I strongly disagree with the views expressed by Anirudh Kannan in his Op-ed article last week. Instead of accepting reunification with the mainland after 2047, I believe Hongkongers should come up with other ways to govern the city, including seeking independence from China.
Just 19 years after the handover, one of Hong Kong’s core values – the rule of law – has been eroded. Rules have been made for the “privileged class”, similar to what China’s Communist Party officials do when they want to get things done. A clear example is Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who was elected as Legco president despite failing to produce an official document confirming he had given up his British citizenship.
Also, we have seen what Beijing has done elsewhere to opposing voices. They silence activists by jailing them for ridiculous reasons. For example, Lin Zuluan, the village chief in Wukan who wrote a letter complaining about illegal land grabs, was jailed for 37 months and fined 200,000 yuan (HK$232,000) for taking bribes.
In Hong Kong, where freedom of speech is respected, it has long been unthinkable that people will be arrested and jailed because of their opinions. But not anymore. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has threatened to sue Apple Daily over an editorial.
Also, Hong Kong’s image as a corruption-free city is slowly falling apart. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has been tainted by several scandals. One involves former top ICAC officer, Rebecca Li Bo-lan, and Leung. China’s record is far worse than Hong Kong’s though. Last year, more than 300,000 officials were punished for corruption.
These are some of the reasons why Hong Kong should not be governed directly by Communist Party officials after 2047. Without a clean society, there’s no way that Hong Kong will continue to attract foreign investment.
Reunifying with China is the worst thing that can happen to Hong Kong. Putting more faith in Beijing will only speed up the destruction of all our prized values.