How disqualifying Eddie Chu from contesting elections damages the Hong Kong brand
I am writing in response to the article “Lawmaker Eddie Chu disqualified from running in village election” (December 2).
In the first place, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick’s disqualification from running in a rural representative election is a violation of the right to vote and to stand for election. Moreover, it promotes the idea that the government is superior to the general public.
Besides, the Basic Law guarantees Hongkongers freedom of speech, the importance of which should not be underestimated. It is widely known that Hong Kong is an international city with a capitalist system and one that, like most modern societies, emphasises freedom of speech.
However, the government does not seem to be interested in safeguarding Hong Kong’s reputation in this regard. To protect the Hong Kong brand, the government should protect freedom of speech.
Apart from freedom of speech, candidates’ backgrounds should not be taken into consideration when disqualifying them. Chu has been labelled a radical because he seems to support self-determination for Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong independence should not be advocated, Chu’s political stance should not have been a factor in his disqualification. This series of disqualifications is only going to damage Hong Kong’s political future.
Walter Chong, Tseung Kwan O