Give C.Y. Leung a chance, Wharf chairman says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am


Peter Woo Kwong-ching, chairman of investment firm The Wharf (Holdings), yesterday urged people to be more supportive of chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying and his aides.

Speaking after the company's annual general meeting, Woo said Leung's manifesto had medium- to long-term policies aimed at further developing Hong Kong.

'Hong Kong has experienced a long transitional period since 1997. But we cannot always stay in a transitional period. How to maintain Hong Kong as an ideal platform for seeking foreign capital and human resources? How to resolve the obstacles such as air pollution [to maintain this platform]?' said Woo, adding that the city needed a long-term plan.

'I have high expectations from Leung's government.'

His comments come as radical pro-democracy group People Power prepares to introduce hundreds of motions on a contentious government restructuring proposal at a Legislative Council meeting next month.

The incoming chief executive has warned that if his planned reshuffle is not passed before July 1, it will affect the new administration and hinder the realisation of his election pledges.

Woo (pictured) said the proposed government restructuring was only a minor part of Leung's plans and advised political parties to be more lenient towards it.

'We can give opinions but we should let him decide,' he said, adding that Hong Kong should act in unity. 'If I want you to do something but I don't want to use your way to deal with it, and at the end of the day the task is not achieved, who should take the responsibility?'

Woo said there would be no significant impact on the property market after Leung took office as he was a professional property expert.

Hong Kong's home prices have hit the highest level yet, but there is a growing view among analysts that prices would ease if Leung tried to increase supply.

On how the mainland's economic slowdown and the consequent visitor arrivals in Hong Kong would affect retail rents, Woo said rents in the company's core retail centres such as Times Square in Causeway Bay and Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui maintained a satisfactory growth level in March and April compared with last year.