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Friday, April 21, 2017, 00:33

Pro-establishment camp ‘reunited after Lam's win’

By Joseph Li
Pro-establishment camp ‘reunited after Lam's win’
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, said the opposition camp must return to their senses and consider what is best for the people of Hong Kong following Lam’s election victory and appointment by the central government. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Chief Executive-designate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s participation in last month’s election has help reunite the pro-establishment camp, said Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a National People’s Congress Standing Committee member and an adviser to Lam’s election campaign.

Fan believes Lam has won the support of different quarters of the Election Committee with her straightforward and genuine style.

Fan told China Daily it has been a very steep learning curve for Lam and she is pleased to hear Lam say she has learnt to be more humble.

HK’s leading national legislator Rita Fan praises incoming CE for gaining broad support

Fan expects Lam will do well as the top official of the special administrative region, with her willingness to learn, inspire, listen and accept good advice.

Following Lam’s election victory and appointment by the central government, the opposition camp must return to their senses and consider what is best for the people of Hong Kong, Fan said.

She noticed some positive changes in the opposition camp and hoped the good things would remain. First, the number of amendments to the 2016-17 Budget was reduced to about 500 from more than 1,000 in previous years since the budget was first delayed by filibusters in 2013. Major political parties have said they would not filibuster.

Second, lawmakers, including several from the opposition camp, recently went on a trip to the Dongjiang River on the mainland to inspect water supply arrangements for Hong Kong. The trip went smoothly.

Fan hopes the opposition camp will remain pragmatic on future issues. She cited as an example the controversial co-location arrangement for the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link at the West Kowloon Terminus.

Since the co-location arrangement is operating in the Shenzhen Bay Control Point on the mainland side, she believes the same model can be replicated in West Kowloon.

“With a co-location system of immigration and customs services, Hong Kong can connect with the national high-speed rail network, providing speedy and efficient services to passengers,” she said.

“In the absence of co-location, the rail link will lose its competitive edge and will be relegated to a ‘white elephant’ project,” Fan added.

During and after the election, Lam vowed to recruit talented people to become principal officials and Executive Council members of her next government regardless of their political background.

Fan said she had no idea how Lam’s selection process is going. However, it is not long before July 1 for integrity checks and appointments by the central government.

She also discussed potential candidates from the “pan-democratic” camp for government posts. Fan said people invited by Lam might be afraid to join the government, fearing they would be called traitors and deemed as joining the pro-establishment camp.

“It will be less risky for them to become members of advisory committees and just give opinions to the government,” she ventured.

Discussing the role of ExCo, Fan said it is better to keep the non-official members as a channel between the ExCo and society (or their political parties). This is because government officials are not good at lobbying for votes from the Legislative Council.

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