New Territories East by-election candidate Nelson Wong Sing-chi has urged the public to vote for fellow candidate Christine Fong Kwok-shan, if they choose not to vote for him, in a television debate held on Monday.
Wong later explained that he wanted to stress his “middle-way” stance. In his opening remarks of the debate hosted by NowTV, he said that the opposition between the pro-establishment and pan-democratic sides had led to the polarisation of opinion in society.
“[Pro-establishment] DAB doesn’t need to communicate – they do what the government tells them. The pan-democratic side will not communicate. Hence they oppose each other and spread hatred in the legislative council,” said Wong.
He said he wanted to pursue the “middle-way” to act as a buffer between the pro-establishment and pan-democratic sides. He also added that political parties are partially responsible for Monday’s unrest in Mong Kok. The government’s clearing of street hawkers in Mong Kok triggered violent protests which continued into the early hours of last Tuesday.
Wong is a former member of the pro-democracy Democratic Party, but was expelled in July 2015 after he urged legislators to support the government’s political reform package, which would have allowed for universal suffrage during the city’s 2017 leadership elections, albeit from a list of pre-approved candidates. He is running in this month’s by-election as a candidate for Third Side, a centrist political party founded in January 2015.
Fong is an independent candidate. She is an incumbent member of the Sai Kung District Council and has held the office since 2008.
The New Territories East by-election will be held on February 28.
Summary of closing statements made by New Territories East by-election candidates
Lau Chi-sing (No. 1)
“Young people, as masters and pillars of our society of our future, I hope everyone understands that in order to improve society, you need to enrich yourselves.”
“I do not wish to see young people, because of moments of impulse, creating harm to our society… We need livelihoods, not riots.”
Nelson Wong Sing-chi (No. 2)
“After the violence in Mong Kok during Lunar New Year, if you are still voting for Yeung Ngok-kiu, you are bringing violence, filibustering, and suspensions of meetings into LegCo. This is unfair to Hong Kong.”
“Voting for the DAB’s Chow Ho-ding is even more awful. The things we believe in all our lives would be for nothing.”
“We can introduce a middle way in LegCo, allowing us to bring hope to Hong Kong people.”
Holden Chow Ho-ding (No. 3)
“LegCo filibustering, violent HKU protests, and Mong Kok riots during Lunar New Year, are all sequelae of Occupy Central. Opposition parties condone violence, support Occupy Central, and advocate resistance, leading to fierce resistance methods in Hong Kong.”
“Some political parties continue to advocate resistance and shirk responsibilities. Are they really not responsible for what happened to Hong Kong?”
Albert Leung Sze-ho (No. 4)
“My political ideal is to help others first before myself. I believe win-win is more important than winning.”
“Even though I have a trade union background, I am a director for two trade unions, I am running as a candidate without any coordination [with them]. Political parties and groups will give me baggage. If I want to serve Hong Kong people, I need to be independent. From now, I will not be either pro-establishment or pan-democratic, I will only serve Hong Kong people.”
Christine Fong Kwok-shan (No. 5)
“In LegCo, Fong Kwok-shan will continue to defend Hong Kong’s core values – opinion and press freedom, [amd] policies that put Hong Kong people first.”
“Fong Kwok-shan is democratic and also cares about people’s livelihood. Please support the independent candidate, who also has solutions and political achievements.”
Edward Leung Tin-kei (No. 6)
“We know that Hong Kong is facing gradual mainlandisation from the CCP. We cannot be like the previous generation, who emigrated to foreign countries when something happens to Hong Kong.”
“Hong Kong is our last home, so when we face oppression and police repression, even if they shoot, we will not fear. We will persist in fighting bravely in our struggle against all injustices in our society.”
Alvin Yeung Ngok-Kiu (No. 7)
“Those in power keep condemning us young people,” he said. “We do not wish to use violence, but if we maintain this eye-for-an-eye mentality, we will eventually be trapped in a situation where Hong Kong people battles Hong Kong people.”
“Hong Kong people should calm down and unite together.”