CHIEF Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang said yesterday the chief executive must be acceptable to the community as latest polls found a surge of popularity for shipping tycoon Tung Chee-hwa after he broke silence on his candidacy. Mrs Chan said: 'I think the entire community and the civil service are looking for a chief executive who has clearly demonstrated leadership qualities, who will defend and stand up for Hong Kong's autonomy and for Hong Kong's interests.' She said the future chief executive should be a person 'acceptable to the community of Hong Kong and respected and supported by the civil service'. Popularity polls separately conducted by two Chinese-language newspapers yesterday found Mr Tung, who announced his candidacy on Thursday, was now more popular than retired chief justice Sir Ti Liang Yang. According to the poll commissioned by the Hong Kong Economic Times among Mr Tung, Sir Ti Liang and another candidate Lo Tak-shing, Mr Tung received 55 per cent of support. Sir Ti Liang came second with 37 per cent. Mr Lo got eight per cent. The poll conducted by the Apple Daily found 30.1 per cent of respondents thought Mr Tung more suitable for the job of chief executive. Sir Ti Liang received 26.3 per cent. Another finding showed 33.7 per cent of respondents say Mr Tung is an ideal choice for chief executive. About 17 per cent said no. Others had no opinion. A survey conducted by Ming Pao showed an increase of support for Mr Tung although he was still behind Sir Ti Liang. The respective rate of support was 34 per cent to 23 per cent, with a margin of 11 per cent. A similar poll conducted about 10 days ago showed a margin of 22 percentage points. Preparatory Committee member Lau Siu-kai said the declaration of Mr Tung last week helped boost his popularity. But both Mr Tung and Sir Ti Liang faced a popularity problem because their public support remained weak compared with that of Mrs Chan. Professor Lau said he believed results of the popularity poll among candidates would be an important reference for China although officials might want to dismiss their significance. He said Beijing would find it difficult simply to ignore the findings.