Former Chief Executive CY Leung said on Sunday that Hong Kong isn't a political city but an economic one, and the SAR was never "a show flat" for western-style democracy for the country.
He said this was the original plan for the SAR when the Basic Law was drafted in the 1980s, and just because public sentiment might have changed, that didn't mean this was also the case as regards the original intention.
"For some time now, if you look back at the past 25 years, we - including the media - have spoken too much about politics. Hong Kong doesn't earn a living through politics," Leung said on a TVB programme.
"Our place isn't a 'political show flat' for the country to demonstrate how so-called western-style democracy operates. No. Our country knows very well about these things. On political issues, many taxi drivers on the mainland know more than Hong Kong lawmakers."
He said if they wanted to be engaged in politics, the past generation wouldn't have come to Hong Kong, they would've stayed on the mainland to do so.
Leung said even if the political demands of Hongkongers are now bigger than those for the economy, they can't "come up with their own ideas" regarding the political system.
When asked whether the fact that four principal officials are sanctioned by the United States would affect Hong Kong's development, Leung said the world is big, and the SAR's important development partners have gradually shifted from western countries to those in ASEAN.
But he stressed Hong Kong shouldn't completely give up on American or European markets, saying the SAR still relies heavily on them for the likes of financial or legal services.
Leung, who's now a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said he's confident about incoming leader John Lee, saying he's a man who's willing to delegate powers to subordinates, and won't have much baggage in many policy areas.