August 30, 1999
The Democratic Party Meets Mr. Tung
After today's meeting between the Chief Executive Mr. C.H. Tung and
the Democratic Party, Mr. Martin Lee, Chairman of the Democratic Party,
"We stressed to Mr. Tung that he is failing in his
task of leading Hong Kong forward. He is not leading Hong Kong forward
to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, but indeed, seems determined
to drag Hong Kong backward into the 19th Century.
"We noted several examples:
"Rather than allowing the people of Hong Kong to rule
Hong Kong through democratic elections, which is the fundamental promise
of the Joint Declaration, Mr. Tung continues to undermine Hong Kong's
democratization by re-instituting the political patronage system of
appointments to the district councils, scrapping the elected municipal
councils, severely restricting the franchise for the Legislative Council,
and refusing to open the Chief Executive's office for democratic election.
"Second, rather than upholding Hong Kong's rule of
law and independent court system, Mr. Tung has sought Beijing's intervention
to overturn the decision of the Court of Final Appeal on the right of
abode and he refuses to insist that Hong Kong criminal cases (like that
of the Telford Gardens murders or that of the 'Big Spender') be adjudicated
in Hong Kong rather than the Mainland.
"Third, rather than defending our autonomous status
and our right to freedom of speech, Mr. Tung's administration has refused
to let the Pope visit Hong Kong, undermined the independence of RTHK,
and now contemplates muzzling the press through a Tung-appointed 'Press
"Fourth, rather than working to improve Hong Kong's
environmental standards and quality of life, Mr. Tung's administration
has ignored the need to clean up our air and water, forces qualified
public housing applicants to remain in a waiting queue, and has failed
to deal with dangerous slopes and deteriorating old buildings.
"Mr. Tung needs to listen to the people of Hong Kong
and understand their wishes for a government and government policies
that can meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Trying to reinstitute
the autocratic institutions of the 19th Century and failing to consult
with or listen to the people of Hong Kong will only move Hong Kong backwards."