Swire Pacific chairman Peter Sutch, shipping magnate Tung Chee-chen and legislator James Tien Pei-chun are to stand for the Selection Committee, it emerged last night.
The decision was reached at an executive committee meeting of the General Chamber of Commerce of which Mr Sutch is first vice-chairman, Mr Tung second vice-chairman and Mr Tien chairman.
Mr Tung is also the younger brother of Tung Chee-hwa, seen as the front-runner to be the post-handover chief executive.
In April, Mr Tung, managing director of Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd, pledged support for his elder brother if he decided to stand for chief executive.
Preparatory Committee member Frederick Fung Kin-kee saw nothing wrong with the younger Mr Tung becoming a Selection Committee member.
'The situation exists nowadays. It is difficult to avoid. I asked my relatives to vote for me in the Legislative Council election. I don't see any problem as long as it doesn't involve money changing hands,' he said.
Mr Fung said it was important for Mr Tung Chee-hwa to steer clear of the process of selecting the chief executive. Mr Tien said letters would be sent to all members asking them to come forward if they were keen to join the Selection Committee race.
Non-members could participate through the chamber if they presented their business registration licence.