Hong Kong district council elections 2015

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing veteran Christopher Chung Shu-kun blames election defeat on first-time voters

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 November, 2015, 2:58am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 November, 2015, 4:00am

Pro-Beijing veteran Christopher Chung Shu-kun spent more than two decades representing Eastern District Council, but it seems to have been too big a challenge for him to serve the district and the Legislative Council at the same time.

Chung, from the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, was defeated on Sunday by Chui Chi-kin - a relatively unknown candidate and so-called "umbrella soldier".

Chui chose to run only on the last day of the nomination period, with the news shocking several DAB lawmakers, including party chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king.

Chung was first elected as a district councillor in 1991. He became vice-chairman in 2003, and took the helm at the council for about a year before stepping down when he was finally elected to the Legislative Council in 2012 - securing 33,901 votes in his Hong Kong Island constituency after failing in all four previous polls from 1998 to 2008.

He was often ridiculed for his mistakes in English, such as misspelling "legislative". In May last year, his English skills came under the spotlight again as he questioned then-MTR chief executive Jay Walder about delayed high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.

"You are being a CEO. You are very 'wearly' [sic] passive to get the information from your staff … You are dreaming on your office or you are not attended at your office. Answer me!" he said.

Despite a flood of criticism, Chung, who earned a master's degree in Britain, was unrepentant. "Who can claim themselves speaking perfect English?" he said.

Before Sunday's election, Chung was again ridiculed after his election pamphlets misspelled his name "Chirs"; he blamed the printing firm.

Chung attributed his shock loss to first-time voters. " It was because of the political climate."

Lee said the poll showed "councillors have to do their job well and get results, otherwise the incumbents and veterans won't be supported."