Monday, 12 March 2012

The Intrigue Continues

The race for the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong still continues to be fodder for discussion around dinner tables.

Now there are concerns candidate Leung Chun-ying may have triad links after some of his aides had dinner with Heung Yee Kuk members and one of the attendees was apparently former Wo Shing Wo triad boss Kwok Wing-hung.

Yesterday Leung's aides held a press conference stating they did not know everyone at the dinner and gave details of the event to the police to investigate.

We have yet to hear what Beijing thinks of this latest revelation which is creating a massive headache for Chinese officials.

As both Leung and Henry Tang Ying-yen are both hit with scandals that for the latter seems completely irreparable thanks to his extra-marital dalliances and illegally-built basement, how to vote on March 25?

Granted Hong Kong people are not allowed to vote -- only a selection committee of 1,200 have that privilege, and there are concerns this group, mostly made of tycoons, will choose the one who best suits their interests. For them Tang is easily malleable, and since he was also born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he would definitely be supportive of the business sector.

However, the vast majority of the Hong Kong public have an intense dislike of Tang for his upper class upbringing that has made him completely oblivious to the massive wage gap, the lack of job opportunities for young people, rising rents and property prices to serve in their best interests.

Leung is the next viable alternative, but with this latest scandal rocking his party, we will have to wait and see what the public thinks, but in the meantime he is the people's choice, but is he to be trusted?

Some think he has ulterior motives, others, particularly the tycoons do not like him because he holds no allegiance to them.

How should the Election Committee vote? Or more importantly, how will Beijing instruct the members to vote?

If Tang is elected, surely there will be an immediate massive protest in the streets of Hong Kong; and if Leung wins, what kind of administration are we going to have for the next five years?

Unfortunately pan-democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan is hardly a viable contender even though he is slowly gaining popularity points.

There are concerns the election less than two weeks from now will result in no sure winner as there may be a number of blank votes which is not a result Beijing wants to have.

So much for Beijing wanting to control the election as much as possible -- this time has clearly revealed the system is seriously flawed and that Hong Kong people should be able to vote.

They want someone who represents their interests, not Beijing's. They want someone who has the long-term vision of what Hong Kong should be and how to get there.

For almost 15 years we have had two leaders who have kowtowed and obeyed Beijing's requests that have led to poor decisions that lack any foresight except to gain brownie points from the mainland.

Perhaps it's time Beijing listened to what the people want and let them decide who should lead Hong Kong.

In the meantime it's been a fascinating race to watch from the sidelines. No scriptwriter could come up with such storylines that surprise almost on a daily basis.

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