Press Releases in Hong Kong

Sy: Revamped electoral system reflects voices of HK majority

Editor’s Note: Hong Kong will hold its first legislative election under the improved electoral system on Sunday. China Daily talked to representatives from various sectors to weigh in on the upcoming election and Hong Kong’s democracy. Stanley Sy Ming-yiu, chief executive of biotech company Sanomics, said the new electoral system has integrated all classes and sectors in Hong Kong in the governance structure, better reflecting the voices of the majority of Hong Kong people.

Q: Head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Xia Baolong said Hong Kong’s new electoral system, which aims to maximally balance the interests of various sectors and broadly represent their voices, will open a new chapter of democratic development in the city. What is your take on this?

A: The broad representation and balanced participation of the new electoral system have enabled the election to break through the limitations of the interests of a certain sector, region or political group, and enable all classes, sectors, and all aspects to be fully reflected and integrated in the governance structure. The number of seats has increased from 70 to 90. In this election, candidates include both elite leaders in business, academia, and professionals, as well as representatives of labor, employees, and SME operators from the grassroots of society. There are experienced senior political participants and a new generation of young people full of motivation and innovation. It is fully represented and better reflects the voices of the majority of Hong Kong people, and responds to the demands of the majority of Hong Kong people. The voting overhaul will boost Hong Kong governance to the next level.


Q: What is democracy in your opinion? To what end should democracy be used?

A: In my opinion, democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose government officials to represent them to voice out their needs and decisions. Democracy also includes freedom of assembly, association and speech, inclusiveness and equality, citizenship, consent of the governed, voting rights, freedom from unwarranted governmental deprivation of the right to life and liberty, and minority rights.

Democracy shall be used to provide an environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights. It shall be used for handling conflicts among stakeholders. Also, it shall be used to ensure there will not be a single force that completely controls the results or what will happen in the future. The purpose of democracy is to seek the well-being of the people and the development of society.


Q: Xia also said the new electoral system will help the elections return to healthy competition and better serve Hong Kong people’s benefits. What do you think he means by healthy competition?

A: I think the healthy competition means that the candidates competing with each other with their election platforms which can bring more benefits to Hong Kong people. The election activities are no longer just to smear each other and oppose for the sake of opposition anymore. The new electoral system is more rational, fair, paying more attention to people's livelihood and development issues, and thus leading Hong Kong people to pay more attention to the ability and quality of candidates. If a candidate would like to get support from Hong Kong people, he/she has to put more effort to fight for more benefits for Hong Kong people.


Q: How does this Legislative Council election differ from previous legislative elections in your opinion?

A: The candidates also have a relatively unified consensus on some basic perceptions and future development direction of Hong Kong after social events. “Change” and “innovation” have been mentioned by many candidates and become the basic consensus of the next parliament. Also, this will be the first time that there will be ticket station arrangements at immigration control points, allowing Hong Kong people living on the Chinese mainland to fulfill their civic responsibilities.


Q: How important do you think it is to implement the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle in Hong Kong’s electoral system?

A: It is really important to implement the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle in Hong Kong’s electoral system. The elected members of the Legislative Council will not waste time  filibustering and important motions can be discussed smoothly to bring benefits to Hong Kong people. Previously, people were spending time to destroy the administration of the SAR government, provoke infighting and tear up society as they are not patriots. The efficiency of the government's governance will be greatly improved.


Q: What are your expectations of the new-term Legislative Council?

A: I expect the new-term Legislative Council to better reflect the voices of the majority of Hong Kong people, better respond to the demands of the majority of Hong Kong people and better serve Hong Kong people’s benefits.

The author is chief executive of biotech company Sanomics.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.