No more Mr Nice Guy: DAB’s Holden Chow makes combative shift for new Legco

After his tearful performance in the February by-elections, the pro-Beijing party’s aspiring ‘artilleryman’ says he’s ready to take on rivals’ filibustering.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 5:22pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 7:08pm

Holden Chow Ho-ding has promised to be an outspoken critic of his rivals in the Legislative Council, especially if the pan-democrats and localists resort to “irrational” filibustering against government proposals.

The 37-year-old solicitor’s comments mark a combative shift from his tone just two months ago when he pledged to act as a bridge between the pro-establishment and pan-democrat camps if successful in the September 4 Legco elections.

Chow, vice-chairman of pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, insisted that he was not contradicting his position.

“We need to be critical if they are filibustering ... [I also think] we will have very different views on ‘one country, two systems’, but I cannot rule out cooperation and finding consensus on livelihood issues,” he said.

“I will also join hands with my party colleague Ann Chiang Lai-wan in reaching out to new lawmakers like me ... [The beginning of a new term] is an opportunity for communicating and rebuilding mutual trust.”

Chow explained that he wanted to take up an outspoken role in the party, which he described as an “artilleryman”, after several veteran DAB lawmakers stepped down. He said his supporters endorsed his more combative style in recent election forums.

Watch: Holden Chow Ho-ding battles it out for last Legco “super seat”

“They said I had improved since [losing in] the New Territories East by-election in February, especially in how I went on the offensive in the forums this time and grilled the pan-democrats,”he told the Post.

In February, Chow was defeated by the Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, and was best remembered for breaking down in tears during a televised debate, as he lamented the city’s political divide.

Chow, who garnered 264,339 votes on September 4 to clinch one of the five “super seats”, said he was more “experienced” and could remain calm in political forums this time around.

Chow’s victory in the recent election came at the expense of Federation of Trade Unions veteran Wong Kwok-hing who failed to secure re-election in the “super seats”.

After the losss, Wong blamed his Beijing-loyalist allies for his defeat, claiming that they had spread rumours urging residents not to vote for him.

Rising young Hong Kong politician Holden Chow joins Legislative Council by-election fray

Chow denied the claims, insisting that his party had not spread any rumours against the FTU, which secured five seats in the Legco elections.

In his bid to become a more outspoken party member, Chow said he would also be taking over as the DAB’s Legco spokesman on economic and legal affairs.

“I also wanted to join the Legco’s panels on constitutional and security affairs ... and the committee on rules of procedure because I hope to amend the rules,” Chow said, referring to a motion that he wanted to introduce to end filibustering and marathon debates.

Political ambitions aside, Chow declined to comment on whether he would vote for Leung Chun-ying in the March 2017 Chief Executive election should he seek another term.

He said he would, however, support DAB founding chairman and outgoing Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing if he stepped up to challenge Leung. “If there are any other candidates, I will have to wait and compare their manifesto and performance in the run-up to the election.”