Date
19 August 2017
James Tien supports a motion to conduct a probe into the Occupy campaign, but says protesters should also be invited to explain their side. Photo: HKEJ
James Tien supports a motion to conduct a probe into the Occupy campaign, but says protesters should also be invited to explain their side. Photo: HKEJ

James Tien asks Legco to invite protesters to Occupy inquiry

Liberal Party legislator James Tien Pei-chun supported a motion to conduct a probe into the pro-democracy Occupy campaign, after the nation’s top political advisory body expelled him for asking Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.

Tien said the Liberal Party had predicted the negative impact of the Occupy campaign one year ago but had never imagined that it would develop into a big scale and long-lasting protest that could jeopardize the city’s long-term growth.

However, he sought to differ from the general stance of the pro-establishment camp. He said the Legislative Council should also invite the protesters to explain why they are discontented with the current situation in Hong Kong.

During the British colonial rule, Tien said, Hong Kong did not have “absolute democracy” but enjoyed freedom and the rule of law.

Today, however, both freedom and the rule of law have been shattered, he said.

He said he found it strange that the government was quite quick in dealing with unauthorized building works, but took no action in clearing the Occupy sites.

“We could invite protesters to the Legco and understand their demands as part of the probe,” Tien said. “If there are so many people who chose to go to streets, we have to know what has upset them.

“With the cooperation of pan-democrats, we hope their discontent will be handled properly while Hong Kong will be well governed,” he added. 

Tien resigned as leader of the party he co-founded after the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference stripped him of his membership in the prestigious body on Wednesday.

Legco has debated two motions under its Powers and Privileges ordinance to investigate the Occupy movement.

Lawmaker Wong Yuk-man called for a select committee to inquire about the police handling of triad gang attacks on protesters in Mong Kok, while police “turned a blind eye to the thuggish behavior of triads”. He accused the police of abusing their power. 

Andrew Leung from the Business and Professionals Alliance has suggested setting up a select committee to look into the planning and funding of the movement as well as the government’s handling of the protests. 

The Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok voiced his opposition to Wong’s motion, saying it would affect future judicial proceedings. He denied any wrongdoing by the police, who he said had always done their best to combat triad activities. 

The government also “fully appreciated” Leung’s motion but would not support it, Lai said.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

JZ/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

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