CY Leung

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Leung.
The Honourable
Leung Chun-ying
2013 Policy Address 03b (cropped).jpg
3rd Chief Executive of Hong Kong
Assumed office
1 July 2012
Preceded by Donald Tsang
Majority 689 electoral votes (57.4%)
2nd Convenor of the Executive Council
In office
1 July 1999 – 3 October 2011
Appointed by Tung Chee-hwa
Sir Donald Tsang
Preceded by Chung Sze-yuen
Succeeded by Ronald Arculli
Member of the CPPCC
In office
10th CPPCC
11th CPPCC
In office
16 March 2003 – 21 June 2012
Personal details
Born (1954-08-12) 12 August 1954 (age 60)
Nationality Hong Kong Chinese
Spouse(s) Regina Tong Ching-yi
Children Leung Chuen-yan
Leung Chai-yan
Leung Chung-yan
Alma mater King's College
Hong Kong Polytechnic
Bristol Polytechnic
Occupation Chartered Surveyor
Honorary Degree DBA (PolyU)
PhD in Business Administration (UWE)
CY Leung
Chinese 梁振英
Hanyu Pinyin Liáng Zhènyīng
IPA [ljɑ̌ŋ tʂə̂níŋ]
Jyutping Loeng4 Zan3 Jing1
Yale Romanization Lèuhng Janyīng

Leung Chun-ying GBM, GBS, JP (born 12 August 1954), commonly known as C. Y. Leung, is the third and incumbent Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He assumed office on 1 July 2012.[1][2] A politician of the pro-establishment bloc, Leung has held various political offices including Convenor of the Executive Council and Member of the Provisional Legislative Council before his victory in the 2012 Hong Kong Chief Executive Election, which won 57.4% (689 electoral votes) of the 1200 person Election Committee.

Early life[edit]

Leung attended secondary school at King's College. In 1974, he graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic (now the Hong Kong Polytechnic University) with a higher diploma in building surveying. After his graduation, Leung undertook further studies in valuation and estate management at the Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England), United Kingdom in 1977[3]


Leung later returned to Hong Kong and joined the real estate company, Jones Lang Wootton, for whom he worked for 5 years.[4] By the age of 30, he was made the vice-chairman[5] of the JLW's branch in Hong Kong.,[4] and was reported to be making a yearly salary of HK$10 million.[4]

Leung became the real estate advisor for Zhu Rongji when Zhu was Mayor and Party chief in Shanghai from 1987 to 1991. Zhu Rongji later became the Vice-Premier and then the fifth Premier of the People's Republic of China from March 1998 to March 2003.[6] Later in 2013, Leung appointed Levin Zhu Yunlai, the elder son of former premier Zhu Rongji, as an advisor in Hong Kong Government's Financial Services Development Council.[7] Zhu Yunlai then also held the position of president and chief executive officer of China International Capital Corp., one of the country's top investment banks, a position he resigned from on 14 October 2014.[8][9]

From 1995 to 1996, Leung was the president of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors. He was a former chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors's Hong Kong branch. After holding the post, Leung has become an honorary advisor for the local governments of Shenzhen, Tianjian and Shanghai on Land Reform. He has also taken up the post of International Economic Advisor for Hebei province.[10]

DTZ Holdings[edit]

In 1993, Leung set up his own surveying company C. Y. Leung & Co., in Hong Kong, which then quickly set up many offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen[11]

In 1995, his company C.Y. Leung & Co joined an international alliance comprising CB Commercial, Debenham Tewson & Chinnocks and DTZ. C.Y Leung & Co contributed expertise in the Greater China region providing services that included to simplify and expedite transactions in China.[12]

By 2000, his company would merge with Singapore's Dai Yuk-coeng Company (戴玉祥) into DTZ Debenham Tie Leung Limited.[13][14]

In Dec 2006, after a complex share swap, Leung emerged as owner of 4.61% of the London listed property consultancy DTZ Holdings that involved HK$330 million cash and share deal with Leung. In 2007, DTZ Holdings with a US$400 million fund expanded into the property market of mainland China. This fund was to be passed through Leung's regional company DTZ Asia Pacific to purchase mainland property.[15]

In October 2011, one month before Leung announces his running for the Hong Kong Chief Executive post, his company DTZ was hit by a liquidity crisis. Following this, after informing London Stock exchange that its shares were worthless, the board of DTZ, including Leung, agreed to sell DTZ to UGL Limited.[16]

On 24 November 2011 Leung resigned as director from the board of DTZ and on 28 November 2011 announced his candidacy for the Hong Kong Chief Executive election.[16]

On 2 December 2011, Leung signed a secret agreement to receive payment of GB£4 million from UGL, that included terms to non-compete, to support acquisition of the DTZ group by UGL and provide consultancy services for a period of 2 years.[16]

On the same day Leung signed the secret agreement, China's state-owned Tianjin Innovation Financial Investment Company had made a bid that valued DTZ at GB£100 million higher than the bid by UGL. But this more valuable bid was rejected by the DTZ board, including Leung, and not released to the public.[17]

In December 2012, 9 months after winning the Hong Kong Chief Executive election, Leung received the first tranche of payment from UGL, and a second tranche within 2 years.[16]

In October 2014, Fairfax Media published details of this secret agreement and the rejected competitive bid. Following this, prosecutors from the Hong Kong's anti corruption agency ICAC and Australia started investigations into this scandal.[18]

DBS Bank[edit]

From 2002 to 2007, Leung was board member in the Government of Singapore owned banking firm Dbs Group Holdings Ltd and DBS Bank Hong Kong Ltd[5]

University appointments[edit]

In 1998, University of the West of England conferred an Honorary DBA degree[19]

In 1999, Leung took over the position of Council Chairman of Lingnan University. In the same year, on 16 June 1999[20] the Lingnan College received University status. Leung continued in this position as Council Chairman of Lingnan University, for a period of nine years, until 21 October 2008[21]

In April 2008, Leung was appointed as the chairman and member of the Council of the City University of Hong Kong.[22] .[23] Leung held this position until 2011. In terms of his performance as chairman, the University staff had scored Leung less than 1 point on a scale of 10. During his tenure as chairman, Leung was accused of attempts to weaken the power of the staff association.[24]

Early political career[edit]

In 1985, Leung joined the Hong Kong Basic Law Consultative Committee, a 180 member body nominated by Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee that was to hold consultation with Hong Kong people regarding various drafts of the Hong Kong Basic Law. [25][26] The working of the BLCC was criticised as it had not established any formal machinery for the consultation process and did not indicate the degree of public support of the views proposed. .[27] In 1990, the BLCC ceased to exist after the Basic Law was adopted by the National People's Congress.[25] In 1988, Leung then aged 34, was made the Secretary General of the Committee, replacing Mao Junnian. Former CCP member Leung Mo-han and critics of Leung, have suggested that Leung must be a secret member of the Communist party, since, per the rules of the Chinese Communist Party, such a senior position are assumed by a party member.[28][29]

In 1999, Leung was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government.[4] He has been a member of the National Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and only submitted his resignation one week prior to assuming his office of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2012.[3][30] He is cuurently the chairman and sits on the board of directors of the One Country Two Systems Research Institute.[3]

In 2011, there were confrontations between police and demonstrators after the annual 1 July march amid public opposition to the government's draft legislation to eliminate by elections for vacated Legco seats. Leung responded by saying that such rowdy rallies should be "sanctioned and restrained".[31]

Convenor of the Executive Council[edit]

Then-Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa appointed Leung as the convenor of the Executive Council in 1998, replacing his predecessor Chung Sze-yuen. During Tung Chee-hwa's 1997 policy address, he proposed that the government would build no less than 85,000 flats every year, allowing 70% of the citizens to own a house within 10 years.[32] However, due to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the proposal was put on a halt. As the convenor of the Executive Council, CY Leung has been questioned many times regarding this policy plan over the years.[33] The citizen further said these policies favour the business (upper) class. Leung responded that the plan was something the government just projected at one time.

Chief Executive[edit]

Election campaign[edit]

On 28 November 2011, Leung officially announced his candidacy for Chief Executive of Hong Kong,[34] two years after he had first hinted at his interest in the post.[35]

The election campaign was controversial. The early favourite to win was long-considered to be former Chief Secretary Henry Tang, who was supported by the local bureaucracy, key property and business tycoons, and crucially, by the Beijing government[citation needed]. However, while Tang stumbled over the revelation of an illegal structure at his home, Leung faced his own problems.

Leung appointed Fanny Law, who attracted widespread criticisms for mishandling educational reforms when in office from 2002 to 2006, to his Office of the Chief-Executive Elect as Campaign Manager.[36]

During the campaign, rumours persistently resurfaced that Leung was once a closet member of the Communist Party of China. Section 31 of Chief Executive Election Ordinance (Chapter 569) stipulates that a CE election winner must "publicly make a statutory declaration to the effect that he is not a member of any political party".

Martin Lee, a pro-democracy politician, questioned the survival of the 'one country, two systems' principle if Leung were to be elected the CE, saying that Leung must have been a loyal CCP member for him to be appointed as the Secretary General of the Basic Law Consultative Committee in 1985 at the young age of 31.[37]

This view was supported by a former underground communist, Florence Leung, whose memoir recorded that Leung was also a secret member of the party. She explained that, in order for Leung to succeed Mao Junnian (whose identity as a communist had been revealed) as the Secretary General of the Basic Law Consultative Committee, he must also have been a party member, per the tradition of the party. She also cited Leung's vague remarks about the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre as a clue to his membership, in contrast to Henry Tang's greater sympathy for the protest movement.[38] She said that if Leung, as an underground party member, won the election then the leader of the Communist Party in Hong Kong would be in actual control. Leung consistently dismissed such claims as ungrounded.[39]

The suggestion that Leung's loyalty was more to Beijing than Hong Kong has long dogged him. In 2010, Leung had been asked whether he would support the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. He replied that China's former paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, should have been the first Chinese to win the award.[40]

Towards the end of the election campaign, James Tien, the honorary chairman of the Liberal Party and a supporter of Henry Tang during the election, stated that members of the election committee had received phone calls from the Liaison Office demanding them to vote for Leung.[41]

On 25 March 2012, Leung was declared Hong Kong's new Chief Executive,[1] after securing 689 votes from the 1,200-member election committee. Henry Tang had 285 votes and the third candidate, Democrat Albert Ho gained the votes of 76 members. In total, 1,132 valid votes were received.

Upon his selection, the online version of People's Daily addressed Leung as "Comrade Leung Chun-ying". When the Chinese mass media[who?] pointed out that the title comrade (or tongzhi, 同志) is reserved by the party for its own members, and that neither Tung Chee-hwa nor Donald Tsang had been thus addressed, the epithet "comrade" was removed from the page.[42]

After his selection, a number of illegal or unauthorised structures were found at Leung's house, in a reprise of the scandal involving an illegal basement that had badly hit the campaign of his rival, Tang, and for which Leung had roundly criticised Tang.[43] The issue dominated the period around his taking up the post. Leung's structures were to be demolished although Chief Executive contender Albert Ho considered disputing Leung's legal legitimacy as the territory's new leader.[44]

First term (2012–present)[edit]

Leung assumed office as Chief Executive on 1 July 2012. On top of the controversy surrounding illegal structures of his house, in which he was severely criticised as a hypocrite for using the same accusation in attacking his opponent during the 2012 election, there were additional disputes regarding his appointments of officers and political judgements. Despite widespread condemnation of Leung's election victory, reactions to his policies have so far been polarised: either attracting praise for his decisiveness or pro-Beijing drafts under constant scrutiny by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

Leung's appointment of Chen Ran (陳冉) as the Project Officer in his Transitional Office stirred up further criticism among the public of Hong Kong. Chen has resided in Hong Kong for less than seven years, the minimum time period which foreigners are required to reside to apply for permanent residence. Chen is a former General Secretary of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Young Elites Association (香港菁英會), of which Leung is a patron. Chen is the daughter of a middle-ranking government official in Shanghai and a former member of the Communist Youth League.[45]

Despite the centuries-long history of Cantonese as the de facto spoken language of Hong Kong, Leung made his inaugural speech in Mandarin, spoken in Mainland China. This was in stark contrast to his predecessor, Sir Donald Tsang, who made his inaugural speech in Cantonese in July 2007.[46]

Leung's popularity ratings have been continuously low since his election. In October 2013, only 31 percent of the 1,009 participants in the HKU poll said they supported Leung as the city's leader, while 55 percent disapproved of him – an increase of 6 percentage points from the previous month's poll.[47]

Leung accepted HKD50 million in a deal with Australian engineering firm UGL in 2011. On 8 October 2014, an Australian newspaper revealed how the contract was made, but Leung has denied having done anything morally or legally wrong. He sidestepped key questions, such as why he did not declare the payment to the Executive Council. This controversy has further worsened Leung's popularity.[48]

Personal life[edit]

In 1981, Leung married Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee (aka. Regina Ching Yee Higgins)[49] whose father was a Royal Hong Kong Police officer.[4][50] The couple has two daughters and a son.


Early in his career in early 1980, when he started earning an annual salary of HK$10 million, he was given the nickname "Emperor of the working class" (打工皇帝) .[4]

Later, during his campaign for CE elections, across the territory he is nicknamed "The Wolf" by some opponents – partly because his name sounds like the Chinese word for wolf. Others refer to him as Dracula, given his prominent eye teeth.[51]

Another pejorative moniker given to Leung is 689, in reference to the number of votes that elected him into office. The number 689 is also used to ridicule the lack of representation of the will of the Hong Kong People.[52][53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Leung Chun-Ying Wins Hong Kong Election". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Leung Wins Hong Kong Leader Contest With Double Tang's Votes". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Membership of Executive Council – LEUNG Chun-ying". Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "背后的故事". Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Chun Ying Leung". Bloomberg. 
  6. ^ "Dust on My Shoulders". 
  7. ^ "CY Leung picks more mainland Chinese advisers for 'internal diplomacy'". South China Morning Post. 
  8. ^ Yue Wang (13 October 2014). "Report:Zhu Yunlai, Son Of Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, Leaves CICC". Forbes. 
  9. ^ "Detail". 
  10. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "JLW set to expand operation". South China Morning Post. 14 July 1993. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Terence LaPier (11 September 2002). Competition, Growth Strategies and the Globalization of Services: Real Estate Advisory Services in Japan, Europe and the US. Routledge. p. 96. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "深圳东海集团-楼盘介绍-东海花园二期". Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Taking stock". The Standard. Hong Kong. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Paul Das – Hedge Funds Consultant. "Hedge Fund Marketing News – London Property Consultants Target China". 
  16. ^ a b c d "CY Leung deal timeline". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  17. ^ "Secret $7m payment to C.Y. Leung agreed to on same day rival bidder trumped UGL offer". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  18. ^ Elizabeth Barber / Hong Kong. "Hong Kong's Leader Faces Mounting Pressure Over Financial Scandal". Time. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "June 16 – The Government announces arrangements for Lingnan College to acquire university status and be retitled Lingnan University. Formal gazettal follows a day later.". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lingnan University Welcomes New Council Chairman". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "President's Speech at the Installation of President cum Honorary Awards Ceremony". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Honours for Council Chairman, members of CItyU community". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "C.Y. Leung names his nominator as City University council chairman". South China Morning Post. 
  25. ^ a b Ghai 1999, p. 59.
  26. ^ Loh 2010, p. 158.
  27. ^ Ghai 1999, p. 58-59.
  28. ^ "Ex-Communist raps Comrade C.Y.". South China Morning Post. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ 新任香港特首梁振英辞去全国政协常委职务,, 21 June 2012
  31. ^ Exco chief urges curbs on rowdy rallies, South China Morning Post, 3 July 2011
  32. ^ "1997 Policy Address". 8 October 1997. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "都市网滚动新闻-梁振英落区论楼市". Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  34. ^ "Leung joins race with promise of change, South China Morning Post, 28 November 2011". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  35. ^ "RTHK English News". RTHK. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  36. ^ Staff reporter (20 April 2012). "Law takes on job as director of CE-elect office". The Standard.
  37. ^ 反駁李柱銘 梁振英:我不是黨員, Headline Daily, 16 September 2011.
  38. ^ 出新書 過來人指港必遭蠶食:論證梁振英是地下共產黨, Apple Daily, 19 March 2012.
  39. ^ "Ex-Communist raps Comrade CY", South China Morning Post, 19 March 2012.
  40. ^ "Tough, pro-Beijing Leung to lead wary Hong Kong, 30 June 2012, Reuters". Chicago Tribune. 
  41. ^ "香港特首選舉前夕出現中央干預傳聞". 
  42. ^ 人民網稱梁振英"同志"引港媒議論, BBC Chinese, 30 March 2012
  43. ^ "Tough, pro-Beijing Leung to lead wary Hong Kong". Chicago Tribune. 
  44. ^ Illegal Structure Found in Leung's House, Ming Pao, 22 June 2012
  45. ^ "委「共青」入候任特首辦 梁振英拒评安插官二代 [Appointment of Communist Youth to CE-elect's office – CY Leung refuses to comment on parachuting of second-generation official]". pg. 2, Headline News, 24 April 2012. Archived from the original, 24 April 2012.
  46. ^ A Telling Language Lesson in Hong Kong
  47. ^ Leung Chun-ying to survive confidence vote but poll rating dips again South China Morning Post 16 October 2013,
  48. ^ "CY Leung denies wrongdoing in accepting HK$50m in UGL deal". South China Morning Post. 
  49. ^
  50. ^ D.A.B. may leave it to a free vote, South China Morning Post, 10 February 2012
  51. ^ "Who is CY Leung and why do the Hong Kong protesters want him to resign?". The Daily Telegraph. 1 October 2014. 
  52. ^ "Why are Hong Kong's protesters rallying around the number 689?". The Guardian. 
  53. ^ "CY Leung: The troubles of Hong Kong's unloved leader". BBC News. 

External links[edit]

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Preceded by
Chung Sze-yuen
Convenor of the Executive Council
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Ronald Arculli
Preceded by
Donald Tsang
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