Ip joins CE race to 'win back HK'

Top News | Chan Ho-him 16 Dec 2016

Legislator and Executive Council member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee yesterday formally launched her bid to become the next chief executive promising to "Win Back Hong Kong," push for enactment of the security law and political reform based on Beijing's unpopular framework.

Announcing her electoral platform at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, Ip - who resigned from the Executive Council yesterday - vowed to "deliver continuity and change" and give hope to young people.

In response to the controversial national security bill, the former secretary for security said: "I'm ashamed of my handling [of Article 23], which was obviously not good enough." She added that the next administration should "review public opinion" before enacting the bill.

Ip insisted that relaunching the unpopular political reform based on Beijing's August 31, 2014, framework - which was voted down in the legislature last year - would be a "step forward."

"I think the framework allows Hong Kong to move forward and change," she said.

The proposed nomination committee under the framework, which is comprised of four sectors similar to the existing election committee, can offer a "sound basis" for democratic development, Ip said, as "loyal opposition" members would also be able to enter the race.

"We've all noticed from the results of the Election Committee last Sunday that a lot of young people have been elected rather than well-known heavyweights. More pan-democrats also surfaced and they could be a kingmaker."

Her 45-minute policy-platform presentation included nine major areas. Ip said her emphasis will be on boosting land supply, developing new towns and even country parks to increase housing supply, and reviewing the controversial small-house policy to reach a "win-win" situation between indigenous villagers and the need for land.

She seemed to be criticizing Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah's economic policies when she mentioned the city "did not perform well as a global financial leader" as well as Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim's ability as she said a suitable person for the post should be "able and competent." She later denied she was referring to the two.

Ip - who gave up her bid to run in the 2012 Chief Executive election after failing to secure 150 nominations - insisted she was confident of winning more than enough nominations to enter the race on March 26 next year as she would "pay visits to every sub-sector."

Ip, who wore a green suit, said it "did not have a special meaning" amid speculation over whether it meant a "green light" from Beijing.

Former director of the colonial government's Information Services Department Mark Pinkstone - who supported Leung Chun-ying in 2012 - is now Ip's chief information officer, while former civil servant Miranda Chiu Shung-kwok is her campaign manager.

Businessman Allen Zeman, who supported Henry Tang Ying-yen in 2012, and retired colonial administrator Sir David Akers-Jones serve as consultants.

Ip refused to reveal other members in her campaign team saying it was "too early." Among the 200 guests yesterday were casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung- sun's heiress Pansy Ho Chiu-king, former bishop of Hong Kong and Macau Peter Kwong Kong-kit and former commissioner of correctional services Sin Yat-kin.

Former secretary for trade and industry Brian Chau Tak-hay said Ip was the "most promising administrative officer he had ever seen."

Business Community Joint Conference Secretary-General Aaron Shum said: "Ip has helped small and medium enterprises a lot, and I greatly appreciate her ability."

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