Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Please step down, sir!

Last year in June, I was in USA on business and every evening I could see almost every talk show on TV grilling in absentia or making fun of then New York congressman Anthony Weiner on his sexting scandal. As event unfolded quickly, a few days later I saw the news of Weiner's resignation on TV.  I believed his resignation was due as much to the sexting act as to his lying about the event.  A lie to cover one's act for private gain.  No big deal for an average citizen as long as the act is within the boundary of the law and he is not lying in a law court.  Not so for our political leaders.  Apparently in a democratic society, voters are expecting a higher moral standard from their politicians.

A seemingly similar event happened in Hong Kong recently.  During this year's 1st July annual rally, where people can take the opportunity to voice out anything they want to voice out (including such "private issues" as against one's husband having a concubine!),  the overwhelming slogan is to ask the newly elected Chief Executive Mr. Leung Chun Ying (梁振英) to step down.  The organizer claimed the turnout being 400,000, the third largest turnout in the rally's history. The reason?  An alleged lie to cover up his alleged act for personal gain.  And that personal gain is none other than having a distinct advantage over his opponent, resulting in he winning the CE election (by the way, the election is not yet universal suffrage but the nature of it is beside the point in my exposition here).

In our democratic society, we delegate power to certain people.  We let our political leaders to decide how our society's resources are to be spent and how it is to be run.  Though we have the legislature and the law courts to safe-guard any act of mischief, we do expect our administration to lead a higher moral standard because many of its actions can be done without the approval of the legislature and the law court are only there to remedy situations after the event.

Similarly we expect a higher moral standard from other groups of people whom we have delegated certain authorities, such as teachers towards their students, medical doctors or psychiatrists towards their patients and priests towards members (in particular younger members) of their congregations.

If the newly elected Chief Executive of HK still thinks that he has a right to remain silent in the current incident, he has definitely erred on his judgement, and a dear prize will have to be paid as event unfolds.

Mr. Leung Chun Ying on Time's cover


  1. Yes, we in the US could learn a few things from the folks in Hong Kong!

  2. You're absolutely right, the internet brings people closer together, for better or for worse, there are loads of similar problems (political or otherwise) that people living far away have to tackle, we certainly can learn a few "tricks" from one another.


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