The Civic Party notes with regret continuing reports in the press of the pressure being put on Mr. Chow Chung-kong, CEO of the MTR Corporation and Member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, by Mr. James Tien, Chairman of the Liberal Party, on account of Mr. Chow’s nomination of a member of Civic Party as a candidate for the Hong Kong Island Peak District in the forthcoming District Council election. According to the news reports, Mr. Tien told Mr. Chow that the Liberal Party took exception to his nomination of the candidate as a Liberal Party candidate is seeking re-election in the same District. He told reporters that the Liberal Party will pay closer attention to any proposal or bill the MTR Corporation might put before LegCo in future, and that Mr. Chow will have to bear all the consequences.
It is further reported that when asked to comment on the incident, Mr. Tien, who is also the Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, apparently confirmed the report, and moreover explained that members of his Party were “incensed” particularly because the Party’s Vice Chairman, a legislator, had been most supportive of the MTR Corporation over the merger bill of the MTRC and KCRC.
The Civic Party is deeply concerned. First, on account of the apparent intimidation of a member of the public exercising his right of nomination in an election. Equally seriously, this raises a question in the mind of the public as to the proper discharge of duty and use of power attached to the office of a LegCo member.
Civic Party wishes to emphasize that fair elections, free from impropriety, pressure and intervention, are protected by law and vital to Hong Kong’s political system and the rule of law, as well as its international image. We invite Mr. Tien to desist from continuing such intimidation and to issue an appropriate retraction immediately.