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Colouring the Political Spectrum

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Colouring the Political Spectrum
Varsity Issue 112
Magazine of Chinese University Hong Kong


http://www.inmediahk.net/node/1006353


In a Nepalese grocery store in Kowloon, James Lung Wai-man, a typical local Chinese picks through the merchandise and introduces each item.” This is Nepalese tobacco which can be chewed directly and need not be lit,” he proclaims. The Nepalese shopkeeper looks on and smiles as if an old friend has come to his home and helps himself to drinks.


Lung is a familiar figure to shopkeepers and owners of Indian restaurants, Nepalese hair salons and an ethnic newspaper office in the Jordan district- one of the several districts in Hong Kong with many ethic minorities. For them, Lung is not just someone to consult when they need help, but also a friend who frequently drops by the visit.

http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/lwmlung/article?mid=2141


Lung wants to help Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities through different channels, including helping them to gain political influence. He believes the best way to do that is not to aid them directly, but to empower them to voice their own needs.


With this in mind, he co-founded the Southern Democratic Alliance in 2004. The alliance, of which Lung is currently the chair, is a political organization with 600 members mostly drawn from ethnic minorities.


“I already knew I was not going to win at that time…”


Lung decided the most effective way for ethnic minorities to speak up in Hong Kong was to enter the Legislative Council. So he decided to run in the 2008 election with Bantawa Sukra, a Nepalese who is the spiritual leader of a pan-religious group called the Heavenly Path.


Compared to the election campaigns of political parties which have abundant funds, Lung’s election campaign only have a budget of hk$90,000. “I was the only candidate who had no banners on the street. It sounds ridiculous but I just couldn’t afford it,” he recalled.


Perhaps due to the lack of publicity, Lung got just 591 votes, one of the lowest tallies in the Kowloon West constituency. Those votes came mainly from ethic minority voters and probably, from members of the alliance...
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