Beijing loyalist turns on Tsang
Federation of Trade Unions honorary president Chan Yuen-han has become the first pro-establishment heavyweight to break ranks and demand Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen step down immediately over his luxury official trips and favours from tycoon friends.
Chan, rumoured to contest one of the five new 'super seats' created in the district council functional constituency in September, made the remarks a day after incoming leader Leung Chun-ying said Tsang needed to focus on ensuring a smooth transfer of power rather than whether he should heed calls to resign.
'Some say administrative chaos could arise should he resign now. But as the chief executive, he does not work alone. He is supported by a team of workers ... Under the accountability system implemented overseas and in our [city], he should immediately resign,' Chan said after an FTU function yesterday.
She also said Tsang should pay the difference between the priciest hotel suites he stayed in and the normal rooms he should have used.
Chan said she supported plans initiated by pan-democratic legislators and tourism-sector lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun to impeach Tsang over the scandals, but it would be up to the FTU's four lawmakers to decide whether to back it.
Her comments came hours after fellow FTU honorary president and executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong called on Tsang 'to seriously reflect on' the row following the chief executive's public apology on Friday.
Liberal Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee also said earlier that its three lawmakers would consider whether to support the motion, which, if passed, would provide the Court of Final Appeal chief justice a mandate to form an independent investigation committee. Then, if there is enough evidence to substantiate charges against the chief executive, Legco may pass an impeachment motion by a two-thirds majority and report it to Beijing for a decision.
FTU lawmaker Pan Pey-chyou said: 'When the proceedings are over, Tsang's term will be over ... it would not have much meaning.'
Dixon Sing Ming, associate professor of social sciences at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said Chan's strong words could be an attempt to secure voter support in view of her intentions to contest the Legco elections. Or 'as a heavyweight in the federation, she simply spoke her mind', he said.
Tsang was the centre of attention again yesterday when Ming Pao Daily News said he and his wife visited for free the Picasso exhibition at the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin before opening hours on May 26.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said the chief curator led the couple on a 40-minute tour. It said the waiving of the HK$20 fee applied to executive councillors, legislators, and culture-related district councillors and officials.
Pressure group Education Convergence, meanwhile, urged Tsang not to officiate at the presentation of the Chief Executive's Award for Teaching Excellence on June 12 considering his integrity problems.