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  • Updated: 6:41am
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 shows the level to which Legco members have now sunk. Is that the born-with-silver-spoon James Tien who threatened the former head of the MTR for supporting a Civic Party member instead of a Liberal party goon ? (to whom he was later forced to apologize)
This is the cauldron calling the teapot black. Sad as it is we got the better of two bad CE choices.
Ironic that when the Govt finally adopted the anti smoking laws here the Liberal party finances suddenly dropped several million dollars. They only managed to delay the anti smoking legislation for 6 years @ 7,000 deaths per year whilst their party frontman, twenty dollar Cheung spewed about doom and gloom.
As for supporting the born-with-silver-spoon wife blaming buffoon who could not go anywhere without his speech writer that shows Tien should never back horses with the family fortune.
Dai Muff
"The majority of the people of HK is too uneducated if it comes to politics." Ah yes, but not YOU of course. That's the arrogance of the concept of the aristos vs the hoi polloi that goes back thousands of years. I thought you guys cared about the views of the "silent majority". Of course, that's only when you can tell the silent majority what those views are.
Mr. Tien being a seasoned politician in Hong Kong he must recognize that Hong Kong politics have changed forever. I must say since the hangover especially of Donald Tsang being caught and reported of his personal close ties with local property developers, public and press had an ugly awakening that collusion in Hong Kong between government and property developers is a fact and no longer a guessing. It is a watershed awakening. People rejected that business should be run as usual. The effect is, CY Leung and his administration must conduct within the new awareness and stop the old practice. He will offend the old guards for sure.
So Mr. Tien, I can assure you no one can do any better than CY Leung being not so an insider. Not Henry Tang or especially you if thinking a political coalition can be had like in the good old days greased by collusion. Both the people and press are watching.
Without reform, the colonial culture will persist with practices no longer acceptable by public. Why living in a cage and shoebox? Why eating expansive rice? Why flying dear with little choice? Why persisting roadside air pollution?
Why, scmpgt? One can only assume it is because they are afraid of us. In reality, I don't believe they need to be afraid of true universal suffrage in HK. It will do HK a lot of good and will reflect well on BJ; but how do we make frightened people see that?
Or perhaps those frightened people like to see HK weak and divided?
Does anybody else see how so many of the stories appearing in the HK News section of this rag these days all stem from one root cause: HK's lack of accountable government elected by a one-person-one-vote electorate?
I realise that an accountable government elected by a one-person-one-vote electorate would not solve our problems over night; but, provided that we don't allow our version of that system to become corrupted like it has been in the west, it would at least give us a workable framework through which to address our issues successfully.
I can only assume that the powers that be want to see HK weak and divided indefinitely. Why do we put up with it/them?!
mdap, BJ signed the Joint Declaration and agreed to the Basic Law, which grants HK and its people certain rights and responsibilities, including the rights to govern themselves, make their own laws and enjoy elections by universal suffrage. You're surely not suggesting that BJ would renege on agreements binding in international law/courts?!
True democracy for Hong Kong will never happen! If you want 'democracy' then you need to live in a COUNTRY that has it - i.e. Britain, Australia, Canada etc; you have numerous choices and can emigrate to anyone of these. Hong Kong is not an independent state, yes it is an SAR as defined under the Basic Law, but even that is only good for 50 years! The right to elect the Chief Executive will come, but the fact will remain that this will be about as useful as being the Mayor of Chicago or the Mayor of London, ultimately the law of the land will rule and the law of the land that Hong Kong sits upon is China! England could have kept Hong Kong island as the original treaty ceded the island "in perpetuity"; however what good is Hong Kong Island without the New Territories! The same applies to this day, Hong Kong without China simply fails to work; You think 11 million people across the border in Shenzen and the new road to Macau and Zuhai represent anything other than the eventual amalgamation of Hong Kong in to a super city governed and ruled by Beijing.
@mdap: Have you googled the part about the Basic Law, signed by the CCP which promises Hong Kong Universal Suffrage? Are you going to acknowledge that HK is a territory of Communist China, but then deny our right to true Democracy? You can't have one without the other.
Whenever I order any products online, for some reason I have to select my country as "Hong Kong SAR" in the order form rather than "China".
"...HK is not a country, we a just another city in China"
Wow. Someone needs to google "Hong Kong" and learn something.



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