Support the new Chief Executive in sizing up the situation to first repair the rift and release people’s pent-up feelings, striving to create a favorable social environment for political reform under the framework of the NPC’s “8.31 decision”.
Unconstitutional demands are regrettable
Anew ambience emerges in society as the new Chief Executive takes office. In particular, the new Government has already stressed the importance of Hong Kong’s competitiveness and economic development and will adopt a new “public participatory” governance style, which make Hong Kong people filled with anticipation. Granted, different people have different expectations and demands for the Government's future governance. Regrettably, however, within Hong Kong’s society and the solemn legislature, some people still cling on to their unconstitutional demands for political development and hold the delusion that the new Chief Executive can restart political reform according to their wishes.
Recently, non-establishment lawmakers put forward a motion at the LegCo to “urge the next Chief Executive to reactivate constitutional reform”. They babbled about urging the new Chief Executive to seek the invalidation of the NPC’s “8.31 decision” and elect the Chief Executive through the unconstitutional “civil nomination”. Other pro-establishment lawmakers and I of course firmly voted against the motion, so it was not adopted. However, when pro-establishment lawmakers moved to amend the motion and asked for Hong Kong to advance political development “in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress”, it was also opposed by non-establishment lawmakers and therefore could not be passed. How can Hong Kong’s political system take a new step forward if such a confrontational situation persists?
Continuing confrontation for two years
About two years ago, Hong Kong’s political development was at a crossroads, with just one step away from a new milestone where this year’s election of the Chief Executive could be achieved through universal suffrage. The mainstream public opinion was very clear at that time, which was to advance political reform according to the NPC’s “8.31 decision”. However, the non-establishment camp attempted to open up another way outside the constitutional system, resulting in the political reform package failing to obtain a two-thirds majority in the LegCo. The vote that almost made it to the public’s hand thus became an illusion.
Ironically, those LegCo members and parties who were against the adoption of the political reform package at that time are now bringing up political reform again. Those unconstitutional demands they are revisiting, such as “civil nomination”, have already been vigorously debated in the LegCo chamber two years ago. They are unlikely to pretend not to know that the provisions in the NPC’s “8.31 decision” for universal suffrage will remain in force from 2017 onward. Even if we restart political reform, the starting point will still be the “8.31 decision”. However, the non-establishment camp is still constantly calling for revoking the “8.31 decision”. The outcome can be anticipated if they adhere to this wrong, unconstitutional approach.
Two years ago, the same unconstitutional approach led society towards the road of being torn apart and eventually to “Occupy Central”, which not only gave rise to a lingering suspicious and confrontational atmosphere in society, but also spread a lot of incorrect views on “One Country, Two Systems”. These non-establishment lawmakers, who are the initiators of the social rift, now once again harbour a wishful thought of asking the new Chief Executive to “restart political reform” with the excuse of “thoroughly mending the social rift”, as if they are rightly justified and self-confident. This will only end up in the same dead end and in fact is equivalent to “re-creating the rift”. What else can this result in but a new round of social rift? In American politics, from time to time someone will use the following quote to mock politicians for deceiving voters with unworkable old thinking and old practice: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” In fact, sensible people will not continue to blindly follow an approach once they find it unfeasible.
Healing rifts, Releasing pent-up feelings
Moreover, it seems that people in the non-establishment camp are not clear about whether they will stick to the “principle” of making these unconstitutional demands, with disputes arising among them from time to time. For instance, during this year’s election of the Chief Executive, it was reported that most of the non-establishment camp did not vote for the candidate whose manifesto most closely matched their demands for political reform. Instead, they “strategically” cast their vote for another. Yet now they ask the elected candidate who respects the constitution and the NPC’s “8.31 decision” to restart political reform according to their wishes. No wonder they are being suspected as a “strategic camp” whose democratic vision can be put aside at any time. Outsiders find it even more difficult to figure out their criteria for deciding when to value “principle” and when to value “strategy”. How then can they expect Hong Kong people to take their demands seriously?
Reactivate constitutional reform according to Basic Law
In the Basic Law, the objective of eventually electing the HKSAR’s Chief Executive and LegCo members by universal suffrage was written in by the Central Government in accordance with the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. Like Hong Kong people, the Central Government hopes that Hong Kong will be able to develop its political system in a gradual and orderly manner until it eventually achieves dual universal suffrage. However, if we push for political reform under the present social atmosphere in Hong Kong, it will not only be less effective, but also likely to let people take the opportunity to provoke suspicion again. Therefore, I am very supportive of the new Chief Executive in sizing up the situation to first repair the rift and release people's pent-up feelings, striving to create a favourable social environment for political reform under the framework of the NPC’s “8.31 decision”. If the non-establishment lawmakers really want to support the Basic Law and restart political reform as soon as possible, they should abandon their confrontational mentality for Hong Kong’s overall interests and discuss the political process together with various communities on the basis of the Basic Law and the NPC’s relevant decisions in order to benefit society.
Address : Rm 703, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel : 2576-7121
Fax : 2798-8802