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DCs with members from diverse backgrounds will better serve community

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DCs with members from diverse backgrounds will better serve community

By Kacee Ting Wong

On July 9, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu signed the District Councils (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, passed by the Legislative Council pursuant to Article 48(3) of the Basic Law, marking the completion of district administration review, paving the way for the next district council (DC) elections on Dec 10.

The reform in DC elections was governed by three main principles: prioritizing national security and ensuring the apolitical nature of district councils; safeguarding the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle for the effective governance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and enhancing district mobilization capabilities with an emphasis on depoliticization to strengthen the executive-led system.

These three principles will prevent political agitators from using the DC platform to plot against the central and HKSAR governments.

After the 2019 riots, the 17 district councils were controlled by members of the “mutual destruction” clan, who used the platform, which was meant to serve residents and promote their livelihood, to obstruct governance and act as pawns for anti-China foreign forces to disrupt Hong Kong.

Not long ago, in 2020, a considerable number of DC members of the clan provided venues for Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Joshua Wong Chi-fung, suspected offenders against the National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL), to organize the so-called “LegCo primary election”. Ignoring the warnings of both the central and HKSAR governments, they provided offices and assistants, funded by public resources, to assist the so-called “primary election” — part of a plot to subvert the HKSAR government in a brazen violation of the NSL.

We all could recall the violent acts of thugs, such as beating up innocent residents, smashing property, looting, and even arson during the 2019 riots. An elderly man was killed by a brick thrown by a rioter. Another man had oil poured over his body and was burned. Residents lived in fear every day. Outrageously, those so-called “pan-democrat” DC members failed to condemn these evil acts and draw a clear line between them and the rioters. Instead, they often appeared at scene of the riots to obstruct the police, and repeatedly incited the rioters before the NSL was enacted. Worse still, they used their district-councilor status to initiate petitions and set up street booths to oppose the NSL.

They also used the DCs as a platform for political tricks. They acted beyond their power under the District Councils Ordinance by establishing the so-called “security and constitutional committees” and made unfounded accusations against HKSAR government officials.

They tried to vilify the Police Force and the HKSAR government by spreading fake news such as “demonstrators being raped by police officers”, “protesters being sent to the mainland”, “residents being forced to commit suicide”, and “mainland police officers pretending to be Hong Kong police officers”. They even passed an impromptu motion to “condemn” and call for the dismissal of the then commissioner of police, Chris Tang Ping-keung, who had been in office for less than two months.

With the support of foreign forces, those district councilors of the “mutual destruction” clan thought the central government had no recourse against them and thus had no hesitation to intensify their actions of damaging Hong Kong’s interests. Their later resigning abruptly from office or fleeing abroad served as the best portrait of their self-destructive behavior.

Unfortunately, those opportunists took advantage of the political tension in 2019 to get elected to the DCs. The reformed electoral system for DCs will enable DCs to return to their intended purpose of serving residents.

As we all know, under the Basic Law and the District Councils Ordinance, DCs are district-level advisory bodies whose duty is to advise the executive branch on district affairs, unlike the functions of LegCo. As such, DCs are nonpolitical local advisory bodies. The emphasis on depoliticization in the district administration review was fully justified. The purpose of depoliticization is to prevent DCs from becoming a political playground for political agitators and losing their original function of tackling district-level issues.

More professionals are expected to join the DCs, which can better serve the residents of their respective districts. With the introduction of appointed seats, capable people from all walks of life willing to serve the community will have an alternative way to join DCs. With professionals from diverse backgrounds, DCs can do a better job explaining and promoting government policies to enhance the public understanding of local issues and avoid unnecessary misconceptions.

The author is a barrister, a part-time researcher of Shenzhen University Hong Kong and the Macao Basic Law Research Center, and chairman of the Chinese Dream Think Tank.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

Kacee Ting:DCs with members from diverse backgrounds will better serve community (China Daily HK Edition, 21 Nov 2023)

https://www.chinadailyhk.com/epaper/pubs//chinadaily/2023/11/21/08.pdf

Chinese Dream Think Tank is a non-profit Hong Kong-based organization working with skilled volunteers, experts and professionals who are passionate about telling the China story well.

This article is reproduced by Kwun Media with the consent of China Daily.

中國夢智庫| 具包容性的新「區議會」將更能服務好社區 

今年7月7日,行政長官李家超先生根據《基本法》第四十八條第三款簽署經立法會通過的《2023年區議會(修訂)條例》(《條例》)。《條例》已於7月10日刊憲,並根據《條例》第1(2)(a)條,在刊憲當日起實施,以組成第七屆區議會(註1)。此修例標誌著地區行政檢討工作完成,為12月10日舉行的「區議會」選舉作好立法準備。

「區議會」選舉改革有三大原則性重點:(1) 維護國家主權、安全、發展利益是「一國兩制」方針的最高原則、確保區議會的非政治性質立法定位; (2)「愛國者治港」有效管治香港特區與 (3) 加強地區動員能力,重點是非政治化新「區議會」,以加強「行政主導」制度(註2)。上述「區議會」選舉原則性改革將防止別有用心的政治煽動人士利用新「區議會」平台密謀造反。

大家都記憶猶新,發生在2019年的那場黑暴之後,17個「區議會」由「攬炒」派成員控制,他(她)們無所不用其極,充當外部反華勢力擾亂香港特區的棋子,利用本應旨在服務市民、促進民生的「區議會」平台阻礙政府施政。

就在2020年,不少「區議會」成員為涉嫌違反《香港國安法》的戴耀廷與黃之鋒保駕護航,提供場地舉辦所謂的「立法會初選」(註3),更罔顧中央與香港特區政府嚴厲譴責反對派竄用公共社會資源,執意開展非法「初選」(註4) ——這是公然違反《香港國安法》,顛覆香港特區政府的陰謀詭計。

大家都記得當時暴徒在本港實施了曠日持久的暴力行為,例如在暴動期間毆打無辜居民、砸毀財產、搶劫、甚至縱火。一名無辜的老人在街道被暴徒投擲磚頭至死。另一名中年男子被冷血暴徒引火焚身。大家無不日日生活在惶恐中。更令人憤怒的是那些所謂的「泛民主派」區議員,不但沒有譴責這些邪惡暴動行徑,更未能與黑暴劃清界限。相反,「泛民主派」區議員們在騷亂現場擔負起「長客」的角色,阻差辦公,煽動暴動並在《香港國安法》實施前多次煽動反對思潮。「泛民主派」區議員們利用區議員身份發起請願,設立街頭攤位反對《香港國安法》。

他(她)們還利用「區議會」平台大搞政治議題,這些五花八門的越權行為以最大尺度地超越了《區議會條例》的規定。更糟糕的是,他(她)們成立所謂的「保安及政制委員會」,對香港特區政府官員提出毫無根據的指控;通過散佈「警員強姦被捕示威者」、「抗議人士送中」、「居民被自殺」、「內地警員冒充『阿Sit』等虛假新聞來詆毀香港特區政府與警務處;甚至即席通過「譴責」動議,要求罷免時任警務處處長鄧炳強。

在外國勢力的推波助瀾下,這些「攬炒」派區議員認為中央政府沒有應對方案,肆無忌憚地損害本港市民集體利益。接下來更加不幸的事態發展是這些機會主義者利用2019年的政治緊張局勢當選為「區議會」議員。期後,「攬炒」派區議員們不是突然集體辭職就是外逃(註4),這正正是他(她)們自我毀滅行為的最好寫照。大家注意,完善後的「區議會」選舉制度,可讓「區議會」回歸本位,作好服務居民的這份工作。

眾所周知,根據《基本法》與《區議會條例》,「區議會」是地區諮詢組織,其職責是就地區事務向政府行政部門提供意見,因此,「區議會」是非政治性的地方諮詢機構。「區議會」的職能與立法會不一樣。強調「區議會」非政治機構的角色是完全有道理的。去泛政治化的目的是防止「區議會」成為政治煽動者的政治平台,防止「區議會」重蹈覆轍,再次失去原有處理地區層面民生事項的功能。

展望未來,應該有許多有志向、有能力服務好社區與居民的專業人士有機會加入新「區議會」。這些來自不同背景的專業人士都立志服務社群,更能清晰為市民解釋與推廣政府政策、加深公眾對本港民生議題的瞭解,避免不必要的誤解。他(她)們將隨著委任「區議會」議席的出台而得以加入新「區議會」。

事實與資料來源已核查

註 1: 新聞公告「行政長官簽署《2023年區議會(修訂)條例》(附圖)」08.07.2023 available at: https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/08/P2023070700656.htm

註 2: 林定國「重塑區議會 提升地區治理效能」07.05.2023 available at: https://www.news.gov.hk/chi/2023/05/20230507/20230507_110614_093.html

註 3: 文匯網訊「戴妖發起『35+初選」』未戰『身死』」 Iris available at: http://news.wenweipo.com/2020/07/11/IN2007110008.htm

註 4: 星島頭條「再有5區議員已離港 部分人未辭職已離境」13.04.2023 available at: https://www.stheadline.com/article/2108858/再有5區議員已離港-部分人未辭職已離境

(閱讀英文版)

Kacee Ting:DCs with members from diverse backgrounds will better serve community (China Daily HK Edition, 21 Nov 2023)

https://www.chinadailyhk.com/epaper/pubs//chinadaily/2023/11/21/08.pdf

文:左滙雄

九龍城區議員
經民聯九龍中支部主席
經民聯青年事務委員會副主席
九龍社團聯會常務理事
佛山順德區政協
《中國夢智庫》政策與地區事務聯合總監

文:丁煌

香港基本法教育协会理事
深圳大學基本法研究中心兼職研究員
經民聯港島支部主席,「中國夢智庫」主席
香港薈萃協會法律顧問,城市智庫成員
國際公益法律服務協會顧問委員會成員
全國港澳研究會會員

《中國夢智庫》是一間扎根特區的非牟利團體;與心存熱誠的資深義工、專家與職業專業人士們合作,攜手「說好中國故事」。

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