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The Professional Commons and Hong Kong Democratic Foundation wrote to Carrie Lam
2019-07-24

From left: George Cautherley (Member of HKDF), Jennifer Eagleton (Member of HKDF), Hon Charles Mok, Paul Zimmerman (Chairman of ProCommons & HKDF), Hon Kenneth Leung, Albert Lai (Policy Committee Convenor of ProCommons, Tony Chan (Member of HKDF)

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Dear Chief Executive,

We, the members of Professional Commons and the Hong Kong Democratic Foundation, are deeply concerned over the escalation in violence on our streets, the tearing apart of our community, the loss of trust in our police, and the standstill in policy making.

The extradition bill saga has shown in spectacular fashion how the government, despite its many advisors, can find itself out of tune with the people of Hong Kong. This is clear evidence that the legislature, the Executive Council and the many other advisory bodies are not representative of the community.

You have expressed recognition of the problem. In the words of your Chief Secretary: “Government’s future work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community in order to reconnect with our people.”

Now is time for action. To create the right mood for the dialogue to begin, we urge formal withdrawal of the extradition bill. The reluctance to use this word undermines the sincerity of the government’s position. We also strongly recommend the establishment of a formal Commission of Inquiry headed by a senior Judge to consider all events arising from the extradition bill.

Moreover, government must take the strongest possible measures to deal with the 21 July terror attack on train passengers in Yuen Long, including a separate independent inquiry to investigate the causes of the incident and alleged failures in police response.

The immediate next step in this process must be to relaunch democratic reforms so as to elect the next Chief Executive by universal suffrage, to move decisively towards the same end for the Legislative Council, and to ensure that advisory bodies are representative and reflect the varying aspirations in the community. The successful development of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ stands and falls with the quality of our dialogue. Neither the Chief Executive nor the Central Authorities are well served when the people of Hong Kong are not properly represented.

We look forward to playing our part in the dialogue with you, and would be happy to arrange an opportunity for you to meet with our members for an exchange of views.

In the meantime we call on everyone to uphold our core values, exercise restraint and show compassion for our fellow Hongkongers.

Yours sincerely

Paul Zimmerman

Chairman

The Professional Commons

Hong Kong Democratic Foundation

Office Of Hon. Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (IT)