Conservation and pro-democracy candidate Eddie Chu Hoi-dick has become the biggest election story after winning a seat with a record number of votes and warning of “a storm” of violence in rural Hong Kong.
Chu, 38, a former Ming Pao journalist, topped the poll for NT West, which runs from South Lantau north to the Shenzhen border, with 82,000 votes – a record for any single candidate. He campaigned on a platform of Heung Yee Kuk reform, Hong Kong self-determination and conservation, including opposition to the East Lantau Metropolis.
Chu broke down in tears briefly at a press conference this morning after thanking his supporters and family. He said he was followed on the last day of the election campaign by a car that he was told belonged to a Yuen Long landlord. Continue reading
More roads for Lantau, relocation of cattle, improved sewerage works, expansion of Mui Wo tourism.
If those seem familiar they should. They are the demands of South Lantau rural committees, so it is no surprise they should be the main planks of Leung Che-cheung’s Lantau platform.
Leung, the sitting member for New Territories West, is a prominent Heung Yee Kuk politician as well as top of one of the DAB lists for NT West. The kuk is pro-government but not necessarily pro-DAB. Lau Wong-fat was a member of the Liberal Party for some years, and in recent years kuk leaders have canvassed setting up their own party (that would be a milestone; they already have their own LegCo seat). Continue reading
On my last visit to LegCo the taxi driver thought it was the High Court and proceeded up the hill past the Shangri-La. He was ex-mainland, but these days you can almost understand the confusion.
This journey was to make my contribution to the waste management ‘debate’. Hong Kong citizens have the right to directly make their argument on issues to an appropriate LegCo committee, in this case the Environmental Panel (wondering: can we do this for the electoral reform bill?). I’ve been thinking about whether this is an admirable exercise in pure democracy or a complete waste of time, but I’ve had to come down in favour of the latter.
Lantau ferry fares are about to go down, but before that happens taxi charges are likely to go up.
The Legislative Council has approved a Transport and Housing Bureau plan to tip another HK$40m in subsidies into outlying island ferry services. The government already spends nearly HK$40m a year on subsidies, mostly on pier maintenance.
The new funds will be used to subsidise fares to Mui Wo, Cheng Chau and other main island routes. However, we won’t feel the effects of these until after the next three-year islands ferry tender is completed in 2011.
Meanwhile, Lantau taxis have joined urban and New Territories taxi drivers in asking for a HK$2 hike in flagfall because of higher operating costs.
The increase would amount an average 4.11% increase in Lantau taxi fares, according to a bureau policy paper.
The net income of Lantau taxi owners has fallen as much as 13% in the first ten months of 2010 compared with 2009, – a result of higher operating costs, the bureau says, although it does not say what these are.
The LegCo Transport Panel will consider the price increases on Friday.