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Legislative Council elections 2016

Hong Kong chamber members criticise incumbent representative for not attending all election forums

Jeffrey Lam is skipping RTHK poll forum on Thursday, leaving only his rival, Chan Ho-lim, taking part

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 7:17pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 7:17pm

A group of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce members have criticised their incumbent Legislative Council representative, Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, for refusing to take part in all election forums.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the 40 members, who are owners of small and medium enterprises, said they were unhappy that no debates between the candidates in the commercial sector had yet taken place.

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“In light of the current economic difficulties and polarisation in society, we truly hope to be able to compare the two candidates’ views on controversial matters,” the statement read.

The Legislative Council election in the functional constituency is featuring a contest for the first time since 2008. It pits Lam against Joseph Chan Ho-lim of the Liberal Party.

The initiator of the statement, who would only be identified as Choy, said participating in election forums is the most basic duty of any candidates.

“How can we expect [Lam] to be able to debate with other legislators if he doesn’t even want to participate in debates within our sector,” Choy said.

“If he continues to refuse to attend any election forums, I will definitely not vote for him.”

Chan said some of his rival’s decisions in the past were at odds with the chamber’s stance.

“I think he owes us an explanation,” Chan said. “If he wants to be re-elected, he should at least tell us what he has done in the past four years.”

RTHK has arranged a debate for the sector on Thursday, but since Lam has refused to attend, Chan said it would instead be turned into an interview with him.

In a written response, Lam said he was disappointed that some people were smearing him. “I hope the election will be conducted ethically,” he said.

The Business and Professionals Alliance incumbent added that he would attend a town hall meeting hosted by the chamber, where each candidate will explain his election platform separately.

But there will not be any direct debate between the candidates.