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Opinion | Postponement of the LegCo election is a wise move

Opinion | Postponement of the LegCo election is a wise move

The LegCo election has been postponed by a year. Photo: Sing Tao

By Tiffany Wong

Hong Kong is home to over 7.5 million citizens. It is the financial centre of Asia and the pride of China. Of course, it was never truly apart from China but last year’s public accidents left Hong Kong struggling to maintain it’s balance, bringing new hurdles to society and undisputedly left a lasting effect on peoples’ hearts and minds.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus in January, insult was added to injury. The third major outbreak of the pandemic has seen close to one hundred cases of newly infected per day until 7th August, which is at it’s highest point since the first outbreak. Here are peoples’ life at stake and protecting the citizens of Hong Kong should be the highest priority and not seen lightly.

The Government must contain the pandemic and reduce new infections. To address this problem correctly, the LegCo election has been postponed by a year. And, in the wake of this decision, led to various voices complaining or disagreeing even doubting the integrity of the government.

In fact, containing the COVID-19 Virus has been a constant struggle so far. Hong Kong has a huge population density, and if measures do not meet their requirements, if the people don’t comply the pandemic will easily become impossible to handle. It can be argued that Hong Kong has fared well internationally, doing better in containing the Virus than Europe and the US, but this time’s outbreak doesn’t have a clear source, which makes managing the containment even harder. Furthermore, it is suspected that there are more than one thousand people who don’t show any symptoms but are infected with the virus. So should the election take place in September what could happen in this event?

As everyone knows, in this instance, there are still a lot of Hong Kong citizens overseas or in Mainland China, who haven’t returned yet due to restrictive travel regulations of the respective countries as well as a quarantine policy of Hong Kong itself. And voting online is out of question for now, since Hong Kong does not fulfil the requirements for the infrastructure of such an endorsement yet. Having to face the pandemic, shouldn’t the Government primarily contain it first? Anyone that has experienced an election battle before, knows that there are inevitable things involved with an impending election i.e. holding promotional events to gain more voters, neglecting the value of social distancing, enabling more people to congregate in certain public spaces.

How would the election affect Hong Kong? It is estimated that 4 million people will vote in the election, thirty thousand workers are employed during this time and more roughly six hundred voting booths will be installed. The first most important rule to containing the outbreak has always been social distancing and this was proven by the fact that countries, which held events with many people concentrating in specific locations, saw a rise in new infections immediately.

The election, in itself, is to serve the people of Hong Kong and if this led to more people getting infected it would an utter disaster. After all there are roughly seven hundred thousand deaths recorded and the the lethality rate of the COVID-19 Virus is still six times that of the flu. The election speeding up the rate of infections would not only threaten lives but also slow down economic recovery severely. For instance, taking a look around the world shows that over sixty countries globally have decided to postpone important events such as the government election, including Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc.

Italy and Switzerland even had their election, which were due April and June respectively, postponed indefinitely. England will postpone their district elections for a year. In the American state of Wisconsin have been new cases linked directly to the attending of the rallies. The WHO earlier has already urged Japan to postpone the Tokyo Olympics 2020, to which they complied. So again, is it absolutely necessary to hold the election next month?

Finally, while the Government is trying to decide the right measurements to be taken, it also an individual task to maintain a Hong Kong, which is free of the COVID-19 Virus, to let it return to the splendor it had before the events of last year.

Whereas, political parties, unlike the doctors and medical staff who risked their lives daily, working to save lives, are also part of a society that wishes to live together healthily and harmonious and therefore should rethink how and whether they contributed to the containment of the pandemic.

The author is Barrister-at-law.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Orange News.

編輯:WHon

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