If strategy commission panel can't provide direction, further reform is a non-starter, government source says Hong Kong is unlikely to win Beijing's approval for universal suffrage if no direction emerges from a top advisory panel appointed by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the government has warned. A government source yesterday said the 39 members of the committee on governance and political development represented the mainstream view in Hong Kong. He would not be drawn on how long the discussions would last. 'If this committee cannot come up with something, then the chance of having an outcome acceptable to the central government is not high,' the source said. The committee under the Commission on Strategic Development is the main forum to discuss universal suffrage. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday. The source said one of the two papers to be issued for members' reference would list three questions before a universal suffrage timetable could be reached. These include how to develop democracy according to four principles - they should take into account the interests of different sectors; be conducive to the development of capitalism; make gradual and orderly progress; and develop according to Hong Kong's actual situation. Members will also be asked to consider the role of functional constituencies in Legco, including the feasibility of a bicameral system. The final question covers the composition of the legislature. The other paper will outline government studies on the parliamentary models adopted in Britain, the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France and Japan. 'Our view is that these questions should be addressed before tackling the issue of a timetable,' the source said. Describing the committee as functioning like a pressure cooker, the source hoped it would give momentum to discussions on universal suffrage and come up with a broad direction. The source denied that papers issued to the commission's executive on Thursday showed the government had biased views towards democracy. Those papers warned of threats arising from populism and conflicts if the government did not develop democracy. They also warned that moves towards greater democracy must not undermine stability and prosperity, government efficiency, and the trust between Hong Kong and the central government. The source said: 'We are just reflecting the fact that there are such views in the community. It does not represent our position.' Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat, a member of the committee on governance and political development, accused the government of dragging its feet. 'Prosperous countries in the world have universal suffrage. Indeed universal suffrage can also meet principles mentioned by the government. So I hope they won't become excuses against universal suffrage,' he said. Another member, unionist legislator Lee Cheuk-yan, also warned that the four principles could be excuses to block democracy.