Pan-democrats talk the talk, but they need to walk the walk

By Henry Lui, Sha Tin College
By Henry Lui, Sha Tin College |

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Pan-democrats holding up a joined declaration on the method for selecting the Chief Executive by universal suffrage at the Legislative Council

The pan-democrats are a funny bunch. They claim to be fighting for democracy, but then they decide to put their boots on the throats of the Hong Kong public by stopping the 2017 election reforms, smothering any hope of a democratic Chief Executive election in that year. 

To be frank, the supposed democrats are nothing but a bunch of wailing 5-year-olds who ruin the fun for everyone else simply because they weren’t invited to the party. Knowing that they wouldn’t stand a chance in front of the pro-Beijing 1,200 member nominating committee, they choose to veto the entire reform proposal instead, defecating on the doorsteps of the public and possibly allowing Leung Chun-ying to be “elected” for a second term. 

For decades they rode on the popularity they gained from supporting the students of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Seeing that it would be beneficial, they tried to hijack the Occupy movement for their personal gain, too. They weren’t there to support the student protestors. They were using the protests as a springboard.

Unfortunately for them, this springboard cracked, fell, and burst into flames. Contrary to the democrats’ expectations, no one was oppressed, arrested, and left to rot in jail; the protestors were allowed to sit undisturbed. The pan-dems had a lot to gain if a violent crackdown had happened, but the Central government outsmarted the “democrats” by doing nothing. 

As the days turned into weeks, months, public opinion started to shift. People who initially supported Occupy grew disheartened. Those who were originally apolitical started to despise the protestors who were blocking up the roads. By the end of the 79-day protest, nothing was achieved and no peaceful protestor unlawfully sent to jail. Their mighty quest to gain popularity had backfired. 

Now the pan-democrats and Occupy groups have gone silent. The Hong Kong Federation of Students is in shambles, Benny Tai Yiu-ting is nowhere to be found, and the legislators have remained largely mute. 

According to a survey conducted by the Chinese University in December last year, 42.3 per cent of Hongkongers opposed the Occupy protests, and 38 per cent supported Beijing’s proposals on electoral reform – that’s 9 per cent higher than the results gathered in September. It’s no wonder that Leung Chun-ying and most of the pro-establishment camp feel comfortable enough to make provocative statements. 

It’s always important for us to question the intentions of our politicians before hopping on their boat. Though they may seem to bear the same stance as you do, no politician truly works for the benefit of the people. Be it a pro-establishment legislator or a pan-democrat, they are all willing to exploit their supporters in order to advance their personal status – it’s just how politics is. 

I’m not denying the fact that politicians can, at times, be genuinely altruistic, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King have already proven this, it’s just that we aren’t seeing any of that in our city.