Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021- 2nd Speech (2021/05/27)

Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021- 2nd Speech (2021/05/27)

MR YIU SI-WING (in Cantonese):

Deputy Chairman, I am now speaking on issues relating to the tourism functional constituency ("FC"). There were three categories of eligible voters in the tourism FC previously, namely corporate members of designated bodies of travel agents, the aviation industry and the hotel industry. Such bodies include members of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, the Board of Airline Representatives in Hong Kong and two hotel associations. There will be two categories of voters after this amendment exercise. First, only corporate members of designated bodies of travel agents and the aviation industry entitled to vote at the Board of Directors/Executive Committee of the Board are eligible. That is to say, the criteria have been changed from ordinary members to members of the Board of Directors/Executive Committee of the Board, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of eligible persons. With respect to the hotel industry, the number of designated bodies will reduce from two in the past to one, which also means that the number of eligible persons will be greatly reduced. After this amendment exercise, the number of travel agents and airlines eligible for voter registration in the tourism FC will decrease from some 1 800 in the past to some 200. There remains only one designated body in the hotel industry, i.e. the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners Limited, under which only 60-odd companies are eligible. We all find this somewhat unfair, and I have also reflected the same to the authorities. Yet, the authorities have explained that the same arrangement is made to other FCs in accordance with the same principle, and we could only adopt the relevant approach taking the overall situation into account. Our sector still has doubts over this explanation, and I hope the Government will deal with issues in this respect properly in the future.


In addition, during the scrutiny of the Bill, some Members asked why the Federation of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Community Organizations ("FHKCCC") was not listed as a specified entity of the relevant subsector of the Election Committee ("EC"). Being the honorary advisor to FHKCCC, I think this point is valid. I have also written to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau in the hope that this Federation would be assigned some seats in EC. I have received a reply from the Bureau recently and learned that our proposal has not been accepted. I am disappointed with this reply.


More than a million Hong Kong residents have ancestral roots in Chiu Chow, and they are an important part of the Hong Kong population. Being assiduous and able to endure hardship, Chiu Chow people have made substantial contribution to various trades and the economic development of Hong Kong over the years. FHKCCC is a local fellow townsmen association with a long-standing history of over 20 years and 160 000 members. By promoting the spirit of "love for Hong Kong, the country and homeland" and actively promoting "one country, two systems" throughout these years, FHKCCC has contributed substantially in supporting the governance of the SAR Government, cultivating friendship among fellow townsmen, as well as promoting traditional Chinese culture. FHKCCC excels over other fellow townsmen associations in terms of scale, history and influence on society. Therefore, it is indeed unfair that FHKCCC has not been listed as a specific entity of the relevant EC subsector. Now that the Government has already made a decision, I hope the Government would seriously take into consideration the contribution of this Federation to the development of the economy, politics and people's livelihood in Hong Kong. I hope the Bureau or the Government would study specifically and in detail the way forward of this Federation if the opportunity to review an expansion of EC membership arises in the future.


Thank you, Deputy Chairman.