Andrew Li needs united front

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 May, 1997, 12:00am

The choice of the new chief justice was probably one of the most important decisions Tung Chee-hwa has had to make.

It was an excellent choice; and very good news for Hong Kong.

Andrew Li Kwok-nang has qualities and qualifications which may produce the best chief justice this territory has had in the memory of anyone in the legal profession.

Ultimately that will depend on the degree of support he receives not only from the profession itself but from his fellow judges at every level.

There must be disappointed candidates for the post who wanted to serve Hong Kong in it themselves. There are their supporters who think that a different choice should have been made. But it is just such people whose support Mr Li needs most.

The lead up to the choice of Mr Li saw a great deal of lobbying for potential appointees which at times had a divisive political flavour about it; inevitable, perhaps, but unhealthy.

Unless Mr Li receives, right from the start, the full support and united encouragement of those who might have been chosen but who were not, he will simply not be able to fulfil his undoubted potential.