Policy Address Debate (on Constitutional Development)

Extract of Legco Members Speeches

6 February 2004


Name /

Constituency /

Affiliation

Extract of Speech

Sources

James Tien Pei-chun /

(Commercial – First) / Chairman, Liberal Party

  • Urged the government to present different options on constitutional reform to the public before the Legco elections in September;

  • A party survey gauging the views of professionals, the middle class and owners of small and medium enterprises found most of them wanted the functional constituencies seats to be maintained in 2008;

  • The poll showed support for universal suffrage had dropped from 80 per cent to 50 per cent.

SCMP

  • Called for the democratic camp to give up fighting for full democracy in “one step'', saying his party did not support the ”rushed'' abolition of functional constituencies;

  • The view is a reflection of the views of the business sector, the middle class and the professional sector who fear that some politicians will promote ‘welfarism'' for lobbying for votes, resulting in undermining Hong Kong's long-term competitive edge;

  • Regarding the election of the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2007, Tien said the government should lead the public to reach a consensus and to work out a proposal that can coordinate the interests of different sectors.

  • After the SAR government and the Central Government reach a consensus over the political reform's principles and procedures, we hope the government could put forward several proposals on the political reform to consult the public before the Legco election in September so that voters have time to understand candidates' stance on this issue and could make a wise choice.''

Standard

Yeung Sum / (HK Island) / Chairman, Democratic Party

  • Criticised the government for putting an abrupt halt on constitutional development by turning some political issues into legal problems.

SCMP

  • Some people fabricated things out of nothing by claiming that democracy would lead to Hong Kong's independence.

SCMP / Standard

  • Rejected the notion that universal suffrage will bring forward a society of welfarism, saying the Basic Law stipulated a balanced budget and fiscal policies;

  • A fully-elected Legco in 2008 will not in any case be achieved in “one step'' but will be the result of over 10 years of tolerating a “crippled'' political system;

  • The public's wish for the introduction of universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008 had been clearly demonstrated in the July 1 protest and different public polls;

  • Urged Chief Secretary Donald Tsang not to be an “errand boy'' for Beijing, but to fully reflect Hong Kong people's aspirations for full democracy;

  • Consultations with Beijing should also be conducted in an open and transparent manner.''

Standard

Margaret Ng / (Legal Sector) / Independent

  • It may be that to introduce universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008 is the only solution. The people demand that. They deserve a chance. Mr Tung has shut his ears to them, I don't feel able to thank him for it.''

Standard

Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen / (Election Committee) / Chairman, HK Progressive Alliance

  • Different sectors of society should discuss the issue rationally to avoid splitting the community;

  • Hong Kong was an economic city, not a political battlefield.

SCMP

Audrey Eu Yuet-mee / (HK Island) / Independent

  • The public doubted whether Mr Tung had accurately reflected their views to the central government.

SCMP

** Please refer to the Chinese version for a more detailed summary.