Wrong path to suffrage

Wrong path to suffrage

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Scholarism will not doubt Occupy Central - but what will they achieve?
Scholarism will not doubt Occupy Central - but what will they achieve?
Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Education Secretary Eddie Ng Hak-kim has again caused quite a stir by warning students not to take part in the upcoming civil disobedience campaign known as Occupy Central.

This comes just months after his bureau was criticised for claiming that "Cantonese is not an official language". This time, however, I am siding with him.

Many have claimed his statement shows how "scared" the Hong Kong government is of this movement to disrupt Hong Kong for a day. Some have even gone so far as to claim that the government would send in the People's Liberation Army to shut it down.

What a joke.

Have we already forgotten about the "Deliberation Day" farce? Our leaders on the mainland have probably never felt so relaxed over the Occupy movement. They don't need Ng to preach his political views, and he didn't, anyway. We have already divided ourselves and effectively diminished the chances of the city receiving the "true democracy" everyone's been longing for.

Twelve of the 15 proposals for democracy have already been eliminated by the 2,500 most passionate Occupy Central supporters. As expected, the three most radical proposals remain, and none of the three factions seem to be able agree with one another.

Albert Cheng King-hon, political commentator and former member of the Legislative Council, accurately described the situation. He believes the Occupy Central "bomb" has already "blown the united front of the pro-democratic groups to smithereens" before harming the government.

Occupy Central organisers have repeatedly said they will not apply for police permission for the main protest, which makes the march illegal. Benny Tat, one of the top organisers, even admitted it will be an illegal protest in Hong Wrong, a local blog.

I do believe democracy is the way forward for Hong Kong, but I don't believe that Occupy Central is the right path for us to take. If we are to achieve democracy, it will require much more than a day or two of yelling and hurling metal fences.

The dictionary defines civil disobedience as the "refusal to obey laws as a way of forcing the government to do or change something". That means a "legal civil disobedience" is an oxymoron.

Yes, as students, we should be allowed to make our own decisions and fight for our rights, but when we decide to take part in illegal activities, we will have to accept the full legal responsibility.

If we want to make our voice count for something and help bring our city the democracy it deserves, we have to communicate our thoughts and wishes through legal means.

Occupy Central isn't that.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Wrong path to suffrage

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