FORMER chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce Paul Cheng Ming-fun may stage a political comeback and succeed his old rival Jimmy McGregor as the chamber's Legislative Council representative. Mr McGregor confirmed yesterday's South China Morning Post report that he would not seek re-election in the September Legco poll. Mr Cheng, a Hong Kong affairs adviser and Preliminary Working Committee member, said he was interested, but had not made up his mind. He was defeated by Mr McGregor in 1991 by 71 votes. Vice-chairman of the chamber and legislator James Tien Pei-chun said he did not plan to switch from the Federation of Hong Kong Industries - which was his constituency - to the chamber in the election. He believed Mr Cheng was eyeing the chamber's seat. He said Mr McGregor had made the 'right decision' in stepping down from Legco because his views were often in conflict with those of the chamber. 'What does democracy mean? It means the elected person has to represent his voters,' he said. Mr Tien said Mr McGregor had failed to represent the chamber's views over the past two to three years. His support for Governor Chris Patten's proposals and the old age pension scheme went against the wishes of the chamber, Mr Tien said. The latest example of his defiance was his backing for Democrat Lau Chin-shek's amendment to the Employees (Amendment) Bill last month. Mr Tien said he hoped Mr McGregor's plan to bow out of the legislature was 'for real'. 'I don't know why he made known his plan at the beginning of January. Nomination has not started yet,' he said. In April 1991, Mr McGregor said he was to quit politics because of what he said was a 'mean political campaign' waged against him. He changed his mind a week later, saying hundreds of people had urged him not to give up. Another general committee member Henry Tang Ying-yen said he would only consider running for the chamber if Mr Cheng decided not to stand. He added he could only be sure of Mr McGregor's stepping down after the nomination for Legco elections ended. Mr McGregor, 70, denied his announcement was a tactical move or he would change his mind later. He said: 'There is no tactic . . . I'm old enough and wise enough not to do so.' He made known his plans early to 'clear the way for others who wish to stand'. He said he quit because of his age and because the next Legco would only have a life span of 18 to 20 months. China has said it will disband the legislature in 1997. 'To fight a solid battle which will have to be a real battle this time, even worse and more difficult than the last time - and that for 20 months [of tenure] - would seem to me not a waste, but certainly not very productive,' he said. He also realised the new 1,500 companies which joined the chamber over the last two years had a strong pro-Beijing orientation. 'I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that but that's the fact. 'My politics, I think, don't fit the chamber any longer. 'I don't chicken out. At the same time I don't want to take on something which is impossible.' Heung Yee Kuk Legco man Lau Wong-fat denied reports he was planning to quit politics.