Silent HK majority urged to support government

Updated: 2014-10-08 06:35

By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington(China Daily USA)

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Silent HK majority urged to support government

Students at Chiu Sheung School in Hong Kong's Western district resume classes on Tuesday following days of protests in which demonstrators demanded a greater say in choosing the city's leader. Crowds of protesters have dwindled. [Provided to China Daily]

As the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and representatives of Occupy Central students look set to hold their first formal meeting on Friday, a former senior Hong Kong SAR official believes that the silent majority in Hong Kong should speak up.

Patrick Ho, former secretary of Home Affairs in Hong Kong SAR from 2002 to 2007, said the majority of Hong Kong is still silent on the Occupy Central issue, but they are beginning to realize the problem and truth underlying the civil disobedience by Occupy Central.

"Sooner or later, they will have to speak up. Because if they don't speak up, that will be the end of Hong Kong as we know it," Ho told China Daily on Monday after the conclusion of a two-day China-US media forum in Washington, organized by the China Energy Fund Committee, where he is now deputy chairman.

"I think (as) Hong Kong people, we have to speak up, we have to rise to action, and clean up the mess for Hong Kong," he said.

Ho believes that although some see the students' action as idealistic, laudable and honorable, the majority of Hong Kong people are very pragmatic, and these people have become a bit worried that the students and the younger generation would take such drastic action of defying and neglecting the rule and laws of Hong Kong.

Ho, who was educated in the United States for 16 years and an eye surgeon by training, believes the central government, together with the Hong Kong government, has the ability to take care of the problem.

He did not think there is a way for the government to compromise because the package passed by the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) was in accordance with the Hong Kong Basic Law as well as the previous declarations and provisions by the NPC Standing Committee.

"I think everything is in order. And this will provide a universal suffrage of one person, one vote, to the 5 million plus qualified voters in Hong Kong. This is a major stride forward for democracy in Hong Kong," he said.

Ho said Occupy Central, which now turns out to be Occupy Hong Kong, has been causing a lot of inconvenience and trouble with the traffic and livelihood of local residents. "I think Hong Kong will stand to suffer," he said.

To Ho, such damage is only on the surface. "In the long run, what Hong Kong stands to suffer is its reputation as a city that respects the rule of law, and justice," he said, adding that the rule of law has been one of the pillars for Hong Kong society.

"It's also one of the core values of the people in Hong Kong, to respect the law," he said, describing those participating in Occupy Central as "an overt action of defying and breaking the law".

"I think that's unacceptable, and I don't think the Hong Kong people should endorse the type of action because this is undermining the central core value of rule of law in Hong Kong," Ho said.

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