Sunday, 3 May 2015

Electoral Reform Push: Strike 2

Dr Ko Wing-man loses his temper when arguing with a senior yesterday
Oh boy. More senior Hong Kong officials with egg on their faces.

It's a tough job having to sell electoral reforms and encountering dissent along the way.

After Chief Secretary Carrie Lam last week, the latest victim was Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man, who visited a public housing estate in Ngau Tau Kok yesterday.

Last weekend's bus tours were not working, so this week officials made unannounced community visits.

Ko spoke to a boy about the electoral reform and said, "I hope you will support us", when a senior came up to Ko and yelled, "Can 1,200 people represent the whole of Hong Kong?" The man then turned away.

He was referring to the nominating committee that would choose the two or three candidates who would run for chief executive in 2017.

Ko went after him and said, "Mister, don't go. I don't like people who come shouting and leave right away."

The man did stop and criticized Ko for "fooling the children". The proposed election system would only produce undesirable candidates like a "white-haired witch", he said.

"I disagree with you. the words you use are a bit of an insult," Ko shot back. "It's fine for you to have your own ideals, but you shouldn't impose them on all other Hong Kong people."

"That's exactly what you're doing!" the senior retorted.

The war of words continued with the old man insisting Ko was cheating and the doctor shouted back, "Objection!"

Ko then went left with his colleagues.

Considered one of the more popular government officials, Ko later addressed the media, saying, "To be frank, I'm just an ordinary person. I only hope there's room for discussion. I was unable to control my emotions. I hope the public will understand I have tried my best."

Our observations so far have seen many seniors who are picking up the mantle to actively protest against the government's push on its (or rather Beijing's) version of "universal suffrage". One directly confronted Chief Secretary Lam last week at a Federation of Trade Unions event, and then yesterday's incident with Ko.

Perhaps we can add here that Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung addressed diners in a restaurant and an old man began to vomit. So didn't hesitate to help by handing him a plate.

For Ko to say he's "an ordinary person" immediately sparks frustration and eye-ball rolling by Hong Kong citizens, much like Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah likening himself to being in the middle class, as they like to drink coffee and watch French movies...

They aren't going to get any sympathy points.

Most telling is Ko's wish, that "I only hope there's room for discussion". What discussion? Has the Hong Kong government really taken into account people's opinions of what they want universal suffrage to look like?

Instead of an earnest attempt to give the appearance of listening to the people, this public relations exercise appears to be a desperate campaign to indoctrinate the public on the government's version of electoral reform.

And unfortunately for Leung Chun-ying's administration, it's not working...

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