Friday, December 06, 2019

[EJinsight] DC election results have debunked myth of 'silent majority'

In her first media session after the Nov. 24 District Council elections, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor refused to accept the clear message of the election result that public opinion is overwhelmingly against her and the pro-establishment camp.

She said that the days of calm and peace prior to election day showed that members of the public didn’t want the chaos in our city to continue.

But is that really the mainstream opinion of the people of Hong Kong?

A journalist at the news conference raised a very good question: Would such “tranquility” last if the people’s demands, which were expressed in such a peaceful and rational way, remain unanswered?

Another reporter said, “Clearly the public support the protesters. Should you not have some concessions, perhaps an inquiry into what's happened here? Because they are saying to all of us who are on the streets that they will go back and it will be even more violent if you don't engage. Is it not time now, six months [into the protests], to properly engage rather than just saying there is a silent majority which clearly doesn't exist?”

As part of her response, Lam said, “No, I did not refer to a silent majority. I did confess that this particular election has clearly reflected that many voters wanted to express their opinions and views to the government, to myself. And the views and opinions expressed, I hope you agree, are quite diverse.”

Well, Lam didn’t respond to the reporter’s question directly, only referring to the results of the de facto referendum as diverse.

And this begs another question: How much longer can the chief executive, who continues to lie to the public and to herself, hang on to her office?

In fact, this year’s DC elections marked a significant milestone in the history of Hong Kong, in that not only did its record-breaking voter turnout of over 70 percent wow the West, but its results also completely dispelled the myth pitched by Lam that the “silent majority” of our city are pro-government.

Suffice it to say that this election was indeed a “de facto referendum” on the core values of Hong Kong: the fight for freedom and democracy versus the power eroding the freedoms that Hong Kong people should have.

Very obviously, the outcome just couldn’t have been clearer: the vast majority of our citizens have chosen to stand by their civil liberties and human rights to which they are entitled.

Even though Lam has promised that the administration “will listen to the opinions of members of the public humbly and seriously reflect”, it has already become so apparent that “reflection” alone isn’t enough to resolve the current crisis.

In order to allow Hong Kong to start afresh and move on, Lam and her entire cabinet must resign, the police’s misconduct and malpractice must be probed, and the five demands of the people must be met immediately.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 27 2019

Translation by Alan Lee


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