From The Westside Stories
|Born||14 September 1971, Hong Kong|
|Educational Background||Sacred Heart Canossian College; LL.B, P.C.LL The University of Hong Kong|
|Occupation||Barrister-at-law; Legislative Councillor; District Conucillor|
|Geographical Constituency||The Peak|
|Term Start||7 September 2008|
|Political Affiliation||Civic Party|
|Office Address (LegCo)||Rm 426, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 11 Ice House Street, Central, HK|
|Office Tel (LegCo)||(852)25216292|
|Office Fax (LegCo)||(852)25218660|
|Office Address (DC)||Office B, 10/F, Tung Sing House, 18 Lok Ku Road, Sheung Wan, HK|
|Office Tel (DC)||(852)25411116|
|Office Fax (DC)||(852)30181286|
Tanya Chan Suk-chong (traditional Chinese: 陳淑莊; born 14 September 1971, Hong Kong) is a Legislative Councillor (Hong Kong Island Constituency) and is a member of the Central and Western District Council of Hong Kong (Peak Constituency). She is also a founding member of the Civic Party. Chan is sometimes known as the “Zhou Xun of the Civic Party”.
Education and law careerANZ (Australia & New Zealand Banking) Hong Kong before pursuing her career in the law field. She worked in the ANZ Investment Bank for 4 years.
Chan embarked on a career in law after receiving the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws from The University of Hong Kong in 2000. She exercised her profession in Iu, Lai & Li Solicitors & Notariesas a solicitor. In 2003, Chan was admitted as a barrister under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance of Hong Kong. She is now a barrister of private practice in the Chambers of Pow, Jason W.N., S.C. (鮑永年資深大律師事務所).
Hobbies and political viewsChan is very keen on drama. Zuni lcosahedron (進念二十面體) in 1992. This was also the year when Chan applied for the Miss Hong Kong Pageant, though she was not chosen to be one of the contestants. Ten years later, in 2003, Chan was a cast for East Wing West Wing (東宮西宮), which was also a production of Zuni lcosahedron with the purpose of insinuating the political situation in Hong Kong. It was in one of the performances that Chan met Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, whom inspired Chan of her political career and later paved the way for Chan to set foot in the political field. Chan’s encounter with Eu was said to be the beginning of her pursuit of a political career. 2003 was also the year in which Chan was greatly influenced by political issues and events. Like many other citizens in Hong Kong, she joined the Hong Kong 1 July March that year to oppose the legislation of Basic Law Article 23. From that year onwards, she participates in the 1 July March every year so as to show her concern for Hong Kong as well as to demand for democracy, universal suffrage, rights of minorities, protection of freedom and a variety of other political concerns.
Preparation for political career
Growing more concerned with the political issues in Hong Kong, Chan founded the Civic Party of Hong Kong with members of the Article 45 Concern Group, student leaders and pro-democracy advocates who are primarily from the legal profession and the academic field. The Civic Party was officially established in 2006. It aims to set up a society built upon the rule of law, protection of individual rights, and universal suffrage. In 6 months after the establishment of the Civic Party, Alan Leong Ka-kit was nominated to participate in the Chief Executive Election of the HKSAR to be held in the following year . In the same year, Chan was elected as one of the 800 members of the Election Committee , which is responsible for electing the Chief Executive. Chan is one of the 20 representatives from the legal sector.
In the first two years after the establishment, Chan mainly acted as a supporting role in the Party. In the meantime, she took part in various social events and functions. She was the member of the Financial Matters Advisory Group in Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District during 2006 and 2007. Her duty as a member was to advise the Consultative Committee on the financial implications of developing and operating the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities as recommended by the Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group and Museums Advisory Group. In 2007 she founded The Professional Commons with other professionals from various fields and became a member of it. It is an independent, membership-based, non-profit organisation open to all professionals who share the same values in which members can freely initiate and participate in task groups in pursuit of its mission, which is to improve the quality of public governance and empowering the community in the policy-making process.
By joining various professional organizations and actively participating in political activities, Chan gained recognition of the general public and she started planning to run for the District Council election as well as the Legislative Council. In 2007, Chan was elected as a member of Central and Western District Council (C&W DC) of Hong Kong, representing the Peak Constituency. The Council is constituted for the purpose of advising the Government on district affairs and promoting recreational and cultural activities as well as environmental improvements within the district. Chan was a new political figure in the election, and the competition was vigorous especially among Chan and one of the three candidates, Lam Man-kit, who had been the previous District Councillor of the Peak Constituency and was competing to renew his term of office. With the support and adequate promotion from the Civic Party, Chan won the election by 790:679:184. Chan’s victory was considered a triumph of the Civic Party, though many other new political figures from the Party competing in other districts did not win. In 2008, Chan was assigned as the Chairperson of the Concern Group on Urban Renewal Projects as well as the Vice Chairperson of the Culture, Leisure & Social Affairs Committee in C&W, DC. Chan is still a member of the C&W, DC now, and she will continue to hold the post until the next election in 2011, which is held once every four years.
In the 2008 LegCo elections, Chan was elected into the LegCo along with Civic Party leader Audrey Eu. It was the 4th Legislative Council since the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. There are 60 seats in the 4th Council, with 30 Members elected by geographical constituencies through direct elections, and 30 Members by functional constituencies. Chan and Eu were elected with the highest number of votes in the geographical constituency of Hong Kong Island and they represented the Civic Party. They together received 26.4% of the votes. The Civic Party took 4 seats in total in the LegCo election. Chan is still a Legislative Councillor now, and she will continue to hold the post until 2012, as the election is held once every four years.
Chan has been the member of the Travel Agents Registry since 2008 and she was appointed as one of the Non-Executive Directors of Urban Renewal Authority Board  in the same year. In 2009, she was appointed as one of the Directors of the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited .
Chan ran for the 2008 LegCo election in the Hong Kong Island constituency for her first time. She was placed first in the Civic Party ticket, before the founding leader Audrey Eu, a senior counsel, who was also elected. The Civic Party ticket obtained 82600 votes, constituting 26.35% of the votes . After deducting the quotient required for the first seat, the remainder to Eu was 30362, enable Eu to win a seat in the constituency with the lowest number of vote. However, Amy Yung, being placed the third in the seat, could not be elected.
Chan's work since 2008 could be divided into several categories as follows: .
Panels Currently In
- Panel on Commerce and Industry
- Panel on Constitutional Affairs
- Panel on Development
- Panel on Economic Development
- Panel on Education
- Panel on Environmental Affairs
- Panel on Home Affairs
- Panel on Transport
Chan involved in the Five District Resignation (see below) where she resigned in January 2010 and was re-elected in May 2010. Chan, representing the Civic Party, also voted down the 2009 Political Reform Package in 2010, despite the proposal being passed eventually in LegCo. The reason for voting down is due to the failure of addressing the abolition of Functional Constituencies and a lack of clear “roadmap” to Universal Suffrage. The Civic Party thought that the package failed to recognise the fundamental principle of fairness in society and neglected the basic right to elect, nominate and stand for election on terms of equality. They believe “we would rather stand still than walk aimlessly and go astray”.
The tree collapse incident in 2008 killing a university student shows that the Government lacked professional knowledge and report showed that the accident was avoidable. Yet, there was dereliction of duty on frequent tree collapse and the Government still has not set up a centralised department for tree management and risk assessment. Chan thus demanded such an establishment, and drew up the draft Tree Ordinance with Professor CY Jim, which is planned to be submitted in 2011.
Furthermore, the Maryknoll Convent School (MCS) “Ghost Pine” incident in early 2010 has aroused much attention in society. Chan found out that the “General Permit” of the School does not mention any clause that the tree could be removed, so the School violated section 6 of the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, as the School is required to apply to the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) before planting or removing any trees. Yet, the School was not prosecuted at the end. Chan has thus submitted with the alumni a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman to demand a thorough investigation into the matter and judge whether maladministration has happened between the Development Bureau and AMO.
Regarding the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, though the Civic Party is not an opponent to such construction, Chan took the view that the Government has neither consulted the public in a satisfactory manner nor produced a widely agreed proposal, which should thus be placed under sufficient public scrutiny. Chan would closely monitor the construction and the compensation regime offered to Choi Yuen Village, and so on.
Cultural, Leisure & Sports
Regarding the East Asian Games, Chan closely monitored the progress of its preparation and organisation by writing to the Home Affairs Bureau and East Asian Games (HK) Ltd to inquire about arrangements concerning sales of tickets, torch-relays, etc.
For the Asian Games, Chan also opposed the “Actively considering bidding to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019” in January 2010, as she thought there is a lack of a set of comprehensive and satisfactory sports policy for hosting such large-scale sports events.
Chan also pressed for a well-rounded system guaranteeing sufficient welfare, sponsorship and training for HK athletes.
Concerning the West Kowloon Cultural District, Chan also followed up on the Government’s consultation effort, and urged the Government to formulate a more comprehensive policy regarding cultural development, to strengthen funding and support for smaller arts groups, to improve on the nurturing and education of artistic talents as well as the more general promotion of arts and culture in Hong Kong.
Chan had serious concerns over the policies implemented on barging points, as it may produce considerable long-term impacts on environmental, planning and traffic issues. She conducted meetings with residents in the Southern District as well as the responsible personnel of MTR South Island Line, concerning the Telegraph Bay barging point, and strongly opposed the materials being discharged there. She also advocated a “zero-trucking” plan to reduce the discharge of the excavated materials by reusing them and implementing sustainable development.
Regarding the country parks, Chan urged the Chief Executive to adopt prompt measures to suspend the construction work in Tai Long Sai Wan, Sai Kung East Country Park for private development, and review the land-use planning in the New Territories.
During the LegCo discussion on the Country Parks (Designation) (Consolidation) (Amendment) Order 2010, Chan, on behalf of the Bills Committee, proposed a repealing motion, so that landfill sites cannot be extended to the territory of country parks. Chan also urged the Government to immediately implement suggestions in the “Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong (2005-2014)” concerning the waste disposal. She also proposed practices like charging on waste by quantity, widening the system of producers’ responsibility, recycling of cooking remains, etc.
Planning & Conservation
Due to the low rate of occupancy of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and The AsiaWorld-Expo over the past years, Chan thinks there is not such a need to build an extension to the HKCEC. She conducted a survey from June to August 2009 and questioned Wan Chai residents. Over 84% of the respondents were worried that it would result in an increase in Wan Chai traffic load and worsen the traffic congestion problem, and 80% opposed the plan. Chan would keep monitoring the matter though the Government still has not made such a plan.
Being a Non-executive Director of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), Chan has always been concerned about urban renewal. The Civic Party is committed to advocating the improvement of the Urban Renewal Strategy, proposing that the URA plays the role as the “promoter”, while citizens should also get involved in the process. Concerning Wing Lee Street, Chan had meetings with concern groups, tenants, etc. and successfully preserved all 12 tenement buildings.
The Columbarium Policy
As the Government has not planned for the continuous demand and supply problem for columbaria, it leads to the shortfall of columbarium niches. Also operating a columbarium without a license would potentially prejudice consumer rights as the niches’ price and quality are not regulated. Chan has been demanding the related authorities to strictly prohibit the operation of the illegal columbaria, to have a better planning for future demand and supply for columbaria, and to pay attention to the voice of residents and the industry.
Youth Affairs and Education
Chan has been striving for the improvement of the admission policy of tertiary education and reviewing the student grants & loans scheme, aiming to ease the students’ repayment burdens after graduation and to avoid them losing their education opportunities because of financial difficulties.
Also, Chan has been requesting the government to review the policy of the provision of aided schooling for students with intellectual disability. She has been tracking on the matter of class optimisation of Ebenezer School which provides special education for visually impaired students. The Government finally promised to allocate resources in providing additional school places so as to extend the duration of studies for students in need.
Tanya Chan has been a member of Central and Western District Council (C&W DC) since November, 2007. Despite the tough competition among candidates, Chan was elected in the Peak Constituency, while it was her first time competing in the election. Her personal charisma and the strong support from the Civic Party were the reasons behind her success. She won the election with 790 votes, while the other two candidates, Lam Man-kit and Leung Wing-on, got 679 and 184 votes respectively.
Her District Councillor Office, located in Sheung Wan, was opened in March 2008. C&W DC is constituted under the District Councils Ordinance (Cap 547) for the purpose of advising the Government on district affairs and promoting recreational and cultural activities as well as environmental improvements within the District. The members are committed to reflecting public view, monitoring the management of district facilities and delivery of public services and, at the same time, promoting district development. Chan is mainly responsible for the culture, leisure and social affairs within the district and she is the Chairperson of the Concern Group on Urban Renewal Projects in C&W DC.
District Councillor Work Report 2008
Chan’s service for the district in 2008 was concentrated on resolving the prevailing problems of road traffic and transportation on the Peak.
Traffic congestion at Borrett Road/ Bowen Road
In 2008, the Traffic Department (TD) implemented a series of traffic control measures at Kennedy Road, Borrett Road Bowen Road to alleviate the congestion problem. However, there were different views among those affected, including residents, school, parents and the school bus operators. Chan thus reflected their opinions to the TD. After two meetings with the TD, all parties agreed that the restricted zone from 7am to 7pm in Borrett Road and Bowen Road will be cancelled. The other two measures, namely the access restriction on long vehicles and the creation of new no-parking area in Borrett Road, would be reviewed after a trial period. Also, the school had agreed to make adjustment to its school bus services to address the concern of local residents.
Road Safety Concerns on Steep SlopesChan also sent a letter to the Transport Department asking for road safety improvements on the roads with long steep slopes in the district and demanded similar considerations for Borrett Road. Chan was particularly concerned about the road safety of long steep slopes due to the fatal traffic accident on Garden Road on 30 June 2008. There are four long steep slopes in the Central & Western District, with the Old Peak Road and Magazine Gap Road in the Peak area.
Route No. 1 Minibus
In response to the concerns and complaints of residents in the Peak, Chan submitted a paper to the C&W DC to urge the Transport Department to follow up the problems of the route no.1 green minibus. The route no.1 green minibus was being complained of its inadequate frequency, late departure in the morning and low environmental standard of the fleet. As a result of the request, the minibus operator agreed to revise the first departure time at the Peak to 6:45 am. Chan raised the concerns and complaints of Peak residents and she hoped that they would be taken into consideration by the Transport Department in the license renewal process next year.
Petrol Stations on Peak Road
As the two petrol stations on Peak Road were shut down in late 2007, Chan wrote to SinoPec to enquire on the re-open date, which would be 31 July 2008. However, Chan has received a lot of enquires before the re-opening of the station. Therefore, she submitted a paper with two motions to the District Council in June 2008, namely, the Lands Department should commence the tender procedure 3 months before the end of lease of all petrol stations, and in order to shorten or even eliminate the transitional period, new operators should be allowed to apply to the concerned departments for approvals before the end of the current lease. Both motions were subsequently passed.
Proposed construction of footbridge on MacDonnell Road
Regarding the fact that no consultation had been conducted before the commencement of constructing a footbridge across MacDonnell Road, Chan wrote to the relevant departments to enquire the details. Representatives from the Lands Department, Buildings Department and Transport Department then attended the District Council meeting to explain the construction and traffic arrangements during the construction.
District Councillor Work Report 2009- 2010
Old Peak Road Railing Project
Despite the fact that there were no recorded accidents recorded along Old Peak Road, the Transport Department (TD) proposed to spend about $520,000 on constructing Victorian railings along the road in 2009. The proposal was not supported during the District Council (DC) Traffic and Transport Committee meeting. TD then proposed a construction of a 750mm high stonewall at 4 spots totalling 46 metres in length. Chan thus conducted a survey at Old Peak Road in August with the hikers to gather general opinions about the construction and it revealed that about 70% of the respondents disagree with building the stonewall; over 60% of respondents prefer a green solution of planting to building a stonewall. Chan hoped that the survey would help to reflect public opinions and her proposal of putting up warning signs instead of building redundant railings was being considered by TD.
Way-station for Route No. 9 Minibus
In response to the proposal of adding a way-station on Garden Road for route no. 9 minibus suggested by the constituents of the Peak in 2009, Chan wrote to TD requesting it to discuss this proposal with the operator for better service. The opinion was taken in August 2009.
Road Safety Concerns on Magazine Gap Road
Although there had been a fatal car accident occurring in Garden Road in 2008, TD still issues permits to overweight vehicles, allowing them to use Magazine Gap Road. Chan, therefore, suggested to the Traffic and Transport Committee that relevant departments should reinforce inspections and increase the prosecution of offending vehicles; issue permits more sparingly based upon strict criteria; review and improve the instructions and warning signs along Magazine Gap Road; and consider placing equipment on the road to monitor and prosecute illegal vehicles effectively. TD finally agreed and put the warning sign at the entrance of Magazine Gap Road indicating vehicles over 3 tons are prohibited.
Illegal Parking and Illegal Charging of Taxis outside the Peak Tower
Chan wrote to the HK Police Force requesting the enforcement of the law in practice (banning the use of the restricted area outside the Peak Tower and to prosecute offenders so as to safeguard tourists and in the interests of rule of law in Hong Kong.
Additional Fitness Facilities for the Elderly
Having listened to the opinions and requests by the morning walkers, Chan proposed to the District Facilities Management Committee of having some suitable fitness facilities for the elderly in the park at Harlech Road. The projected was then included by Leisure and Culture Services Department in their programme of replacing worn out facilities.
Protecting Trees and the Enactment of Tree Ordinance
In March 2010, TD proposed to add a sign on the road surface of the southbound traffic lane at 6 Old Peak Road to remind drivers that two Chinese Banyans are next to Hollywood Heights, but the Department has not yet implemented the proposal. In May, there was a complaint requesting the removal of the two trees because the footpaths and the traffic were blocked and affected. TD, however, failed to provide any tree inspection reports or risk assessments to DC; this hindered the decision- making on removing the trees. Chan, regarding the problem, consulted an expert in tree- care at Old Peak Road and they did a research in July to investigate the health condition of the two trees and the possibility of preservation. She also wrote to the Tree Management Office, demanding a detailed tree inspection. Both the Office and the Highways Department stated that there were no serious health and structural problems, and thus suggested preserving the trees. Chan observed that the government had taken no action on the tree management measures suggested by the Coroner’s Court in preventing incidents of tree collapse. No tree-management department has been set up to handle the risk assessment of trees. Furthermore, the government refused to enact laws for tree preservation. Therefore, Chan, along with Prof. Jim Chi Yung, Professor of Geography at The University of Hong Kong, drafted a Tree Bill that is planned to be submitted in 2011.
Planning- Mid-levels and Peak Areas
Sites at 21, 23 and 25 Borrett Road are ready to be redeveloped, and are listed on the Application List. In 2009, the review of Mid-levels West Outline Zoning Plan was outstanding and the Lands Department did not list the land on the Land Sale schedule. Residents were worried that the land would become a high-density development project that would overload the road nearby, bringing serious impact on the local transport and environment. In the DC meeting, Chan requested the Department to further restrict the height of buildings on the site; she also wrote to the Planning Department to propose addition of more stringent development parameters when instituting the Schedule. Regarding the government’s grant of additional land to the Ministry of Foreign Affairswithout consultation from the public, Chan submitted documents to the DC and LegCo to bring up the issue about land grant in Borrett Road for discussion.
The Central and Western District
Licenses for shoe shiners
There are about 10 shoe shiners in the Central-Western District. The Hawker Control Team of Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) prosecuted a show shiner twice and he was fined $400 by the court. There were 4 more shoe shiners being verbally warned by FEHD. However, the industry actually takes up very small area and allows people to be self-reliant; and it carries unique traditional feature. It should therefore be preserved and revitalized. Chan thus put forward a proposal in DC in July 2009, urging the relevant departments to issue licences to the affected shoe shiners. The proposal was adopted by all members; all shoe shiners were licensed in December 2009 and were allowed to run their business legally.
Conservation of Wing Lee Street
As the chairperson of the Concern Group on Urban Renewal Projects in the Central & Western District of DC, Chan organized residents meetings that enable the public to express the demand of comprehensive conservation of Wing Lee Street to the Urban Renewal Authority URA. The URA finally promised to preserve 12 tenement buildings in Wing Lee Street. This preserves the uniqueness of old Hong Kong and enables it to be enjoyed by the next generation. Chan was particularly concerned about the part on the Central Market and the Central Government Offices Complex. Chan volunteered to join the Central Oasis Community Advisory Committee to assist in carrying out the conservation and revitalization plan for the Central Market, and to provide advice on the revitalization work.
“Conserving Central” was one of the important items mentioned in the 09-10 Policy Address, which included plans to create a “Central Waterfront” and to conserve and revitalize the Central Market, Murray Building as well as the Police Married Quarters at Hollywood Road.
"Five District Resignation"
The Civic Party initiated the 5-District Resignation to demonstrate to the citizens the injustice of the current political system, hoping to “implement the True Universal Suffrage & Abolish Functional Constituencies”. Chan, along with 4 other LegCo members from other districts: Raymond Wong Yuk-man, Leung Kwok-hung, Albert Chan Wai-yip & Alan Leong Kah-kit, resigned on 27 January 2010 and started on the de facto referendum campaign.
The by-election was held on 16 May 2010, where 103,564 residents on the Hong Kong Island casted their votes to Chan. All 5 LegCo members were re-elected, with a total of 464,561 votes, constituting about 80% of the total votes of around 579,000 votes. The voting rate of the by-election was 17.1%, which was 28.1% less compared to that of 2008 election, which was 45.2%.
- ↑ Timeline of the Civic Party
- ↑ Function of the Election Committee
- ↑ Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District
- ↑ Central and Western District Council
- ↑ Chan elected as the District Councillor
- ↑ Organisation Chart of the Central and Western District Council
- ↑ Legislative Council Election 2008
- ↑ Travel Agents Registry
- ↑ Urban Renewal Authority Board
- ↑ Directors of the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited
- ↑ 2008年立法會選舉結果, 頭條, 2008-09-09, Apple Daily
- ↑ Tanya Chan Legislative Councillor Report 2009-2010
- ↑ Tanya Chan District Councillor Work Report 2008
- ↑ Tanya Chan District Councillor Work Report 2009-2010
- ↑ 5泛民議員得票佔8成, 港聞, 2010-05-16, Ming Pao
- Tanya Chan's official website
- The official website of Central & Western District Council
- Tanya Chan's LegCo Biography website
- Civic Party's official website
- Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District
- Tanya Chan's Facebook Page
- Tanya Chan's Yahoo Blog
- Video from OurTV of Tanya Chan opposing the XRL proposal
- Video from YouTube of Tanya Chan acting East Wing West Wing (東宮西宮)
- Video from YouTube of Tanya Chan interviewed in NowTV Programme 星期日大班
- Video from YouTube of Tanya Chan & the other 4 resigned & re-elected LegCo members holding a press conference concerning the 5-District Resignation