Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 08:31
‘Occupy’ will blow ‘huge hole’
By Kahon Chan in Hong Kong

Business community urged to protect the financial hub and HK’s prosperity

The “Occupy Central” movement will “blow a hole” in the people’s law-abiding mindset and stall the progress of political reform, the Hong Kong Commerce and Industry Association said on Monday.

The association placed a full-page advertisement in Ming Pao to voice its concern over the opposition’s backing of deliberate law breaking to push the central government into accepting its political reform package.

In the statement, the association said it was determined to oppose “Occupy Central”,  which would jeopardize Hong Kong’s economy and the overall interests of the people.

An indefinite sit-in, the statement reads, will directly strike at not only the financial sector but also the other pillar industries. The business environment will worsen and Hong Kong’s international image will be affected to a degree that “could not be underestimated”.

“If the ‘Occupy Central’ action plan succeeds, it will blow a ‘huge hole’ in the order of society and the mindset of law-abiding citizens,” the association warned. “The progress of universal suffrage will be affected, or even stall and go backwards. Society will thereby pay an irrecoverable cost.”

In face of the threat, the association urged the entire business community to safeguard Central, the prosperity of Hong Kong, universal suffrage and “One Country, Two Systems”.

The association was founded in 1993 to represent businesses in the city’s industrial districts. It was renamed in 2000 and its current chairman is Allan Lee Yuk-lun.

The association was the fourth chamber to write about the potential hazards of “Occupy Central”.

The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce had issued separate statements on Monday last week to express their fears that a sit-in which barricades the city’s business heart may bring long-term damages.

Chow Chung-kong, chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, also wrote to several newspapers on Friday to warn that investors could abandon the city amidst political turbulence, as a survey had shown that stability had been a key factor for corporations in selecting Hong Kong for their regional head office.

The three chambers have underlined the threat of “Occupy Central” towards the city’s celebrated rule of law. In addition to the warning, they also urged all sides to dispel their prejudices and hold a rational debate on all controversial issues.



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