主持︰Welcome to the first edition of Legal Affairs, I'm Stephen Yap. Our program will discuss from a legal perspective current affairs issues relating to HK. Today, we have in the studio Lawrence Ma, Barrister and Chairman of HK Legal Exchange Foundation. Lawrence, recently on 19 September, HK held the Election Committee (EC) election and candidates were elected to fill the 1,500 seats of the EC.
The Election Committee comprises of 5 sectors, industrial, commercial and financial sectors is the first sector. The professionals is the second sector. Grassroots, labor, religious organization the third sector. LegCo Members and district organizations representatives being the fourth sector. Finally, the deputies of the National People's Congress, HK members of the National Committee of the CPPCC, and HK members of five national organizations
Lawrence, Western critics says that our EC election was not an election at all. It was just an event for a small bunch of people in HK to cast a ballot to reach a result, that has already been decided by Beijing. Now what is your take on that?
嘉賓︰Well, Western elections focus on the process. They don't really care if they voted for someone who is a real fanatic and didn't do much good for the country. They always think that, "well, if I elected a crook, I can vote down the crook in the next election." That's what Western democracy always believes in.
But to us, election is not a process, it's a result. Our election is how to make sure the best and most capable candidate who has a good track record of management to win the election. Election is only a process, as I said. And prosperity, stability, security is the result that we aim for. We will not sacrifice the result for the sake of compliance with a process, so that explains how election is different in our part of the world, and the Western part of the world in relation to the election.
主持︰So Lawrence, Western critics also says that because only a few can cast a vote, candidates elected like yourself may not be representative enough. Now what's your take on that?
嘉賓︰Well, because I'm representing the legal sector, let's talk about the legal sector, all right? The legal sector, in the old days, before this reform, only practicing barristers and practicing solicitors can vote. That means how many people? We have about what 9,000 practicing solicitors, and about 1,500 practice barristers. That would be just a little bit over 10,000 people. Now, what about those who are in the quasi-legal profession? For example, legal executives. In your firm, you have a lot of people who are so experienced. They're not qualified solicitors, but they are so experienced. They are legal executives. They've done the training program. They work in a law firm for over 10, 15 years. They get in business, deal with clients. Those people are not represented.
What about trademark attorneys? What trademark agents, patent attorneys? They are not represented. What about trainees solicitors? What about pupil barristers? What about legal graduates from universities? They were all unrepresented in the legal sector. So in this election reform, taking into, for example, the HK Legal Exchange Foundation like us. We have a lot of members who are in those categories which I just mentioned. Those people can now have their voice in the CE and the LegCo members election process, because they can, through the votes exercised by our Legal Exchange Foundation, pick the best candidate that represents them. So actually, the basis of representation is enlarged rather than smaller.
主持︰Thank you, Lawrence. That was very enlightening.
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