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Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 10:48

Raymond Mak carries Ronny Tong’s legacy

By Joseph Li in Hong Kong
Raymond Mak carries Ronny Tong’s legacy
Raymond Mak Ka-chun, from Path of Democracy, says he dislikes the way “pan-democratic” parties fight for what they want through filibusters in the Legislative Council. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

Raymond Mak Ka-chun, from Path of Democracy, will contest in the New Territories East constituency in the September Legislative Council election — the same constituency where the party’s convener Ronny Tong Ka-wah had served for 11 years.

Mak, president of the University of Hong Kong’s student union in 2003, admits that it is Tong’s sentimental ties that pushed him to run in the election and in New Territories East.

Tong had twice asked him before but Mak refused, hoping to prepare himself better before contesting in 2020. It was only after his father talked to him that he changed his mind.

“My father said I should not give up my dream simply because I think I have little chance of winning — and I should not think of winning my debut campaign.

“Having thought it over, I feel that after the national education saga, the ‘Occupy’ movement and the Mong Kok riot, I should not run away in this critical moment of a turbulent year. I decided in April that I would stand for the election,” he told China Daily.

He describes Tong as a mentor and a friend. He admires Tong as a pragmatic person who has clear principles and rationale, without resorting to populism and extremes.

“Ronny said my character is like his, and we sometimes argue hotly on some subjects,” he said.

In 2015, Tong decided to quit the Civic Party because it was hard for him to speak freely and be true to himself.

“It was painful to leave the party that one co-founded. New Territories East residents said it is better for Ronny because he can now express himself freely, but some cursed him as having betrayed the ‘pan-democratic’ camp,” Mak disclosed.

Mak said he dislikes the way “pan-democratic” parties fight for what they want through filibusters, disturbances and aborted meetings — something else he has in common with his mentor. “Ronny was very disappointed to see (Civic Party lawmaker) Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu (who filled Tong’s LegCo seat) shouting with a loudhailer in the LegCo chamber,” he said.

“If someone filibusters the Budget, which is deemed by many as a good one, on the pretext that universal retirement protection is not there, he will not have people’s backing,” Mak commented.

Other candidates in the New Territories East constituency are: Lam Cheuk-ting, Yung Hoi-yan, Fong Kwok-shan, Lee Tsz-king, Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, Cheung Chiu-hung, Fan Kwok-wai, Chan Hak-kan, Hau Chi-keung, Tang Ka-piu, Yeung Ngok-kiu, Leung Kwok-hung, Chan Chi-chuen, Lee See-yin, Liu Tin-shing, Chan Wan-kan, Chan Yuk-ngor, Leung Chung-hang, Leung Kam-shing, Cheng Kar-foo and Wong Sum-yu.

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