Saturday, 19 July 2014

Giving the "Silent Majority" a Say

The Alliance for Peace and Democracy was launched a few days ago
The anti-Occupy Central movement out in force today with 468 stations around the city collecting signatures in the hopes of surpassing the 793,000 votes for the civic referendum last month.

Unlike the unofficial referendum that lasted 10 days, this signature campaign will last one month in the hopes they will get over 800,000 signatures of support.

At the top of the form it says:

I oppose violence
I oppose occupy [sic] Central
I support peace for Hong Kong
I support democracy for Hong Kong

The group called "Safeguard Suffrage for Chief Executive, Oppose Occupy Central Movement" is insinuating that the Occupy Central movement is violent, which is far from it. If anything Occupy Central is also hoping for a peaceful solution for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

Opposing sides: Benny Tai listens to Robert Chow
Not only is the form skewing the truth, but already the campaign has received lots of criticism because anyone can vote -- mainlanders, tourists and even kids -- as long as they show some kind of valid identification, whereas in the civic referendum, voters had to be permanent residents and adults.

How can this signature campaign be considered legitimate in any way by allowing anyone to fill out the form and its premise is far from the truth?

Nevertheless, the group, led by Robert Chow Yung, who is also a spokesman for the pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy, has a lot of backing from various corporate groups like Towngas that tried to force its employees to support the campaign, and later backed down.

However there is word the central government's Liaison Office here has asked mainland students who are applying to study in Hong Kong to add their signatures to the anti-Occupy Central movement.

Will the campaign garner more than 800,000 signatures? And if it does, not all of them are Hong Kong residents, so why consider this legitimate?

The battle lines continue being drawn...

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