The copy comes here - including a lot of other parts regarding our "hopeful CE candidates"+ our existing one - have a nice reading:
The Hong Kong Chief Executive ‘election’ shock-horror outrages du jour are: a) aides of CY Leung attended a Heung Yee Kuk dinner at which a former triad boss was present; and b) the (or a) much-discussed alleged illegitimate offspring of Henry Tang may have resulted from a liaison while the textiles scion was at high school in the UK.
These are, of course, non-stories, and signs that the quality of scandal flying around Hong Kong over the last couple of months is undergoing a disappointing decline. Whoever is spreading the night-soil around is starting to scrape the bottom of the bucket.
The fact is that if you go to a Heung Yee Kuk event and no New Territories mafia are around – that’s major news. Indeed, you’d probably be on your own. Everyone knows that.
Similarly, if you send your precious little prince or princess to one of those pricy, oh-so-high-class boarding schools in our former colonial motherland, the kid will soon discover the delights of rutting like crazy between piano classes and remedial Chinese tuition. The brochures portray British education as neo-gothic architecture, sprawling green playing fields and bright-eyed young exam-passers in smart uniforms. What they don’t mention is Europe’s highest rates of teenage pregnancy, abortion and venereal disease, not to mention all the booze and drugs.
On a more positive note, we are reliably informed that our current Chief Executive, high-living victim of maliciously-triggered corruption probes Donald Tsang, has the full backing of the Central People’s Government. Such support is not automatic. The nation’s leaders can obliquely indicate disapproval by failing to mention you or by lavishing praise on your counterpart in Macau, or they can be blunt and openly say you’re useless.
Even if the mud-slinging now dies down (sob) for want of new ammunition, the question remains: who is behind all these leaks, or at least the initial disclosures that prompted retaliatory dirt-digging? We can still only presume that the Central Government’s Liaison Office in Western must have had a hand. Guiding the Chief Executive selection process is the emperor’s prerogative, and no local pro-Beijing player would have the audacity to usurp it. The chaos and division resulting from the revelations also point to the same incompetents who were surely behind the vote-rigging in last November’s District Council polls, which at least partially backfired. As for why: maybe Beijing wants a tighter grip ahead of ‘universal suffrage’ in 2017, or maybe the local Hong Kong and Macau Affairs officials have simply been trying too hard to impress their bosses back home (either way they have some explaining to do).
A more convoluted theory involves joining up the dots backwards. Beijing – it goes – has orchestrated Donald’s downfall. This is partly just to avenge the time he (quite likely) threatened to resign unless the Chinese state made its unprecedented concession to the pro-democrats on political reform. But it is mainly a counterattack after Sir Bow-Tie’s administration tried to smear CY Leung with its inept pair of press releases one (very long) month ago. And that was an attempt to rescue Henry after Beijing pulled the plug on him after/with the basement fiasco and decided to make CY the next CE. The fact that this de facto tussle between the Communist Party and Hong Kong’s tycoon-bureaucrat clique would have been fought by proxy doesn’t make it hugely more believable. But it’s fun. Asia Times, fountain of truth, accuracy and impartiality, has more.
Another idea is that Donald is nobly taking the heat off Henry, by distracting attention from the spoilt rich-kid’s misdoings (and wouldn’t it be typical of a spoilt rich-kid to make his low-born, cop’s son buddy do that?) This of course is the opposite of the Asia Times theory, which has Sir Bow-Tie’s jet-setting helping rather than hurting CY. Take your pick.
One factor we cannot ignore is the role of Hong Kong’s famously free press. Although local actors would never openly pre-empt Beijing’s own meddling, some of them can no doubt interfere unseen through the media. And let’s not forget the role of the masses. It is no secret that waiters, hotel workers, emergency services personnel, and hospital, airport and other minions in Hong Kong can augment their humble incomes quite nicely with one call to our grubbier newspapers. What we have been seeing is Mainland officials thinking that they could manipulate the local media, only to find that it’s not that simple, and the press even end up in charge. It has been hilarious, and we can only trust that the cadres will go back up north with a newfound respect and admiration for the role played in a free society by the fourth estate.