Editorial : Governance failure : a high price to pay for the amendment

【明報專訊】HONG KONG SOCIETY has slightly calmed down after the Legislative Council cancelled its meeting for three days in a row, in effect putting off the second reading debate on the amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. However, the city as a whole threw itself into the political whirlwind brought about by the perfect storm and a new crisis may break out at any time. The government has insisted on amending the ordinance, stressing it was not ignoring public opinion and it had given long and careful thought to the matter. Even so, the authorities must weigh carefully the cost to social stability and governance of pushing ahead with the amendment against that of calling it off right away. It should refrain from wishful thinking when implementing a policy. Even if the policy is good for society in the long run, it will not end well if society is not ready for it and the public sentiment has not been properly addressed yet. Rather, that would only render the majority of people opposed to the government. In the future, the government may find all sides unwilling to cooperate with it in its governance or even trying to undermine its every effort. Facing such a situation of governance failure, it would only become a lame‑duck government sooner.