Thursday, 2 October 2014

WHO will Speak for The Rest of Hong Kong?

The Protesters have Spoken, but What about the Rest of Hong Kong?     David Lok, Thursday, 02 October, 2014

David Lok says it is time to put the question to all people of Hong Kong - should we accept Beijing's reform requirements, or seek to renegotiate?


Hong Kong is NOT Scotland. Scotland conquered England (plus Wales) in 1603, and UK was formed in 1707 together with Ireland. Unlike Scotland, Hong Kong has always belonged to China, who was forced to cede it to the British under the shameful Treaty of Nanjing in 1842 when China lost the Opium War with Britain after failing to stop Britain from selling the profitable poison to the Chinese people. It's like the Mexican/Latin American Drug Lords demanding Texas as payment for American destruction of their lucrative cocaine trade in the American war on drug.

Next, Hong Kong Basic Law was never intended to be "a mini-constitution" for HK. It will last for 50 years, and ends in 2047 as already agreed.

The Basic Law was NEVER aimed at "preserving some democratic rights after Hong Kong reverted to Beijing's control (in 1997)". Hong Kong people were enslaved living under British colonial servitude, and had no more "democratic rights" than American Black Slaves or Black South Africans under Apartheid.

HK demonstrators are fighting only for themselves, NOT for the majority of HK people. They should now keep quiet and listen to the rest of Hong Kong whose families has lost much needed incomes from reduced tourism and disruptions to transportation.

Unlike Scotland, the option for Hong Kong independence is not available since she is a Chinese city and an integral part of China. HK people must learn HOW to live as part of China, not apart.

The successful conclusion of the Scottish Referendum last month marked, in many ways, the pinnacle of democracy and stands in stark contrast to the current situation in Hong Kong, where tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to fight for genuine universal suffrage.

Tensions peaked on Sunday night after police resorted to the use of tear gas in Admiralty and Central. My heart sank as I watched my fellow citizens on either side of the police defence line emerge from the conflict worn out and hurt.

On one hand are the passionate individuals fighting for what I believe is a fundamental human right - to vote for one's leader in accordance with democratic procedures, rather than the proposal currently offered by the Chinese government.

On the other hand, the Hong Kong police, charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order, had little choice but to stop the illegal activity that is Occupy Central.

As someone who has loved ones on both sides, I began to question whether the campaign has overreached its intended purpose.

The protests have had no effect on Beijing's decision, but instead threaten to weaken the social fabric of the community. On the streets, in addition to clashes between protesters and the police, protesters can also be seen having heated arguments with pedestrians annoyed by the disruption. Online, users are also polarised, and harsh words are constantly being directed to either side.
Furthermore, if the protesters were to continue their campaign indefinitely, the disruptions may prove detrimental to the city's economy.

While I admire the protesters' passion, I struggle to see the pragmatism of their approach. As we can see from recent history, believing that Beijing would change its stance on universal suffrage as a response to the protests is nothing short of irrational optimism. This is a decision which is out of the hands of the Hong Kong government. Therefore, bringing down the government or its chief executive would not help the cause.

Everyone needs to internalise this fact. Instead of making unrealistic demands, the Hong Kong government and citizens should put the disorder behind us and reach a consensus on our next step forward.

While many hundreds of people have taken part in the protests, the majority of the population has yet to speak. So, as a start, perhaps the government should gather the views of the people through an official referendum and decide as a city:
·    Should the Legislative Council veto the current proposal and seek to renegotiate with the central government, meaning we risk keeping the existing process for selecting the chief executive?
·    Or, should we, as a city, take a leap of faith and accept the current proposal as our first step to democracy, and engage in further negotiations for future elections?

The fight for democracy is never a one-week affair. The views of the pro-democracy bloc have now been heard. It is time for us all, whether pro-democracy, pro-Beijing or neutral, to move forward together as a community, in peace and unity.

David Lok was born in Hong Kong and is a graduate of the London School of Economics
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as With one voice


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