Allen Lee spurns offer to stay on as delegate

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 12:00am

Veteran politician Allen Lee Peng-fei said yesterday many attempts had been made to make him stay on as a local delegate to the National People's Congress.

But the former radio talk-show host said he would not be doing so as he had not been enjoying the work.

'A number of influential people, some closely linked with the central government, have talked to me. They want me to stay with the National People's Congress,' he said. 'Unless they can make it enjoyable ... why should I return to the NPC?'

In May, Mr Lee resigned as host of popular Commercial Radio programme Teacup in a Storm and also as an NPC deputy. He said he had been under pressure since replacing Albert Cheng King-hon as host of the talk show, which is highly critical of the Hong Kong government. He also said there had been no pressure from Beijing for him to quit the programme.

Mr Lee has tendered his NPC resignation but it has not been accepted by Beijing.

NPC Standing Committee member Tsang Hin-chi said Mr Lee's resignation should not hinder the legislative body's work in collecting public opinion in Hong Kong. Mr Tsang had previously criticised Mr Lee for attacking the central government.

Yang Wenchang, commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong, said resigning from the NPC was Mr Lee's personal decision. He said the incident should not have any impact on the overall situation in Hong Kong.

Mr Lee, founding chairman of the Liberal Party, resigned hours after a midnight phone call from a retired mainland official, who said he wanted to talk to him about the radio programme.

The caller, former deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Cheng Shousan, also mentioned Mr Lee's wife and daughter.