A core member of Occupy Central has quit, saying he does not believe in fighting for democracy by illegal means.
Tsui Siu-wah, a media industry veteran and chief executive of Chinetek Intelligence Co. Ltd., said he was attracted by the peaceful and non-violent nature of the movement but realized most Hong Kong people would prefer to fight for democracy by legal means.
Tsui said he made the decision to quit Occupy Central on June 29, the last day of a mock referendum organized by the movement in which more than 700,000 people overwhelmingly voted for universal suffrage.
The news emerged as Occupy Central continued preparations for a campaign of civil disobedience to protest Beijing’s election framework for the 2017 chief executive election which the group and its pro-democracy backers have dismissed as fake universal suffrage.
The government has said the planned civil disobedience is illegal.
Tsui said he was not coerced into quitting the movement.
Earlier, he had been reported to have quietly left Occupy Central because his business was being affected.
Neither Tsui nor Occupy Central addressed the issue at the time.
However, another core member, Shiu Ka-chun, a lecturer in the social work department of the Hong Kong Baptist University, said Tsui’s business partner in the mainland might have been under political pressure and suffered losses as a result, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
“It might be more serious than just him getting affected that he is willing to sacrifice himself… I can feel the pain,” Shiu was quoted as saying.
Separately, Ming Pao Daily quoted an unnamed Occupy Central figure as saying he was surprised by Tsui’s high-profile handling of his decision.
“If he wanted to quit, he could have just not show up… unless he is being threatened,” the person said.
Reverend Kwok Nai-wang, another key figure in the movement, refused to speculate but said he would have kept silent about it.
He said Tsui’s comments were “somewhat discouraging and this is not the right time”.
Despite his decision, Tsui said he convinced Occupy Central will help strengthen Hong Kong people’s resolve to seek more democracy, Sing Pao reported Wednesday.
However, he said people should be patient.
Tsui said most Hong Kong people are patriotic and the problem is lack of trust between Hong Kong and mainland China.
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