Tsang: If I were 10 years younger, I'd run for chief executive

July 24, 2015 12:47
Jasper Tsang says he is too old to run in the election for a new chief executive to replace Leung Chun-ying (inset). Photos: HKEJ, CNSA

Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing said he would run for chief executive in the 2017 election if he were 10 years younger.

Tsang, 68, is the elder brother of Tsang Tak-sing, who was dismissed as secretary for home affairs by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying earlier this week.

"If I were 10 years younger, I would run in the 2017 chief executive election and say, 'see how you can play tricks on me?' -- but I have gone past the period of life when I was so impatient. I will not be provoked today," Tsang told RTHK in an interview.

He said someone did something that ticked him off but did not name that person.

Tsang was embroiled in the controversial goings-on in Legco on June 18 that culminated in a botched walkout by pro-establishment lawmakers, leading to a resounding defeat for the government's electoral reform bill.

Leaked WhatsApp transcripts showed him playing a coordinating role among the pro-Beijing legislators in the debate before the historic vote, contrary to the impartiality expected from the speaker of the legislature, but he appeared to be wrong-footed when most of them suddenly stood up and left the chamber. 

Tsang reiterated in the RTHK interview that he has no plans to run for chief executive.

He said he will focus on policy research with a think tank when he steps down after the Legco election next year.

In an article in am730 on Thursday, Tsang said a high intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional quotient (EQ) and creative quotient (CQ) are essential elements of a good leader.

He said a leader with high EQ should not be egocentric or heartless but understand others and know how to win trust from different people.

Tsang said his brother had not offered to leave the government, suggesting that he was sacked by Leung.

Political commentator Joseph Wong Wing-ping questioned the cabinet reshuffle, in which the secretary for the civil service, Paul Tang Kwok-wai, was also replaced.

Wong, one of Tang's predecessors, said in his column in am730 that the manner in which the cabinet changes were announced was unusual.

Leung was alone at a news conference to announce the reshuffle, contrary to the common practice in which the chief executive holds a media conference with both the incumbent secretaries and their replacements present, Wong said.

Wong said there was "some evidence” that Tsang and Leung did not have the best of working relationships.

He cited the example of Tsang thwarting Leung's desire for the plans for the Kai Tak sports complex to be scaled down to release land to build homes.

-- Contact us at [email protected]