Democrat James To Kun-sun vows to make the most of big Legco poll win

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 September, 2012, 4:03am

Crowned "King of Ballots" for topping the poll in the race for the five Legislative Council "super seats", James To Kun-sun has vowed to help Hongkongers fight for democracy, wipe out poverty and stand against national education "brainwashing".

To made his pledge after his list scored 316,468 votes in the district council functional constituency, a result that followed an emotional plea for votes when he appeared to be slipping in the opinion polls.

"I have to totally remove the threat of brainwashing national education," To said in an interview. "My top priority is to remove the shadow clouding us or it will affect our next generation and keep people worried."

He said he would also press the government to put forward late this year or next year at the latest a proposal for genuine universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election. If it were left too late, "[Chief Executive] Leung Chun-ying may advance a proposal favourable to him being re-elected," he said. "By that time, maybe just nine months will be left and the government may say: 'Take it or leave it.'"

The total votes his three-member list secured to grab one of the five new district council functional constituency seats, created under the 2010 political reform package, were 38.3 per cent more than the slate led by Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who just grabbed the fifth and final seat from among the competing five lists and two individuals.

Six days earlier, To broke down in tears to lobby for votes when rolling polls showed his popularity had been surpassed by that of Frederick Fung Kin-kee of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood and was trailing well behind Ho's. Relieved by the outcome, the veteran lawmaker said he had set his goals for his four-year term.

His pledge on moral and national education came as thousands of students, academics and parents rallied at Chinese University on Tuesday to demand withdrawal of the subject despite Leung's concession that says schools can decide whether to launch or how to launch it.

With an estimated 1.2 million people struggling in poverty, To added: "The income disparity and property prices are also significant livelihood issues." He said he would address the concerns of the public in this area.

On constitutional development, To said it was crucial to kick off talks as early as possible, as consultation was needed.