Questions about the upcoming Hong Kong leader election on Sunday dominated CK Hutchison’s annual results press conference on Wednesday, with Chairman Li Ka-shing growing emotional over the future of the city.
Mr Li’s voice shook as he said, “I don’t want to see the Hong Kong we used to be so proud of, have its GDP dropping to only 2% of China’s.” He later denied getting teary, blaming a cold for needing to pull out some tissue paper.
The richest man in Hong Kong said the next chief executive must have good relationship with Beijing and be able to bring new prospects for the former British colony amid its currently stagnated economy.
Mr Li and his two sons are among the 1200-member election committee who will select the next Hong Kong leader in the coming days. The sons, Victor and Richard, have both expressed support for Carrie Lam, the frontrunner with backing of pro-Beijing parties despite her unpopularity in polls.
Li, however, avoided naming any favourite among the candidates, who also include John Tsang, the former financial secretary and Woo Kwok-hing, a retired judge. When asked if his preference is the same as his children, Li simply said, “when you’re 50 years old, would you still listen to your father?”
The 89-year-old also reassured the audience there is no problem with his succession. If the day of retirement came, Li said he wished to spend more time on his charity foundation.