• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 11:21am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Occupy Central ‘unwise’, says Peter Woo of Wharf, a likely loser from protest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 June, 2014, 11:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 9:56am

The chairman of developer Wharf (Holdings), Peter Woo Kwong-ching, says he does not expect the central government to make any concessions in the election of Hong Kong's chief executive or on electoral reform. And he urged protesters not to occupy Central, arguing it is "not worth it".

"[Protesters] hope to use an illegal movement - Occupy Central - to try to seize control of Hong Kong's administration. It is an unwise move," he said yesterday after the company's annual general meeting.

Woo - who came third in the vote for the first chief executive in 1996 - said the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law were clear about the limits of Hong Kong's "high degree of autonomy" and its ultimate sovereignty. "When they talk about civic nomination, it is [the protesters'] one-sided wish," he said.

The central government had made its stance very clear in remarks by various officials, including National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang, and Woo said it was in no mood to make concessions.

"The young generation could sacrifice their future over the next 30 years to join an illegal movement to fight for something that they will not achieve. Is it worth it? I think it is not," he said.

Woo, a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is the third leading Hong Kong developer to publicly oppose the Occupy Central movement. Li Ka-shing said in March that the movement would be harmful to the city. Lee Shau-kee of Henderson Land has also voiced his disapproval.

A report by Swiss bank UBS said Wharf would be one of the biggest losers from the mass civil disobedience Occupy Central has threatened if its supporters disapprove of government proposals for electoral reform.

Meanwhile, the government's monetary and securities regulators have prepared contingency plans for Occupy Central.

Securities and Futures Commission chairman Carlson Tong Ka-shing has told the stock exchange, local brokers and fund houses to prepare for its impact. The SFC's offices are in Central, as are those of most of the brokers and fund houses it regulates.

"All SFC licensees need to check on their back-up facilities to make sure their operations will not be affected by any emergencies such as Occupy Central," he said. "The SFC will … work closely with the stock exchange and licensees to make sure they can continue to operate … as usual."

A Hong Kong Monetary Authority spokesman said it would hold business continuity drills with banks in the next two weeks. Banks have been told to put in place adequate plans to protect critical areas of their business against disruption.



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This article is now closed to comments

The fact is that more protesters will come out due to these sort of comments. People realise the only practical way to get more compromise on flawed, mostly unsupported, unsuitable policies is by mass protest. It worked with Article 23, National education, HKTV licensing etc. Logic dictates that democratic reform will follow.
What happens if 500000 suddenly hit the streets like in 2003 and sit down en masse? The choice is to forcefully crackdown or compromise. Hopefully, Beijing realises that most people here are very switched on to their rights and not used to communist type robotism and control.
The next few months will be crucial for Hk's future and China. Hopefully common sense will prevail on all sides.
wailamtmhk - No. It was Sir Gordon Woo, chairman of Hopewell Holdings who said only pple who paid salary tax should have the right to vote.
I believe this is the same man who once said that only people who paid salaries tax should have the right to vote.
yes he did say that
he is deranged drunk on power r e t a r d who could only succeed in hong kong
SCMP please please stop publishing these obvious press releases.
Can't they take a baseball bat to Benny?
As long as HK does just the 'opposite ' to what these property developers say - it will be for the greater good of all.
Property developers will say - we need more mainland tourist- we actually don't .
Property developers will say - we don't need democracy, we actually do.
Property developers will say - don't occupy Central- we must!
Property developers will say- property prices will continue going up- we must push it down!
Property developers will say- we need to import cheap labor - I say we need to export these property developers out of HK!
Property developers start whining = HK starts laughing !
Read their lips, HK people are stupid. We actually have been.
why would ANYONE TAKE advice from this buffoon
his kids dont even listen to him
Does Beijing have to resort to getting this sort of person to denounce 'Occupy Central'. Beijing didnt even want him as our first CE and he is an out-and-out businessman with likely much business with the mainland. So there you have it. A guy with little clout and is not even worth a glance from Beijing speaking out.




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