My Take

Hong Kong political heavyweight Fanny Law must learn art of subtlety

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 1:18am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 1:18am

With friends like Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, you don't need enemies.

The Executive Council heavyweight singled out Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Dennis Kwok, two moderate pan-democrats from the Civic Party, as possible chief executive candidates early this week.

Perhaps she was trying to be helpful, but jeez, by naming them, she might as well paint a red target on their foreheads for other pan-dems to attack them. Understandably, both lawmakers have run for cover and denounced Law for mentioning them for a post neither of them has expressed an interest in.

Even Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen has joined Law's chorus of critics.

"I believe in the future we should not name anyone and say whether he or she can be put forward as a candidate or not," he said yesterday. "It is unfair, it exerts undue pressure on the person being named, and it does no good to the entire system."

Quite. Law has committed the classic gaffe, otherwise defined as something a politician says in public that may be true but shouldn't have said.

Both Tong and Kwok have shown considerable courage in breaking ranks with fellow Civic Party members such as Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and Alan Leong Kah-kit, who are hardline anti-Beijing advocates with nothing to offer other than their rejectionism. Both men have shown willingness to communicate with Beijing. Only a pan-democratic camp that could talk to Beijing has any chance of advancing democratic developments in Hong Kong.

A willingness to talk is not a sign of betrayal, as many pan-dems seem to think. Even mortal enemies like the Palestinians and Israelis, the former IRA and the British government, and the Pakistanis and the Indians, have had to talk to each other to avert conflicts from time to time.

The rejectionist stance of many pan-dems just shows their political immaturity, incompetence and inability to lead.

Kwok and Tong are a new breed of pan-dems we desperately need, but the government must exercise great delicacy so as not to make their job even more difficult.

A little more subtlety please, Mrs Law.