Letter to Hong Kong, RTHK Radio 3返回

Margaret Ng
Excerpt from Letter to Hong Kong, RTHK Radio 3, 21 November 2004

"The fact that legally binding referendums are frequently held by other governments does not mean Hong Kong cannot have a non-binding referendum, so that every citizen can come forward and express his/her preference. This is no more and no less than their right to freedom of expression. If people choose to make known their wishes by voting in a referendum, no one can stop them from doing so without infringing that right.


The referendum proposed violates no article of the Basic Law. It does not claim to supplant the Basic Law procedure and is never intended to do so.


The distinguishing feature of a referendum is not whether it is binding or non-binding, but that it is active participation and a deliberate choice by each individual. And this is important to Hong Kong people, we only have to remember last July, when thousands of people waited for hours in the hot sun in order to start the walk from Victoria Park, because they wanted to make sure they would be counted. Counting each person's choice as one treats everyone as equal, without regard to status. This is right because the fundamental political structure affects everyone equally. It also affects their right to vote, and through their vote, their power to influence governance. A referendum emphasizes individual rights more than status."