Rival hopefuls pan outgoing Chief Exec's policy proposals

Hong Kong's former security chief and Chief Executive election contender Regina Ip.
Hong Kong's former security chief and Chief Executive election contender Regina Ip. ST PHOTO: JOYCE LIM

HONG KONG • Just hours after outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying delivered his final policy address, some of his proposals were lambasted by two people hoping to succeed him.

Mrs Regina Ip, a prominent pro-establishment lawmaker, and Mr Woo Kwok Hing, a former judge, vowed to undo some of the proposals that were spelt out on Wednesday, according to the Hong Kong media.

Seen as underdog contenders in the chief executive race, the two rivals were united in their attacks on Mr Leung, reported South China Morning Post.

Both cast doubts on his promise to scrap a practice that allows employers to use their contributions to workers' retirement funds to offset severance or long-service payments.

"I have reservations about the idea," Mrs Ip was quoted as saying by the Post.

"I don't think the business sector will support it. And employees will see their benefits cut."

Mr Woo called Mr Leung's idea of using land on the periphery of country parks to build public flats "controversial" and troublesome for the next administration.

Both Mr Woo and Mrs Ip also panned Mr Leung's declaration that he had "basically" delivered all his election promises.

A spokesman for another chief executive hopeful, former chief secretary Carrie Lam, said she was not prepared to comment on Mr Leung's policy address.

Former civil service minister Joseph Wong, now a political commentator, said on Wednesday's policy speech was "probably Leung's best".

"Now (that) he doesn't have the political burden to show his allegiance to Beijing to seek another term, Leung has adopted a less confrontational political stance," Mr Wong told the Post. "He may want to be remembered as a man of good policies, not a man playing politics."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2017, with the headline 'Rival hopefuls pan outgoing Chief Exec's policy proposals'. Print Edition | Subscribe