Old Mindset

July 11, 2003 

Dennis Kwok Voices of Hong Kong 

Hong Kong changed on the day 500,000 people took to the streets. There is now a glimpse of hope on the horizon for democracy.

What stands between the Hong Kong people and this democratic goal is the old mindset held by some that true democracy never flourished in Chinese society and never will. For some officials in Hong Kong and the mainland, democracy simply means chaos.

Democracy is not simply about having elections. It is the process of allowing all views to be heard. This process must be regulated by the framework of a civilized society, which is founded upon the separation of powers and a true regard for freedom, liberty and the rule of law qualities which Hong Kong has.

The democratic process has one major flaw. It does not necessarily produce the right answer in every instance. However, the key is that it allows people to express their views to those in power, thereby creating social harmony. 

Hong Kong now stands at a historic junction. We have the responsibility to show all the Chinese people and the world that democracy can be achieved through a peaceful transfer of power. If Hong Kong can achieve democracy, it will have far-reaching implications for issues such as Tibet and Taiwan. It will send a signal of hope and assurance to the world that the concept of “one country, two systems” is for real and China is a modern and civilized nation that allows the people to govern themselves.

Economic development in the mainland is not sustainable in the long run without genuine political reform. Hong Kong has the potential to be the guide on how democracy can be achieved while preserving peace and stability.

Chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, show the world that you have the courage and wisdom to give up power for the sake of our nation. Be a true patriot.

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