Hong Kong’s sole contender for the upcoming small-circle leadership election John Lee has recruited 148 prominent political and business figures to advise on his campaign – including tycoon Li Ka-shing and former chief executive candidate Henry Tang.

John Lee
John Lee (left) and the director of his campaign office, Tam Yiu-chung. File photo: John Lee campaign.

The campaign office of the former number two official published a list of the members of two advisory bodies, a “chairperson group” and a “consultant team,” on Facebook on Tuesday night.

Tam Yiu-chung, the director of Lee’s campaign office, told reporters on Wednesday morning that while the “consultant team” belongs to a “honorary structure,” the “chairperson group” is for gathering opinions on the drafting of the manifesto and other work afterwards.

“These some 140 honourable figures we invited all have plenty contribution or experience in different sectors of the society. They are very experienced and respected people,” Tam said.

The names on the list

The “chairperson group” advising Lee consists of 90 members, including Henry Tang, who lost to Leung Chun-ying in the 2012 leadership race; current Executive Council members Bernard Chan and Ronny Tong; the chair of the Lan Kwai Fong Allan Zeman; the chair and managing director of Henderson Land Development Company Limited Lee Ka Kit; and Victor Li, the chair and group co-managing director of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited.

Henry Tang Ying-yen
Henry Tang. File photo: Supplied.

Also in the group are the Vice Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, Zhang Xiang and his counterpart at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Rocky Tuan, together with artist Elizabeth Wang and actor and member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Jackie Chan.

Lee’s “consultant team” comprises 58 prominent figures. Among them are property tycoons such as the city’s richest man Li Ka-shing, Lee Shau-kee of Henderson Land, the chair and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties Raymond Kwok, and the chairperson of New World Development Henry Cheng.

Heavyweights in other sectors, such as Margaret Chan, the former director-general of the World Health Organisation, former president of the Legislative Council Jasper Tsang, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Joseph Yam, and Paul Kwong, who served as the archbishop and primate of the Hong Kong Anglican Church, were also recruited as members of Lee’s “consultant team.”

Li Ka-shing
Hong Kong’s top tycoon Li Ka-shing. File Photo: Supplied.

The city’s current Chief Executive Carrie Lam only had 12 members in her “chairperson group” and 27 consultants when she ran in the 2017 leadership race.

The only candidate

Lee, who was previously a police officer and Hong Kong’s security chief during the 2019 protests, is the only candidate in the upcoming small-circle chief executive poll.

Without a published manifesto, he secured 786 valid nominations out of the 1,462 voters who will later cast their ballots on May 8. The city’s Candidate Eligibility Review Committee approved Lee as the sole candidate on Monday.

Tam said on Wednesday morning that Lee would focus on drafting his manifesto in the next few days and possibly attend fewer events during that time.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.