Fan plays nicely in election race
In most countries the fight to win the top political post is usually a blood sport. But in Hong Kong it is a more mannered game.
That, at least, was how it looked yesterday after potential contender for the post of chief executive, Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, praised another likely rival.
Fan, a former Legislative Council president, said Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen had a winning resume and rich administrative experience.
While coy about her intention to run in the election next March, Fan, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, was not shy about disclosing her preference for Tang over the third likely candidate, Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying. 'Tang's profile shows he has rich experience in government participation - he has been the secretary for commerce, industry and technology and the financial secretary, and now he is the chief secretary ... that gives him a winning edge,' said Fan in a TVB interview.
However, she hinted that she found Leung wanting, despite his willingness to share his views on policies, and his recent efforts at outreach, especially in grass-roots sectors such as visiting cage homes and partitioned flats.
'I understood the needs of citizens when I was the Legco president,' Fan said. 'I do not find it necessary to visit a particular sector ... such as [those who live in] partitioned flats.'
Fan also rejected Leung's defence of his lack of experience in administration, having cited overseas examples such US President Barack Obama - who had not held a government post before winning the top position.
'It may not be relevant to compare Hong Kong politicians with overseas ones,' Fan said at a public function yesterday.
A hotly-tipped candidate for the top job, Fan said in May she would start considering entering the race after two months. It is now almost three months. 'I am still pondering,' she said yesterday.
'A chief executive has to bear huge responsibilities. I need more time for deliberation, and advice from friends on various issues.'
She also denied her participation hinged on blessings from Beijing.
'If I was determined to run for chief executive, I would not be dissuaded by anybody,' said Fan.
Legco president Tsang Yok-sing was singled out on Saturday by former local deputy to the National People's Congress Ng Hong-mun as a strong and capable choice for the next chief secretary.