Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Which Side Are You On?

If you or I, as ordinary citizens, are asked whether we belong to a political party, we are perfectly entitled to answer "None of your business".  But if we put ourselves up for public office, this entitlement vanishes.  Anyone who seeks the public's trust should be required to disclose their true allegiances.

Tsang Yok-shing's refusal yesterday, during questioning by his fellow legislators, to disclose whether or not he is a member of the Chinese Communist Party makes him unfit to hold the Legislative Council Chairmanship.  Unlike the banana-throwing wing of the pan-democratic camp, whose "all or nothing" stance will leave us with nothing, I believe Hong Kong needs to cooperate and compromise with Beijing to achieve progress.  But in the nature of "One Country, Two Systems", there will be times when Hong Kong's interests and Beijing's do not coincide.  At such times we need to be confident that our public officials are standing up for our interests, not serving those of another power.  Tsang's refusal (unlike Leung Chun-ying's) to give that assurance makes him unworthy of public trust.

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