Tycoons humiliated as Henry obediently marches to his fate

With awkwardly grinning tycoon/bureaucrat buddies in tow, disaster-stricken Chief Executive hopeful Henry Tang submits his nomination papers and officially becomes a ‘candidate’ in what was supposed to be a carefully scripted ritual masquerading as an ‘election’. It’s as if no-one has told him that another bimbo outbreak is in the news, Regina Ip is girding her redoubtable loins, and the whole process has degenerated into a hilarious shambles. He is going through this because Beijing’s officials have told him to; if it makes him look absurd, they no doubt feel, so much the better.

One positive effect of this saga is that it leaves the media with no excuse to continue perpetuating the lie that the selection of Hong Kong’s leader has anything to do with a vote – unless you count a show of hands in the Politburo Standing Committee. The Economist’s Banyan column this week names the charade for what it is. The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, still seems to imagine that what will happen on March 25 can be termed an ‘election’ with 1,200 participants exercising a free (or indeed any) choice. To use the official nomenclature is to misrepresent the facts.

Another benefit from this mess – apart from its entertainment value – is that it has left many of our most prominent self-regarding tycoons looking, and more to the point surely feeling, like asses. While ordinary citizens may always have seen them as stooges, our ‘elite’ businessmen have never doubted their influence in high places or their entitlement to it. They are now finding out that Beijing couldn’t care less if they lose face right now. Those who live by the shoe-shine, die by the shoe-shine.

It would be tempting to hope that this whole fiasco will mark a turning point of some sort. Whatever else happens, we might think, the Central People’s Government must now have lost faith in Hong Kong’s fawning tycoons and will order the next administration to deliver more even-handed policies rather than just promote the ‘property hegemony’ of a few rent-seeking families. Anyone anticipating such a twilight of the cartel-gods should rush out and buy the latest Time Out HK, with its Hemlock mega-feature. It will be a souvenir to treasure in decades to come, as you explain to your grandchildren what life was like when 700-square foot apartments had just 530 square feet of space and there were only two supermarket chains in town.

Cynics who suspect that we may not have seen the last of the raptor-developers’ economic dominance quite yet may also find food for thought in the magazine. A fair bit, but not all, of the feature is now on-line, including the big article on how Hong Kong’s parasitical business caste rips you off and why they get away with it. It turns out to be timelier than anyone expected, thus worth a gratuitous plug.

Click to hear the Remains’ ‘You Got a Hard Time Coming’!


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26 Responses to Tycoons humiliated as Henry obediently marches to his fate

  1. Joe Jurassic (formerly known as Joe Coral) says:

    The correct expression is ‘bimbo explosion’. Ask Bill Clinton.

    Never mind…here are the latest prices….

    3-1 C Y Tyrannosaurus Leung

    5-1 Henry Stegosaurus Tang

    10-1 Jasper Velociraptor Tsang

    20-1 Rita Pterodactyl Fan

    30-1 Regina Iguanodon Ip

    Always a classic! Bet Joe Jurassic.

  2. Bimbo? That’s no bimbo. That’s the daughter of Daniel Lam Wai-keung, Vice Chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk.

    At least we know that Henry was telling the HYK the truth when he told them he understood that 3 stories of 700 sq. feet wasn’t enough lebensraum.

  3. Real Tax Payer says:

    From the Banyan Column:

    “….A second explanation is that Mr Tang is an exceptionally hopeless candidate. Few others could have managed to turn Mr Leung into the popular choice. Many in Hong Kong regard Mr Tang as incompetent and as the undeserving, privileged beneficiary of inherited wealth: the sort of amiable, vaguely trustworthy duffer who would have thrived under the British”

    Oh how true !

    Love it :-).

  4. JABB says:

    If Victor Fung get’s nudged into position, there’s a senior person at HKU who might very soon be handing-in his notice. For several years he’s played with a very straight bat – it could soon be payback time for him. Some call him The Eunuch.

  5. Mary Hinge says:

    You can tell this is a huge story when Donald Sir Bow-Tie’s cavorting in a Macau casino can’t even make it into a footnote on a Hemlock blog!

    5-1 Henry Tang? Are you mad, Joe? I predict big, big money coming in from David Li, followed in late March by a bankrupt bookmaker.

  6. Jason90 says:

    JABB – tell us more?

  7. Real Tax Payer says:

    A little baby rabbit was happily hopping along one day and suddenly bumped into a snake.

    This was the first time the baby rabbit had ever met a snake so he asked the snake : “Whatever kind of animal are you ?! ”

    “I’m a snake S-N-A-K-E” said the snake

    “But how can you walk and hop around ? You have no legs!”

    “Well” explained the snake , “ We snakes don’t walk, we sort of crawl along on the ground on our tummies”

    “But doesn’t that hurt your balls?” asked the rabbit ( he was a boy baby rabbit, but he still had big balls)

    “Snakes don’t have balls” explained the snake, blushing somewhat.

    “Oh” said the rabbit, looking somewhat puzzled .

    Then after a pause he asked:

    “But crawling along on the ground like that… doesn’t your mouth get all full up with dust and crap ?”

    “We snakes keep our mouths closed when we crawl . We only open our mouths to eat” replied the snake.

    “Oh” said the rabbit again . And went off deep into thought

    Then the rabbit remembered the copy of the HK Standard he had seen recently on a rubbish tip , so he asked the snake:

    “You say you don’t walk, but instead crawl. You also say that when you crawl your keep your mouth shut. You also say you have no balls…..”

    “…….Are you by any chance that man who hides behind his wife they call Henry Tang ?”

  8. FB3 says:

    Very tempted to read the online version but I think its better to support this brave move by Time Out & buy the hard copy.

    Does anyone know if there is a Chinese blog similar to Hemlock (same issues etc), I cant read Chinese but am curious to know if these farcical issues are discussed elsewhere.

  9. maugrim says:

    I find the whole thing very disappointing. Even though you ‘can’t polish a turd’ it seems you can elect one as your leader so long as it makes money for some. Sad, very sad.

  10. FB3 says:


    you are correct, you cant polish a turd……..but you can sprinkle it with glitter!

  11. Believer says:

    Hung Like Wan Henri has always been in bed with the NT mafia.. ….anymore room at the trough? …what a bimbo

  12. Stephen says:

    I am just a little surprised why China has yet to give the word to all fall in behind CY Leung?

    1. Seems to have public approval;
    2. Slavishly obedient to Beijing;
    3. Seems to have a plan.

    However he doesn’t have tycoon and civil service approval. So what?

    What about for once Beijing doing something for the average Hong Konger and telling the civil service and tycoons to back CY and be done with it. They may find their popularity rise a little. However if HK has to wake up every morning for the next 5 years to that grinning Horse they will not be pleased knowing Beijing was perfectly able to stop it.

  13. Walter De Havilland says:

    @Stephen. Not sure that the Civil Service has a say. It certainly has no votes on the election committee. I suppose what you mean by civil service is the upper echelon because no one is interested in the opinions Pinkie WONG, the typist from Drainage Services Department.

  14. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Stephen

    I agree 100% and so I have now officially signed up to support CY’s election campaign.

    CY’s campaign director is Fanny Law : an honest ex-civil servant who – if my memory is correct – had the decency to resign in the good ole days of Tung when people in govt DID take responsibility for their mistakes and “honor” meant something.

    Balls to the civil service . My taxes pay their sky high salaries ( but it seems they are in for a well-deserved pay cut soon). They either do their job or get fired.

    As for the tycoons, if CY wins I think I will stand outside the Fook Lam Moon ( aka the Fuk Tycoon) at lunchtimes with a big placard saying ” na na na na na – look who’s laughing now. Hope our new CE cuts off your balls as as well as your land privileges ”

    In the meantime Lord Tang of the Cellar (talk about digging himself into a hole in more than a figurative sense!) march bravely on to what I hope is your sacrificial execution on the altar of public opinion. ( and just to prove that your awful grin is in fact plastic surgery molded onto your face – let’s hope it stays there as you are hung drawn and quartered )

    PS : I heard on the grapevine that Don the U-turn Duck was not only spotted dining in Macau with some tycoons, but has also been seen dining with the awful J “electricity’ Lau. Don my boy, you better watch out what company you keep. See what brown-nosing the tycoons did to enery’s integrity … and reputation.

  15. Big Al says:


    Speaking of Pinky the Typist, I wonder how many “Typists” are still employed in our wonderful civil service? Several hundred, I would guess, who have had nothing to type since the late 1980s when typewriters were replaced by PCs, which were not part of their job description. I guess, this just reinforces the old saying “Q: How many people work in Hong Kong goverment? A: About a third”. Boom, boom!

  16. Cyril Servant says:


    The observations in brackets are neither funny nor apposite. Suggest to dele.

  17. PropertyDeveloper says:

    I’d put Henry at much better than 5-1 — say evens?

  18. Joe Blow says:

    @Big Al

    That reminds me of a civil servant-architect who once told me he starts work every day at 10 AM. I asked me him if his boss didn’t mind. “No” he replied, “my boss never gets in before 10.30 AM”. (true story)

  19. Real Tax Payer says:

    Hot off the press…

    “Scandal-plagued chief executive contender Henry Tang Ying-yen formally became a candidate in the race for the top job on Tuesday, after electoral officials confirmed his nomination.”

    What a moniker !

    @ Cyril Servant : sorry there’s no way to delete a comment on these pages

    Are you by chance one of the civil servants which my salary goes to pay for? I have nothing against civil servants if they : a) do their job properly b) use their staff resources sensibly * c) stay out of politics**

    * see today’s SCMP Laisee ( Howard Winn) – second article

    ** ibid – first article

  20. Joe Jurassic (formerly known as Joe Coral) says:








  21. Wanchai Dreamer says:


    If we are talking about a positive payback for this person then Hong Kong may be in trouble of a different kind. HKU is a plane crash just waiting to happen, which is not surprising as it’s just a smaller version of the kinds of self-interest and myopia that are slowly but surely destroying HK. Where were/are so many of our illustrious AOs trained? There is not just a cancer in the body politic. The institutions that should be producing imaginative and critical minds imbued with certain principles and willing to express these openly are failing us badly, none more so than the flagship university. On the bright side I suppose HKU cannot be blamed for the lemming HT!

  22. Incredulous says:

    I think this is all part of a cunning plan by the boys up north:

    1) Get all the tycoons neatly lined up grinning with anticipation that their boy ‘enry is made of teflon and all poised to keep on filling their endless troughs.
    2) Neatly shaft them all at the last minute and put CY in the job.

    China has it’s own tycoons now and therefore there’s no need for the lackeys that conveniently switched sides after the handover.

  23. Real Tax Payer says:

    As a last call late tonight :

    1. I appreciate the earthy wisdom here in the Big Lychee

    2. There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye

    3. BJ is a darn sight more clever ( and devious) that one might think

    4. BJ has HK’s best interests at heart because HK is now part of China and HK has a crucial role to play in China for the next few decades, not least of which is how to develop democracy in China without starting a second CR or Tiananmen

    @ Incredulous : I can well believe your scenario . Many thanks. That’s just the way BJ works – ruthless but also ruthlessly efficient. There’s over 7 million HK PIDs but only a handful of nasty tycoons ( whom BJ probably hates as much as we do )

    The word “Machiavellian” comes to mind

    I bet BJ knew all about enery’s wine cellars long ago and was just waiting to plant the hint to the press, when it would most tip the balance in favor of CY

    Why do I support CY ? Not because BJ may have designed the whole CElection process to put him in as the last minute winner ( if indeed that’s the case … (long time to go till 25 March !) and I don’t back anyone just because I think it’s BJ’s bidding. But because CY represents (IMHO) CHANGE for the better and the kind of guy I’d like to cheer for. I mean REALLY CHEER for !. Whereas ole enery is the kind of weasel I hate I mean REALLY HATE* because he epitomises all that is WRONG in HK ( see Time Out / Hemmers)

    Well .. time will tell. These days a day in politics is a week/month/ year

    * enery – if you are reading this, which I’m sure you are not – I don’t hate YOU, HENRY TANG THE PERSON. I just hate everything you have been brought up/ coached up / coddled up/ pushed -up/ brown-assed-up / colluded-up … TO BE Thus I pity you. But I admire your loyal and steadfast wife, good lady as she is (you don’t deserve her) and I have every sympathy with the poor girl in the latest gossip pics, who must now be cringing every time her pretty pic is flashed on the screen.

    Really – must politics be so disgustingly and personally dirty?

    Full marks for CY to stay above this awful muck-raking

  24. Baldleon says:


    Too good to be true?

  25. Resigned says:

    Hooray for communism after all!

  26. Incredulous says:

    RTP your point 4) nails it.

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