Christopher Chung Shu-kun hopes to beat the odds
Updated: 2012-08-23 06:41
By Kahon Chan(HK Edition)
Veternan District Councilor Christopher Chung Shu-kun says he has grown weary of the vague, self serving remarks from the floor of the Legislative Council and that his goal during the current election campaign is to speak for the people of the grassroots community and carry on that role in the chamber.
Chung is standing for the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) in next month's Legislative Council elections.
Like other pro-establishment candidates, Chung has become a natural target for opposition candidates in televised debates. At the forum aired on Tuesday, for instance, he came under attack by Civic Party candidate Chan Ka-lok over the DAB's support for the controversial moral and national education course being introduced in schools this fall.
Chan appeared later as almost speechless. "It was annoying that they kept asking the same old questions. I wonder why members of a major party are not pondering the most pressing issues faced by the people of Hong Kong if it (the Civic Party) stands for the people's interests," he said.
"There is nothing wrong for a state or region to ask its people to be patriotic and work with the government. Was it also brainwashing when the Queen's image was present in all classrooms during the colonial era?"
Though many lawmakers launched their political careers as unionists or social workers, Chung argues the grassroots community has been underrepresented in the chamber of the legislature.
He cited the way disabled people have been passed over in government handouts, as one example to prove his point. No one, he contended, stood up and spoke for their needs. Instead, he said opposition lawmakers spent a lot of time arguing political issues outside the SAR, to serve their own political interests.
"They are still disputing the cause of Li Wangyang's death today - that should have ended once they made their points clear. The chamber should devote itself to finding solutions to quality of life problems," he said.
One of his proposals calls for a revival of the ditched fisherman's wharf project in Aberdeen. He said the project is needed to create jobs that are close to residents. He said his plan is not too district-oriented to be of concern to a lawmaker. "Tourism infrastructure always involves communities. You can't just call for the growth of tourism without a concrete plan."
Another role held by Chung is the chairmanship of the Arts Support Committee under the Arts Development Council. The committee is responsible for allocating funding to the city's art groups. He said creation of CY Leung's planned Cultural Bureau would better promote cultural activities, and give them greater stature. It is regrettable that the plan was delayed by an opposition filibuster, he added.
Chung has held the elected office of Eastern District Councilor since 1991 and so is not a new face in the LegCo battlefield on Hong Kong Island. But he had always been placed in third place of the DAB candidates list, since the 2000 elections.
This is Chung's first bid to lead a team in a regular election. He said he has no feeling that the wait has been too long, saying: "I am fine with that. It's a matter of opportunity and you cling to it if it comes".
Despite campaigning hard in his Eastern District home base, polls show his odds of winning election appear low. Nonetheless, Chung says he is confident he can consolidate the party's loyal following in the next two weeks and secure his ticket to the chamber.
Other lead candidates on Hong Kong Island include Sin Chung-kai, Hui Ching-on, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Lo Wing-lok, Christopher Lau Gar-hung, Ng Wing-chun, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Wong Kwok-hing, Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, Ho Kar-tai, Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, Miriam Lau Kin-yee and Avery Ng Man-yuen.
(HK Edition 08/23/2012 page1)