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Some 500 individuals involving members and friends of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) today (August 17) took part in a march for peace and democracy. The BPA leadership comprising Dr Peter Lam Kin-ngok, BPA Council Chairman, Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, BPA Chairman, and Mr Jeffery Lam Kin-fung, BPA Vice Chairman, led the march to symbolize taking the first step towards universal suffrage through peaceful and rational means.
The march represents the BPA’s inaugural exercise in taking their cause to the streets! Although it was sizzling hot at high noon, Victoria Park was already jam-packed with thousands of rally participants. Leading the march organized by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy were BPA Chairman Andrew Leung, BPA Vice Chairmen Jeffery Lam, Mr Christopher Cheung Wah-fung and Dr Lo Wai-kwok, and BPA Legco Member Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun. The march began at 1:30pm at Victoria Park and ended at Chater Garden in Central via Wan Chai and Admiralty. During the parade, Dr Lo took advantage of his powerful vocal chords to lead the crowd in chanting slogans while Dr Leung stood on top of a pit stop to provide marchers with moral support.
The BPA contingent was led by Dr Peter Lam and Mr Abraham Shek Lai-him, BPA Secretary-General. Dr Peter Lam quipped that the march for a peaceful introduction of universal suffrage was his ‘maiden’ experience in a protest rally. “It is the obligation of all those in Hong Kong to uphold peace and safeguard the rule of law. I am proud to rub shoulders with the tens of thousands of like-minded citizens who love Hong Kong at today’s march,” he said.
Several BPA District Councilors including Mr Fong Ping and Ms Lo Wai-lan respectively Chairman and Member of the Kwai Tsing District Council, Mr Kwong Koon-wan from the Islands, Mr David Ho Tai-wai, Mr Chan Cho-leung and Mr Lo Sou-chour from Tai Po, Mr Aaron Lam Ka-fai and Mr Bruce Li Ki-fung from Sham Shui Po joined their constituents in the march. Many BPA members also took part with their friends and colleagues. They included Mr Suen Kwok-lam, Executive Director of Henderson Land Development Company Limited, Mr Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Advisor with Luk Fook Financial, Mr Michael Wu, BPA Executive Committee Member and Chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, and Mr Chan Mei-tak, Vice Chairman of the New Territories Fishermen Fraternity Association. The BPA team had to wait for nearly three hours before leaving Victoria Park.
“Safeguarding Hong Kong’s economy and people’s livelihood, and achieving universal suffrage peacefully and rationally are the wishes of Hong Kong people. However, if we choose not to take forward any reforms but to instead opt for unlawful confrontations, these can only result in the stagnation of our democratization process,” Mr Leung pointed out.
Mr Jeffrey Lam said, “’Occupy Central’ will only cause damage to our economy and job creation with likely knock-on effects on our next generation. Hong Kong people have always co-existed in a harmonious, peaceful and rational manner. We have thus far tolerated radical pan-democrats’ inflammatory attempts to stir up conflict and polarise society. They have however crossed the line with the threat to occupy Central illegally, which has compelled the BPA and Hong Kong’s silent majority to take action. This is why today we have decided to take our grievances with Occupy Central to the streets.”
The BPA team ran into Mr Allan Zeman, Honorary Advisor of Ocean Park, during the rally and exchanged moral support before joining members of the public in ending their march at Central. BPA will continue to maintain a sensible and moderate position on the issue of the process for electing the next CE in 2017 and to “blaze a trail (in attaining universal suffrage) for ourselves and for Hong Kong”.