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Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 00:55

People worried about separatist lawmakers: Survey

By Li Yinze

HONG KONG - Residents in the SAR have raised concerns about a small group of separatists entering the city’s legislature, a survey conducted by a local think tank revealed on Tuesday.

More than 60 percent of the 1,741 respondents believe advocacy of “Hong Kong independence” or “self-determination” will harm Hong Kong’s future. This is according to new survey results released by Proactive Think Tank, a new think tank launched a few months ago.

“Such advocacy is absolutely unconstitutional,” the think tank’s consultant Tang Muk-kai stressed. “It’s important for newly elected localist lawmakers to know that ‘Hong Kong independence’ has no future. These proposals will have a negative impact on the city if they continue to deviate from the will of the majority who live in the city.”

Owing to the presence of separatists in the new Legislative Council term, the survey also found that more than half of the respondents expect to see more filibustering and confrontations from the opposition camp.

Speaking to reporters prior to the weekly Executive Council meeting on the same day, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also urged newly elected legislators not to filibuster. Such delaying tactics have already had a negative effect on Hong Kong, he added.

Leung noted that filibustering could hurt the SAR’s international standing. Moody’s Investors Service, an international rating agency, on Monday expected Hong Kong’s rating to be lowered. This is due to the anticipation of further filibustering in LegCo, leading to further delays in passing legislation and policy initiatives.

Leung said the SAR government and the public were well aware of the dangers of filibustering. Those who frequently adopted such tactics in the past four years had failed to get re-elected in this legislative term.

The survey revealed that nearly half of all respondents agreed to prevent filibustering through amending the LegCo Rules of Procedure or supported the LegCo president stopping filibustering.

“Obviously, what’s happening in LegCo is unsatisfactory to the public and the public want to see a difference,” Proactive Think Tank’s Tang said.

The survey also showed that 51.7 percent of respondents expect newly elected lawmakers to concentrate on improving the people’s livelihoods and boosting the economy. Another 16.9 percent highlighted the need for better executive-legislative relations.

Tang believed the survey showed that an increasing number of Hong Kong residents want to boost their living standards. They also want legislators to listen to public opinion and be pragmatic.

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