quinta-feira, 12 de novembro de 2009

O exemplo de Macau...

Beijing official plays down 'jibe'

Ambrose Leung and Albert Wong
South China Morning Post
November 12, 2009

A top Beijing official in Hong Kong yesterday tried to play down comments by a colleague in the capital that were seen as criticising the lack of co-operation between Hong Kong's government and judiciary.

Li Gang, deputy director of the central government's liaison office, said Hong Kong should not try to learn from Macau if the majority of the public did not want it.

On Tuesday, Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, praised the Macau judiciary for co-operating with the Macau government and legislature, saying it was "constructive" for society, in contrast to Hong Kong.

Zhang, who was speaking in Beijing ahead of the 10th anniversary of Macau's handover in 1999, also praised Macau for "never blindly following others" and for its "resolve in opposing foreign interference".

When asked whether Zhang was hinting courts in Hong Kong should be more pro-government - concerns voiced by pan-democrats, who pointed out Hong Kong's tradition of judicial independence - Li said Zhang was only referring to Macau.

"He did not say Hong Kong should learn from Macau," Li said. "I believe if the vast majority of the public believe Hong Kong should learn from Macau's success it should be done. But if the majority do not like it, then it should not be done."

Last year, a similar row erupted when Vice-President Xi Jinping called for "mutual understanding and support" among the executive, the legislature and the judiciary in Hong Kong during a visit, resulting in questions about judicial independence. The Bar Association said judicial independence was a matter of fundamental importance to Hong Kong, and was protected by the Basic Law.

"The judiciary is not and should not be seen as a part of the governance team of Hong Kong," it said. "The judiciary plays the indispensable role of providing the necessary check and control over abuse, illegal or excessive use of executive and legislative power."

Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah, a former Bar Association chairman, said: "Macau is a very bad example. Not only should we not copy Macau, but we should be avoiding copying Macau as much as possible ... do you want to see your chief executive returned automatically without competition?"

Legal-sector lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, also from the Civic Party, said she was surprised by Zhang's "Opium War mentality" and paranoia about foreign forces interfering in local affairs.

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