Trade unionist calls for all-inclusive consultation

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 October, 2013, 4:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 October, 2013, 4:32am

The upcoming political reform consultation should be inclusive and take into account ideas that include the pan-democrats' "public nomination" proposal, pro-establishment lawmaker Chan Yuen-han urged.

Chan, an honorary president of the Federation of Trade Unions, also said it would be "fine" if a pan-democrat were allowed to contest the chief executive election in 2017.

Chan's ideas appeared to contradict those of another FTU honorary president, Cheng Yiu-tong, who said on September 29 that it was unlikely that public nomination - under which some or all registered voters would be able to put forward chief executive candidates - would be included in the government's consultation paper.

In an interview with the Post, Chan said while the idea was unlikely to be accepted by Beijing, it should not be ignored by the administration.

"I think nothing really matters; you can put in all of [the ideas] - idealistic ones and those which include public nomination - you can include them all … as it requires a high level of understanding to solve this."

On whether Beijing should allow the pan-democrats to run for the top job, Chan said: "That doesn't matter too; it's fine as long as you are a Hongkonger.

"I'm open to all proposals because our decision has to be accepted by Hongkongers, and I firmly believe that most people are objective about Hong Kong's situation on these issues."

Chan's remarks came after the government announced that a public consultation would begin this year on arrangements for the next chief executive and Legislative Council elections.

Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung did not rule out public nomination, but he said a suggestion "cannot be considered" if it contravened the Basic Law - which stated that chief executive candidates must be nominated by a "broadly representative" committee.

Chan supported Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his election campaign last year, but she said that the government's recent decision to deny Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) a free-to-air television licence had brought public discontent against Leung to "breaking point".

Chan, who chairs the Legco's welfare panel, was also disappointed that Leung had said it was impossible to completely eliminate poverty, despite setting an official poverty line last month and acknowledging that 1.31 million Hong Kong citizens were officially poor.