Donald Tsang

Nervous, excited - Alan Leong's wife reluctant to steal limelight

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am

While Alan Leong Kah-kit was relishing his moment in the media spotlight yesterday, his wife, Carol Chen Suk-yi, was taking her usual low-key approach to events.

Even so, she admitted not sleeping well the night before.

'I was a bit nervous, but also excited,' she said, after taking part in her husband's rally in Chater Garden. 'I knew he'd received around 100 nominations, but I didn't know how many. He didn't tell me, and I didn't ask.'

Tuesday night had been much like any other. Mr Leong went swimming as usual and after getting home at about 10pm, ate the meal his wife had prepared, before having a good night's sleep.

Ever since her husband announced he was running for chief executive, she has often joined him in various campaign activities. But the soft-spoken 47-year-old has been reluctant to steal the limelight by making any grand statements.

She trailed behind at yesterday's rally as Mr Leong was surrounded by Election Committee members and chanting supporters. It took the prompting of onlookers before she moved to her husband's side.

Ms Chen admitted to feeling joy at her husband's success, but insisted the most memorable thing was simply being part of the campaign.

While she would explain to their twin sons, who are in Form One, about what their father was doing, Ms Chen said the contest had become a frequent topic in telephone conversations with her daughter, who is studying in Form Six at a boarding school in England.

'We talk every night for around 40 to 45 minutes ... she cares very much about her daddy.'

Since her husband had embarked on his campaign, Ms Chen, a former solicitor, said the family had spent less time together. 'It doesn't matter. We can have more time together later. I hope that during Easter we can have a few days off.'

Asked about comparisons some newspapers had made between her and the wife of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei, she said it was 'normal' for them to do so.

But she admitted: 'I was always very casual, but now I think I may need to dress up a bit.'