As it is highly unlikely that former Secretary for Food and Health Dr. Ko Wing-man will throw his hat into the ring despite intense arm-twisting by Beijing’s liaison office, the pro-establishment camp has no choice but to keep looking for another decent hopeful to run in the upcoming Legislative Council by-election in Kowloon West, which is less than four months away.
While the camp has not made any final decision on the matter, it is said that Scott Leung Man-kwong of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) is already warming up for the race – with or without Beijing’s blessing.
The pro-establishment camp currently has three seats, shared by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and BPA lawmakers, in the Kowloon West geographical constituency. Now there is concern among members of the pro-establishment camp that the BPA might find itself in a dilemma if it sends its own candidate to run against the pan-dems in the Kowloon West by-election in November.
It’s because if that candidate wins and seeks another term in the 2020 Legco election, the BPA’s support base in Kowloon West might be stretched to a dangerous limit and might even undermine the prospects for re-election of the only BPA incumbent representing the geographical constituency, i.e., Priscilla Leung Mei-fun.
For that reason, the pro-establishment camp has serious reservations about allowing Scott Leung to run.
In order to allay such concerns and secure his candidacy, Scott Leung, in response to media inquiries, has pledged that he won’t be seeking re-election in 2020 if he wins in the upcoming by-election.
In other words, if he manages to win the seat in November, he is going to just serve out the remainder of the term and leave in 2020.
And since another young pro-establishment hopeful, Dominic Lee Tsz-king, has been prohibited from entering the race by his own Liberal Party, while Chris Ip Ngo-tung, said to be the DAB’s choice, has also dropped out, it appears Scott Leung has become the only option on the table for the pro-establishment camp if it still can’t find a better candidate to run.
And that probably explains why the BPA has decided to go it alone regardless and started campaigning for Leung to boost his exposure even in the absence of the liaison office’s endorsement.
As regards Dr. Ko, there is talk that he has been invited to rejoin the Hong Kong Red Cross, where he used to serve as the director general.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 28
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
– Contact us at [email protected]