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Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 00:44

'HK independence’ inappropriate and impractical: Jimmy Ng

By Joseph Li
'HK independence’ inappropriate and impractical: Jimmy Ng

Jimmy Ng Wing-ka, lawmaker-elect representing the Industrial (Second) functional constituency, said his policy areas of concern are business and housing. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Jimmy Ng Wing-ka, a vice-president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong (CMA), is already a lawmaker-elect when other candidates fighting intensely for the Sept 4 election as he is the sole candidate in the Legislative Council Industrial (Second) functional constituency.

In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Ng reveals that more than one person at the CMA is interested in becoming the legislator. In the end, they came up with only one candidate by consultation.

“There are more than the two people (Ng and CMA President Eddy Li Sau-hung) media previously reported who are interested in becoming a lawmaker, and we are all capable of taking part in politics,” he disclosed. “At the CMA, we value harmony. And as before, we came up with the LegCo candidate through consultation to avoid dissensions. After I am elected, we are united again to serve our constituency.”

Ng’s policy areas of concern are business and housing. As a representative of the industrial sector he will fully consult the general committee members of the CMA and his constituency before he votes on important subjects and issues that are strictly right or wrong.

On the issue of so-called “Hong Kong independence”, Ng, who is a lawyer by profession, makes it very clear that it violates Article 1 of the Basic Law stating that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. He calls “independence” both inappropriate and unworkable because Hong Kong has no natural resources or its own supply of food and water.

He has signed the confirmation form that asks election nominees to pledge their support for the Basic Law and the Hong Kong SAR.

Yet he did not comment on those who were declared invalid candidates by the returning officers because of their pro-independence stance, knowing these people may petition the court. But he stressed that intimidation of the returning officers is totally unacceptable. He urged police to probe the matter thoroughly and to prosecute the offenders if there is sufficient evidence.

Ng understands that LegCo has been dragged down by filibusters and abuse of the quorum bell in the past four-year term.

“It was very bad for one or two lawmakers to drag down the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the subsequent private columbaria and fire service bills, which had the support of the majority lawmakers and members of the public.

“Most people, not knowing who the filibusters are, will form a bad impression of LegCo for doing nothing and will blame the government because the bills could not be passed,” he commented.

While he wants filibustering lawmakers to return to their senses, he will also study ways to revise the LegCo Rules of Procedure to rectify the problem.

Ng is also concerned with the hot labor issues of legislation of standard working hours and the cancelation of the offsetting mechanism under the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme.

In his opinion, there is no simple definition of the term “standard working hours”, especially for employees whose work involves time differences arising from working with foreign countries and regions, and also employees on overseas trips.

If employees only want work-life balance, better health and more time with family members, then the working hours may be capped and there is no need to talk about payment for overtime work.

However, he argues that there are employees who wish to work longer hours to gain more money to support their family.

“In the UK, employees may sign a form to opt out of being bound by standard working hours, for example for six months,” he commented. “As to whether or not to support the law on working hours, I need to see the details of the bill if the government decides to make a law.”

On the cancelation of the MPF offsetting mechanism that the trade unions strongly demand, Ng said the offsetting of severance pay or long-service payment with the employers’ MPF contributions is permitted by law. It would be unfair if employers were asked to pay this twice.

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