Ⅰ. BACKGROUND

Hong Kong's story has been, and still is, an amalgamated marvel of the unique achievements of our predecessors and the unstoppable march of its dynamic inhabitants. Hong Kong has occupied, and still occupies, a strategic position as the most modern cosmopolitan gateway into Mainland China, and is universally recognised as one of the leading international financial centres in the world.

Historical circumstances and Hong Kong's unparalleled advantages, including its singular and irreplaceable location, have attracted to Hong Kong many people from all over the world in the 20th century. The free market environment has enabled Hong Kong to develop a multi-faceted economy, and propelled Hong Kong's unprecedented growth and eventual meteoric rise to international prominence. The industrious and creative people of Hong Kong were quick to grasp every opportunity and every opening to realise their potential and talent to the fullest extent.

Hong Kong's success has always been founded on a system, and a society, which respects individual freedom and the rule of law. We enjoy the liberty to aspire towards a better tomorrow, to develop our entrepreneurial spirit, and to compete in a fair and free market economy. We enjoy a free press and information is readily available to us via a network of public sources and popular media. Hong Kong's sophisticated infrastructure and refined community framework have provided us with a unique place in which we can all live and work in the lifestyle of our own choice.

Hong Kong has now progressed into the new millennium. Six years after the reunification in 1997, the transition has by and large been considered smooth and successful, and in compliance with the concept of "one country, two systems". But the passage of time has also brought with it challenges of the modern age and Hong Kong is readying itself for the calls of its demanding future.

 

Ⅱ. LIBERAL PARTY'S VISION

Vision for the future

We, the Liberal Party, feel strongly about Hong Kong and are committed to its future. Hong Kong's political structure must serve its best interests and facilitate development of its capitalist economy. We support Article 5 of the Basic Law, which stipulates that: "The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years".

Freedom is our way of life. In our vision - we believe that it is only by preserving such freedom that we can continue to preserve our stability and prosperity. This will in turn secure continued freedom for ourselves and our children for the future generations to come.

Our vision is a vision of a caring society for all to live in, and a political system in which the interests of the different sectors of society will be fairly represented, carefully balanced and justly upheld.

The Liberal Party is dedicated to the bringing of these visions into reality. We seek the support of the Hong Kong people in our quest to attain our goal, and to make Hong Kong an even better place. We will put the interests of Hong Kong and its people first. We believe in equity and opportunity for all, as we do not believe in unfair domination by any particular sector of the society over the others, whether measured by way of number, influence or creed. Likewise, we believe that there shall be no discriminatory oppression of other law-abiding citizens, minority classes or ethnic sectors of the society.

In the pursuit of our visions, the Liberal Party will be open-minded, receptive and constructive. We are responsive to ideas and we will seek to enhance the civic awareness of our next generation. We trust that, under a responsible government, Hong Kong will continue to prosper in the times ahead.

 

Ⅲ. LIBERAL PARTY'S VALUES

The Liberal Party believes in values that may reflect the virtues of the Hong Kong society and can stand the test of times. We maintain these common principles as the solid foundation upon which we intend to build a peaceful, prosperous, and dynamic new era for the people of Hong Kong.

FREEDOM

Freedom is fundamental to the thriving spirit that lies behind the success story of Hong Kong. Individual freedoms, exercised responsibly, allow us to pursue happiness without fear or impediment. Freedom affords an individual the liberty to think and to act naturally without dread for undue bias and unfair reprisals, thereby spawning creativity, ingenuity, and industriousness. Freedom inspires entrepreneurial spirit and motivates the aspirations that compel us to constantly seek to improve ourselves and the society in which we live.

Social and economic freedom underpinned by a small, open and efficient government, a free market economy and a low and simple taxation system is the bedrock of Hong Kong's success. We will guard jealously against any attempt to encroach upon this fundamental freedom enjoyed by Hong Kong's people.

DEMOCRACY

Democracy is the recognition of human dignity and respect for the rights of men.

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region under the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong needs a democracy which is consistent with the concept of "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong". This means a system which would provide its people with the opportunity to participate in the process of government without unfairly sacrificing the legitimate expectations of the minority and the weak, whilst at the same time assuring due consideration to and equitable representation for the different sectors of our multi-faceted community.

We firmly believe in the maintenance of a competent and potent mechanism of checks and balances over the various branches of government, namely, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. Such mechanism is indispensable for Hong Kong because we need an effective means at institutional level to counteract any possible abuses of power and any inclination towards authoritarian rule.

We believe that democracy demands a government which is transparent, accountable, responsible and responsive, and which works in the interests of the populace. Truth and public trust are the tenets that we hold highest for public office requirements. We share with everyone in Hong Kong a civic responsibility for participation and participatory governance in fulfilling our commitments to the community.

By the same token, we the Liberal Party oppose all forms of suppressions that will undermine our fundamental values, and encroach upon the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong.

To ensure open and good government, we believe that a free and responsible media will be an invaluable asset to our community. It may serve as our de facto Fourth Estate for the monitoring of any governmental abuses, as well as a fair outlet for the airing of diverse voices from all sectors of the society.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PROGRESS

Economic and social progress for Hong Kong's people is the primary and perennial target to which we must all dedicate our efforts. We will strive for an even better future by sustained dynamic growth through sound economic principles and planning. Building on proven success, we aim to create an economy that will bring about jobs and wealth for all. In addition, we must, through long term planning, ensure that the growth we seek will be a sustainable one and that our children enjoy the best education so that they remain competitive in this increasingly globalised economy. We must constantly look to the future, welcome new technologies, adapt to innovative industries, and emulate leading trends in international trade. Our resources must be used cost-effectively and efficiently, and we must provide for social justice in line with our economic progress.

As a community, we must help those members of our society who are unable to help themselves. As a multi-faceted economy relying on a full range of service industries upon which our GDP output is predominantly based, priorities must be given to the further improvement of Hong Kong's investment environment in order to enhance our global and regional competitiveness. The upholding of the principles for a level playing field, and transparency in government, have become the prerequisites in our bid to achieve economic growth.

RULE OF LAW

Rule of law offers equal justice for all, and proffers special favour to none. No single individual should be above the law, and corrupt practices to circumvent the law can under no circumstances be tolerated. Anyone accused of violating the law shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and be accorded with full recognition of human rights and legal protection. This includes the need for a fair and speedy trial and a right to legal representation. Rule of law is the foundation for order in our society, and to maintain order we must be prepared to rehabilitate offenders when appropriate, punish when necessary, and prevent further offences when required with effective deterrence commensurate with the guarantee of human rights in our system.

EQUAL OPPRTUNITY AND FAIR PLAY

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY is an indispensable precondition to a fair and level playing field that will allow all people to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves, regardless of race, creed, religion, sex, age, or status. An individual's status must be judged by merit, and discrimination has no place in the appraisal of the person. All Hong Kong people including our disabled and less gifted should have the equal right to access an array of educational and training opportunities, in order to better equip themselves for a growingly competitive world.

MAINTAINING PEACE AND ORDER

SOCIAL HARMONY AND STABILITY must be preserved to ensure a living environment conducive to social and economic progress. We fully support our law enforcement agencies in their tireless efforts to maintain law and order. We believe that all trends and forces that propagate violence in Hong Kong, and all merchants of fear and hatred, must be curbed.

PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE

Active participation in the governance of Hong Kong, and putting Hong Kong and its people's interests first, is the essence of everything that we stand for. Hong Kong is our home, a place where courage and determination are rewarded, and hopes and dreams realised. Our families live and work here, with a long revered tradition that seeks something more to life for each generation. Our values are derived from the collective wisdom of our predecessors, and long may it survive. To preserve these values, we must actively participate and become a leading force in the governance of Hong Kong.

 

Ⅳ. RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CENTRAL AUTHORITIES OF CHINA

Under the framework laid down by the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a local administrative region of China, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy whilst coming directly under the Central People's Government.

The Liberal Party believes that the spirit of co-ordination and co-operation should be further enhanced in our relationship with the Mainland throughout the existence of the Special Administrative Region. We believe that a mutually supportive and trusting working relationship is crucial and conducive to Hong Kong's continued prosperity and stability. Due to the divergent values and historical heritage that underlie the respective developments of the two systems, it is for us to do our best to uphold our high degree of autonomy within the precinct of the Basic Law, and to guard our invaluable freedoms and rights that have proved to be so pivotal to the proven success of Hong Kong.

We are here to serve the interests of Hong Kong. We believe it is in the interests of Hong Kong and its people to uphold at all times a constructive relationship and uninhibited dialogue with the Central Authorities. Therefore, we take it as our responsibility to win over their support for matters that would benefit Hong Kong.

 

Ⅴ. RELATIONSHIP WITH INTERNATIONAL BODIES

Hong Kong is an important trade, financial and service centre. To promote our economic success we must ensure that we continue to retain good working relationships with the international community and external trade bodies.

We support Hong Kong's continued membership to regional and global organizations, and our ongoing links with other countries and trade regions on the basis of equal opportunity and free competition.

We support all efforts by individuals, organizations and the Government to cultivate an atmosphere of co-operation and goodwill between other jurisdictions and Hong Kong.

 

Ⅵ. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

CHANGES BY EVOLUTION

We believe the ultimate aim of the election of all the members of the Legislative Council should be by universal suffrage and the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures. The method for forming the Legislative Council and selecting the Chief Executive should be specified in the light of the actual situation in Hong Kong and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. Any changes to the method for forming the Legislative Council or selecting the Chief Executive should give due consideration to the interests of the different sectors of our society and be made in the light of the actual situation in Hong Kong and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress.

Any changes to the political system, when deemed appropriate, should be gradual and orderly and, above all, should at all times preserve and protect economic prosperity and social stability. Such changes should be prudent, sensible, fair and equitable, and be introduced only in a manner which would clearly bring about a better future for the people of Hong Kong.