As the nomination period for the Legislative Council by-election scheduled for Nov. 25 is set to open early next month, all aspirants across the political spectrum are gearing up for the race.
Among them is Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan, political assistant to Dr. Ko Wing-man when he was the secretary for food and health.
Chan appears determined to run against the pan-democrats in the by-election, saying that she intends to quit her job as chief executive of social enterprise Sounds Great Services Limited.
She had joined Sounds Great as its CEO shortly after she left government service in 2017. But after speculation emerged that she would run in the by-election, Chan found herself the target of criticisms.
One commentator remarked that her pro-Beijing background has “gone off” after joining a social enterprise.
It is also said that amid such speculations about Chan’s plans, the board of directors of Sounds Great decided that it would be in their organization’s best interests not to get involved too much in politics.
As such, in order to avoid putting Sounds Great in a difficult position and affecting its public image, Chan is said to have eventually chosen to leave the social enterprise last week and focus on her election campaign.
Meanwhile, there has been talk in the local political circles that Chan is likely to join a pro-establishment party, with the New People’s Party led by former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee most likely to be her choice.
However, it is also said that Chan wants to run as a genuinely independent candidate, and as such, she has no intention to join any political party.
But whether Chan is running as an independent candidate or not, she is definitely going to be grilled by her pan-democratic rivals over issues such as the recent scandals engulfing the MTR Shatin-to-Central Link, the relaunch of political reforms, separatism and the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law.
Inevitably, she will have to take a stand on these highly controversial issues.
Meanwhile, ousted pro-democracy lawmaker Lau Siu-lai has recently set up a local support group in Kowloon West and eagerly invited other pan-democratic groups to join.
It is believed that the support group will serve as Lau’s “cheerleaders” once she officially declares her candidacy in the by-election.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 10
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
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