Hong Kong members of a Chinese political consultative body have issued a letter to their 40 fellow members urging them to vote for pro-Beijing candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council election. It gave particular focus to four functional constituencies which are being held or challenged by pan-democrats.

The letter, acquired by Apple Daily, was from five Hong Kong members of the standing committee of the Beijing municipal committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). It first thanked members for urging families and friends to become IT sector voters, and asked them to vote on September 4.

“The relevant officials also hope we can play our other role as CPPCC members, to urge friends and families to support candidates who love the country and love Hong Kong, the accountancy sector is the sector that is the main focus,” it read.

Kenneth Chen Eric Yeung Tony Tse Lo Wai-kwok
Clockwise from top left: Kenneth Chen, Eric Yeung, Tony Tse, Lo Wai-kwok. Photo: Facebook/Apple Daily/Stand News.

The letter included phone numbers and emails of three standing committee members which members could contact to notify them of the list of people they have mobilised.

It also asked members to urge friends and families to “actively vote for” pro-Beijing candidates in the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape sector, the engineering sector, and the IT sector, other than the geographical constituency and the district council (second) constituency.

Irons Sze Wing-wai, one of the standing committee members, confirmed to the newspaper that the letter was sent by them. He said many members were from the sectors, therefore they care about related sectors.

Various sectors

The letter did not mention any names of candidates. The IT and accountancy sector were held by pan-democrats Charles Mok and Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong respectively. Mok and Leung are seeking re-election and are facing challenges from Eric Yeung Chuen-sing and Kenneth Chen Yung-ngai respectively.

In the 2012 election, Kenneth Leung received 7,701 votes, compared to the 6,538 votes of his major opponent Nelson Lam Chi-yuen, who was supported by former sector lawmaker Paul Chan Mo-po. Two other candidates received 1,335 and 896 votes – if all three were combined and voted for Kenneth Chen, they may be able to oust Leung.

kenneth leung
Kenneth Leung. File Photo: Stand News.

The architectural sector seat was held by Tony Tse Wai-chuen, a pro-Beijing lawmaker looking for a second term. He is challenged by Bernard Vincent Lim Wan-fung and pan-democrat Edward Yiu Chung-yim. Bernard Lim is also a CPPCC member.

In the engineering sector, the incumbent pro-Beijing lawmaker Lo Wai-kwong is also running for re-election. He is challenged by Louis Ching Ming-tat and John Luk Wang-kwong.

Mok said the letter proved the central government was involved in the vote-rigging activities in his sector. Yiu said the act showed that his opposition was afraid of losing to him, therefore the “state machine” was mobilised to attack him.

Eric Yeung, Kenneth Chen, Lo Wai-kwong and Tony Tse all said they were unaware of the letter.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.