• Sat
  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 10:41am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Reform poll hits 750,000 votes as accounting firms condemn Occupy Central

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 June, 2014, 3:38pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 June, 2014, 3:01am

The city's four biggest accounting firms have joined in a statement condemning Occupy Central for its planned civil disobedience action.

The so-called Big Four - Ernst & Young, KPMG, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong - said they opposed the pro-democracy movement for its potential "adverse and far-reaching impact" on the local legal system, social order and economic development.

The accounting firms claimed that multinational corporations and investors might move their regional headquarters out of the city or even withdraw their business because of the instability created.

"The Central district has been the heart of the city's commercial activities," they said in the joint statement. "We believe that once the Occupy Central movement takes place, commercial institutions such as banks, the stock exchange and the stock market will inevitably be affected, causing delays to transactions and business activities, which will in turn give rise to market instability and chaos, resulting in [severe] economic and social damage that can hardly be quantified."

If firms relocated or withdrew, "that would weaken the competitiveness of Hong Kong even further and would create a more difficult environment for our next generation", they said.

The statement was published in Chinese-language newspapers Ming Pao, the Hong Kong Economic Times and the Hong Kong Economic Journal yesterday, as participation in Occupy's unofficial referendum on electoral reform - which began on June 20 - passed 750,000.

Accountancy-sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung voiced concern over the advertisement. "I'm worried that accountants and employees of the four firms will feel pressured and be prevented from expressing their political views freely," he said.

Ernst & Young, in an internal circular seen by the South China Morning Post, told its staff not to answer any media inquiries about Occupy Central but refer them to the firm's media section.

Upon inquiries from the Post, the firm said: "[We] would like to clarify one point - we did not 'warn' our people. It is normal practice to ask our people to refer all media inquiries to the media relations team." It refused to comment on the joint statement.

On Wednesday, the Hong Kong Economic Times refused to run a statement issued by Occupy organisers, saying the paper would not publish an ad that might involve illegal activities.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

537c58d9-aa48-4188-8e84-35050a320969
SCMP is a Falun Gong newspaper
321manu
I just love it when people like Camel claim to speak for the "silent majority". But when directly challenged on how they might be speaking on their behalf, there is obfuscation but nothing more.
If you want a scientifically rigorous assessment of the views of the silent majority on issues regarding democratic reform in HK, check out the HK Transition Project constitutional reform survey 2014.
Here's the funniest part. I haven't looked at it in a while, so some of the numbers are fuzzy. But if memory serves, the majority may have been opposed to Occupy in some form. The laughable thing about people like Camel is they like to claim the silent majority, even without any awareness of a basis for doing so.
HK-Lover
A high percentage of the voting population has chosen to participate in this poll, that's a fact and cannot be denied.
However, the poll would have been more meaningful to all of us and Beijing if they had also two additional questions:
1. "Do you agree or disagree to have an election committee ?"
2. "Do you agree or disagree to have Beijing choosing the members of the election committee ?"
It would be the strongest possible message to Beijing if a great majority would have ticked "No" .
537c58d9-aa48-4188-8e84-35050a320969
The Occupy Central voting system is based on fake voters that use fake IDs and telephone numbers so that the avatars can make multiple fake votes on choices which deliberately did not include an option preferred by the majority population of HK, hence only a minority of HK population participated.
lucifer
It is very surprising that foreign businesses would step into politics and condemn Hong Kong's quest for universal suffrage - a right enjoyed by the countries where these companies are headquartered and which has allowed them to prosper.
The fact of the matter is a more pluralistic, stable and democratic Hong Kong is a recipe for increased prosperity and Hong Kong's educated population is typical of successful Asian and Western democracies. In the end, it may well be that authoritarian China poses the biggest risk to economic stability in the region, especially if it falters under the pressure of economic and political reforms that are necessary to take the nation to the next level.
Camel
Not only these 4 Accounting firm. For what I have heard the majority of the City's business, company's and industry just shake their heads. Maybe HK needs its lesson. Let us see how many of those rascals will be still in Hong Kong, if HK has no Jobs, no prospectives, no future to offer. Maybe they will move to Shenzhen.
537c58d9-aa48-4188-8e84-35050a320969
This is exactly what MI6, CIA, and Falun Gong wanted, to split up and create havoc in HK.
pliu
There has been so much talk and excitement about Occupy Central's unofficial referendum on electoral reform. It has reached 750,000 after 9 days of voting!
Assuming that this figure is correct and there is certainly dispute about the integrity of the poll, this is only 12.5% (750,000/6,000,000) of the voting population in Hong Kong. What about the other 87.5% of the voting population that didn't vote?!!!
I am one of those 87.5% who chose not to vote not because I don't want to see full democracy in Hong Kong, but because I don't want to have anything to do with those selfish, time wasting and disruptive so-called democratic legislators.
Just look at their disgraceful behavior last night on the initial funding for the North East New Territories new towns development. All they care about is looking after their constituents (young activists in the democracy movement) and promoting their own self-image in front of the press and couldn't-care-less about anything else.
They are not interested in the tens of thousands of ordinary citizens that would benefit from affordable housing, the many thousands of jobs that will be created, and all the amenities that these two new towns will bring to the local communities and villagers. They don't even care about the possible damage that Occupy Central could do to Hong Kong. No, all they are interested in is putting a farcical show at Legco and in public!
We should look at each case on its MERITS!
If Hong Kong suffers
Camel
There is a silent majority but those rascals are causing and will cause so much trouble even the silent majority can not prevent the downfall of the whole city.
The turmult at the Legco again, shows what we can expect from uneducated, crazy and ready to rumble elected lawmakers of the pan dems or people power. Letting them to rule the city? HK is doomed.
chaz_hen
And you speak on behalf of ?????

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