Skip to main content

Legco Election Special: Part 2 - Kowloon East 立法會選舉特輯: 第二章 - 九龍東

The second installment of our Legislative Council (Legco) election series takes us to Kowloon East, where three candidates I select from the opposition camp are given an opportunity to make their case to you by answering my five questions.

Incidentally, my top picks in Kowloon East all share the same last name: Tam (none of them is related to each other). They are Frontier’s Mandy Tam Heung-man 譚香文 (candidate #4), Civic Party’s Jeremy Tam Man-ho 譚文豪 (candidate #9) and People Power’s “Fast Beat” Tam Tak-chi 快必譚得志 (candidate #12).


Get out and vote!

Question 1: Beyond rhetoric and slogans, what concrete action or achievements can you point to that distinguish you from other candidates?

Mandy: I’ve been doing district work in Kowloon East for over 20 years – that’s not a claim that many of my opponents can make. Furthermore, I was a Legco member between 2004 and 2008, which has given me valuable experience working with other lawmakers and understanding the ins and outs of the legislative process.


Jeremy: My background is transport engineering, an area in which the current Legco lacks expertise. I also have ample district work experience, having assisted residents in Laguna City [a large-scale residential development in Kwun Tong] in thwarting a proposal to build a hotel on Cha Kwo Ling Road, which effort had prevented a huge loss of public space.

In the past year, I’ve devoted much of my time to the so-called “Bag-gate” incident [in which C.Y. Leung was accused of using his position as chief executive to let his daughter bypass airport security]. I organized a petition to collect nearly 36,000 signatures from concerned citizens. I even flew to Bangkok to submit a complaint letter to the regional office of the International Civil Aviation Organization. I believe Legco needs new blood like myself who can work effectively both within and without the legislature.


Fast Beat: I’m a fighter who believes in active resistance. I can think outside the box and will exhaust every possible procedural means in the Legco rulebook to raise our government’s political cost and hold them accountable. I believe that’s the only way they would back down and make compromises.

Mandy is a seasoned politician and a stalwart advocate
for civil nomination in the chief executive election

Question 2: If you win, what issue(s) will you put at the top of your agenda and why?

Mandy: The two items that top my agenda are genuine universal suffrage with civil nomination [the proposal to allow individual citizens to nominate candidates in the chief executive election] and better retirement protection.

On the second issue, I’ll push the government to raise the amount of fruit money [old age allowance] to $3,500 a month [from the current level of $1,290] without requiring a means test. Our elderly have worked their whole life for Hong Kong and it’s time we showed them some respect by providing a reasonable pension.


Jeremy: I support the use of Legco’s Powers and Privileges Ordinance to look into the recent series of management reshuffle at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and determine whether it was the handy work of certain Beijing loyalists. The ICAC is a source of pride for Hong Kongers and probity has long been a cornerstone in our society. We won’t allow it to be destroyed by individuals who put themselves above the law.


Fast Beat: My focus will be universal suffrage. I’ll push for a reboot of the failed electoral reform in 2015. I see that as the only effective way to protect our city and safeguard our civil liberties. It’s also the only way to achieve true autonomy.

Jeremy is a commercial pilot who wants to bring
aviation expertise and a breath of fresh air to Legco

Question 3: Our legislative process is plagued with the stubborn existence of the functional seats and unfair rules such as the “separate vote count” mechanism. When the system is so heavily stacked against the opposition, what will you do differently and what are you prepared to do that your predecessors haven’t already tried?

Mandy: I admit it’s very difficult for us to change the separate vote count and other unfair Legco rules. One possible solution is to put more pan-democrats in the functional constituencies to garner enough votes in the legislature to abolish those seats.


Jeremy: I believe every bill that comes through Legco should be carefully reviewed and sufficiently debated. In recent years, the government has been ramming controversial policies and funding requests through the legislature with increasing impunity. In response, I’m prepared to use all non-violent means, including filibusters, to resist bad legislation. At the same time, I’ll work outside Legco to garner public support for these efforts.


Fast Beat: I firmly believe in active resistance. Over the past four years, my People Power colleagues have been effective in reining in the government using various procedural tactics. 

We could have been even more effective if there were more of us. What we need is a handful more lawmakers from People Power and the League of Social Democrats working in Legco to strengthen our voice and put more pressure on our government.

Fast Beat is a self-described fighter who believes the
CCP will crumble like the Berlin Wall

Question 4: What is your stance on independence? Do you either condemn or support the movement?

Mandy: I don’t support the independence movement. I’m not convinced that it’s the right thing to do at the moment.


Jeremy: I personally don’t support the independence movement, but I strongly believe that Hong Kongers should have a say in determining our fate beyond 2047 [when the one country, two systems policy ends].


Fast Beat: My People Power colleagues and I want true autonomy for Hong Kong – we can have something akin to the Tibetan government in exile. To achieve that, we have come up with a half-dozen proposed amendments to the Basic Law. 

I don’t know whether the Basic Law would survive after 2047. I believe it’s pointless, even unethical, to negotiate our future with the autocratic regime in China. If the Soviet Bloc could collapse overnight, and if the Berlin Wall could come down in an instant, then why can’t the Chinese Communist Party?


Question 5: If you had to choose the next chief executive from the pro-Beijing camp, whom would you pick and why?

Mandy: I won’t choose anyone from the pro-Beijing camp, and I refuse to participate in an election with pre-determined candidates. As I mentioned earlier, the only form of chief executive election I’ll accept is one that involves some form of civil nomination.


Jeremy: I’ll only vote for someone who supports a truly democratic election without any pre-screening and rejects the 8/31 framework [an announcement concerning the 2017 chief executive election issued by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on August 31st, 2014, that rejected, among other things, civil nomination]. 


Fast Beat: I won’t endorse or vote for any candidate in a “small circle” election [at present, only members of an exclusive election committee have the right to select the chief executive]. I simply won’t accept any form of chief executive election without one person, one vote or civil nomination.


Other top-of-the-ticket Legco candidates in the Kowloon East geographical constituency include Wong Kwok-kin, Wu Sui-shan, Patrick Ko Tat-pun, Paul Tse Wai-chun, Wilson Or Chong-shing, Lui Wing-kei, Wu Chi-wai, Wong Yeung-tat and Chan Chak-to.
______________________________

This article appeared on Hong Kong Free Press as "Jason Y. Ng's Legco Election Picks Part 2: Kowloon East".

As published on Hong Kong Free Press

Popular Posts

About the Author 關於作者

Born in Hong Kong, Jason Y. Ng is a globetrotter who spent his entire adult life in Italy, the United States and Canada before returning to his birthplace to rediscover his roots. He is a lawyer, published author, and contributor to The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press and EJInsight. His social commentary blog As I See It and restaurant/movie review site The Real Deal have attracted a cult following in Asia and beyond. Between 2014 and 2016, he was a music critic for Time Out (HK)
Jason is the bestselling author of Umbrellas in Bloom (2016), No City for Slow Men (2013) and HONG KONG State of Mind (2010). Together, the three books form a Hong Kong trilogy that tracks the city's post-colonial development. His short stories have appeared in various anthologies. In 2017, Jason co-edited and contributed to Hong Kong 20/20, an anthology that marks the 20th anniversary of the handover. In July 2017, he was appointed Advising Editor for the Los Angeles Review…

Seeing Joshua 探之鋒

“We are here to visit a friend,” I said to the guard at the entrance. 
Tiffany, Joshua Wong Chi-fung’s long-time girlfriend, trailed behind me. It was our first time visiting Joshua at Pik Uk Correctional Institution and neither of us quite knew what to expect.

“Has your friend been convicted?” asked the guard. We nodded in unison. There are different visiting hours and rules for suspects and convicts. Each month, convicts may receive up to two half-hour visits from friends and family, plus two additional visits from immediate family upon request.
The guard pointed to the left and told us to register at the reception office. “I saw your taxi pass by earlier,” he said while eyeing a pair of camera-wielding paparazzi on the prowl. “Next time you can tell the driver to pull up here to spare you the walk.”
At the reception counter, Officer Wong took our identity cards and checked them against the “List.” Each inmate is allowed to grant visitation rights to no more than 10 friends and fam…

What’s Killing Hong Kong Bookstores? 誰令香港的書店滅亡?

Earlier this month, Page One unceremoniously announced the closure of its megastores at Harbour City and Festival Walk, ending the Singapore bookseller’s nearly two-decade stint in Hong Kong. The news came less than two years after Australian outfit Dymocks shut down its IFC Mall flagship and exited the city.
Reaction on social media to the loss of yet another bookstore chain was both immediate and damning. While some attributed Page One’s demise to competition from e-books and online retailers, many put the blame on the lack of a robust reading culture in Hong Kong. Still others pointed their finger at greedy landlords and the sky-high rent they extort from retailers.
But what really killed Page One? An autopsy is in order to examine the cause of death of the book industry’s latest casualty.

E-books
The technorati have long prophesized the end of paper. Portable and affordable, Amazon’s Kindle and other e-readers are the physical book’s worst nightmare. But are they really?
After yea…

Join the Club 入會須知

You have reached a midlife plateau. You have everything you thought you wanted: a happy family, a well-located apartment and a cushy management job. The only thing missing from that bourgeois utopia is a bit of oomph, a bit of recognition that you have played by the rules and done all right. A Porsche 911? Too clichéd. A rose gold Rolex? Got that last Christmas. An extramarital affair that ends in a costly divorce or a boiled bunny? No thanks. How about a membership at one of the city’s country clubs where accomplished individuals like yourself hang out in plaid pants and flat caps? Sounds great, but you’d better get in line.

Clubs are an age-old concept that traces back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The introduction of coffee beans to England in the mid-17th Century spurred the proliferation of coffeehouses for like-minded gentlemen to trade gossip about the monarchy over a hot beverage. In the centuries since, these semi-secret hideouts evolved into main street establishments t…

Media Attention + Upcoming Events 媒體關注 + 最新動向

Upcoming events

Interview with Financial Times
Title: TBD by Ben Bland Publication date: early September
Reader at the PEN Hong Kongbilingual reading on human rights as part of the Worldwide Reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Venue: Art and Culture Outreach 艺鵠 Date: 6 September Time: 7:30pm
Talk at Raffles Institution (visiting from Singapore)
Topic: Hong Kong political development since the Umbrella Movement Venue: TBD Date: 22 September
Legal workshop for foreign domestic workers at University of Hong Kong's Domestic Workers Empowerment Project (DWEP) Topic: "Understanding Hong Kong Culture" Moderator: Dr. Michael Manio Venue: University of Hong Kong Date: October Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm
Keynote speaker at Leadership & Social Entrepreneurship Program graduation ceremony co-organized by Wimler Foundation and Aeteno University Venue: TBD Date: 22 October Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm
Contributor to HK24 (2017 Anthology by Hong Kong Writers Circle) Release dat…

Maid in Hong Kong - Part 1 女傭在港-上卷

Few symbols of colonialism are more universally recognized than the live-in maid. From the British trading post in Bombay to the cotton plantation in Mississippi, images abound of the olive-skinned domestic worker buzzing around the house, cooking, cleaning, ironing and bringing ice cold lemonade to her masters who keep grumbling about the summer heat. It is ironic that, for a city that cowered under colonial rule for a century and a half, Hong Kong should have the highest number of maids per capita in Asia. In our city of contradictions, neither a modest income nor a shoebox apartment is an obstacle for local families to hire a domestic helper and to free themselves from chores and errands.

On any given Sunday or public holiday, migrant domestic workers carpet every inch of open space in Central and Causeway Bay. They turn parks and footbridges into camping sites with cardboard boxes as their walls and opened umbrellas as their roofs. They play cards, cut hair, sell handicraft and p…

The Moonscape of Sexual Equality - Part 1 走在崎嶇的路上-上卷

There are things about America that boggle the mind: gun violence, healthcare costs and Donald Trump. But once in a while – not often, just once in a while – the country gets something so right and displays such courage that it reminds the rest of the world what an amazing place it truly is. What happened three days ago at the nation’s capital is shaping up to be one of those instances.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-to-4 decision on same-sex marriage, the most important gay rights ruling in the country’s history. In Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Kennedy wrote, “It would misunderstand [gay and lesbian couples] to say that they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find fulfillment for themselves… They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” 
With those simple words, Justice Kennedy made marriage equality a constitutionally prote…

The Hundredth Post 第一百篇

This month marks the third birthday of my blog As I See It, a social commentary on the trials and tribulations of living in Hong Kong. The occasion coincides with the 100th article I have written under the banner. Having reached a personal milestone, I decided to take the opportunity to reflect on my still-young writing career and wallow in, dare we say, self-congratulatory indulgence.

It all started in November 2008 on the heels of the last U.S. presidential election. I was getting ready to create a personal website as a platform to consolidate my interests and pursuits. To do that I needed content. That’s how my blog – or my “online op-ed column” as I prefer to call it – came into being. Before I knew it, I was banging it out in front of my iMac every night, going on and off the tangent and in and out of my stream of consciousness about the odd things I experienced in the city, the endless parade of pink elephants I saw everyday that no one seemed to bat an eyelid at. Though singin…