Holden Chow

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The Honourable
Holden Chow Ho-ding
周浩鼎
Holdenchow.jpg
Member of the Legislative Council
Assumed office
1 October 2016
Preceded by Chan Yuen-han
Constituency District Council (Second)
Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
Assumed office
17 April 2015
Chairman Starry Lee
Preceded by Ann Chiang
Starry Lee
Member of the Islands District Council
In office
1 January 2012 – 31 December 2015
Constituency Appointed
Assumed office
1 January 2016
Preceded by Chau Chuen-heung
Constituency Tung Chung South
Personal details
Born (1979-06-07) 7 June 1979 (age 39)
British Hong Kong
Nationality Hong Kong
Political party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
Alma mater London School of Economics
University of Hong Kong
Occupation Solicitor
Holden Chow
Traditional Chinese 周浩鼎

Holden Chow Ho-ding (Chinese: 周浩鼎; born 7 June 1979) is a Hong Kong solicitor and politician. He is vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), the largest Beijing-loyalist party in Hong Kong, and a former chairman of Young DAB, its youth wing. He was elected to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in 2016 through the District Council (Second) "super seat".

Education and early political career[edit]

Chow was born in Hong Kong on 7 June 1979 and studied economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science in Britain after finishing Fifth Form in Hong Kong.[1] After returning to Hong Kong, he became a solicitor with Rita Law & Co.

In 2004, Chow joined the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), the largest Beijing-loyalist party in Hong Kong. He became the chairman of Young DAB, the youth branch of party and a member of the party's Executive Committee in 2009. In April 2015 when chairman Tam Yiu-chung retired, Chow was elected vice-chairman along with the new chairwoman Starry Lee.

Chow was also an observer on the Independent Police Complaints Council from 2010 to 2014 and an appointed member of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 2013 and was re-appointed in 2015 and 2017.[2] In 2012, he was appointed to the Islands District Council and started working for New World Development as a legal counsel. He often participated in RTHK's weekly talk show City Forum and founded Hong Kong Association of Young Commentators in 2012.

In 2015 District Council election when all appointed seats were abolished, he replaced veteran DAB District Councillor Chau Chuen-heung to run in the Tung Chung South constituency on the Islands District Council. He received 2,161 votes and successfully held the seat for DAB.

Legislative Council bids[edit]

In February 2016, he stood unsuccessfully in the 2016 New Territories East by-election. Representing not only his party but the entire mainstream pro-Beijing camp,[3] he placed second behind the Civic Party's Alvin Yeung, receiving 150,329 votes, 10,551 fewer than his rival.[4]

Chow stood again in the September general election, in which led one of the two DAB's tickets in the territory-wide District Council (Second) "super seat" alongside chairwoman Starry Lee. He received 264,339 votes, 13.84 percent of the vote share and was elected to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in the fourth place out of five seats, ousting another veteran pro-Beijing politician, Wong Kwok-hing of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU).

Legislative Councillor[edit]

As the vice-chairman of the Legislative Council select committee to enquire as to the recipient of HK$50 million, Chow was involved in a scandal relating to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Australian engineering firm UGL Limited. It was found that a "CEO-CE" computer belonging to Leung's office had made 47 edits to documents that Chow presented to the select committee regarding the scope of the select committee's investigation on 15 May 2017.

This behind-the-scenes discussion between Leung and Chow was condemned by the pro-democracy camp, and led to some filing complaints to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Pro-democrats also demanded that Chow resign from the select committee as he had lost credibility, and considered a motion to censure Chow in the Legislative Council House Committee.[5] They warned that the legislature's independence was under threat, as Democratic Party legislator Andrew Wan said the case reflected "the executive branch's unprecedented meddling with a LegCo probe". Chow apologised for his "lack of political sensitivity" in not informing the select committee of Leung's "personal input", but he denied any wrongdoing in discussing the matter with Leung in private.[6]

On 19 May 2017, Chow resigned from the select committee "hoping to calm the political storm", whilst continuing to maintain that he had not done anything wrong.[7]

Political views[edit]

Chow often criticises the pan-democracy camp, questioning whether someone who truly loved China would demand an end to one-party rule, as the Beijing government required the Chief Executive candidate to love China and love Hong Kong and wanted to exclude the pan-democrats.[8] He identifies himself as a "patriot" and opposes calls for Hong Kong independence or self-determination.[1]

Chow challenged Jimmy Lai, the boss of the pro-democracy Next Media and supporter of the pro-democracy Occupy Central, for meeting United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.[9] He also criticised a call for Hong Kong's independence from China as irresponsible.[10]

Chow has expressed prejudice against Hong Kong's ethnic minorities such as supporting a crackdown on the refugee population in Hong Kong based on unverified claims that refugees are responsible for crimes in the area.[11]

During the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Council election, Chow's campaign was vocal in its opposition to Hong Kong independence and same-sex marriage. His re-appointment to the Equal Opportunities Commission in 2017 was protested by civil groups and pro-democracy politicians for Chow's anti-gay rights remarks. Previously Chow signed a joint statement urging the government to appeal a court's ruling of granting welfare benefits to a gay civil servant for his husband. He urged his supporters to voice their opposition to the legalisation of same-sex marriage and protect "traditional family values."[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Legco hopeful aims to bridge Hong Kong's political divide". South China Morning Post. 20 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Appointment of members of Equal Opportunities Commission (Issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)". Equal Opportunities Commission. 10 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Lam, Jeffie; Chung, Kam-chung (3 January 2016). "Rising young Hong Kong politician Holden Chow joins Legislative Council by-election fray". South China Morning Post. 
  4. ^ "2016 Legislative Council Geographical Constituency New Territories By-election – Election Result". Electoral Affairs Commission. 29 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Cheng, Kris (17 May 2017). "Lawmakers oppose suggestion to disband UGL payout investigation committee". Hong Kong Free Press. 
  6. ^ "Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying admits intervening in probe into HK$50 million payment". South China Morning Post. 16 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Lawmaker Holden Chow quits UGL investigation panel in wake of CY Leung's intervention in probe". South China Morning Post. 19 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Cheung, Tony (12 April 2013). "HK's young politicos confident in patriotism, divided on one-party rule". South China Morning Post. 
  9. ^ "Jimmy Lai wards off criticism over Wolfowitz meeting". ejinsight. 23 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Heat rises at forum on talk of independence". The Standard. 19 January 2015. 
  11. ^ https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/11/18/pro-establishment-lawmaker-submits-motion-to-stop-bogus-refugees/
  12. ^ "Equality watchdog chief urges respect after member's anti-gay rights remarks". Hong Kong Free Press. 26 May 2017. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Horace Cheung
Chairman of Young Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
2009–2015
Succeeded by
Frankie Ngan
Preceded by
Ann Chiang
Starry Lee
Vice-Chairman of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
2015–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Chau Chuen-heung
Member of the Islands District Council
Representative for Tung Chung South
2016–present
Incumbent
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Chan Yuen-han
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for District Council (Second)
2016–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Lam Cheuk-ting
Member of the Legislative Council
Hong Kong order of precedence
Member of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Shiu Ka-fai
Member of the Legislative Council