New People’s Party (NPP) chief Regina Ip said she has gained more public support due to her clear stance of backing the police in their handling of the Occupy protests.
Ip told Singtao Daily that it would be wrong if someone thinks that her public support has eroded due to her vocal support for the police.
“On the contrary, I have received many letters and emails of support,” she was quoted as saying in an interview.
“Take my Facebook fan page for example, the number of Likes has soared from 24,000 before the Occupy Central campaign to 45,000 now,” Ip said. “Even the number of people wanting to sign up as volunteer workers for the NPP has increased.”
Many Hong Kong people want a “tough” lawmaker like her during chaotic times such as now, she said.
Ip agreed with the view that the NPP has emerged as a frontrunner within the pro-establishment camp, and admitted that she was complimented by name by National People’s Congress Standing Committee chairman Zhang Dejiang.
Zhang is said to lauded Ip for her “outstanding wisdom and charisma” during a meeting in Beijing back in September.
At a recent banquet hosted by Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Ip was given a seat next to Zhang, along with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) chairman Tam Yiu-chung.
Ip expects younger people with relatively aggressive political stance to come out and run for elections, while the silent majority of the public would also want to step forward and cast their vote.
On a related topic, Ip believes a split within the society is unavoidably worsening.
Ip refused to answer when asked if she would run for the Chief Executive job in Hong Kong.
She believes that Leung Chun-ying would be able to complete his term in 2017 as the central government is unlikely to switch Hong Kong’s leader midway.
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