Leung Chun-ying

I disagree with his judgment: Hong Kong Legco president distances himself from CY Leung

Remarks are clearest expression to date of tension between the pro-Beijing politicians ahead of their possible runs for city’s top job

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 August, 2016, 11:51am

Outgoing Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, who is considering running for the city’s top job, revealed yesterday that he had disagreed with the chief executive’s judgment on political issues and opposition forces.

The revelation came in an interview published by mainland news portal Jiemian, which removed the article from its website without explanation, hours after posting it online in the morning.

The online news portal was founded by mainland companies including Shanghai United Media Group, and prominent securities firms Guotai Junan International and Haitong Securities.

Neither Jiemian nor Tsang had replied to the Post’s inquiries by press time.

In the interview, the Legco president outlined his differences with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and gave reasons ­hinting at why he might take on someone he has traditionally supported in the past.

In the clearest indication to date of tension between him and the chief executive, Tsang said: “I have nothing against Mr Leung, but I disagree with his actions, his views on the opposition and his judgment on Hong Kong’s political environment.”

The veteran politician added: “Maybe he’s right and I’m wrong. Maybe he’s wrong and I’m right. Many of the people I have contacted share my views and disagree with him.”

Many of the people I have contacted share my views and disagree with him
Jasper Tsang on CY Leung

Leung is known for his combative approach towards the pan-democrats while Tsang has been calling on Beijing to engage in dialogue with the camp.

Leung has often been combative in his approach towards the pan-democrats while Tsang has been urging Beijing for more dialogue with the camp. In March last year, Leung urged Hong Kong electors to “vote out” the pan-democrats in coming elections if they were unhappy with the camp’s filibustering in the legislature and the Occupy movement of 2014.

Last month, Tsang dropped a political bombshell when he said he would consider running for the city’s top job if no suitable candidates threw their hat into the ring.

But on Monday, he said he would be “very glad” to join Leung’s administration, should the incumbent secure a second term.

In the interview published yesterday, Tsang reiterated his willingness to contest the chief executive race, saying it was to give the central government and Hongkongers a choice if no other candidate came forward.

He said he previously did not have the courage to run for chief executive as he was nearly 70.

“But in the past few months, many people said to me ‘please don’t say no [to the possibility of running]. You have served as Legco president for eight years and you have built a good relationship with the central government and various parties in Hong Kong’.

“I later said OK then, I will leave it open.”

On controversial calls for Hong Kong independence, Tsang said a smooth implementation of the “one country, two systems” formula offered the best way to address the issue.