Magnate denies political links will sway vote

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 April, 1996, 12:00am

Shipping magnate Tung Chee-chen yesterday denied that his influential connections would help him in his bid to be elected a vice-chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Tung is the younger brother of Executive Councillor and Preparatory Committee vice-chairman Tung Chee-hwa, who has been widely tipped as the territory's first post-1997 chief executive.

But the younger Mr Tung disagreed that his elder brother's political weight would be beneficial to him. The chamber's work was not always related to politics, he said.

'There are already many people supporting me,' Mr Tung, managing director of Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd, said yesterday.

Sources close to the chamber described the election for the second vice-chairmanship as 'quite political'.

They said two camps had emerged, one supporting Mr Tung in view of his elder brother's promising political career, and another believing the post should be filled by a person 'with more industrial background'.

Lily Chiang Lai-lei, executive director of Chen Hsong Holdings Ltd, is the only other candidate.

If elected, Mr Tung said he would place more emphasis on his work in the general committee.

He has served the chamber almost seven years and is chairman of its China committee.

The second vice-chairmanship is now held by legislator James Tien Pei-chun, chairman and managing director of Manhattan Garments.

Mr Tien is set to lead the chamber through the transition. Both the chamber's chairman William Fung Kwok-lun and its first vice-chairman Robert Savage are to step down at the chamber's annual meeting next week.



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