Executive Council member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who failed to qualify to run in this year’s chief executive race, said she is now planning for retirement in the near future as she looks for a suitable successor to lead her New People’s Party, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Ip, now 67, told the newspaper in an interview that she holds no grudges against Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor despite their differences.
Only six months ago, Ip had said in an interview that she would not rule out the possibility of running again for chief executive in five years’ time.
Now, for the first time in years, she touched on her plans for retirement, saying that Lam should “be the CE for ten years” as she is more than capable.
“Seeing how she has to run all over the place for seven days a week and risk losing time to spend with her family, I think the job suits her more than me,” Ip said.
During the elections, Ip once commented that Lam would have secured the votes without even lifting a finger.
Facing the accusations of still feeling sore about her defeat, she said that only members of the media like to remember things like that, pointing out that she has always been vocal about her opinions as her personality does not allow her to stay silent.
“I will not please anyone for their sake. If what they need is a yes-man, they don’t need me,” Ip said.
After failing to secure enough nominations to run in the CE election, Ip had said she would not return to the Executive Council.
But Ip explained that she accepted to return to the ExCo because of Lam’s sincere invitation and the support of her party members.
She also believes that being in the ExCo allows her to be more influential in shaping government policies.
Ip said it is clear that Lam being at the helm has its benefits as her leadership style is more moderate and gentle in comparison to former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
“Even the meanest legislator like former legislator Raymond Wong Yuk-man is more respectful towards then president of the LegCo Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai,” she pointed out. “It is hard to imagine that people would throw things at female officials.”
Ip said she is now looking for people to take over her place in her party.
It is a great responsibility to bear, she said of the position, as he or she would have to pitch in their share and be able to maintain good relationships with sponsors.
When asked if her new right-hand woman, Eunice Yung Hoi-yan, is the right candidate, Ip said she was still very “fresh” and needed more time to feel around her new post.
Commenting on the new administration’s appointments who have come from various political parties, Ip said the attractive salaries and benefits are hard to resist.
But she said it would be more difficult to find people to run for the Legislative Council if all those who are qualified choose to join the government first.
The New People’s Party has always had new blood coming from promising backgrounds like Stanford and Cambridge graduates, but many have left to join the government, Ip said.
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