THERE will not be any wholesale shake-up of the Jockey Club's voting membership despite expectations among club members that more people with mainland connections will be admitted. The growing presence of mainland enterprises in Hong Kong is considered by many in the club as inevitably leading to a changing profile of its membership which has in the past been dominated by Englishmen. But club chairman John Swaine assured there were stringent procedures and criteria in electing the club's voting members. 'The voting membership is confined to 200 members. There are few vacancies. We take the filling of vacancies in the voting membership very seriously,' he said. At present, few of the voting members are considered as having a close relationship with China. Virtually none falls into the 'red-capitalist' category. However, veteran club members observed that recently there were more full members with strong mainland connections. Among the prominent ones is the daughter of Chinese Communist Party elder, Chen Yun. While unsure of the number of people with mainland connections in its ordinary or voting membership, Mr Swaine said there was a lot of interest in joining the club. Apart from racing, it provided very attractive facilities. He said criteria for full members to become voting members included a commitment to Hong Kong, a reputation and standing in the community and service or potential service to the club. 'Potential voting members are put forward for election at board meeting level, so you require 12 stewards to agree to the appointment of voting members to replace one who has retired or resigned.' While such an appointment would not require a unanimous decision, the board of stewards did conduct elections to fill the vacancies, he said. Mr Swaine rejected mainland connections as a major factor for being selected as a voting member, but said for a candidate meeting the criteria, it might be a bonus. 'By itself, it would not be sufficient to satisfy our criteria. So it may be on the potential service to the club, we might look upon a candidate with a mainland connection as being of value of the club, but there isn't going to be any wholesale shake-up of the voting membership. These changes are changes that are brought about gradually and after very careful vetting.' Club chief executive Major-General Guy Watkins said stewards had predominantly been expatriates but now both the stewards and the voting membership was predominantly Chinese with about 60 per cent of the voting members being local Chinese. While membership was once dominated by businessmen from big families or hongs armed with a string of British honours, it is now becoming younger with more professionals.