LET US ADOPT the minority viewpoint and for the sake of argument side with the 16 per cent of the population favouring a second term for Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. It has to be a qualified endorsement. It depends on him having learned enough from his first term to stop being a chief executive and start being a governor. He can choose another title if 'governor' has too many adverse political implications, but the principle should be firm. Chief executive was always a misnomer. It implies that Hong Kong is a private corporation and the Government its board of directors. It would be a false definition even if all shareholders had voting rights in proportion to their shareholdings (and they do not). Government provides the framework for private companies to thrive and cannot fulfil that role properly if it treats itself as just another one of them. Chief executive also is a misnomer because it is the job title of the person who carries out the directives of a board of directors, not the person who devises them. Mr Tung has no board of directors to whom he reports, unless we say that everything he does is done at Beijing's behest. We shall assume, however, that a 'high degree of autonomy' truly exists in our Government and this introduces the problem. We have a chief executive who believes it is his job to 'do' things but has no career experience in government and no government equivalent of a board of directors to tell him what to do. The result has been a range of ill-considered initiatives, among them a now-discarded home ownership drive, an attempt to jam square pegs into round holes by making Hong Kong a centre of information technology, a waste of precious land on a foreign amusement theme long past its sell-by date (Disney) and commerce-skewing subsidies of industries targeted for reasons of fashion rather than profit. That term 'ill-considered' fits in this case because interventionist measures of this kind have long ago been tested and discarded abroad. Mr Tung should talk to some of his counterparts in Whitehall. His ideas are those of the 1960s. His new is old and, more than that, proven flawed. It is what you get from an inexperienced chief executive with no directors. But notice that the invariable complaint of those who oppose a second term for him is that the economy performed poorly under his administration. This one will not wash. He could have done a little better, done some things differently, but our economy is down in line with trends in the rest of the world and he is not at fault. It must be a stinging irony for him, however, that the things he is accused of not doing are the things he tried to do. It will be even more ironic if he now realises that they were the wrong things to do anyway. Let us hope he realises it, because he also has some strong points. He is a decent man who has a good record of maintaining our civil liberties. Where freedom of the press, speech and association are concerned, I am glad I live here and not in Singapore. He also has a subtle, intuitive understanding of political currents both here and in Beijing. It all helps preserve the social order. And that is the sort of thing we need from you in a second term, Mr Tung. Keep the cops honest, the law just, the money sound and otherwise let the economy take care of itself. Concentrate instead on keeping public services efficient and for the rest shake hands, cut ribbons and tell the world what a unique city Hong Kong is. In other words, stop being a chief executive and start being a governor. If you make this a central plank of your second-term platform I shall be happy to join that 16 per cent.