Democracy, in theory, is a form of self-government: “of the people, by the people, for the people”. Ideally, therefore, a well-functioning democracy should be able to achieve socio-economic equality. In every democracy, come election time, a lot of public money is spent by governments. Even more staggering is the amount of money spent by vested interests, cartels, lobbies and even foreign countries, thus influencing the final outcome of almost every election. Unfortunately, the concept of democracy has been corrupted. In Hong Kong, we have been “fighting for democracy” since the handover and have hardly made any progress. On the one hand, there are Beijing loyalists who will swallow any pill prescribed by the Communist Party. On the other hand, there are the so-called democrats whose elected representatives have been stalling and subverting the democratic process by filibustering and stalling Legislative Council proceedings. Then there are the sycophants, who occupy various positions in the Executive Council and mainland bodies, trying to steal sound bites and thus give some relevance to their very existence. With such an ongoing circus, who is protecting the interest of Hong Kong citizens by focusing on the real issues? If national security on one end and democracy on the other are the only issues, where do the genuine issues faced by Hong Kong citizens fit in? Where is the socio-economic equality ? Venkitaraman Krishnan, Cha Kwo Ling China has every right to protect its territory A national security law in Hong Kong – it’s about time. It’s double standards at its worst when certain countries are up in arms against the proposed national security law in Hong Kong but most nations around the world have similar laws. Every country has the right to protect its national security and sovereignty. The proposed security law in Hong Kong pertains only to national security issues and otherwise does not affect the freedom of Hong Kong. A stable and peaceful society is imperative for the people of Hong Kong, and it is needed for the city to maintain its competitive edge in doing business around the world. I fail to see any reason why a country cannot enact laws to protect itself against sedition, secession and subversion. I wonder if countries that oppose this law have some selfish, injudicious agenda beyond the obvious. John I. Yam, Seattle Help us understand what you are interested in so that we can improve SCMP and provide a better experience for you. We would like to invite you to take this five-minute survey on how you engage with SCMP and the news.