Over 1.6 million Hong Kong residents sign petition in support of district governance reform proposal

John Lee

30th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) A coalition supporting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government’s district governance reform proposal has collected over 1.61 million signatures from Hong Kong residents in support of the overhaul. From May 5 to May 28, the coalition collected approximately 1.1 million signatures at street stations, and about 510,000 online.

Starry Lee, the coalition’s convener and a member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, said on Monday that the signatures clearly demonstrate the Hong Kong society’s desire to ensure that the district councils perform their basic duties and consultative role in accordance with the Basic Law of the HKSAR.

Chan Kwok-ki, the chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government, said he expects the relevant draft to be adopted at the HKSAR Legislative Council before its adjournment, allowing the new-term district council elections to be held smoothly at the end of the year.

HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee proposed improving governance at the district level on May 2. The proposals on improving governance at the district level are guided by three principles: national security must be the topmost priority, and the “one country, two systems” principle must be fully and faithfully implemented. The principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” must also be fully implemented, and executive-led governance must be manifested.

Lee said that the latest districtadministration review primarily includes two main parts: optimizing the functions and reforming the composition of the district councils to set the system right, and improving the regional governance structure to enhance its effectiveness.

This proposed reform is aimed at ensuring that the district councils are more efficient and effective in their decision-making processes, while also ensuring that the principles of “one country, two systems” and “patriots administering Hong Kong” are upheld. The HKSAR government hopes that the new-term district council elections, which are scheduled to be held at the end of the year, will be conducted smoothly and with greater transparency.