The first public test of confidence in Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and his new administration will come on Friday, just a week after his swearing-in. Although few are likely to make the connection directly and publicly, the size of the annual protest will be a crude indicator of general public support for Mr Tsang and his government, judging from previous protests. The annual ritual started two years ago when more than half a million people marched against the government's plan for an anti-subversion law. While their fears about the proposed law were genuine, many people said at the time they were on the streets mainly because of their strong disapproval of Tung Chee-hwa's performance as chief executive and the poor economy. The same can be said about the equally strong protest last year. Now with Mr Tung gone and Mr Tsang's honeymoon having just started, the number of protesters on the streets this Friday should be considerably lower than in previous years. Organisers estimate about 50,000 will turn out, about 10 per cent of the numbers from the past two years. The protest could be even smaller, with many Christian groups saying they plan to boycott the rally if a homosexual alliance leads the pro-democracy march. It goes without saying that the annual ritual of the July 1 protest should continue, as it will keep Hong Kong's democratic aspirations alive. However, a smaller protest this year should be welcomed as it will no doubt further boost the confidence of Mr Tsang and his team in leading Hong Kong. It will also send a powerful message that Hong Kong people are willing to rally behind Mr Tsang, giving him more time and allowing him to do the job properly. He came to power courtesy of a far-from-perfect system and the 796-strong Election Committee represents only 0.02 per cent of the eligible voting population. With fundamental changes to the present electoral system having been ruled out by the National People's Congress, Mr Tsang is the best possible choice available. Many have argued that the fact he will serve two years instead of five means that he has yet to win the total trust and confidence of the central government. This may be true, but is beside the point. The point is that Mr Tsang will be Hong Kong's chief executive for the next two years and he needs the support of the Hong Kong people, who should form a consensus over this. 'Hong Kong has one of the world's lowest tax rates, one of the world's freest economies, and one of the world's best legal mechanisms, and is the closest to the world's fastest growing economy,' said Fang Fenglei, a leading mainland investment banker. 'Mr Tsang's job is to help Hong Kong to become one of the world's richest cities on a par with Switzerland over the next seven or 10 years.' Let's hope Mr Tsang can quickly find the right tools and finish the job.