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Friday, September 2, 2016, 00:19

Tang seeks a victory to help curb filibustering

By Joseph Li
Tang seeks a victory to help curb filibustering
Bill Tang Ka-piu, an incumbent lawmaker seeking re-election in New Territories East, waves to supporters while campaigning in Tseung Kwan O on Thursday. (Edmond Tang / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Bill Tang Ka-piu, an incumbent lawmaker from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU), said it would help contain excessive filibustering in the Legislative Council if the pro-establishment camp wins the Sunday election.

Tang, who moved from the labor constituency to the geographical constituency of New Territories East (NTE) in the LegCo election, said many residents know well about the filibusters and those responsible for them.

In his view, different opinions in LegCo are normal. However, issues must be put to a vote after thorough discussions; it was wrong to cause delays.

Tang has primarily two targets for this election. First he hopes the pro-establishment camp could win 18 geographical seats so that they can initiate amendments to the LegCo Rules of Procedure to counter filibusters. Second, he also wants to continue his services in the legislature to help working class people.

The campaign in NTE is the most chaotic, with a record total of 22 candidates fighting for nine seats.

The pro-establishment camp won only three seats in NTE in the last LegCo election in 2012. This time, the camp vies for four seats: Two for the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, one for HKFTU and one for New People’s Party.

Recent election polls show that Tang’s support level is quite low, but he is not daunted.

“I will call on residents who supported the HKFTU and Chan Yuen-han (the retiring veteran lawmaker) to continue to support us this year,” he told China Daily while campaigning in Tseung Kwan O on Thursday.

“I am confident of the election but I will not be complacent. If my poll rating rises, my team will take it as an incentive. If it drops, I will persevere because this means there is still room for further improvement,” he said.

Tang noticed that HKFTU colleague Ip Wai-ming competed in NTE in 2012 but he lost with a narrow margin of about 24,000 votes, while Chan Yuen-han secured 60,000 votes in NTE in the District Council (second) constituency contest.

“I believe there must be a place for a pro-labor lawmaker in NTE, which has a population of some 1.9 million people and an electorate of nearly 1 million,” he said. “This time around, we are building our campaign on Ip Wai-ming’s work. If we quit NTE after he had lost, we would let the people down.”

For labor issues, he calls for legislation for standard working hours and cancellation of the Mandatory Provident Fund’s offsetting mechanism.

“Every other political party/candidate shouts the same slogans. I am the one who makes a difference because I have done solid work in helping employees recover their wages, as in the cases of ATV and California Fitness,” he explained.

Candidates who will run in the New Territories East constituency are: Eunice Yung Hoi-yan, Lam Cheuk-ting, Raymond Mak Ka-chun, Christine Fong Kwok-shan, Lee Tsz-king, Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, Cheung Chiu-hung, Gary Fan Kwok-wai, Chan Hak-kan, Bowie Hau Chi-keung, Bill Tang Ka-piu, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Leung Kwok-hung, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Leticia Lee See-yin, Liu Tin-shing, Chin Wan-kan, Estella Chan Yuk-ngor, Leung Chung-hang, Leung Kam-shing, Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and Wong Sum-yu.

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