Ex-Democrat admits to job bid
Stuart Lau, Ada Lee and Amy Nip
A Democratic Party co-founder finally admitted yesterday he had applied for a position in chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying's cabinet.
Andrew Fung Wai-kwong - who party leaders had earlier called a traitor - said he had put himself forward for a post as undersecretary in the incoming government.
'I have known [Leung] for almost 30 years,' Fung told a radio show yesterday, a day after he quit the party he helped set up 18 years ago. 'I wrote an e-mail on the afternoon of May 21 to apply for an [undersecretary] position in [either] the Culture Bureau [or] the Home Affairs Bureau.'
Fung said his years as a district councillor made him suitable to help lead the new Culture Bureau.
'My inclination to liberalism could help prevent it from becoming [like] the publicity department [in China].' The Communist Party's publicity department is in charge of propaganda.
However, he played down his chances of being given a government post.
Fung questioned why pan-democratic parties banned members from joining the government, and said he was not the only person in the Democratic Party who favours Leung.
'There are people in the party who believe Leung rising to power is a good thing for Hong Kong,' he said.
He later said there were at least a dozen others who hold this view.
Leung echoed Fung's remarks, saying he was disappointed that some parties condemned their members for wanting to join his government.
He said he wanted his cabinet to be based on talent. 'If we don't use people from certain parties ... someone may say we're biased very probably,' the chief executive-elect said.
Responding to Leung's comments, Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said Leung 'lacks common sense in party politics'.
Meanwhile, more supporters of failed chief executive hopeful Henry Tang Ying-yen have been reappointed to statutory bodies.
Tang's brother, Tom Tang Chung-yen, and Ayesha Macpherson Lau, have been reappointed to the Trade Development Council. Allan Zeman will also remain chairman of Ocean Park. Their two-year terms will start on July 1.
The appointments come a week after another Tang backer, Economic Synergy lawmaker Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, was reappointed as chairman of the Mega Events Fund.
Political scientist Dr Dixon Sing Ming said it was too early to say whether the appointments were further signs of a reconciliation between Leung's camp and Tang's supporters, especially given the posts were 'away from the power core'. 'The three are not the most important members in Tang's camp,' he said.