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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25am
Leung Chun-ying
NewsHong Kong

Leung Chun-ying 'wrong choice' as Hong Kong's CE, says James Tien

Criticism by Liberal Party leader highlights split in pro-establishment camp over the chief executive's dismal job performance ratings

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 August, 2013, 5:50am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is doing a worse job than his predecessors and the city will "go nowhere but down" if he continues to govern as he has in recent months, says Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun.

In a public outburst that underlined the rift in the pro-establishment camp, Tien also said Leung was the "wrong choice" for the top job. He added that the city would have been better off had rival candidate Henry Tang Ying-yen been elected in March last year. Tien supported Tang in his campaign.

His remarks come amid repeated calls from Beijing for unity. But Tien blamed Leung for division within the camp. He also called for the formation of a coalition to help improve governance.

"The so-called Leung camp is very small," he told ATV's Newsline yesterday. "Only a few executive councillors are from his camp. I don't think the ministers are all in the same boat … if you ask the lawmakers from the pro-establishment camp, I'm sure the majority will say 'I am not from the Leung camp'.

"To be the chief executive, you have to accommodate more people in your camp, to share your power and authority from either the functional constituency or directly elected lawmakers," he added. "But he is not uniting the people of Hong Kong."

Tien said the pro-establishment camp was not kept informed about what the government planned to do, and Leung's administration did not co-operate with Legco or its allies. "We represent a big group of people in Hong Kong. But we have no means of expressing our views on behalf of our voters," he said.

Asked how he would rate Leung's performance, Tien said Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen - the two chief executives elected since the handover in 1997 - were "definitely" better than Leung. "He was the wrong choice. Tang was not a good choice, either. We hoped C.Y. would do better."

Leung's approval rating plunged to a record low of 45.7 points out of 100 in a July poll.

Tien was not confident Leung would see out his term. "I hope he can last but I am not confident that he will - just look at [his rating]," he said. "If Hong Kong is to go four more years under Leung's leadership as it stands, I think it will be pretty sad. Hong Kong will go nowhere but down."

But Tien insisted he would not run for the top job himself in 2017. "I will be 70 and I think we need a leader, hopefully in his 50s, who is on the up," he said.

Beijing officials, including Wang Guangya , director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, have called for unity and support for Leung. ["I hope] the camp can unite and increase its fighting strength and influence," Wang said in March.


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This article is now closed to comments

James Tien needs not to be held accountable for what he said. So, he can express whatever he want. It is Tien who spoke sth that divide HK, but not CY Leung. When you said sth like this, I guess what is your intention behind? Or do u wanna imply that we have to choose u or Henry Tang? Or a loser who wanna make his last ditch? Pathetic!
Dai Muff
He doesn't represent me either. But then, neither does CY.
Of course the city is going down. But is CY alone responsible for this?
Dai Muff
Tung was the least worst. I suppose that's "best" by default.
Dai Muff
The "Liberals" don't like him, the DAB doesn't much like him, and even Tsang Yok-sing has criticised him. That's a good range of opponents before you even get into the pan-Democrats.
Dai Muff
Henry was a patsy. He was never intended to win.
I agree.
With regard to illegal structures both are guilty. However, CY Leung stole the pack of chewing gum at the supermarket and Henry Tang robbed the Bank of England (sorry, I should have said Bank of China).
we mostly just want you to take your psych meds
John Adams
I guess that there's one positive thing that can be concluded from today's frenzied almost -all negative comment correspondence on Mr Tien's speech (58 comments to date) ; which is this:
HK is certainly not a constitutional democracy, and never will be so.
But yet HK does somehow behave much more like a real democracy than modern countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, ...the Philippines (!) etc which are democracies in name but just the opposite in practice. So in HK's weird current legal-political in limbo status we do still have some kind of in-built system which prevents total idiots or total despots from getting into power.
Thus total idiots like Mr Tien can spout as much inane rubbish as they like but they will never become CE ! .
Thank God !
"Ultimately the law of the land will rule and the law of the land that Hong Kong sits upon is China! "

Chinese law (except for select Chinese laws mentioned in the Basic Law such as the Chinese Nationality Law) doesn't apply in Hong Kong, and HK is free to make its own laws. It was also promised universal suffrage, and it's NOT impossible for a non sovereign state to have universal suffrage. The Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands are excellent examples of territories which are not sovereign states, but they still have universal suffrage.

HK is anything but another Chinese city.



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