quinta-feira, 26 de março de 2009

We should see Macau's decision over Article 23 as a warning

Alison Liu Ho-yan
South China Morning Post (*)
March 25, 2009

The Article 23 legislation has been passed in Macau and is now law.

Although I am not a Macau resident this is an issue that concerns me.

I believe it is important that we should never forget that moment on July 1, 2003, when 500,000 Hong Kong residents struck a blow for our city's freedom.

However, residents in our neighbouring SAR did not have the same reaction when it came to Article 23.

Honestly, I do not understand why most Macau residents have shown such indifference when it comes to freedom of speech in China.

I see the enactment of this legislation as a backward step in the development of democracy in Macau.

Hongkongers should look on this as a warning and a reminder that we should never take what we already have for granted.

Some pan-democrats have been denied entry to Macau. The explanations given by its government were unacceptable, and I believe the refusal of entry by the Macau authorities was connected to this new legislation.

Article 23 can be used to violate the right to freedom of speech; this freedom is a basic human right.

I am disappointed that Macau has [in effect] already lost his "special administration region" identity over such a short period of time.

Without liberty and the protection of human rights, it is no different from anywhere else in China. I am glad that most of us in Hong Kong are still aware of the importance of freedom.

If we lost this right, it would not only hinder normal cultural exchanges with other cities, it would also damage our society, affecting future generations.

Hong Kong has a special place in China, because of the freedoms we enjoy. This must never be compromised.

We must not easily surrender what we already have. If we back down in the face of pressure, the future of Hong Kong will be in jeopardy.

(*) Letter to the editor.

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