By Jessie Pang
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong filmmaker and kung fu teacher Sin Kwok Lam said Wednesday he intended to run for the city leadership, a surprise move that comes as incumbent Carrie Lam has not still confirm whether he will be a candidate for a second term.
The 65-year-old is the first person to announce her candidacy before the March 27 elections. Lam, who has chaired some of Hong Kong’s most tumultuous times in history, is due to end her term in June.
Eligible candidates need the support of a strong 1,500-strong “patriot-only” constituency in Beijing, Hong Kong. It was not clear if Sin had such support.
In a YouTube video, Sin said his supporters on the Internet persuaded him to change his mind so as not to get involved in politics.
“Under the new electoral system, I believe that any capable and credible patriot can run in the new election of a managing director,” Sin said. “I think I have the ability to win.”
Sin, who produced Ip Man, has been an active supporter of martial arts in the city. He heads the Wing Chun World Association, which focuses on the traditional South Chinese kung fu style spread in Hong Kong by Ip Man and Bruce Lee.
The Hong Kong born Sin has its own YouTube channel with 155,000 subscribers and posts on the internet every few days on topics ranging from politics to the Beijing Olympics. In 2021 one of his shows focused on what he called “Western hypocrisy” in Hong Kong.
He first started his online commentary in October 2019 at the height of the anti-government protests in Hong Kong, where he strongly supported the government and the police.
The nomination period runs from February 15th to March 2nd, and candidates must receive nominations from at least 188 of the 1,500 people on the electoral commission, according to a document from the city legislature.
(Report by Jessie Pang, Written by Farah Master, Edited by Marius Zaharia and Michael Perry)
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