Benny Tai dismisses charges of collusion with foreigners

January 13, 2015 17:13
Occupy Central organizer Benny Tai said it's quite normal for a scholar like himself to be discussing political issues with foreigners. Photo: AFP

Benny Tai, organizer of the Occupy Central movement, admitted that he had been discussing political issues with foreigners, but denied that such discussions constituted foreign interference, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Tai made the remarks in reaction to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's allegation that "external forces" were behind the 79-day protest movement.

Tai said it's quite normal for a scholar like himself to be discussing with foreign consulates, non-government organization staff and scholars about the constitutional status of Hong Kong.

He said such discussions were “absolutely normal”, “legal and sensible”.

The chief executive, in making such accusations, appears to be “living in a parallel world without globalization”, Tai said.

“If these would be considered as sufficient evidence for foreign interference, then the governance of Hong Kong government has already been seriously interfered by foreign forces,” he added.

CY Leung earlier said there have been clear traces of external forces, such as foreign governments, at work during the Occupy Central campaign, referring to anonymous donations made by Tai to the University of Hong Kong as well as those made by media tycoon Jimmy Lai to pan-democrats.

Meanwhile, Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan dismissed Leung's allegations, accusing the Hong Kong leader of twisting the truth behind the spontaneous protest movement.

“His remarks have insulted the judgment of Hong Kong residents,” Lee said. “He should go to write fantasy novels”.

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