A Henry Tang sympathizer – however statistically improbable

A heartfelt conversation in a Starbucks this morning reveals that at least one person in Hong Kong feels deep sympathy for Henry Tang. Despite being groomed from back in the 1990s as Tung Chee-hwa’s likely successor, Henry lost out in 2005 when Beijing suddenly dumped the Crop-Haired One and installed mild-mannered and mildly competent pen-pusher Donald Tsang. After waiting patiently and loyally for seven more years, Tang has the position offered him on a plate only to fumble it up with one of the most memorable displays of public grotesquery the Big Lychee has ever had the pleasure to witness.

It is the twofold dashing of Henry’s hopes that makes the tale such a moving and tragic one, to my (female, it probably goes without saying) companion. The sight of tears welling up in his eyes on Sunday after the votes were counted was almost too much to bear. She even clutches a tissue herself as she recounts the shocking heartlessness of her husband, who it seems looked upon the scene with undisguised glee – like 7 million others. Pity, remorse and sadness for Henry. I have seen everything.

Now we wait to see who and what CY ‘Will Tackle Property Tycoons’ Leung actually is. Will he prove to be a long-overdue Thatcher-style reformer who eats vested interests for breakfast, turns a moribund society round and ends up being hated by everyone for it? Or would he prefer to go down in the history books as a slimy turncoat who delivers his fellow-citizens into Singapore-style, Communist Party-approved white terror, abolition of civil liberties and Stalinist economic planning? Or some sort of in-between hodgepodge that pleases no-one? At the very least, can we be rid of the sort of policymaking ridiculousness that requires average-earning Hong Kong people to send their kids to substandard schools while subsidizing a college restricted to the very rich to the tune of HK$600 million?

CY might prove effective where education is concerned. I’m not sure exactly what happened during his chairmanship of the Council at City University – something to do with a veterinary school, and, inevitably, remuneration for the publicly funded staff. If he had done evil, it would have been included in the West Kowloon, Triad and other smears aimed at him in the last couple of weeks. Instead, his detractors didn’t mention it, almost as if the decisive action that produced such wailing on the campus reminded them of their own inadequacies where governance is concerned.

On the subject of inadequacy, it comes to my notice that ‘certain people’, as Mainland leaders like to say, are doubting the accuracy of the Hemlock crystal ball that forecast Henry to be CE. The prediction was a dead cert (apart from the assumption that Beijing would flag the winner at an earlier stage), and indeed made allowances for a meteorite-style extreme change of circumstances. The Time Out feature used the example of Henry being eaten by a panda bear. Statistically, this was more probable than being caught with an illegal basement and taking PR advice to blame it on his wife. And you have to be really stupid to get eaten by a panda.

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21 Responses to A Henry Tang sympathizer – however statistically improbable

  1. Bela Lugosi says:

    Blow Henry! But there’s probably a queue!

    Now to the issue of the day…

    It’s pretty safe to say that when CY looks as if he is bowing, he’s actually lacing up his steel-capped boots.

    Hurrah. Hong Kong has a real politician at last – a man who can come from nowhere, garner popular support, get down and dirty, stick the knife in and keep his enemies closer than his friends.

    Wake up and smell the garlic, my children. You wanted politics and politics is what you have.

    I love seeing the tycoons chase the devil of CY’s subservience to Peking (which doesn’t exist) and welcoming his warming to the Civil Service (which also doesn’t exist). There is enough meat in both stories to keep the Democrats and the media in general chewing at the same time.

    Something does exist of course – the fact that Peking will warm to CY the more he beats down the Civil Service and the tycoons, which he has in fact promised to do. CY won’t be visiting the representatives of Central Government. They will be sending him bouquets. As will we.

    The demise of Tang told us clearly that inbreeding and red wine and an assured income have made the tycoons not only dim but downright stupid.

    Watch for the false rabbits and only trust the rabbits which actually come out of the hat. You always smile at people you are going to sack. The British do that and so does CY.

  2. maugrim says:

    Add to the above the look on Tang’s face when Tsang was announced as CEO. The sheer fact that in HK, even Tang himself felt he was a lay down misere, actually, more than that, that he was ‘destined’ to be crowned CEO says it all and speaks volumes.

    We have a Civil Service who have to hold a press conference decrying the rumour that they won’t serve under Leung. The sheer arrogance of those who feel they ‘run’ this city and smugly have the next 20 years all worked out. Well, I for one know that it wont be all beer and skittles by any margin and yes, its the July 1st March in one to two years time that’s likely to be the biggie, but Im happy to see the usual vested interests being made to ponder about the possibility of a slightly different Hong Kong emerging. Its nothing to do with Tesco whoever being here, its about how our Government thinks, plans and acts.

  3. Real Tax Payer says:

    Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

  4. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ BL

    Sometimes you come on too strong but I do get your drift, which is what I generally agree with

    HK has hit the “Tipping Point”

    REDA did their own self-opinion poll in late 2010 and either the consultants lied or REDA did not believe what was written. Basically the report should have said ” your image sucks” ( for “S” read “F” )

    So BJ did not dare to stuff tang and all the evil he and the tycoons stand for down our noses for another 5 years.

    Clinically executed, just as in Chongqing

    The CCP really knows how to punch where it counts , which is why RTP sincerely believes in the CCP who are working for the ultimate betterment of 1/4 of the World’s Population

    No – I don’t carry a red card, because I am a Lao Wai.

    But I would if I could

  5. Probably says:

    Was the Hemlock crystal ball mistaken, or was it clouded, along with all the tycoons, by Beijing’s subtly brialliant plan to halt the tycoon’s hegemony in Hong Kong before wider elections in 2017 which CY is now in pole position to win on their behalf?

    But did Beijing have CY’s victory planned all along for the last couple of years? They surely lulled the property tycoons into a false sense of security by offering the CE job to Henry with the full knowledge that he would screw up and CY would waltz in? It appears that the penny only dropped for the nice-but-dim Henry a couple of weeks ago when he lost his rag and by then it was all too late.

    All this proves is that Beijing can still control elections – it just needs a bit of long term planning.

    What the tycoon’s have to remember is that they can collude with Beijing all they like to try to keep things the way that suits them best but ultimately there is only one boss for HK and it ain’t them. We are a colony.

    And the tip for the day for CY to build bridges with a suspicious general public – why not – rather than have them sitting with speed cameras on bridges over accident free 3 lane highways – have police pull over all commercial vehicles with exhaust smoke that is obviously over the legal limit and either carry out an on-the-spot measure (simple hand held meters to do this are relatively inexpensive and the test takes a few seconds). Either that or escort the offender directly to a testing station.

    At present, if smoky commercial vehicles are pulled over or reported they are given a few days to go to a testing station, by which time the vehicle owner has temporarily “fixed” the issue only for it to be returned to normal right after passing the test. Another simple measure CY could pull off immediately, improving the quality of HK life without spending a fortune.

    BTW there are simple ways to define whether a vehicle can be pulled over by Police such as a continuous 4 second “belch” of black smoke rather than a puff.

  6. Big Al says:

    Listening to those snivel servants yesterday makes me wonder, yet again, what exactly is “civil service morale” and why it seems that it must be maintained at all costs. As far as I can see, civil service morale is directly proportional to how much they are paid and inversely proportional to how much responsibility they have to take.

    Here in the private sector, no-one gives a fuck about staff morale – if you don’t like it, tough. I hope CY wades into the civil service wielding his leather handled scrotum club and gives them a painful lesson in reality.

  7. maugrim says:

    Probably, there is a simpler possibility. Beijing runs a ‘stable’ of a number of runners so to speak. One mount is preferred, however, if it stumbles, they can live with the stablemate left on its feet winning. The unthinkable situation would be a horse from a different stable winning, which is why Beijing always wants to have the odds in their favour.

  8. Chopped Onions says:

    Repeal the law that allows developers the right to buy after they have acquired 80% of a building,no man should be forced to sell his house unless its unsafe
    Restrict the hours that construction sites in residential areas can operate,7am to 7pm is ridiculous, and restrict the noise they generate.
    Bring in a law that prevents landlords from rising the rent by more than 10%,especially if it means a business will close down and people will lose their jobs
    Bring in a monopoly law
    Invest more in education and sporting facilities for the next generation

    there thats just for starters….

  9. Aghast says:

    Women, eh?

    Thank God for real men like Big Al, Dark Knight, Maugrim, and the Adams Family, all sweaty over CY and ‘his leather handled scrotum club’, ‘getting down and dirty’.

    Can’t wait for ‘the long overdue reformer’ to ‘take decisive action’ and ‘stick a knife up that small circle’, ‘mate’.

    If you don’t like it, tough. A hard man is good to find.

  10. Old Bill says:

    @Probably. Police don’t deal with smoky vehicle enforcement. The matter was handed over to the Environmental Procrastinating Department some years ago, along with all the testing kit. EPD promptly stopped on-street enforcement and retreated to the office.

    I remember being told that EPD could not do enforcement because a risk assessment revealed it was too dangerous for them to be on a road stopping traffic, never mind the danger to the rest of us from the filth they allow in the air.

  11. PropertyDeveloper says:

    @ Probably: didn’t Peking promise to “take into account” public opinion while the Horse was the front runner? The leaks then called their bluff, meaning the leaks may have come from a HK patriot, as distinct from a “patriot” inside HK.

    The surprising upshot was an “election” held on Chinese soil where the result was not known in advance — proof, it was not foreseen in Hemlock’s crystal ball. For your conspiracy theory to work, there would had to have been some sort of motive for Peking not to simply engineer CY’s victory from the start.

    It’s all in fact just a sideshow to Hemlock’s other longstanding prediction, that real elections would never come to HK while the CCP was in power.

    If Aghast is a woman, and Hemlock isn’t, then they can’t both be Bela without some drastic surgery.

  12. Aghast says:

    Well, it’s always seemed to me that one of the primary uses of land is to support the construction of roads and other transportation facilities. They are essential to economic development because economic activities cannot take place on bare or inaccessible land.

    It’s a bit of a crazy dream, but maybe we could use administrative and legislative measures to implement the updating of the short-term AQOs recently announced by the Government. We could study and set medium and long term objectives, and further adopt diversified measures to reduce local air pollutant emissions to improve air quality to a level that can meet the new objectives!

    Bring on the revolution!

  13. I love articles that have titles like “Will tackle”, but with article text like “he may implement”, “could be de-emphasised over the longer term” and “will not suddenly becoming {sic} hostile.”

    And I haven’t heard this many people projecting their wishes and dreams on a politician since Obama during the primaries.

  14. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Probably

    RTP just happens to be an expert on air pollution monitoring (including hand-held meters )

    So your comment is fully endorsed by me

    For the record – RTP has probably done more to clean up the whole world’s environment ( certainly in China) than anyone else in HK today . Think Ozone layer and air-conditioners .

    Which is why I would trade off Art 23 vs our awful air any day

    Long Live CY !

    ( And BTW – by pure chance I happened to be in Wanchai outside the MTR Johnston Road exit this early afternoon just when CY made a press stop. Man did I go wild and wave to my Hero . Ring in the Changes and hang out the tycoons and their stooges )

  15. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ ALL

    I sense it’s pay- back day ( especially for Mike Rowse)

    But pay-back day gets us nowhere , except backwards

    I do sense in CY something of a true LEADER .

    ( Certainly much more of a LEADER than Tung, Tsang, Tang or Ho)

    We either love or hate leaders, but we all ( privately ) want to be LEAD.

    I recently read Julia Lovell’s ” The Opium War ”

    Amazing book – especially the end part where Ma Lovell traces the prejudice of that awful era through to the modern day thinking

    One photo stands out in that book above all others

    ” #35 Harry Parkes : sinophobe and architect of the second Anglo- Chinese War of 1856 – 60 ” ( quote, verbatim)

    A more obnoxious person I cannot imagine

    I am sure that CY will not want to go down in history 100 years later as THAT kind of evil person

    As for LKS, Cur david li, Li Shao Kee ( oh… and I forgot enery tang ) : sorry but you already wrote your history

    HK will never forget you

  16. Probably says:

    @Old Bill,

    Simply revert the power of vehicle emissions enforcement to the police. There are laws that exist and when I last looked the role of a Police Force was to enforce the law. Hence problem solved at the stroke of a pen.

    Judging by your nom de plume I’m sure you will agree?

  17. Real Tax Payer says:

    Re my previous posting For “Ma” please read ” Ms”

  18. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Hemlock

    I forgot that you predicted the chance “et” would NOT be elected was about as unlikely as his being eaten live by a Panda Bear (notice the use of capitals, where deserved )

    No one will blame you for lack of foresight

    Indeed, just the opposite : History will commend you on being part of the “tipping point” process

    I also hope that RTP in the future will be remembered as Real Tipping Point ( not as Real Tax Payer )

    I never intended it that way and as a totally paid -up REAL TAX PAYER I am working the Rating and Valuation Dept “snitch” line to snatch H. Tang esq.

    RTP has paid all his due taxes ( and RVD Rates )
    over his 30 – odd years in HK

    RTP is SERIOUSLY pissed off that a “man” who was previously our FS has been cheating on his govt rates all these past few years

    Long Live the Big Lychee.

    There’s a lot of life left in the old gal ( guy? )

    “Stand by your man” ( Lisa Kuo via Steve James on RTHK radio 3 last week)

  19. Old Bill says:

    @Probably. And therein is the problem. The AOs who run government and weld tremendous power over all of us are all about building empires, exercising power and guarding they own interests. The last thing the AOs in the EPD want to see is a bunch of cops championing the fight against air pollution.

    I’m long retired and fortunately no longer have to deal with self-important AOs, who believe they have a god-given right to rule Hong Kong. Anson CHAN is their champion and all her pronouncements are about rebuilding the powers of the AO cadre. She has no real interest in the people. That’s my rant for the day … now off a run and then yam cha.

  20. Zorro says:


    Bill, you’re right! Civil servants should be tasked with executing policies, not forming them. Micheal Suen – long past his expiry date – is still adamant on receiving his paycheck till June? Until the Audit Dep highlighted the scandalous running of the PIS, the Ed Dpt was oblivious. Ditto for the excesses in the ESF, etc, and the crazy 3-3-4 which forces all and sundry to take the Dip (A levels) so that the excess teachers – championed by the pan dems – could be utilised.

    CY, pls clean up this Dept. Bring Arthur back to continue his mission, for e.g spring cleaning of the ESF!

    Guys, look at ye crowds in Wanchai yesterday!!! Did not see the same for TCH nor DT. Patten – always aware of the photo-ops – used to pull them in when he first came.

    Ha! Ha! Aghast, you can quote all your fancy polls (unscientific) that you like but yesterday’s show was genuine genuine.

    “The Devil can quote Scripture,” as Shakespeare said.

    Off to my run now!

  21. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    When you start referring yourself in the third person in your posts, it’s time to get help.

    Or for Hemlock to implement a function for us to vote up/down comments. Some have tried subtlety, but it has not worked. Please let us be a little more direct.

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