- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 7 Hour
- Reading permission
Chief secretary upstaged during school visit: A weak defence|
Regina Leung and Fanny W.Y. Fung
5:36pm, May 19, 2010
Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen was upstaged by a teacher while visiting a secondary school to promote the government’s latest package for political reform in 2012.
Tang was speaking to students and teachers at Belilios Public School in Tin Hau on Wednesday morning. During his speech, he argued that even though the political reform package may not be perfect for everyone, it, like a student who gets a B instead of an A on an exam, deserved to be passed.
After his speech, a Liberal Studies teacher, Ng Mei-lan, addressed the chief secretary.
She said, as teachers, they encouraged students, once they were 18, to register as voters and participate in election, but that Tang, the Chief Executive and other government officials did not vote even though the by-elections were legal.
“It seems that you all are setting a bad example,” she said,
“If we really can elect the Chief Executive with a ‘one man, one vote’ system in 2017, what should our students do then?
“I am not a member of the Civic Party or the League of Social Democrats, but I want to tell you the details have not been laid down for universal suffrage in 2017.
She then showed Tang a placard that said in Chinese: “I have the right to elect the chief executive!”
Ng was applauded by the students.
The chief secretary said that he agreed with the message on her placard and that he too hoped to have the right to elect the Chief Executive in 2017.
“In fact, the Standing Committee made this decision back in 2007,” Tang said.
“After we go through a series of political reforms, everyone should have the right to elect the chief executive in 2017,” he explained.
Tang also defended the decision of top government officials to not participate in the by-elections by saying that voting was not compulsory in Hong Kong and deciding whether to vote or not was the right of each person.
“Civic responsibility is about a person making a decision after thinking independently... It is not about blindly following others.” he said.
Tang also said the government would try to arrange meetings between moderate democrats and the central government to discuss the political reform package.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has said the constitutional reform package would be put to the vote in Legco before the legislative year ends in July.