Date
8 December 2016
As a former judge, Woo Kwok-hing has a definite advantage over his competitors. He is not as vulnerable to mudslinging and smear campaigns. Photo: HKEJ
As a former judge, Woo Kwok-hing has a definite advantage over his competitors. He is not as vulnerable to mudslinging and smear campaigns. Photo: HKEJ

What is Woo really up to?

Apparently, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing is not serious about his bid to become Hong Kong chief executive.

The reason I say this is that Woo is not only totally unprepared — no election platform, no teammates and no vision for Hong Kong — but also his timing does not make sense.

Woo was appointed deputy judge between Aug. 17 and Oct. 18, suggesting that he had no intention to run in mid-August, or else he would not have accepted the appointment.

If he was really serious about running for chief executive, he would have spent at least a couple of months working intensely to prepare his election platform and put together his campaign prior to the announcement of his candidacy last week.

As we all know, older people rarely act on impulse as teenagers do and tend to spend a lot of time thinking and planning ahead.

How could Woo be serious about his bid if he made his decision to run in such haste?

Nor do I think it is Beijing’s idea to let him run.

The Communist Party never does things in haste either, particularly over such important things as choosing the next chief executive.

So if Woo is not serious about his campaign, what is he really up to?

My guess is that he could be taking a chance on things falling into place in the next few months. He has nothing to lose if they don’t.

Does Woo stand no chance of winning? Well, not necessarily.

Based on the set pattern of the past three chief executive elections, Beijing would often pick the candidate with the highest popularity.

So as long as Woo can beat other frontrunners such as Leung Chun-ying or Financial Secretary John Tsang in terms of approval ratings, he might still stand a chance.

And Woo has a definite advantage over his competitors, which is that he is not as vulnerable to mudslinging and smear campaigns.

As a former judge, he is basically whiter than white, or at least his opponents may not have enough time to dig up his dirty little secrets.

Even though Woo is not on top of Beijing’s list, he appears to be a figurehead material whom senior officials could be willing to put in charge of Hong Kong.

But of course, it is pretty unlikely that Woo can become the most popular candidate in the next few months.

The propaganda apparatus controlled by pan-democrats and their western sponsors simply won’t root for him.

As we all know, it is Financial Secretary John Tsang, not Woo, who is their most favored candidate.

Woo’s novelty effect is likely to disappear quickly once John Tsang announces his candidacy.

After all, Tsang is the best bet they can count on to beat CY Leung.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov.1

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RA

HKEJ columnist

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