Tsang looks to Singapore for ideas
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is to tap the brains of Singapore's leaders on grooming political talent in meetings this afternoon.
Those he will meet include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. Mr Tsang will also meet Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, second assistant secretary-general of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).
Mr Tsang, who has proposed adding two new layers of political appointees to the Hong Kong government's ministerial system, said on Saturday the city could learn much from Singapore about issues such as city planning and grooming of political talent. He said Singapore's system had been very successful in grooming talent from the military and private sector for the public service.
But critics said that although 'one man, one vote' was practised in Singapore, the three opposition parties in the city-state had been hamstrung by limited access to the media and defamation suits filed by PAP leaders.
Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said Mr Tsang's plan to recruit political appointees as deputy ministers and assistants was based on the PAP model. But he said Mr Tsang might have difficulty using the model because Hong Kong's opposition parties were more vocal and democrats feared the government would mainly appoint civil servants. 'It appears that most of the new political appointees would be serving administrative officers,' he said.
'The PAP can go their own way in Singapore but Mr Tsang's blueprint will face resistance from the democrats.'
The two new layers of political appointees could be introduced next year under plans to strengthen the ministerial system and help groom political talent.