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Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 08:50

NPCSC resolute in deciding CE decision

By Lau Nai-keung

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) is going to make its decision on the Chief Executive’s (CE) proposal on constitutional development leading up to the 2017 CE election by universal suffrage sometime this week.

The pro-establishment camp fully supports the central government in its determination to implement this long-awaited decision. But the self-appointed “pan-democrats” are trying their utmost to put hurdles in the way.

NPCSC resolute in deciding CE decisionIt is now apparent the battle has nothing to do with democracy; it is not even about universal suffrage. During the debate over the past two years, and the five-month official consultation period, the dissidents have focused on one point only: They must have at least one candidate in the race. They have, of course, threatened to launch the infamous “Occupy Central” campaign with the blatant intention of trying to force the central government to meet their demands.

With a 60-40 advantage in the past polls, the dissidents are confident that as long as they have at least one candidate in the up-coming one-man-one-vote CE election, the position is up for grabs. Some foreign powers are also keen to see this occur as it would lead to chaos in Hong Kong, and hurt the country’s future development, not to mention tarnishing its image. As has been revealed, millions of dollars have been given to dissident legislators and activists by media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chi-ying.

A foreign-sponsored “color revolution” in Hong Kong is looming. It is clearly about to unfold and no self-respecting government can let it succeed. The battle lines are drawn. On one side, the dissidents are demanding their own candidacy. On the other side, the central government insists all candidates must be patriotic. This has to be resolved as both sides have made it clear there can be no compromise.

Once the NPCSC has made its ruling political protests will start. The dissidents have vowed that if the number of candidates is less than four and the candidates have to gain more than 50 percent of votes in the Nominating Committee to be qualified they will immediately launch “Occupy”.

In confronting this threat, central government officials have often quoted the response of the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s comments that should China announce the resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong this would have disastrous consequences. Deng said: “We will then have to bravely face this disaster and make our decision.”

Li Fei, NPCSC deputy secretary-general, elaborated further last week in a session with members of the current CE Election Committee: “Countless historical and real experiences, past and present, national and international, have told us that if we succumb to threats of radical and unlawful activities from some quarters, we will in return have more and bigger unlawful activities; Hong Kong will never see a peaceful day, and the country will never see a peaceful day. This, therefore, is a matter of right and wrong, and the stance of the central government is firm and precise. The method of electing the CE through universal suffrage must be in accordance with the Basic Law and decisions of the NPCSC and the CE must be assumed by someone who loves the country and love Hong Kong.”

We all want universal suffrage, and I for one have been advocating it for more than three decades. I want an excellent system of universal suffrage which is both beneficial to the country and to Hong Kong. I will not settle for anything less. Universal suffrage is not an end in itself. What is the point of having one-man-one-vote in this city if it will jeopardize national security and cause unrest in Hong Kong?

Most Hongkongers, like me, will neither join the ranks of the opposition nor be intimidated. This is a matter of principle. Don’t expect the central government to budge. In short, if dissidents want to occupy Central, we should let them go ahead and face the music.

The author is a veteran current affairs commentator.

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