Cut the PR stunts and start campaigning, says Democrat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 June, 2005, 12:00am

Chief executive candidate Lee Wing-tat has accused rival Donald Tsang Yam-kuen of running a PR show rather than an election campaign.

He criticised him for holding closed-door meetings with Election Committee members and failing to reach out to the public.

'Mr Tsang will kiss some children on the cheek or shake someone by the hand, but it is more like a [public relations] show.'

Mr Lee, chairman of the Democratic Party, said that in comparison he had spent hours on the streets meeting the public.

Mr Tsang did not take part in the first public forum with his election rivals on Saturday, although he was invited. While Mr Lee and the third contender, legislator Chim Pui-chung, were at the forum in Wan Chai, Mr Tsang was meeting members of the Election Committee.

Veteran politician Szeto Wah, regarded as a spiritual leader of the Democrats, praised Mr Lee yesterday for running in the election. 'Lee knew it was impossible to win but is still going for it,' said Mr Szeto. 'He is doing it to promote his faith in democracy and to force Tsang to show his stance [on certain issues]. It is necessary.'

Mr Lee held a public forum in Tsuen Wan yesterday, although fewer than 100 people attended and most of those disappeared during a heavy downpour.

Although many in the audience said they appreciated Mr Lee's efforts, they found Mr Tsang a better choice.

'I think Tsang's manifesto is better and a government under his leadership will fare better than the previous one,' said Paul Law, a Christian preacher. 'I am not doubting Lee's capability, but Tsang has more experience.'

Justin Lam, a business management major who is still looking for a job, said he did not like the system of electing the chief executive and applauded Mr Lee for taking part. But he said Mr Tsang would be better at communicating with Beijing.

'The Democratic Party is too radical to win the trust of Beijing, the central government. I think they need to learn how to better communicate with Beijing first.'

Mr Lee said he was aware of the difficulty in getting the 100 nominations he needs to take part in the election but would keeping trying.