• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 1:43pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 3:41am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 5:50am

Pan-democrats left fighting a losing battle


Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.

Pan-democrats left fighting a losing battle

Beijing has stuck it up our, well, you know where. That's left the pan-democrats in shocked pain. Our bosses have given us the right to choose our next chief executive but from a list of candidates virtually chosen by them. So you can forget about "Short Hair" Leung Kwok-hung. But at least we get to choose. Who do you want? Leung Chun-ying for another five years? Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee perhaps? Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah found Beijing's jab so painful he cried on television. Other pan-democrats are too macho for that. They want to knee Beijing where it hurts even more than sticking it up, well, you know where. That's fanciful thinking, of course. It is pointless to inflict pain on a recipient that feels no pain. Beijing's message is clear. By only allowing us political reforms that even the most moderate democrats reject as fake democracy, our bosses have told us to go shove it, that Occupy Central doesn't scare them. The pan-democrats had touted the civil disobedience protest as their nuclear weapon of last resort. But do you still press the button when you know the other side is unfazed? What worth is a nuclear weapon if it does great harm to the side that fires it but little to its target? The trouble with the pan-democrats is that they have no endgame. They deluded themselves into believing Beijing would bow to the threat of Occupy Central. Beijing didn't, rendering the nuclear weapon useless. But the pan-democrats say they'll fire it anyway. That means paralysing Central, forcing shops, offices and other businesses to close but getting nothing back in return. At least David knew he could win when he fought Goliath. But our democracy champions are fighting to lose. Our Beijing bosses have given us a choice that sucks. Take a glass that's only a fraction full or an empty one. By taking the empty one we'll kiss all hope of future democracy goodbye. By taking the glass that's only a fraction full we can live to fight another day. Good card players know when to hold and when to fold. Beijing called the pan-democrats' bluff. Do they then hold and fight a losing battle just for the sake of principle? Or should they fold and wear a poker face for the next fight? Public Eye recommends that our pan-democrat fighters read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.


How Beijing took a leaf out of Sun Tzu's book

Our Beijing bosses obviously know Sun Tzu's The Art of War by heart. They never wanted universal suffrage for Hong Kong. But former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen somehow convinced them to give us a democracy timetable, a decision we now know they regret. So how to backtrack? Simple. By only allowing us a kind of democracy they knew pan-democrats would reject. It even came with a condition that, if rejected, they'll entertain no more talk of democracy. Our Davids of democracy gullibly fell into the trap. Legislators in the democracy movement have signed a pledge to vote down the reforms on offer. That will serve their conscience, but will it serve the overall interests of Hong Kong? Public Eye is no war strategist but this much we know: if you choose to fight, you fight to win, not to lose.




For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Pan Dems are actually paid by the fatcats to raise this democracy thing to waste CY Leung's time so that he cannot focus on solving HK's real problems like housing, education, population, heath care, immigration .... So that the fat cats can continue to ear super profits on tiny flats, supermarkets and etc..
If the Pan Dems had pursued HK livelihood problems with the same vigour, they would earn real respect. But then they are here to serve fat cats, too bad for us.
i don't know Pan Dem is "playing for lose" as Mr. Chugani alluded to. Pan Dems are too deep in the euro/american conditioning that they have no clue about the "china way". instead of going to Beijing to learn about china's intent, they all headed to London and DC to "preaching to the choir". this lack of understanding doomed their "democracy" campaign. however, this soccer game is only half time whistled. the second half of this ball game will come 2017. in '17 Pan Dem can rally hongkong to boycott the election. imagine if only a small percentage of the 5,000,000 registered voter show up to vote, it will defeat China's messaging. to go to the second half, Pan Dems need to vote with "establishment" to allow the "universal suffrage". for those who love soccer, games always decided in the second half. the ball game is never over at half time unless this is Brasil v. Germany 1-7.....but HongKong is NOT Brasil and China ain't no Germany.
And some people say that freedom of the press is eroding in Hong Kong!
Hong Kong's freedom of the press certainly include the freedom to express idiotic opinion.
God, I hate this defeatist bleating from the likes of Chugani. Occupy Central always has been the beginning of something, not a culmination. Chugani and his ilk know nothing of the history of radical political change. It's inevitably a long, often painful process that builds incrementally to a tipping point. One reason for Beijing's inflexibility on HK governance is the mainland's looming hard economic landing. The Party has been shoring up the levees of power everywhere in its jurisdiction lately, and in that sense the Hong Kong people are collateral damage. We'll see what happens when the water starts rising. It's unlikely to be THE tipping point, but history does tell us that authoritarian control freaks inevitably crash and burn, sometimes gradually, sometimes catastrophically.
'defeatist bleating' or Reality!
I'm sorry to learn of your problem with basic reading comprehension. The point is that reality is not a fixed entity, but a dynamic process.
Why are pan democrats losing?
1. They fight for their own interest and voters, not for the 7 Million people here in HK
2. Some of them use radical methods to raise public awareness, resulting in greater resentment from the general public
3. International standard? Come on, there is no such thing. Every country has its own development path, don't expect they way how the western societies are developed apply to our societies.
4. By the way, HK is just a city, it can't even be spot on a world map.
5. Agree with the commentators, pan democrats, why don't you guys stand against the Brits governments but now. The Brits did not establish democracy here in HK during their 150 year of colonial rule.
6. Civil nominations without screening, then triads, filibusters and some of our ‘most respected' members of the legislative council, such as long hair could also be nominated
7. Your voice could be heard, but practical and applicable actions were never taken
8. Many of you are professionals, with a number of you being lawyers, why not take your moves? Fear of breaching the law? Got handcuffed, jailed and revocation of license?
9. When you ask the youngsters to join the rally, to undertake civil disobedience, where are your children?
10. Asking for democracy, but can't stand for people who have different opinions, is this the true democracy spirit that you guys are asking for?
If you hate this city, the leave the city, but please don't destroy the city.
I always wonder why the pan dem is so care about their presence in the CE race when Pan dem had done nothing to groom up a strong leader eyeing for the CE job. Seems they care more about giving a show in the CE debate only. You may argue as CCP not accepting them in the race through an unfair system, there is no point of doing so. I don't think so. If pan dem can come up with sound policy which can convince the public to solve lots of unaddressed HK problems, the public support generated will at least influence how the CE formulates his policy if not being allowed to be the CE since any potential CE needs to buy the pan dem and his supporter's vote. You may not be the king but you can be a kingmaker.
Being offensive to China and Hong Kong government is not going to hurt CCP but simply hurting Hong Kong. Occupy central was a failure and it simply gave CCP an excuse not to have any form of universal suffrage in Hong kong. I was so shocked to learn from Tai in a radio programme that they expected such an outcome; my god... fighting to lose but at don't you know it incurred a hugh social cost with a more divided society and a non-functioning government. Damaging ourselves will not move CCP to do anything in the pan dem favour and Hong Kong will continue to sink until one day they declare one country one system. I see the pan dem a loser not because of the OC failure but they don't learn from mistake and never want to be an achiever.
Regina Ip? Now that's interesting Michael. She was unable to meet the 12.5% threshold last time though frankly speaking she could have performed better at the open forums than the 3 candidates. I wait to see how Regina can hope to meet the 50% threshold if she does decide to enter the fray.
How About
Not many people in HK knows how HK started, check it out here : //israelect.com/reference/WillieMartin/Sassoon_Family.htm




SCMP.com Account