Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa has for the first time expressed his support publicly for incoming leader Leung Chun-ying, but pledged that he will never tell the former Executive Council convenor what to do.
Tung was responding to a question on what suggestions he would make to Leung after the city's first chief executive had delivered a speech at a luncheon hosted by the Fung Global Institute yesterday.
'You know the whole of Hong Kong knows that I'm a strong supporter for C.Y.,' Tung said. 'I also promise everyone that I'll never tell him what to do, what to suggest.' Tung said.
It was the first time Tung has expressed his backing for Leung publicly, although he was widely viewed as a core supporter during the chief executive election.
Tung, who was appointed a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) after stepping down as chief executive in 2005, is understood to have canvassed votes for Leung earlier this year. Leung served as convenor of the Executive Council when Tung was in charge.
He said Hong Kong should leverage its strength in facilitating the development of the mainland and other developing economies in Asia.
Tung is an adviser to the national leadership on Sino-US relations because of his ties to US political figures.
In February, he attended some meetings alongside Vice-President Xi Jinping during Xi's visit to the US. It was also reported by a Hong Kong CPPCC delegate that Tung praised Leung before CPPCC chairman Jia Qinglin at a dinner held on January 1.