Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Chair of rural body Heung Yee Kuk praises Chief Exec. contender Woo over small house policy

The chairman of the rural body Heung Yee Kuk has praised chief executive race contender Woo Kwok-hing’s platform on the New Territories.

Kenneth Lau Ip-keung was asked about the campaign of retired judge Woo and lawmaker Regina Ip at a meeting of the Kuk’s executive council. He said both of them were acceptable.

“The [ex] judge’s statements were very impartial. He has a view for the long term,” Lau said. “Our land usage does not affect the living environment of people in the urban area. [Woo] wanted to meet our long-term housing demands – he agreed that we can build higher.”

woo kwok-hing

Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing (C), 70, arrives at a press conference in Hong Kong on October 26, 2016. Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace.

The current Small House Policy allows certain male indigenous people to build village houses of three storeys.

Explainer: Hong Kong’s divisive Small House Policy

Earlier this month Woo attended a Kuk rally, saying that he supports indigenous people’s traditional rights.

His platform suggested the government should be less bureaucratic and increase manpower at the Lands Department to speed up the approval of small house applications, and allow for taller small houses.

Chief Executive Election Committee 

Lau said there was no rush to decide who the Kuk should nominate in running for chief executive.

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Kenneth Lau. File Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

At the meeting on Tuesday, Lau suggested that chief executive electors in the Heung Yee Kuk sector should be united. There were 35 people racing for 26 designated seats in the election last week. Next march, the committee will elect the city’s next leader.

“No matter who was elected, they should [vote] on the basis of the interests of New Territories people and the Kuk,” he said.

“At the same time, we should vote in accordance with the central government’s instructions and vote in a bloc in the upcoming chief executive election. On this matter we should not be divided and create small circles,” he continued.

But Lau denied there was a split among members of the Kuk.

“We urge unity at all times. You can see there are more than 100 people at a Kuk meeting – it is not unusual we have different views,” Lau said.

Chair of rural body Heung Yee Kuk praises Chief Exec. contender Woo over small house policy