New lawmaker Steven Ho shames veterans with 100pc attendance rate
Tony Cheung, Bryan Harris and Stuart Lau
When Steven Ho Chun-yin ran for the vacant agriculture and fisheries functional constituency seat in the Legislative Council last year, many political pundits questioned the 32-year-old's political capability.
But as the new legislature's first year ends, the logistics firm director and lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong has shown his commitment by attending every Legco meeting, ranking ahead of many of his more experienced counterparts on both sides of the political divide.
By July 10, Ho had achieved a 100 per cent attendance rate at meetings of the full council and Legco's agenda-setting House Committee, while missing just one of the 42 Finance Committee sessions for which the Legco provided attendance lists.
He has also raised verbal questions to ministers, the first in January on government assistance for fisherman and then one last week on how long vessels can remain in typhoon shelters.
In February, Legco president and DAB elder statesman Jasper Tsang Yok-sing hinted that Ho, the youngest of its 13 lawmakers, was the most impressive of its six new faces elected in September.
In terms of raising questions and motions for debate, the Civic Party's Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok was the most impressive of the 28 newcomers to the 70-strong legislature.
As well as asking three verbal questions in full council meetings, the Hong Kong Island representative has tabled two motions for debate - one on October's Lamma ferry tragedy and one on tertiary education places.
His five questions and motions beat the four tabled by six newly elected lawmakers, including pan-democrat Charles Mok, who represents the information technology sector, and Beijing-loyalist Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, representing the financial services sector.
Before yesterday's final council meeting, both Mok and Cheung had 100 per cent attendance records for full council meetings and had shown up for at least 80 per cent of house and finance committee meetings.
Not all of the lawmakers elected last year have been so busy. For example, Michael Tien Puk-sun, the New People's Party lawmaker representing New Territories West, showed up at just 57 per cent of House Committee meetings. Professional Teachers' Union lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, who represents the education sector, made it to just 64 per cent of Finance Committee sessions.
"I'm a pragmatic person … I enjoyed the panel meetings more because we really get answers [from the government] about policy issues," Tien said.
Ip said he skipped some of the Finance Committee meetings in November when it was dealing with a filibustering attempt.