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The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) welcomes the political reform proposal announced today (April 22) by the Government. The slogan “2017: Make it happen!” is a clear indication of government’s determination and commitment to getting the proposal passed. As the party representing industrial, commercial and professional interests, the BPA understands there will be profound consequences to the economical, political and social stability of Hong Kong if the proposal were to be voted down by the legislature. The BPA urges the public to be mindful of Hong Kong’s long-term development and support the political reform proposal. We will assist government in reaching out to the community to promote the proposal and strive for LegCo’s endorsement.
Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, BPA Chairman, pointed out that it would not be politically or constitutionally feasible to start the reform process all over again if we were to lose this invaluable opportunity. This would mean election of the Chief Executive in 2017 would continue to be confined to the 1,200-member Election Committee with no end in sight for the introduction of universal suffrage.
Mr Jeffery Lam Kin-fung, Vice Chairman of BPA, cautioned that if the proposal was rejected this could give rise to incessant political arguments that would undermine public governance. These would in turn have a knock-on effect on foreign businesses’ willingness to invest in Hong Kong with the negative consequences of impeding economic development and compromising livelihood.
“If the proposal was passed, this would have the advantage of attracting the brightest and smartest from the public and private sectors to run for election, which is an outcome I believe would be to the public’s benefit,” said Mr Lam. He urged the pan-democrats to listen to the public, think twice and not to veto the political reform proposal. “If the pan-democrats were to vote against the proposal, this would be detrimental to the well-being of the people of Hong Kong,” he added.
The vast majority of opinion polls conducted recently by various groups and organizations have all yielded similar results – there is overwhelming support for the proposed political reform package and many are keen to participate in the election of the Chief Executive in 2017 through the “one-person, one-vote” process. The BPA supports government to commission a credible polling agent to conduct a large-scale survey to gauge the public’s opinion. Mr Leung called on fellow lawmakers to uphold the spirit of democracy by playing according to the rules of the game, namely, the majority shall prevail. Accordingly, the pan-democrats should heed the public in approving the reform proposal should the aforementioned poll indicate more than half are in favour of the proposal’s passage through LegCo.
“The pan-democrats have no right to deprive Hong Kong people of the privilege to elect the Chief Executive by ‘one person, one vote’,” Mr Leung said and urged the pan-democrats to take into full account the public’s opinion and aspirations for universal suffrage in electing the next Chief Executive.
At this critical juncture of political reform, we are close to realising the right of five million eligible voters to elect the next Chief Executive through universal suffrage. The BPA stands ready and able to engage and drive the dialogue in LegCo towards ratification of the political reform proposal. At the same time, it also urges those who love Hong Kong to speak out and lobby lawmakers to lend support to the proposed package.