Gary Fan

Gary Fan Kwok-wai (Chinese: 范國威; born 30 October 1966) is a Hong Kong politician. He was the member of Legislative Council from 2012 to 2016 and from 2018 to 2019 after winning the 2018 by-election for New Territories East. He is also a former member of the Sai Kung District Council for Wan Hang. Former leader of the reformist faction in the Democratic Party, he led the reformists splitting from the party to form the Neo Democrats over the controversial 2010 constitutional reform proposal, taking a moderate localist stance.

Gary Fan Kwok-wai
Gary Fan in 2015
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
12 March 2018[1]  17 December 2019
Preceded bySixtus Leung
ConstituencyNew Territories East
In office
1 October 2012  30 September 2016
Preceded bySeat Created
Succeeded bySixtus Leung
ConstituencyNew Territories East
Member of the Sai Kung District Council
In office
1 January 2000  16 March 2021
Preceded byConstituency created
ConstituencyWan Hang
Personal details
Born (1966-10-30) 30 October 1966 (age 54)
British Hong Kong
Political partyDemocratic Party (1996–2010)
The Frontier (1996–97)
Social Democratic Forum (2000–02)
Neo Democrats (since 2010)
HK First (since 2013)
ResidenceTseung Kwan O, New Territories
Alma materAcademy of Art University (BFA)
San Francisco State University (MA)
OccupationLegislative Councillor
District Councillor
Gary Fan
Traditional Chinese范國威
Simplified Chinese范国威

After the disqualification of Ventus Lau, a 2018 by-election candidate, was ruled unlawful by the Court of Final Appeal, the by-election was seen as invalid and Fan was unseated in December 2019 as a result.[2]

Party politics

Of Huiyang Hakka ancestry, Gary Fan is a graduate of San Francisco State University.

Fan joined the Democratic Party after returning to Hong Kong. Fan was a leading member of the Democratic Party, including being a member of the standing committee of its central committee.[3][4]

Fan opposed the Democratic party's stance on the Five Constituencies Referendum movement and its support of the constitutional reform package in 2010. He, Chan King-ming and other reformists quit the Democratic Party in December 2010. Before that they had already formed the Neo Democrats political grouping on 2 October 2010. He held the position of one of its four convenors from 2010 to 2012.

In the 2012 LegCo elections, Fan won a new seat in the New Territoires East geographical constituency created under the 2010 constitutional reform package.

Legislative councillor

Gary Fan has taken an anti-immigration stance in the Legislative Council, differing from other pan-democrats who tended to support new arrivals. Fan called for the government to take back the approval rights on One-way Permits from Chinese authorities and to reduce the quota of such permits.[5] Fan also refers to immigrants from mainland China and the quota of 150 daily permits as "the root of the housing problem".[6]

In January 2013, Gary Fan and Claudia Mo formed a group called "HK First". They co-sponsored a controversial ad which claimed that reducing immigration would help the people of Hong Kong to get to the bottom of the housing problem, while rejecting claims of bias or discrimination against mainlanders,[7] despite condemnation from the Equal Opportunities Commission.[8] Fan later introduced a motion on adhering to the need to "put Hong Kong people first" in formulating policies, but the motion was ultimately defeated.[9]

He lost his seat in New Territories East in the 2016 Legislative Council election, due to the unexpectedly that Andrew Cheng returned which had claimed to split his votes. As a result, he resigned his party position as an executive committee member.

He returned to the Legislative Council in the 2018 New Territories by-election following the disqualification of localist Baggio Leung of Youngspiration over the Legislative Council oath-taking controversy in March. He was elected with more than 180,000 votes, defeating the pro-Beijing common candidate Tang Ka-piu of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB).[10]

After the disqualification of Ventus Lau, a 2018 by-election candidate, was ruled unlawful by the Court of Final Appeal, the by-election was seen as invalid and Fan was unseated in December 2019 alongside Au Nok-hin as a result, after the Court of Final Appeal rejected both appeal applications.[2]

District councillor

He was first elected as District Councillor in the Sai Kung District Council for Wan Hang in 1999. He was re-elected by a comfortable majority on 22 November 2015.[11] As a District Council member he serves on various committees:

  • District Facilities Management Committee
  • Social Services and Healthy and Safe City Committee
  • Housing and Environmental Hygiene Committee
  • Traffic and Transport Committee
  • Finance and Administration Committee[12]

As well as being a district councillor, Fan is also a part-time tutor at the Open University of Hong Kong.


On 6 January 2021, Fan was among 53 members of the pro-democratic camp who were arrested under the national security law, specifically its provision regarding alleged subversion. The group stood accused of the organisation of and participation in unofficial primary elections held by the camp in July 2020.[13] Fan was released on bail on 7 January.[14]

See also


  1. "Hong Kong Gazette G.N. 2022" (PDF).
  2. "Pro-democracy lawmakers Au Nok-hin and Gary Fan lose seats as Hong Kong's top court rejects election petition appeals". Hong Kong Free Press. 17 December 2019.
  3. Democrats lick wounds as 30 reform radicals quit Archived 16 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, Colleen Lee, 20 December 2010
  4. Neo Democrats set out their store, RTHK, 23 January 2011, Accessed 23 January 2011
  5. "Lawmakers deny bias against mainlanders". The Standard. 15 October 2013. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  6. Lo, Alex (15 October 2013). "Lawmakers Gary Fan and Claudia Mo take disingenuous stand on housing". South China Morning Post.
  7. Chong, Tanna (14 October 2013). "Legislators defend controversial advert on mainland migrants". South China Morning Post.
  8. But, Joshua (12 October 2013). "Head of equality watchdog condemns lawmakers' ad on mainland migrants". South China Morning Post.
  9. "Legislaitve Council of Hong Kong" (PDF).
  10. "Election Result - New Territories East". Electoral Affairs Commission.
  11. "Election Results". Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  12. "Bio on web page of Sai Kung District Council". Archived from the original on 19 January 2009.
  13. "National security law: Hong Kong rounds up 53 pro-democracy activists". BBC News. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  14. Chau, Candice (8 January 2021). "'Hong Kong has entered a bitter winter,' says primaries organiser as 52 democrats in mass arrest bailed out". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 4 February 2021.