Candidates' policy proposals

Mr Woo has made political reform his top priority and aims to achieve universal suffrage in 15 years.
Mr Woo has made political reform his top priority and aims to achieve universal suffrage in 15 years.

Only retired judge Woo Kwok Hing and lawmaker Regina Ip have officially announced their bid for the city's top job so far.

Both have unveiled policy proposals touching on areas from security, education and welfare to land and housing.

Mr Woo, who laid out his proposals in a 47-page booklet a day before Mrs Ip launched her election campaign earlier this month, has made political reform his top priority.

On Dec 14, the 70-year-old former justice told reporters he would restart the political reform process if elected and aims to achieve universal suffrage for the Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections in 15 years.

Listing it as the most urgent task, Mr Woo said deep social divisions and polarisation in Hong Kong today have to be resolved in five years or else it will be tough to revive the economy.

And to achieve universal suffrage, he aimed to enlarge the voter base of the Election Committee from 250,000 to three million voters in the next two terms of government.

He said there is no rush to enact the controversial Basic Law Article 23 security law before a political reform Bill is passed. In contrast, Mrs Ip has pledged to revive Article 23 to tighten national security.

Both have vowed to increase public housing if elected.

Mr Woo proposes to develop unused farmland for housing and businesses, while Mrs Ip said she will consider developing parts of Hong Kong's country parks to ease the housing shortage.

Joyce Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2016, with the headline 'Candidates' policy proposals'. Print Edition | Subscribe