Legislative Council elections 2016

Legco hopeful aims to bridge Hong Kong’s political divide

DAB candidate Holden Chow believes he has the temperament to forge constructive relations with the pan-democrats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2016, 10:37pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2016, 10:53pm

Holden Chow Ho-ding believes he can act as a bridge between the pro-establishment and pan-democracy camps if he wins a seat in the September Legislative Council elections, thanks to his “easy” temperament.

Indeed, he said it was very same trait that enabled him to rise to the post of vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) in just 10 years.

“Putting aside the differences in political ideologies, there are many livelihood issues on which the two sides can co-operate,” Chow said, citing MTR fare rises and the aborted copyright bill.

“If I could offer a second opinion to my party or both camps and make things work out, that would do a lot of good to forging constructive relations.”

Born in 1979, Chow studied in Britain after finishing Form Five in Hong Kong. He was not particularly interested in politics until he entered the London School of Economics and Political Science in the late 1990s to study economics.

“Good economic policies can change the country. But it also needs a good leader to promote and lead good economic policies. So, when I returned Hong Kong after graduation, I was thinking maybe I could put this thinking into practice.”

I can get along well with fellow members. And I think it is also an important quality for someone who is contesting an election
Holden Chow Ho-ding

He joined the DAB in 2004 and was promoted to head the party’s youth committee – Young DAB – between 2009 and 2015. He was elected a party vice-chairman last year.

“I started as a volunteer helper and helped do odd jobs at party activities. But I did not mind and I made many friends and colleagues,” Chow said. “I can get along well with fellow members. And I think it is also an important quality for someone who is contesting an election.”

He won a seat in the Islands district council in last year’s polls and had his first taste of a Legislative Council-level campaign in February when he took part in the by-election in the New Territories East constituency.

He was narrowly defeated by his main rival from the pan-democratic camp, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu.

In the September general elections, he will contest the so-called “super seat” elections, where five seats are up for grabs in a citywide poll involving more than three million voters.

With his party’s pro-Beijing stance, it is hardly surprising that Chow opposes calls for Hong Kong independence or self-determination. “I see myself as a patriot. When I was a primary pupil, I developed a deep interest in Chinese history and thus a strong sense of attachment to the country.

“I believe that the ‘one country, two systems’ policy is the best option for Hong Kong. While keeping a separate social system, we can also take advantage of the mainland’s economic development.”

On his chances of winning, he did not think his pro-establishment credentials would hurt him but cautioned: “I am not 100 per cent safe. All rivals are genuine political stars.”