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Legislator Felix Chung

2019-12-08
Letter to Hong Kong  (8 Dec 2019)
By  Felix Chung
 (Leader of Liberal Party and Member of the Legislative Council)
 
 
The social unrest triggered by the amendment of the extradition bill has rocked Hong Kong for six months. What started as resistance towards a bill has snowballed into the worst political crisis in Hong Kong’s history. There is no sign of dwindling, on the contrary, the level of chaos and violence is escalating and seriously affecting the livelihoods and the economy of Hong Kong. Restoring law and order is undoubtedly our most urgent priority, nonetheless, the government has no sound actions in handling the chaos.
 
In the District Council election held last month, voter turnout was a record-breaking 71.2%, a significant increase of almost 30% contrasted to 47% in 2015. Nearly 3 million people cast their ballots despite long queues at polling stations across the city. The result came as a shock to everyone. Nobody, not even the pan-democrats, would imagine their triumphant ratio of 85 to 15, wherein Wong Tai Sin and Tai Po, it was all-in for the pan-democrats.
 
In a mature and civilized society, we must respect the election result. As a reflection of the people’s opinions, the turnout indicates the citizen’s resentment and fury towards the government over the past six months. Otherwise, there would not have been such an enormous proportion of voters that resulted in the overwhelming defeat of the pro-establishment camp.
Since the Legislative Council election uses the proportional representation voting system, it is unlikely that the same landslide result will occur in next year’s election, provided that there are no significant incidents or errors prompted by the government. However, it still acts as a strict warning for the government and the pro-establishment camp in securing their seats in the upcoming election in September 2020.
 
It is thus imperative that the government listens to the loud and clear voices of the people. Carrie Lam, our Chief Executive must respond to end the crisis, otherwise, there will be no end in sight for the current social unrest, and the government would suffer from serious challenges in the future.
 
In fact, it has been months since the SAR government last responded that they have the ability, determination, and confidence to resolve the crisis. Despite that, the crisis had since continued with escalating violence. Although it is confirmed that more than 5,800 people have been arrested in relation to the anti-extradition bill protests since June, the violence has not drastically reduced. On one hand, I believe nobody would encourage the arrest of youths, but on the other hand, neither do we want the city to suffer from the increasing violence any longer. This made us wonder, how much ability and determination does the SAR Government actually have in resolving the crisis?
 
Up to now, “stop the violence and restore the order” seems to be just a slogan echoed by the Government. Simply condemning the violence and utilizing the police as a shield will not stop the bloodshed. It is obvious that the black blocs are not afraid of the police in defiance of their intensified battle tactics. The question remains, how can we put the violence to an end?
In the past few months, we have tendered different proposals to the SAR Government but unfortunately, have not received any favorable responses. In light of this, I will submit a motion under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance in the coming Legislative Council meeting in order to appoint a selected committee to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the social conflicts arising from the fugitive bill. The committee shall be responsible for carrying out the investigation and reporting its findings to the Legislative Council, which includes consequences inflicted upon the livelihood and economy of Hong Kong and other relevant matters as a response to the demands from society.
 
It is no doubt that the anti-extradition bill protests have completely shaken the socio-political environment in Hong Kong. The result of the District Council election is an opportunity for the government and society to share a dialogue and work towards the future. The government claims that they would “respect the election results” and “listen to the opinions of members of the public”, but it is vital for them to work out concrete actions to end the turmoil and restore public trust.
 
In order to calm down the whole crisis, there are at least 3 actions that I suggest the Government should take, the first being the establishment of an independent inquiry which I see as the bare minimum. The second being the restructuring of the Government in order to direct accountability for those responsible for the crisis. The third action is to think about starting the conversation of political reform.
 
There is no “button” to STOP and RESET, but the above 3 actions could be a new START in restoring public confidence and move Hong Kong forward.

Letter To Hong Kong

                                                               
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