Premier Zhu Rongji yesterday rejected claims that he was worried about indecision in the Tung administration, saying: 'I do not mean to criticise the SAR Government.' Mr Zhu, arriving in Brussels during his European tour, said he accepted that different people might have made different interpretations of what he had said during his trip. On Tuesday in Ireland, Mr Zhu said that SAR people should unite and seek solutions to the territory's problems, adding: 'We cannot always discuss without decisions, make decisions without execution. Once a decision is made, everyone should make full efforts and move forward.' Before the Premier spoke, senior SAR government officials had tried to put a positive spin on his comments. Information Co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung said Mr Zhu had urged people to unite and face challenges positively. 'The Government takes overall consideration and prudence in the formulation of policies. When we need to be decisive, we will act decisively,' he said. He cited the Government's decision to intervene in the stock market in 1998 and this week's decision to freeze sales of subsidised flats. Secretary for Commerce and Trade Chau Tak-hay said parts of the media had quoted Mr Zhu out of context: 'It's common sense that the central Government will not openly criticise the SAR Government. He's not criticising the SAR Government or Mr Tung. Absolutely not the case. 'Hong Kong is a pluralistic, democratic and open society. On controversial issues, the Government needs to consult widely, get consensus and consent from Legco.' However, academics and politicians said Mr Zhu's comments had underlined his concerns about the capability and authority of the SAR Government. Some even said Mr Zhu was targeting Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Professor Lau Siu-kai, associate director of the Chinese University's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, said: 'Mr Zhu might have spoken from the heart. It's different from the previous positive words on Tung. 'It is not necessarily a reflection of Beijing's dissatisfaction with the Government and Mr Tung. But it certainly shows their worry about the ability of the Government to govern with public support.' Professor Lau said Beijing might have changed its assessment of Hong Kong in light of the political and economic difficulties. But he said Mr Tung's chances in seeking a second term would not be weakened. Ma Lik, a local deputy of the National People's Congress, claimed Mr Zhu was unhappy with the SAR's failure to integrate the mainland and Hong Kong economies. Executive Councillor Tam Yiu-chung said a balance had to be struck between democracy and efficiency, particularly on issues such as health care and new taxes.