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Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 00:36

Holden Chow eager to amend Rules of Procedure

By Joseph Li
Holden Chow eager to amend Rules of Procedure

Lawmaker-elect Holden Chow Ho-ding said he will seek to amend the Competition Ordinance, which was one of his campaign promises. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Holden Chow Ho-ding, a newly elected lawmaker in the District Council (Second) constituency - also known as “super seats”, said he will push for an amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council to counter filibusters.

Since it is difficult to lower the quorum which it is fixed by the Basic Law, he will propose time limits for motion debates and the amount of speaking time a legislator is allocated.

In an interview with China Daily, Chow revealed he will also seek to revise the Competition Ordinance. This is to allow small companies the right to sue against non-competitive behavior, which was one of his election pledges.

Including Chow, five of the newly elected pro-establishment legislators are lawyers or barristers, raising the number of law professionals to eight among the camp’s lawmakers and outnumbering the opposition camp for the first time.

In his view, their “legal team” can counter the opposition camp and point out cases of them breaking the law and rules, such as the 79-day illegal occupation and the half-hearted obedience to court injunctions to remove the barricades set up by the occupiers.

“We will also enlighten their understanding of the Basic Law. First and foremost, we will tell them Article 1 of the Basic Law cannot be amended,” he said.

Chow also agreed that the Department of Justice should seek review of sentences handed down on the three student activists who started the illegal occupation after forcing into the East Wing Forecourt of the Tamar government offices.

“Many people feel that the sentences are too lenient. If these sentences are allowed to stand, it sends a signal to society that the cost of breaking the law is very small,” he said.

Chow is a vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB). He had run in the LegCo New Territories East (NTE) by-election in February before the legislative election on Sept 4. These were two very tough election battles which put great pressure on his shoulders, he admitted.

He felt grateful for the DAB for giving him the chance to contest the election. Chow especially thanked party veterans Tam Yiu-chung and Jasper Tsang Yok-sing for campaigning untiringly for him. He said it had been tougher than their own campaigns because the “super seat” contest is a citywide election.

Chow added: “I faced very huge pressure because the then DAB vice-chairman Lau Kong-wah narrowly lost the ‘super seat’ election in 2012. If I lost again this time, it would reflect badly on the party.

“Personally, if I lost once again as DAB vice-chairman after losing the NTE by-election, my political future would become uncertain,” he said.

“I would have to wait for four years to run in the next LegCo election or may never have the chance again.”

Chow remembered his poll rating was very low at the early stage of the election. Critics predicted he would compete with the Democratic Party’s Roy Kwong Chun-yu for the last seat.

“The low rating came as a stimulus to me and my campaign team to work even harder,” he said.

Chow criticized the three opposition “super seat” candidates who pulled out on the eve of the election.

He said: “I felt shocked and very angry. The collective withdrawal was totally foul play and disrespect to the election, and it should be investigated.

“Our assessment was that my campaign was very difficult. This prompted me to campaign on Hong Kong Island too. In the evening of the polling day, I appealed through Facebook to all voters in the city to vote for me,” he recalled.

Chow plans to join panels on constitutional affairs, administration of justice and legal services, security, economic development and also the Committee on Rules of Procedure in the new-term LegCo, which opens on Oct 12.

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