22 October 2016
Former chief secretary Henry Tang said Leung Chun-ying could have done more to nurture a harmonious society. Photo: RTHK
Former chief secretary Henry Tang said Leung Chun-ying could have done more to nurture a harmonious society. Photo: RTHK

Henry Tang: CY Leung gains upper hand as election bets hesitate

Former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said it is abnormal that no one has yet announced their plan to run for chief executive, with only a little over nine months to go before the election, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The longer it takes for any candidate to come forward, the more advantageous it is for Leung Chun-ying to seek a second term, said Tang, who is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Tang, who lost to Leung in the 2012 chief executive election, admitted it was a wrong move that he only resigned from his post as chief secretary in September 2011 to run for the top job, as that left him with not enough time for his election campaign.

In contrast, Leung put in years of preparation for his campaign, he said.

Tang told Radio-Television Hong Kong in an interview that he has no intention of running again for chief executive next year, but he could not hide his dissatisfaction with Leung’s performance in office.

He noted that back in 2012, he urged Leung to nurture a harmonious atmosphere across the different sectors of society.

Four years have gone by, but there are still “lots of room for improvement” in this regard, he said.

Tang did praise Leung for extending some of the policies introduced by the previous administration, such as the Commission on Poverty and the Government Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme where seniors are take a variety of public transport for a flat fee of HK$2 per ride.

However, Tang said he was utterly disappointed that low-income households are made to wait even longer than before for a public housing flat, adding that Leung has been passing on the blame by citing great difficulty in sourcing land plots for the construction of residential units.

Tang said he had come up with a set of land policies when he was running for chief executive four years ago, including the release of land plots that are not within country park zones and green belts, as well as changing the land use purpose in certain areas such as Kwun Tong and Kwai Chung from industrial to residential.

Tang said all of these suggestions are feasible and he could not understand why Leung’s administration has not done any of them.

Commenting on Leung’s attitude on who to support between the Hong Kong and China national football teams in the World Cup qualifiers, Tang said if he were asked about it, he would simply say, “I’m a Chinese but I support the Hong Kong team.”

[Chinese version 中文版]

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