Pro-Beijing veteran unionist Chan Yuen-han has met with Hong Kong’s three chief executive candidates. Most electors from Chan’s party – the Federation of Trade Unions – did not nominate a candidate to enter the race, nor have they said who they will support during Sunday’s small-circle election. However, their votes may be crucial in choosing the winner.

Candidate Carrie Lam submitted 580 nominations to become a candidate, only 21 short of the number of votes she needed to win the election on Sunday. In total, there are 1,194 eligible electors.

Chan, a former lawmaker, is a well-respected figure though is not an elector herself. Her party has 63 electors, but only 11 of them nominated Lam – the rest chose not to nominate anyone.

Chan Yuen-han with Carrie Lam and Woo Kwok-hing. Photo: Facebook.

Chan, 70, first visited the Upper Wong Tai Sin Estate on Wednesday morning with Woo Kwok-hing to speak to elderly people living in the public housing estate.

The residents spoke to Woo about the implementation of the universal pension scheme, medical care and inflation.

Chan said the Federation has yet to signal a preference on voting, but she expected that the party’s electors would not cast blank votes.

She said she wished to convince candidates about labour policies during the visits on Wednesday in order to provide more help to grassroots workers.

Chan criticised Tsang for suggesting that labour for the construction industry could be imported, as she said jobs were being cut in Hong Kong in light of the economic situation.

Lam visit

Carrie Lam on Wednesday uploaded a video of herself with Chan visiting the Kai Tak River engineering project and Wong Tai Sin.

Lam said the project was a result of working with the public, stressing that officials should often visit local areas for effective governance.

Chan said local projects must receive support from residents: “If the government does not listen to opinion, it will be very bad.”

Chan Yuen-han and Emily Lau. Photo: Facebook/Emily Lau.

She said she also met with Tsang on Wednesday.

Manifestos unsatisfactory

Chan was interviewed by former lawmaker Emily Lau for her online talk show on Tuesday.

Chan said Woo’s platform was clearer in terms of labour policies such as retirement protection and standard working hours.

She said Lam and Tsang’s election manifestos on labour policies were not satisfactory. They did not make clear promises on the legislation of standard working hours, nor did they speak about cancelling the mechanism whereby employers can use employee’s mandatory provident fund to pay severance and long service payments.

“Time is very short, I hope to convince them to have clearer platforms. It is difficult to ask them to modify their platforms now, but I will try,” she said.

Speaking on their ability to fix splits in society, Chan said Tsang has a more easygoing character, whilst she observed two phases in Lam’s approach. She said Lam would listen to opinion as the development secretary, but her attitude changed in recent years as she became chief secretary.

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.