Fractured first-family frightfulness

Stan-VetNurseToday’s Standard carries a rather fetching picture of a latter-day Florence Nightingale flashing a ‘V’ sign at a patient undergoing surgery. If it were me under the knife – and I recovered to see the photo – I would be warmed and cheered by the young lady’s spirit and enthusiasm. But the nurse in question is a member of the veterinary profession, and her behaviour towards the cat on the operating table is apparently a Very Bad Thing, prompting a major outbreak of mouth-frothing among the animal-worship fraternity who have serious concerns about doctor-feline confidentiality.

From here on it all starts to go downhill.

Today’s big story is the latest sort-of-semi-unmentionable episode in the soap opera that is Leung Chai-yan. The daughter of Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung has used Facebook to tell the world about supposed suicide attempts. She has been filmed wandering around town apparently under the influence of something. She has briefly semi-dabbled in TV and movie starlet-dom. During last Sunday’s Open Day at Government House, she apparently emerged into the garden and floated in some disturbing or other manner among the crowds before being bundled away by minders. Passers-by on Upper Albert Road report strange screeches coming from the attic during the night. And now she claims her mother assaulted her and she’s leaving home…


No-one with any decency or taste will pay any attention or comment. Though we should CYLeungFB1add that the girl is of legal adult age.

It is Mrs CY, of course, who launched the Hong Kong Army Cadet Youth Detachment Corps in such dazzling style, in green uniform and jackboots, nostrils flaring and magnificent mane wafting in the breeze. (Selfie-taking animal nurses don’t stand a chance.)

It’s not the sheer prurience, assuming public figures’ troubled post-teens turn anyone on. It’s not the search for clues about our enigmatic leader’s true inner character. It’s the imagery, the zeitgeist. The dysfunctional Leung family as an allegory of Hong Kong’s cracked society. The despotic style of parenting as a metaphor for the Communist Party’s grip on its subjects. Or, for Beijing officials, Chai-yan as a reflection of Hong Kong – spoilt, rebellious, lapsing into English, corrupted by Western textbooks and in need of correcting.

I can’t resist recalling, with no little pride, that my own domestic helper more or less predicted all this some three years ago when she informed me that the incoming new CE’s wife was a ‘terminator’. That is, she fired maids repeatedly. (You need to pronounce ‘terminator’ with a Filipino stress on the final syllable and a rolled ‘r’ for the full, chilling effect.)


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14 Responses to Fractured first-family frightfulness

  1. Mark Newman says:

    The “terminator” is the same women who boasted how she dodged paying overseas fees for her Uni in UK when hubby was running for office as she arranged to be “adopted” to ensure she got home student status…allegedly…nuff said

  2. FunB3 says:

    During a regular press briefing ahead of this morning’s Exco meeting, CY Leung was asked about his daughter’s Facebook posts, to which he replied “please let us give her [Chai-yan] some space”.

    I bet her space is a lot bigger than the parents who have to raise a family in a 400 sq ft apartment.

  3. PCC says:

    I feel sorry for the girl. I feel sorry for the parents. I feel sorry for the rest of us who have to put up with the whole sorry lot of them.

  4. LRE says:

    Hemmers has it pitch perfect: The dysfunctional Leung family is a perfect metaphor for Hong Kong/Beijing relations.

    I wonder how long before the Hong Kong people follow CY Leung’s example and ragequits the PRC?

    That’s the CY Leung the daughter, not CY Leung the CE, or CY Leung the CE’s wife, or CY Leung the CE’s son. And there’s nothing creepy about your whole family being called CY Leung. Really. Trust me.

  5. Flip-Flopper says:

    CYL Jnr. “I fell, hit my spine against corner of study table …”

    Wait. Somebody in that family has a spine?

    Hemmers: “No-one with any decency or taste will pay any attention or comment.”

    Love it.

  6. Ccccrrrr says:

    Maybe your best post ever ( though what raw material!). Thank god we are not prurient.

  7. Scotty Dotty says:

    Any fractured family is a tragedy, no matter how dreadful the parents are in their public life.

    I for one hope they work it out; life’s natural order is for families to hang tight.

  8. Qian Jin says:

    This provides the most compelling evidence yet why I should never log on to a Facebook account.
    It’s such a shame that even Hemlock himself has fallen onto the slippery slope and now spends his time exploring and writing about Facebook posts retrieved from “Friends” he has never even heard of.

  9. gumshoe says:

    @qian jin

    The metaphor drawn between the Leung Family and HK Family is salient.

  10. PCC says:

    @ Scott Dotty

    God bless you.

    In my experience, it is life’s natural order for families NOT to hang tight.

    Especially if the family members all bear the same surname and first initials like some kind of demented Romanian vampire cult.

  11. Jiang Qing says:

    @Qian Jin

    Your attitude is correct, comrade.

  12. NIMBY says:

    Someone at the CE’s palace needs to be called up for abusing the Ambulance system. According to the CE’s own comments, he asked his daughter if she needed medical attention and she said no, yet they called up an ambulance anyway.

  13. inspired says:

    walking down the street today couldn’t stop mumbling terminator to myself….derminatorrrr derrrrminatorrrr derminadorrr

  14. pensadora says:

    we pinays & pinoys always accent the final syllables of 4- and 5-syllable english words because of our spanish colonial heritage, which is also why we clearly roll our Rs. and it’s normal for us to say “graduaSHON,” “contribuSHON,” “organizaSHON,” “educaSHON,” from the front of the mouth. the clever ones among us who like to mimic their brit employers learn to speak from the back of their mouths, slurring vowels and dropping consonant endings. it’s a result of globalization

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