CY Leung, Hong Kong’s chief executive known for his distaste for people who don’t make as much money as he does, just issued an apology that might as well have been said through clenched teeth.
Earlier this month, Leung expressed in an interview from his mansion that free elections in Hong Kong would bring only “poor people” politics.
“If it’s entirely a numbers game — numeric representation — then obviously you’d be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies.”
Now he’s backtracking in what looks like a half-hearted attempt to not make the protesters, who have demanded he step down for over a month now, too angry with him. On top of that, last weekend he criticized religious and sports communities for not contributing to the economy. He explained in an Executive Council meeting this week:
“I understand I should have made myself clearer on some points … I regret having caused misunderstanding and concerns among grass-roots people, the religious sector and the sports sector.”
“What I meant was that we have to pay attention to every sector. This means we should not lean towards any sector or class because of its size or its contribution to the economy.”
That’s about as sincere of an apology as you are going to get from a millionaire politician.
Protesters have now been camping in Hong Kong’s streets for five straight weeks calling for Leung to resign and for Beijing to allow open elections for his successor.