Jasper Tsang, the outgoing Legislative Council President, has said that he does not want become chief executive as it is “not a good position to be in.”

The veteran politician said on Thursday in a Commercial Radio programme that being the chief executive is “like being put on a public trial” during the Legislative Council’s Q&A sessions. During those sessions, which typically take place four times a year, the leader answers lawmakers’ questions.

“I’ve seen how lawmakers have criticised the chief executive… of course I don’t want to [become the chief executive]. It is not a good position to be in,” Tsang said.

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing. File Photo: Stand News.

The talk show was hosted by Tsang, who invited James Tien Pei-chun, honorary president of the Liberal Party, as his guest on Thursday.

Tien said that chief executives need to be skillful at communicating, and Tsang is a good communicator. He also agreed with Tsang that it is not easy to be the chief executive because one needs to serve “two bosses” – Hong Kong society and Beijing – that cannot be pleased at the same time.

“There will be many problems if the chief executive fails in their role as a mediator,” Tien said.

Instead of running for chief executive, Tsang said he could contribute to Hong Kong by other means, such as hosting radio talk shows and setting up public policy think tanks.

James Tien. Photo: Facebook.

But Tien said that it is not public policy that needs fixing, but rather an executive-led government that is being “too bossy” and refuses to communicate with legislators and with society.

Tsang has said that he might consider running for chief executive if no candidates deemed to be a “real choice” run against incumbent leader Leung Chun-ying. Tsang, one of the most popular lawmakers in Hong Kong, is a founding member of the territory’s largest pro-Beijing party the DAB, or the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.