Ex-arts chief may run for Legco seat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am


Former Arts Development Council chairman Ma Fung-kwok (left) is 'seriously considering' running to represent the sports, performing arts, culture and publications sector in September's Legislative Council election.

His announcement comes amid growing discontent with the performance of sector lawmaker Timothy Fok Tsun-ting.

Fok had the worst attendance record in Legco for six years in a row, the South China Morning Post has previously revealed. He also has one of the worst voting records in Legco and has not instigated a motion in a decade. Fok has held the position since 1998 and won the seat uncontested in 2000 and 2008.

'I'm seriously considering [running for election],' Ma told the Post. 'But I first have to assess the situation, such as the support from the sector and the overall political situation.'

The film producer had been tipped to head the new culture bureau proposed by chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying, but he says such talk is mere speculation.

Ma, a member of the National People's Congress and the West Kowloon Cultural District board, supported Leung in his campaign.

He served as a member of the Provisional Legislative Council during the handover and represented the election committee functional constituency on Legco until 2004.

Debate over the culture sector's role in politics has intensified after all 14 of the sector's representatives in the Election Committee voted for Leung. The 14 were all elected uncontested and were accused of failing to consult with the sector at large.

The Factory Artists Concern Group, which represents artists who work in former industrial buildings, launched an 'expulsion of Timothy Fok' campaign this month and called for artists to register as voters to rid the sector of its 'invisible representative'.

The group also initiated an online petition, 'Hong Kong Artists' Right to Vote', which calls for individual artists to be allowed to vote and stand for election in the sector.

As of yesterday afternoon, 365 people had signed the petition.

A Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman said that a 'comprehensive review' of the functional constituencies was conducted in 2010, and a number of changes were introduced last year.

'We have no plans for any further changes' to the functional constituencies, the spokesman said.