The Hong Kong Institute of Housing Submits Suggestions for Constitutional Reform

Addition of “Property Management” subsector is recommended

HONG KONG, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Hong Kong Institute of Housing (“HKIH”) has submitted a response to the Government’s public consultation on constitutional reform, and stated that HKIH fully supports the gradual and orderly pogress of the democratic development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) in accordance with the Basic Law. However, HKIH has also proposed enlarging the size and composition of the future Nominating Committee, as well as the addition of a new “Property Management” Subsector.

HKIH fully supports acting in accordance with the Basic Law to achieve the ultimate goal of universal suffrage for selection of Chief Executive and all Members of the Legislative Council. In the evolution process of democracy, preservation of prosperity and stability of the society is of prime importance. In the suggestions for constitutional reform submitted to the Government by HKIH, it was suggested that the Government should first focus on the selection method of the Chief Executive in 2017 and formation method of the Legislative Council should be handled later in Year 2020, in order to ensure there is a sufficient transitional period for the new Chief Executive to achieve further universal suffrage step by step.

The proposal suggests that it is necessary to enlarge the size and composition of the future Nominating Committee for the selection of the Chief Executive. In the existing Election Committee, there are 4 Sectors which are constituted by 38 Subsectors. HKIH agrees that the existing framework should be followed, but also recommends that some of the existing Subsectors with strong market force be separated into individual Subsectors. Following this, the Subsectors are recommended to be expanded from the existing 1,200 members to more than 1,800 members for the future Nominating Committee. The 2nd Sector of the Election Committee (“The Professions”) currently consists of 10 Subsectors. HKIH suggests reviewing this to include more professionals who have demonstrated great contribution towards the growth of the HKSAR.

Property management professionals are responsible for the management of valuable assets such as residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls and parking lots, and the property management industry has developed and matured significantly over time. The industry’s professional standards have been recognized on an international level, and a licensing system has recently been gazetted and will soon be implemented after proper legislative process. The property management industry has made significant contribution to the community, such as effective implementation of preventive health and safety measures in the fight against SARS in 2003. The industry was also invited to participate in the Home Affairs Department’s Building Management Professional Service Scheme by providing professional advice to the management and maintenance of old buildings in 2010, and to remove unauthorized structures according to the Deed of Mutual Covenant (DMC) etc., The outcome was a great success.

Currently, over 11,000 practitioners on managerial or supervisory grades are leading over 200,000 frontline personnels who provide services such as security, cleaning, repair and maintenance etc. The large number of practitioners demonstrates broad representation in the local community. HKIH therefore suggested including “Property Management” as one of the Subsectors under the 2nd Sector of The Election Committee (“The Professions”). The number of members in the Property Management Subsector should align with other comparable Subsectors (existing member no. is 30 for similar Subsector).

Mr Ellis IP, President of the Hong Kong Institute of Housing, said, “Professional property managers and practitioners are required to effectively manage property for the occupants, they have to understand the needs and views of owners and tenants alike in their mission to facilitate a harmonious and peaceful living environment. The property management practitioners can therefore play an effective role in reflecting or communicating the general public’s practical social needs and expectations. With the new regulatory licensing regime being put into practice soon, the service quality and professionalism of the property management industry will be enhanced further. Universal suffrage is the aspiration of the society, the property management industry and its professionals are also influential to the community, their crucial role should not be ignored in the future constitutional development of Hong Kong. It is hoped that the property management industry can be included into the Election Committee so that property management professionals can have their voice heard.”