Islands District Councillor Amy Yung has called on council chairman Chow Yuk-tong and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau to explain why the council will not add another directly-elected member ahead of the 2019 poll.
The bureau announced in October that it would add at least one extra member to ten of Hong Kong’s 18 district councils because of a population increase. Eight councils, including the Islands, remain unchanged.
But Yung, one of the two pan-democratic members of the Islands council, says it’s inexplicable that the district, with its wide geographic spread and growing population, did not meet the benchmark.
The decision was based on the 2016 census result and population projections.
In a question tabled for today’s meeting, Yung has called on the bureau to explain why it did not consult directly with IDC members, but spoke only with the vice-chairmen.
She has also asked why Islands District Council chairman Chow Yuk-tong did not consult with IDC members. Instead Chow, who was appointed to his council post, spoke only with rural committee chairmen.
She said the decision on the number of DC board seats “may not have a significant impact” on the rural committees that Chow spoke with.
“But the impact on other democratically elected district board members and their constituents is far-reaching.”
Eric Kwok, the other pan-democrat on the council, representing Yat Tung South, agreed it was necessary to increase the number of elected seats.
He says Yat Tung Estate, with more than 46,000 residents, was big enough to have three seats.
“Another one is South Lantau, the biggest constituency area in Hong Kong, but has just one seat. For many years, we have requested to divide it into two seats – one including Mui Wo, Pui O and old Tung Chung village, the other from Cheung Sha to Tai O. ”