The Tony Chan soap opera – just a few more episodes to go

The rise and fall of Tony Chan seems to be about 80% complete now. It would be tempting to see the saga as a metaphor for something, but it seems to be no more than a simple morality tale: a warning of what happens when someone born to be a bartender gets ideas massively above his station.

How he reinvented himself as a feng-shui master, and how he inveigled his way into eccentric billionaire widow Nina Wang’s affections and chequebook is mercifully a bit murky. What they got up to is more graphic and stomach-churning: geomantic rituals connected with Nina’s kidnapped-presumed-dead husband Teddy; transfers of vast sums of cash; sex (please spare us the details); the naming of his son ‘Wealthee’. Then at last comes the bit we had all been waiting for: the inevitable downfall, starting with court proceedings, which Chan attended accompanied by dim-looking Western bodyguards and a ludicrous grin just begging to be wiped off his face with maximum prejudice.

Nina’s will leaving him her billions was – inevitably – forged. That alone is a serious offence. Then the Inland Revenue came round sniffing after a slice of the billions Nina had paid him for the voodoo sessions. To our understandable glee, the private jet had to go, as did the grin – goodbye Lear, goodbye leer! From what we could see, Chan’s impassive, moon-faced wife slowly started to realize deep down in her perhaps less-than-perceptive mind that this whole thing was not a dream but really happening, whatever it was.

Now we are eagerly awaiting the trials (one begins next month), the sentencing and the slamming of the prison door. In a separate drama, Wang’s family have bickered over the fate of the fortune; it now seems it will end up as some sort of charitable trust overseen by, among others, property tycoon-playboy Cecil Chao and the immortal and omniscient Ronald Arculli – all so predictable it is barely worth mentioning.

In Matthew 16:16-18, Jesus renames Simon the apostle Peter, which of course means ‘rock’, and pronounces him the foundation of the church. As if to wrest a bit of the limelight back at this juncture, Tony Chan renames himself likewise through christening at Crossroad Community Baptist Church in that land of spiritual devotion, Tsing Yi…


Evildoers who find God provoke an obvious question: is it real, or a publicity gimmick? Watergate conspirator Charles Colson spent his whole post-prison life back behind bars spreading the word among convicts. We can’t rule out the possibility that Tony/Peter Chan is genuinely distraught about the terrible things he has done and has sincerely accepted Jesus, who died for these and our other sins, into his heart. His denunciation of feng-shui as (correctly) the work of the devil suggests that he has sensed a whiff of fire and brimstone and is petrified of what awaits him in the hereafter.

But there is a problem – apparent in the picture of Chan in the Tsing Yi baptism pool. The poor bastard was born with the face of a fraud that probably not even plastic surgery could fix. The perfect lighting and composition of the photograph magnify it. Could it be that he fears Correctional Services Department congee for breakfast every day for a few years more than eternal damnation? Will a Hong Kong judge be fooled?

Of all parts of the entertainment industry (in the broadest sense), religion is especially prone to taking itself too seriously. Crossroad Community Baptist, to which the charming christening photo is credited, no doubt has its own agenda here. Rescuing a fallen celebrity villain can’t be bad for business. (Note also that the shot was taken before the dunking into the water, after which the subject would have look disheveled and basically silly, not in keeping with the image of perfection and piety.)

I declare the weekend open with an exclusive look at that baptism pool up close…

What’s underneath it? Does it protrude out of the ceiling in someone’s apartment downstairs?

Click to hear the Byrds’ ‘I am a Pilgrim’!

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12 Responses to The Tony Chan soap opera – just a few more episodes to go

  1. Bela Bart says:

    Oh thank you for digging out the full photo series. It’s really the best thing to happen in Hong Kong ever.

    They’ve had Jerry Springer The Musical. Now it’s time for a stage show with TonyPaul. Here is my preliminary casting:

    Nina Wang…..Regina Ip
    PaulTony……Jackie Chan
    The Priest….Donald Tsang
    The Barrister…Kevin Egan
    The Judge….John Tsang

    Chorus: The Pan Democrats led by Emily Lau
    Music: The League Of Social Democrats Skat Punk Vomit Band

    You arrive in Hong Kong wanting to write a novel. Then you discover you are living in a novel.

    Wouldn’t live anywhere else! Hurrah!

  2. Property Developer says:

    His inane grin, with its subliminal choirboy vaseline wouldn’t melt in my mouth glimmer, always reminded me of Stephen Chow’s: a portent?

    In other news, the next Pope but one will be an ethnic Chinese in mufti. Benedict lost his nerve while battling against the pekineses’ yapping. Remember, you read it here first!

  3. darovia says:

    “His denunciation of feng-shui as (correctly) the work of the devil suggests that he has sensed a whiff of fire and brimstone and is petrified of what awaits him in the hereafter.”
    I think it’s Exodus 22:18 that has our Tone rattled: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
    One wonders why the CC Baptists are not following their instruction manual; they would be doing us all a favour.
    On the subject of insufferable morons, can the government please do something about Albert Ho and people who don’t scoop dog poo?

  4. Maugrim says:

    Tony/Peter Chan surprises me not one iota. The juxtaposition of that grinning mountebank with a self-appointed charlatan makes me wonder about birds of a feather and how Tony/Peter knew where he should sniff out kindred spirits. BTW what’s with those robes? Perhaps the advice of the dear old nuns to sprinkle talcum powder onto one’s bath (lest one see thine naughty bits) could have been a cheaper alternative. Come to think of it, so would have been the Shing Mun river. More fun for all too. Where’s a good biblical stoning when we need one?

  5. Stephen says:

    I’ve enjoyed the whole soap opera of Teddy’s Dad v Nina, Tone v Chinachem Charitable Trust and agree we are reaching endgame for Tone and what a complete tw*t he’s been.

    Most of us given a truckful of cash would have said ‘mgoy’ and quietly slipped away to enjoy a life of luxury. But not Tone! Grinning and toothy he decided to go for the big prize – Did he honestly think Hong Kong establishment was going to give him the Chinachem property empire even if Nina did write her own will bequeathing it?

    Similar to Ted’s Dad – the High Court and Appeal Court agreed with him that Nina faked a will but in stepped the establishment and the CoFA and decreed it was all a terrible legal blunder so Nina kept Chinachem and then meets Tone and the rest is history.

    And the winners well the lawyers haven’t done badly …

  6. reductio says:

    Originally Christians got baptized in the buff, so we should be thankful for small mercies.

  7. pcrghllll says:

    Speaking of endgame, Stephen, Easter is approaching. Maybe Tony/Peter coulld sign off in a really big way on Good Friday.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    Martin Lee, lawyer and democracy saint, is rumored to have made 50 million off Nina.

  9. Sir Crispin says:

    Sorry Tony, you still lose. Pack some sunscreen for your trip to that other monotheistic lie known as hell:

    “The promise made to Simon, known as Peter, is the only passage in the Gospels where Jesus speaks of establishing a church…but his appointment to be the rock does not figure in either Mark or Luke. Their silence on something as important as Peter’s nomination as head of the [church] strongly intimates that Matthew 16:17-19 must be a secondary accretion. The lack of any mention of the church in the other Gospels, including John, also points in the same direction. In short, the words about Peter’s promotion should be credited not to Jesus, but to Matthew or his editor in AD 80 or later.”
    – Professor Geza Vermes

  10. Sir Crispin says:

    “Sorry, I’m afraid we don’t have any toilets. If you’d read your Bibles, you would know it is ‘damnation without relief.'”

  11. P.A. Crush ( Sha Tin)... yes the real one! says:

    Has that water in the baptism pool been tested by the Heath Department for coliform bacteria?

    A piece of Shxt like that, sitting in the pool, must surely have left some unpleasant odours.

  12. Real Tax Payer says:


    RTP is back, but only because RTP is no longer in China where the Big Lychee is VERBOTEN on-line wise (Same same as Youtube)

    However, I can get the SCMP on line in China and I laughed myself silly at the T. Chan baptism farce

    If T Chan really is serious about his baptism, let him renounce all his earthly possessions, give all to charity – after paying off his lawyers, admit to forging the will (“mea culpa” / Fair Cop / I DID FORGE IT … )

    PLEASE spare the tax payer like me the cost of any f*****g trial) , go to prison and do his bit to make road signs for the next 20 years

    And if those SHK ruffians and Raffy Hui have any sense of conscience, then PLEAD F*****G GUILTY and please spare me the cost of fighting your f********g UK silks in court with even more expensive govt-hired silks ( hey – isn’t one of the guilty Kwoks aka Thomas / the one with the funny nose / also a supposed “born again” Christian ? )

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