Summary: Last Sunday’s (25 November) Kowloon West by-election, won by the Hong Kong pro-Beijing candidate Chan Hoi-yan with 106,457 votes, may be deemed a farcical election without localists’ votes. In the 2017 election, the non-establishment camp got around 160,000 votes, whereas this time the camp, comprising Lee Cheuk-yan from the Labour Party, and independent candidate Frederick Fung, got only 100,000. The missing 60,000 votes could have come from the localists, who are dissatisfied, e.g, with the pan-democrats’ prejudice TOWARS China immigrants/colonizers, and irresponsible voting behavior in the Legco. Instead of examining themselves, the pan-democracy camp blames Fung for splitting their votes as a localist, while in reality Fung, former Chair of the pan-democracy HK Association for Democracy & People’s Livelihood, has never been a localist. Also, this by-election originated from the disqualification by a Hong Kong court of a 2016-democratically-elected Lau Siu-lai, on the ground of her elongated oath-taking manner, following Beijing’s interpretation of the HK Basic Law. Apart from that, 5 other democratically elected lawmakers and many other candidates have been disqualified because of their political stance. Ironically, Alvin Yeung, a lawmaker from the Civic Party, still calls this “a free election without interference.”
Where did the Missing 60,000 Votes go?
Last Sunday’s Kowloon West by-election, won by the Hong Kong pro-Beijing candidate Chan Hoi-yan with 106,457 votes, may be deemed a farce without localists’ votes. Concerning Chan’s two major non-establishment rivals, Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labour Party, got 93,047 votes; former lawmaker Frederick Fung polled 12,509. The two combined — 105556 votes — still lag behind Chan. In the 2017 legislative election, the non-establishment camp received 159,599 votes, including 40,862 votes for localist candidates Raymond Wong and Yau Wai-ching. The 60000 votes lost by the non-establishment camp this time are probably localists’ votes. Instead of examining themselves, the HK pan-democrats put the blame on Frederick Fung Kin-kee in splitting votes for the pan-democratic camp as a localist. In reality, Fung, the former chairman of the pro-democracy HK Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, has never been a localist.
A Self-emasculating Election?
The by-election is also farcical in that it originated from the disqualification by a Hong Kong court of a 2016-democratically-elected, pro-self-determination lawmaker, Lau Siu-lai, on the ground of her elongated oath-taking manner, following Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong regarding how lawmakers should swear allegiance to the HK and China authorities. Lau is one of the six dissident lawmakers thus disqualified. Lau was again disqualified, along with others, when she applied to run for the by-election earlier this year by an election officer on the ground that she had advocated self-determination for Hong Kong’s future, though she had already given up that political stance. When Lau was disqualified as a candidate for the by-election, the pan-democrats put forth Lee Cheuk-yan from the HK Labour Party as Plan B, instead of appealing against the disqualification of Lau as a candidate. Some localists interpret this move as self-castration. Many other election candidates, like Agnes Ting Chow of Demosisto, the localists, Ventus Lau, Chan Kwok-keung, Andy Chan Ho-tin of The HK Nationalist Party, and Chan Chak-to, have also been disqualified. The fact remains that localists and pro-HK independence elements did not even bother to run for the fake by-election in order not to “emasculate” themselves once again.
“A free election without interference” after all the disqualifications?
Alvin Yeung, a lawmaker from the Civic Party, has urged Hongkongers to vote for Lee Cheuk-yan in “a free election without interference”, which can show the difference between Hong Kong and China. Sixtus (Baggio) Leung, a pro-independence lawmaker disqualified together with Lau in 2016 for depicting a banner saying “Hong Kong is NOT China” when taking his oath in the Legislative Council, remarked on his facebook wall yesterday, “After all those unlawful disqualifications [of dissident lawmakers and , someone actually still endorses today’s by-election as a free election, claiming that you are joining and voting in a free election. I really don’t know what it is.”
Pastor Bob Kraft, an American who is also a Hong Kong permanent resident, having lived here for decades, thinks likewise:- “With all due respect. I do not feel that ‘freedom’ as a voter; who is given a limited list of those running for elected office and that list is being totally controlled by both communist Hong Kong and Communist China governments. I will not participate or agree to such a fake election or fake democracy or fake freedom regardless of the degree I am being lied to.” “Those engaged in the Legco election need to not go in the Legco where they have absolutely no power to change anything now and need to take to activism on the streets to the public, Kraft goes on, “Of course, they will not get paid, as in Legco massive salaries, and that clearly will show their true allegiance to the true Hong Konger’s as opposed to a communist hong kong government.”
Apart from disqualifications, Beijing has also interfered with yesterday’s election in various other ways. In fact, most mainstream media and even certain net media have been paid off or bought up by Beijing. For instance, yesterday, Takungpao, a HK newspaper directly controlled by The Chinese Communist Party, devoted its entire front page to the support of Chan Hoi-yan, and distributed it free of charge in the streets, in marketplaces, and in housing estates, an act which could have violated election regulations. Moreover, China sends 150 new immigrants to Hong Kong on a daily basis while HK cannot select them. Since 1997, the handover of HK from Britain to China, one million of such immigrants have arrived in Hong Kong. As confirmed by statistical surveys, most of them vote for pro-Beijing candidates.
HK Pan-democrats Tend to Blame Others
In the 2018 by-election, Ken Yau, a lecturer at University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Social Sciences, said the pro-democracy camp repeated the mistakes of the March by-election.“They failed to learn its lesson from the last time, and failed to push up the turnout rate – they especially failed to gain localist votes,” he said on an RTHK programme.
Instead of reflecting upon themselves, the HK pan-democrats,, e.g., Power for Democracy convenor Andrew Chiu Ka-yin, put the blame of their defeat on the impact of Frederick Fung Kin-kee, a former ally of the pan-democrats, in splitting votes for the pan-democratic camp. In response, Fung said, “[No one] can split the vote, the vote is from the voter.” The fact remains that Fung’s votes and Lee’s votes combined were less than Chan’s and Fung is never a localist.
The problems that HK pan-democrats have failed to reflect upon include, for example, most of them have supported new immigrants from China who are in reality colonizers. For instance, in 2001, The HK Civic Party’s lawyers successfully fought for in the HK Court of Final Appeal for the right of Mainland Chinese parents’ children born in HK to become Hongkongers. In contrast, President Donald Trump is striving to cancel birthright citizenship. And the Labour Party has fought for the new immigrants’ right to enjoy all HK social benefits immediately upon arrival. Moreover, the pan-democracy lawmakers are often absent when the critical moment of voting for or against important bills or motions comes, e.g, 11 pan-democrats were absent on 2 November this year when the Legco Financial Committee voted on the allocation for positions of the controversial East Lantau project. Moreover, typical pan-democrats also often censure HK localists and separatists for provoking Beijing.