A debate over Hong Kong’s electoral system reignited after a veteran lyricist and an artist said they did not qualify to register in the cultural sector and instead had to vote as teachers. The revelation came as the city’s annual voter registration campaign ended on Monday. The government is to finalise the voters’ register before more than three million voters cast their ballot to pick 70 lawmakers in September. The complaints about the voter registration system were made by Dr Chow Yiu-fai, a Canto-pop lyricist since the late 1980s, and artist Pak Sheung-chuen, whose work was displayed at the Venice Biennale , regarded as one of the art world’s most prestigious events. Hong Kong professionals urged to register to vote in their functional constituency as city’s top job hangs in balance Currently, 30 lawmakers represent traditional functional constituencies, such as the banking, education or cultural sectors. They were elected by about 230,000 individuals or organisational voters, which account for about six per cent of the city’s 3.7 million registered voters. But to register as a voter in the cultural sector, a person has to represent an art body that is a government subsidy recipient or be a voting member of a film or a recording industry guild. As of last year, the sector comprised about 2,300 organisational voters and 324 individual voters. Renaissance Foundation , a charitable organisation promoting freedom of expression and creativity and founded by Canto-pop singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming in 2012, filed an application on Friday to register as a voter in the cultural sector. It was still awaiting official approval. Foundation director-general Samuel Chai Ziwen said it received subsidies for a Home Affairs Bureau project last year and should therefore satisfy the government’s voter registration requirements. However, Chow told the Post he tried to register in the cultural sector only to learn that his personal portfolio did not count. “It was absurd,” he said. “Something is clearly wrong if individual practitioners like me cannot cast our vote to choose the candidate to represent us.” Chow said he instead registered to vote in the education as he has been teaching humanities at Baptist University since 2011. Hong Kong’s Democratic Party opts for young guns as it puts forward seven candidates for Legco polls Pak told the Post a similar story: he registered to vote in the education sector because he was a teacher in the mid-2000s. “I have been a full-time artist for more than a decade,” Pak said. “But my application to register in the cultural sector was rejected four years ago.” “The Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication sector cannot represent us, and it should be scrapped,” he said. Failing that, Pak said the sector’s voter base should be broadened to include all individual authors or artists. Five localists plan to run for Legco seats in push for Hong Kong independence Four years ago, publisher Jimmy Pang Chi-ming and Cantonese opera star Franco Yuen Siu-fai urged the government to conduct an exhaustive review of the indirectly elected seats or scrap them after their voter registrations for the cultural sector were rejected. Calls were also made at the time to reform sectors like banking and insurance. In 2013, the government consulted the public on reforming the Legislative Council and chief executive elections. It concluded in 2014 that Legco’s election format should not be changed so that efforts could focus on achieving universal suffrage for the chief executive in 2017. However, a Beijing-decreed package was voted down in Legco last year.