Outgoing Legislative Council President and potential Chief Executive candidate Jasper Tsang Yok-sing has said that he will be “very glad” to serve in the government if Leung Chun-ying gets another term.

Tsang previously said that if there were no other suitable candidates he may consider running in the Chief Executive election, as he “truly want[s] to see genuine competition.”

“Contrary to what many people would think… I don’t belong to the ABC [Anyone but CY Leung] camp,” Tsang said on a RTHK English programme on Monday. “I wouldn’t say, ‘no, I’m strongly against CY taking a second term.’ What I’m saying is, if CY takes a second term, I hope he can sort of do… some soul-searching, make a good review of his administration during the first term, and sort of find out where he can improve and what he can do to improve.”

Leung Chun-ying and Jasper Tsang. Photo: LegCo.

Tsang said Leung should make more effort to rebuild a working relationship with the opposition parties in the Legislative Council.

“I don’t think the government, in particular the Chief Executive, should or could regard all the parties in the opposition as enemies of One Country, Two Systems [principle],” he said. “They are after all supported by a sizable proportion of our community. You have to acknowledge that. So you have to listen to them, you have to work together with them, even if they shout insulting slogans at you every day.”

Asked if he would be prepared to join the government under Leung’s second term, Tsang said: “If CY is willing to enlist my service and if it is something that I believe I am competent in, that I can do with competence, sure enough I’ll be very glad to do it… anything I can do that I believe can help Hong Kong, however trivial that may be.”

Tsang added that he may not even need an official role, as he may be able to run his think tank and maintain good relations with both the central government and various political parties in Hong Kong at the same time.

Carrie Lam and John Tsang. File Photo: Stand News/Apple Daily.

Tsang said it was not his intention to run in the Chief Executive race if it was not necessary. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah were tipped to run.

“If someone else like Carrie or John stands, it would be very unlikely for me to stand as well. I really wouldn’t want to do it,” he said.

Tsang, a long-time Beijing loyalist, said he believed he would be expected to follow the central government’s policies and instructions very closely.

“The moment I try to depart from any of the official line of Beijing, I would lose their trust, I would lose their confidence,” he said.

However, he said long-time officials like John Tsang or Carrie Lam would be in a better position to refuse to implement policies that Beijing wants in Hong Kong, because they have a deeper understanding of the bureaucracy and can explain to Beijing authorities that certain things simply cannot be done here.

Kris Cheng

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.