The South China Morning Post has an article about the continuing controversy in Hong Kong over the delays in implementing the democratic reforms after the handover in 1997.
Act on reform or stakes rise, Zen tells Tsang
The leader of Hong Kong’s Catholics yesterday warned that Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen must fulfil a promise to resolve the question of universal suffrage, otherwise he would raise the stakes.
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun’s warning came as the democratic camp began drawing up a strategy to mobilise public support for democratisation during the summer, following the imminent release of a green paper on political reform.
Speaking three days after he made his first appearance at the July 1 pro-democracy march, the cardinal said he wanted to see the green paper provide a clear indication of how the city should progress towards universal suffrage.
“Donald Tsang has promised he would resolve the question of universal suffrage. If the green paper does not achieve that, if it does not bring us clearly towards that goal but takes us on a walk in the park, then I will definitely ‘make it big’ this time,” he said.
Cardinal Zen would not elaborate on this but added he might write articles about how democracy would be beneficial to the people, as the city was already late in planning for a democratic future. “My joining of the July 1 march was just a warming-up exercise,” he said.
Tens of thousands marched on Sunday calling for more democracy and improved livelihoods.
Cardinal Zen’s comments come two days after Liu Bainian , a deputy chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, hit out at his participation in the democracy rally, saying it would not help Sino-Vatican relations.
During the height of the controversy over Hong Kong’s political future in 2005 when the government’s constitutional reform proposal was criticised as not going far enough and was rejected by the legislature, the leader of the city’s Catholic diocese backed the democrats.
His call for speedy action towards full democracy follows a pledge by Mr Tsang to “go all out” in finding a consensus on the way forward.
The democratic camp met last night to discuss how to mobilise public support in the fight for introducing universal suffrage ahead of the green paper’s release.
Democrat Lee Wing-tat said since it was expected that the document would not contain any concrete reform proposals but would consult the public over different elements related to universal suffrage, the public might find it difficult to understand and lose interest.
“Our task over the summer is to maximise public awareness by simplifying the proposal so that people’s power can be mobilised. To tell the truth, I still have some faith in Donald [Tsang] to come up with something acceptable, since he has made a promise,” Mr Lee said.
Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Civic Party, said his party would not accept the green paper if it did not contain a clear timetable stating how and when Hong Kong could introduce universal suffrage.