Tang returns to campaign, goes on attack at CY Leung

Updated: 2012-03-02 07:15

By Joseph Li(HK Edition)

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Tang returns to campaign, goes on attack at CY Leung

Chief Executive candidate Henry Tang has launched an attack on his major rival Leung Chun-ying, cautioning people to be "wary" of Leung.

Tang said he was concerned about Leung, who will face an inquiry before a Legislative Council select committee into alleged conflict of interest involving the West Kowloon Reclamation Concept Plan Competition in 2002.

In response to the attack, Leung said anyone who makes such comments should be specific as to why people should worry about him.

Speaking on a radio program on Thursday morning, Tang, who is also beleaguered by a scandal over the illegal basement in his York Road residence, commented on the rival candidates for the first time.

Tang said, "I respect Albert Ho. He is a person of principles. For Chun-ying, Hong Kong people should worry about him."

Tang went on to say that during the past two decades of his political career, including nine years as a government official, he had come across many people.

"Many people could talk the talk, but couldn't back it up with action," he said. He pointed to the housing target of "85,000 flats per year" in 1997 when numerous homeowners were left with negative equity.

"The memory still haunts us," Tang recalled. "The aftermath of '85,000 flats' pushed up unemployment to a historic high of 8.6 percent and dealt a very heavy blow on society."

In response, Leung said in another radio program on Thursday that "in the beginning many people were worried that I would promote welfarism but now we can see the welfare policy of the two other candidates is more aggressive".

"If (the people) do not worry I will promote welfarism," Leung said, "what do (they) worry about me?"

Separately, Albert Ho said he has seen a lot of smear attacks during the campaign and expressed the hope that Tang and Leung would re-focus on Hong Kong's core values in the coming debates.

He also said even if the March election fails to name a winner, and a second election is held in May, the votes of the pan-democratic camp will not go to either Tang nor Leung, given his political ideals - such as the elimination of the functional constituencies - are miles apart from the other two candidates.

Both Tang and Leung said they have confidence they will win the election.

Leung said that if a clear winner is not chosen on March 25, he definitely will take part in the second election. But he expressed concern that he may not have sufficient campaign funds for two elections.


China Daily

(HK Edition 03/02/2012 page1)