Just as I thought news is quietening down, the Chief Executive gives us some more talking points to further bring down his sinking popularity.
A Proud Month
July started with the mass protest on 7.1. Whatever the number, it is undoubtedly the third largest turnout of the decade. The pouring rain and strong winds of typhoon signal 3 put a premature end to the concert and rally organized by those in support of the government but did little to dampen the spirit of those marching for universal suffrage and calling for the lackluster chief executive to step down.
Hong Kong Duc or no Duc?
The most common word this month must be duck. On 2nd May, the giant bright yellow inflatable duck by Dutch artist Hofman arrived in Hong Kong. Everywhere I turn, I catch a glimpse of its bright yellow form, on the television, in the newspapers, as web and facebook images, for sale in shops and newsstands. It is no stranger to us. Most of us grew up bathing with a similar duck in our tub sometime during our childhood days.
Fun, Funds and Fake universal suffrage
For some time, we have been worried that even when universal suffrage comes, it will not be genuine in that it will not meet basic international standards. We fear there will be a high nomination threshold plus a pre-screening by a small circle nomination committee before the general voters are allowed to cast their ballot.
It has been a fruitful and exciting month. When the Chief Executive threatened to sue Joseph Lian over his article in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, I posted Mr Lian’s article on my facebook and welcomed the Chief Executive to sue me as well. It attracted over 5000 likes all of whom posted the same article in their page and volunteered to be co-defendants should C Y Leung really carry out his threat to sue. Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes the best way of showing support and safeguarding freedom of speech is to repeat the very thing that the government wishes to suppress.
I have attended the opening of 3 district offices by our CP legislators, one in Shaukiwan, one in South Horizon and one in Mei Foo. We look forward to more district offices in the coming weeks including one in Tseung Kwan O and another in Tung Chung. I attend all these partly to show support and partly for the delicious suckling pigs. Many district developers have started work and we hope to recruit even more in the near future.
I look forward to a fun afternoon with you on 17th March to celebrate our 7th anniversary over a glass of red wine. Also to celebrate our 7th anniversary and to raise funds for the work ahead, we are holding our gala dinner with shows and auctions. Tanya will do a stand up comedy with Tsang Chi Ho and Ronny said he will give a surprise performance. I did ask him to ensure that it will be a pleasant surprise. So do come and support your party. Bring more friends and supporters. Even if you can’t come in person, a donation, however small, will be deeply appreciated.
Legco is having marathon sessions as usual – with or without filibustering. I understand from Carrie Lam the Chief Secretary when she invited the CP legislators and me to her residence last week that our Chan Ka Lok has put forward a record number of questions on the budget. Somehow I am not surprised. I have always known our Ka Lok, a father of 5 young children, to be a very productive man.
On a more serious note, Exco members held a full day retreat to discuss the way forward on constitutional reform. We have joined the new platform to agree on a consensus model for universal suffrage. Professor Joseph Cheng, our former Secretary General, is the convener and it will embrace as many groups and parties as possible. Do join us on 21st March for an evening with Professor Benny Tai to raise your concerns and put forward your suggestions as regards his proposal to “Occupy Central”. There is revival of the “love your country” argument and there is every sign from recent news that the functional constituencies are here to stay and the nomination committee for the chief executive candidate will hold a pre-election or pre-screening of the candidates before Hong Kong people are allowed to vote. The next few years will be critical. Whether Hong Kong is ever going to have genuine universal suffrage may well depend on our efforts in the next year or so. Let us be prepared. Stay strong and united.
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
We are one family
Let me be frank – since frankness is often found wanting in political figures. I have assumed the role of chairman with trepidation and I write to seek your help.
A Father’s Prayer by General Douglas MacArthur (May 1952)
Build me a son, O Lord,
who will be strong enough to know when he is weak;
brave enough to face himself when he is afraid;
one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat,
and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishes not take the place of deeds;
a son who will know Thee
-- and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Dear Members and Friends,
We have set out to develop a centrist but progressive position, thereby offering a unique political variant to citizens. This may well be a rather unrewarding posturing, but one that is nonetheless needed more than ever for Hong Kong. I believe it is also important for a party that aspires to become a Government-in-waiting to focus on building a sustainable base of progressive voters.
Dear Members and Friends
On Sunday I joined three rallies in a row, from Save the Sharks, through National ("Patriotic") Education, to Police Powers, which were well-organised by civil society groups.