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Monday, June 27, 2016, 10:08

Passing the baton to young people

By Joseph Li

Tam Yiu-chung will retire after the current legislative term expires in mid-July and will become an adviser on party affairs for the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB).

He disclosed that he had prepared for his retirement at the time of the Legislative Council election campaign four years ago.

On his successor, Tam is pleased with the performance of Starry Lee Wai-king, who took over from him in April 2015 as the new chairperson of DAB.

In 2012, DAB deployed three teams in the New Territories West geographical election, with Tam heading one of the teams and the other two teams led by virtually unknown candidates.

“Our plan was that while I was still campaigning, other party members could also contend and have a chance to win seats,” he recalled. “At the beginning, we had worries that one of the teams would lose. In the latter part of the polling day, there was gossip that I would lose and even news that all three teams would tumble. But with a bit of luck and due to campaign strategy blunders of the Democratic Party and the Civic Party, we managed to win three seats.”

So when the election result was announced, Tam, who is usually calm and cool, could not control his emotion and burst into tears.

Tam became party chairman in 2007, succeeding the late Ma Lik. Last year he chose to step down, though remained as a legislator, and passed the baton to Starry Lee, who faced the immediate tasks of the constitutional reform vote and the district council elections.

“She has been doing quite well in her new post and the members like her. At first, there were fears that she was still young and could not deal with senior party members. With an open mind, she is willing to communicate with the district branches and listen to their opinions. She even quit the post of executive councilor to concentrate on party work, thus gaining greater confidence and trust from party members,” he noted.

Tam disclosed that Lee, after becoming party chairperson, consulted him from time to time on major issues .He sometimes gives her advice whenever he thinks necessary.

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