The government is competing for public opinion with the legislature, which is good for public governance, the Legislative Council president says. Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen had attached great importance to public opinion since taking the top post last year. 'There is a kind of competition. Both make efforts to garner public support,' she said on a Commercial Radio programme, adding the battle for public opinion and people's support was a healthy phenomenon. 'This is a good thing. We are serving the public. How could we push ahead things not supported by the public?' On the long-running aspirations for all lawmakers, including the democrats, to meet mainland leaders in Beijing, Mrs Fan said members should continue lobbying Mr Tsang to take up the issue. She said her efforts for a Legislative Council delegation to the mainland had not borne fruit over the years, whereas Mr Tsang had succeeded with a landmark visit for all members to southern China soon after he came to power. 'That shows that Mr Tsang has great influence in Beijing circles,' she said. Mrs Fan said it was difficult to say when such a delegation would materialise, but stressed the need for mutual trust and sincerity. Reflecting on the marathon voting session on the covert surveillance bill early this month, she denied giving particular favours to the government or lawmakers. Mrs Fan faced criticism for switching to the pro-Beijing camp before the handover. Her appearance and tough style have prompted comparisons with Jiang Qing , wife of Mao Zedong . 'Initially I did feel aggrieved,' she said. 'But eventually I came to the view that what others think is beyond my control, and I should just focus on doing a good job.' She said that whether she ran again in the next Legco election in 2008 would depend on if she could find replacements for her campaign aides. Mrs Fan said she was not qualified to compete with Mr Tsang, despite suggestions that her impartiality in handling affairs in the legislature had made her a possible contender in the chief executive race.