• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:39pm
Universal Suffrage
NewsHong Kong

‘Irrational’ pan-democrats blew it on reform fight, says Civic Party’s Ronny Tong

Civic Party lawmaker says allies did not fight for universal suffrage in a pragmatic manner

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 10:05am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 September, 2014, 3:10am

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah lashed out at his pan-democratic allies yesterday, saying that while he was "very disappointed" with Beijing's decision on political reform, he was also disappointed that the pan-democrats did not take the opportunity to fight for universal suffrage in a "rational and pragmatic" manner.

Tong said the pan-democrats' stance in favour of public nomination of candidates and against Beijing screening candidates had given the central government the excuse it needed to circumvent genuine universal suffrage.

It is pointless to get involved [as we are going to veto it anyway]

"The Communist Party is not the most transparent party in the world, but it is very predictable," Tong said. "But while many people said they know the Communist Party [is inclined to bend] under a soft approach, rather than a hard one - they also said they would adopt a hard approach. This doesn't mean you have to give up on principles and values … and I am not saying that we have to kneel [to Beijing], but if there is another method to do this, then why not do it?"

On Sunday, the National People's Congress Standing Committee said only two or three candidates, with majority support from a 1,200-strong nominating committee, would be able to stand for chief executive in 2017 when the city picks its leader by "one man, one vote".

Tong feared the decision would encourage more radicals to run in the Legislative Council elections in 2016, but he declined to say if he would run for another term. He feared his absence may hinder his successor's chances in New Territories East. But he also said: "It is difficult to ask myself to persist endlessly unless there are politicians who vow to overcome the difficulties ahead."

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan disagreed with Tong's assertion that there was a lack of "rational politicians" among the pan-democrats. "We had expected more talks after the Standing Committee meetings, but the stringent [decision] showed that Beijing, [instead of] listening to the pan-democrats … has chosen the most conservative reform blueprint," she said.

Meanwhile, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang's Hong Kong 2020 group criticised the UK government for making a "shameful assertion that what has been mandated by Beijing amounts, in any sense, to universal suffrage". "The UK government has waited four days before commenting on the decisions by [Beijing]; it would frankly have been better for them to remain silent," a group statement said. "Hong Kong people … must now rely entirely on our own principles and determination to fight for the genuine democracy promised to us in the Basic Law."

On Thursday, the UK said it recognised Beijing's universal suffrage model would disappoint, but the people of Hong Kong have "a genuine choice".

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang expressed "strong discontent" that London's statement "broke its promise about not interfering in Hong Kong's political reform".



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This article is now closed to comments

It would be a loss if Ronny doesn't run again...we need more moderates within the democratic camp. The others just seem to go on autobot mode content on vetoing everything.
I have great respect for Ronny Chan, a moderate party is what is needed for HK. Those so-called 'pro-democracy' camps care nothing about the HK people but to force through what they want, NOT what the HK people wants, causing trouble for everyone and hindering HK's economy and social well-being. One have got to understand HK is a SAR of China, NOT an independent country; unless the ultimate intention of those pro-democracy people is to declare independence of HK.......something I will sacrifice my life to prevent from ever happening.
This should have been the strategy of the pan-democrats from day one. Both Ronny and Prof Albert Chen have came up with the proposal of including all directly elected district councillors in the nominating committee. This would have strengthened the democratic process of the committee. Yet the majority of the pan-democrats kept persisting with public nomination knowing that there was no chance Beijing would approve of it and even the Bar Association came out and said public nomination violates Art. 45 of the Basic Law. I am starting to believe that subconsciously even many of the pan-democrats do not want universal suffrage to happen in 2017 because otherwise they will have nothing to talk about in the 2016 Legco election. All they talk about in the political campaign is universal suffrage but once that is achieved then it means they pass their sell by date.
Dai Muff
Because there is no way the democrats can PASS anything in Legco, thanks to your wonderful functional constituencies.
By accepting NO moderate proposals, Beijing has shown a great many moderate Hongkongers they need to become radicals.
I strongly support Ronny's stance. He is an intelligent and practical legislator if only there were more democrats like him. He hit the head on the nail Chan Wai Yip stand is nice sounding but lacks practicality, short sighted and is never thought through. Chan ideas are more communistic and if he ever becomes a CE of HK we will go bankrupt within a year
I like Ronny, but I guess if he knows the government is predictable, he would also know that this post-consultation "reform" structure was probably developed and set for implementation years ago. The rest of this was just a PR game to see how they would twist it into being the "right" thing for Hong Kong.
Elsie Tu GBM, CBE, British pro-democracy social activist, former elected member of the HK Urban Council, and former member of the HK LegCo, explains the limitations and true spirit of democracy and how some western nations have been using democracy as a weapon to split up nations/states:
一向支持、追求民主的杜太為民主下這樣的定義:「民主,不是你叫自己做民主派就是民主。民主其實是從心裏發出,從心裏去追求。」「是不偏不倚願意坐下來討論問題,達到一個公平的妥協。真正的『民主派』是可以包容其他人不同的意見,願意和別人合作。但是香港這些所謂的『民主派』就一樣都做不到。」 曾經是立法局議員,與民主黨的李柱銘一度共事的杜太批評,那些自稱「民主派」的人其實一點也不民主。這些「民主派」人士煽動群眾上街遊行,對抗政府,以圖向外國勢力求助,殊不知外國其實正在計劃分化其他國家及地區!
當說到民主黨的李柱銘,她語氣頗為激動,對李有一句評語:「李柱銘十分愚蠢!」雖然李柱銘很熟悉政治,但他卻把所有的東西都政治化。她認為,李柱銘早前應邀出席美國聽證會是要不得的:「當年我在香港發動市民迫使港英政府打擊貪污的時候,都沒有去美國向任何人求助。」但是李柱銘卻向一個具有危險性的霸權主義國家求助,與自己的國家對抗,這就等同邀請敵人來攻擊自己國家。 有數十年政治經驗的杜太指出,美國一直力圖分化其他國家,她說:就是所有美國總統都是表面對人友善,內裏卻在分化削弱其他國家,以控制其經濟。」她舉例說,美國在第二次世界大戰後,先後分化了朝鮮和越南;如今美國表面上支持「一個中國」,暗地裏又向台灣地區供應武器,支持他們對抗中國,這些都反映美國居心不良。她認為,美國會藉分化香港特別行政區以打擊中國,因為中國的不穩定便對他們有利。但李柱銘卻看不到這些利害關係,十分愚蠢!對於外國干預香港事務,杜太不留情面地予以抨擊。早前美國國務院發言人表示,香港一定要推行多些民主,杜太質疑:「美國何來權力,說香港『一定』要做什麼?他們根本就無資格就香港的事務發言!」
Dai Muff
Exactly. Ronny, Anson Chan, and others all put forward more moderate proposals that Beijing could have accepted if so inclined, and that would have been politically more defensible. Instead it has shown exactly what it thinks of the moderates and proved the radicals right.
Dear Ronny,
Please spend your previous time on solving Hong Kong's social issues. Land shortages, over-crowding, lack of places for families to go on parent's days off, air and water pollution, waste problems, recycling, building Hong Kong into a better tourist destination, building schools and universities, building hospitals, etc. etc.
Many thanks!
Hong Konger
the only one sane in the pan-dem camp.



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