|Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai won't joint the race for Chief Executive|
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai finally announced yesterday she will not be going for Hong Kong's top job, citing her age as a reason.
"I have little confidence that I could handle the heavy burden of being chief executive till 2017," she said. "I am already 66."
If Deng Xiaoping could lead over 1 billion people in his 80s, why not Fan?
A member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, she repeatedly denied the central government pressured her not to run.
"This is purely a personal decision. Beijing has never dissuaded me," she said.
While at first Fan supported Henry Tang Ying-yen, her support for him cooled after his admission of extramarital indiscretion (of which we don't know for the record exactly how many). "I have promised to support Tang to strive for chief executive candidacy back in late 2009 and done that openly," she said.
"From now on, I would have to look at their [Tang's and Leung Chun-ying's] manifestos, forum performance, governing visions and teams before deciding who to vote for."
Many people criticized Fan for her coyness about her intention to run, which hurt her popularity.
"Some residents expressed disappointment after I showed support for Tang, so I said I might also join the race," she said. "This contradictory stance has led to a plunge in my popularity ratings and I paid the price for it."
Back in July Fan was ahead of Tang and Leung in opinion polls, but last month she lagged behind Leung by 10 percentage points.
The lesson here -- sitting on the fence does not pay dividends in support. Hong Kong people are tired of dithering and want to get on with business.
As we all know, time is money.