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Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 23:57

Tony Tse envisages difficult campaign

By Joseph Li
Tony Tse envisages difficult campaign

Tony Tse Wai-chuen, incumbent Legislative Council member from the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency, says he will continue his efforts to improve people’s housing conditions and enhance project cost controls if re-elected. (Parker Zheng / China Daily )

HONG KONG - Tony Tse Wai-chuen says he has unfinished business in standing for re-election in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency of the Legislative Council election.

Tse, a surveyor, believes he has certain strengths over his opponents. Yet he will not be complacent because he only defeated his closest challenger by 61 votes in 2012.

Yiu Chung-yim and Bernard Lim Wan-fung are the other candidates in the constituency – which has over 7,300 voters.

Tse is one of the pro-establishment functional constituency lawmakers unattached to political parties. On the other hand, Yiu has formed an “alliance” with several “pan-democratic” functional constituency candidates.

In an interview with China Daily, Tse calls himself a pragmatic professional who keeps a low profile.

Over the past four years, he has brought the four sectors of the constituency closer together. Tse has also set up a communication platform with the professional bodies and 14 trade unions in the government service. Tse says this is helpful to the professions.

If re-elected, Tse will continue his efforts to improve people’s housing conditions, enhance project cost controls, as well as other initiatives.

Housing cost accounts for a large proportion of the expenditures of households not entitled to public housing. To help more people, the government should devise different income limits and adjust the supply of public housing units, he argues.

To tackle project delays and overspending, the government needs to employ more professional people. These people can prepare cost estimates and monitor projects, Tse explained.

The management, safety and maintenance of new buildings are regulated by the law, yet there is no legislation that governs old buildings. He suggests a new enactment, citing the recent fatal fire in Ngau Tau Kok.

Tse feels he has all-round experience over his opponents. He has not only worked in the government before but worked for the Urban Renewal Authority and private developers. Tse has also spent four years as a legislator.

He believes Bernard Lim, an architect, will get votes from architects and surveyors, while Yiu will have support from surveyors and planners.

“Our vote sources may clash,” Tse said. “Yiu Chung-yim is a dark horse, having the support of anti-traditional young professionals.

“Professional people are rational, who will convince others with sound reasons. However, if the supporters of candidates are radical, the candidates may turn radical too.”

Tse strongly criticized the destructive filibusters that almost paralyzed the legislature in the past years. As a result, the number of government projects decreased, while professional firms had to downsize or cut salaries in order to survive.

“The chairman of the Finance Committee shall exercise his powers more effectively to curb filibusters, while striking a balance between efficiency of meetings and the right of lawmakers to ask questions. Matters will be put to vote at the appropriate time after discussions for a considerable number of hours.

“The LegCo president shall be more stringent in handling the meetings to maintain dignity, as we have seen some lawmakers using slang and offensive language during meetings,” he said.

He regretted that the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2016 was dragged down by filibusters.

Tse would like to be chairman of the Public Works Subcommittee in the new term. He backs Chan Kin-por, who has been returned in the Insurance constituency uncontested, to continue as Finance Committee chairman.

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