More say electoral reform in HK needed

2021-01-15 12:03:44

Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, July 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] More public figures threw their weight behind the call for overhauling Hong Kong's electoral system, insisting on Thursday that loopholes must be plugged to ensure the city's stability and prosperity. They stressed the urgency of making such reforms, citing the grave consequences and great harm that Hong Kong society suffered from developments orchestrated by the city's opposition camp in recent years by using these loopholes in the electoral system. Tu Haiming, a scholar studying the Hong Kong Basic Law, said events in the last few years showed that the electoral system in Hong Kong had been turned into a platform by anti-China forces to stage subversive acts that endanger China's sovereignty and national security. Tu said the untenable situation demonstrated the current electoral system has failed to fulfill its constitutional role to elect public officeholders who will contribute to governing the city with competence, compassion and loyalty to the country and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Therefore, the flaws in the system must be identified and fixed so that Hong Kong can have long-lasting stability and prosperity. Tu expressed his expectation that with much-needed electoral reform in place, previous antics and destructive acts committed by anti-China elements in Hong Kong-which included members-elect and incumbent lawmakers in the Legislative Council-will be a turned page in history. Tu cited various deplorable acts that showed something must have gone wrong with the electoral system, including an alleged conspiracy between lawmakers and foreign forces to undermine China's national security. He referred to attempts by some opposition politicians to paralyze the city's operations as part of a widely publicized 10-step "mutual destruction" plan. Tu said their plan exposed a gaping loophole in the electoral system, which, if left unsolved, could give anti-China forces the chance to discredit the current arrangements of LegCo elections and legitimize their unofficial polls, putting Hong Kong's governance in great peril. Tang Fei, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, said the city's electoral mechanism must ensure that those elected to public office are qualified and motivated to serve the people of Hong Kong and safeguard the city's stability and prosperity under the "one country, two systems" principle. Tang, also a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, suggested the SAR government set up a department consisting of senior officials in charge of vetting election candidates' eligibility. He said he believes such electoral reform will help prevent subversive elements, who will abuse their power for their ulterior purpose of undermining "one country, two systems", from taking office.