Fernando Cheung to give up seat

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am

Social welfare sector legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung has decided not to seek re-election but is considering fighting for one of the geographical constituencies.

'I have found that it is difficult for me to perform well for the sector with the government's favouritism towards pro-establishment parties and groups,' Dr Cheung said yesterday, adding there was no room for him to take part in policymaking.

'It looks like a wall over there, against which I could not push forward an inch, such as over the issue of the one-off funding scheme.'

Social welfare organisations want the government to abolish the existing one-off funding arrangements, claiming it is unfair to social workers.

Dr Cheung said it was difficult to unite different groups in the social welfare sector. He said he was eyeing a geographical constituency.

'My intention is to join the geographical constituency in New Territories West, but I haven't made the final decision,' he said.

Dr Cheung defeated opponent Peter Cheung Kwok-che, president of the Social Workers' General Union, in the race for the social welfare functional constituency four years ago, but Mr Cheung will now contest the seat after being nominated by his union.

Mr Cheung said his election platform was to represent frontier social workers and the grass roots in the Legislative Council and to urge the government to formulate a comprehensive social welfare policy, including a review of one-off funding.