Rafael Hui, strategic mastermind – again

So noteworthy did the South China Morning Post consider yesterday’s (slow, holiday) lead story that they posted it outside their website’s usual paywall for all the world to see (with cartoon): ‘Rafael Hui tapped to lead Tang poll team’.

The Honourable Rafael Hui Si-yan GBM, GBS, JP is the almost-stereotypical pompous, patrician, British-accented Hong Kong civil servant who never goes away. After leaving government in an apparent huff in 2000 (miffed, some believe, over not being made Financial Secretary), he continued to ‘serve the community’ as boss of the Mandatory Provident Fund Authority before being swept into the office of Chief Secretary from 2005-07 on the coattails of new Chief Executive Donald Tsang after the defenestration of Tung Chee-hwa and the Great Bureaucrat Restoration.

It seems like just five days ago that I referred to the Big Lychee’s Chief Executive ‘election’ process as an embarrassing farce inexplicably taken half-seriously by international media who should know better. And here we have the local press, or at least the SCMP (other news outlets are showing less interest), reporting Hui’s rumoured role as Chief Secretary Henry Tang’s CE-in-2012 campaign ‘strategist’ in terms that suggest that it will be a real election, with the result not decreed in advance in Beijing (“invited to repeat his success”). Of course, the SCMP’s sad fate is to be forbidden to know better; it must turn a blind eye to the fact that the appointment of the next neo-colonial governor will be a scripted charade and treat it as a genuine poll. That said, until the Celestial choice is finalized and made known to mere mortals on Earth, there is a real fight taking place, with legislator Regina Ip and Executive Council member CY Leung jockeying with Henry (whose hands are tied as a serving official) for public affection and bad-mouthing one another.

The whispered word that Hui will be Henry’s ‘strategist’ (as he was for Donald’s superfluous quasi-election upon replacing the crop-haired one in 2005) has obviously been prompted by the more assertive stance taken last week by Regina. It is an unofficial pronouncement that Tang wants the job. The question is, reading between the tealeaves, to what extent does this reflect Beijing’s intended choice? Put bluntly, did the Chinese government’s local emissaries approve the not-for-attribution low-key briefing from a ‘friend’ of both Hui and Tang for publication on Ching Ming festival day? Did they actually tell Henry to arrange it? It is hard to believe that a loyal CE hopeful who knows that he is probably, so far, top of Beijing’s list for possible anointment, is going to leak a deniable declaration of intent without checking with the Liaison Office first.

Getting the nod from Beijing’s representatives to remind us obliquely that he is still around does not guarantee Henry’s eventual coronation. The subliminal message is that he is affirmed as most likely choice (Rafael’s reprise of his symbolic role in Donald’s ‘campaign’ in 2005 equals history inevitably repeating itself, geddit?). But the Chinese Communist Party keeps secrets tightly and for as long as it wants, and it knows no emotions. As the number-two in Sir Bow-Tie’s laughable, won’t-get-the-job-done administration, Henry has baggage that may yet disqualify him. For two pins, Beijing will not hesitate to knife him between the ribs at the eleventh hour, dump the body somewhere and order a chorus of bigwigs to suddenly start praising the virtues of CY, or Regina, or Rita, or Mr or Mrs dark-horse tycoon or bureaucrat as the obvious choice for leading Hong Kong into another five years of visionary strutting around and going nowhere. Rafael’s mighty campaign-strategist skills won’t make the slightest difference.

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9 Responses to Rafael Hui, strategic mastermind – again

  1. Probably The Injunear says:

    To be employed as Horse Face’s strategist surely isn’t that hard a job. It’s not as if he has to convince a 6 million strong electorate of Henry’s potential as a visionary and forthright leader. It just means grovelling and kowtowing to the black hair dye brigade in Zhongnanhai and then browbeating 100 or so lackeys in Hong kong to sit the right way on the lavaotory….sorry vote in the CE election.

  2. Smedley Tangbottom III says:

    The Harry cartoon that is web-linked to the first para raises the prospect of the “Disgruntled 500,000” taking to the streets on July 1. It would be interesting as heck to see what would ensue if that happened.

    This might help things along: Jasmine Hong Kong July 1; Jasmine Hong Kong July 1.

  3. Ladee Marmalad' says:

    I guess we have more choice dan da good ol US of A.

  4. gongtaulo says:

    Just as well there is no hard earned tax payers dosh being spent on the ’embarrassing farce.’

  5. Maugrim says:

    Will the Dems/Civic put up a candidate? I enjoyed the ‘debate’ between Tsang and Leong last time.

  6. Stephen says:

    Makes you wonder why they bother with the cost and effort of what is a farce. Does Henry the Horse, just as Sir Donald did before him, believe that because of his strategic mastermind Hui and visionary manifesto are the reasons why he is “elected” (selected) as CE? It’s quite sad really.

  7. maugrim says:

    OT: reading the SCMP, we have a letter from Rhombus Lo (better than Pocari Hui last week) and on the other page, from the PLK: Human Cheung, Mrs Stevens Wong and Dr. Pollyanna Chu

  8. Nury Hitachi says:

    Yes, Mr. Human Cheung, director of the Po Leung Kuk: that one caught my eye too.

    There is a bank teller at the ICBC branch in Queen’s Road Central named…..drumroll……..Kinky Ho.

  9. Nury Hitachi says:

    Wait ! There is more…

    A plumber in Shampoo Po by the name of Lee Kee Plumbing !

    If only I could make a living writing stuff like this.

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