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Tuesday, July 25, 2006 

"Democracy Interaction" - Margaret Ng

Another piece of writing by Margaret Ng, legislator of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and member of the Civic Party. Ng shared her mentor Joseph Agassi's view on the importance of Hong Kong in the context of China and the world. The piece originally appeared in Margaret Ng's Apple Daily's column on July 13th, 2006.

As always, I find her touching and have translated into English as follow.

"Democracy Interaction"
Professor Agassi has always been paying a great deal of care and attention to Hong Kong's democratic development. Whenever I felt that the future is dark and grey, he would always encourage me to look at the brighter side. He said he envied us a lot for there are still things we can do in Hong Kong whereas in his own country Israel, there is almost nothing that can be done.

In a recent short essay, he reiterated the importance of Hong Kong. Due to China is a powerful industrial nation, China has to raise its people's living standard and democratize its government. This is of utmost importance to the world. He thinks that the timing of the return of Hong Kong to China is very appropriate in this process. Because China naturally feels that China's democratization and the improvement of its living standards have to follow its own way and path; and so happens that Hong Kong is part of China, leading in terms of democracy and living standards; therefore just as Hong Kong has naturally emulated many aspects of the mainland since its return to China, mainland China will also emulate Hong Kong in many respect. Therefore any single move by Hong Kong is important to the world.

In what aspects can Hong Kong emulate mainland China and mainland China can emulate Hong Kong? He said, he is only a foreigner, and he doesn't know the answer. But he thinks this is meaningful and an issue worth exploring by mainland China and Hong Kong. However, he has also brought up an observation, that copying the good habits of others is far more difficult than copying the bad habits of others. "Hong Kong can easily copy many things that China would want herself to forget about. For example, undemocratic practices, political instability, excessive bureaucraticism. The people of Hong Kong should remember, their mission is to democratize China, to help their great country find their own way of living and contribute to the international community." He thinks that this is a huge responsibility of such a small place, especially when people in power that are governing Hong Kong often finds it easy to order its people and shies away from the difficulties of learning from the people. The people of Hong Kong should always remind its government that our goal is to become more and more democratic and more and more well-off.

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