Many young protesters slept on the streets during the pro-democracy Occupy movement because it was a better alternative to sleeping in their subdivided flats and cramped apartments, New People’s Party Chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said in an interview with Commercial Radio Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The pro-establishment lawmaker said that the New People’s Party platform, which was unveiled earlier this week, had nothing to with any plans on her part to run for chief executive in 2017. She said that she had not discussed the platform with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying but believes he would talk to her if he had any comments to share.
“I think my platform has some innovative ideas when it comes to housing policies…but it all comes down to implementation. A lot of things are good in theory,” she said.
Ahead of the one year anniversary of the 79-day movement next Monday, Ip said that Occupy opened her eyes to many deep-rooted problems in society that young people face, such as housing.
She said that young protesters joined Occupy because they do not see a bright future ahead for themselves, and opportunities for upward social mobility were lacking in comparison to the 70s, when she graduated.
Ip criticised the Occupy movement for tarnishing Hong Kong’s image and making “outsiders think that Hong Kong is very unstable”. She also discussed the standoff between minibus drivers and the police in Mongkok earlier this month, saying that the trend that came after the Occupy movement, by which people think that they can challenge authority because they had more people and were loud enough, made policing difficult, Commercial Radio reported.
Ip also said the question of Article 23 legislation had become more complicated after the Occupy movement and the next Chief Executive should resolve the issue.