Henry Tang stays mum on inspiration behind campaign

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 1995, 12:00am

EVEN if former appointed legislator Henry Tang Ying-yen does not win a seat in the Import and Export functional constituency, he deserves a prize for the design of his election materials.

Each poster carries the quote: 'Mum says: A man has to be earnest and down-to-earth' and a picture of Mr Tang as a 10-year-old.

His pamphlets, among the most colourful, are also loaded with photos of him in his childhood, adolescence and with his family.

'My primary aim is to capture people's attention and, if that's impossible, create a lasting impression,' said Mr Tang, who claimed he was more handsome when younger.

His soft-sell tactics help divert attention from the fact that he is a businessman through and through, and is on the side of employers when their interests conflict with those of employees. Mr Tang is fending off challenges from solicitor-turned-business executive Kwan Lim-ho.

A confident Mr Tang believes he has a 75 per cent chance of winning.

Using his network with the territory's bosses, he has been given unrestricted access to more than 10 big import and export companies including Inchape, Dah Chong Hong and China Resources, which have thousands of his electors.

But Mr Kwan is also brimming with confidence. He said he had been providing community services in many districts over the past decade.

'I have been working for the grassroots quietly. That's why nobody knows,' said Mr Kwan.

Of the 111,682 voters in the constituency, Mr Kwan said 80,000 lived in public housing estates, Home Ownership Schemes flat and old private buildings. He believes they would prefer him to a businessman.

'Mr Tang may have thousands of votes from the big companies but I have the support of tens of thousands of voters.' Undaunted by the fact that he has been denied entry to any company, Mr Kwan tries to reach his voters by standing outside their work places and making home visits.

And he claimed he had already visited most of his voters.