Tertiary 2012 Platform (Excerpt in English version)

We, T12, are running in the upcoming 5-district By-Election, with the objective of activating the ‘5 District Referendum’, so that the Hong Kong people can have a direct say in the city’s democratic development.  Double universal suffrage in Hong Kong cannot be delayed any longer – we believe the year 2012 ought to be the absolute bottom line for its implementation.  In this light, we support the election platform advocated by the Joint Committee of the 5 District Referendum Movement: “Implementation of True Universal Suffrage and Abolition of Functional Constituencies without Delay“.

Below is a summary of our platform in threefold:


1.     Toppling the Privileged Class

All along, the functional constituency legislators have been hindering the formation and adoption of numerous policies that would improve people’s livelihood.  Examples include the minimum wage legislation, competition law legislation, the repurchase of The Link, and problems caused by the walled buildings and the regulations on private property transactions, and the list goes on.  The ‘high land price’ policy currently adopted by the Hong Kong government has turned property tycoons into the dominant actors in the city’s economy.  In turn, influences are exerted on the government, whose policies have resulted in the perpetual rise in rents and property prices, ultimately the concentration of wealth in the largest corporations. At the end of the day, the ordinary Hong Kong people are the ones who suffer.

Functional constituencies, in their persistent existence, are effectively protecting and reinforcing the vested interests of these powerful corporations and social elites. The attempt to achieve so-called ‘balanced participation’ through functional constituencies (or ‘division of labour by occupation’) in the legislative council, in flagrant disregard of the extremely complex division of work and roles in society, has only proved to be an unfair system which further oppresses the grassroots of the society.

No reform other than the abolition of all functional constituencies and the implementation of direct election of all members of the legislative council can cure this problem.  Only through universal suffrage can we have a legislative council which can truly represent the people and monitor against political inequalities.


2.     Busting the myths of our economy

Undoubtedly, an effective social reform in Hong Kong must begin with our right to universal suffrage.  However, while universal suffrage is a necessary stepping stone at this stage, it is not an end in itself. Calling for social reform, we see our first task as busting the city’s myths which centre on the so-called ‘Hong Kong Story’, the old, collective belief in the notion that ‘development’ is brought about by the government and large corporations.  Unless and until we would discard these old myths of our economy, social and economic reform towards true democracy would still face huge challenges – even with the implementation of universal suffrage.

The political creature of functional constituencies and the small-circle elections are designed to “balance the interests of the commercial sectors”, maintain the ‘big market, small government’, the low tax system, and no less the notion that Hong Kong is by nature an economic city.  However, while Hong Kong has experienced steady economic growth over the past few years, its rich-poor disparity tops the developed world.  This exposes an extremely serious problem in wealth distribution, from which the middleclass and the grassroots suffer the most. Moreover, we are mindful of the straitjacket limit on public expenditure being set at 20% of our GDP (gross domestic product), as well as the privitization and subcontracting of public services to the market driven by monopoly and vicious competition… These have been carried out in total disregard of our society’s real needs and have created even more social problems.

Therefore, the questions remain: To whom does the so-called economic development belong? And to whom do the so-called prosperity and stability belong?


3.     Civil autonomy and independence in constructing the Future of Democratic Movements

It is a counter-intuitive notion of putting ‘livelihood’ before ‘democracy’, one that merely depoliticises the problems associated with people’s livelihood It misleads the public and does little to cover up the internal conflicts of our society.  After The Link, the increasing number of low-paid workers, and the forceful passage of the funding for the Express Rail Link, it is time for us to realize that any deliberations on economic injustices are inseparable from those on political inequalities.

Hong Kong’s story of success is always focused on the amplified “good governance” of MacLehose in the 1970’sWe seem to have forgotten about the 1966 social movement and the 1967 Riot.  These did not only reflect the accumulated employer-employee conflicts under the British rule, but also the youth and student movements which emerged in early 1970’s, which pressured the colonial government to improve its governance with a view to reinforcing its ‘legitimacy’.  Those were the fruits of the people’s movements, and not the achievement of any particular politicianSimilarly, democracy is not to be granted by those in authority.  Democracy must be the product of our persistent fight over the generations.

The “5 District Referendum Movement” is about finding a tiny space within the current unjust political system, to enable all Hong Kong people to vote for what they want for democracy, universal suffrage and to say no to exploitation by the tycoons in collusion with the government. We believe that the “5 District Referendum Movement” is a historic landmark of Hong Kong’s democratic movement, and no less a model for democratic movement in mainland China.

Sadly, the room for fighting for democracy is being increasingly restricted.  We can now foresee the return of the article 23 legislation, further political prosecution of social activists and the distortion of the definition of universal suffrage by the pro-Beijing camp, etc.   Now is the time for us to stand out and show directly to the Central People Government what the Hong Kong people truly want.


Vote for Democracy on 16th May!
Vote for 2012 Double Universal Suffrage!
Vote to Abolish All Functional Constituencies!

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1 comment so far

  1. […] (click here for the english verion of the Tertiary 2012 Platform’s excerpt) […]


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