Lawmakers vow to continue fighting for people's freedoms Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was warned by democrats yesterday that he would be 'very naive' if he followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and distanced himself from them. The comment from Albert Ho Chun-yan, vice-chairman of the Democratic Party, comes with the democrats labelled the 'opposition' camp following defeat of the government's electoral reform package last month. Mr Tsang and his senior aides have said the democrats acted against the public's views and had become the opposition. This criticism was echoed by the pro-Beijing camp, with the Wen Wei Po newspaper on Thursday running a two-page commentary criticising the democrats. Mr Ho warned Mr Tsang against following the path of Tung Chee-hwa. He added that his party would not retreat from its support for democracy. 'We shall continue fighting to protect civil society and people's freedoms,' he said. Veteran democracy advocate Emily Lau Wai-hing, a lawmaker for The Frontier, said: 'Beijing can use whatever terms to criticise us. To me, it is not an issue. I and my pro-democracy colleagues in the legislature will continue to do what we were doing.' Lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Article 45 Concern Group, dismissed criticisms of the pro-democracy camp as being the 'opposition', describing such comments as emotional. Mr Tong said Beijing and the Tsang administration liked to talk about a harmonious society, but if the government wanted harmony, it needed to talk with the democracy camp. Li Pang-kwong, director of the public governance programme at Lingnan University, did not believe the tactic of 'demonising' the democrats would work. 'Hong Kong people know what has happened,' he said. Citing his own study on the voting records of the legislature over the past 10 years, Dr Li said lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp had voted to support government bills for roughly half of this time. Ma Ngok, assistant professor of social science at the University of Science and Technology, said he did not believe the opposition label would do much harm to the democrats. He said: 'There are realistic needs for the government and Beijing to maintain contacts with the pro-democracy camp.' Ms Lau said the democrats were still hoping for a meeting with Mr Tsang or Beijing officials on Hong Kong's constitutional reforms as soon as possible. They had been requesting a meeting with Mr Tsang since last October when the government's reform package was released, but a meeting was never arranged. The legislators also wrote to Mr Tsang last week requesting a meeting and asking him to pass on the letter to state leaders during his duty visit to Beijing. They have not received a reply.