Tung quiet on who he's backing for HK chief

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 November, 2011, 12:00am


Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa (pictured) is rumoured to be backing Leung Chun-ying for the city's top job - but he will not attend today's event at which the former Executive Council convenor officially launches his election campaign.

Leung brushed off the issue yesterday. 'I have only said that Mr Tung cares a lot about me,' he said. 'We often meet and exchange ideas over issues regarding Hong Kong.'

He said the former chief executive was just another member of the public he hoped would support him.

Tung appeared at a school fund-raising campaign yesterday. He waved but ignored questions about whether he supported Leung.

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee who recently announced she would not join the race, said it would be wrong to put Tung on the spot. 'Being a [national] leader, his intention is very likely going to be in line with [the position of] the central government,' she said. 'If he comes out to assist in the election campaign of anyone, it would be incompatible with [what is expected from him in] his position. Mr Tung is an honest man. I hope that [people] don't put him on the spot.'

Various media reports have recently quoted unnamed sources as saying Tung would back Leung.

Tung was made a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference after stepping down as Hong Kong chief executive in 2005 for health reasons. The CPPCC is the top advisory body to the Communist Party, and its key members are part of the core central government leadership.

Leung said Tung would not appear at today's event at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. Two hundred people will attend, representing the 'epitome' of Hong Kong. Leung said he would explain how he would serve the city's seven million people instead of 'society's heavyweights'.