Henry Tang gets nod from business
Henry Tang Ying-yen, who has a strong background in economic and financial issues, is likely to receive more support from the business sector in the race for the city's top job.
Business leaders said they had 'good feelings' about the chief secretary and supported him to run for the chief executive's post in March.
Their vote of confidence comes after Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai admitted she was thinking about entering the race to be the city's next leader, but described her lack of economic knowledge as a weakness.
Liberal Party honorary chairman James Tien Pei-chun said the business sector was not that familiar with Fan and would prefer Tang. 'We have known Tang for many years ... he is familiar with economic and financial issues, so we have been supporting him for a chief executive bid,' Tien said. Tang was a founding member of the pro-government Liberal Party.
Economic Synergy lawmaker Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung struck a similar chord. 'The sector knows Tang well and sees his deep understanding in finance and trade ... he also has good international vision,' said Lam, a General Chamber of Commerce representative in the Legislative Council.
Fan, an NPC Standing Committee member and former Legco president, said she would only consider forming her own team when she had enough confidence to run for the job. 'I have to make sure I would not disappoint Hong Kong people before forming a cabinet. You all know that I do not have my own team,' said 65-year-old Fan, a Beijing loyalist.
Lacking a full policy plan was a reason why she seldom commented on public policies, she said. 'It is not difficult to say something to please Hong Kong people, but the key is how to implement pledges.
Another would-be contender for the top job, Leung Chun-ying, is a vocal commentator on livelihood issues, including openly supporting the revival of the Home Ownership Scheme.
Leung, convenor of the Executive Council, said the next chief executive should not be conservative. 'Hong Kong needs a chief executive with courage and commitment,' Leung said in his blog. 'We ... should not pick a conservative leader. Hong Kong is not facing smooth prospects ... we need a person willing to make sacrifices.'
Legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who has hinted about a bid for chief executive, said it was too early to make a decision. 'Some citizens have asked me to contest the job,' said Ip, chairwoman of the New People's Party. 'But it is too early to say ... the nomination period is so far away.'