Voters start arriving at the polling station at Sha Tin Town Hall before the polls open, Hong Kong, Sept 19, 2021. (EDMOND TANG/CHINA DAILY)
This Sunday will witness a new political milestone for Hong Kong as the new Election Committee will be elected for formulating a committee of 1,500 members from different sectors under the same guiding principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong”, in order to decide the future composition of the city’s Legislative Council and to elect the next Chief Executive for next year, the 25th year anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
This will be the first major election after the last District Council Election in 2019 as the registered voters go to exercise their discretion to choose the right candidates for governing Hong Kong. This will also be one big step further for Hong Kong in electing the real patriots after a series of national-level legislative measures to pull the city back from the political abyss, namely the Implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the Improvement of the Electoral System.
This will be one big step further for Hong Kong in electing the real patriots after a series of national-level legislative measures to pull the city back from the political abyss, namely the Implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the Improvement of the Electoral System
People may wonder why and how the new Election Committee system can better serve Hong Kong safeguarding the city’s long-term prosperity and best interests, as these elected members at a population of 1,500 will not only decide who is going to lead Hong Kong at the beginning of the next 25 years but also elect 40 LegCo members whom will be watched closely by Hong Kong people, our nation as well as the entire world. The Election Committee will be de facto the most powerful and representative group in Hong Kong.
Enlarging from 1,200 to 1,500 is not simply an act of adding 300 members but amplifying the representativeness and political spectrum from various interest groups into a wider general community who have equal stakes in the city. Apart from conventional groups of commercial, industrial, financial and professional backgrounds, the new Election Committee welcomes elected representatives from the grassroots, district organizations and local entities of relevant national organizations. This means that these people who used to be voiceless in the local communities yet thoroughly understand the importance of Hong Kong’s development in the context of national growth and security will be regarded highly in the Election Committee. It will ensure a stronger and broader representation of different constituents that has widely drawn members from various subsectors and a vastly different mindset in a constructive way.
With the new electoral set-up to free from the distorted ideology and political bickering, the elected members can enjoy a high degree of autonomy to make sure that they elect the truly suitable candidacy for the upcoming 40 LegCo Members and the new Chief Executive, under the staunch framework and unyielding principle of “Patriots governing Hong Kong”. This can be naturally predicted that the 1,500 members in the Election Committee can exercise their free will, demonstrate collective interests from the groups they represent, make a wise discretion based on electing criteria of patriotism and eventually vote for the best candidates fit for shouldering greater responsibilities based on their quality and merit. As part of the LegCo Members and Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR are decided by the Election Committee, the working relationship between executive and legislative branches can be repaired to try rebuilding a trust for collaboration. Only if the LegCo and Chief Executive join hands together can the deep-seated social issues such as housing, healthcare, employment and poverty in Hong Kong can be resolved to satisfy the 7 million people’s shared expectation and answer the call from the Central Authorities. Therefore, the new Election Committee is of a crucial importance to better and more objectively represent Hong Kong’s true voice for stability and prosperity, for tackling the outstanding social problems that are urgently put into an alleviation, if not an end.
ALSO READ: HK Election Committee polls go smoothly
Under the current circumstances of an economic stagnation with lasting pandemic disruption impacted on livelihood, Hong Kong is still facing a lot of challenges. To revive the city back on track, we absolutely require a new model of good governance that can turn into the new chapter of Hong Kong for focusing on the development and improving the overall livelihood sharing the fruits of economic successes with all residents. The good governance will need to be forward-looking in order to pave the way for the next 25 years of the Special Administrative Region to ensure the smooth and continued success of the One Country Two Systems.
Kevin Lau Chung-hang is a radiologist and non-official member of the Commission on Poverty in Hong Kong.