Donald Tsang

You have to be in the loop to be in the chief executive's circle

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 February, 2007, 12:00am

What is it about our chief executive and his circles?

No, I don't mean the 'small-circle' election that has guaranteed Donald Tsang Yam-kuen a second term while we journos go through the Communist Party-style charade of reporting his campaign like it was real democracy.

I am just curious about his 'thinking loop', which he has touted as an effective mental aid he uses to think through complicated policy issues; he has even offered it to the public as a general problem-solving method.

It reminds me of the 'infinity ring' that the popular Japanese cartoon character Doraemon, a robotic cat, uses every time he gets into trouble. Perhaps this is why our government seem to be forever going in circles.

The loop has practically become Mr Tsang's election logo, appearing on his campaign pamphlet cover and on his personal blog. He has promoted it in a half-page advertisement in newspapers. He has even done a mental striptease with two video clips in his blog using the loop to visualise his thinking processes in action. In one clip from the video, he shows how the circle (pictured) helped him to think though his anti-poverty policy, through which he promises to close the growing income gap between the rich and the poor.

'I don't have a very smart brain,' he said. 'That's why I have to draw this circle to formulate questions and answers. I have found this circle, which I call the thinking loop, very useful. Maybe you can try it sometimes, too.'

With his thinking loop, Mr Tsang is in danger of becoming Hong Kong's answer to Edward 'Lateral Thinking' de Bono.

Now he just needs to set up a think-tank, like many of his current and former government colleagues, to promote and expand his circles, so to speak.

For your edification, see