Donald Tsang

Donald Tsang's bargaining legacy weakens governance, lawmaker says

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2015, 9:00am

The political culture left by former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen that encourages lawmakers to bargain with the administration over policies is to be blamed for weak governance, a legislator says.

New People's Party deputy chairman, Michael Tien Puk-sun, said the legacy made it difficult for officials and legislators to reach a consensus and affected the governance of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

"Tsang's [government] cultivated a culture of bargaining, which poses the biggest obstacle to the ties between the executive and legislative branches [of the government]," Tien told a Commercial Radio show yesterday.

"Each political party believes it would be stupid not to make a counter-offer. Everyone … fears they can't live up to the expectations of the party and their voters. But they never consider whether they have a reason to support it."

Tien cited the government old-age living allowance proposal of HK$2,200 a month as an example, which caps the assets of a single applicant at HK$186,000.

"One will say HK$180,000; others may suggest HK$300,000, HK$400,000 or HK$500,000," Tien said. "One may say, 'since you suggest HK$500,000, I will ask for HK$700,000'. If this goes on, it will be like bargaining with a wet-market vegetable vendor."