DAB has never neglected interests of the poor in society

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, I wish to reply to the letter by Martin Brinkley ('Wealthy DAB has shown its true colours in defence of tycoons', March 21).

Mr Brinkley's discontent seems to centre on the donations received by the DAB and his incorrect assumption that because of this money, the party acts in the interests of tycoons instead of the public.

In many democratic countries, major political parties, whether on the right or the left, often receive substantial donations.

In Britain, for example, the centre-left Labour Party, which aims for a fair and equal society, received donations worth ?19 million in 2010, while the centre-right Conservatives were given around ?31 million. I lived in the country for six years and heard many comments from citizens from the grass-roots level of society who praised the good work done by Labour. It could not have done this work, indeed it could not have survived, without financial help from the business sector. Donations are not necessarily a bad thing, Mr Brinkley.

Your correspondent's allegation regarding our support for the Land (Compulsory Sales for Redevelopment) Ordinance is groundless and misleading.

We have repeatedly stressed that many homeowners living in buildings more than 50 years old are elderly. In light of their poor financial status, they would suffer hardship if they had to bear the huge cost in maintenance and refurbishment of these buildings.

The ordinance provides them with an alternative, which helps overcome their hurdles in the course of selling their flats and obtaining cash. Our constituents applauded our decision to support the ordinance in the Legislative Council and this was done in the interests of these homeowners.

We have worked tirelessly to assist small and medium-sized enterprises and professionals from various sectors in developing business networks on the mainland. A recent project was the launching of our Dongguan business centre.

Why should we be condemned for creating job opportunities and enhancing economic growth?

Although we are a major political party representing people ranging from the grass roots to the middle class, including professionals and owners of SMEs, not for a moment have we neglected the interests of the poor.

We have been pressing the government to alleviate their pain resulting from fierce inflation this year. In an effort to resolve the housing problems mainly faced by the middle class, we urged the government to revive the Home Ownership Scheme and increase housing supply. None of these policies has anything to do with protecting the interests of the so-called tycoons.

Because of growing resentment towards the business sector, parties which take a pragmatic approach are demonised. Can such condemnation really be seen as helping our society?

Holden Chow, chairman, Young DAB