27th May 2013
<China Central Government’s Hong Kong-Macau Coordination Group to Initiate Plan B>
CY Leung’s reputation tanked since he took office last July, he is destined to fail. Peking (Beijing) has decided to replace CY Leung, when will CY Leung follow Tung Chee-hua’s footstep is only a matter of time.
The Barry Cheung Chun-yuen incident* exposed the fact that CY Leung appoints people according to favouritism, and that he has picked up the “bad habit” of transferring interests from China and outdid Chinese officials. The crucial thing is CY Leung and his fellow cabinet destroy the core values of Hong Kong which help maintain Hong Kong’s international competitiveness, including rule of law, corporate governance, and the political impartiality of the civil servants and police. The chaotic financial situation of Barry Cheung’s Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) has been going on for a while, but the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) failed to carry out any investigation, triggering international investors to question Hong Kong’s ability to manage its financial system. Worse is that although CY Leung knew Barry Cheung’s business could go bust in any day, he continued to appoint him to senior positions. The rule of law and business environment that Hong Kong has developed tirelessly in the past decades have been ruined overnight.
On the surface, things CY Leung has done to Hong Kong seem to benefit China’s plan to Chinafy Hong Kong. For example, the police force began its white terror suppression on activists, people from China’s Public Security Bureau, Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Supreme People’s Court have already penetrated Hong Kong, including the ICAC, and are turning them into “stablisation bureaus”. The problem is that CY Leung’s trickeries have outraged the public. Last week, Leung suspended the regular Executive Council meeting (the reason given was “there is no agenda”) so that he could deal with Cheung’s scandal and avoid being confronted by the press. This destroyed the integrity and legality of his government.
According to Peking sources, Hong Kong Macau Coordination Team led by Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, has initiated the so-called “Plan B”, which means China would replace CY Leung with a new Chief Executive at an appropriate time. CY Leung has completely lost Peking’s support. After the Communist Party confirms CY Leung’s successor, it will come up with a “reasonable excuse” for him to step down, for example “CY Leung is suffering from certain condition as a result of overworking”.
Peking is left with no choice but to fire another chief executive after Tung Chee-hua because of three reasons: firstly, scandals and crises have dogged the administration from the outset, less than a year ago. The illegal structure at Leung’s house and Leung’s credibility being questioned in the scandals related to Lew Mon-hung and Barry Cheung Chun-yuen (two key supporters of Leung who have recently become embroiled in bribery scandals). Leung’s lack of public support created a favourable condition for Occupy Central movement, a taboo to Peking. Secondly, the property tycoons and businessmen in Hong Kong who supported Henry Tong Ying-yen (the rival of CY Leung at the Chief Executive “election”), have given their ultimatum to the Chinese government to replace CY Leung. Thirdly, the “leftists” (a term used to describe underground communists in Hong Kong) in Hong Kong who are typically supportive of CY Leung, as he was the CCP’s chosen one for Hong Kong, have recently decided to change their stand, evidenced by Jasper Tsang Yok-sing’s (an iconic leftist in Hong Kong) intention to join the previous Chief Executive “election”. CY Leung is not a deep rooted comrade and does not have the full support of the underground communists in Hong Kong.
According to sources, Xi Jin-ping, who was the leader of the Hong Kong Macau Coordination Team for five years, is becoming more dissatisfied with CY Leung’s performance. Xi initiated the CCP rectification and anti-corruption campaign since he took office in last November in order to strengthen his position and credibility. However, the mess Leung created has embarrassed Xi. Of course, Xi only decided to replace Leung because he does not want to lose his credibility. Xi was only one of the China officials who approved Leung to take up the Chief Executive role instead of Henry Tang Ying-yen, the candidate the CCP originally picked for to run Hong Kong. If Leung’s governance continues to rot, Xi will bear some of the political repercussions. Since Xi is becoming more conservative, the next Chief Executive will be more like a puppet than Leung and would certainly not allow any democracy advancement in Hong Kong.
Willy Lam Wo-Lap
Commentator specialises on China’s public affairs