CE’s decision not a signal of policy change
fairness of the selling of homes by introducing the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority. It is a criminal
Given what Leung has done for Hong Kong, I was curious why some people dislike him so much, and I found an
an explanation. That article began: “Hong Kong is a city that enjoys freedom of thought, expression and belief, creating a diversified society that supports its growth as an international metropolis. However, these freedoms that we value are being eroded as the government stresses the importance of patriotism, that the interest of the motherland should override our individual freedoms.”
undermined freedom, Hong Kong’s ranking in the 2016 Human Freedom Index would tell. This index, published by Fraser Institute, “presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint”. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in areas including the rule of law, security and safety, movement, religion, etc. But Hong Kong is rated top of the world! Hong Kong’s top position trumped Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Finland, and the Netherlands, in that order. The United States is ranked in 23rd place.
As to examples to back the author of the article’s claim, here is the list:
1) Leung appoints two pro-Beijing
council members of Lingnan University;
2) The governing body of the Chinese University of Hong Kong refuses to issue
The second piece of evidence is really misleading. All the university presidents in Hong Kong, and the Chief Executive himself, have stressed the importance of academic freedom. Professor Benny Tai from the University of Hong Kong and Professor Chan Kin-man of the Chinese
cement Beijing’s influence over every aspect of Hong Kong life.”
This summing-up shows that the opposition to Leung is entirely political, based on a dislike for Beijing, and has little to do with public policy. The evidence is even clearer when Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee or Carrie Lam are now labeled as another Leung Chun-ying.
Last Friday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced that he would not seek a second term. This is a regrettable decision: Leung not only has a clear vision on how to create a more vibrant and equitable Hong Kong, but more importantly has the will to bring about real changes. He is not afraid of rocking the boat. Vested interests and misguided citizens consider him must not be the chancellor of the uni“unpopular”, but in the local context today versity and must not have the authority this should be taken as a compliment. to appoint members to the university Leung’s decision is also understandable. council. If the university council saw The local news media reported last week nothing wrong in having the CE serve as that he had visited a hospital where his the chancellor of the university, which daughter was said to be receiving treathas been the tradition in Hong Kong for ment. “My daughter has only one father, as long as public universities exist, why and my wife has only one husband,” he should anyone dictate their wish to oust told the press, adding that he “must make the CE from the chancellorship? a responsible choice between fulfilling my
The third and fourth criticisms clearly responsibilities to society and to my famindicate”.thatthedisgustforLeungily has little to do with public policy that We should all respect Leung for his decimatters to the lives of the Hong Kong sion. Instead of trying to dig up more dirt, people, but has everything to do with our media should be ashamed of themthe author’s dislike of Beijing. selves for creating the situation whereby
The author summed up: “The core a campaign would impose “unbearable reason for his unpopularity is his abuse of power. And his abuse of power is seen in his administration’s focus on mar-
which disrupted the lives of Hong Kong people for 79 days. They still keep their positions.
What the author wanted is just a statement from the university council years and especially during Leung’s term, the media have crossed the line too many times. Indecency and triviality are not what a free press is supposed to mean.
Critics of Leung have viewed whether he would run as a sign of the central government’s endorsement of his alleged “hardline policies”. Now that he is not running, they expect some key policies to take a U-turn soon — if not right away, certainly in the beginning of his successor’s term.
In fact, the stock price of HKTV (HKSE: The author is a veteran current affairs commentator. 1137), which is owned by businessmanturned-dissident Ricky Wong Wai-kay, jumped 33.3 percent on last Friday alone, driven by Leung’s announcement. HKTV was denied a domestic free television program service by the government. Pundits theorized that it was due to pressure from the central government, funneled through Leung. Now that Leung will no longer be our next CE, people somehow believe that Wong’s business will therefore fare better.
I am afraid HKTV’s shareholders will be disappointed soon.
It is a big mistake to interpret Leung’s decision not to seek a second term as the central government’s disapproval toward his work. It is an even bigger mistake to think that the central government has changed its stance on key issues such as Hong Kong’s transition to universal suffrage, and the “independence” movement.
Leung met with President Xi Jinping for 45 minutes in Lima, Peru during the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation forum in November. That was a long meeting given it is just a “sideline” of the summit and that Xi understandably has a tight schedule. It is also worth noting that they need not have spent so much time together in Peru unless there was something urgent, as Leung will be presenting his yearly work report in Beijing in December anyway.
What did Xi and Leung discuss in Peru? According to Xinhua News Agency, after Xi listened to Leung’s reports, the central government “fully endorsed” the work of the Chief Executive and the Hong Kong government. “(Xi) hopes (Leung) will lead the governing team of the SAR government to continue integration policies, to widely gather consensus, to push for economic development and improve livelihoods, resolutely uphold the unity of the country, (and) maintain social and political stability,” the report read.
According to Leung, Xi’s endorsement covers the recent oath-taking controversy. And Xi also “forcefully” declared that there was no room for “Hong Kong indepen-
It is a big mistake to interpret Leung’s decision not to seek a second term as the central government’s disapproval toward his work.”
Somehow, the ever so self-serving Hong Kong pundits, who said Leung is a hardliner, now want us to believe that the central government for some reason wants to change its Hong Kong policy, and therefore is replacing Leung with a “moderate”. That just does not make a lot of sense.