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Charter of Democracy From Hong Kong

From: Student Union, CUHK
Subject: Charter of Democracy From Hong Kong
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 23:45:14 +0800

The Plight of Hong Kong without a Democratic Political System

Since the Handover in 1997, the progress towards a democratic government in 
Hong Kong has been stagnant.

At present, the Chief Executive C. H. Tung is selected by only 800 members in 
the Election Committee, which in turn had an electorate of a mere 150,000 (out 
of a population of 7 million). Most of them being professionals or owners of 
large enterprises, they are not representative of the population. 
Constitutionally, Tung is accountable to the People¡¦s Republic of China 
Central Government and National People¡¦s Congress, not Hong Kong people. By 
the same token, one cannot expect the ministers appointed by Tung to be held 
accountable to the general public for their gross negligence or incompetence in 
carrying out their duties. As a result, Tung and his ministers can afford 
turning a deaf ear to the public outcry against unfavourable policies or 
criticisms on blunders. For ordinary citizens, there is simply no way of making 
these incompetent officials step down.

Take the outbreak of SARS as an example. Due to the sluggish response of the 
authorities, and the repeated assurance from the Secretary for Hygiene, 
Environment and Food that an outbreak at the community level was unlikely, Hong 
Kong and the rest of the world suffered from the devastating epidemic, killing 
more than 270 and infecting more than 1,700 in Hong Kong alone. Yet the 
Secretary responsible could still head an ¡§independent¡¨ inquiry on the 
matter, despite an obvious conflict of interest.

Had there been proper checks and balances in place, unpalatable policies would 
not be passed and such incompetent ministers would not have remained. Sad to 
say, it is not the case. Only a third of the members in the legislature are 
elected through universal suffrage. In sum, the Legislative Council is 
ineffective in monitoring the government, blindly approving virtually every 
policy submitted to it by the government, even if these are against the wishes 
of the public. The rushing through of the notorious National Security Bill, 
which is set to severely undermine freedom of speech, press, assembly and 
access to information, despite the lack of immediate threat to the stability of 
the state, illustrates the case vividly.

All of the above clearly demonstrates the urgent need for a democratic 
political system to be adopted in Hong Kong. Otherwise the freedoms and rights 
that Hong Kong citizens have long enjoyed will be eroded inevitably, as the 
safeguards are gradually withdrawn. Setting up a democratic system in Hong Kong 
successfully benefits not only Hong Kong citizens; it can serve as a role model 
for China to follow. For the sake of the future generations of Hong Kong, we 
are calling for a truly democratic system for the government, lifting 
constraints placed on the legislature, as well as fostering a system that will 
hold the Chief Executive and his ministers accountable to the people.

Please support our petition for a democratic government system in Hong Kong and 
China by signing below, and
1. forward this message to the Chief Executive's Office address@hidden to 
express your concern and ask the Hong Kong government to speed up political 
2. forward this message to friends in your contact list
3. Participate in the July 1 demonstration in Hong Kong commencing at 3 pm in 
Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, calling for a halt to the legislation 
of Article 23 and a democratic government or
4. Organize a demonstration outside the local Chinese Embassy on July 1, 
calling for universal suffrage and a democratic political system in Hong Kong.

Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the External 
Secretary, the Student Union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong at 
address@hidden . Thank you for your support and cooperation!

Student Union, CUHK

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