• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 9:13pm
Occupy Central
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POLITICS

'There is no neutrality': CY Leung signs petition against Occupy Central

Chief executive says his signing of the petition against the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement is a matter of law, not politics

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 August, 2014, 2:57am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 August, 2014, 5:19pm
 

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying brushed off the question of political neutrality yesterday as he publicly added his signature to the petition denouncing the Occupy Central movement.

"There is no neutrality in it," he said when asked if he should have refrained from taking sides. "There is no 'middle area' between breaking the law and not breaking the law."

Coming just hours after the Democratic Party met Beijing's top representative in the city, Zhang Xiaoming , Leung's signing raised questions about whether political divisions would be deepened at a time when a middle ground is being sought on reform.

Petition co-organiser and Alliance for Peace and Democracy leader Robert Chow Yung defended the chief executive's action, saying Leung's signing was "high profile" only because journalists "chose to cover" it.

But Leung's plan was publicised yesterday afternoon when the government's Information Services Department announced he would sign the petition and meet the media at the General Chamber of Commerce's Admiralty office at 5.15pm. He was accompanied by his office director Edward Yau Tang-wah, Chow and two alliance spokesmen.

Leung dismissed suggestions he was misusing public resources by signing the petition during working hours and bringing his media relations team.

The chief executive said he was signing the petition in a "personal capacity" and brought his team because he knew reporters would be interested about matters other than the petition.

Leung joins at least five high-level officials who have signed the alliance's petition - among them health chief Dr Ko Wing-man, Education Secretary Eddie Ng Hak-kim and development chief Paul Chan Mo-po.

Chinese University political scientist Ma Ngok said Leung's participation in the anti-Occupy campaign was tantamount to showing that "the government is declaring war on Occupy Central". This would encourage civil servants and policemen to voice their opposition to the civil disobedience movement, he said.

Leung's signing of the petition came as police finalised plans for handling a series of protest rallies to be held tomorrow by Chow's alliance to oppose planned civil disobedience protests and show support for the government.

The force declined to address questions about the size of the demonstration, citing confidential operation planning.

"We will have a suitable deployment and flexible manpower planning ... and we will carry out our duty in a fair and impartial manner," Senior Superintendent Tan Wing-yuen said.

Alliance organisers say they expect about 120,000 people to march from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Chater Garden in Central.

Thousands of government supporters are also expected to run along the rally route early on Sunday.

The petition calls for universal suffrage in time for the chief executive election in 2017 - a goal it shares with Occupy Central - but it specifies that must happen in a "peaceful and non-violent manner" without occupying Central and bringing it to a standstill.

Chow said more than 1.2 million people had signed.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

ejmciii
He has proven a good servant to the Masters in Beijing and will be rewarded. He is not one of us. He is one of them as are many of the wrs on these boards who tell us we must bend over to the masters. Sadly they will sacrifice HK as an international city to make sure that the Communist model remains paramount. If you are not worried, you should be.
caractacus
This man is totally deluded and confused by the shabby cronies around him and has been so weak as to allow himself to led by the nose by apparatchik thugs across the border who are now pulling his strings almost daily. The impression is of a person who has always shoeshined his way into favour and position. Now he is CE, he should be in charge, but he is not a strong enough character to stamp his character on the style of government. His administration is not composed solely of rotten types, but the culture of cronyism has infected the top of every part of government. The corrupt tycoons are ruling the roost, the H e u n g Y e e K u k gangsters have free reign in the New Territories and the environment is hostage to crooked interests supported by dishonest senior civil servants.
What a shame for Hong Kong.
acny
It is highly unusual to have street demonstrations from groups that support government policies in a democratic country. Usually it is the other way round. The only country I can think of is North Korea. CYL signed the petition using the CE office space during working hr and tax payers money and he has the guts to say it is a personal act.
mdap
And do you ever make a personal phone call at work, using company property and expecting your company to foot the bill ...... grow up!
sjfore
I'm not the CE! Lame...
caractacus
If he is so much for the law, why doesn't he fire his officials who have their sticky, conflicted hands in the cash register with their land investments?
mh0908
Neutrality is PEACE!
norodnik
"The phrase "you're either with us, or against us" and similar variations are used to depict situations as being polarized and to force witnesses, bystanders, or others unaligned with some form of pre-existing conflict to either become allies of the speaking party or lose favor. The implied consequence of not joining the team effort is to be deemed an enemy."
We have our own home grown George W. Bush in CY Leung now...
gavinanderson
Nobody has denied his right to sign. They said he should not have.
maecheung
If he has the right to sign, and did exercise his rights, why do people said he should not have exercised his rights?

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