[Hong Kong] no vote for you

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Subject: [Hong Kong] no vote for you
From: newsbeanie@dictatorshandbook.net (NewsBeanie)
Newsgroups: dictator.asia
Organization: solani.org
Date: Feb 12 2017 12:02:18
Title: Deprived of Voting Rights, What Do Hong Kongers Think of the Chief Executive Race?
Author: Hong Kong Free Press
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2017 09:03:14 -0500
Link: https://globalvoices.org/2017/02/08/deprived-of-voting-rights-what-do-hong-kongers-think-of-the-chief-executive-race/
Podcast Download URL: https://globalvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/hkfp-crop-400x300.jpg

[image 2][2]

Voices from the street. Image from Hong Kong Free Press.

This post was written by Ellie Ng and originally published[1] by Hong Kong Free
Press on February 7, 2017. The edited version below is published as part of
a partnership agreement.

The election of Hong Kong's top leader, called the chief executive, is set
for March 26, 2017. In order to enter the race, potential candidates have to
gain 150 nomination votes from the 1,200-member election committee of
representatives of different professional sectors.

That same committee will decide the winner of the election. The people of Hong
Kong, a special administrative region of China, don't get to vote.

Currently, there are four potential candidates who told the press that they
would seek to be nominated: Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, a lawmaker and former
security secretary; Carrie Lam, ex-chief secretary and a key ally of the
current chief executive CY Leung; Woo Kwok-hing, a retired judge; and John
Tsang, ex-finance chief.

Pro-Beijing election committee members will only give their nominations to the
candidate “blessed” by the mainland's central government. According to the four
criteria put forward[3] by Wang Guangya, China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs
Office director, the future chief executive should 1. love China and love Hong
Kong; 2. be trusted by Beijing; 3. be capable of governing; and 4. be supported
by the Hong Kong people.

Though the China Liaison Office, which represents Beijing in Hong Kong, told
its loyalists that Carrie Lam has the central government's blessing, some doubt
if the office really represents what mainland officials think.

Against such a backdrop, ex-finance chief John Tsang took the internet by
storm on February 3 with a fundraiser for his campaign[4] to show his
popularity and raised over HK$4 million (approximately US$520,000) from nearly
20,000 people in just three days.

But is Tsang really that popular? What does an average Hong Konger – who does
not have a vote – think about the “election”? Hong Kong Free press spoke to
people on the street to find out what they think.

Mr. Ching, 55, civil engineer

What do you think about the election?

The choice has more or less been made among the Election Committee members,
who will be voting bearing in mind the “big picture.” I think they are just
putting on a show for us, since some candidates obviously do not stand a
chance, like Regina Ip and Woo Kwok-hing.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

I think the fundraiser is meant to demonstrate popular support for Tsang. I
don’t think the amount matters to him.

Do you support Tsang?

Yes, because compared to Carrie Lam, I think Tsang will more likely fight for
Hong Kongers’ interests when Beijing and Hong Kong have competing interests
over major issues. I think Lam will probably bow down to instructions [from
Beijing].

Even though I think the leader choice has more or less been made, if popular
support for Tsang remains strong, [Beijing] cannot ignore it. Maybe it will
change its mind and think, “fine, we’ll let you give [Tsang] a try.” I don’t
feel completely hopeless about the election.

Who is your ideal next chief executive? If it could be anyone, not just the
four candidates.

John Tsang, because realistically Beijing wouldn’t trust someone who’s more
liberal or radical. Members of the Executive Council – including Tsang, Lam
and Ip – have seen many confidential documents, and Beijing wouldn’t want an
outsider to access them as they hold the key to understanding how public
policies were made over the years.

Mr. Yeung, 34, NGO worker

What do you think about the election?

It looks like Beijing is staging a sham election, so that people will be
tricked into thinking that John Tsang is elected because of popular support.
It will give him legitimacy.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

It is a smart move, since it shows he has public support. But I won’t donate
to him, because maybe he’s the “chosen” one.

Though Carrie Lam may look like a strong rival, she seems more stupid than
before. She must be very capable since she successfully persuaded developers
when amending property-related laws a few years back, so why have there been
so many publicity failures[5] since she declared her candidacy? Were they
intentional? I’m skeptical, though I could be wrong.

What issues do you care about the most?

Poverty and the environment. While Tsang may be able to make some progress on
environmental issues, I don’t think he cares much about livelihood issues –
he has a finance background, after all. Given his track record, I don’t
expect him to do much in areas like improving labour rights and ending the
MPF offsetting mechanism.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

I can’t think of anyone.

Mr. Chan, 22, medical sector

What do you think about the election?

It is about choosing puppets, because no matter who takes office, they will
obey Beijing.

Carrie Lam is obviously too cunning and Regina Ip too pro-Beijing. John Tsang
is just like Leung Chun-ying before he was elected [to chief executive]: he
appears to be on Hong Kongers’ side, but you don’t know what he will become
once elected.

Woo Kwok-hing does not seem to be pro-Beijing, but he supports the Small
House Policy[6], so I don’t support him.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

I didn’t know about the fundraiser. But in any case, I won’t give him money –
he has a lot already, being a senior government official for so long.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

Myself.

Ms. Kwok, 60s, retiree

What do you think about the election?

I’m pessimistic about it, because no matter who becomes the next chief
executive, they will obey the central government. They won’t answer
Hong Konger’s demands such as improving livelihoods.

I’ve been waiting for universal suffrage for many years. Ever since the 1997
handover [of Hong Kong from the UK back to China], I’ve been waiting.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

He is free to do that, but I think his chances are bleak. I guess it depends
on how the public perceives his fundraiser – I do want to see Hong Kong enjoy
democracy and have its own voice.

I will donate to his fundraising drive.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

People have jokingly suggested actor Andy Lau. I think he may not be a bad
choice actually. But frankly, as an average Hong Konger, I feel that only the
rich have voting rights and the rest can only be docile subjects of the
state.

Mr. Kwan, 28, logistics sector

What do you think about the election?

It feels like many things have already been decided internally, because most
TV news coverage is about Carrie Lam’s campaign. I don’t think I’ve seen
anyone else much on TV. Even if there are reports on the other candidates,
they are mostly negative or unimportant.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

I don’t have a take on this, but I won’t give him money because I don’t agree
with his platform.

What issues do you care about the most?

Housing and things that matter to me, but mainly housing.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

Anson Chan[7], the former chief secretary in both the British colonial
government of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
government under the Chinese sovereignty.

Ms. Lau, 22, student

What do you think about the election?

I hope the next chief executive will be less out of touch with society and
less of a lapdog of the central government. Like Carrie Lam is obviously too
pro-Beijing. And Regina Ip – thankfully she won’t be able to get enough
nominations.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

He must have a lot of supporters to have raised so much money. I hope he will
make good use of the money; only use the donations if there is really such a
need, rather than spend it on promoting himself.

What issues do you care about the most?

Housing, including public housing. Even if you make HK$30,000 a month, it
will still take you 20 to 30 years to pay off the mortgages. So I hope the
next leader will be able to ease our burden in this regard.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

John Tsang seems okay so far, because he seems quite fair.

Or that former Legislative Council president… Jasper Tsang. I quite like him,
because even though he is pro-establishment, he seems relatively rational.
Also, I watched the TV show about him traveling with “Long Hair” [Leung
Kwok-hung]… Tsang didn’t refuse to listen to someone just because that person
is not on the same side with him.

Mr. Hung, 30, banking industry

What do you think about the election?

This election is more competitive than the previous ones, because there are
many strong candidates.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

I think other candidates will follow suit. I will donate to him as a way of
showing my support for him.

I support him because his platform and public policies he implemented in the
past are more appealing to Hong Kongers. Also both the pro-establishment and
pro-democracy camps have confidence in him – the support he gets is less
one-sided.

What issues do you care about the most?

Building trust in society, first and foremost. It takes precedence over
economic and other issues. I think Tsang is probably capable of achieving
this goal.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

Other than actor Andy Lau[8], John Tsang is probably the best.

Ms. Law, 40s, educational sector

What do you think about the election?

I’m just an observer since I don’t have a vote. I guess there’s some
competition in this election, but the outcome will still be influenced by the
Chinese government.

What do you think about John Tsang’s fundraiser?

I don’t think his fundraiser can really reflect wide public support. I won’t
donate to him, because he’s not the candidate that I support. But even if he
was, I probably wouldn’t donate. I don’t support any candidate at the moment.

What issues do you care about the most?

Housing, retirement and health care. Health care is actually very important,
but so far none of the candidates focus on it.

Who is your ideal next chief executive?

I’m not pro-democracy or pro-government, so I don’t have a preference.

Written by Hong Kong Free Press[9] · comments (0) [10]
Donate[11] · Share this: twitter[12]facebook[13]reddit[14]googleplus[15]

Links:
[1]: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/02/07/voices-from-the-street-what-hongkongers-make-of-the-leadership-race-and-john-tsangs-fundraiser/ (link)
[2]: https://globalvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/hkfp-crop.jpg (image)
[3]: http://www.vohk.hk/2017/01/04/beijing-sets-tasks-for-next-chief-executive/ (link)
[4]: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/02/03/crowdfunding-site-crashes-leadership-hopeful-john-tsang-appeals-donations/ (link)
[5]: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/01/23/leadership-hopeful-carrie-lam-attracts-ridicule-new-gaffe-toilet-paper/ (link)
[6]: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/01/21/explainer-hong-kongs-divisive-small-house-policy/ (link)
[7]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anson_Chan (link)
[8]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Lau (link)
[9]: https://globalvoices.org/author/hong-kong-free-press/ (link)
[10]: https://globalvoices.org/2017/02/08/deprived-of-voting-rights-what-do-hong-kongers-think-of-the-chief-executive-race/#comments (link)
[11]: https://globalvoices.org/donate/ (link)
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