• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 7:08am
Universal Suffrage
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

‘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]
ALAN LEONG, CIVIC PARTY LEADER

"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

539ad1f1-cd50-427e-afe6-526d0a320968
it has come to a point in me to think that maybe hk isnt ready for genuine universal suffrage, not when hk is so heavily dependant on china and when there are two distinctive sides in legco. but maybe there will never be the right time. maybe instead of putting focus on fighting for democracy, find ways on how you can make hk a more livable city. im not saying that i do not support occupy central. neither am i saying i am supporting the movement. i support its cause, but i cant bear the people sacrificing to achieve something that i deem as a basic right. what im worrying is that hk will put itself in danger due to its heavy dependence on china. then again, i understand that hk isnt trying to achieve independence, but in this time of war, one gotta make sure he has enough survival skills, isnt it so?
53b4892c-eae0-4413-b165-4c5f0a320968
Well done Ronny!
You are one of the few sensible few in that Pas-silly party.
Why don't you leave and find your own party. It sure will have more public support than Lau and Leong.
caractacus
The CCP would never have make real concessions to democracy without the pan democrats caving in. Is Ronny about to defect and become a populist pro Beijing politician?
hard times !
Ronny Tong himself should seriously reflected why his so-called moderate proposals on the Electoral Reform Package was also rejected by the autocratic ruling regime (represented by the Chinese Communist Party government) since democracy is a remote (or threatening) word towards the communists who embrace power tightly and not a bit of power can be allowed to lose to any outsiders !
daily
The Pan Dems are a bunch of crybabies...........not competent of achieving anything.
ianson
Tong's was the more rational, legally viable plan but the direct nomination plan had no impact at all on the NPCSC's decision. The most obvious irrationality in Tong's stance is that he says the CCP is predictable then derides those who, knowing how intractable the CCP is, decide that the best course is to more or less sideline attempts to compromise with it. Tong has struggled for many years for democracy yet not reached a realisation of what stands before his eyes: a concerted, uncompromising scheme to bury democracy in Hong Kong. That has always been the plan and every step in the CCP's direction by way of "compromise" has been an abject failure. The only real course to democracy, albeit a much tougher journey, demanding great reserves of willpower and courage, is confrontation.
ckretowicz
Pity that wise people are often quiet.
ann.wei.121
Do not blame it on the pan-democrats, rational or irrational the mind is set for the past 17 years, Beijing will not give you what they have not given to the Mainland, if they have not listened to 1.3 billion people in the Mainland, why would they listen to you. Pity that you, being fooled around and still do not realize it at this juncture. Just days before the verdict was given, they still led you to believe that they were willing to talk, typical communist fooling tactics. And you offered yourself to be used to rationalize this fooling tactics.
ianson
Tong and other democrats have suffered from seriously underrating themselves, not seeing Hong Kong's unique place in history and its deep capacity to make the break from CCP rule. Ultimately, they have not been willing to pay the heavy price that is required to achieve freedom from dictatorship, hoping against hope that a softer option might work. Tong has simply been politically naive.
grosvenor2007
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:
杜葉錫恩:痛斥「民主派」假民主
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!
事事鬧對立抗拒回歸
她擺動雙手,語氣堅定地說:「那些自稱為『民主派』的人其實一點也不民主!」她批評「民主派」一直採取與中央對立的態度,這是因為他們不想香港回歸祖國,仍然希望英國政府管治香港。
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!」
揭泛民主派偽善面目
杜太認為,部分立法會議員雖然隸屬不同黨派,但是他們的行徑卻往往與民主黨一致,聯手對抗政府。她點名指出,立法會議員余若薇、吳靄儀、劉慧卿、何俊仁、張文光、司徒華等都與李柱銘同一鼻孔出氣,不過有些人包裝得較為友善,較受市民歡迎。她批評,「民主派」人士不鼓勵群眾與政府坐下來商談,反而煽動他們上街遊行,然後向外界聲稱上街的人都是對普選有訴求,這是不對。
她指出,香港人最想要的不是民主,而是有保障的生活、穩定的工作、足夠的教育等。
她說:「民主不能一步登天,一人一票也未必能選出有質素的人來管治社會,照顧市民,解決問題。」她反問:「菲律賓政府是由一人一票選出來的,但是他們最終得到什麼?貪污!」除了菲律賓,亞洲其他民主發展進度很快的國家都出現很多貪污的政客,她逐一數出來:印度、台灣、泰國..所以她認為一人一票與民主不能劃等號

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