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The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) today (14 January) organized a Symposium on Constitutional Reform, which was attended by Mrs. Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr. Raymond Tam, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, and Mr. Lau Kong-wah, Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs. More than 40 representatives across the BPA membership participated in the event including Council members, Executive Committee members, Legislative Councillors, District Councillors and Youth Committee members.
Mr. Jeffrey Lam, BPA Vice Chairman, commented on the discussions after the Symposium describing these as robust and pragmatic. The occasion also provided a useful opportunity for BPA members from diverse backgrounds to convey a range of views on such issues as the formation of the Nominating Committee and enhancements to the representativeness of the Election Committee.
Mr. Lam said that BPA Councillors would be collecting views and opinions from their respective functional constituencies, trade associations, professional bodies and geographical districts through surveys and questionnaires over the coming months. Information gathered would be submitted to the Government along with the BPA’s analysis and recommendations.
Mr Lam noted that there have been various suggestions on the appropriate nomination mechanism and approach to electing a Chief Executive in 2017 and stressed that such discussions should be based on the relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the Basic Law. “If every political party insists on its own proposals and refuses to budge, this can only result in a stalemate leaving us in a no-win situation,” he said. He appealed for mutual understanding, rational compromise and respect for differences in seeking common ground on Hong Kong’s constitutional development.
It is the BPA’s opinion that all walks of life should be at liberty to discuss and put forward their proposals on the development of Hong Kong’s future political framework but these must be conducted within the prescriptions of the Basic Law, which provides for public participation in and i
nput to the gradual and orderly process towards universal suffrage. The BPA hopes that society can set aside its differences and make positive strides towards constitutional reform. Achieving universal suffrage is a shared aspiration across society and in the interests of all who call Hong Kong home.