Leung Chun-ying

Leung Chun-ying sees pan-democrats as the enemy, ex-supporter says

Ex-supporter says he complained to Beijing over chief executive's attitude to opposition

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 2:38pm

The chief executive views pan-democrats as "the enemy", said the man who landed Leung Chun-ying in more hot water over illegal structures yesterday.

Beijing-loyalist businessman Lew Mon-hung made the disclosures in an interview with the Chinese-language weekly magazine iSun Affairs that was published yesterday.

Lew said he had even complained about Leung's attitude to Cao Erbao, then the head of research in Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, saying it was against the spirit of "one country two systems" and the principles of Deng Xiaoping.

Lew told the magazine that during a dinner in May last year, he asked Leung to try to make friends with the opposition pro-democracy camp. "[Leung] said to me, 'Mon-hung, you know what ... our relations with the pan-democrats are confrontations between ourselves and the enemy'."

Lew said he called Cao to complain the very next day. He quoted Cao as telling him: "You must not criticise him openly. You can try to talk to him in private and rectify his views."

Earlier this month, Cao was reported to have been appointed to the Beijing municipal committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Vincent Lee, chairman of the Tung Tai Group, who was at the dinner, said he did not hear Leung's "enemy" comment.

Lew, who had been seen as a keen supporter of the chief executive, also claimed that Leung reneged on a promise to appoint him to the Executive Council.

In the iSun Affairs interview, Lew went on to accuse Leung and his campaign team of a "total lack of political sensitivity" and said it was him who won over the Oriental Press Group - publishers of the Oriental Daily News and The Sun - to support Leung during the election race.

Lew said that in December 2011, he arranged for Leung to meet Oriental Press chairman Ma Ching-kwan at the airport to persuade the media tycoon to use his newspapers to back him.

The result, he claimed, was that Leung's popularity soared, prompting Beijing to dump his rival, Henry Tang Ying-yen, and pick Leung as Hong Kong's new leader.

The revelation sparked speculations that Leung might have made an under-the-table deal with the media organisation.

However, a source close to Leung's election campaign discounted such speculation, saying: "It is very normal for Leung to meet media representatives."

And in a statement, Oriental Press said Lew's comments had "nothing to do with our group". It added: "We have passed this matter to lawyers to take necessary legal action."

Days before the alleged December 2011 meeting, Sing Tao News chairman Charles Ho Tsu-kwok, a member of the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, called an unscheduled press conference at which he attacked Leung and questioned his ability to govern the city. Ho is seen as a supporter of Tang.