Tangerine dream as Tsang plays waiting game

Top News | Flora Chung 13 Jan 2017

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah yesterday placed pots of tangerine trees at his home - seen as a way to bring him good fortune if he stands in the chief executive election.

Tangerine trees symbolize "luck" in Chinese culture and is the festive plant for Lunar New Year.

Up to today, Tsang has been waiting for 32 days for Beijing to endorse his application to resign, which he tendered on December 12.

While Lam resigned in a high-profile manner yesterday, exactly a month after Tsang left his post, and announced she would run for chief executive, Tsang did not mention he would run for the top job when he appeared in a resignation press conference on December 12, also made at the Central Government Offices in Tamar. He remained quiet yesterday without making any public appearance.

About 20 pots of tangerines and yellow chrysanthemums were seen delivered to the official residence of the financial secretary on Shouson Hill Road in Deep Water Bay yesterday.

It was surmised that Tsang wanted to drive away "bad luck" as he awaits Beijing's "green light" to join the chief executive race on March 26.

Tsang is determined to run for the top job. He apparently has a plan up his sleeve in case a possible "red light" from Beijing prevent him from joining the chief executive race.

This includes attracting pan- democrat support as it is still unsure whether he will successfully gain 150 nominations from the 1,194-member Election Committee.

Tsang is also said to be considering raising money for his election campaign through online crowdfunding.

Chan Wing-kee, a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee member, expected that Beijing would approve the resignation of Tsang and Lam at the same time.

With two top officials quitting, Chan said it inevitably affects the administration's operation but he does not think the impact will be great as there is a system in the SAR government's administration to cover it.

Asked which candidate or likely runner he supports, Chan said it depends on their election platforms, but he believes only two or three candidates will run in the end.

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