SCMP Saturday, December 9, 2000

Ex-rival says Tung should carry on


The Chief Executive should stay for five more years to put his policy objectives into practice, a former rival said.
Peter Woo Kwong-ching, Tung Chee-hwa's rival in the 1997 chief executive election and now chairman of the Trade Development Council, told RTHK's Leaders of Hong Kong programme that a state leader would normally need two terms to achieve his goals.
Mr Woo said Mr Tung had had a difficult task in the past three years in steering Hong Kong out of the financial crisis. He said the difficulties should not be underestimated, pointing to widening gaps in the community.
"The post is not attractive at all. You are trapped between different political forces and interest groups in the community," he said. "It is not always easy to make everyone happy and there is always criticism."
Mr Woo sidestepped a question on whether Mr Tung's work had won his respect. "Many people would not be able to stand [the pressure] under such conditions," he said.
He would definitely not run for the post again and said Mr Tung should stay: "Not only Mr Tung. Anyone taking that post should stay. Five years is not enough."
Mr Woo also complained of weak business representation in the legislature. "The business sector accounts for only one quarter of the seats," he said. A good balance of the business sector and other interest groups was vital.