Allen Lee in on-air clash with the radio boss who 'abandoned' him

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 July, 2004, 12:00am

Veteran politician and former talk-show host Allen Lee Peng-fei and Commercial Radio director Winnie Yu clashed angrily on air yesterday, with Mr Lee demanding an apology that Ms Yu refused to give.

Mr Lee accused Ms Yu of abandoning him after he had helped her, and the radio boss rejoined that the man she had once thought of as a cultured and venerable elder had turned out to be a deserter.

The exchange came on the morning talk show Teacup in a Storm, as the programme's host for 10 years, 'Taipan' Albert Cheng King-hon, whose contract is being terminated, bade listeners farewell.

An emotional Mr Lee called in to attack Ms Yu over remarks she made on Wednesday that three of the station's hosts - Cheng, Mr Lee and Wong Yuk-man - had undermined freedom of speech by running away one after the other, citing political pressure.

Ms Yu also confirmed on Wednesday the station planned to terminate Cheng's contract.

Mr Lee, who took over the show after Cheng pulled out in May then quit himself, said: 'I'm very disappointed with [Winnie] Yu Tsang. I think she not only owes an apology to Taipan, but also to me.' Referring to her Wednesday comments, he added: 'If you wanted to terminate the contract with Taipan, why didn't you just do it? Why make so many muddling remarks?

'[She criticised] us for making people feel that freedom of expression is under threat. And [suggested] that is unacceptable for Commercial Radio.'

Without disclosing specifics, Mr Lee reminded Ms Yu that she had sought his help - and he had offered it - when Commercial Radio's licence was up for renewal last year.

But Ms Yu said: 'On this incident, I absolutely would not apologise to you, Mr Lee, I ...'

Her reply was cut short by Mr Lee, who said: 'If you don't want to apologise to me, that's it. I don't have anything to say to you.'

Saying he had known many people who 'take away the plank after crossing the bridge' - meaning a benefactor is abandoned once help is no longer required - he said: 'I don't want to add you to my list.'

Describing her as ungrateful, Mr Lee said: 'I feel very sad. Just think, if you were me, Taipan or Yuk-man. The people you hurt were those who helped you.'