Time to get the sweaters out
Independent but shallow

Not ready

Hong Kong is not ready for democracy, according to the chairman of the DAB (Fury at DAB chief's Tiananmen tirade - subscription required):

Hong Kong will not be ready for universal suffrage until around 2022 because the people lack national identity and many still believe there was a massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the leader of the main pro-Beijing party said yesterday.

In remarks that drew immediate condemnation from the pan-democratic camp, the chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Ma Lik, said local students had not received proper "national education" since the handover and many still "care nothing" about the mainland.

He said one example to show Hong Kong society was not mature was people's belief that pro-democracy activists were "massacred" in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

"We should not say the Communist Party massacred people on June 4. I never said that nobody was killed, but it was not a massacre," Mr Ma told a media gathering less than three weeks before the 18th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on protesting students. "A massacre would mean the Communist Party intentionally killed people with machine guns indiscriminately."

Interesting to note that the SCMP itself has been criticized in the past for referring to the "Tiananmen incident" as if it were a minor disturbance in which a few people got slightly hurt.

Mr Ma, who is not known as an outspoken hard-core leftist, said universal suffrage could not be introduced before the public adopted "heart-felt" patriotism.

Although his views drew a strong reaction, he said they had actually moderated from those he previously held. "In the past I have said universal suffrage should be introduced in 2047. Now I think it is appropriate to introduce [it] around 2022 because by then, hopefully, half a generation would have gone through the new national awareness education."

Mr Ma said that "consciously or unconsciously" Hong Kong people were resisting the idea that the Communist Party was the ruling party of "our sovereign state" and were trying to draw a line between themselves and the party. "It is difficult to push for [universal suffrage] under these conditions." He said the Hong Kong government should take action to educate teachers about what happened at Tiananmen Square.

The biggest problem with democracy is that you never quite know how people will vote, and it works so much better if people are "educated" to vote correctly.  I believe they do this quite successfully in Singapore (amongst other places).

Or maybe the biggest obstacle to democracy in Hong Kong is that we don't have any political parties worth supporting...

[More here if you can't read the SCMP story]


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


The massacre is still very much on people's minds.

In time though, the horror may be forgotten or diluted.

Then, HK may be deemed ready for democracy.

The new generation will have been brought up knowing a different version of events.

The comments to this entry are closed.