Editor's Note: The 2021 Legislative Council election is the first under Hong Kong’s revamped electoral system. Calvin Chau, president of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business, shared his observations on the polling day and his expectations of the newly elected lawmakers with China Daily. Here’s what he said.
1.What do you think of the arrangements at the polling stations this year? Could you share your observations or an anecdote about people, including yourself, who went to the polling stations and cast ballots?
I attended the polling station at HKCEC (the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre) this morning, and I must say it was well organized. There were many volunteers present to offer assistance, and voters proceeded to cast their votes in an orderly and civilized manner. The new electronic registration system was very effective, and I completed the whole process in approximately 10 minutes.
2.Which constituency did you vote for? Which policy initiatives from the candidates impressed you the most?
I belong to the Election Committee Constituency representing the SME (small and medium-sized business) sector. I would follow those candidates who have a good knowledge of the SME industry and (are) manifesting policies that would support and assist the SME sector.
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?
Yes indeed. There are a lot of new faces with various backgrounds. There is wide representation, even including a few academic professors. I can see young and enthusiastic candidates, first-time candidates for legislators, willing to give new perspectives to the governance of the legislature and at the same time acting as a watchdog for future government policies.
4.This is the first LegCo election under the city’s revamped electoral system. What’s your take on the significance of this election?
We have seen a lot of disruptions within LegCo in the past two years, anti-government groups paralyzing the LegCo operation. At the end of the day, it’s the Hong Kong people and our society that would suffer as a result. The duty of a legislator is to make and enact laws. The revamped electoral system hopefully will iron out undesirable intentions, outside influence and possible external forces, and put Hong Kong’s political and economic developments back on track.
5.What are your expectations for those who won the race, for the next-term LegCo, and for Hong Kong as a whole?
Of course I cannot speak for everyone and every sector. But as far as the SME sector is concerned, I hope the new legislature will put in more effort to support SME businesses and introduce suitable and appropriate policies for the sustainable development of the SME sector in Hong Kong.
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?
Those are very irresponsible motives by minor groups. Fortunately, those actions are considered unlawful and would be subject to prosecution.