Recently returned bookseller Lam Wing-kee has recommended a list of pro-democracy candidates running in the upcoming Legislative Council elections, after learning about a secondary school student who urged citizens not to vote for the pro-establishment camp.

Lam was one of the five Causeway Bay Books publishers who went missing last year. In June, he told reporters that he had been detained by mainland authorities. The shop was known for political gossip titles banned on the mainland – most customers were mainland Chinese.

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Lam Wing-kee. Photo: HKFP.

In an article written by Lam and reposted by the Democratic Party, Lam began by addressing the incident involving the student, which had been reported in the news. He said he was surprised that someone so young was concerned about problems in society: “This 15-or-16-year-old, in a normal society, would just be busy growing up; they would be preoccupied with studying and living carefree lives.”

Lam said that this showed that, even those who initially believed the case of the missing Causeway Bay Books publishers had nothing to do with them, can now see their children fearing for their freedoms. “As an adult, in order to defend our children, we must do what we can to stop this. As for voting on September 4, it not only demonstrates whether you’ve fulfilled your civic responsibilities, but also whether you’re really protecting your next generation,” he said.

Lam then gave a list of recommended candidates, ones he said were not of “low quality” or with a “mainland background.” They included mostly pro-democracy election hopefuls across different parties. Some localists such as Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching from Youngspiration received a mention, though candidates from Civic Passion and localist academic Chin Wan did not.

Earlier, Lam’s face had appeared on election advertisements for the Democratic Party. Lam had held the initial press conference in June with the Democratic Party’s Albert Ho and was frequently assisted by the party’s James To Kun-sun.

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Front page ad on Ming Pao. Photo: HKFP.

Meanwhile, pro-Beijing group Silent Majority’s Robert Chow-yung featured in a front page ad on Chinese-language daily Ming Pao’s A1 page on Wednesday, urging “the 1,830,000 who signed a petition against the Occupy protests” to vote this Sunday.

“Two years ago, Hong Kong was facing a crisis – but thanks to you and I and everyone who bravely came forward to give their signatures and show their stances, Hong Kong returned to normal and was peaceful once again… How is Hong Kong today? Many people say Hong Kong should not be like this! Why has Hong Kong become like this?”

“Allow me to urge everyone to vote in the Legislative Council elections on September 4 – for yourself, for Hong Kong, and for the next generation, vote!”

The full list of candidates running across districts and constituencies can be viewed here.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.