Hong Kong's papers give departing Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa a mixed rating, ranging from the charitable to the scathing. While scoring highly for his personal qualities, he is marked down for a perceived failure to solve the region's problems.
Tung Chee-hwa was kind-hearted and tolerant, honest in performing his duties, utterly loyal in his duties, and noble-hearted; but he and his special administrative region [SAR] government showed inadequacies in many major political tests... Tung Chee-hwa used the mentality and methods of managing a family firm to govern Hong Kong... [He] won individual battles in the end, but lost the war.
Editorial in Ming Pao
What worries us even more is that Mr Tung's inadequate reasons for resigning were only to cover up the truth that he was 'forced to abdicate' and 'asked to leave' by the central government... If the first chief executive could not smoothly complete his term in office, if the first chief executive was replaced by the central government at will... won't the predicament of the next chief executive be even worse?
Editorial in Apple Daily
Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa submitted his resignation to the central government based on health reasons. Compared with admitting a poor policy record, losing popular support and stepping down dejectedly, this way of resigning of course gives him more face and more dignity.
Editorial in Hong Kong Economic Journal
It could be said that Tung Chee-hwa's style of running Hong Kong's administrative system was only destructive and not constructive, and there is nothing good to say about his administrative record.
Commentary in Hong Kong Economic Journal
Tung Chee-hwa has finally submitted his resignation, and the citizens have relieved their anger, but they also understand that the problems in Hong Kong are not completely because of Tung Chee-hwa, and also will not completely go away with Tung Chee-hwa.
Editorial in Hong Kong Economic Times
Tung resigns, Hong Kong welcomes brighter days.
Headline in Oriental Daily News
Tung Chee-hwa casts off sea of bitterness.
Headline in The Sun
Tung Chee-hwa's eight years governing Hong Kong were eight years full of chaos... Now, he has resigned and stepped down, waving goodbye, and carrying off the honour of a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference vice-chairmanship, but he has left behind this mess, which must be tidied up.
Editorial in Oriental Daily News
History will give him justice... His biggest contribution was completing the historic mission of smoothly returning a capitalist colony Hong Kong to socialist China through the 'one country, two systems' arrangement... His biggest shortcoming was that his initial ambitions were too big when he took power, and he was eager to carry out too many reforms, which rocked the foundations of social stability.
Editorial in Singtao Daily
Mr Tung will be remembered as a hard-working, honest leader with a profound sense of duty and great loyalty to Beijing. But he will also be seen as a politically inept and indecisive chief executive who failed to adequately stand up for Hong Kong. Sadly, he did not have the considerable skills required to meet the enormous challenges that confronted him... Mr Tung's reign was marked by an unfortunate combination of bad luck and bad judgment.
Editorial in South China Morning Post
Tung Chee-hwa will be remembered as a leader whose real problem lay in policy-making and knowing how to exercise the powers that he had been given... By elevating him to the position of a 'state leader', as one of the vice-chairmen of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the system remains one that still rewards mediocrity.
Commentary in South China Morning Post
As Hong Kong's leader, the gracious, even unassuming, Tung has enjoyed the heady feeling of having the support of Beijing's most senior leaders and the pain of losing the support of his own people.
Commentary in The Standard
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