New lawmaker vows ‘constructive monitoring’

A first-time legislator said on Tuesday that she wants to create a new culture in the Legislative Council, of ‘constructively monitoring’ the government.

Wendy Hong, who is also the head of research at property firm, New World Development, took her oath of office on Monday as one of 90 members of the new Legco.

Speaking on RTHK’s Hong Kong Today programme, Hong said she wanted to focus on resolving Hong Kong’s economic problems and fostering greater links to the mainland.

“You know, during the past 20 years we have witnessed a drop in Hong Kong’s competitiveness, industrial hollowing out, a widening wealth gap and excessively uniform economic structure, so it is difficult for youngsters to achieve upward mobility,” she told RTHK’s Samantha Butler.

“We couldn’t focus on development for a long time because our society and the chamber were highly divided, and the Legislative Council was not able to function smoothly.”

Hong was one of 40 members of Legco elected by the Election Committee under a new electoral arrangement implemented by Beijing. She said she rejected the argument that the new-look legislature would be unable to monitor the government effectively.

“The goal of monitoring the government is to promote good governance in Hong Kong, serving the public interest in a better way,” Hong said.

“So, after taking office, I wish I could promote a new form of monitoring. I call it constructive monitoring, or positive monitoring, by which I mean: I don’t simply criticise the government, but more importantly, with my strength in public policy research, I will join the efforts of the government and help find solutions.”