District Councils of Hong Kong - History

History

In 1982, under the governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose, the District Boards were established under the District Administration Scheme. The aim was to improve coordination of government activities in the provision of services and facilities at the district level.

After the HKSAR was established, the original District Boards became Provisional District Boards, composed of all the original members of the Boards and some members appointed thereto by the Chief Executive. (The colonial Governor had refrained from appointing any member.)

Later in early 1999 a bill was passed in the Legislative Council providing mainly for the establishment, composition and functions of the District Councils, which would replace the Provisional District Boards. The 27 ex-officio seats of Rural Committees, abolished by the colonial authorities, were reinstated. The government rejected any public survey or referendum on the issue, saying that it had been studying the issue since 1997, and had received 98 favourable submissions. The self-proclaimed pro-democracy camp dubbed the move "a setback to the pace of democracy" because it was a throwback to the colonial era.

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