In the Press

Updated: 2012-11-23 06:51

(HK Edition)

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In the Press

Elsie Leung vs McCarthyism

Elsie Leung, deputy director of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee and former secretary for justice, informed the Panel on the Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs of the Legislative Council (LegCo) on Wednesday that she will not attend a session of the panel scheduled for next Tuesday, noting that the LegCo is in danger of becoming a "McCarthy-style" inquiry body if it summons people to explain their public statements whenever the panel chooses.

Leung's words are absolutely justified and infallible and her reason for snubbing the LegCo panel meeting is unassailable. As she points out in her letter to the panel, Hong Kong society enjoys freedom of speech. She was exercising that freedom when she expressed her personal opinion on the judicial affairs of the HKSAR since the handover the other day. Others, of course, including LegCo members, are free to agree or disagree with her, and she is willing to discuss differences of opinion with anyone in private, but not inside the LegCo at the expense of taxpayers' dollar.

It is well-known that Leung is a veteran in judicial and legal affairs who has fought many "battles" in her professional career, and to assert that she would be intimidated explaining herself in front of a LegCo panel would be preposterous. No doubt her refusal to attend the meeting next Tuesday does not qualify as disrespect for the legislative body, as evidently she must defend her right to freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in the Basic Law for all members of Hong Kong society, and brooks no violation.

Would it still be the Hong Kong we know that cherishes freedom of expression as one of its core values, if any person could be "summoned" to the LegCo and grilled by a bunch of politically-motivated opposition lawmakers about their personal views? It is even more outrageous and intolerable when that individual happens to be Elsie Leung, who has been a prime target of political attacks by the opposition camp all along, because of her patriotic standing and love for Hong Kong.

The McCarthy era is long gone and forever condemned as one of the darkest chapters in American history. Not only Leung and patriots like her, but every Hong Kong citizen has the right to refuse McCarthy-style political harassment and intimidation.

This is an excerpted translation of a Ta Kung Pao editorial published on Nov 22.

Firmly support SAR govt

The political report to the 18th CPC national congress states that the central government will firmly support the chief executive and the SAR government's leadership in guiding people from all walks of life to focus on developing the economy, improving the quality of life of the people, enhancing inclusiveness, mutual support and social harmony, deepening economic and trade relations with the mainland, advancing exchanges and cooperation in all areas and promoting the unity among Hong Kong. These fall under the banner of love for the motherland and Hong Kong. This part of the report makes it clear the central government "firmly supports" the chief executive, which is a significant point Hong Kong society should keep in mind.

The corresponding part in the political report to the 17th CPC national congress reads " the two special administrative region governments," whereas the latest report gives prominence to "support the chief executives". The addition not only recognizes the authority and responsibility of the chief executive but also contains the central government's firm support for the head of the SAR government and keen expectations for his success. The position is based on the Basic Law and relevant to the social and political reality of Hong Kong as well.

This year saw the election of the new chief executive. The opposition camp here and its overseas masters have continued to push for the "downfall of Leung Chun-ying". It started during the CE election process and has continued since. The opposition even spread malicious rumors about Leung on the eve of the 18th CPC national congress, in an apparent attempt to weaken Hong Kong's stability and challenge the central government's commitment to maintaining it. Since taking office, CE Leung has done a remarkable job of developing the economy and improving people's well-being despite rampant disruptions by his political foes. The central authorities therefore reaffirmed firm support for him in the CPC report and practically told the advocates of "bringing Leung down" to wake up from their delusions.

People from all walks of life in Hong Kong should take note of the message the central authorities sent through the CPC report and strive for unity under the banner of loving the motherland and the HKSAR, as well as supporting the new chief executive and SAR government.

This is an excerpted translation of a Wen Wei Po editorial published on Nov 22.

(HK Edition 11/23/2012 page3)