Patten should leave Hong Kong alone

Updated: 2017-09-20 05:46

(HK Edition)

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Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, seems incapable of keeping his hands off Hong Kong 20 years after his official role expired at midnight on July 1, 1997. Admittedly it is very hard for a politician like Patten to stop massaging his ego by reminding his former subjects every now and then what a great governor he was. But he should know better than repeatedly alluding to his plan to give Hong Kong residents their first taste of "democracy" before colonial rule ended. This actually caused most people more stress and loss than relief and benefits.

This week Patten was back again to promote a book he has just published. On Tuesday, as always, a luncheon was given in his honor so his fans could thank him in person. Hong Kong is in the midst of a highly charged debate over how to deal with separatist ballyhoo on its university campuses. Therefore, the timing of Patten's visit here is somewhat suspicious. As a veteran politician he knows how to deflect difficult questions while singing his own praises. He did this during a brief session with the local press after the luncheon. But Patten could not pass up a chance to criticize Beijing - unfairly blaming the central government for the political troubles here by failing to deliver the "democracy it promised Hong Kong" when it resumed exercising sovereign rule over the city.

How clever of Patten to leave out the fact that it was the opposition camp which blocked the SAR government's constitutional reform plan aimed at achieving universal suffrage in the 2017 Chief Executive Election. But Patten's supporters vetoed it in 2015. Of course, this is not the first time he has told us fairytales. Apparently he is one of those politicians who like repeating a lie a thousand times.

Patten did reiterate that he does not support "Hong Kong independence" but he still managed to excuse the separatists. He implied that they would not have gone down their suicidal path if the central government had given them a chance to run for high government office. But none of the student unions or known separatist groups cited democracy, or the "lack" of it, as their excuse for challenging China's sovereignty over the city. Does Patten really think he can speak for everyone about this mess? He had better, because the brainwashed "independence seekers" already wrote him off as a traitor after he dismissed their cause as futile.

Patten should leave Hong Kong alone

(HK Edition 09/20/2017 page8)