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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 3:30pm
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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Tien may be right about CY governing poorly, being unable to draw people together and that HK needs a coalition government, but he is dead wrong about one thing: Almost all agree the one good thing about CY's election is it kept Henry Tang and his business tycoon friends out of office.
"He added that the city would have been better off had rival candidate Henry Tang Ying-yen been elected in March last year." Tien also said "We represent a big group of people in Hong Kong."
What a bunch of BS. Yes HK is going down with lawmakers like James Tien, Long Hair, and company. James only represent the wealthy big business group which practically ran the city in the past and creating all these livelihood issues now facing HK. We should abolish the functional constituency lawmakers who are just self interested groups.
James Tien & some of the so-called pan-democrats are good reasons for a devisive HK. This is guy, whilst speaking, is always ready to "flip-flop" on anything ! Everything and everytime, they speak, they are so negative. Why don't they just leave and go away ? Despite being in the legistature for so many years, they are doing NOTHING good for HK. If he is so against CY, why don't he vote against him (he wouldn't dare, as he only abstain). The only reason he is having sour grapes is because he and his mate (both with silver spoons), Henry Tang cannot rule HK. It would even be a bigger disaster if Henry was elected. Grow up, James, you always speak and think you are representing the people of HK, No, No, you definitely cannot represent me and a lot of people !
Dai Muff
"hose always calling for free and fair elections of our CE need to also remember that HK is not a country, we a just another city in China, " We are an SAR. And one that is PROMISED free and fair elections in the Basic Law, and Joint Declaration.
CY is doing just fine and perfect for the job, where else will you find someone of as high obedience and moral ignorance. What Tien should say is that CY's selection is not doing what's best for Hong Kong, but as far as PRC's intended use for the HK CE, I think there's no one that suits the role better.
Sigh...Guess it is true that it takes decades to build something special out of a city and it takes barely a moment to turn everyone into corrupted parasites.
Tien: Donald did nothing to stop mainland mom, nothing to do with the property speculation and land supply, nothing to do with air pollution, nothing to do with aging population. How do you rank him better than Leung? At least Leung imposed some measures to plug some of the holes quickly. Just because Donald is a more friendly looking civil servant turned politician making a gesture to listen to you? Please don't be so naive. We are not as naive as you. Period. Event we have universal suffrage like US, I think HK will basically like Obama elected but still hand tied by congress. hK has already good or bad becoming an extremely difficult place to compromise. Why? Because most people has power like yourself, all have good life and your priority is your belief and your power, not too compromise for the people who live in coffin home, for the 1.6 M living below property line, for the young people etc. as said, ask amongst your political parties, how many diff parties do we have in Hk? You are a bung of people fighting for your own interests that's why u have so many parties. You all will never wiling to compromise. And because of that we all suffer. You represent the business people, do u think paying hk$ 30 an hour is suffice to live in HK? No! in US food and houses are much cheaper than HK, a little 15yrs old boy and a 60 yrs old women can easily get a job in Publix for HK$60 to 70 per hrs. And Publix and Walmart is still making money! You know the answer I assume. Rip off.
"London is the capital of a democratic society, Beijing is not. Not for one moment will Beijing or the Party allow the smallest fracture to appear in its future governance of all its land, and this, wether we like it or not, includes Hong Kong."

How can you say this with a straight face? It is irrelevant whether or not Beijing is a democratic capital. Beijing promised universal suffrage when they signed the Joint Declaration. Furthermore, the Basic Law itself promises it in Article 45.

How can Beijing renege on their promise without looking totally insecure, weak, and illegitimate?

If Beijing wants to look confident, strong, as well as turn every HK person into a Patriot overnight, then they need to offer genuine universal suffrage to HK in 2017.

Even with universal suffrage, Beijing will still hold the power of appointment in the same way that the sovereign of the Cayman Islands does.

Sooner or later China will have to go through political reform anyway, much in the same way Taiwan did. KMT was exactly like the CCP: A Leninist political party ruling under a one party state. After political reform, the KMT truly reinvented themselves and continues to enjoy power in a democratic Taiwan.

China has a very unique opportunity because they can use HK has a test lab for political reform well before they need to worry about implementing it in the rest of the nation.
CY Leung should be respected for trying to stem the tidal wave of privilege that has benefitted very few people in Hong Kong but lined the pockets of tycoons for decades; of course change comes slowly but to simply criticize for that purpose is folly; CY has attempted to stem the rampant rise in property prices and address some of the needs of the elderly; of course it is not complete and massive problems face HK, not least CY's laughable inability to address our worsening pollution. Those always calling for free and fair elections of our CE need to also remember that HK is not a country, we a just another city in China, and in terms of GDP, not that important anymore. Hong Kong has serious problems and it requires serious changes in the way in which this city is run; CY is proving capable in some areas and inadequate in others, no different to other leaders anywhere. CY Leung has the ability and the power to effect change in HK, what he does need to do is lead with conviction and stem the verbal diarrhea that the pro democracy groups keep throwing in his face; CY needs to make things start to happen
Of all choices, Henry Tang was a playing ball of the tycoons. He would have made a duplicate of Donald Tsangs Administration. CY Leung is a tricky and please-do-not-trust-him politician but at least he is doing something to improve the live of all Hkners and not only the rich. Albert Ho??? Just talking talking talking but no really plan how to run this city, so not a real option as with him, for sure the city won't survive the first year of his administration. And that he is no better than what he proclaims for himself or not able to live up to his own standard he showed when he enjoyed his holidays with his family on Cathays costs in Europe. Just a big mouth and a hypercrit.
Another Social Critics...
Seeing How that 'CY' in Abusing governmental Resources like HK's Police, ICAC against Those in Opposing Him Voluntarily...
Like Mrs. Lam - Teacher, even Ex-ICAC's commissioner, Ex-'CE' & ...
More are Coming...
Seeing How that 'CY' in Utilizing those Individuals & Parties in Favoring Him for Returns...
Like DAB members, Chow Yung, 'Voice of Love-HK' & ...
More are Coming...
Seeing How that 'CY' in Linking with Senior Triad Members in Employing those Individuals & Parties in Supporting Him for Returns...
Like those Triad gangs in its Campaign for 'CE', as well as, recent TinShuiWai's incident & ...
More are Coming...

How that 'CY' & Its Related Group in Manipulating various governmental Policies & Tactics in
Favoring Themselves for Self-Profiteering...
Like Stepping down... Barry Cheung, Lam F.K., coming Paul Chan & ...
More are coming...
Resemble much Alike that BoXiLai's Cunning, Tricky, Resist & Reluctant to Admit its
... 'Evil Nature'...
Abuses of Power, Manipulation of Power in Self-Profiteering, Coming Prosecution in Corruption & ...
More are Coming Exposed...
Central China Government should be UpRooting that 'CY' & Its Related Group...
In Restoration of HKSAR's Peoples Best Interest & Harmony & ...
Its International Reputation as Managed Properly & Legitimately...
Do HK's Peoples another Great Achievement!!!
John Adams
True, very true !
Imagine 5 years of people like Tang and Tien running HK !
First HK people are so foolish electing people like Tien as a legco member. Second, please ignore Tien's opinions if you all remember not long ago Donald was highly raised and elected with excellent long term civil servant experience and track record, but look at what had he did to Hk? Are you all happy? The issue with HK politicians are they are to selfish. Period. Now Tien is promoting Lam and Tsang, why would you trust him again?
John Adams
I hope Liberal Party leader Mr James Tien Pei-chun is reading all these comments because if he doing so , he will - I hope - now understand that as long as people like him lead and represent the Liberal party they don't have a cat in hell's chance of ever governing HK
Talk about only opening mouth to change feet !
Hong Kong is at a critical state right now, can we really go another 4 years of CY "leadership"? It's time for Hong Kong Chinese to rise up and take control of the city we love
and let the political uneducated people vote for self-publicists, dabblers, rascals and troublemakers like Albert Ho, Long Hair and all of the People Power rascals?
The majority of the people of HK is too uneducated if it comes to politics. They lack of responsibility and view what will happen to society and the city with their vote.
Of course Tang will be a better choice Tien, cause that sorry little clown can is a puppet part own by you too.
unless THEY are in charge they all complain like little b i t c h e s
tung chee wah was the best, he really tried to do something, but they all complained about him till they got their wish
Dai Muff
At least HK people cannot be blamed for electing CY.
Isn't it a bit obvious?............I think this is what most of HK citizens have felt since CY was elected.........I doubt his ratings is even around 45%...........he must have fudged some of the figures because of all that has happened, I would imagine his approval to be less than 20%..........I could not imagine anyone out there being worse than Donald Tsang but CY has proved me wrong...........he is the worse of he worse..........
The choice between Henry and CY was one between two bad options. Neither is suitable but I would say CY was the lesser of the 2 evils. At least CY has not told his wife to take the blame for anything as far as we know.
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.
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.
John Adams
Well spoken !
An excellent summary and I agree !
Hope that the universities would carry out a popularity vote for Tien. With the results available, Tien would then know how he is being looked at by the HK people. Only then, he would stop spilling all these ****s in the public no more.
So who represent you? Ho? Long hair? Audrey? IP? What's the different? These bung of useless people besides supporting lam to crack down on illegal structure, scream and yell, had they make Hk housing better? Have they helped to reduce or poverty? Pollution? I think the Old colonial system has created a Slavy thinkings amongst people, most are rebellion but frigthen not too follow the civil servants turned politicians as they have lots of eperience ! of what? That's why old dog like James Tiens are still elected, that's why some even want to elect the old lady ex legco chair despite she said she was to old. That's why people want the current chair to be the CE despite he was skeptical all the time taking the job. Would u hire a guy come to interview and keep saying didn't want the job? But Hk people keep loving this nonsense! Keep want to hire a guy not wanting for the job...this is all very pitty joke...
Of course "bow tie" was a better CE in your eyes Tien, because he was in your pocket.
Should TUNG be selected(not elected) after LEUNG, most Hong Kong people would welcome him with open arms. When TUNG was CE, who would have guessed his succesors would have gotten worse. Actually, he lacked political experience and guile but he was a forthright person who truly cared for this place. An appropriate choice at that time but hindered by his lack of experience.
hard times !
Can the local pro-establishment camp elements unite and support Leung as Wang Guanya called for last March ? The chance looks dim ----very dim,I should say.Liberal Party's Tien Pak-chun has said the truth---------the choice of C.Y.to be our third chief executive is a wrong option between Henry Tang (who was found to have constructed a huge underground illegal structure during his election campaign last March) and C.Y.Yet Henry has strong support from elites in town and he also acts and looks more honest though maybe also clumsier and not so smart as C.Y. But we Hongkongers (at least most of us) would like to have Tang instead of Leung after all these months' miserable governance of C.Y. Right ?
HK needs full democracy. They have 7 million people to ask who they want for CE. Instead they choose to ask a small select group in Beijing who they want for leaders??!! Why??
"HK is certainly not a constitutional democracy, and never will be so."
That is only your opinion sir, no one can predict the future. However...Hong Kong is promised to adopt Universal Suffrage as agreed upon by both Britain & China. What the results are, is up to the people of Hong Kong.
@mdap: True democracy WILL happen for Hong Kong. It's guaranteed in the Basic Law, and real Hong Kongers will see that it is realized. If you don't like Democracy, you can move back to China or North Korea
Dai Muff
No it is a special AdministratIVE region. And one that is PROMISED free and fair elections in the Basic Law, and Joint Declaration. It is always ironic when the Big China supporters make its leaders into liars.
Tanks are gathering at Lok Ma Chau ........
Well tomorrow I will play golf at Fanling, then in the evening I will host a dinner at Hong Kong Club, so perhaps I will stay in Hong Kong, my home!
@blue - I like your logical response and I agree that in a perfect world perhaps a Cayman or BVI system would be welcomed; however Beijing is not London, London is the capital of a democratic society, Beijing is not. Not for one moment will Beijing or the Party allow the smallest fracture to appear in its future governance of all its land, and this, wether we like it or not, includes Hong Kong.
and to conclude my comments here, regardless of how he is elected, we can all hope that the next C.E. is Bernard Chan !
For those clearly holding a BASIC education;
Hong Kong (香港) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China
Yes, but this is also slowly changing ...
It is a Special Administrated Region and not a country.
Agree. Tien should be "Taken to the Tower" and "Off with his head!
He and his ilk are responsible for Hong Kong's great divide which will plague this place until the boundary is dismantled.
I find it rather amusing that Tien, who stabbed TUNG in the back while the latter was CE, is now declaring TUNG is a better CE than LEUNG. TIEN may still be unhappy at being 'forced' to withdraw the Liberal Party's support for TANG.
Though LEUNG's policies are largely dictated by Beijing his hardline stance against adversaries leave a lot to be desired. Most HK people dont like him and his dwindling popularity ratings may soon reach the depths experienced by TANG after the latter's bumbling encounter with the media on his illegal structure and 'blame the wife' fiasco.
This article only highlights the fact that we need universal suffrage RIGHT NOW
Thanks for stating the obvious Tieng, there's a reason why CY's nicknamed 689... ANYONE is better than him, it was clear from the onset that CY's trying to turn HK political landscape into a mini-china one... cronyism, nepotism, corrupted politicians and police force and an ICAC that's ironically non-independent and corrupted.
Eveyone should have been able to see what his alignment was before he was even elected... Giving the nobel peace prize to Deng Xiao Peng!? Stating that tanks should be rolled out and blood shed to control the peaceful marches in HONG KONG?!?
I seriously don't believe the person elected from universal suffrage can be as incompetent as Tung, as corrupted as Tsang and as EVIL as CY, but even if he were, we've only got ourselves to blame.
John Adams
Actually I think Henry was originally intended to win ( and certainly Henry himself thought he would win) .
But I agree he was a patsy and although CY is very far from perfect, he's sure a damn sight better than Henry would have been, no matter what James Tien says .


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