The death knell for democracy in Hong Kong|Alex Price

Published (HKT): 2021.04.06 08:58

So that’s it. No more democracy in Hong Kong. It’s gone.

On the 30th of March, the “patriots governing Hong Kong” resolution was passed by the National People’s Congress standing committee, paving the way for Beijing to amend annexes of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s mini-constitution). These amendments will mean that the number of directly elected seats to HK’s mini-parliament (the Legislative Council, or LegCo) will be almost halved and anyone seeking to be elected will first have to be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee to ensure their loyalty to the mainland.

It wasn’t hard to see this move coming. Beijing got spooked by the landslide win for pro-democracy candidates in the 2019 District Council elections. The pro-Beijing toadies in government kept trotting out the propaganda that the “silent majority” would have their voice, and confidently assured that pro-democracy activists would lose.

They were wrong. Very wrong. The elections – seen by many as a referendum of government policy – went almost entirely against the administration. Of the 18 districts 17 went to pro-democracy candidates. Many of those candidates were pretty radical – but the public voted for them nonetheless.

As a result, Beijing has now changed the rules. And the rules were already stacked against pro-democracy politicians. Given the new changes – that candidates must be vetted by an overwhelming pro-Beijing selection committee – it is virtually impossible for a strong pro-democracy candidate to become eligible.

And who is responsible for this? Who is responsible for the death of democracy in Hong Kong? You could argue it’s President Xi Jinping, the self-made emperor-for life who now dictates over mainland China and Hong Kong. You could argue it’s those beneath him; the yes-men who obediently carry out his every command.

But I would say that the real responsibility lies with the obsequent leaders of Hong Kong. The very people who are charged with looking after the life of this wonderful place are in fact looking after its demise.

And top of the list is our Dear Leader Carrie Lam. She is not alone; she was preceded by Tung Chee-wha, Donald Tsang and CY Leung. All of these so-called “chief executives” did little but obey commands from their Beijing overlords.

But Carrie Lam is surely the most complicit. She has continually ignored public opinion. She has continued to ignore the importance of true democracy. She ignored the voices of 2 million protesters. She has done nothing but subjugate herself – and the people of Hong Kong – to the will of Xi Jinping. Mr Xi. A man who has incarcerated about 1 million ethnic Uighurs in Xingiang. A scary Hitler-like.

A man who has changed the law to enable himself to rule for potential lifetime. A man who has removed all voices of dissent from within his ruling party.

Hong Kong’s leader should not be kow-towing to such a scary demon – she should be standing up, tall and proud, for the people of her city.

But last week, Lam in an interview with the state-run Xinhua News Agency, said that Beijing’s decision to transform the electoral system to ensure only “patriots” are allowed to rule the SAR is a good thing.

She stressed the move would bring about a “more peaceful and prosperous Hong Kong”, and is conducive to attracting talents.

I can only think that such words are self-serving and treacherous. Carrie, you are not serving the people of Hong Kong. You are serving yourself, and the dictator who is in control of China.

(Alex Price is a journalist who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for over 30 years.)

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