The primary purpose of a farce, it says here, is to entertain the audience by means of “unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations … deliberate absurdity and nonsense”. Which brings us to page 12 of today’s Standard, where we are presented with two stories on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive mock-election candidates Henry Tang and CY Leung.
One story reports that ex-Chief Secretary Tang was hobnobbing with movie folk yesterday – the sort of predictable photo-opportunity he needs to do more of. He met Kung Fu star Donnie Yen and a producer we will hear more of in a moment called Stephen Shiu. Shiu’s main contribution to Hong Kong culture, or at least exports, is a 3D soft-porn film called Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy (extreme tedium, more like it). Straight from central casting he comes, with black T-shirt and podgy, pervy, camera-in-bag-on-floor-in-MTR demeanour.
Henry spouted the usual sort of drivel that the Big Lychee’s politicians come up with on such occasions, promising to ‘help’ the local film industry through investment funds, the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement and all the usual hogwash. So far, so normal.
The second story is a bit of British Murdoch tabloid-style dirt aimed at Henry’s rival. A former neighbour of the Leungs in Stanley questions whether CY is the right person to lead Hong Kong. His family was bullied, it seems, after CY’s wife put an antenna on his roof and – screaming, no less – refused to remove it. (Coded short-wave messages from Beijing? We will never know.) So rabidly did Mrs CY freak out that the poor police got dragged into it. Conclusion: “…if you cannot even manage your own family, how can you manage a city?”
The long-suffering former neighbour? Skin-flick merchant Stephen Shiu, who hastens after the Standard reporter to add how much he agrees with her media group’s disputed analysis of CY’s business and financial embarrassments, and adds, “I am a little bit scared. I would rather have a chief executive who is willing to discuss matters.”
Lest anyone still detects a Higgs Boson-size speck of subtlety, the Standard gives this story top billing.
Both candidates have been spotted visiting the Central People’s Government Liaison Office, prompting much muttering about whether the cadres saw them together or apart, gave advice or instructions on how the quasi-election campaign is to proceed, or offered tips on installing antennae on neighbours’ roofs. But that place is a black box. Sing Tao/Standard proprietor Charles Ho’s persecution of CY, by contrast, is a little ray of sunlight.