Donald Tsang

Margaret Ng takes on cheerleader role

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 February, 2007, 12:00am

Civic Party lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee - rumoured to be the chief strategist behind party colleague Alan Leong Kah-kit's struggling chief executive campaign - should be worried.

But, despite Mr Leong sinking in the polls, Ms Ng retains an almost relentless sense of optimism, partly, she said, because 'optimist', rather than 'mastermind', was the campaign role she had chosen for herself.

'[A] unique role that I have appropriated for myself is the right to encourage everybody. It's a long campaign,' she said. 'When people are tired, I do what little I can to cheer them up.

'When things are the darkest and most unfair, that is when you should smile the brightest.'

Yet despite a resurgent Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, she said this was hardly the darkest moment in Mr Leong's campaign.

'When we began, we really had no idea whether we would succeed, whether we would get 100 democratic people into the Election Committee,' she said.

At that time the main question was whether the central government would actively block Mr Leong from running, 'and there was not a thing that we could do about it'.

'People think we are fools, but we've always said that doesn't matter, let's go and do it.'

In the end, more than 100 of Mr Leong's supporters were elected to the Election Committee on December 10, guaranteeing his name on the ballot.

'I think we were quite euphoric that there are people who are quietly helping us, namely the voters. They have said very little, but they have voted and they have helped us,' she said.

Ms Ng denied rumours of a rocky relationship with the Democratic Party, and said she was 'delighted' by their ability to organise and mobilise people for mass events.

As for the apparent disarray in the pan-democratic camp, Ms Ng said: 'Chaotic is okay for me. We knew this was a very difficult campaign. Now you see Donald Tsang pulling out all the stops, [getting support from] the rich and powerful, the money - it doesn't matter. Everything is extremely difficult.'