Henry Ho Kin-chung
Editor's Note: The 2021 Legislative Council election is the first under Hong Kong’s revamped electoral system. Henry Ho Kin-chung, founder and chairman of the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, shared his observations on the polling day and his expectations of the newly elected lawmakers with China Daily. Here’s what he said.
Henry Ho Kin-chung
Founder and chairman of the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum
1. What do you think of the arrangements at the polling stations this year? Could you share your observations or an anecdote of people, including yourself, who went to the polling stations and cast ballots?
The arrangements were definitely much better than two years ago, when the black-clad riots were still ongoing. This year, everything has been in order. Electronic voting registration was introduced, thereby further shortening the total time. It took only about three minutes from entering the station, voting and leaving.
2. Which constituency did you vote for? Which policy initiatives from the candidates impressed you the most?
I voted for the Hong Kong East (Geographical Constituency). I think the candidates have demonstrated their passion, determination as well as knowledge in resolving many of the local and territory-wide issues.
3. The expanded legislature includes new sectors and new constituencies, such as representatives from the grassroots and national level associations, as well as the Election Committee Constituency. How will these changes in the legislature benefit Hong Kong, its governance, and the people?
I think these new sectors and constituencies represent the latest development of Hong Kong. The inclusion of more grassroots organization will improve Hong Kong's governance, in particular tackling deep-seated problems. Therefore, new sectors and new constituencies will be able to better reflect the diverse views of Hong Kong people.
4. This is the first LegCo election under the city’s revamped electoral system. What’s your take on the significance of this election?
This is the first LegCo election to uphold the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”. Its significance is threefold.
First, security. The threat of candidates endangering national security is basically removed.
Secondly, it has brought healthy competition, which means that unlike the vicious competition in the past, candidates now can rationally discuss Hong Kong's long-term development issues, rather than just focusing on political topics or descending into a war of words.
The third one is broad representation, which is manifested by the inclusion of the newly added Election Committee Constituency as the committee represents Hong Kong's interests as a whole. The candidates also have diverse backgrounds, including non-party members, young people and expatriates in Hong Kong.
5. What are your expectations for those who won the race, for the next-term LegCo, and for Hong Kong as a whole?
I expect they will devote their best in fulfilling their duties and put the overall interests of Hong Kong and the nation above their own individual and party interests. They should scrutinize the government’s policies diligently and contribute their professional knowledge as well as reflect people’s views in building a better Hong Kong. Most importantly, they should uphold the principle of “one country, two systems”.
6. Some anti-China forces launched smear campaigns against the election and attempted to influence voters to cast blank ballots or to boycott the election. What do you think of the motives behind the move? Do you think their tactics worked?
I don’t think their tactics worked because most people in Hong Kong support the revamped election system and the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”. These smear campaigns demonstrates there are foreign forces trying to damage Hong Kong’s security as well as reputation.