Leung Chun-ying seeks grass-roots support

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am

Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying has vowed to continue seeking the support of the public in response to a poll ranking him bottom among the most widely-tipped candidates in the race to be the next chief executive.

'I have been doing that. I will continue to try my best,' Leung said when asked how he would win public backing when faced with his low level of support.

A poll conducted by the Hong Kong Transition Project, a research institute, in late November found only 37 per cent said they would support Leung to be chief executive.

He came behind former Legislative Council president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen and Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit - who ran in the previous chief executive election.

Leung said his strategy would be to 'keep working hard'. He has been tipped as a candidate, though he has never said directly whether he would run next year.

Leung said at a business lunch yesterday that the government should pay more attention to the well-being of grass roots people while developing the economy.

'In the past, we only emphasised the overall performance of economic development. But we didn't pay enough attention to the social and political problems arising from falling incomes of low-paid workers,' Leung said.

Political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said Leung had to stick to his strategy of seeking support from the working class, but said it was unlikely he could reverse his low popularity quickly. He said the best strategy for Leung might be to wait for other contenders to make mistakes.

'After seeing the shortcomings of [former chief executive] Tung Chee-hwa, Beijing might put more weight on the contenders' popularity when considering the best candidate for the next chief executive,' Choy said.