Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Explainer: Meet the candidates in the Hong Kong West Kowloon by-election

A Legislative Council by-election will be held on Sunday for the Kowloon West constituency, the former seat of ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai, whose “slow motion” oath was ruled invalid by a court. She was disqualified from the legislature last year and abandoned her legal appeal this May.

The winner of the race will occupy the seat until September 2020. The confirmed candidates for the race are as follows:

byelection 2018 legislative election

File photo: Tom Grundy.

Lee Cheuk-yan

Lee, a former Labour Party lawmaker, was a substitute candidate in case party colleague Lau was barred from running. He had been a lawmaker for 21 years before failing to gain a seat in the 2016 general election in the New Territories West constituency.

Lee and Lau have often campaigned together with the aim of reclaiming an important seat in the Legislative Council. This would give the pro-democracy camp back its veto power against bills, motions and amendments submitted by fellow lawmakers. However, the legislature’s system does not allow the pro-democracy camp to veto bills, motions and amendments submitted by the government.

Lee Cheuk-yan

Lee Cheuk-yan. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

His election platform said he is the “only pan-democrat candidate,” a claim his competitor Frederick Fung denies.

Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan

Chan was a former broadcast journalist with TVB and Now TV news channels between 1999 and 2012. She was the political assistant for then-health secretary Ko Wing-man between 2012 and 2017.

Chan initially denied that she was a pro-Beijing candidate until she admitted to representing the camp at a rally on November 13.

Chan’s campaign has been marred by multiple controversies. Among them, she appeared as a “health ambassador” on a large billboard advertisement for a pro-Beijing group, before joining the race. This month, her team apologised for plagiarising a document written by pro-democracy district councillors on local issues.

Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan

Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Also this month, she was accused of involvement in an alleged campaign to hand out supermarket coupons to participants of her rally, which her team denied.

Most recently she has been embroiled in a debacle in which she falsely accused Lee Cheuk-yan of never taking part in a legislative panel on housing, a statement she later retracted after Lee threatened to report her to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.  

Frederick Fung Kin-kee

Fung was once a Kowloon West lawmaker formerly of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL), the grassroots-oriented party he co-founded over 30 years ago.

He initially supported Lau’s bid, but was dissatisfied with her choice of the Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan as “plan B.” He said he opposed the decision being made by the democrats without a primary election, calling it an “authoritarian” move.

Frederick Fung

Frederick Fung. File photo: inmediahk.net.

He had said that he would only join the race if Lau was barred from entering.

Fung had previously said that he would never run in an election again after failing to win in the pro-democracy camp’s primary election for the March by-election. That position changed when he later clarified that he would not run again as an ADPL candidate.

ADPL said it would support Lee instead of Fung. But some members of the party have publicly supported Fung.

Fung had been a lawmaker for more than 20 years before he lost the race in New Territories West in 2016.

Judy Tzeng Li-wen 

Tzeng was a member of the League of Social Democrats and People Power parties. She describes herself as a follower of former lawmaker Raymond Wong Yuk-man, and as the “only localist candidate” in the race.

Tzeng, a Mei Foo resident, ran in the 2015 District Council race against a pro-democracy candidate and a pro-Beijing candidate in Mei Foo South. She received 179 votes. The pro-democracy candidate received 2,193 votes, and the pro-Beijing candidate won with 2,431 votes.

Judy Tzeng

Judy Tzeng. Photo: Flickr

Her election platform said the government should take back unused land from developers. She said she opposed bid-rigging and “brainwashing” education. She also said former leader Leung Chun-ying should be charged for his UGL payment controversy, and responsibilities must be sought for the Shatin to Central Link construction problems. She added the government should give its fiscal reserves back to the public.

Ng Dick-hay

Ng, who worked in the information technology sector, was a spokesperson of the pro-Beijing Defend Hong Kong Campaign.

Ng Dick-hay

Ng Dick-hay. Photo: Citizen News.

He ran in the March by-election for the Hong Kong Island constituency and received 2,202 votes. Ng did not put down any political affiliation in the March or the upcoming by-elections.

His election platform said he opposed Hong Kong independence, and called for the introduction of rent control, a quota of 80 per cent of new flats to be public housing, and the importation of foreign doctors.

Explainer: Meet the candidates in the Hong Kong West Kowloon by-election