One clear message that emerges from Sunday’s District Council elections is that voters want youth – but not necessarily beauty.
Of the three beauty titlists who joined the race, only Pauline Yam Po-lam won.
Even rumors that you are the boyfriend of a beauty queen may not be enough to guarantee victory.
Joe Lam Chok, an Oxford-trained lawyer, lost to former legislator Tam Heung-man despite generating much publicity from reports that he has been dating the reigning Miss Hong Kong Louisa Mak Ming-sze, and having young and hot ladies in his campaign team.
After the election, Mak was pictured wearing a mask, presumably because of her one-year contract with TVB which restricts her from publicly airing support for any election candidate.
Anyway, Mak’s support came a bit too late for Lam, whose law mentor Cheng Huan had earlier withdrawn his support because his rival Tam was his client.
Probably, if Mak herself ran in the elections, she could have won handily, given her impeccable academic and beauty credentials, but all her charm could not save her supposed boyfriend from defeat.
Beauty may be helpful for name recall or creating a good first impression, but it won’t necessarily translate into votes.
Now let’s consider the cases of Pauline Yam and Erica Yuen Lai-ming.
Yam, a Miss Hong Kong finalist in the 1997 pageant, won in Aberdeen, securing 1,936 votes to edge out rival Zico Man Ho-keung by only 42 votes.
That makes Yam, now 41, the only beauty queen to win the district polls so far.
Meanwhile, Yuen, the 35-year-old chairlady of People Power Party who was also finalist in the Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2005, has yet to see her first election win.
She secured 2,245 votes, not bad, but lost to Judy Chan Ka-pui who secured 2,945 votes in South Horizon West.
It was Yuen’s second loss to Chan, although she could find some consolation in the fact that her margin of loss is narrower this year. She lost by 940 votes in the last year’s by-election.
Likewise, Uny Chiu Chit-ue, winner of the Hong Kong division of Miss China Pageant in 2010, lost in the Tsing Yi Estate battle. She only got 655 votes, trailing the top two candidates who together got 3,730 votes.
Beauty is not a guaranteed ticket to election victory, but not having it also won’t get you anywhere.
Pro-establishment legislator Christopher Chung Shu-kun lost to independent candidate Chiu Chi-kin, a young and rising star, in the Yue Wan contest. Chiu obtained 2,017 votes as against Chung’s 1,829.
It was a mighty fall for Chung, who had been elected for five consecutive terms since 1994.
Chung, notorious for his fractured English, even misspelled his name as “Chirs Chung” in his election pamphlets.
After his loss, a “committee celebrating the loss of Treegun” (his nickname) was promptly set up on Facebook, and the page garnered a lot of “likes” from Hong Kong youngsters.
Chung should not feel too bad. A similar account was created for Lau Kong-wah, who lost the 2012 super-legislator election. Look where he is now.
– Contact us at [email protected]