A cleaner walks past the signage at the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, China. File photo: VCG
The elections for the seventh term of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) began on Sunday morning, the first since the improvement of the HKSAR electoral system.
Many representatives of the “new Hong Kongers” also participated for the first time in these elections. For example, Wendy Hong, head of research at the New World Development Company Limited, who previously served for more than five years as a senior researcher in the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong SAR government.
New Hong Kongers have become key players in the city’s economy, but their participation in local politics is relatively rare. As a group capable of communicating between Hong Kong and the mainland, they should stand out to take full advantage of their advantage, Hong said.
New Hong Kongers were born on the mainland and now live and work in Hong Kong. Many of them work in finance, technology, research and education, but few participated in the LegCo elections. Besides Hong, other new Hong Kongers who have joined this year’s election include Tan Yueheng, chairman and chief executive officer of BOCOM International Holdings Company Limited, and Wu Chile, assistant researcher at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Hong told the Global Times that one of the reasons for the rare participation of new Hong Kongers in politics is that they have not really integrated into local society. For example, the job of people in banking is to communicate between mainland and overseas so that they don’t need to know the local society.
âMy decision to participate in these elections is to defend the interests of the group and help them integrate,â Hong said.
She said that many new Hong Kongers have started to think about doing something for the city since 2019. It is not out of personal interest but out of a desire to do something for the city taking into account their advantage in communicating people. two sides.
“This sense of mission also prompts me to take part in government and political affairs,” Hong noted.
In these elections, Hong proposed a program to merge what it differentiates as “two Hong Kong”: one has all the advantages as an international financial center which benefits from national developments and is a winner from globalization. The other faces dilemmas such as weakening industry, widening the gap between rich and poor, and limited career prospects for young people.
Hong told the Global Times that despite the impact of politics, education and the media, the root of the movement against the anti-extradition bill in 2019 lies in the economy. In previous years, Hong Kong has benefited from globalization with an advantage in the high-end service sector. But the profits went mostly to the elites, while ordinary people did not get much. âThe split in the economy has compounded the split in politics,â Hong said.
Hong Kong is now trying to merge into the big picture of national development with the ongoing construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay area. However, many Hong Kong university graduates cannot understand that they lack the capacity, resources and social network to compete on the mainland. So, at the same time as Hong Kong sends talent and competitive industries to the mainland, it should bring back some competitive industries to create multiple employment opportunities for local youth. Under these circumstances, the younger generation would not need to leave their hometown to feel the chance offered by national development, which is also winning people’s hearts.
Another reason for joining these elections, according to Hong, is the changes in Hong Kong. The central government is taking action to address the problems in the SAR and its society is also focusing on the economy and employment. The previous LegCo elections were more like a war of positions and voters also chose based on their views. But this time, the candidates have to show their ideas to people and come up with solutions to economic and livelihood issues, Hong noted.
Hong added that this LegCo will relocate. There will be no opposition to the administration and it will better play its role of assisting the administrative system. While overseeing the government of the Hong Kong SAR, the LegCo must also help the government develop and implement policies as well as identify and resolve issues.