A former pro-Beijing politician has said he is “ashamed of” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying , during a press conference that he promised would be “the maddest ever”.

David Chu Yu-lin, a former National People’s Congress member and a former Hong Kong lawmaker, previously accused Leung of making a Cathay Pacific staff member cry during an incident surrounding his daughter’s lost baggage earlier this year. Leung denied the claim on Tuesday saying that he never made anyone cry.

david chu
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

“I have to use a quote from Henry Tang… you lied again,” Chu told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club on Thursday.

He questioned whether an Airport Authority report amounted to proof that Leung did not abuse his power in order to pressure airline staff.

“There was not a word of the conversation between the female airline staffer and Leung, why?” he asked. “Why wasn’t a single staff member who had contact with the family named?”

He added it was a big problem for society if anyone was forced to be untruthful under pressure, and said that he would find the staff member involved and ask her to tell the truth.

Problem of adults

Chu also said that the problems facing Hong Kong were not caused by young people, but by adults.

david chu
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

He gestured with a knife against his throat, joking with reporters that he would use the knife if he was unable to convince them of his theory in 15 minutes.

He accused Security for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim of being the worst official of the administration.

Chu then criticised Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for saying sporting activities made no contribution to society, as Chu said he thought sports were an important part of education for young people. He also slammed Leung over the appointment of Lau Ming-wai, a tycoon’s son, as the head of the Commission on Youth, saying that Lau was a billionaire who had nothing in common with young people.

“I think Hong Kong’s young people are normal young people – if we adults correctly guided young people, recent things would not have happened,” he said.

He cited Leung’s policy address as an example, in which Leung criticised a student magazine of the University of Hong Kong for spreading ideas about Hong Kong independence.

“This is no problem at all, but he raised the issue to the level of his policy address, inciting more young people,” he said.

david chu
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

‘Feel ashamed’

Asked about Leung’s potential run for a second term, Chu said “the less time he has as Chief Executive, the better Hong Kong will be”.

“It’s impossible… in English, over my dead body,” he said. “Many Hong Kong people and I will ensure he will not have a second term.”

“The problems of Hong Kong have been increasing… the path we are walking on now is a dead end. The Central Government’s Hong Kong policy needs a new start quickly.”

“I think he is more than incapable, he has so many character weaknesses that I think he cannot possibly be a good leader, I personally feel ashamed by his behaviour, and I think many Hong Kong people share my feeling.”

He accused Leung of using “patriotism as a business,” as he spoke of Leung trying to sell Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

“Obviously he was doing that performance for Beijing, rather than doing actual things,” he said.

Chu said he was not interested in meeting Chinese leader Zhang Dejiang – who will be coming to Hong Kong this month – as he said he has provided his opinions to the Chinese government “over 1,000 times” over the past three years.

david chu
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Empty chair

Another theme of the press conference was the criticism he faced from pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po over the airport incident. The paper called him “Lying Chu”.

He said he was happy to have been given the nickname and he reserved an empty chair for Wen Wei Po reporters, who did not show up. He handed the newspaper to reporters with a smile.

david chu
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

“[The] majority of Hong Kong people do not read Wen Wei Po… therefore the more frequently Wen Wei Po says something, the more disgust people feel,” he said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.