Published: 00:58, February 24, 2021 | Updated: 00:48, June 5, 2023
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Reasons for electoral reform glaringly obvious
By Staff writer

Questions about why the central authorities would have to initiate electoral reform in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have been raised after Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong’s Monday elaboration on the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” was interpreted as suggesting that the central government would soon do so.

There are none so blind as those who will not see. For those who are objective or fair-minded, the need for the central authorities to spearhead electoral reform in Hong Kong without further delay is glaringly obvious. 

Nearly 24 years since its establishment in July 1997, the SAR has failed to fulfill its crucial constitutional obligation of safeguarding national security by legislating according to Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Because of its failure to plug the legal loopholes, Hong Kong has been exploited by both external and local subversive forces and used as a bridgehead or base for infiltrating the Chinese mainland and sabotaging its political system and stability. 

Hong Kong, in all likelihood, may continue to drag its feet on national security legislation; and the legal lacuna would have remained open had the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress not taken action and done the job on its own. Without the timely promulgation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong would have remained trapped in a morass of despair. The city would continue to be at the mercy of ruthless rioters who have been brainwashed by the political demagogues who cannot live along with the mainland’s socialist system. 

Hong Kong’s failure to fulfill its constitutional obligation suggests a lack of political prowess on the part of the governance establishment, which is a consequence of the loopholes in the SAR’s electoral system that have allowed many subversives to sneak into the governance establishment, particularly the Legislative Council. They have been acting as Trojan horses, and have succeeded, to some extent, in obstructing and sabotaging the lawful governance of the SAR, derailing government legislation crucial to socioeconomic and political development, such as Article 23, as well as driving wedges between Hong Kong and the mainland.

While the promulgation has effectively deterred street violence and riots, the Trojan horses which keep waging war against the SAR government won’t go away without an overhaul of the region’s electoral system to plug the loopholes. And there are good reasons to do the job now.