Date
16 January 2017
Ma Fung-kwok (right) wins against Adrian Chow for the Legco seat of the functional constituency representing the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector. Photos: HKEJ
Ma Fung-kwok (right) wins against Adrian Chow for the Legco seat of the functional constituency representing the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector. Photos: HKEJ

It might take a foolish old man to topple an unjust system

On the surface, the contest for the seat of the functional constituency representing the “sports, performing arts, culture and publication” sector was between the incumbent Ma Fung-kwok (馬逢國) and musician Adrian Chow Pok-yin (周博賢).

The truth is, it’s Adrian Chow vs the Communist Party.

It didn’t matter who the incumbent was, whether it was Ma Fung-kwok or any Tom, Dick and Harry, because all of them are just lackeys of their Beijing bosses.

The functional constituency was first introduced by the British back in the 1980s to guarantee a fair representation of all major sectors of society in our legislature.

But it has degenerated into a mere tool of an autocratic regime. It no longer represents anybody other than Beijing.

No matter how poorly Ma Fung-kwok performed in election forums and how ignorant he was about the sector he is supposed to represent, his re-election was a foregone conclusion because the election, if I can still call it an election at all, was fixed right from the start.

Just consider that two-thirds of the 2,000 voters in this constituency are Beijing’s proxies, and you can tell right away that this so-called election was nothing but a scam.

Unlike the functional constituencies representing the legal, accounting, medical, education and IT sectors, which are dominated by individual voters, the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector is dominated by company votes, which means it is much easier for Beijing to manipulate the election.

Those who refuse to toe Beijing’s line has basically zero chance of getting elected in this constituency.

Just take myself as an example. I have been running my own publishing firm for 10 years now.

However, I have refused to join any of the leftist publisher associations, and as a result I am not even allowed to vote.

So what Adrian Chow has been doing is simply doing the unthinkable: continuing to challenge someone whom he has no hope of defeating.

But what’s the point of going through this exercise year after year?

The functional constituency election is like a sick old tree plagued by pests.

By shaking it a little bit every four years, Chow is trying to draw public attention to this unjust system while waiting for miracle to happen.

By shaking it bit by bit, perhaps the sick old tree can be toppled one day.

Chow’s untiring efforts have reminded me of an old Chinese fable about the virtues of perseverance and will power: A foolish old man succeeds in removing two big mountains in front of his land by digging through them bit by bit, using just his hoe and basket, for decades.

It appears that in order to topple the unjust functional constituency, we might need to adopt the spirit of that foolish old man.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 5.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version中文版]

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