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ICC Note: This HK religious leader’s apparent support of the Chinese government’s Hong Kong reform plans seems a bit naïve.  His comments, though rejected by many in Hong Kong, were carried in the China Daily, the English-language mouthpiece for China’s central government, which very rarely includes comments by religious figures.     

By reporter

06/09/2015 Hong Kong (UCANews)

The Anglican Church’s most senior figure in Hong Kong on Monday attracted criticism from pro-democracy groups and unusual media coverage in China after backing Beijing’s blueprint for political reforms.

In a radio interview, Rev Peter Douglas Koon Ho-ming likened Hong Kong to a “cat” and Beijing to its “master” as he called for Communist Party opponents to behave themselves if they want greater freedoms.

“People always complain their cats damage the furniture. But I found the cat that I raise recently is very tame … and thus does not need to be locked in a cage,” he said during a talk-show on Commercial Radio. “When you want more relaxation, or more freedom given to us, it depends on how we behave.”

The Chinese government has scheduled universal suffrage from 2017 under a system that would see Beijing vet the candidates, a proposal that prompted widespread protests at the end of last year.

Hong Kong’s legislature is due to debate and vote on the package of reforms next week. Twenty-seven opposition lawmakers insist they will vote against the package, which would deny the two-thirds majority required to pass.

Rev Chu Yiu-ming, a lead organizer of the Occupy Central Movement, called Rev Koon’s comments “disgusting, denying human dignity”.

“We pastors are concerned about what we learned from the Bible and theology,” he told journalists. “The Christian faithful only has one master, and that is God.”

Rev Koon’s comments follow those by another senior figure in Hong Kong’s Anglican Church, Archbishop Paul Kwong, who apologized to his congregation after accusing young protesters of a “herd mentality” in joining protests on July 1 last year.

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