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Democratic Party Legislator, Mr Albert Ho Chun-yan, today (January 9) announced plans to trigger a “de-facto referendum” by quitting after the Legislative Council had voted on the Political Reform Package. The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) believes this is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and a hindrance on the gradual and orderly progress of constitution development in Hong Kong.
Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, BPA Chairman, pointed out that as the Second Round of Public Consultation on Constitutional Development had just begun all parties should focus instead on exploring feasible methods and to come up with a consensus for selecting the next Chief Executive through universal suffrage. He added that if the Political Reform Package was rejected, Hong Kong’s economy and people’s livelihood would run the risk of being destabilized and ultimately everyone would lose. The government has clearly stated that if the political reform package was vetoed in the legislature, the “five-step procedure” for political reform would come to an abrupt halt. The earliest possible opportunity to re-launch the political reform process would be in 2022. In other words, this would mean that our hopes of electing the Chief Executive and representatives of the Legislative Council respectively in 2017 and 2020 through the process of “one person, one vote” would no longer be realized.
If a legislator resigns, the government is obliged by law to arrange a by-election. Mr Leung criticized the pan-democratic party for having wasted $130 million of the public’s money for the 2010 Legislative Council by-election as a result of the resignation of five directly elected legislators. “If Albert Ho deliberately triggers a by-election by resigning, he will be wasting taxpayers’ money again. At today’s prices, it will definitely cost more than $130 million. If the money was spent instead on building public housing at the construction cost of about $1 million a flat, this would benefit at least 130 families.”
Mr Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, BPA Vice Chairman, said any claims of “veto” or “resignation” before listening to the public was irresponsible and would only polarize society. “The Legislative Council is a solemn venue for discussing policies and is not a playground. We would not wish to see anyone bring the playground into the Legislative Council and perform monkey antics every day. As a legislator, if you do not listen to the public opinion, please quit immediately and stop wasting taxpayers’ money and everyone’s time.”
The BPA urges the public to make use of the time wisely by focusing on constructive debate and achieving consensus to realize the aspirations of electing the next Chief Executive in 2017 through “one person, one vote”.