiative on May 23.

Organisers of the movement say at least 10,000 people will block roads in Central in July next year if the government has failed by then to deliver on universal suffrage.

Many district councillors fear that if the plan goes ahead, it may tarnish the city's rule of law, and harm social order and prosperity.

Similar motions against Occupy Central will be tabled in four other councils this month.

They include the Central and Western district council, which is likely to bear the brunt if the civil disobedience action takes place.

Two independent pro-establishment councillors will table a motion on Thursday to "strongly reprimand the Occupy Central act, and urge the administration to enforce the law fairly to safeguard Hong Kong's core values".

Sai Kung, Kwai Tsing and Southern district councillors will also table such motions.

The NeoDemocrats' Ben Chung Kam-lun, a Sai Kung councillor, was critical of his Beijing-loyalist colleagues' efforts. "I think the central government's liaison office is calling the shots. All the 18 councils have to show loyalty … But Hongkongers who support democracy will continue to turn up at Occupy Central activities [when needed]."

Occupy Central organiser Dr Chan Kin-man endorsed his view. "People may become more aware of the movement because of the district councils' systematic action."

Sai Kung council vice-chairman Jacky Chan Kwok-kai, a proponent of the motion, said he was speaking his mind. "I am doing this for my own sake … and of my own will," he said. "I have heard many residents say Hong Kong is very prosperous … and peaceful. This [civil disobedience] plan must not be encouraged."

Kwai Tsing's independent councillor Alan Lee Chi-keung said he had also made his own decision to back the motion.


Hitting Back

Motions against Occupy:
Wan Chai
Kowloon City
Yau Tsim Mong
Sham Shui Po
Wong Tai Sin
Sha Tin
Tai Po
Yuen Long

Motions not passed yet:
Central and Western
Kwai Tsing
Sai Kung
Kwun Tong
Tsuen Wan
Tuen Mun