Legislative Council elections 2016

Hong Kong ‘King of votes’ to target youth housing and creative industry

Roy Kwong Chun-yu has promised to represent the city’s youth and build ties with localist camp

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 September, 2016, 11:25pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 September, 2016, 12:39pm

“Super seat” lawmaker-elect Roy Kwong Chun-yu has vowed to be the youth representative for the Democratic Party and bridge the gap with his localist colleagues.

The 33-year-old said he wanted to focus on youth policy in his new appointment, including youth housing and the development of creative industries.

Kwong was neck and neck with a pro-Beijing candidate for the fifth and final super seat in the run up to election day.

He emerged victorious after receiving more than 491,000 votes after three pan-democrat underdogs pulled out just two days before the election, and his party placed a front-page ad in the Apple Daily to promote him on election day.

All Hongkongers, except those with a vote in trade-based functional constituencies, vote in the “super seats”. The seats are filled by district councillors.

“I know my votes were not just for me, but for the whole pro- ­democracy camp,” Kwong, a Yuen Long district councillor, told the Post.

“I look forward to working with the localist camp and making friends with them. We’re young people and it’s easier for us to communicate.”
Roy Kwong Chun-yu

“I feel the pressure as well as the trust in me.”

His party, which upholds the “one country, two systems” ­principle, has been criticised by localist candidates for being ­outdated and out of touch with the young generation, which wants self-determination.

While Kwong did not support independence, he said he would uphold people’s freedom to ­discuss the topic.

“I look forward to working with the localist camp and making friends with them. We’re young people and it’s easier for us to communicate,” he said.

Kwong said he was “friends” with Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, the ­biggest winner in New Territories West, after they had worked ­together on several conservation campaigns.

He added that the young members of the Democratic Party had been able to influence the party’s position on different issues, including the controversial copyright bill, which many internet users opposed for fear of suppression of creative freedom.

Inside the legislature, Kwong plans to lobby for the provision of youth housing, noting that young people and families have difficulties entering the market.

As a popular romance writer, Kwong said he would also dedicate his time to the development of Hong Kong’s creative industries. He hoped the government would look to Taipei as an example, because “in Hong Kong, young people who want to develop a career as a writer, artist or musician are often belittled”.

Kwong also responded to criticisms over his English proficiency. He admitted he had done poorly in English exams while at secondary school, but he managed to gain a pass while interning as a social worker.

“I am now undergoing intensive training in English. I will ­eventually overcome it.”

He added that he would scale down his romance writing.