Published: 14:41, March 11, 2023 | Updated: 13:09, March 12, 2023
Starry Lee elected as HK's youngest-ever NPCSC delegate
By William Xu

Hong Kong lawmaker Starry Lee attends the fourth plenary meeting of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress in Beijing, China on Mar 11, 2023. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Starry Lee Wai-king, Hong Kong lawmaker and leader of the city’s largest political party, was elected on Saturday as the special administrative region’s sole delegate to the Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress – the nation's top legislature.

Lee won 2,901 votes from NPC deputies, with 35 dissenting and three abstentions, on Saturday morning at the fourth plenary meeting of the 14th NPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The meeting elected 159 members of the new-term NPC Standing Committee out of 172 candidates.

Lee said she’s grateful to the nation and the NPC deputies for the support she has received. At a media briefing held online on Saturday afternoon, she pledged to fulfil her role as a two-way bridge – taking Hong Kong residents' voice to the central government and helping Hong Kong society to understand and grasp the opportunities provided by the nation’s development initiatives, especially the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

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Lee, a certificated accountant in Hong Kong, has proposed setting up a GBA licensing examination that could allow Hong Kong accountants to practice in GBA cities on the Chinese mainland. A similar exam – the GBA Legal Professional Examination – was rolled out in 2021 for lawyers to practice in these cities.

Lee replaced Hong Kong veteran politician Tam Yiu-chung, who had served in the post since 2018

As Hong Kong's youngest-ever NPCSC member, Lee believes young Hong Kong people would have more opportunities to participate in the special administrative region’s political affairs, and will encourage them to work and live in the Greater Bay Area.

Another of her priorities is to work with different sectors to deepen Hong Kong people’s understanding of the Constitution, the Basic Law and the National Security Law for Hong Kong in the future.

Lee, 48, chairperson of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, replaced Hong Kong veteran politician Tam Yiu-chung, who had served in the post since 2018.

Asked whether her NPCSC work would disrupt her duties in the Legislative Council and the DAB, Lee said she will discuss the matter with her colleagues and make appropriate arrangements.

Tam said he's confident that Lee will make greater contributions to the nation and Hong Kong in her new capacity. He said his successor has rich experience working in Hong Kong’s district council and the Legislative Council, as well the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – the nation’s top political advisory body – for five years.

Ma Fung-kwok, leader of Hong Kong delegation to the 14th NPC and Lee’s deputy in LegCo’s House Committee, said he believes Lee, as the SAR’s sole representative on the NPCSC, would have the backing of the entire Hong Kong NPC delegation, the DAB and the Hong Kong community in performing her duties.

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Lee is a newcomer to the NPC. She has been a member of the National Committee of the 13th CPPCC for the past five years. Lee became the DAB’s first female leader in 2015. She has served in the SAR's Legislative Council since 2008 and was a member of the Executive Council from 2012 to 2016.

Lee is the SAR’s fourth sole delegate to the NPCSC since the city's return to the motherland in 1997. The position had been previously held by business leader Tsang Hin-chi, former Hong Kong Legislative Council president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and Tam.