A 68-year-old watchman who tried to contest the chief executive's post five years ago said yesterday he wants to run again in March. Sarawak-born Leong Boong-khing is the first contender to come forward for the top job. In his single-page platform, Mr Leong pledged to make Hong Kong - the 'Pearl of the Orient' - even brighter under the Basic Law. 'Five years after the handover, things are not quite the same. The economy is declining. [Chief Executive] Tung Chee-hwa's public rating is dipping. Sources said Tung is seeking re-election, but so far no one has signed up for the race. He has yet to make it known if he will run for a second term,' he said. Mr Leong came forward for the job in 1996 but failed to secure enough nominations. The Basic Law only allows Chinese nationals without right of abode in foreign countries to be nominated. Candidates must secure 100 nominations from the 800-member Election Committee, and they must have lived in Hong Kong for a minimum of 20 years. Mr Leong has lived here for more than 27 years, but his Malaysian roots may put his eligibility in doubt.