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Thursday, September 1, 2016, 00:03

Lawmaker urges people not to vote for separatists

By Joseph Li
Lawmaker urges people not to vote for separatists

Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a lawmaker seeking reelection in the Kowloon West constituency, campaigns in Mong Kok on Wednesday. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

HONG KONG — Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, an incumbent lawmaker seeking re-election in the Kowloon West constituency, advises the electorate not to vote for those who have been involved in separatism and filibustering in the legislature.

She specifically pointed out that the Civic Party was “pro-independence in their hearts”. The party has been encouraging young people toward this line of thinking, although they have never verbally expressed they support independence.

Leung, a barrister and associate professor in law who represents the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, has vowed to revise the LegCo Rules of Procedure to counter filibusters and misuse of the quorum bell.

“In the past term, President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing was too lenient in handling filibusters and I hope the new president will be more decisive,” she said, while suggesting alternatives to handle debates.

For example, the number of hours for a debate should be stipulated in advance. For complicated or controversial issues, as many as three weeks (i.e. 2.5 days or 25 hours per week) would be quite enough, she added.

Alternatively, a closure motion will be voted to bring an end to a debate. She said: “An absolute majority of 35 (or more) out of 70 lawmakers is required to end the debate. If pro-establishment lawmakers are united together, we can achieve this.”

Although Leung has been a lawmaker for two terms and knows the constituency well, she is not taking anything for granted.

“It is very important to first consolidate your supporters and then absorb new votes, because you may sometimes lose some votes,” she said.

Leung made the comments to China Daily while campaigning on Wednesday in Mong Kok – probably the busiest area in Kowloon West.

She thought a recent poll which said her team could win two seats is too good to be true, adding she needs to work very hard to keep her seat.

In her appeal to Kowloon West residents, she asked them to vote out those who have disrupted livelihood issues through filibustering and creating discord.

In Mong Kok there are many old buildings lacking adequate protection against fires. Many residents are angry that the Fire Services (Amendment) Bill was dragged down by filibusters, she said.

In Hung Hom, another old district, numerous private columbaria operate in residential buildings. But disgruntled residents complain that the bill intended to regulate private columbaria also fell victim to filibusters.

Other candidates who have signed up in Kowloon West constituency are: Ann Chiang Lai-wan, Tam Kwok-kiu, Chu Siu-hung, Claudia Mo Man-ching, Raymond Wong Yuk-man, Helena Wong Pik-wan, Lam Yi-lai, , Kwan San-wai, Lau Siu-lai, Yau Wai-ching, Augustine Lee Wing-hon, Tik Chi-yuen, Avery Ng Man-yuen and Jonathan Ho Chi-kwong.

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