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Friday, July 22, 2016, 00:24

‘Wait and see’, Tsang says about entering CE race

By Joseph Li
‘Wait and see’, Tsang says about entering CE race

Jasper Tsang said he may become a talk show host on radio and TV in the not-too-distant future after he finished the Legislative Council duty last Friday. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG — Jasper Tsang Yok-sing is a favorite of the 2017 Chief Executive election. Although he said repeatedly in the past that he would not enter the race because he will turn 70 in 2017 and will be too old, his name is often mentioned as a serious contender.

In the past, he was linked with former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung. Recently, he is mentioned with Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah in some media reports, which speculated they will form campaign teams in the election.

His latest answer is similar to what he said during a radio interview: “Wait and see”, without confirming or denying he will join the 2017 CE race.

“I said many times that I will not run but nobody believed me. So today I say ‘wait and see’,” he told China Daily joyfully in an interview, which was held in the office of Hong Kong Policy Research Institute.

He went on to say that many people in the street, including some he knows and some he doesn’t, want him to join in the CE race.

Asked if he was moved, he laughed and said, “I felt touched. I thanked them for their encouragement.”

Some senior members of the Democratic Alliance of the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), of which Tsang was the founding chairman, believed he would be very interested in running for the CE post.

During the interview, Tsang was pressed for a more specific answer to his real intentions. It is perfect timing because he is a free agent and does not need to resign from public posts.

“Will anyone tell you at this stage that they will or will not run in the CE race? You go and ask people whose names are widely circulated as contenders – Leung Chun-ying, Carrie Lam, John Tsang, Antony Leung – and I am sure no one will tell you. Leung Chun-ying said he would not announce his intention for a second term before September and so let’s wait and see what happens.”

Tsang has been free from holding a public post after the last Legislative Council meeting was adjourned on July 15 although his office will officially close on Sept 30.

Over the past week, he has been busy, attending media interviews and lunch or dinner appointments.

Tsang will have more time to stay with the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute as its vice-chairman. The think tank focuses on research on public policy, governance and “One Country, Two Systems”.

In the not-too-distant future, he may also become a talk show host on radio and TV.

Tsang said enthusiastically, “I have been in talks with several agencies and the chances are high. Yet because it is not firm, I can’t tell you more now.”

Tsang will too become an adviser of the DAB. If there is a need, he will be happy to run training courses for party members.

And from next January, he will be teaching parliamentary procedures and practices at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on a short-term basis. Sessions will be run once a week, each of three hours, for a semester.

Tsang also hopes to have more time for traveling with his wife.

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