Category: Local politics

Election ’16: The rural party line

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.

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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

A couple more for the banner collection

For the record, a couple more banners next to the Mui Wo ferry pier.

Resident Ben Sargent commented on my earlier piece that banners calling for the redevelopment of Chi Ma Wan prison are up in the Ham Tin/Pui O area. So whoever is doing it is reasonably thorough. And also, you’d have to say, a touch conspiratorial and counter-productive.  What’s the point of making an intervention in local issues if you’re not going to identify yourself?

As posted earlier, one resident claims to have seen former local District Councillor Rainbow Wong and a team putting up the banners in Pui O.

There is no sign the banners have been approved by the Lands Department. Local environmental activists say they must apply months in advance to get just a single banner space.

Continue reading

Anonymous banners getting govt message out on Lantau development

A series of banners promoting the government’s ‘develop Lantau’ message have popped up all over South Lantau in the last three days.  The unusual feature is that no one has put their name to them.

What’s also unusual is that, unlike the government grand plan that includes inflatable water toys, cable cars and artificial islands, these messages include practical ideas that could improve people’s lives, like better internet and a functioning sewage system.

That said, these promotions are on the same page with the government on conservation, with one banner asserting that environmental protection should not take precedence over development.

Photos and translations of ten of the banners below.

(UPDATE: One Pui O resident posted on a local Facebook page that she’d seen former Islands District Councillor Rainbow Wong hanging the banners. Wong was the preferred Rural Committee representative for a decade until the local powerbrokers threw their weight behind Randy Yu at last year’s election. )

IMG_20160429_132331‘Support Lantau Development: Cut ferry ticket prices’ – Mui Wo roundabout Continue reading

Lantau’s rising political star

Lantau has never bred a major political leader, but Holden Chow, a rising star in the pro-Beijing camp, could be the first. Holden

The 37-year-old DAB vice-chairman, who was elected to Tung Chung South in November District Council poll, is making a tilt at the Legco seat vacated by former Civic Party member Ronnie Tong. As SCMP puts it, the by-election “is widely seen as a showdown between the pan-democracy and pro-Beijing camps.”

Chow is also tipped to contest the LegCo ‘super seat’, likely in September, with backing from Regina Ip’s New People’s Party.

Chow, a solicitor, is often sought out by English-speaking and foreign media for his views. In an interview with the New York Times on the Hong Kong democratic reform bill last year he said China was “going her own way.”

Like it or not, this is the reality and China has to go on her own way. Also, I believe that if all of a sudden China carried out democratic elections tomorrow, that may create a lot of consequences, too. It is something that is very realistic, and I am a very pragmatic person. You have these ideals, good, but you also have to strike a balance with reality.

 

Election wash-up: Occupy was an issue, but not on Lantau

Randy Yu earned himself a profile in the SCMP last week in the wake of his Lantau election victory. It was the kind of flattering story on a pro-government figure that the SCMP seems to specialise in these days; it skipped the inconvenient fact of Yu shrinking the establishment vote by a third.

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Nonetheless it’s a worthwhile introduction to someone who will likely have an influence on Lantau issues for many years to come. Continue reading

Poll result shows it’s time to pause Lantau ‘development’

The Islands District Council result yesterday reflected Hong Kong as a whole; the pro-government and pan-Dem forces basically fought a draw.

Each gained and lost a seat. Democrat Eric Kwok ousted Andy Lo in Yat Tung South, while Peter Yu (Civic Party) lost to Sammi Fu (New People’s Party) in Tung Chung North. Amy Yung (Civic Party) held onto Discovery Bay despite the efforts of the SCMP.

As widely-predicted, Randy Yu comfortably won the Lantau seat vacated by Rainbow Wong but his share of the vote plummeted from 77% in 2011 to just on 50% – the lowest that the establishment candidate has ever achieved. That slide in support is a testament to the disquiet over the blizzard of projects and development schemes, in particular the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator and the plan to open up South Lantau roads. Continue reading

Election 2015 preview

Whoever said the internet has changed politics never visited Lantau. The battle for Hong Kong’s biggest electoral district is strictly analogue. No Twitter wars here. Issues and platforms are less important in Lantau’s murky politics than patronage, clan loyalties and personal feuds.

The island rural committees dominate both local politics and the Island District Council (IDC). Although the government no longer appoints councillors, rural committee heads are automatically granted seats. As well as the ten elected members the Islands Council will have eight ex officio members from the rural committees – pretty much a lock.

Randy Yu, the rural committee candidate for Lantau and, if he wins, the likely next IDC chairman, should also be a lock. But the retirement of the unlamented Rainbow Wong,the development controversies and the Occupy fallout have made this contest interesting. Continue reading

Green candidate: Clara Tam

This is the second Q&A with a Lantau District Council candidate.

Clara Tam (candidate no. 4) stands out in the race as the only conservation candidate.  In Lantau terms that means she is the only one opposed to the government’s development programme – including Shek Kwu Chau incinerator, the round-island highway and the East Lantau Metropolis. She advocates a green approach emphasising eco-tourism, community participation and greater transparency.

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Please introduce yourself: name, age, occupation and education experience, experience in the community, political affiliation, connection to Lantau.

I’m Clara Tam Sau Ngor, 46 years old female and third-generation born and raised in Mui Wo, Lantau. The Tams have made Mui Wo our home for 60 years since my grandpa and dad started Yau Lee Transportation Company, a kaito (cargo boat) family business on the island. Most of the people in Mui Wo know our family. Like most of the kids here, I went to Lik Hang kindergarten and Mui Wo School. Continue reading

Dissing Amy

A reminder that the District Council election is about more than just local politics. Today’s SCMP has run this news-free story boosting Amy Yung’s opponent in Discovery Bay.

Amy is your quintessential conscientious elected representative. She has a 100% attendance record this year in both council and committee meetings. For most of the past four years she has been the only voice of democracy and conservation in the Islands District Council. Only since the election of Peter Yu, another Civic Party representative, 18 months ago has she had someone to second her motions.

Continue reading