'Alternative voice' sinks teeth into Legco

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 1995, 12:00am

EVERY legislator should be crystal clear that, after four years, Legco is a 'tiger without teeth', said flamboyant Mr Chim.

The man renowned for his provocative remarks in the chamber said legislators should have no illusions, and accept that Legco will remain no more than a place to quarrel as long as Hong Kong has an executive-led political system.

The 48-year-old said the defeat of almost all major private members' bills in the last sitting showed that the Government's support determined how much Legco could achieve.

'Without the Government's nod, legislators' proposals will only be ideals and empty talk,' he said.

'This is also true even for the next legislature, though it is a fully elected chamber.

'There should be no more fantasy. Wake up and realise who's calling the shots,' Mr Chim said.

The Government wasted too much effort and resources dealing with legislators' demands.

'Officials have more important business to do than to lobby members or answer their questions,' he said.

He said the Government spent more than $20,000 preparing an answer to a question - and some of them were nonsense.

But he was even more pessimistic about Legco's role after 1997. He warned legislators not to try to confront China. Chinese leaders would not allow anyone, legislators or not, to undermine their authority and they were likely to crush those who tried to challenge them, he said.

'Power is as important as life for [the] Chinese leadership and how could you imagine they will share this most precious asset with you? For them, it's life or death, but for Hong Kong people, politics is no more than some sort of expensive pastime.' Mr Chim said political parties in Legco should never dream of becoming the governing party.

'They could be [an] 'adviser party' at best,' he said.

In reviewing his four years, Mr Chim said he served mainly as a balancer to the democrats, who always took a confrontational approach.

'They hated me very much because I am among the few who dared to stand up and rebuke their illusive suggestions. That's exactly what I want to do, to present an alternative voice to the radicals.' Elected in 1991 as a Legco representative of stock brokers, commodity traders and insurance agents, Mr Chim said he was always ready to quit politics if there was someone better from the industry to fight for the constituents. 'But I do not see any at the moment,' he said.

He will seek re-election through the same constituency in September. He is likely to be challenged by Choy Chen Po-sum, former vice-chairman of Hong Kong Stock Exchange.