Too early to ‘grade’ CY Leung’s performance, engineer group contesting Election Committee polls says

Engineers Power, or EP30, will wait for chief executive candidates to formally emerge before deciding whom to support

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 November, 2016, 10:18am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2016, 10:33am

A group of engineering sector bigwigs who formed an alliance to contest seats on the Election Committee for Hong Kong’s next chief executive have declined to give their backing to incumbent Leung Chun-ying – at least for now.

Widely regarded as pro-establishment, the group of 30, which calls itself Engineers Power, or EP30, said it would wait for the formal emergence of the chief executive candidates before discussing whom to support.

The 30 engineers are vying for seats in the panel’s engineering subsector. A poll will be held on December 11 to choose the 1,200-member committee that will elect the new chief executive on March 26 next year.

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EP30 includes 13 incumbent Election Committee members, including Otto Poon Lok-to and Raymond Ho Chung-tai, who nominated Leung’s major rival Henry Tang Ying-yen in the 2012 chief executive election. Another member, Yim Kin-ping, nominated Leung the same year.

Also on EP30 are big names such as Wai Chi-sing, managing director of the Urban Renewal Authority and former permanent secretary for development; former presidents of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Edmund Leung Kwong-ho, John Luk Wang-kwong and Greg Wong Chak-yan; Leo Leung Kwok-kee of tycoon Sir Gordon Wu’s Hopewell Holdings; and Wan Chi-tin of Hongkong Electric.

Edmund Leung, a spokesman for EP30, said: “It may be too early to talk about Leung’s performance. It is like grading a student before he finishes the course.”

Time spent on Legco filibustering doubles this year

Another group spokesman, Raymond Ho, said many local engineers were hard hit by delays to infrastructure projects, for which, he said, the “endless filibustering” by pan-democratic lawmakers in the Legislative Council was largely to blame.

“I am not saying that all the government has done is perfect. But resorting to filibustering is not a proper way to resolve problems,” Ho said.

Issues on EP30’s election platform include improving communication with the government, striking a balance among development, environmental protection and social needs, and creating more opportunities for younger engineers.

There are 58 valid candidates in the engineering subsector, with 30 seats up for grabs.

Lee Chi-ming, a spokesman for EP30’s major rival group, Progressive Engineering, criticised EP30 members for being “evasive” and avoiding taking an overt stance on the incumbent. Lee’s group aims to block Leung from serving another term.

“One of the most important issues of the election this time is whether Leung Chun-ying should be replaced. The group’s refusal to make known its position perhaps says something,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, some prominent religious leaders regarded as Leung’s backers have failed to get seats in the religious subsector. They include Catholic priest Father Luke Tsui Kam-yiu and Reverend Peter Douglas Koon Ho-ming of Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican church.

The committee comprises 38 subsectors, representing various trades, professions and social and political bodies.