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09 October 2014

Comments

Winson Fong

What I want to say is that : 1) the protests have blocked a small amount of roads (1-2km?) and the key "problem" is traffic congestion and fewer people taking cabs; nonetheless most people take it as the students have banned all drivers from using the roads; 2) some shops in Mongkok said that, with more crowd gathering, they didn't feel any impact to their businesses; it was only after some "anti-OC citizens" started the brutual assault to the students that they saw businesses deteriorated; 3)human rights is something granted instead of redeemed by tax payment; 4) yes demonstrations elsewhere would be dealt by more brutual forces, just like scandulous government officials or politicans would have stepped down ages ago if they were accused of land hoarding, lying, and even partnering triads to beat up students.

June Wong

Again, thank you for the piece, David. Enough is enough: the students have made their "point", and they should stop before it is too late. Btw, in my view the "point" of many demonstrators in fact originated from a general frustration surrounding the uneven distribution of wealth and the lack of prospects for most young people in society - and not really so much with constitution and "democracy"!! But they confuse the ideas!!

And as to the notion that only a small part of the roads were blocked, and doubts about whether businesses really suffered, etc etc - I wish to offer my own experience as a data point: global meetings were cancelled, spendings were curtailed due to difficult traffic, the image of HK has been negatively affected in the eyes of certain global firms (Why focus on HK? Why not go to Shanghai or Shanghai or Singapore instead? Seems so much trouble for no apparent benefit...). The negative effect is real.

I am fortunate enough that I am retiring soon and financially secure enough, but I feel bad for the future of HK, when I fear it is not channelling the energy to the right things. Please keep writing and sharing your thoughts...

Winson Fong

The government is contributing an equal part, if not more, to all the inconvenience caused. The CE and other senior officials are getting top class compensation but so far they are just passing all the anger and frustration of hundred of thousand people to Beijing. And for most of you who only border to blame the students and intensely or not ignoring all the dirty job by the police in cooperating with the triads, you should feel ashamed as the students have proved their courage over yours.

David Eldon

The thing that saddens me about your comments is that you seem to think the only view is the one portrayed by the protesters (many of whom seem to be asleep when I walk past them), and that therefore any opposing view is wrong.
In a democracy, which the students are pressing to have, all views need to be heard equally, even opposing ones.
And listening to two ordinary working ladies shouting at the student leaders last evening it is becoming clear that the goodwill and patience shown by Hong Kong people is beginning to wear thin.
It is time for some sensible and rational thought - and action. Blaming everything on Government and the police, and the employers plus the people who have worked hard all their lives to provide for you a life and an education is just not good enough.

Winson Fong

Provision of a life and an education should be voluntary, not conditioned. The students may be trying to find a better way for you folks so that you don't need to work 14-15 hours a day.

Winson Fong

All the views are quite clear. But who are taking actions ?

Sukyi

David,

I rarely wrote anything on the FB but I did a few times recently and in the view similar to yours. I do believe there are some values that should go beyond our political stances such as respect, compassion and understanding. Without these values, a society will be hopeless whether or not universal suffrage exists.

I also have seen some real positives to come out of the demonstration and, therefore, will try to work on a campaign that may help "liberate" Hennessy Road and Queensway from Causeway Bay to Central on Sundays.

an ex tax associate

We should be clear for a few points here, one point is that government run for citizens. Should a society function such that an ordinary citizen could enjoy the freedom of speech and right to an affordable home?
We know well Adam Smith is a Brit and it was British government who created the economic miracle in Hong Kong - highest gini coefficient, affordability and mobility.
Should government maintain social order for the benefits of top tax payers only?
We know well who hold the wealth and what is left for the young generations.
If government is not functioning properly, should the citizens have say? If the government is authoritarian and no matter how bad it runs, nor how bad the majority of citizens complain, it still stays in power, is it sustainable?
We may not have the vote to overthrow the government, but we do still have the right to express ourselves, and fight to be listened.
David, please note, the aim of the demonstration is not to be back to British rule, we are fighting what we should be entitled. One may be just looking at how once living is being affected now by the demonstration, however, the focus is indeed the universal suffrage which would lead to a publicly elected governor who do goods to the citizens (not just the few top tax payers).

David Eldon

Thank you for the comments.
You state that Government should be run for citizens. I agree. My problem is that we do not have "Government" in Hong Kong at this point in time - we have a Civil Service that was called Government. Would it be better to have a properly elected Government that was accountable for its words and actions? Yes, of course it would - but the circumstances are what they are under the Basic Law.
You say that Government should maintain social order, and ask if it should be for the benefit of top tax payers only. Of course not - it should be for everyone - and the two ordinary working class ladies I saw shouting at the students the other evening are as entitled to have their own freedoms protected as anyone else. Don't you think so? My point about the students not being tax payers was only to demonstrate that there are people out there who do contribute to society by paying tax - and they are also entitled to be heard. Do you think it is only the student protesters who should be allowed a voice and a right to be listened to? Do the taxi drivers and the shopkeepers not have a voice too?

Billy

I am surprised by your lack of understanding of Hong Kong, a place that generated so much wealth for you. Maybe is it the wealth that blinds you from seeing any non-financial motives in people's lives?

Did you ever stop and chat to the students while you enjoyed your pollution free walk to work, before you decided to write about their motivation?

I am a 40 year old man. My parents fled China during the Cultural Revolution. When I was growing up my friends fled Hong Kong after the Tiananmen Massacre. I don't want children of our generation to have to flee from their home.

This is about not running away. This is about making Hong Kong _our_ home. This is about self-determination.

The fact that the system does not allow them to be represented does not mean the desire to determine ones own future goes away. See the Anti-Tung demonstration in 2003 and Anti-Patriotic Curriculum in 2012. The lack of a system that allows people to be represented politically only makes the process of self-determination more volatile, but does not stop it.

Finally your misunderstanding of the British electoral system is rather embarrassing. Yes do you need to be vetted by a party if you want support from the party. However, no one can stop you from running as an independent.

Maria Boyde

Should we not ask ourselves why do the students, as well as a lot of ordinary HK people, chose such a way to express their anger and grievances?

If one lives in the UK, one can write a letter to one's local MP to complain or seek assistance. Is there anyone or anywhere we can turn to in Hong Kong?

Should we not look at the root of the problem before blaming the students?

LuiPlui

From the RTHK discussion on Sunday, Oct 12, it is quite apparent that both the Students & The Occupy Central Grp.(OCG) aren't willing to make political comprises & intend to "go all in" with all their chips they have "won" so far!!!

History will judge whether that eventually "all-in" move - the only move they can play on the "river" - is an intelligent one or one that they will regret all their lives!

If their stubborn moves proved to be fatal to this "Democracy Movement", then the Students would, (in hindsight of course) discovered that they were the "sacrificing lamb" handed to the alter by the OCG!

The smartest move might turn out to the the OCG, irrespective how the "river card" will turn up - a win/win for OCG, and a Lost/Lost for both Students & HK citizens!!!

OP

Thanks for your concern over the democracy movement of Hong Kong.

I suggest you to go to the street of admiralty after 6pm, or during lunch time, you will see not only the students but the working adults, those who pay taxes to the government and 'contribute' to the society, are in support of the movement, or at least, they are enjoying the fresh air and the pedestrianized roads. If the large majority of HK citizens are affected, there won't be only 'two ordinary working class ladies' shouting at the students, but a mass rally by ten-thousand citizens. Hong Kong people are mature enough to rectify themselves, if the movement goes to the extent that it affects the livelihood of every classes in the society. As a tax payer, I feel regret that our generation is not doing enough on this, but have the students to take the point. BTW, has the government ever listened to the voices of us these years?

David Eldon

To OP: The street of Admiralty after 6pm and at lunch time is exactly where I go. There appears to be a reluctance for the general public to be overtly vocal, but have you been speaking to the taxi drivers? They are not a happy lot and I would not like to see this escalate into something unpleasant, and out of control. The students at least have had the courage to speak out, and I state again, I have no problem with the fact that people have opinions.
Has the Government ever listened to the voices of the people? I think that is a fair question that can be asked of many Governments around the world. There will always be groups of people in every country who feel their particular voice is not being heard, and are upset.

David Eldon

To Billy: You have in interesting view of, and clearly an insight into, my "wealth", but that is not up for discussion. However, I agree people should not run away and should make their views known. They should also know when to move onwards. And as others have commented, a dialogue does need to be held on the major issues surrounding this matter. Interpretation, for example, is a major issue of the Basic Law. What is also an issue is the fact that whatever is decided now, can be easily un-decided in 2047. Hopefully it won't be, but Hong Kong is not in a position of strength.

There is an issue, I agree, of how that dialogue will take place, but I suggest it should not be a dialogue confined just to the students, but other interested parties too - and no - not the tycoons.

I understand the British electoral system well enough, but I was writing a Blog, not a Book.

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