Singing leader's date with an Angel

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 December, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 December, 2000, 12:00am

Mr Jiang surprised 630 society guests and dignitaries by staging an impromptu sing-along.

After delivering a keynote speech warning against subversion, and urging support for Macau's Chief Executive, the President struck a lighter note.

Grabbing the microphone at the Cultural Centre, he chatted to Shanghai conductor Chen Xieyang, commanded a performance by cellist Wang Jian, then led Macau and mainland officials in singing patriotic songs before recalling his experience of a similar sing-along during his Lisbon visit last year.

'In Lisbon, I remembered the melody but I couldn't recall the lyrics,' he quipped.

Mr Jiang then exhorted 'women comrades' to join in. 'How come there are no woman comrades? he asked. 'How can there not be even one woman comrade?'

This prompted casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun to encourage his fourth wife, Angel Leong On-kei, to take the stage.

The President also joked with Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, who was among guests asked to join the sing-song. He said he had discovered Mr Qian's secret - that 'he sings very well'. Mr Jiang said the vice-premier usually just stuck to telling jokes.