National People's Congress

Ambrose Lee says he'd be no 'rubber stamp' if chosen as NPC delegate

Ex-security secretary denies that Beijing has 'blessed' his candidature for delegate position

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 December, 2012, 3:14am

Former security secretary Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, who is vying to become a delegate to the National People's Congress, said he would not just be a "rubber stamp" if elected and would speak out against government wrongdoing.

Lee, who received the highest number of nominations for the upcoming election of new NPC deputies, 695, denied having been "blessed" by Beijing or that he was a sure winner for Wednesday's ballot. The city's 36 new NPC deputies will be chosen by block vote by 1,620 elite electors.

"All candidates [for the posts of local deputies to the NPC] are rather outspoken," Lee said. "I think we, at least, have a common wish that we will not just be rubber stamps. We would hope to speak out for Hong Kong people. If we notice anything unjust, we will point it out."

"If we have any good experience [on which the mainland can draw], we shall propose it for the country's consideration."

Asked if he might speak out for Chinese human rights activists if elected, Lee said: "National People's Congress deputies are obliged to monitor the government. If we see imperfection in government operations, I think NPC deputies have the responsibility to speak out … If I notice unreasonable acts by the government, I will speak out."

He said he would spread the word on fighting corruption, in particular, but conceded that it might take one to two generations to see changes in the mainland in this respect.

Commenting on rumours that he was asked by officials of the central government's liaison office to run, Lee said: "Some of my mainland friends encouraged me, but it's not convenient for me to name them."

He added that most of his friends who encouraged him to continue to contribute to the country were Hongkongers.

Lee also fended off suggestions that he would surely win. "Now everyone says they are blessed by the central government. Don't believe it. It is my first time to run. I am scared stiff."

On the issue of national security legislation, he said the whole Basic Law, including Article 23, should be implemented.

He declined to say if legislating to implement Article 23 was urgent or under what circumstances it should be dealt with, saying the matter should be left to Leung Chun-ying's government.

He said he would not join either an anti-Leung protest on January 1 or a pro-Leung march on December 30.