Timothy Fok 'not standing' in Legco vote

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2012, 12:00am


Controversial culture sector lawmaker Timothy Fok Tsun-ting is bringing the curtain down on his 14-year Legislative Council career, having decided not to stand for re-election, according to the singer Barbara Fei Ming-yee.

Fei is one of several former Fok supporters who will switch their backing to Ma Fung-kwok, a local deputy to the National People's Congress and former chairman of the Arts Development Council, in the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector for the election on September 9.

Ma is a supporter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and has been tipped as a candidate to be the city's first culture secretary.

'Fok told me that he was not going to run,' Fei said at the campaign launch. 'I believe [Fok and Ma] sometimes communicate ... and [Fok] probably supports Mr Ma.'

Asked if she regretted Fok's decision to step down, Fei said: 'I respect his views. It is difficult to say whom I would support if both ran. They have their respective strengths.'

Fok's performance as a member of the Legislative Council has long been criticised. He has had the poorest attendance record in Legco for six years, according to a report last year, and has not put forward a motion in the legislature for a decade. In April a group of artists launched a campaign for his removal.

Raymond Wong Pak-ming, like Ma a film producer, said he had supported Fok but 'I've heard that Mr Fok might not run [this year]. Mr Ma has been in the film industry for a long time and is familiar with it ... [Ma] is the most suitable candidate.'

Fok, president of the Sports Federation, is in London for the Olympic Games. Painter Chow Chun-fai will also fight for the seat, and submitted his nomination yesterday. He intends to fight for the abolition of functional constituencies.

Meanwhile, the Civic Party yesterday announced that it was unable to nominate the Southern district councillor Paul Zimmerman to contest one of the five district council functional constituency seats, nicknamed 'super seats' because they will be chosen by a city-wide ballot of more than three million voters.

The party said it had tried to secure the 15 nominations from district councillors required for the Dutch-born Zimmerman to stand for a 'super seat', but he may now quit the party and run against its slate of candidates on Hong Kong Island.

'[It] is a fact that inevitably such a move would ... adversely affect our Hong Kong Island campaign,' the party said.

The Civic Party holds two seats on Hong Kong Island, and fears that a split in its vote could affect the chances of incumbent Tanya Chan winning re-election.

Zimmerman is understood not to have given up hope of running for a 'super seat', and he is approaching independent district councillors to seek nominations. He will announce his plans on Monday.

In the legal sector, former Law Society president Huen Wong, nominated yesterday, said he was confident of beating Dennis Kwok Wing-hang of the Civic Party.

More than 820 people nominated him, including a former chairman of the Bar Association, Russell Coleman, and other senior counsels.

In the education sector, Ip Kin-yuen, chief executive of the Professional Teachers' Union, signed up to run, a day after union president Fung Wai-wah announced his withdrawal because of illness.