CY Leung’s failed promises push women's union, deaf groups to join January 1 protests

Members say city's leader had seemed sincere but backtracked on many of his campaign goals, and warned they would join both New Year rally and Occupy Central

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2013, 1:48pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2013, 2:01pm

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has failed to keep his promises even after the public gave him ample time to do so, say sectoral groups who warn they will join the anti-government protests on January 1.

“We no longer know when is he speaking the truth [or] when is he lying,” said Wu Mei-lin, chairperson of the Hong Kong Women Workers' Association, in a radio interview alongside deaf rights group Silence.

Wu said Leung had met with various women’s groups during his election campaign and had “seemed sincere”, making promises to establish policies on a universal retirement scheme and working hours, but had since backtracked.

“Now the government is just saying that they will ‘look into’ the possibility of a retirement scheme. That’s an obvious step backwards,” she said. “In the past, there are less working-class members taking part on January 1 protests, but now I think that it is time.”

We no longer know when is he speaking the truth [or] when is he lying
Wu Mei-lin, Hong Kong Women Workers' Association

For the working masses, the two groups said, the bottom line was whether they would have a say in choosing the city’s next leader, so that the leader would answer to them.

Wu said that, ultimately, universal suffrage was necessary, or else the government would never have a clear mandate to serve the community’s needs.

“We understand that there are many different ways of establishing a voting system, but it comes down to the most important question: Do we have the right to directly choose of chief executive, so that they have to answer to us and fulfil their promises? There cannot be people with more power, choosing candidates for us,” Wu said.

Wu, together with Lam So-yin from deaf rights group Silence, indicated they would be joining the Occupy Central movement as well.

“The government doesn’t understand the needs of the deaf community. Whether it’s transportation or job opportunities, or education, they don’t care. There are no policies made to improve our lives,” said Lam, through translator and Silence chairman Siu Tsan.

“We will definitely support Occupy Central. This is something which will affect our lives,” said Lam.

Lam said three representatives of Occupy Central, which has vowed to hold a New Year’s Day referendum on 2017 electoral reforms, had discussed their aims with the deaf community.

There will be a deliberation on January 11 for Baptist University and deaf groups.