Pro-establishment camp takes wait-and-see approach
Stuart Lau, Thomas Chan and Colleen Lee
Some political heavyweights have stopped short of giving full support to Leung Chun-ying and told the public they will have to wait and see what the future brings.
Their remarks came soon after President Hu Jintao , speaking at Leung's inauguration ceremony, called on people from different walks of life to unite for the sake of Hong Kong.
A critic said the heavyweights' response showed that Leung had yet to gain the full support of the proestablishment camp.
Speaking after the 50-minute ceremony, National People's Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai maintained that she did not support any particular individual. 'As I've said before, I back only Hong Kong ... We need to see [Leung's] performance,' she said.
'Without performance seen and only having heard words, we should wait and see,' Fan said.
'It is not a matter of confidence. But I really hope, since he has taken office, he can do a few good things for us, the Hong Kong people, so that we gradually, naturally build up confidence in him. Confidence ... is to be built up slowly.'
Asked if she believed Leung would offer only empty words, Fan said: 'I don't know because he hasn't started doing anything yet. He has just assumed office. So give him a chance.'
Lew Mon-hung, a local delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said: 'We should watch what he does and listen to what he says. His popularity is built upon the people's expectations.'
Lew was worried that Leung's credibility had been affected by the controversy surrounding illegal structures at his property on The Peak. 'The important thing is whether he lied to the public or not,' he said.
Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, a non-executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties who nominated Leung, said: 'President Hu said the new government needs to balance all sectors' interests and support Hong Kong's developments. The new team is not bad. I hope everyone gives them a chance to perform.'
Asked if he was worried that Leung's housing policies might bring down the property market, the tycoon said: 'I don't think it will happen. He said he would make changes while maintaining stability. So stability comes first.'
He said Leung's involvement in the illegal-structures scandal was due to negligence and had nothing to do with his integrity.
Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee chairman Leung Fuk-yuen, when asked about the unauthorised structures at the leader's home, said: 'He is a human being, not God. We should give the new cabinet a chance to usher a better future for the city.'
Commenting on the relationship between the Heung Yee Kuk and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor over her view that the government should end the small-house policy, he said: 'The president has asked us to consult and discuss among ourselves. I have high hopes of the new administration.'
Commenting on the recent scandals facing Leung, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong chairman Tam Yiu-chung said: '[Opposition voices] can remind him to do better, answer people's needs and put his manifesto into practice.'
At the inauguration, Leung said: 'Our community faces many challenges. We need to stand united, face difficulties with fortitude and determination and respond to different views with an inclusive attitude.
'I believe that we can resolve the conflicts that exist in our society and the clashes that may arise from different values or political ideologies. We need to listen and be inclusive and patient in seeking a consensus.'
Paul Wong Chi-wai, a social studies lecturer at the Community College of City University, said: 'Not all the pro-establishment camp supports Leung Chun-ying ...
It is reasonable that the pro-establishment camp will take a wait-and-see attitude.'
Several guests who attended the ceremony said they did not spot Cheung Kong (Holdings) chairman Li Ka-shing. Li voted for Leung's rival, Henry Tang Ying-yen.