23 August 2019
Li Ka-shing champions the right of Hong Kong people to vote for their leader. Photo: TVB
Li Ka-shing champions the right of Hong Kong people to vote for their leader. Photo: TVB

Li Ka-shing says HK should not ‘stand still’ on political reform

Hong Kong should move forward to change its electoral system instead of “standing still”, Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. (00001.HK), told the media on the sidelines of an event on Tuesday.

Although different parties may have different views about the city’s electoral system, Hong Kong really needs a change in the political system, whatever Beijing’s universal suffrage proposal is, Li said. 

He said it is important to grant Hong Kong people the right to vote for their leader.

Li’s comments came before the National People’s Congress is expected to announce a decision about Hong Kong’s electoral reform next week.

Over the past two weeks, media reports, citing unnamed official sources, said that Beijing’s proposal would be conservative with chief executive candidates required to gain at least 50 percent support from the nomination committee. It will reject public nomination of candidates as proposed by democrats.

As the democratic camp only has 20 percent support from the so-called “small circle” nomination committee, its candidates will probably be screened out. It has the right to veto Beijing’s proposal as the Hong Kong government needs five votes from democrats to have the proposal passed. 

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also on Tuesday called for the Legislative Council to support Beijing’s electoral reform proposal for Hong Kong.

Labor Party leader Lee Cheuk-yan said Hong Kong does not want a North Korean-style election, meaning a situation where people have a right to vote but no chance to be nominated as a candidate. Lee was speaking after he and some democrats met Liaison Office chief Zhang Xiaoming.

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