Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is ruining Hong Kong by battling and antagonising the pan-democratic side, says veteran pro-establishment legislative councillor James Tien Pei-chun. Tien also voiced his opposition to Leung’s re-election in an interview with the Economic Journal.

“Just because he got enough votes and has [the support of the] pro-establishment and loyalists doesn’t mean he can disregard society,” Tien said.

james tien pei-chun
Lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun. File

He said that Leung’s tough governance of Hong Kong has led to growing grievances within society, resulting in the Mong Kok unrest.

Tien added that Leung is tarnishing the image of the Chinese government among Hong Kong people, and that conflicts would be exacerbated if he is re-elected.

mong kok fehd riot protest
James Tien says that grievances in society grew under CY Leung’s “tough governance”, leading to the Mong Kok unrest during Lunar New Year. Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

He also said that, due to Leung’s personality, the Chief Executive was unwilling to compromise on policy proposals, leading to pan-democratic filibustering.

“Do you think that pro-establishment camp really supports Leung? If so, 35 of them sitting [in LegCo] would mean there can be no filibustering,” said the lawmaker, who holds one of the 70 seats in the legislature.

John Tsang and Leung Chun-ying.
John Tsang Chun-wah (left) and Leung Chun-ying (right). File

He also voiced his support for Finance Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah to become the next Chief Executive in 2017, while dismissing “dark horses” Antony Leung Kam-chung and Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee as not being sufficiently all-rounded.

Hermina is a Hong Kong writer and journalist. She graduated with a degree in politics from Cambridge, and is interested in international affairs, particularly those related to China, the EU and the Middle East. She also enjoys political satire.