Chief executive contender Regina Ip has said that she “absolutely has a sense of responsibility,” as she has apologised for her past mistakes and worked hard to regain public support.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Tuesday morning that former chief secretary Carrie Lam, who announced her run for the top job on Monday, has a strong sense of responsibility and the ability to govern Hong Kong.


Ip choked up when meeting reporters on Tuesday, as she was asked about Leung’s comment.

Ip said her performance when pushing for the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law – the national security law – as the Secretary for Security was not entirely satisfactory, but she has apologised many times.

“I have taken responsibility. I left, I was not shameless, I was not reluctant to leave,” she said. “I went to study [overseas], I returned to the field in the past ten years – everyone knows I worked my way up from the bottom again. I spent my money, my strength, my heart – how can it be said that I’m not responsible to Hong Kong society?”

“It should be for the public to judge whether I have a sense of responsibility. I absolutely have a sense of responsibility. I admitted my mistakes, I apologised, I stood on the streets to ask for public support vote by vote. I gained the public’s recognition… through the many elections in the past ten years.”

regina ip

‘Too many candidates’

After introducing her campaign team members to the media, Ip said she is confident that she will get enough nominations and that her core team members – mainly former civil servants – are loyal.

She said two to three chief executive election committee members – who previously promised they will support her – have abandoned her.

“I will not feel disappointed – I understand maybe they have deeper connections with other candidates,” she said.

Elsie Leung, the deputy of Beijing’s Basic Law Committee, previously said four candidates for the race was “too many.”

Ip and her campaign team members. Photo: HKFP.

But Ip said she welcomed competition: “You shouldn’t tell people not to run when they have not yet introduced their platform, team and governing ideals – this is not good for Hong Kong.”

“If the goal is only to get someone elected by a high number of votes, that would be returning to the model of a decade ago – we have tried that before,” she said. “One person got a high number of votes, but the end result was that the governance was not good. We do not only face election committee members but also the public.”

She said she has been communicating with central government officials and no one has asked her not to run.

“There should not be a candidate who can just come out to say it’s a ‘sure win.’ If the force behind a candidate can ensure the candidate’s win, then the candidate will be arrogant and overconfident,” she said, without naming anyone. “If so, the candidate will not need to listen to the public after being elected. That is not good.”

Ip also said she has been meeting groups on different issues regardless of whether they have votes in the election.

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.