South China Morning Post
After answering four questions from audience on green issues, former chief secretary gets just 2pc support, while Leung is clear winner followed by Ho on 23pc.
The three men vying to become Hong Kong’s next chief executive appeared together for the first time in a debate yesterday.
Tang, once regarded as favourite to take the city’s top job, registered just 2 per cent of the vote in a poll of the 500-strong audience, made up of the public and environmental campaigners, while the man who has been constantly ahead in the opinion polls, Leung Chun-ying, took 63 per cent of the votes, followed by Democratic Party hopeful Albert Ho Chun-yan with 23 per cent.
The forum gave the candidates an equal chance to respond to audience questions on four key environmental areas, though they were not allowed to direct questions at each other.
Tang was booed three times: when he insisted on pushing for waste incineration and on relying on public education and publicity to reduce waste. “I have worked in the government and I know zero waste is not likely,” he said. He further pledged not to expand the use of nuclear energy, a statement which does not appear in his manifesto.
Leung, a former convenor of the Executive Council, pledged to launch an immediate review of Hong Kong’s waste management policy, and the role of incineration in it, if he is elected. He also highlighted the need for a balance between reliable power supply, investment, cost, returns and service quality. “Low power tariffs are not necessarily conducive to environmental protection,” said Leung.
Ho, who stands almost no chance of winning, drew most applause when he said the first thing he would do to tackle cross-border pollution was to get himself a home return permit (the document Hongkongers need for travel to the mainland).
He described Leung and Tang as “brothers in despair” who had failed to promote green policies while they were on Exco and in government respectively.
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