“Localist” Judy Tzeng Li-wen seeks to raise awareness on local district issues

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By Daphne Li

Unaffiliated Judy Tzeng Li-wen is standing for the Kowloon West By-election claiming to be “the only localist” in the by-election. She says her main purpose of joining the by-election is to expose the “hypocrisy” of the pan-democrats and to encourage the young generation to stand up against injustice.

The 50-year-old housewife was a two-time candidate in District Council elections, in 2011 and 2015, representing People Power and as an independent candidate respectively, but lost both times.

Tzeng says maintenance issues of her mother’s flat at Mei Foo Sun Chuen prompted her to join elections. She recalled finding water leakage in the entire flat due to enhancement work by the property management company. Together with several other victims, she sought help from different parties but ended up in vain.

“I have been through a lot of difficult times but the pan-democrats could not help me. I am just fighting for community autonomy [by joining the election],” she says.

Disappointed with the incompetence of the pan-democrats, Tzeng joined radical party People Power led by former lawmaker Raymond Wong Yuk-man in 2011, subsequently joining the District Council election in a bid to raise awareness on issues in Mei Foo.

Though localists nowadays might be associated with separatism, Tzeng, who sees herself as a localist, does not agree with it. “Localists are those who support high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong and work in the interest of Hong Kong people, regardless of their political stance,” she says. “Localists are not always radical.”

“Localists are not always radical.”

She is in particular critical of the pan-democrats: “[Their] community work has nothing to do with democracy. They won’t reveal the fact that most of the times they did not show up, or vote to abstain or against [democratic issues].”

While ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai’s disqualification in the by-election sparks outrage, Tzeng thinks otherwise. “When Edward Leung Tin-kei was disqualified in the Legislative Council election two years ago, the pan-democrats did not stand up for him,” she says. “Why do we have to support Lau now?”

Even though Tzeng admits she has a slim chance of winning, she believes if she had enough resources, she could bring about changes to Mei Foo district. “The entire landscape [in the neighbourhood] would be very different,” she says.

*The other candidates in the 2018 Legislative Council Kowloon West By-election are Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan, Frederick Fung Kin-kee, Lee Cheuk-yan and Ng Dick-hay.

Edited by Crystal Wu