New lease of life for Loh after Legco

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 12:00am

AFTER freeing herself from the Legislative Council, Christine Loh Kung-wai has a new lease of life - setting up a think-tank to serve as a 'brain parking space' for like-minded friends and volunteers.

The 'civic exchange', as she calls it, will try to realise her passion for small 'p' politics, to carry out policy research, to come up with initiatives and to push for changes.

A lawmaker since 1992, Ms Loh impressed fellow lawmakers with her independence. It was claimed she enthusiastically put forward policy alternatives, but seldom lobbied for parties' support.

The Citizens Party stalwart denies the claim, citing her achievements in urging the Government to impose legislative protection against further reclamation of Victoria Harbour.

'The secret is not just to lobby the 59 other legislators, but to create a climate of opinion in society.' That was why she lobbied business groups first on the environmental issue.

Having had enough of the political 'games' in the legislature, Ms Loh said it was time to go 'behind the scenes' to work on the 'applied side of political ideals', smaller issues the media did not find 'sexy'.

The early focus would still be on environmental and anti-discrimination issues.

Ms Loh is also working on a project to help four blind people, who have taken courses in information technology, to find jobs. 'We seek to reveal the problems, to adjust the policies which will make it easier for them to find jobs,' she said.

Ms Loh expected more professionals to join the think-tank in other areas, with the ultimate goal of stimulating ideas. 'Policies in Hong Kong lack intellectual input,' she said.

'One thing about being a politician is that you have always to remind others what you did, and to remind them I did it my way. I don't need any more exposure.'