HONGKONG—In a luncheon held by Hong Kong Democratic Foundation (HKDF) in the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong earlier this week, Alan Leong, the candidate of Hong Kong Chief Executive from the Pro-democracy group, was invited to explain why he participated in the election. Leong indicated that Hong Kong's powerful and influential public figures often elect the candidates that Beijing preferred, so it's extremely difficult for a candidate of the Pro-democracy group to get support from at least 100 members of the Election Committee (EC), but he will do his best.
Leong said that the Pro-democracy group is keen to participate in the election because they don't want a ruler of Hong Kong to be automatically initiated without any contest again. However, he did point out that it would be hard for him to get enough support from the members of the Election Committee.
He said, “To put it frankly, it is extremely hard to get 100 member's support from the 800 members of the EC, because the system was manipulated by different powers. The committee members could receive pressure that would not occur in a direct election.”
Frequent Pressure by Powerful and Influential Public Figures
Leong pointed out that under the present system, one in the Election Committee could be asked by someone in power to support a candidate preferred by Higher Authorities (Beijing Authorities). Since they could decide your career and future, if you say 'No', it will be regarded as a resistance and not being respectful.
“How many people would be willing to destroy their future?” Leong asks.
In addition, there is a strange phenomenon. Many rich merchants strive to compete for the membership of the EC. Leong said, “Businessmen and organizations depend on the government's support, and even big business organizations need protection by supporting 'the right candidate'.”
In the aspect of candidacy political program, Leong criticized the idea of governance, “Strong Governance for the People,” proposed by the present Chief Executive, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. He said, “The slogan can never substitute for Hong Kong's perspective.”
He implied that Hong Kong needs to have a free and fair competitive environment to develop a harmonious society.
The Key for Good Governance is Democracy
Leong said that although Hong Kong is economically well-developed, its political system is flawed in many ways. “Under the most developed economic system, the income of HK people is below average and the distribution of its political power is not very fair because the Chief Executive and half of the members of the legislation are generated from functional constituency election.”
For the social policy, Leong stressed that he believed the government from a democratic election is the key to good governance. He said that he has an important duty in this election, so he will try his best. He also hopes to get everyone's support.