Leung keeps show on the road
Stuart Lau, Gary Cheung and Cheung Chi-fai
Leung Chun-ying yesterday reached out to the man in the street for the second day in a row, paying a visit to Yuen Long, where he extended an olive branch to rural leaders involved in a controversial February dinner that had clouded the chief executive race.
The chief executive-elect, who showed up unannounced in Wan Chai and Kwun Tong the day before, appears to be engaging in an exercise in damage control after his trip to the central government's liaison office on Monday raised eyebrows.
Strolling around a wet market, Leung received a petition from a resident calling for traditional rights of indigenous villagers in the New Territories to be protected.
At the Yuen Long Town Hall, he met a group of Yuen Long community chiefs who sat on the 1,193-strong Election Committee, which voted for the city's next chief executive last Sunday.
'I hope to spend the next few months turning my platform into feasible policy initiatives,' he said.
Participants of the 15-minute gathering included six rural leaders who joined staff members of Leung's campaign office in Lau Fau Shan for a February 10 dinner that businessman Kwok Wing-hung also attended.
The dinner had raised talk of triad involvement in the election as Kwok, nicknamed 'Shanghai Boy', allegedly has triad links. Leung's campaign office denied any connections with triads, and no one has admitted inviting Kwok to the meal.
Leung, who had called for unity and reconciliation after his victory, shook hands with Leung Fuk-yuen, one of the dinner guests, at the end of the gathering yesterday.
Leung Fuk-yuen said: 'No matter who becomes the next secretary for development, who is responsible for handling illegal structures in the New Territories, the person has to co-operate closely with the Heung Yee Kuk [which represents indigenous villagers].'
Leung Chun-ying then moved on to Tin Shui Wai, where he received a petition from a group of activists urging steps to tackle inflation. He also faced a protest by a dozen hawkers.
On Wednesday, the chief executive-elect took protesters from the League of Social Democrats by surprise when he called on them at the Laguna City estate in Kwun Tong. He said yesterday that he would continue to stage district visits in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, two people with experience on the Executive Council said Leung had not asked them to take up any posting.
Former executive councillor Bernard Chan said he would consider his ability and time availability in deciding whether to rejoin Exco. There are rumours Chan will be named the next Exco convenor.
But he ruled out serving as a minister. 'I would not consider taking a full-time job in the government.'
Executive councillor Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, president of the Institute of Education, also said he had not been approached by Leung. Cheung is tipped as a possible chief of either the education or housing bureau.
Leung also met yesterday with the city's former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.