Many cynical of poll manifestos: Analyst

With just one day to go before nominations close tomorrow, Mrs Carrie Lam was the last of four chief executive hopefuls to release a full manifesto.

Two other contenders - Mrs Regina Ip and Mr Woo Kwok Hing - have released more than one version in their bid to win over supporters.

A manifesto, usually published in a booklet, states the policies and areas that candidates promise to work on if they are elected. It also aims to help voters decide who to vote for.

Some would argue that a manifesto gives a government a mandate for its policies.

But political analyst Willy Lam said most people are cynical about such election platforms. He added that people began to pick on incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying for not delivering on his election pledges.

Last month, after delivering his final policy address, Mr Leung insisted that he had fulfilled the promises he made in his election manifesto five years ago.

But his speech was criticised by a lawmaker, who said Mr Leung failed to implement a universal retirement scheme, which he had promised during his election campaign.

As some politicians break promises at their peril, Dr Lam believes that the Election Committee of 1,194 members would have already made up their minds on who to vote for, regardless of what is contained in each candidate's manifesto.

Joyce Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2017, with the headline 'Many cynical of poll manifestos: Analyst'. Print Edition | Subscribe