In the same TIME issue which asks readers to vote for who should be on the 2017 TIME 100, there would be articles on Hong Kong’s chief executive election which took place today (26 March 2017) in which Carrie Lam was elected Hong Kong’s chief executive from 1 July 2017. TIME would stress that she was elected despite her unpopularity among many Hong Kong people, but that Beijing had made it clear that she was their preferred candidate, reportedly because she would loyally enact their will.
I watched the press conference in full during which Carrie Lam spoke eloquently and with humility on how she would try her best to unite Hong Kong in the next five years. In particular, she said of her fellow candidates that “they ran good campaigns that taught me a lot…, but that the work of uniting our society to move forward begins now.” Her victory speech and press conference was followed back to back by John Tsang’s in which he conceded the election gracefully and statesman like albeit somewhat comical and emotional at times. John Tsang repeatedly and affirmatively said he saw no evidence that the election was manipulated by the Central Government or that members of the Election Committee were under pressure in their choices.
Indeed, all three candidates, Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Woo Kwok Hing had been very consistent in their stances about the election result and are all statesmen like, which is very good. Even Regina Ip spoke well after the election result was announced. It seems that the majority of the politicians are speaking with one voice that they would accept the election result and that it is high time for Hong Kong to put the election behind them and start working to unite the community, which is something that Hong Kong has been waiting for a long while to happen.
Except that the pan-democrats have so far refused to play ball and are still saying that they are disappointed that the election committee has returned Carrie Lam against the wish of the people of Hong Kong, which is exactly what some people in the West such as reporters of TIME and their readers in America would like to hear and believe.
Unfortunately, there is precious little anyone in Hong Kong can do about the situation; and the thing the Chief Executive-Elect should do now is exactly what she has pledged in her acceptance speech, to form her government and to work for the best interests of Hong Kong and its people. Like what she said, we should all put the election behind us and work together as a community. That’s the only way to ensure that we can move forward and not lag behind our competitors. After all, nobody else would be interested in us if we do not help ourselves.