Former Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen has called Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying “the devil I know” and said that the next administration should not re-initiate the political reform process in an interview with AM730. 

The former Chief Executive-candidate said that he did not know CY Leung well, but was of the impression that he had an aggressive personality. He said it was too early to comment on whether Leung should be given an additional five years and serve a second term. He also said that Leung was like “the devil I know”, and that if a completely new person were to take up the job, it is likely to make matters even worse.

CY Leung and Henry Tang. Photo: Wikicommons.

“In general this devil had made positive progress with economic and livelihood issues… if I had won the post of Chief Executive, I would have done more or less the same thing,” he said. He said that although the current government had a good direction, it faced a lot of problems with regards to policy implementation. This was mainly because society was not harmonious or united, he said, and for this, the Chief Executive was mainly responsible.

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Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. Photo: Stand News.

Tang said that the next leader of the city should love the country and love Hong Kong, as well as be capable and demonstrate good teamwork skills. Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, New People’s Party chairperson Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, and former Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung were some of the people who met all three criteria, he said. He himself had not considered running in the next election at all.

Tang was of the view that the next SAR administration should not re-initiate the political reform process, so as to allow everyone to rest and recuperate for one term. “It’s like having a set meal… if it’s reheated, would you still eat it? There was originally a piping hot meal, but now you’ve put it aside and it’s cold, and you’re trying to reheat it. So let’s not eat it yet, let’s not create a fuss… Every time there is political reform, there is a lot of conflict in the society, and each government session has limited energy. Rather than devoting the energy to political reform, it would be better to put it into the economy and people’s livelihood.”

Billy Fung Jing-en. Photo: HKU Undergrad via Facebook.
Billy Fung Jing-en. Photo: HKU Undergrad via Facebook.

Tang also spoke about Billy Fung Jing-en, who disclosed to the public the confidential reasons for not electing former HKU Law dean Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor in the University of Hong Kong Council meeting. “He is responsible for his own actions… as I were for mine.”

Three years ago, Tang revealed that CY Leung had suggested sending riot police and using tear gas against protesters in 2003 during an Executive Council meeting

On director Wong Jing’s call for Hong Kong employers to never hire Fung, Tang said that employers in Hong Kong were not that homogeneous and obedient.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.