2 June 1997
Martin Lee's Response to Chief Secretary
Anson Chan's Comments on Hong Kong
In a Newsweek interview released today, Chief
Secretary Anson Chan stated that she would continue to speak out on "points
of principle and matters of conscience."
She expressed concern about the rolling back of civil liberties laws
and human rights. While objecting
to Chief Secretary's statement that Hong Kong is not ready for a
full-fledged democracy, Martin Lee commended her willingness to speak out
about matters of concern to Hong Kong people.
In response to questioning about the Chief Secretary's
interview, Martin Lee commented:
"I disagree with Mrs. Chan's assertion that Hong
Kong is not prepared for democracy, or that democracy is somehow a 'western' concept. Look
around the region – the majority of Asian countries have 'one man, one
vote' elections. Furthermore,
as Hong Kong people have demonstrated in elections since 1990, they are ready
for and want full democracy.
That said, I believe the people of Hong Kong will
applaud Mrs. Chan for her candid comments at this critical time.
As the Chief Secretary states in her interview: 'you cannot put the
clock back' in Hong Kong and any effort to do so will do damage to our free
society. Hong Kong people want
their human rights protected and I am sure they will agree with out Chief
Secretary that it is vital to '……allow the community a say in how they
want to be governed and how they want to be represented in their
legislature.' This is the only way to ensure the preservation of Hong
Kong's freedoms and rule of law.
As she speaks not only for herself, but for the civil
service, I hope Chief Executive designate Tung will listen to Mrs. Chan and
only implement policies acceptable to Hong Kong people."