Voters need to know where Legco hopefuls stand on major issues

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 August, 2016, 5:27pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 August, 2016, 8:59pm

It was reported that at the Mong Kok riot last Lunar New Year, there were radical elements in the streets shouting for Hong Kong independence.

That could have been one of the factors which impelled the government to introduce a new confirmation form to be signed voluntarily, in addition to the regular Legislative Council election nomination procedure.

Probably a majority of the nominees for the September 4 election signed the new form and their nominations were all declared valid, with the exception of that of Edward Leung Tin-kei.

The comments of Maria Tam Wai-chu, a member of the Basic Law Committee, that appeared in the Hong Kong edition of China Daily (on August 15) seem quite relevant.

She said this new confirmation was needed, because of growing voices for independence, self-determination and localism. She said that some people who were backing independence wanted to join the Legco election and openly advocate their political aims.

Ms Tam said the returning officer made the decision very carefully with reference to what Edward Leung did and said on Facebook “and to the media over a period of time, but not what he said on a certain day”.

As for the nominees who chose not to sign the new confirmation form, the returning officers apparently used their administrative powers to declare all of them valid with the exception of nominations from six persons.

Ms Tam, in the China Daily interview, said these six persons might take the case to court after next month’s elections if they were not satisfied, adding that the courts could handle it without having to seek an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

With the Legco election campaign in full swing, it is time for our four million voters to know more about the election ambitions of the candidates in their constituency.

There are at least three major issues at stake.

First, on livelihood issues, such as housing, education and health care for the elderly, the question is which candidate has the most credible and realistic promises.

Second, if such a candidate is elected, will he or she be the right person for the voter to call upon in case of need?

Third, local filibustering has degenerated into continuous obstructing of Legco business. Will the candidate strive to stop excessive filibustering so that our people can regain confidence and pride in our legislature?

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan