Together we build Hong Kong through active participation in LegCo election and voting

6 November 2021

The Legislative Council (LegCo) delivers important constitutional functions, from enacting laws, approving budgets, taxation and public expenditure, to monitoring the Government, raising questions and debating issues, as well as receiving public complaints.

Regrettably, the LegCo was roiled by chaos time and again over the past few years, with anti-China, destabilising forces using smear tactics and sowing discord to fan resistance against the country. They wreaked havoc and filibustered in the Chamber, paralysing the Council’s operation in a malicious attempt to thwart the passage of bills and funding proposals put up by Government, impede governance and undermine the successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”. I believe such chaotic scenes as listed below are still vivid in our mind:

  • two disqualified LegCo Members forced their way into the conference room and were subsequently convicted of taking part in an unlawful assembly;
  • another Member snatched the smartphone of a female Executive Officer in the LegCo Complex and was subsequently convicted of common assault, dishonest access to a computer and obstructing a public officer in the performance of duty;
  • Members heckled the Chief Executive by shouting and projecting slogans on the wall during her Policy Speech which ended up being delivered through video;
  • a flock of Members besieged the Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux on their way out of the LegCo Complex, disrupting order and throwing the scene into chaos;
  • Members splashed stinky water and threw foul-smelling objects causing damages and disruptions in the Chamber; and
  • some Members blatantly begged for foreign sanctions on Hong Kong and government officials; and there were even Members who were prosecuted for alleged offences endangering national security.

But thankfully, the LegCo has got back on the right track since last December with the departure of these ill-intentioned Members who advocated “mutual destruction” and disregarded the interests of Hong Kong people. With proper checks and balances in place, the executive and the legislature have fostered constructive interactions. The efficiency and quality of scrutiny has been greatly enhanced, and a number of livelihood-related bills and funding proposals were given serious attention. 46 Government bills were passed before the end of the legislative year, which was more than double the annual average of around 20 bills over the past four years. The funding approval of over $320 billion by the Finance Committee have brought about socio-economic benefits and employment opportunities as well.

Apart from greater efficiency, enhanced quality and meticulous efforts were also manifested in the scrutiny of various bills. Take the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 as an example. In a tight time frame of just about two months, the Bills Committee tirelessly held 17 meetings spanning 47 hours for deliberation of the Bill, while the Government made 369 corresponding amendments. This speaks volumes about the diligence and dedication of the executive and the legislature. With the swift passage of the Bill, the three elections under the improved electoral system, namely the elections of the Election Committee, the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive, could be conducted in accordance with the law.

Furthermore, the LegCo has passed a number of important bills that are closely related to people’s livelihood, including the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 2021 for introducing tenancy control on subdivided units; the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 for increasing supply of doctors; as well as the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2019 for banning electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

Adhering to the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, the improved electoral system is a crucial institutional safeguard for the LegCo to get back on track and for preventing saboteurs who disregard the interests of Hong Kong people from entering our governance regime. It not only puts an end to the days of havoc, but also unveils a new chapter of constructive and effective governance. In addition, the improvement to the electoral system enables the LegCo to achieve broader representation and balanced participation which serve the overall interests of our society. Since the LegCo will play a vital role in resolving issues with focuses on people’s livelihood, development and constructive input, the LegCo Election to be held on December 19 will be of paramount importance. I am looking forward to an exceptional, positive election, which builds on the active participation of different sectors of the community, whereby candidates can compete head-to-head in rational debates while articulating their own political beliefs and goals set out in the election manifestos.

The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to the upcoming LegCo election and the preparation work is proceeding full steam ahead. The nomination period for this election will run from October 30 to November 12, right after that the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee chaired by me and comprising six other members will start to review and confirm the eligibility of candidates. We will decide whether a candidate meets the legal requirements and conditions of sincerely upholding the Basic Law and bearing allegiance to the HKSAR. The review results will be announced on or before November 26.

I am confident that the LegCo Election, which is for sure a matter of utmost concern for every Hong Kong citizen, will go smoothly. I encourage capable aspirants who would like to get into politics and serve the community to stand for the election. I also appeal to all voters to cast their votes on December 19 so as to fulfil their civic responsibilities. Let’s join hands to make the election a smooth success for Hong Kong.