The pro-Beijing group Alliance for Peace and Democracy has come under fire over its anti-Occupy Central signature campaign, with critics pointing to loopholes that allow people to put in duplicate or fake endorsements through an electronic voting system.
The group launched e-voting services for Hong Kong people who work in the mainland or elsewhere overseas, aiming to build up opposition to the Occupy Central movement, which had threatened a blockade of the city’s financial district in the fight for political reforms.
While the Alliance for Peace and Democracy has the right to conduct its campaign, the exercise is actually dubious as the group is unable to cross-check whether there is any duplication in signatures or if somebody has given a fake identification card number, critics say.
Robert Chow Yung, a spokesperson for Alliance for Peace and Democracy, has especially drawn criticism as he said the group “will ask citizens to sign once, but cannot stop people from doing the opposite,” Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
Chow had earlier criticized the civil referendum conducted by the Occupy Central group in June for the same reasons, making his current comments ironic.
The alliance will not put up the information online on those endorsing the anti-Occupy Central campaign, so it will be hard to identify any duplication.
“There is no need for us to make up the numbers as we have already got millions of signatures at the physical stations,” Chow said, dismissing claims that many signatures could be fraudulent.
However, he admitted that the alliance cannot stop citizens from using fake identification numbers to participate in the campaign online as they don’t have the full record of the Hong Kong citizens.
Chow had earlier criticized Occupy Central for using a US-based network services provider for the June referendum, warning the personal information collected could be misused by the foreign firm. Keeping that in mind, the alliance is using a platform provided by China Telecom Corp. (00728.HK).
He said the alliance has requested China Telecom to store all the information at a Hong Kong server, which will be protected under the local jurisdiction.
Earlier this week, local lyricist Albert Leung, also known by his pen name Lam Chik, wrote a commentary in Apple Daily to criticize the signatures collected in the anti-Occupy Central campaign. He suggested that Chow has used dirty means to manipulate the number of votes, signatures and the so-called public views.
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