Record number in Legco unelected
Colleen Lee, Enoch Yiu and Tony Cheung
A post-handover record 16 functional constituency candidates are set to be returned unopposed as legislative councillors in October.
Ten of them are incumbents, six of whom were also returned unopposed in 2008, including the Heung Yee Kuk's Lau Wong-fat and Abraham Razack of the real estate and construction sector.
The candidates, who represent 14 sectors (the labour constituency has three seats), will be declared members of the expanded 70-seat Legislative Council after returning officers have validated their eligibility later this month.
In 2008, 14 hopefuls in 12 functional constituencies were returned unopposed to the then 60-seat Legco.
Three of the six new faces are from the labour sector, where there was also no competition for seats in 2008.
Federation of Trade Unions district councillors Tang Ka-piu and Kwok Wai-keung will take over from their union colleagues Ip Wai-ming and Pan Pey-chyou, who will be contesting the New Territories East and Hong Kong Island constituencies respectively.
Poon Siu-ping, 55, chairman of The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions, will succeed Li Fung-ying, who has been a lawmaker for 12 years.
'I will do my best irrespective of whether there is competition. I respect the election system,' he said.
'Lee Kai-ming, who served as a lawmaker from 1995 to 2002, and Li Fung-ying, who has been in the post since 2002, faced contests in most of the previous elections. They have helped build a support base.'
The labour sector has a 646-strong electorate, made up of unions.
Poon said that in the next four years, he would strive for legislation on standard working hours, an increase in statutory holidays from 12 days a year to 17, paid study leave and a fund to provide loans for the unemployed.
In the finance sector, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Trustees chairman Ng Leung-sing is due to take over from David Li Kwok-po, Bank of East Asia chairman, who is standing down after 27 years as a lawmaker.
When Ng served in Legco from 1997 to 2004, representing the Election Committee functional constituency, he and other independent members often gathered for breakfast at the China Club to discuss voting issues and became known as the Breakfast Group. The group was dissolved after its head Eric Li Ka-cheung, who represented the accountancy sector, quit politics in 2004. Ng earlier said it would be a good idea to revive the group.
In the transport sector, Liberal Frankie Yick Chi-ming, supported by incumbent Miriam Lau Kin-yee, looks set to be returned unopposed.
In the commercial (second) sector, which represents the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Martin Liao Cheung-kong will take over from Philip Wong Yu-hong, whose 21 years' service in Legco will come to an end.
Of the candidates to be returned uncontested, three are from the Liberal Party, another three from Economic Synergy, two from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, two from the FTU and one from The Professional Forum.
Heung Yee Kuk Lau Wong-fat*
Insurance Chan Kin-por*
Real estate and construction Abraham Razack*
Industrial (First) Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen*
Industrial (Second) Lam Tai-fai*
Import and export Wong Ting-kwong*
Catering Tommy Cheung Yu-yan*
Commercial (First) Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung*
Wholesale and retail Vincent Fang Kang*
District Council (First) Ip Kwok-him*
Transport Frankie Yick Chi-ming
Labour** Tang Ka-piu, Kwok Wai-keung, Poon Siu-ping
Commercial (Second) Martin Liao Cheung-kong
Finance Ng Leung-sing
**The Labour constituency has three seats