Hong Kong Chief Executive (“CE”)

It’s now confirmed that the CE of Hong Kong is going to be CY Leung and people start worrying his “Putin” type of approach would bring a negative impact to Hong Kong.  A few observations have been made.

Traditionally, the land developing tycoons won’t say much about politics but this time even Li Ka-shing commented openly and forcefully on his support on Henry Tang. At the moment before the voting, Mr Li was stopped by journalists on his view and he was still fully supporting Henry Tang adamantly.  His resolute attitude could be interpreted in several angles.  The more important angles are:

  1. Business environment is going to be tough under the leadership of Mr Leung, and become less business friendly.
  2. Housing policy is going to be significantly different (e.g. mechanism on price, windfall tax on developer)
  3. General concern on the development of Hong Kong (i.e. social, political, judicial, economical)

None of these appear to be good, and all Hong Kong residents will be affected, one way or another.  Some people may argue drop of property price, prima facie, would make it easier for a lot of resident to own their own flat.  I agree with it and I do look forward to the drop, however, how many property owners are mentally and financially ready for it?  If the same drop like 1998 happens, with the “Putin” approach of Mr Leung, one could imagine the seriousness of social crash that may happen.

My another concern is on the legal system, freedom of speech and publication.  Separation of power, independent and trustworthy legal system distinguish Hong Kong from China, and it’s one of the major reasons Hong Kong and Singapore stand out among the peers in Asia.  Once the trust of Hong Kong legal system is gone, it would be extremely difficult to be restored and Hong Kong is no different to the other PRC cities.  The independent legal system upholds the freedom of speech and publication indirectly as the government could be challenged in Court for its impediment of such freedom.  Hong Kong Court has been proved to be non-bias in cases involving the government (i.e. more than 50% of cases have had order again the government since 1997)

Legislation trumps common law, and any law has to be signed off by the CE to be effective.  If Department of Justice pushes through new legislation, it would be very difficult for legislator(s) to change it in the future as a peculiar feature in Hong Kong legal system requiring private bills subject to a higher threshold for approval.

Five years are long enough for any legislation to be enacted.  My concern is that if any law that is going to affect the universal suffrage of the CE and members of Legislative Council have been passed through, we will get what we have asked for, but it’ll only be skin deep.