• Fri
  • Jul 11, 2014
  • Updated: 4:54am
NewsHong Kong

Silent Majority group urges petition, not occupation of Central

Silent Majority calls on Occupy Central to drop its plans to block Central and instead seek 100,000 signatures for universal suffrage

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 5:38am

A new group launched on Thursday to counter the Occupy Central protest urged leaders of the civil disobedience movement to collect 100,000 signatures to fight for universal suffrage instead of blocking the streets of Central.

Organisers of Silent Majority for Hong Kong threw down the challenge to the pro-democracy group yesterday in an exchange on a DBC radio programme.

The movement advocates should start up a citizen petition instead of occupying Central. A petition would pressure lawmakers as well
Ho Lok-sang of Silent Majority

One of the six convenors of Silent Majority, Ho Lok-sang, professor of public policy at Lingnan University, questioned whether the Occupy Central plan had public consent and expressed concern that the movement could encourage people to break the law.

But Occupy Central organisers hit back, saying civil disobedience was a last resort and was different from illegal acts.

Ho said he was in favour of universal suffrage and that people with different party affiliations should have an equal right to contest the chief executive race as long as they do not oppose Beijing.

"The movement advocates should start up a citizen petition instead of occupying Central," Ho said. "A petition would pressure lawmakers as well."

Occupy Central initiator Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a University of Hong Kong law professor, said: "Rule of law does not simply mean obeying the law but also regulating the people in power.

"We want to fight for a fair ballot system by a non-violent civil disobedience movement … This is very different from general illegal acts and I don't think the movement will encourage citizens to break the law."

Another Occupy Central organiser, Chinese University sociology professor Chan Kin-man, said that pan-democrats had organised petitions for democracy as suggested by Ho before, but these efforts had been ineffectual.

Chan also stressed that civil disobedience was their last resort, and they had been preparing an electronic voting exercise to collect public opinion on their movement.

Chan said that in order to avoid the Occupy Central protest ending in clashes, they will arrange workshops with psychologists and social workers to train participants to resist being provoked by opposing protesters.

Occupy Central organisers will promote their manifesto by attending town hall meetings in the coming months.

Chan will attend a forum organised by the NeoDemocrats at Chun Shek Community Hall in Sha Tin today.


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This article is now closed to comments

Silent majority ? I said these are silent schmucks allowing themselves to be hijacked to whatever political agenda.
What makes me concerned and worried is what Tai Yui-ting said the occupy central movement would be conducted in a peaceful manner. I really wonder how he can be so sure that there will be no violence occurred and protesters would just give themselves up to the police without any resistance? when has HongKong protesters become so peaceful and calm towards police's action?? any example? even if the much smaller scale of protest happened last week regarding the teacher's abusive language issue still ended up with some violence occurred. And there have been many cases over the past few years of frustrated protesters resorting to extreme and resulted in ugly scuffles with polices and media. Protesters always spin out of control and now we expect a handful of academic professors to regulate them?
What is FUNNY is, ''they will arrange workshops with psychologists and social workers to train participants to resist being provoked by opposing protesters''. If matters are easily to be dealt with by means of some training from social workers and advice from psychologists not to act radically, then violent protests wouldnt exist in Hong Kong as we are facing and suffering right now.
Dai Muff
"when has Hong Kong protesters become so peaceful and calm towards police's action??" Every June 4th and almost every July 1st. In contrast to some of the pro-government groups (paid or otherwise) out there. Of course, the pro-government groups don't get arrested.
"There was no data to suggest protests in recent years were more violent”. Chief Superintendent Stephen Cheng Se-lim, regional police commander of Kowloon West, talking to South China Morning Post (16 September 2011)
And how many democrats have been victims of vicious attacks and vandalism compared with the other side?
Well, to be frank, every year there are about more than a hundred protests in different scales. And indeed, radical behavior do alwayds occur between protesters and police during protests, shout abuse at police is one of the most prominent features and often happened in most of the demonstrations. isnt that violent enough, burning our flag to insult China and such act could have put other people at risk, isnt that violent enough?
We can see police and protesters' relation is deteriorating and this situation is caused by the confrontation between police n the protesters.
Dai Muff
Most protesters are less violent and abusive than the Victoria Park uncles, and I never hear you people complain about them. And like I said ALL the vicious attacks that have actually happened or been planned have been aimed at democratic politicians or supporters. The people of Hong Kong are not blind.
the sun also rises
collecting 100,000 signatures to petition the authorities for a universal suffrage ( the genine type) suggested by the Silent Majority for Hong Kong is simply not workable and will be proved ineffective.Just look at how nervous Beijing looks upon the 'Occupy Central 'Movement,it really touches its nerve----------occupying the financial district of Hong Kong:an international financial hub for several days by blocking certain thoroughfares at the risk of being arrested and charged with illegal gathering and blocking traffic.Anyway,the Movement emphasizes 'let love and peace occupies Central' and disallows any use of violence during the Movement. Participants have to sign a pledge not to use any force ! It is a type of civil disobedience to be staged as those by India's Gandhi in the last century !
Dai Muff
Truly care about the views of the silent majority? Let them vote. The rest is male bovine excrement.
Yeah, right, like that will work. You think the commies in BJ are going to listen to words? Get real. Dream on. Only action will gain their attention. That action should be peaceful. But action it must be!
That action should be peaceful AND LEGAL
This is just another tactic. Many were not satisfied with them for calling a halt to Occupy Central without offering concrete suggestions. The Government could easily say 100000 people is only a minority of eligible voters and still refuse to discuss universal suffrage. They claim to represent the 'silent majority' but surely if one was given a choice of having universal suffrage or not people would choose the former. Its really a no-brainer. To show sincerity, they could say that once 100000 signatures are collected they will, in tandem with Benny and co., pressurize the Government into holding talks.


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