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Legislative Council elections 2016

7 of the worst examples (so far) of Hong Kong election candidates seeking brownie points

Politicians have bedecked the city with banners reminding voters how they have made the world a better place, but some have overdone it with their claims

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2016, 6:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2016, 6:01pm

Four pro-Beijing Hong Kong politicians have been criticised after posing for photos at the scene of a fire in Kowloon which claimed the life of a senior firefighter this week. It was an obvious, but by no means isolated, attempt to exploit a situation for political advantage and to flaunt their achievements.

Donations and tributes pour in for Hong Kong firefighter who died in Ngau Tau Kok blaze

With three months to go until the Legislative Council elections, politicians have hung banners around Hong Kong trumpeting the ways in which they have made the world a better place.

There have been some classic boasts in the past, such as Yim Kwok-keung of the DAB claiming in 2003 that he had got a set of traffic lights in Yau Ma Tei to stay green for an extra two seconds, and fellow Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong politicians taking credit for the installation of vending machines at various locations.

The current crop of would-be councillors have made some equally cringeworthy attempts to score brownie points with voters. We picked out seven that appear particularly egregious.

1. A Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTC) banner claims it successfully fought for paternity leave. Wait, no, according to the small print, it only secured a review of the policy on paternity leave.

2. “Women need to be beautiful and alive”, runs one awkward slogan on a banner in Tsing Yi. It’s not from a cosmetic or beauty ad, though, but was posted by a New Territories West legislator representing the HKFTC, and district councillor colleagues from Yuen Long and Sham Shui Po, expressing their concern about the regulation of medical cosmetology.

3. Andy Yu, a Civic Party district councillor in Yau Tsim Mong, boasts of having contributed greatly to his community by pursuing complaints about dog poop on elevated walkways - not that you’d know that by looking at the photos on his banners. The most prominent one refers to a five-day tour to Japan which he’s recommending. Would-be holidaymakes can call him to book a trip.

4. District councillor Simon Chan uses a banner seeking his re-election to boast about how he has improved the lives of his constituents in Kwai Tsing by securing the removal of some poles that obstructed pedestrians.

5. Another district councillor seeking re-election, Alvin Chiu, uses a banner to boast about how he arranged for signs to be installed in Sha Tin reminding pedestrians they should not walk on bicycle lanes and cyclists they should not ride in pedestrian lanes.

6. The New People’s Party claims it is beginning to “see the light at the end of the tunnel” in its fight to add extra seats on public minibuses.

7. The DAB boasts that work has begun on the laying of environmentally friendly bricks outside the Kam Tai Court public housing estate in Ma On Shan. It’s due to be completed by the autumn - in time for the elections, perhaps.