CY Leung: Hong Kong can’t have democracy because the poor would be calling the shots

Businessmen walk around one of the barricades at the Admiralty protest camp on Oct. 13. (Laurel Chor/Coconuts Media)

During an interview on Monday night with a small group of American and European reporters, CY Leung defended Beijing’s decision on the 2017 chief executive elections.  

Leung maintained that the future candidates must be vetted by a “broadly representative” nomination committee appointed by Beijing. (Yawn.)

He explained that if “you look at the meaning of the words ‘broadly representative,’ it’s not numeric representation”.

“You have to take care of all the sectors in Hong Kong as much as you can,” Leung said. “And if it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than USD1,800 [HKD13,950] a month… Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies.”

Oh really, Mr. Leung? Now what exactly do you mean by “that kind” of policies?  Policies approved by the people? Poor people no less?! GOD FORBID!

This statement couldn’t have come at a worse time, with thousands of citizens on the street demanding democracy in a city with the world’s 12th worst GINI index at 53.7, according to the CIA World Factbook, with even countries like Zimbabwe and Brazil doing better in the ranking. 

And let’s not forget about that time a few weeks ago when his daughter thanked taxpayers for funding her “beautiful shoes and dresses”

But we shouldn’t be surprised by Leung’s statements. 

Back in August, Leung said: “The business community is in reality a very small group of elites in Hong Kong who control the destiny of the economy in Hong Kong. If we ignore their interests, Hong Kong capitalism will stop [working].”

Indeed, the Hong Kong government has been making sure that special interest groups get their say in politics since the 1997 Handover.

Right now, 40 out of 70 members of the Legislative Council are elected by Hong Kong people through geographic constituencies. The remaining 30 are by chosen by  “functional constituencies”, which represent special interest or professional sectors like finance, performing arts, insurance, and real estate.

Related stories:

CY Leung says protests are influenced by “external forces”, Joshua Wong responds he does like Japanese anime

CY Leung may have been secretly given HKD50 mil. by an Australian firm in return for business favours

CY Leung’s media adviser posted a fake photo of a gruesomely injured police officer on Facebook

Washington Post op-ed says it’s not true people are fighting for democracy – they’re just angry about inequality

Secretary for justice gives speech in London defending Hong Kong’s rule of law

Hong Kong lawmaker: umbrellas are more aggressive than tear gas

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