Hong Kong people yesterday applauded Taiwan voters' defiance in electing Chen Shui-bian president and said it was an object lesson for the SAR's own electoral system. 'We should have the chance to choose our own leader through direct elections like the one in Taiwan,' textile businessman Cheung Kow-yiu, 62, said. 'I believe our level of intelligence, our knowledge and our concept of citizenship is no worse here than in Taiwan. Why then should our chief executive be appointed rather than elected?' Yue Tung-hung, 49, a shoe manufacturer, said Hong Kong people should applaud Taiwan's decision at the polls. 'It's a victory for the people's will. They vote for the person they supported and now Chen Shui-bian is president-elect. I hope Hong Kong people will some day have the chance to do the same thing.' Civil servant John Charles Wan, 48, also believed Hong Kong should learn from Taiwan in the field of politics. 'Direct elections should be introduced in Hong Kong, and I hope the Taiwan electoral culture can also develop here,' he said. Graphic designer Yeung Kwok-wing, 27, said the Taiwan election was a good example for the SAR. 'It's very exciting to see the election run smoothly, and I hope we can have one here in Hong Kong,' he said. But Jason Lee Che-kan, a 12-year-old Form One student, said there were weaknesses in the Taiwan electoral system and Hong Kong should learn selectively from it. 'I don't like the whole election culture which appears to be too playful and materialistic,' he said. 'It seems to me that some promotion activities like throwing big dinners were actually buying votes, but not really capturing people's hearts,' he said. Peter Lam, 27, a youth centre worker, also said Hong Kong should have direct elections but in a different way. 'Hong Kong and Taiwan are in fact two different cases. Hong Kong should adopt the idea and make up its rules of the game once we have our own direct election,' he said. Retiree Poon Sum, 68, criticised the direct election in Taiwan as 'immature'. 'Taiwan can certainly be Hong Kong's model, but their system has its flaws. Hong Kong should be careful when learning from others,' he said. Doctor Kenneth Chung Yiu-kwan, 32, said it would be difficult for Hong Kong to act like Taiwan.