Party founder in defiant swan song

Local | Cindy Wan 13 Jul 2018

Veteran democrat Frederick Fung Kin-kee quit the political party he founded 32 years ago to set up a pressure group that focuses on social issues such as housing and poverty.

Fung also slammed the democratic camp for not being democratic during the preliminary election for the Kowloon West by-election in March.

At a press conference held with members of his party, Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People Livelihood (ADPL), yesterday, Fung revealed he had submitted his resignation letter on Wednesday after months of struggling.

Describing the decision to leave as sad and reluctant, Fung said it emerged in January when he started to summarize his 40 years of political life in a memoir and realized that the city needs a strong pressure group to force the government to improve its performance.

"When you are in a party, you have to do many things that will divert your efforts and concentration from pin-pointing to a particular issue," he said.

"But in a pressure group I will use all my forces, all my manpower and all my intelligence to put pressure on the government. The strategies and actions used will be different."

Fung also said the establishment of APDL was based on two objectives - to resolve the conflicts of one country, two systems and to improve citizens' livelihood.

"But as both objectives failed in the past 30 years, it is time to find a new way out."

The pressure group will possibly be formed by 20 to 30 elites who are "strong enough to wrestle with Carrie Lam." It will have similar stances and ideology to the APDL but different strategies.

Fung said the new group might refer to "some 30 seemingly impossible but eventually successful stories about wrestling with the government" from his book when plotting strategies.

APDL chairman Sze Tak Loy said Fung's leaving is a pity but the party understands and respects his decision, adding that the party looks forward to working with Fung's pressure group.

Sze also emphasized that the party's strategy for the coming elections is not affected by Fung's leaving, saying that the APDL will send 20 members to run in the district council elections next year.

When asked whether he will run in the coming by-election or the Legislative Council election in 2020, Fung refused to give a clear yes or no.

"I was too busy writing my book in the past few months. I haven't considered this question yet," he said.

APDL will fully support Lau Siu-lai to be the pan-democratic camp's plan A for the coming by-election to win back her West Kowloon constituency and will insist that the camp must follow a democratic preliminary election procedure to select candidates for plan B, Sze said.

When asked whether his leaving because the pan-democratic camp allegedly forced him to give up running in the by-election in March, Fung said he was "dissatisfied and very sad because some people acted against democracy publicly."

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