When in a 2,400 sq ft hole, stop digging

Owners of illegal structures the length and breadth of Hong Kong are overcome with both envy and admiration on learning that Chief Executive aspirant Henry Tang’s ‘cellar’ is – if the rumours and leaks are true – a 2,400 sq ft luxury subterranean citadel-den. Excitable newspapers offer artists’ impressions showing an unauthorized sacred river running through caverns measureless to man, or hundreds of uniformed men preparing to launch a laser weapon into space to blackmail the world.

Actually, it looks more than a little vulgar: a gym, a home theatre, a ‘Japanese bath’ and of course the wine stash – next to a tasting room (no doubt with copies of Asian Golfer and a black leather Bang & Olufsen spittoon in the corner). Drawing on every ounce of his clueless rich-kid dumbass persona, Henry is good-naturedly brushing it off; work on the basement has been going on for years, all handled by some other family member, the Buildings Department will sort it out, and so on. If he had esprit, he would defiantly assert every free man’s right to build a basement downstairs provided it harmed no-one else, but alas it won’t happen.

All we need now is the rumoured photos of illegitimate offspring to make their long-awaited appearance, and Henry’s hopes and dreams will lie in pieces. Or so many chatterers would like to think.

He has long set his heart on being CE (no-one who saw it will ever forget the look of stunned grief on his face that day nearly seven years ago when we all learned Donald Tsang was to replace Tung Chee-hwa at the top). And he has shown, through his rather carefree approach to such campaign minutiae as policy platforms and debates, that he assumes the job is his. With nominations underway, and no obvious substitute available, Beijing and Hong Kong’s pro-Henry establishment have little choice but to tough it out. The South China Morning Post suggests that Mainland officials have passed word to the tycoons to keep their heads down and not publicly back Henry. Nature – the Communist Party’s nature, that is – will take its course, and that stuff about public opinion tossed aside. Like a cancer scare, a fleeting vision in our mind of CY Leung taking power should jolt us into acceptance.


With such bizarreness going on, it seems only natural that the aptly named Time Out magazine vanished yesterday from store shelves and display racks. So far as I can gather, an ‘erroneous’ version of the February 15 edition – omitting material that could be construed as critical of tycoons – mysteriously appeared briefly in a few stores and then disappeared. Keep it for posterity and eBay if you got one.  (I think I’ve been reading the ‘erroneous’ version of the SCMP for years.) The ‘correct’ edition – complete with the Hemlock tycoon feature – should be out today. I’ve no idea what’s going on, but maybe someone of an exceptionally nervous disposition got cold feet. Or perhaps it’s all an elaborate stunt to create buzz and generate sales, in which case I fear raised expectations. We shall see. As I said yesterday, photos of it in Park N Shop would be a delight. (Or anywhere…)

Click to hear ‘Anything Goes’ by George Melley with John Chilton’s Feetwarmers!

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26 Responses to When in a 2,400 sq ft hole, stop digging

  1. Sir Crispin says:

    Who the hell cares if Henry has a basement? What is it with the obsession about peoples “illegal’ structures? Surely, the government could implement an permit scheme to easily handle . . . wait, never mind. Asked and answered.

  2. Spud says:

    Henry’s wife is either in line for flippin great wadges of cash or a GBM or both. After forgiving him over the affairs and sprogs she now gets the blame for the basement. Probably she was also the one who came up with the wine duty removal scheme as well.

  3. Real Tax Payer says:

    Now let me get this straight Mr T :

    1. There definitely isn’t a cellar under No. 7

    2. And if there is a cellar, the pilings for No 7 were not deliberately driven deeper than authorized to accommodate a cellar

    3. If there is a cellar ( which there isn’t) it’s certainly not being used to store wine . It’s just being used to store groceries

    4. But if there is a cellar ( which there isn’t) and if was being used to store groceries ( which it isn’t, but it could be ) , even that’s not possible because it’s full up of sand

    5. Someone in your household arranged and supervised the construction of the non-existent cellar

    6. But you are not sure exactly who in your household arranged all this, so you cannot say who. ( But it wasn’t your previous mistress , because she never existed , as neither does – sorry DID the cellar)

    7. The cellar – if it exists – which it doesn’t – is not being used to bury any remaining skeletons in your cupboards e.g undeclared offspring

    I see…….. well that’s very interesting Mr T. Thanks being so forthcoming and for showing your backbone and broad shoulders over this

    Now just two other questions Mr T:

    1. The SCMP yesterday in its leader had the effrontery to call into question your honesty and integrity over this matter. But I assume that the leader did not in fact exist, ( same as your cellar) as neither did the Govt’s press announcement clearing CY Leung of all suspicion of wrong-doing. Ah – we all suffer from bad memories these days

    2. Now about that report we heard about pots and pans being thrown around and vases being smashed at 5A last night amid loud shouts of ” what the f**k do you think you were doing digging that cellar ?” and ” you told me to do it” , and ” where’s my f**ing wine stash now ? I hope not at the bottom of the pool”
    Domestic violence is not condoned these days. You should know that Mr T

  4. Revolution says:

    Interesting to see the likes of Miriam Lau criticising Henry in the press today. Add this to the prohibition on the Robber Barons speaking up for Henry, and you wonder whether Beijing is privately casting around for another candidate at the 11th hour…

    Let’s hope it’s not Regina Ip.

  5. foamier says:

    I have just discovered that a “religious subsector” forms part of the 1,200 electoral committe, with 60 votes of its own. WTF! People who believe in fairies have more say in the selection of the Chief Execrable than those who don’t!

  6. Jon Dica says:

    At least Henry’s a man of the people, stinky tofu and all:


    “Once my grandpa gave me a new bean shooter that quickly turned our home into a battlefield. At that time, my father’s friend arrived at our home with a young girl. I asked the girl to wait outside because I wanted her to help with my experiment. While I had my fun, the girl cried from the pain of the bean but she never got mad at me. In those days, the little girl often wore a pony-tail, and that girl is Lisa Kuo.”

    Experimenting at an early age: “While I had my fun, the girl cried from the pain of the bean” – bit obvious as a metaphor, eh? Eww.

  7. maugrim says:

    The whole saga involving Tang is a disgrace on so many levels. I wonder if he will sue the builder/designer? What? 2,400 square feet? I paid for 3,000 square feet. I wonder if the fucker was told that the swimming pool/shark tank/angry bass pond was included in the quoted square footage pertaining to his bedroom, and oh, it is bigger if you knock down a couple of walls and the doors as well.

    Apparantly the child in question is allegedly a male. Allegedly there is a ‘second family’ to boot. Speaking of which, time to boot these leeches out of our leadership!

  8. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Jon Dica

    I thought what you wrote was joke till I checked the website…

    Well , to continue in the same theme 🙂

    “I recall how mischievous I was as a CS. Once I snuck out of my Legco seat while the CE (whom we all called Donald Duck) had his back turned to the Civil Service while he was writing the new rules about “looking into whether we have illegal structures at home” But he forgot to tell us to come back and tell us if we did ….so I didn’t. (Tee hee hee, silly old Donald. Mike Suen got away with the same tricky little trick) So I erased everything old Duckie had written at the time and thought I could get away with it . Consequently, I was recently caught out and punished and asked to stand outside the election for the new CE for my naughty deed. My parents were then called to the school and as a result I received a well deserved spanking at home.

    But I didn’t care, because I still had my wine, and my wine cellar ( oops … sorry NO cellar – Lisa told me not to mention it any more , just the duty free wine )

  9. groot oore says:

    Entertaining to see Mary Ma in the Sub Standard contorting herself (itself …?) in an attempt to downplay the Horseman’s activities while trying to elevate those of CY.

    But who really gives a crap either way. As David Webb said at the FCC lunch the other day, the choice is who will do the least damage to HK, rather than who is the best person to run the place.

  10. Josef Fritzl says:

    Very interesting design. I always wanted one like that.

  11. Walter De Havilland says:

    When Henry said the Heung Yee Kuk could have 9 floors on their village houses I did not realise he meant 9 floors underground!

  12. Adrian says:

    I’m sorry I have to ask (because I assume its a joke, though this is HK after all), but is this really ‘enry’s “official” website?



  13. jing says:

    Guys, the site is for REAL.

    Where’s Alice with the sick bag?

  14. Henry says:

    I am in shock over wearetommorrow.com. It looks like it’s written by a seven year old. Anyone, but anyone, Politburo members, robber barons, DAB members, surely would not risk their reputations by backing someone who had (allegedly) written this drivel.

    Tung Chee Hwa never looked so good. It might just be time for me to retire to a corner of the world where people who write such nonsense are sectioned, not made leader.

  15. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Revolution

    This all must be getting to me in a bad way …..

    The last few sundays Regina Ip’s op-eds have started to make SENSE ( or at least more sense than the nonsense on all other sides)

    Now that is worrying indeed

    Think I need a very stiff G&T ( or a long holiday )

    Or a loboscomy…

  16. Adrian says:

    From Henry’s website: “As the only Chinese student in my boarding school, my tutoring ability won me many great friendships.” Just one of far too many examples.

    Section Henry now, he is completely delusional!!

  17. Josef Fritzl says:

    And to zink I had to put up with zis:


    Has anyone seen Herr Tang’s daughters recently?

  18. Real Tax Payer says:

    In Kowloon Tong did Henry Tang
    A stately cellar-home decree
    Where wine the sacred spirit ran
    From bottles measureless to man
    Down to the golfing tee

    So twice his house was underground !
    With pool and gym were girdled round
    And wine racks gleaming bright with glass
    A Japan bath for Henry’s ass
    But oh! That deep dark chasm beckoned
    Down the path to non- selection
    With Sharp Daily he’d not reckoned
    Lost the new CE election ?
    Now at night in drinking cover
    Linda wailing for her lover

  19. maugrim says:

    Some good posts RTP.

  20. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Nice poem!

    In my humble abode I put a panelled wooden door on the fusebox cupboard which is under the stairs, and left off the handle to stop people nosing around. Now I know why everyone’s so interested in it.

  21. Ramerkang says:

    Nobody votes for laughing stock, do they? Except clowns perhaps …

  22. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Maugrim et al

    My pleasure 🙂

    Haven’t had so much fun for years. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Taking the piss out these puffed up ***holes makes up for all the piss they have have been peeing on us for years

    BTW: the tycoon-busting “Time Out” ( correct version) has now hit the streets ( just bought my copy) , but NOT in 7/11.

    You’ll have to go to the private news vendors ( but not the one in front of the Fook Lam Moon )

    PS : Guess we should be grateful for small mercies… if this was S’Pore , Hemmers would by now be dying death by a thousand cuts and all of who comment would be subject to 100 lashes and prison for life

  23. Incredulous says:

    RTP – you have me and my wife in hysterics! Truly hilarious stuff.

  24. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Incredulous


    I’ll work on the 2nd stanza of Coleridge tomorrow depending on tonight’s news from York Road ….which so far looks pretty juicy… *

    * there was a delightful little coda to the TVB news at 7.30 PM tonight commenting that although ‘enery and Linda claimed the two houses always were/ always are / always will be separate mansions, not co-joined either on the top side nor at the lower hips… so to speak …, their little Scotch terrier who strolled with equal familiarity ‘twixt the 2 mansions seemed to think otherwise. \

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Oh man – this is PAY BACK TIME . I just love it… and so it seems does the rest of HK, which says a lot about what us tax -paying plebs REALLY think about el cheval .

    It will be even more interesting of the tycoons drop him dead like a ton of hot bricks. He may need that cellar in ways he never expected . Saves the tycoon hit men digging a hole in the NT for him.

    PS : I wonder if he will finally get a grand bauhinnia dong for the single biggest screw-up in recent history ( he should do, because that’s what all the recent grand bauhinnia dongs have been awarded for e.g Eddie the Yau / environment / air pollution )

  25. Disillusioned says:

    RTP, I think you just had your finest hour. Brilliant.

  26. Real Tax Payer says:


    The Editor of the The Lychee sincerely apologises for a typing error in yesterday’s Comments section.

    The comment should have read as follows:

    In Kowloon Tong did LISA KUO
    A stately cellar-home decree
    Where wine the sacred spirit ran
    From bottles measureless to man
    Said Henry Tang ” NOT ME! “

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