Reaching out 'therapy' for Leung, says aide
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's meet-the-people sessions are a kind of therapy, key supporter Barry Cheung Chun-yuen writes as a co-author in a book to be released at this year's Book Fair.
Reaching out to residents was not a publicity stunt but rather Leung's 'secret cure for pressure' during his election campaign, says the executive councillor who also headed Leung's campaign office.
'Whenever he was tired or faced pressure, he would suggest to campaign office members about going out to meet citizens,' Cheung writes. 'He's not putting up a show - very often he did not tell the media about the visits. He really enjoyed the interactions.'
In the book Zero Distance to C.Y., Cheung shows his humorous side by describing a scene after Leung won the election when the chief executive and Cheung were chatting as they flashed a thumbs-up sign. They weren't, as viewers might have thought, congratulating each other about the win.
Leung was in fact saying, 'Barry, can you step a bit further away? It's so hot here!'
The new leader's wife, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, another co-author, tells how a citizen lent her mascots to guard against evil spirits at a time when Leung faced challenges.
A lot of strange items were sent to Leung during the campaign, she writes. So when she asked her maid to take a pot of soup to her husband, officers did not let their guard down and phoned her to confirm that the soup was indeed from her.
She also talks about the strong character of campaign director Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun. While Leung was usually first in the queue at public events, he would be surpassed by Fan whenever she was present.
Mak Kwok-wah, a deputy director of the campaign team, says in the book that Leung repeatedly demanded that the team not be associated with vicious attacks against other chief executive candidates.
Chinese University political observer Ivan Choi Chi-keung said the book was unlikely to have as big an impact as a presidential or political autobiography.
'[Taiwan president] Ma Ying-jeou and [opponent] Frank Hsieh Chang-ting published books during their presidential campaign ... they illustrated their core values with events in their lives, so their books are quite readable,' he said.
'[Former chief executive] Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and [election opponent] Alan Leong Kah-kit published books too, but the public showed little interest,' he recalled.
The Book Fair opens at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday.
The number of people who co-wrote the book Zero Distance to C.Y. It will be released at this year's Book Fair