Chief executive's status in Hong Kong just pan-dem scare tactic

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 4:13pm

I believe that we are witnessing a political storm in a teacup about the chief executive's status in Hong Kong, whipped up by some self-serving pan-democrats to try to frighten Hongkongers.

In pre-1997 British colonial days, the governor, being the representative of the queen in Hong Kong, was appointed by and owed his loyalty to her.

However, he had the responsibility to administer the government of the colony on her behalf.

He therefore had loyalties both to the queen and to Hong Kong. He was, in a way, "above" the Hong Kong government and its three branches, which he supervised; but he was still subject to the laws of Hong Kong like everyone else here.

Before 1997, the judiciary was always independent of the other two branches of government (and still is today); but sometimes the executive and legislature were not independent of each other, with cross membership, though they were always independent of the judiciary. And sometimes the executive and the legislature were independent of each other.

This template of the three branches of government, with the governor being "above" them, was the model, I believe, that was adopted in the Basic Law for Hong Kong's executive-led government.

As I understand it, in the Basic Law, this means that the chief executive owes his loyalties to Beijing and to Hong Kong and, as such, he occupies a position similar to that of previous colonial governors. But he is still subject to the laws of Hong Kong, as they were.

As regards separation of powers, the most important aspect is the separation of the judiciary from the executive and the legislature.

Whether there is an overlap between the executive and the legislature, as is the case in the UK, is not important.

So what is the problem about the chief executive's status? This is just a continuation of the previous British colonial system which served Hong Kong well for about 150 years.

So I call on the pan-democrats to stop trying to create a storm in a teacup and worrying the people of Hong Kong, and to start now to work constructively with the SAR government, instead of trying to find every opportunity to oppose it.

John Shannon, Mid-Levels