Date
20 November 2017
HKTV chief Ricky Wong says the government should listen more to public opinion and proceed cautiously amid the pro-democracy protests.
HKTV chief Ricky Wong says the government should listen more to public opinion and proceed cautiously amid the pro-democracy protests.

HKTV boss urges govt to hear people’s voice via referendum

HKTV boss Ricky Wong Wai-kay has urged the government to hold a referendum within three months to allow Hong Kong citizens to express their views on the political reform framework outlined by the National People’s Congress, and to share their vision for the city’s future.

Wong admitted that he does not have “high expectations” with regard to the outcome of the dialogue between student activists and government officials.

“If the dialogue does not bring any progress or hope for Hong Kong’s future, it could be a disaster and trigger more negative sentiment,” Wong wrote in a column in Sky Post.

“If the government resorts to violent clearing-out operations [of protest sites], more young people… will resent the police and the government. That could pose more challenges for the government and hamper the city’s future development,” said Wong, who is the chairman of Hong Kong Television Network.

Given the situation, Wong suggested that the government hold a referendum to assess the confidence of the city’s residents in their chief executive, as well as to get their views on Beijing’s political reform framework. In addition, citizens could be allowed to express their views on the Occupy movement, he said.

Meanwhile, RTHK reported that Chung Ting-yiu, director of Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong, intends to launch an electronic voting program to gauge the public opinion over the ongoing pro-democracy protest.

“We have already launched a special page to invite survey questions from citizens, and we will release the survey and the results as soon as possible,” Chung was quoted as saying, adding that the preparations will take a couple of weeks.

He urged protesters and organizers of the civil disobedience movement to stick to the “original ideas”, which are aimed at fighting for democratic progress through peaceful and sensible discussion, and through mutual respect.

The referendum will have “no legal effect”, but it can offer “concrete and quantified” reference for both Hong Kong and Beijing, Chung said.

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JZ/MY/RC

Freelance journalist

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