So far 2016 has been full of political surprises: from Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for president to the UK voting to leave the European Union. Now, in Hong Kong, Ricky Wong, founder of Hong Kong Television Network Limited, is trying to stir up his own political revolution by running for a seat in the Legislative Council this September.
In May, Wong indicated that he was considering running for election to HK’s legislature, but it wasn’t until July 4th that he did formally announce his candidacy, Tencent reports.
On Wong’s campaign website, he released 100 pages of policies, on topics such as Land and Planning, Housing, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Retirement Protection, etc. However, his main goal is to attract enough people to his side in order to pass a motion of no confidence against Chief Executive CY Leung, Hong Kong Free Press reports.
“If we can get 35 seats out of the 70 seats at the LegCo, I think the team of Leung, including his principal officials, would not even dare to be officials anymore,” he said.
Wong also states that this is the first step in the “political reform” process and aims to have a “one-person, one-vote” election for Hong Kong’s leader one day.
During the 1990s, Wong was part of the Liberal Party, which is pro-Beijing and pro-business, but he will not be joining any party this time around. In this upcoming race, he hopes that the rivalry will not be between the pro-establishment and pan-democrats, but rather between “Leungyalists” and “Anti-Leungers”, Habour Times reports.
Since Leung was elected, he has been dogged by scandal, particulary in recent years. He has been accused, time and again, of being more loyal to Beijing than to Hong Kong as booksellers and concerts disappear. When Facebook first changed its trademark “like” system, Leung’s Facebook page was bombarded with “angry faces,” with his most recent post racking up 40,000 of them in just 6 hours.
Furthermore, it was revealed in 2014 that Leung accepted 50 million HKD in a deal three years ago with an Australian engineering company UGL. Hong Kong Free Press reports that he still has been refusing to answer questions regarding the transaction and the situation has escalated further. Just last month, Chim Pui-Chung, a former financial services sector lawmaker, announced his campaign for legislative council to find out Leung and AGL’s payout.
Many have questioned Wong’s intentions as well and wondered whether him running in the election was due to the government’s decision to deny HKTV a free-to-air license. Wong has denied it and argued that he gave up his Canadian citizenship for the election and intends to work for his goals.
The trend in 2016 has favored the underdogs and the impossible, perhaps Wong stands a chance in the myriad of political voices in Hong Kong.
By Sarah Lin
[Images via Habour Times / STNN]