Henry Tang’s funny troubles
The past two weeks have been more fun than we’ve had in ages, thanks to our Chief Executive hopeful Henry Tang. Seriously, what more can you expect after a 2,000sq ft illegal basement palace, a courageous wife with a straighter backbone than her husband, a hilarious set of doctored movie posters, some slushy love letters and (maybe?) more affairs awaiting in the wings?
After a teary Lisa Kuo took full responsibility for hubby Henry’s illegal basement, we all thought it was curtains for Tang. Yet four days later, Time Out’s favourite tycoons hailed Henry as an official CE election candidate. It seemed a dead cert that Beijing had ignored the will of the Hong Kong people and pushed their puppet on to the centre stage – y’know, just to show who’s boss.
So, if Henry is the man who would be king, we might as well have loads more fun for the next five years.
Then again, we could be hopelessly off beam.
Imagine this: devious Beijing, in an extremely cunning plan, is simply manipulating our tycoons to stand by Henry’s side so that our anger towards him keeps brewing; then, at the last minute, they suddenly pick CY Leung as their man, leaving all and sundry high and dry, and winning back the people’s hearts – just to show who’s boss.
You may well ask, ‘but doesn’t Beijing have friendly relations with Hong Kong’s tycoons?’ Yes they do, but from the tycoons’ perspective, they’ve already had everything in Hong Kong. This city has become too small to them. Mainland China is what they really covet, but there they need to play by Beijing’s rules. And from Beijing’s perspective, China has become economically strong enough for it not to give a hoot about a handful of ageing tycoons. Winning hearts and minds, that’s what Beijing craves. It knows whoever becomes CE – with its obvious support – is going to fail in the opinion polls, so why not let us believe the worst will happen and then save us from desperation?
What’s more, it needs Hong Kong to be a window of ‘Chinese democracy’ to the world. There’s no point showing Hongkongers who the boss is – we already know, and Beijing isn’t that naïve as to believe we don’t.
Let’s all hope the party leaders are as reasonable as we dream them to be. Although, as Time Out’s last issue clearly pointed out, no matter if the new boss is Henry or CY, our current system will not change drastically in the foreseeable future. Unless, of course, Henry’s wife takes up the race. Now she we’d vote for. Charlotte Fan