17 February 2019
Paul Shieh says some people in Hong Kong are kowtowing to Beijing for their own interest. Photo: HKEJ
Paul Shieh says some people in Hong Kong are kowtowing to Beijing for their own interest. Photo: HKEJ

Ex-bar association chief blames govt for erosion of HK values

A former chairman of the bar association is accusing the government of indifference to Hong Kong’s core values, even allowing them to be pushed aside, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday  

“Our government seldom defends these values and simply allows them to be swept away,” Paul Shieh told Cable TV in an interview.

This is the reason Hong Kong people are disaffected with the government, not because they’re not getting enough welfare, he said.

Shieh was commenting on social issues and Hong Kong’s contentious political climate. 

He said press freedom, human rights and rule of law — pillars of Hong Kong’s way of life — are not being respected but rather belittled by the government. 

Shieh also accused certain people of kowtowing to China for their own benefit.

“They criticize those who have good things to say about Hong Kong and say Hong Kong should bend to China,” he said.  

Shieh took issue with Leung Chun-ying’s denunciation of a student magazine which the chief executive accused of promoting independence for Hong Kong.

Leung’s action backfired, with people snapping up copies of a book on Hong Kong nationalism by the same student publication, Shieh said.

He questioned Leung’s motive in singling out the student magazine for “spreading fallacies” when he said nothing to people who claimed that the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the basis of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty, has expired.

He called on Hong Kong people from different sectors to stand up and speak for its core values.

“We should speak with our conscience,” he said.  

Meanwhile, Shieh accused certain pan-democrats of exaggeration.

For instance, their “glorification” of retired judge Syed Kemal Shah Bokhary for bringing integrity to the Court of Final Appeal ignores the fact that there are four other permanent judges in Hong Kong’s highest court, he said.

“Many legal professionals were in fact upset about certain people putting too much importance on Bokhary.”

Translation by Vey Wong.

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