Occupy Central

Wheelock chief stands up for CY

Peter Woo slams democracy activists and says Occupy Central plan is against spirit of city

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 4:16am

Democracy activists have used the universal suffrage issue to attack the chief executive and his administration and undermine belief in one country, two systems, a tycoon said yesterday.

Chairman of Wheelock and Wharf Peter Woo Kwong-ching also condemned the Occupy Central campaign to block traffic in the business district as "against the spirit of Hong Kong".

Speaking at his company's annual general meeting, Woo - a former chief executive candidate - said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying "is efficient and doing a good job".

"Some people are [never] satisfied," Woo said. "No matter who takes up the chief executive position, he will be attacked by the opposition camp."

Separately, Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong said the historical design of Hong Kong's constitutional system had to be updated, and the best opportunity for change would be the upcoming electoral reform.

Lam said the system had resulted in a fragmented legislature and delayed policies.

"We now have a very split council [that] spends more time debating than putting forward policies," he said at a luncheon.

Lam said the deadlock between the legislature and the executive branch was a result of the design of the political system and its electoral rules, such as proportional representation and functional constituencies.

"I wouldn't put the blame on the legislators. It was destined to turn out like this because the system was designed in such a way," he said.

"The system's designers were probably thinking of something else when they were designing it … They might have wanted to block certain powers. But this is the consequence of their design."

Hong Kong should seize the opportunity to press ahead with political reform, he said. "The first hurdle would be to gain the approval of two-thirds of the legislators," he said.

He added that he believed once the plan for reform was approved in Legco, the chief executive and the central government would be unlikely to disapprove of it.

Lam, who was formerly secretary for the civil service, said the Hong Kong government lacked political talent among its civil servants to carry out the changes in government duties after the handover in 1997.

"Administrative officers were good at executing orders, but some had to switch to handle political work.

"And not all of them were good at it," he said.