Sat, Feb 19, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Gambling mogul supports Tsang for HK's top position

AP , HONG KONG

Gambling and property mogul Stanley Ho (何鴻燊) has pledged his support for Hong Kong's No. 2 official, Donald Tsang (曾蔭權), to take over as the territory's next leader.

Ho's comments came a week after Tsang, chief secretary for administration, said he was not interested in the top job and planned to leave public office when his term ends in 2007.

"His [popularity] rating is so high. He should take the job. I give him 90 marks myself and it would be a waste if such a talent retired so early," Ho said in comments broadcast by local networks late on Thursday.

Local newspapers gave wide coverage to the remarks by Ho, a prominent tycoon and a member of the selection committee. He is also on the standing committee of China's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Tsang is regarded as one of the best candidates to take over from highly unpopular chief executive Tung Chee-hwa (董建華) when his term ends in two years. Some observers believe it might be too early for Tsang to declare his intentions without appearing overly ambitious.

Tsang's press secretary, Donald Chan, said yesterday that Tsang "would focus on his current work and would not think about other things."

Critics questioned whether Ho was backing Tsang to curry favor with the official, who is in charge of a controversial plan to build a massive arts and cultural complex at Hong Kong's famous harbor.

This story has been viewed 2556 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top