Tycoon Tung names his dream team

Critics excluded from Hong Kong cabinet

Tung Chee-hwa, who will head Hong Kong's first post-colonial government, yesterday unveiled the membership of his Executive Council, or cabinet. The line-up gives a strong indication of the sort of regime Mr Tung intends to run after the colony's handover to China.

The cabinet is balanced between new- and old-order personalities and displays a sensitivity to fears that someone as rich as Mr Tung will be surrounded by fellow tycoons.

In the past, colonial executive councils always had a representative from the mighty Hongkong Bank and the big trading houses, or hongs. Mr Tung's cabinet has no such person sitting at the table, although he has taken in Charles Lee, a lawyer and former stock- exchange chairman who is close to Li Ka-shing, the territory's richest man.

Half the members are businessmen, a couple of whom are rich but not as rich as Mr Tung, who used to head the Overseas Orient shipping group. By way of balance, the executive council for the first time has a trade- unionist as member. He is Tam Yiu-chung, a stalwart of the pro-Peking trade-union federation.

Among the rising stars of the new order is Leung Chun-ying, who many people view as a successor to Mr Tung. Mr Leung has established a highly successful property conglomerate which married his considerable entrepreneurial skills to his impeccable political connections in Peking.

While Mr Leung represents the most visible face of the new order, Mr Tung has taken on board Chung Sze-yuen, one of the most famous veterans of the old order. Sir Sze-yuen served as the most senior executive councillor during the 1980s and played an influential role during the negotiations for the change of Hong Kong's sovereignty.

Like three other members of the Tung cabinet, Sir Sze-yuen seems to have abandoned the use of his knighthood. Dame Rosanna Wong, who was ennobled in the last honours list, and is only one of two members of the Patten cabinet to survive, has also dropped her new title. The former Chief Justice, Sir Ti-liang Yang, became plain Mr Yang when he joined the so- called election race which was won by Mr Tung. He appears to have been rewarded for his efforts to give credibility to the election.

Significantly, there are no members of the new cabinet who could be described as providing a bridge to critics of the incoming government, especially the Democratic Party, which commands majority popular support.

Mr Tung is clearly staking out a position for himself as a firm defender of Peking's policy. In a landmark speech on Thursday night he outlined a position of supporting what he described as "traditional Chinese values", rejecting "political partisanship which creates gridlock" and leads to decisions "based on short-term expediency rather than the long-term interest of the people".

He defended the controversial recommendation of a Chinese advisory committee to amend civil-rights legislation and restore old colonial powers limiting the right of assembly and association as "legalistic and technical in nature and not controversial".

Mr Tung's style in dealing with critics oscillates between the avuncular and behaving remarkably like Chinese officials who are unaccustomed to being questioned.

Under questioning following his Thursday speech, Mr Tung turned on one reporter, saying that it did not matter what he believed because the position outlined by himself was the one he believed in and that was what mattered.

The Governor, Chris Patten, had Mr Tung in his cabinet as the nominal voice of opposition. Mr Tung has presumably learned something from this experiment and decided not to repeat it.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride