Yap denies pro-Beijing sponsors

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 August, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 August, 1995, 12:00am

CHINA-appointed Hong Kong Affairs adviser Donald Yap denied eminent figures sponsoring his Legislative Council bid were pro-China - despite their backgrounds.

With just two days before the end of the nomination period, the former Law Society president yesterday officially registered his candidacy in the Legal functional constituency.

He refused to label one of his sponsors, Elsie Leong Oi-sie, as pro-China although she is a delegate to the National People's Congress.

Instead, he emphasised she was an eminent female lawyer. Another major sponsor, Alan Hoo QC, is among a group of barristers supporting the Sino-British agreement on the Court of Final Appeal.

Others include Deputy Crown Prosecutor Samuel Leung Shiu-kee.

Mr Yap, flanked by a team of supporters, allowed the press three minutes for questions. He fended off criticism that his opponents were stronger or would be more devoted to legislative work.

He said he intended to be a full-time legislator and was confident he held 'more than enough votes to win'.

Mr Yap, president-designate of the LawAsia Society, declined to comment on whether it was an embarrassment to the society that China had banned leading barrister Martin Lee Chu-ming from attending an important conference in Beijing on August 16.

Mr Lee, branded as subversive, was recently barred from taking part in the conference by officials of the China Law Society, who organised the conference.

Mr Yap said the current president was handling the case and declined to say what he would do if he were to deal with the case.

Mr Yap previously opposed the 1991 Sino-British accord on the Court of Final Appeal, which restricted the number of overseas judges to one, but changed his position last year.

His two opponents, Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee and Philip Li Wai-ip, have criticised the deal.