Tuesday, 18 October 2011

An Inauspicious Start

After Henry Tang Ying-yen admitted to having "strayed" last week, public opinion of him has plummeted and is now making Beijing wonder if he is worth backing as the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
 
While the Chinese government prefers a leader who is pro-business, it has to keep in mind Hong Kong people do not think highly of who was originally the frontrunner.
 
A recent survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong found underdog Leung Chun-ying's popularity has risen to 29.1 percent of 533 respondents, while Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee is at 19.2 percent. Tang is currently at 14 percent.
 
Yikes.
 
And if it was just a two-horse race, 52.3 percent would choose Leung over Tang by 30 percentage points. Twenty-five percent said Tang's admission that he "strayed" did not go down well with them while 67 percent said it had "no impact".
 
Meanwhile many people seem annoyed by Fan who continues to sit on the fence to decide whether or not she will run for the CE position.
 
Her comments recently sparked outrage when students asked her about her stance on June 4 at a seminar at Chinese University.
 
While Fan described the incident as "unfortunate" she said she was not sure what really happened, adding that she had no authority to comment on whether the June 4 movement should be vindicated.
 
This angered Ding Zilin, one of the advocates of Tiananmen Mothers who accused Fan of "having no regard for facts and talking irresponsibly". She also questioned if Fan was trying to placate Beijing because she was deciding to run for CE.
 
Fan's response? "I understand the pain Ms Ding has over the loss of her son, and I respect her views. But what I said all these years is what I believe. So I do respect her, but I maintain my own stance."
 
Fan claimed she only knew about the 1989 incident through watching CNN as she was in Hawaii at the time. She claimed she later saw reports from non-American news agencies that showed people singing as they left Tiananmen Square.
 
"So I can't really prove what actually happened in Tiananamen [Square]... I can only say I'm unclear what happened at the time," she said. "I don't think my statement was offensive nor did I say Ms Ding was wrong in any sense."
 
Ding refuses to accept Fan's explanation, saying to the media: "She is a politician, she is not a victim. She might be full of hope for her political career. But this just shows that she is extremely stubborn and that she is a politician who has no sense of conscience or humanity."
 
Let's take stock of what we have in Hong Kong's race for chief executive so far. We have one candidate who has "strayed" and we don't know how extensive his extracurricular activities have been, and another who claims to be in the dark about what happened on June 4, 1989.
 
Not a very good start to the race is it?

1 comment:

  1. it will be more direct and effective to have the chief executive appointed by the central politburo of china. forget about all these so called 'election'. it is only a show. everyone knows that.

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