By Tommy Yuen
Edward Yiu Chung-yim is hoping his professional expertise, one year of experience in the Legislative Council and status as the only disqualified lawmaker to be standing in Sunday’s by-election will give him enough votes to take the West Kowloon seat. Yiu says a victory for him would send a clear message against the government’s disqualifications.
He acknowledges that running a campaign for a geographical constituency is very different from his previous campaign for the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency in the by-election. For starters, he needs far more volunteers as the voter base has increased from 8,000 to 490,000. Still, he thinks he is able to mobilise this expanded base.
“The [pro-democracy camp’s] primary election results show that I can stimulate people’s participation [in politics] by regaining the seat in the name of a disqualified lawmaker,” says Yiu.
Running as an unaffiliated candidate, Yiu is glad to receive help from the whole pro-democracy camp. “You may say that my characteristic [of having insufficient political resources] enables the pro-democracy camp to unite their power to support a candidate,” he says.
Although the Kowloon West constituency only has a total of three candidates, which is the least among all geographical constituencies in the by-election, Yiu says he is taking the race very seriously. He says it will be a challenge to get most pro-democracy voters to vote for him due to a “wide spectrum in the pro-democracy camp”, ranging from traditional pan-democrats to localists.
“Although I advocate a win-win situation and hope to unite pro-democrats, how can I put all the contradictory ideologies into one person?” ponders Yiu. “Can voters break preconceptions and support me, Edward Yiu? There is a risk.”
Yiu says he is trying to get the vote out on Sunday as a higher turnout rate would boost his chances, and because fewer people usually vote in by-elections. “The margin is so small [between the votes of pro-democracy and pro-establishment camp]. If I lose more than 20,000 to 30,000 votes, I will lose,” he adds.
He says that if he can re-enter the Legislative Council, he will work on short-term, mid-term and long-term goals, with the final aim of “turning the tables [on the pro-establishment camp] in the Legislative Council”.
“The oppression from the government has gradually made Hong Kong people lose hope,” Yiu says. “This is not something that we want to see, no matter inside or outside the Legislative Council. We have to make Hong Kong people see hope.”
The other candidates running for the Kowloon West constituency in the 2018 Legislative Council By-election are Vincent Cheng Wing-shun and Jonathan Choi Tung-chau.
Edited by Katie Cheng