Heavies join coalition to relaunch HK

Top News | Michael Shum 6 May 2020

A coalition to relaunch the city after the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest has drawn an all-star cast.

Co-sponsors of the Hong Kong Coalition include CK Asset Holdings' senior adviser Li Ka-shing and sons Victor Li Tzar-kuoi and Richard Li Tzar-kai, Henderson Land founder Lee Shau-kee and sons Peter Lee Ka-kit and Martin Lee Ka-shing, Sun Hung Kai Properties' Raymond Kwok Ping-luen and nephew Adam Kwok Kai-fai, and New World Development's Henry Cheng Kar-shun and son Adrian Cheng Chi-kong.

The coalition, with former chief executives Tung Chee-hwa and Leung Chun-ying as chief conveners, was announced yesterday. With the two - both vice chairmen of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - were Tam Yiu-chung, secretary general of the coalition, and vice secretary general Maria Tam Wai-chu, who is also a deputy director of the Basic Law Committee.

Also on the list of 1,545 co-conveners are HSBC Asia Pacific chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun and Executive Council member Joseph Yam Chi-kwong.

Tung said the opposition is pushing Hong Kong toward a cliff.

"Hong Kong is facing three major crises - the first being the pandemic, but progress has been made on that," Tung said. "The second is the financial crisis - the economy has shrunk by 8.9 percent year on year, while the unemployment rate has reached new heights."

The third - the anti-fugitive bill saga - has also resulted in a fragmented society, Tung said, as the "opposition seeks mutual destruction by all means, which is hampering the mutual interests of all Hongkongers."

The coalition plans to host a series of activities, the first of which will be the distribution of 10 million face masks to residents across the 18 districts this weekend.

"All co-conveners will be joining the activity," the coalition said.

It also emphasized that it will not push forward any legislation, including national security laws under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Chinese University political scientist Ma Ngok said the coalition's aim is to help the pro-establishment camp in its Legislative Council election campaign since the pan-democratic camp is eyeing to win half of the 70 seats in Legco in September in order to force the government to respond to its demands.

He added: "The coalition says it hopes to revive the economy, but its main purpose is to stop the pan-democratic camp from achieving its goals.

"These are their usual campaigning methods, which will hardly win over the swing voters and the middle-class voters.

"The pan-democrats should be happy after the coalition's press conference. The four on the stage were unwelcoming, are considered extremely conservative figures, and are quite old in terms of age."

Ma also played down the significance of the alliance, saying: "I don't think it will have a big impact on public opinion."

michael.shum@singtaonewscorp.com

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