Hong Kong should be back on track and focus on development as government shows goodwill to resolve conflicts
【譯文】In a private meeting at the Government House yesterday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor gathered views on the extradition bill amendment controversy from the representatives of the education and religious sectors. It was noted that the Chief Executive apologised over the extradition bill debacle. Organising meetings with different sectors of the community to explain the bill can help reduce conflict and restore rationality in the society, so that governance of the government and social order could return to the right track as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the police have also made a statement to clarify the use of the term "riot", once again showing clearly that the government is willing to show goodwill and resolve conflicts. The society should offer their support to the Chief Executive, so that she could lead Hong Kong and focus on developing the economy, improving people's livelihood, solving the deep-rooted conflicts in society, and providing a better future for the young people. In face of the demands raised by the opposition regarding the extradition bill amendment, the general public must be able to criticise, reflect and think independently, so that the cracks in our society could be mended as soon as possible.
As soon as the government announced the suspension of the extradition bill amendment works, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has been continuously listening to the opinions of the general public. Admitting the deficiencies in her works, she has directly communicated with various sectors of the society to respond to the demands and wishes of Hong Kong citizens. Further division in our society has been avoided as a result, and the general public has responded positively overall. For instance, a principal of a local secondary school, who signed a petition earlier to oppose the bill amendment, has expressed his satisfaction over the Chief Executive's explanation on the extradition bill. To satisfy the demands of the society, the government has suspended the extradition bill amendment works. Despite the fact that there are still different opinions regarding the bill amendment controversy, the public should calm down and respond to the government's show of goodwill. Hong Kong must be back on track again, and start focusing on economic development and improving people's livelihood. This is not only a solution to our current problems, but also the only correct way for Hong Kong to maintain peace and prosperity.
Looking back on how the extradition bill amendment turned into a street movement, of course the government has its share of responsibility due to deficiencies in communication and explanation works. However, as one reflect calmly and objectively, one can observe the role of the opposition and external forces in rallying the public into proactively resisting the extradition bill amendment. At the same time, deep-rooted problems that have plagued Hong Kong for a long time were never really solved. Skyrocketing home prices, ever-increasing rents, limited pathways for Hong Kong youth, and accumulated social grievances have all added up to the extradition bill amendment debacle. As the situation becomes calmer, the government must begin to take action to eliminate the harmful effects that were stemmed from the bill amendment controversy. Also, more time and effort must be invested in the economic development of Hong Kong.
In the past two years, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has strived to fulfil her election pledges by promoting social harmony and launching a number of policies regarding the economy, livelihood, and housing. For instance, the upgrading of teachers to degree holders, transport subsidies, and vacancy tax are some of the measures that are beginning to show effects. The extradition bill amendment is no longer the most pressing and important issue that requires society's attention. The public should move on from the controversy and begin working together again to build momentum for cooperation and development.
In the past few days, the central government has expressed its firm support to the Chief Executive and the Hong Kong government time and again in their administration, the safeguarding of the rule of law, and the protection of the interests of Hong Kong citizens. Defending the Chief Executive and the Hong Kong government's authority, the central government expects the various sectors of the society to continue to support the Chief Executive and the Hong Kong government to govern according to law. Hong Kong should come together in the city's long-term development, and proactively engage in both the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative. Problems that concern the interests of the people should be solved by working together. The public should also strive to create conditions for the growth and development of young people. All in all, to improve the people's livelihood is to enhance the fundamental interests of Hong Kong.
At a press conference yesterday, Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung clarified the use of the term "riot" on the 12 June clashes. According to Lo, police defence lines at the protest zone near the Legislative Council complex were stormed with bricks in the afternoon that day, therefore police officers had to take action in response. He stressed that only those who have committed certain actions would be accused of rioting, while those who were not involved in such violence would not have to worry about riot-related charges. The government has offered the olive branch in order to cool down tensions in the society. It is believed that the public would understand the good intentions of the government, and therefore work together to bring harmony back to the society. ■Jeffrey Tse (email@example.com)