The Islands District Council result yesterday reflected Hong Kong as a whole; the pro-government and pan-Dem forces basically fought a draw.
Each gained and lost a seat. Democrat Eric Kwok ousted Andy Lo in Yat Tung South, while Peter Yu (Civic Party) lost to Sammi Fu (New People’s Party) in Tung Chung North. Amy Yung (Civic Party) held onto Discovery Bay despite the efforts of the SCMP.
As widely-predicted, Randy Yu comfortably won the Lantau seat vacated by Rainbow Wong but his share of the vote plummeted from 77% in 2011 to just on 50% – the lowest that the establishment candidate has ever achieved.
That slide in support is a testament to the disquiet over the blizzard of projects and development schemes, in particular the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator and the plan to open up South Lantau roads.
With half the population voting against the pro-government, pro-development, Heung Yee Kuk candidate, it’s reasonable to call for a pause in the whole Lantau development mania. There is clearly significant unease about the pace, scale and manner of what is being proposed.
Yu himself has said that any development should not be rushed and should have the consent of the local population. As he told this blog:
I believe large and hasty changes in Lantau are inadvisable… The ideal way [to achieve balanced development] is to first understand clearly that local residents enjoy their existing lifestyle, and only then to start making plans, and in this way avoid forcing ‘urbanite’ planning models on rural areas.
That’s a clear call for a much more consultative style of development. The new IDC should insist the government respond to community concerns by putting on-hold all the plans that have emanated from LanDAC and restarting with genuine consultation that starts with the question of how the community can benefit from new development.
Final election results:
1. Randy Yu 1895
2. Lau King Cheung 653
3. Yuen Yuk Wah 727
4. Clara Tam Sau Ngor 486
Total votes 3,761
For full Islands results click here.
Below is how the elected half of the IDC will look like from January 1. Of course, to ensure democracy isn’t going to run riot, it also includes eight ex officio rural committee chairmen.
New IDC Elected Members
Lantau: Randy Yu, independent/Heung Yee Kuk (new member; previously appointed)
Yat Tung North: Bill Tang*, HKFTU
Yat Tung South: Eric Kwok, Democratic Party (new member)
Tung Chung North: Sammi Fu, New People’s Party (new member)
Tung Chung South: Holden Chow*, DAB (new member; previously appointed)
Discovery Bay: Amy Yung*, Civic Party
Peng Chau: Josephine Tsang* (uncontested)
Lamma: Yu Lai Fan*, DAB (uncontested)
Cheung Chau North: Lee Kwai Chun*, DAB
Cheung Chau South: Kwong Koon Wan* BPA
* = sitting member