Don't join the race, Janet Tsang pleads

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am


Tsang Yok-sing's younger sister has made an emotional plea to the Legislative Council president to abandon the idea of running in the chief executive election.

Janet Tsang Lai-yue said she knew her eldest brother was not the 'power-hungry type' and that running for election would be damaging to their family and his private life.

'I am not too keen on this idea. I will not try to interfere with his decision, but in my heart I would like him to abandon the idea because I believe in the saying 'all politicians end in tears',' she said. 'At the age of 64, I think it's better for him to continue with his present job and enjoy retirement when the time comes.

'People may say that I am selfish to think like that, but over the years our family has sacrificed quite a lot because of our involvement in politics,' she said.

Tsang, founding chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, said on Friday he was seriously considering running for the top job after a 'dramatic turn' in the race, obviously referring to the escalating scandal of Henry Tang Ying-yen's illegal additions to one of his homes. On Monday, Tsang said he would make a decision early next week and had begun assessing the possibility of seeking the required 150 nominations.

Janet Tsang, who now lives in England, paid a heavy price for her accidental involvement in politics 45 years ago. In November 1967, she was arrested with 13 other students from Belilios Public School in North Point when they attempted to block teachers from taking away a student who was expelled from the prestigious government-run school.

That student spearheaded a fund-raising programme for a fellow student whose Grantham Scholarship (an educational grant) was scrapped after writing an article ridiculing a teacher in the Youths' Garden Weekly.

'What we did was peaceful and the handling by the police and the school was very unfair,' said Janet Tsang, who was a Form Five student at the time.

The 14 students, who were expelled from the school, were sentenced to one month's jail or a fine of HK$100. Seven, including Janet Tsang, went to jail after refusing to pay the fine.

The incident took place against the backdrop of the 1967 riots staged against British colonial rule, which nearly brought the city to a standstill.

Tsang Yok-sing said in an earlier interview that the colonial government had locked up his younger sister, who was just 16 at the time, even though she had caused no harm to anybody.

Tsang Tak-sing, the Legco president's younger brother, was a Form Six student at St Paul's College at the time of the riots. He was jailed for two years for distributing 'inflammatory leaflets'.

He joined pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao after walking free from Stanley Prison in 1969. He became chief editor of the newspaper in 1988 and is now secretary for home affairs.