Veteran Democrat decides to run again for social welfare sector seat

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 5:52pm

Former Democratic Party legislator Tik Chi-yuen has decided to contest the social welfare sector functional constituency seat in September, 13 years after stepping down from the legislature.

Mr Tik, vice-chairman of the Democratic Party and former executive director of the Society for the Aged, said his decision was driven by his commitment to the social welfare sector.

He has worked in the sector for more than two decades.

The party's central committee endorsed his candidacy at a meeting on Thursday.

Mr Tik, who was an elected lawmaker for New Territories North from 1991 to 1995, said his experience in the Legislative Council, network in the social welfare sector and good relationships with senior government officials would help resolve problems facing the sector.

'There has been serious tension between frontline staff and management in social welfare organisations since the introduction of the lump-sum grant scheme in 2000,' Mr Tik said.

He said that he would lobby the government if he were returned as a lawmaker to restore the level of subsidies to NGOs to the levels in 2002, when they were cut by the administration.

Mr Tik will face strong competition from Peter Cheung Kwok-che, president of the Social Workers' General Union, who has secured the union's endorsement.

Mr Tik said he was not worried that some frontline staff would prefer his opponent because of his support for the introduction of a lump-sum grant scheme.

'I support the spirit of the scheme, which allows more flexibility for use of funding by social welfare organisations,' he said.

'But there was no subvention cut when I gave my backing to the scheme.

'The subvention cut has distorted the original intention of the scheme and resulted in a lack of stability among staff in the NGOs.'

Mr Tik said his candidacy would give a boost to Democratic Party morale after the party's popularity had declined in recent years.

'It's good for the party if more veteran members show their commitment by running in the Legco election,' he said.