Date
13 November 2018
Former Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan (inset, left) and former ADPL chairman Frederick Fung (inset, right), both also former lawmakers, could splinter the votes of the opposition camp in the Legco bypoll, pan-dems fear. Photos: Bloomberg, HKEJ
Former Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan (inset, left) and former ADPL chairman Frederick Fung (inset, right), both also former lawmakers, could splinter the votes of the opposition camp in the Legco bypoll, pan-dems fear. Photos: Bloomberg, HKEJ

Frederick Fung still seen as bypoll spoiler for Lee Cheuk-yan

It is now confirmed that a total of five candidates will be running in the Nov. 25 Legislative Council by-election for the Kowloon West geographical constituency.

The contenders are former Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, former chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL) Frederick Fung Kin-kee, former Food and Health Bureau political assistant Chan Hoi-yan, unaffiliated candidate Ng Dick-hay, and social activist Judy Tzeng Li-wen.

As far as Fung is concerned, his candidacy has been sparking a lot of talk within the political circles as to how much political appeal he is actually left with.

During a media interview last week, Fung bragged that he would be able to take 40,000 votes.

Nevertheless, a pan-democrat who is familiar with election campaigns told us that one can’t but help laugh at Fung’s remarks, predicting that he is likely to get only some 10,000 votes.

However, that pan-dem pointed out that losing 10,000 votes to Fung would still prove fatal to Lee, because in the by-election back in March this year, it was enough to cost Edward Yiu Chung-yim his seat as he lost by 2,400 votes to Vincent Cheng Wing-shun of the Democratic Alliance For The Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Pan-dems explain that even though Fung has left the ADPL, many old-time residents in Sham Shui Po have been so used to seeing him as a representative of the party that he may still command substantial appeal among those voters.

Therefore, they said, all the pro-democracy camp can do right now to boost its odds in the upcoming race is to portray Chan as the biggest adversary while deliberately downplaying the significance of Fung.

Meanwhile, the camp believes Lee has got a strong image as he is among the pan-dem figures who had been spearheading labor movements for grassroots.

Moreover, Lee’s background with the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China could possibly work in his favor as it might help him draw votes from middle class constituents, particularly among the traditional supporters of the pan-dems who haven’t forgotten the June 4 incident.

But the first and foremost thing Lee needs to do at this point, pan-dems added, is to get rid of his image as a political has-been as soon as possible and translate his rich experience in politics into solid advantage over other contenders.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 22

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/RC

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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