Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has given up pushing for better relations between the democrats and Beijing during the remainder of his term. He conceded yesterday he had been naive in hoping for instant improvements in the long-standing tension. 'As to whether I can become an effective medium between the central government and the democratic camp ... I think my efforts should be better spent on other areas. My remaining term is so brief,' the chief executive told Commercial Radio. It was the first time he had taken to the airwaves since the democrats vetoed his electoral reform package in December. During the hour-long interview, Mr Tsang conceded that the veto was his most unhappy experience since becoming chief executive. In the early days of his term, he had had the illusion of rebuilding relations between Beijing and the democrats, he said. 'I made a lot of effort last year,' he said, referring to the landmark trip by 60 lawmakers to Guangdong province. 'Finally, I realise I was a bit naive to think I could change the political ecology in Hong Kong within such a short time.' On the recent joint appeal for a universal suffrage timetable by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, Catholic Church leader Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and others, Mr Tsang said anyone was free to express their views. 'I can only ... hope that these people and everyone will put Hong Kong above everything, instead of [acting] for the sake of politics.' Stressing that the proposed electoral reform for 2007 and 2008 was a closed chapter, Mr Tsang reiterated his hope to reprioritise his policy agenda by Easter. He said the reform veto could provide a good opportunity to learn a lesson in doing business with the Legislative Council and to make improvements in those dealings. Mr Tsang recognised there were always tensions between the legislature and the executive branch, but was quick to complain that lawmakers sometimes went overboard in checking the executive. 'I just hope their monitoring won't step out of the line and become politics-oriented,' he said. Democratic Party legislator Yeung Sum said Mr Tsang should get over the defeat and move on. 'It gives the impression that he lacks the generosity of a statesman.' Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong legislator Chan Kam-lam said the rival camp should try to better support Mr Tsang's governance.