Green activists fight to break business hold
Gary Cheung and Tanna Chong
Three supporters of sustainable development are setting out to break the hold of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce on the Election Committee to decide on the next chief executive.
Markus Shaw, Stephen Wong and Dr George Cautherley, running on a platform of sustainable development and environmental protection, will submit their nomination forms for the commercial first subsector of the committee this morning.
Shaw, president of WWF Hong Kong, is a grand-nephew of media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw. Stephen Wong is a former investment banker and Cautherley is vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Foundation.
The chamber is fielding 17 candidates for the 18 seats. In 2006, chamber-backed candidates took all 12 seats available for the subsector in the then 800-strong Election Committee. This time round there will be 1,200 members.
Henry Tang Ying-yen - likely to be one of the candidates from whom the committee will choose to succeed Donald Tsang Yam-kuen - has meanwhile hired a new public relations firm for his campaign after his two-month contract with AsiaNet Communications expired on Sunday.
It is understood that he has hired H&L Fung, a firm owned by PR veteran Jenny Fung Ma Kit-han, wife of former Legislative Council secretary-general Ricky Fung Choi-cheung.
Tang's public relations advisers have been blamed for the handling of his disclosure of his extramarital affair after the firm declined to offer an English version of his statement, and turned down media questions after a minute-long press conference by Tang and his wife.
The former chief secretary has also been the target of internet criticism after he was pictured lying on a bed during a visit to partitioned flats in Tsuen Wan. Internet users doctored the picture into various versions, some posing Tang in a coffin.
Nominations for the Election Committee are scheduled to close today. By Saturday, 1,003 nominations for the subsector poll had been received.
Shaw challenged the incumbent lawmaker representing the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, in the commercial functional constituency in the 2008 Legislative Council election.
About 360 candidates running in subsectors such as agriculture and fisheries, sports, performing arts, culture and publication, and Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association, are expected to be returned unopposed.
The number of uncontested seats will account for 30 per cent of the total number of seats on the Election Committee, similar to the proportion in the 2006 committee poll.
Number of candidates fielded by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce