Motion on “Vote of No Confidence in the Chief Executive” (2013.10.16)

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): Another Member proposes a motion of no confidence in the governing team today. As a matter of fact, there have been many similar motions targeting the governing team in recent years. Members of various political parties have fully expressed their views and they also know that there is little chance for the motion to be passed. Of course, we respect Members’ right to propose motions. But I cannot but ask if there are no other problems in Hong Kong that are in more urgent need of discussion. Can political issues override everything else?

There are numberless conflicts and problems in our society today. The community has accumulated tremendous grievances and negative energy. These grievances may be caused by many factors which I have already made many analyses before. I want to emphasize one point: all the conflicts have been accumulated over a long period of time and they all involve very complicated issues; if we simply blame all problems on the Chief Executive who has taken office for just a year, should we honestly ask ourselves if it is fair?

We can imagine that taking up the post of the Chief Executive is like entering a bomb zone. If he dodges and ducks or covers the bombs with sand, he will wait out his five years of tenure and leave. But we need a Chief Executive who dares defuse the bombs. Now the Chief Executive and his team are bold enough to defuse the bombs, such as the bombs on housing, land and poverty, and so on. The reality is that in the course of defusing so many massive bombs, accidents are bound to happen, and the bomb disposal officials will get hurt in minor accidents, and they may even lose their lives in serious accidents.

Some criticize the bomb squad for its inferior quality and unskillful approach. We have to understand that the bombs they are dealing with have been planted for over a decade, there are bound to have obstacles, and it takes time to clear. Besides, it is no fun to be a member of the bomb squad as they may fall victim to the controversies and even their family may be implicated. It is not easy to find people to take up the work.

However, if we still treat Hong Kong as our home and do not want to emigrate elsewhere or if we do not have a way of escape, then we should work together to assist this bomb squad, rather than constantly twisting the objectives of their work, ridiculing them, setting traps for them, tripping them up or telling them to quit. We have to admit two things: first, this is the first time in years that the governing team is truly, practically dealing with the deep-rooted problems; and second, to resolve these problems, it takes time and the co-operation and efforts of all sides.

Of course I admit that the Government has much room for improvement. For example, they lack political skills, they need to accept people’s views, and their communication with the people are inadequate, and they are inexperienced. These are that problems that the Government has to deal with.

Some think that the incumbent Government is weak and has great difficulties in governance. However, the current Government is weak precisely because some people keep opposing every act of the Government, be they right or wrong, and these people only care about securing their votes at the expense of the interests of all people in Hong Kong. This will not be beneficial to the community as a whole. Since the Government took office over a year ago, there have been so many disputes and controversies; I have the feeling that many people who are more moderate are deeply troubled by the present political disputes, and more and more people sympathize with the plight of the Government. I hope that Members would stop before going too far and they should stop arguing for the sake of arguing. Otherwise, people will eventually get irritated and further dislike the performance of the Legislative Council, which is not beneficial to all sectors in the community.

As regards the issue of social conflicts, especially the continuous decline of Hong Kong’s competitiveness, I think the Legislative Council should first admit such a problem and then help the Government to enhance our competitiveness. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand Hong Kong’s present situation or the global economic development. It is a shame that Dr KWOK Ka-ki is now not in the Chamber. Last week, I mentioned about the establishment of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and my worries that the Central Government intended to make a replica of Hong Kong. Hong Kong will be in trouble if the Free Trade Zone can just snatch some of the businesses from Hong Kong. Dr KWOK Ka-ki, who proposes the motion of no confidence today, refuted me by saying that Hong Kong had the rule of law and freedom of speech, hence the Mainland could in no way make a replica of Hong Kong.

However, I am not the only one who mentions the idea of making a replica of Hong Kong, many economists and newspapers commentaries also have made the same analysis. This issue is very important as it relates to the future of Hong Kong. I agree that the rule of law and freedom of speech are Hong Kong’s advantages but however strong these advantages are, we cannot solely rely on them. It is fundamentally impossible for the entire economy to merely rely on one or two advantages.

Actions speak louder than words. I do not have to elaborate further on the economic performance of Shanghai and Shenzhen. In those years when Hong Kong’s container throughput was at the top of the world, everyone thought that Hong Kong was superior in many ways and had no fear of its competitors. Singapore was the first to overtake us, soon followed by Shanghai and now Shenzhen is about to surpass us. These are hard lessons and we must avoid shutting our eyes to reality and keep telling ourselves that these are impossible.

I have spoken so much about our declining competitiveness, in the hope of reminding everyone that Hong Kong is faced with many pressing crises and there are plenty of issues that have to be discussed and tackled. I hope that Members would put aside all the grudges and grievances and work together to revitalize Hong Kong’s economy for the good of the general public.

I so submit.

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