Legco newcomer Cyd Ho Sau-lan does not intend to live in the shadow of Frontier colleague Emily Lau Wai-hing. And she is not about to waste her precious time proving it either. The 43-year-old single mother reckons people can judge her performance for themselves at the next election in two years' time. Ms Ho came second to Ms Lau in New Territories East, and is the only newcomer among the 20 geographical seat winners. She is already beginning to feel the pressure, even though the elected members are not sworn in until next month. 'I can feel the pressure because I know that our term of office is very short,' she said. 'For 6.3 million people there are only 20 directly elected legislators. Our responsibility is very big.' But she said her experience in manufacturing - as a merchandising manager in the garment industry - should hold her in good stead. 'It's a very tense scenario - endless negotiations, compromise and confrontations. What's more we have to deal with all walks of life,' she said. She worked in the industry for 16 years - in Hong Kong and the mainland - after being educated here and in Canada. It was during a break from work in 1991 when her son, now 10, began kindergarten, that she was drawn to politics. Close to her old home in Sai Kung, Ms Ho saw a billboard for Emily Lau's first bid to join the legislature. Won over by Ms Lau's stance on freedom of speech and an independent press, Ms Ho volunteered as a campaign aide for six weeks. At the 1995 election, having joined the United Ants, she became an aide to Andrew Wong Wang-fat's election rival Ko Ping-chung, giving up her job after the poll. Then followed two years as a legislative assistant, working for Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee. She decided to run for Legco at an executive committee meeting of The Frontier last September.