Pro-democracy lawmakers have raised doubts over Woo Kwok-hing’s policy proposals as he expressed confidence over winning the support of pan-democrats in the chief executive election.

Alan Leong Kah-kit, former leader of the pro-democracy Civic Party, said Woo’s policy proposals did not answer their demand for the implementation of a “universal and equal suffrage.” He added that Woo did not propose any solutions to the problem of “Sai Wan ruling Hong Kong.”

Sai Wan is the metonymy for the Liaison Office of the Chinese People’s Government, which is located there.

Leong added: “Does Woo Kwok-hing really want to join the race for [the chief executive]? I am really disappointed at his policy platforms.”

During his speech on Wednesday, the 70-year-old retired judge said he would restart the political reform process once he takes office. He proposed to turn the Chief Executive Election Committee into a nominating committee. He said its voter base should increase to 1 million, and gradually rise to 3 million, thereby covering all eligible voters in Hong Kong, and realising de facto universal suffrage in 15 years.

Woo Kwok-hing. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Speaking to Ming Pao, Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin also criticised Woo for lacking vision in his policy proposals.

He said Woo only suggested some policies without providing a broader picture, adding that the proposals “looked like those suggested during the legislative elections.”

Meanwhile, Charles Mok Nai-kwong, a lawmaker from the Professional Commons party, said Woo’s policy proposals for the technology sector proved that his understanding of its problems was of the same level as incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s.

“[His] platform included ‘nurturing technology talent’ and ‘largely increase research and development spending,’” he said. “He may continue the policy mistakes made by CY Leung.”

Charles Mok. Photo: Facebook/Charles Mok.

The Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service Centre, another pro-democracy party, said in a statement that Woo’s labour welfare proposal was “disappointing.”

“Regulating standard working hours is one of the most important labour policies nowadays. Leung Chun-ying has dragged the problem out until today. Surprisingly, ex-judge Woo will continue to delay it,” the statement said.

In October, Woo became the first person to declare his candidacy for the 2017 chief executive election. He laid out his policy proposals on Wednesday, in which he touched on areas including Article 23, restarting the political reform, transportation, education, labour welfare and the development of the IT sector.

The election is scheduled for March 26, where the 1,200-member Election Committee will cast their ballots to choose Hong Kong’s next leader. Other possible candidates include Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, who announced his resignation from his post on Monday. Lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is also expected to officially announce her candidacy on Thursday.

Eric Cheung

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).