Maverick lawmaker says there is no 'imperial order' anointing Donald Tsang Indications emerged yesterday that mainland officials are quietly putting pressure on maverick legislator Chim Pui-chung over his chief executive candidacy. Sources said Beijing's top representative in Hong Kong, Gao Siren, had met Mr Chim to 'inquire about his election platform'. Mr Chim confirmed that he had met senior mainland officials in Hong Kong. The convicted fraudster said he had told the mainland officials he had put himself forward for nomination to make the election for chief executive more legitimate. The officials knew well that he was not the type of person who would yield to political pressure, he said. Meanwhile, one of the 15 Election Committee members who have agreed to nominate Mr Chim said mainland officials had contacted a 'close friend' last week, asking why the committee member was backing the financial services legislator. Announcing his decision to stand in the election two weeks ago, Mr Chim said 'some friends' from the mainland had sought to discourage him. The sources said Mr Gao had a dinner meeting with Mr Chim two weeks ago, just after the legislator declared his candidacy. Mr Gao also asked Mr Chim how he would govern Hong Kong if he was elected chief executive, the sources said, adding that the central government's liaison office chief did not ask the prospective candidate to drop his bid. The office has since thrown its weight behind frontrunner and former chief secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. Deputy director Li Gang said last week that Mr Tsang had enjoyed a high level of popularity in his two months as acting chief executive and his decision to stand was in line with public opinion. Mr Chim said he recently complained to mainland 'friends' about interference by Beijing in the chief executive race. 'They emphasised that the central government had never anointed Mr Tsang by 'imperial order',' he said. Meanwhile, Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat said he, kuk vice-chairman Cheung Hok-ming and Daniel Lam Wai-keung, the lawmaker representing the kuk, met Mr Gao last Thursday. Mr Lau, the legislator representing the district councils, said Mr Gao did not ask them to support any candidate. 'Mr Gao just told us to make an objective analysis to ascertain which candidate was competent and had the ability to maintain stability,' Mr Lau said. The kuk, which represents indigenous villagers in the New Territories, has 21 members on the Election Committee.