HKG Chief Executive Race: Dinner and a Date – With the Triad

Another day, another scandal involving the candidates for Hong Kong Chief Executive post. With two weeks to go before the election it appears the mudslinging is reaching epic proportions. Hong Kong’s first taste of democracy is fast becoming a little unpleasant.

Yesterday two of the candidates for the role went on the attack in a debate organised by the South China Morning Post. CY Leung started by blaming Henry Tang for mishandling concert events in 2003 and then blaming a junior executive. HarbourFest was supposed to underpin a global return of tourism after the SARS crisis. Instead it was poorly organised and under-attended. In the end a public inquiry was held to better understand the high cost over-runs.

To counter Tang accused Leung of lacking the administrative experience necessary to run Hong Kong’s government. Leung rightly claimed that experience as an administrator is not what’s required to be a leader.

This mudslinging turns out to be a warm-up act.

On Friday Henry Tang reported to the police as he felt intimated that triad was involved in a smear campaign against him.

On Saturday, several election committee members from Heung Yee Kuk held a press conference to clarify questions surrounding their dinner with Leung’s camp in Lau Fau Shan last month.  The committee members gave a different account of the story than Lew Mon-hung, a core supporter of Leung who reportedly has a relationship with triad leader Kwok Wing-hung.  The committee members said Kwok had been invited to the dinner by Leung’s camp but Lew said Kwok showed at the dinner uninvited.  Lew also said the dinner was lined up by Heung Yee Kuk’s vice chairman Lam Wai-keung but Lam denied it.

It was a busy weekend at the police station. Last night, members of Leung’s election office including Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fan (羅范椒芬), Kaizer Lau Ping-cheung (劉炳章) and Karen Tang Shuk-tak (鄧淑德) went to the police and the ICAC to explain what had happened at that dinner.  Law said they proactively approached the departments to provide information on the incident as misleading and inaccurate comments had been given by different parties recently.  She reiterated that the election office did not know Kwok and had no relation with any triad members.  They also did not know in advance who would join the dinner with Heung Yee Kuk voters.  Law declined to comment on Lew’s remarks given on the issue. (See HKGElection blog by Kreab Gavin Anderson.)

Given the traffic this past weekend, perhaps Hong Kong Police need to consider upgrading their front entries.

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