Author Chan Koon-chung to support Occupy Central
The action is not what he wants to see but 'if it has to come … I will join', says writer of the year
Occupy Central is his last-ditch effort to fight for genuine universal suffrage, bestselling author Chan Koon-chung said yesterday at the Hong Kong Book Fair.
Chan, who was born in Shanghai, but grew up in Hong Kong, said that Occupy Central came about because there was no government plan yet for universal suffrage in the election of the chief executive in 2017.
The protest was being forced to take place, he said. "It seems it's going to be forced to happen by the current government," said Chan, the fair's writer of the year.
The movement plans to blockade the business district next July if the government fails to come up with a satisfactory plan for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election.
"Occupy Central isn't what I want to see," said Chan, who is based in Beijing. "But if it has to come one day, I'll join."
Chan has a proposal for how the chief executive could be elected. He said candidates for the 2017 election should be nominated by the Election Committee under the same mechanism that nominated the 2012 chief executive candidates, but for the 2022 election, candidates should be nominated by legislators who had all been elected by universal suffrage by 2020. The functional constituencies in Legco should be demolished by then and each legislator would only be able to nominate one chief executive candidate, he said. At least two candidates should run for the chief executive's post and would be voted for by the public. The winner would then be appointed by the central government.
Chan called on his generation to step forward to fight for democratic advancement as "it's time to repay Hong Kong for all the care it has given to us".
He said: "One country, two systems, democratic universal suffrage and constitutional autonomy are the biggest unfinished experiment of Hong Kong. It should have been finished by our generation, but the task is not yet done. It's our duty, it's our destiny."
One of Occupy Central's core organisers, Dr Chan Kin-man, said he appreciated Chan Koon-chung's initiatives and believed his endorsement of the movement and election plan would inspire more people to talk about plans for universal suffrage.
"He has a big group of readers. I hope his remarks will inspire them and motivate them."