Leong trains eye on social matters

DR Leong Che-hung believes the best way to prepare for the 1995 direct elections is to keep a close eye on a host of social issues, especially medical, which he believes Governor Chris Patten and major political parties have tended to ignore.

''Repeated arguments on political development will no longer satisfy voters,'' he said.

''In 1991, people cast their votes out of their wishes for greater democracy and their anti-communist sentiment.

''But by 1995, I think people will start to be concerned about who can bring them stability and substantial improvements on social matters.'' While Meeting Point has been frequently criticised as too moderate, if not mediocre, Dr Leong said his party was right to avoid sensationalism.

''Extremism obviously has its market in elections. But in the long run, I believe in the Meeting Point's approach,'' he said.

But Meeting Point's severe defeat in the latest Regional Council by-election might be a strong message of public discontent at the party's philosophy of pleasing all sides.

Its candidate, Wai Hing-cheung, managed to secure only a meagre 552 of the 16,775 votes cast.

And indeed the party's stress on livelihood issues might be read by sceptics as a way out of the fierce political row between China and Britain.

But Dr Leong remained firm that Meeting Point should continue with what he described as ''the rational approach'' by stressing equal emphasis on political as well as livelihood issues.

''Yes, we have learned something from the latest Regco by-election.

''I think we have to try harder to work along this route. But I don't think this route is wrong,'' he said.

He said that concerns about medical services had dwindled in the past 12 months because of the Sino-British row over politics.

As the medical sector representative in the Legco for the past five years, Dr Leong's concern about medical matters can hardly be doubted.

He has repeatedly urged the Government to lay down a clear vision on what the future health care services should provide.

But his zealous commitment to the medical area has not been without criticism, especially after he joined Meeting Point.

In April, he voted in favour of holding a referendum to decide on Hong Kong's future political development despite the other three Meeting Point legislators having voted against the move.

Dr Leong admitted he could only show his loyalty to Meeting Point when his constituency's views coincided with those of the party.

''I joined the Meeting Point after I had been elected. I must be accountable to my voters,'' he said.

He was also frank in his intention to seek one more term in the law-making body.

''I always think it is the responsibility of those who were elected in 1991 to show their commitment to serve again in 1995,'' he said.

''We need experienced people to serve Hong Kong. Otherwise, what's the point of 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong','' he said.