Business leaders must help HK to re-focus on the economy

Updated: 2015-06-18 08:26

By Zhou Bajun(HK Edition)

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On Wednesday, the Hong Kong SAR Government's bill on Chief Executive elections by universal suffrage was tabled before the Legislative Council. There is a considerable possibility opposition lawmakers will veto it. Many Hong Kong people who want to vote to elect the CE in 2017 would be greatly disappointed - particularly members of the business community. They would not only regret losing the opportunity to vote for the SAR's leader but will be frustrated with the ongoing political uncertainty in Hong Kong.

If the bill is rejected, the government will not set up a new "platform" for discussing constitutional reform - or restart the so-called five-step procedure for electoral reform. It will instead re-focus its attention on economic and livelihood issues.

Yet, the opposition will never give up its demands for "genuine universal suffrage". The opposition camp will continue to demand the withdrawal of, or amendments to, the National People's Congress Standing Committee decision made on Aug 31, 2014. They are, of course, seeking votes and seats in the up-coming district council and LegCo elections. Radical groups will fight hard for amendments to the Basic Law; they will exaggerate support for localism or separatism in order to encourage the idea of "Hong Kong independence". Predictably, the incumbent CE and his colleagues will confront great challenges and obstructions from the opposition during the government's remaining term. The city will probably have to weather some more turbulent political storms.

Ordinary people are disgusted with this endless political wrangling. Hong Kong can no longer afford to waste time and energy on endless squabbles. The government should resolutely shift its focus from constitutional reform to economic and social development. This will require strong support from Hong Kong people. Business leaders know how to deal with political uncertainty. They have a very important role to play in the future of Hong Kong. They should keep performing this role because they are in the best position to do so.

However, in recent years some business people have reduced their level of investment in Hong Kong. As Su Shi, a great poet in Song Dynasty (960-1279), said: "One can never discern the true face of the mountain Lu, if one is only looking out from within the mountain." But those who have negatively assessed the investment environment in Hong Kong are shortsighted.

After settling the issue of the CE election in 2017, whatever the opposition camp does, the central government will not allow them to distract Hong Kong from the important goals of economic and social development. More support will be given to the SAR government and Hong Kong people. Therefore, those business leaders who have lived and thrived in the city must continue to work here to further enhance Hong Kong's prosperity.

Business leaders must help HK to re-focus on the economy

(HK Edition 06/18/2015 page9)