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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:44pm
Universal Suffrage
NewsHong Kong

Henry Tang says Antony Leung 'qualified' to run for chief executive

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 December, 2013, 4:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 12:25pm

A second former minister has endorsed Antony Leung Kam-chung as a chief executive candidate in 2017.

Henry Tang Ying-yen, a loser in last year's chief executive race, said Leung, a former financial secretary, was qualified for the position.

Some political observers have suggested Leung could throw his hat in the ring for what is expected to be the first election of a chief executive by universal suffrage.

Leung - who is 62 next month and is married to mainland diving star Fu Mingxia - has scoffed at the suggestion he might stand for the top job. Still, he has begun to gain support from the Beijing loyalist camp. Tang is arguably the most influential member of that camp to voice his opinion.

"Antony has very long experience and is a capable person in terms of both the financial industry and his years in the Executive Council," Tang said yesterday.

"If he is interested, I will encourage him."

Tang, who was chief secretary before joining the campaign trail and ultimately losing to Leung Chun-ying, added: "I would encourage everyone who is qualified and interested in serving the people to come out and present themselves to the people, and let the people choose."

Tang succeeded Antony Leung as financial secretary in 2003 after the "Lexusgate" affair - Leung's purchase of a luxury car shortly before he sharply raised the first-registration tax on newly purchased vehicles. He resigned in the wake of the controversy.

Asked to comment on the scandal, Tang said: "Mistakes are part of everyone's life."

Tang spoke hours before the chief executive set off for a duty visit in Beijing - and a day after Frederick Ma Si-hang, who headed the commerce bureau from 2007 to 2008, said Antony Leung "stands a chance" of winning if he contests the poll. Leung could not be reached for comment.

In Beijing Leung Chun-ying will meet Premier Li Keqiang today and President Xi Jinping tomorrow to brief them on Hong Kong's social, economic and political development.

Professor Lau Siu-kai, former head of the Central Policy Unit, recently said he understood Beijing would like to "standardise" chief executive duty visits. Asked whether Lau's remark suggested Beijing wanted more control, the chief executive said: "It is always good to standardise [something]. It can help the SAR government to … get more support from [Beijing] to push forward our development."

Meanwhile, the New People's Party of Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee will launch a study group on electoral reform tomorrow, the latest pro-establishment party to do so.

Additional reporting by Jeffie Lam in Beijing


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This article is now closed to comments

Frederick Ma and Henry TANG - 2guys from the previous administration. What next? Endorsement from bowtie himself? HK people have had enough.
I seem to recall Tang also thought he himself was qualified.
Why does anyone bother reporting the utterances of this halfwit?
Who cares what Henry "the nocturnal mole" Tang thinks ?
John Adams
Oh dear !
Mr Antony Leung - if you are reading this and you did ever have any intention of running for CE ( which I don't believe you did ) - Henry "illegal-basement-wine-cellar" Tang's vote of endorsement is the kiss of death.
And a very painful and ignominious death.
If you did ever dine with Mr Tang I hope you used a very long spoon.
more interestingly can Land Department let us know whether the illegal basement has been filled in yet or have they issued a backdoor approval ?
Henry's endorsement may not be the best, but in all honesty, most of the people in parliament right now probably has a few illegal basements or extensions in their house, where else would they spend their 300k+ income a month.
Yeah, why would we even bother listening to a comment from a loser and liar, and someone who hides behind his wife's for his own incompetency..........It's like having a loser recommend another loser.
That's the problem with HK. The closely-knit circle of losers and idiots are the only ones with some bit of influence here........we really need to rid these types of people from the city.
"Henry Tang Ying-yen, a loser...said Leung, a former financial secretary, was qualified for the position." And that makes Henry qualified to make this pronouncement?
Antony would be just like Henry and do the rich families bidding without questions asked or any concern for the ordinary person.
As the others commenters have said, why report what that idiot Tang says ? It's not as if he has any independent thoughts, he just says what someone tells him to say.
His Mainland ties are too close. A state bred sport champion for christmas sake. No away in heck will this guy stand a chance in a fair election.


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