Defeat of 'Long Hair' keeps Kwun Tong council seat in family

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 May, 2013, 3:20am

The son of a veteran Beijing-loyalist legislator has comfortably beaten pan-democratic lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung in a district council by-election, despite accusations that he was trying to "inherit" his father's seat.

Chan Chun-kit, 32, son of lawmaker Chan Kam-lam, won 2,258 votes in the poll for the Ping Shek constituency of Kwun Tong District Council, almost double Leung's tally of 1,198. Even so, he collected 501 fewer votes - or 12 per cent less - than the 2011 tally of his predecessor, Bernard Chan Pak-li.

Bernard Chan's appointment as political assistant to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung triggered the vote. He had held the seat since 2008, following Chan Kam-lam's 11-year incumbency.

Chan Kam-lam, who gave up the seat in 2007, said yesterday that his son had done a good job.

"'Long Hair' is famous in the city, but Chan Chun-kit was a nobody," he said. "I hope he will continue to work hard as a district councillor."

He dismissed earlier criticism from pan-democrats that his son had sought to inherit his seat.

"Describing it as 'inheritance' is an insult to the system," he said. "It was an election and we have to respect the result."

In 2011, Bernard Chan won 77 per cent of the vote to beat his rival, Lam Sum-shing.

The three Chans are all members of the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. Before the by-election, Chan Chun-kit was assistant to Bernard Chan.

Chan Kam-lam said his son had studied music at university and had never been told to become a politician.

"He just got interested in it," he said.

Chan Chun-kit could not be reached for comment last night.

Leung, of the League of Social Democrats, said earlier that he had run for the seat because no other pan-democrat had come forward and he did not want to see a walkover.