‘We lost our seats but won people’s hearts’ disqualified lawmaker Edward Yiu says

In a four-part series in which the Post speaks to four ousted lawmakers, scholar turned politician is optimistic about the future of the democracy movement in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 10:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 10:00am

“We lost the power but won the truth. We lost our seats but won people’s hearts,” disqualified lawmaker Edward Yiu Chung-yim said.

The former associate urban planning professor described his nine-month “experiment” in politics as successful, saying “the dark period” of the democracy movement would lead Hongkongers to a brighter future.

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The scholar beat pro-establishment incumbent Tony Tse Wai-chuen in the architectural and surveying functional constituency last year. It was the first time that a pan-democrat had won the seat.

“Some voters in my sector blamed me for filibustering,” Yiu said. “But my supporters agree with me in putting public interest first.”

Some observers believe the pro-establishment camp managed to dominate the sector as the industry relied on the infrastructure projects put forward by the government.

Yet in his short time in the Legislative Council, Yiu threw sharp questions at officials, challenging the construction cost and even the technical details behind the enormous funding requests put forward by the government.

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“As the minority in Legco, [the pan-democratic bloc] can only monitor but not stop the government’s work. Therefore, our function is to reveal any government wrongdoings, hidden problems or collusion with the business sector, and propose amendments to any ‘evil laws’,” Yiu said.

“If there is a conflict between the public and sectoral interests, public interest must go first even if it means sectoral interests are undermined. That’s professionalism.”

Yiu, a former scholar in Chinese University’s department of geography and resource management, stepped into politics after the Occupy Movement, initiating “the community citizen charter” with a group of scholars and activists.

He admitted the disqualification saga had brought a dark period to the democracy movement, but another victory would be achieved. After all, he said he planned to run in the Legco by-elections.