24 August 2019
Businessman and former CPPCC member Lew Mon-hung voiced his opinion on the CE election after securing an early release from prison Monday. Photo: RTHK
Businessman and former CPPCC member Lew Mon-hung voiced his opinion on the CE election after securing an early release from prison Monday. Photo: RTHK

Lew Mon-hung runs down CE hopeful Lam after release from prison

Businessman Lew Mon-hung, a former member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has criticized chief executive hopeful Carrie Lam soon after walking out of Stanley Prison where he had been serving time. 

Lew, also known by his nickname “Dream Bear”, said in a radio interview Monday that former chief secretary Lam, who is the frontrunner in next month’s CE election, is not as competent as people might think and that she has also shown an unwillingness to listen to others’ opinions. 

Lam has never apologized to the public or promised to conduct reviews on controversial decisions during her time as a senior civil servant in the Leung Chun-ying administration, Lew said.

Expressing concern at the possibility of Lam winning Hong Kong’s top job, the businessman said it will be a pity if the March 26 election anoints someone who is not really popular with the common people.

It will be the lie of the century to describe Lam, who is currently ahead of the other CE candidates in terms of support from the Election Committee members, as an effective and tough leader who knows how to implement policies effectively, Lew said.

Lew, 67, made the comments after he was released from jail on Monday after serving 12 months of an 18-month jail term.

He was let go early on grounds of good behavior, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The businessman and former member of CPPCC, China’s highest political advisory body, was sentenced to 18 months in jail last February after he was found guilty of “perverting the course of justice”.

Lew was convicted on charges relating to a 2013 attempt to shut down a fraud investigation into Pearl Oriental Oil Ltd., where he served as deputy chairman, by writing to Chief Executive Leung and Simon Peh, commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The controversial businessman was accused of lobbying with the top officials to halt the probe.

After he was put behind bars, Lew suggested that his ordeal was the result of political persecution.

Lew said on Monday that he regrets trusting and voting for Leung as an unwavering supporter in 2012.

Given the leadership issues in the past five years, the Election Committee members and the public should not make the same mistake by supporting Lam in the March CE contest, Lew suggested. 

Lew agreed that he does not think Lam should be called “CY 2.0″, or just another version of CY Leung, as he admitted that the CE contender knows very well how the government operates after her 30 years of government service.

Lam could pursue a path that is different from Leung’s in terms of stewardship of the government.

That said, Lam is still not the right person to lead Hong Kong as she has shown incompetence in the past and demonstrated an unwillingness to accept others’ opinions when she was in office, Lew said.

Lam’s record on controversial issues such as relocation of Queen’s Pier, national education in schools and political reforms consultations has not been good, the businessman said.

As for former financial secretary John Tsang, who is seen as Lam’s strongest opponent in the CE race, Lew said talk that “Beijing will not appoint Tsang if he wins, as he is not trustworthy” makes no sense at all.

Beijing would not have allowed Tsang to manage Hong Kong’s finances had the central leadership not trusted him, he argued.

Rumors, such as the ones that claim that Tsang is out of favor, will only hurt the “one country, two systems” principle, Lew added.

On other matters, the businessman declined to comment when asked if he deems Leung’s failure to secure a second term in office as “karma”.

He said he’ll leave it to history to render a judgment on the outgoing CE, who is really “not worth mentioning”.

[Chinese version 中文版]

- Contact us at [email protected]


Hong Kong Economic Journal

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe